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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Venture capitalists invested $288 billion in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, per Crunchbase.

By the numbers: Venture capitalists invested $140 billion into U.S.-based startups in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, per Ernst & Young. At that pace, the 2020 total should be surpassed in a matter of days.

  • Venture capitalists sold $232 billion worth of tech startups in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, according to 451 Research (a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence).
  • 410 companies went public on the Nasdaq in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, partially driven by an all-time record number of SPAC listings.
  • Buyout activity in the first half of 2021 hit an all-time record, including a whopping $126 billion for North American deals in Q2 alone, per Preqin.
  • Global M&A in the first half of 2021 topped $2.82 trillion, as we previously discussed, an all-time record.

All of this feeds on itself. For example, lots of VC exits lead to lots of VC deals, both because of animal spirits and structural reasons like fund recycling provisions.

  • Plus, Preqin reports that there was an all-time record 5,248 private equity and venture capital funds in market at the start of July, targeting $900 billion. That would be on top of an all-time record amount of existing dry powder in PE/VC funds.

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2021 - Science

Weather and climate disasters have cost the U.S. over $100 billion in 2021

Piles of debris is all that's left of a restaurant after heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ida came through in Manville, New Jersey, on Sept. 7. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Weather and climate disasters in 2021 have killed 538 people in the U.S. and cost over $100 billion, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Why it matters: The first nine months of 2021 saw the largest number of billion-dollar disasters in a calendar year so far, with 2021 on pace for second behind 2020, per the report.

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.