VC Exits Plummet in Q1

I was wondering if the NVCA and Daddy Thomson would even bother sending out their quarterly press release on VC exits, given how little IPO and M&A activity there was between January and March. But apparently it’s a “for better of for worse” sort of arrangement, and the doc showed up this morning as unexpected (download: Q1exits.pdf).

Only five VC-backed companies went public on U.S. exchanges last quarter, raising $282.73 million. That’s the lowest offering and raise figures since Q2 2003, and way off from the 31 VC-backed IPOs that raised over $3.04 billion in Q4 2007.

VC-backed exits via M&A was even worse, by comparison to other quarters. Only 56 VC-backed companies were acquired in Q1, which is slower than any other quarter since Q1 1999. The largest M&A exit was Dell’s $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic.