Venture capital spending in 2017 is on track to be the highest in the last decade, while the number of transactions has shrunk to the lowest total in five years. That means deals between venture capitalists and companies are simultaneously getting both huge and hard to land, according to new data from PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor.
A small number of deals are driving much of the growth: Think of the $4 billion that WeWork commanded from SoftBank last quarter, or the $10 billion that current Uber investors could soon trade in return for their shares in the company. As companies stay private longer, massive late-stage financing rounds are needed to pay the bills — even as there’s a decline in the overall number of rounds across the landscape.
Almost 6,000 VC deals have been struck in the U.S. as of Sept. 30, for a total value of $61 billion, according the PitchBook report, yielding an average deal size of $10.3 million — the highest in the history of the data set, which goes back to 2008.
Or to put it another way: At least $25 million changed hands in about 64 percent of the VC deals this year. That’s up from 41 percent a decade ago.
This growth in deal size is happening across the startup ecosystem — from younger companies achieving liftoff earlier in their history to later-stage businesses that are collecting massive checks as they prepare (or delay) to go public.
It appears that much of this growth is being driven by the expansion of megadeals, which are responsible for more and more of the total amount spent in the venture capital system.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.