In the final quarter of 2015, investors zeroed in on seed stage funding, participating in 52 deals with an average deal size of $7.2 million (as opposed to $4.1 million in Q3). Through 2015, seed and early stage funding grew by 23% over 2014 levels.
Expansion-stage investments — likely impacted by the very public markdowns made by investors like Fidelity — were meanwhile down 53 percent in dollars and 10 percent in number of deals from the previous quarter, with $3 billion going into 247 deals. Similarly, investment in late-stage companies dropped 33 percent in dollars from the third quarter, with $3 billion going into 169 deals in the fourth quarter. Altogether, in the fourth quarter, U.S. VCs poured $11.2 billion into 962 deals, marking the eighth consecutive quarter that VCs have invested more than $10 billion in startups in a single quarter.