Biotech is a lot like venture capital. Vast amounts of research, testing and marketing go into a wide range of therapies. But in the end, it’s just a tiny fraction that deliver most returns.
That similarity may be why most of the biggest biotech and pharmaceutical companies have a long history of engaging in the venture business as startup investors, spin-out creators and strategic partners. Since last year, the largest corporate players participated in funding rounds valued at more than $6.4 billion, according to Crunchbase data. Trendlines also show investment is on the rise.
A short list Corporate Biotech VCs
In an effort to measure the size, scope and growth trajectory of this startup funding space, Crunchbase News assembled a few data sets of the largest corporate venture investors in biotech. TechCrunch culled through the largest companies by market cap and short-listed 19 (fwiw you will also find some of our partners on that list) with a history of active funding, often through dedicated venture arms.
Looking at these corporate investors in aggregate, we found that deal count hit the highest point in a decade in 2017. Average round sizes are also getting bigger, so it looks like corporate bio VCs are putting more capital to work, too. Following are some of our findings in more detail.