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Startup valuations keep rising

January 16, 2014: 3:47 PM ET

It isn't your imagination. Startups are more expensive than ever before.


FORTUNE -- Is it a startup bubble or a startup boom? Either way, it's growing.

Venture capitalists paid record highs to invest in private companies last year, according to new data from Pitchbook.

The research firm found that median pre-money valuations were up across the board in 2013. Seed-stage deals rose to a whopping $5.1 million, while Series A rounds climbed to $9.4 million. Per usual, the largest percentage jump was between Series A and Series B (median of $27.1 million), while Series C rounds hit $62.6 million (up 23% from 2012) and Series D and later rounds came in at $105.2 million (up 14% from 2012).

The highest seed-stage valuations were in healthcare devices/supplies sector ($6m), while the highest Series A were in commercial services ($12m) and the highest Series B were in pharma/biotech ($29.6m). The highest Series C and Series D+ rounds were in media ($91.7m and $188m, respectively).

In terms of geography, the priciest seed and early-stage deals came out of the Bay Area, while New York took the crown for later-stage transactions.

The only countervailing trend was that only three of every five deals came at a higher valuation than did the company's prior round, with approximately 20% of deals coming in flat. Prior to the financial crisis, Pitchbook reports that around 75% of follow-on rounds were at increased valuations.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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