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The Six Year Explosion in CVC Investment Sizes in Asia

By Jeff Carlson


As discussed in my first post, the average size of rounds in which at least one CVC unit participated increased from $22.1m per investment in 2012 to $54.2m in 2017, an increase by a factor of 2.5x.


My second post evaluated how much of this was due investments in later stages versus larger average investments for each stage. The conclusion from that analysis was that the increase in average round size was due to a relatively small number of very large investments rather than an increased number of later stage investments.

This post will focus on the regional trends of investment amounts and average investment sizes.


The source of information for all the analysis in this post comes from GCV Analytics which is available for through a subscription from Global Corporate Venturing.


The chart below shows the breakdown of investments by region over the past six years (for which the investment amount was publicly available).  There are a few key trends from this chart worth noting:

  • There was almost a 3x increase in the overall number of investments, whereas only a 2x more in North America

  • As a result, the % of investments in North America declined from 74% of all deals to slightly more than 50%

  • At the same time, the number of investments in Asia increased by more than 7x, from 9% in 2012 to 25% of all deals in 2017

  • Investments in Europe also increased by 4x, from 13% of deals to 16% in 2017

  • North America, Asia and Europe consistently make up essentially 95% of all investments over this time span

Investments with CVC Participation, By Region



  • Excludes Investments in which the deal size is unknown

If we look at the total dollars invested over this span by region (in the chart below), we see a couple of very similar trends:

  • The percentage of money invested in North America dropped proportionately from 75% to just under 50%

  • Investment dollars in Europe increased by 5x, from $1.6B to $8.1B in 2017

  • North America, Asia and Europe consistently make up roughly 98% of all dollars investments over this time span

However, one very stark contrast in this chart is the large influx of money into Asia, which received essentially the same investment dollars as North America in 2017. Although Asia received slightly less than 25% of all deals, they received close to 50% of the dollars.

Clearly, the average deal sizes in Asia must be significantly larger than in other parts of the world.


Dollars Invested with CVC Participation, By Region



The bar chart below shows the average investment size (vertical axis) by region over the years from 2012 to 2017. The width of each bar shows the relative number of investments for each region and year. The horizontal gray line shows the global average investment size for each year.


The interactive chart below allows the user to select a specific round (or all rounds, which is the default) to evaluate the average investment size. Similarly, the user can include or exclude any regions of choice by selecting with the Region dropdown menu.


When analyzing all rounds for the three primary regions (North America, Asia and Europe) you will see the average investment size in Asia has consistently been much greater than for North America or Europe, and to an even larger extent in recent years.


Because there are still significantly more deals occurring in North America (by roughly a factor of 2), the global averages (grey horizontal lines) are much closer to the height of the North America bar than that of the Asia bar.


At the same time, it is clear that Asia is causing a significant amount of upward pull on the average sizes from 2012 to 2017. In order to quantify the effect that Asia has on the average investment sizes, I looked at the average sizes with Asia excluded. 


When removing Asia from the global averages for 2012, $22.1m dropped slightly to $21.1m. However, the 2017 results dropped from $54.3m to $39.3m. So, without Asia in the equation, average investment sizes grew from $21.1m to $39.3m, an increase of 86%, or 13% YoY growth.  When Asia is included, this expands to 150% growth, or 20% YoY growth.


Average Investment Sizes and Deal Activity, By Region



So now that we have verified that Asia is having a significant effect on average investment sizes, in which countries does this phenomenon occur most?


The bar chart below shows the average 2017 investment sizes for the top 30 countries (in terms of number of investments). For simplicity, all bar widths are the same, regardless of the number of investments.  


The colors represent the associated region for each country. When evaluating all rounds, it is immediately clear that the four countries with the largest average sizes and six of the top seven are Asian. Interestingly, China is not even the largest average round size, although it certainly has many more investments. Its 230 investments in 2017 is greater than the sum of all five of the other top Asian countries combined (Hong Kong: 4, Indonesia:15, India:117, South Korea:13, and Singapore:45).


The only non-Asian countries with average 2017 deal sizes greater than the U.S. were countries with relatively few investments: Switzerland (with only 19 deals) and Brazil (6 deals).


Average 2017 Investment Sizes, By Country



  •  Top 30 countries, by deal count

In conclusion, the large growth in investment sizes over the last six years has been driven primarily by Asian investments. Not only are the average investment sizes much larger, the portion of deals occurring in Asia has dramatically increased as well.  In 2017, nearly 25% of all investments occurred in Asia, and nearly 50% of all dollars were invested in that region. The phenomenon is not limited to China alone either as one might expect - many of the other Asian countries are benefiting from this trend as well. 

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