Biotech proved a surprisingly bright spot in 2022's startup correction
No startup sector was entirely immune from 2022's market uncertainty -- except maybe AI -- but some proved more resilient than others. Biotech was one of the most fortunate.
The sector recorded 1,054 U.S.-based deals in 2022, worth a collective $30.7 billion, according to Pitchbook data. Those figures fell short of the 1,415 biotech deals struck in 2021 worth a total of $39 billion. But the declines were not the worst we found: Biotech showed a more modest year-over-year decline in investment volume (21%) than many other sectors including fintech (37.7%), consumer tech (53%) and enterprise tech (33%).
Comparing any sector's results to 2021 is slightly specious, as that year was the peak of the last startup boom. Compared to 2020's more conservative 1,143 biotech deals worth $29.6 billion, last year wrapped up on par.
U.S. biotech deals also set new records in 2022 for both median deal size, $33.5 million, and median valuation, $38 million.
Biotech investors told TechCrunch that while they definitely felt the squeeze of the overall economic conditions last year -- and noticed tourist investors shying away from the category, similar to other sectors -- many weren't surprised that the category performed better than some of the other more buzzy industries for a few key reasons.