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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global venture capital funding hit an all-time record in Q3, topping $158 billion, per a report from CB Insights.

Driving the news: That's more than double the Q3 2020 total, and more than any full-year totals before 2018. Or, put another way, startups raised more in three months of 2021 than during the entire dotcom boom years of 1999 or 2000.

  • Mega-rounds (of $100 million or more) are driving the surge, accounting for just 4% of total deals but 58% of dollar volume.
  • The median late-stage deal valuation hit $1.1 billion, more than the 2020 median. This means the median late-stage deal now creates a unicorn (also, one-third of new unicorns are in fintech).
  • The quarter's busiest firm in Q3 wasn't Tiger Global or Insight Partners. It was Sequoia Capital China, averaging an insane 1.5 deals per day.

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2021 - Health

UnitedHealth thinks the worst of COVID may be over

Expand chart
Data: Company filings; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

UnitedHealth Group raised its profit projections for the rest of 2021 even though the insurer covered 60,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations during the third quarter, a number that was "meaningfully above the second quarter," executives said Thursday.

Why it matters: Health insurers expected to incur higher COVID costs in the quarter after the Delta variant ran rampant over the summer, especially in states with low vaccination rates. But UnitedHealth's COVID costs fell in line with its projections and were offset by some providers delaying care again.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida SunSentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.