Investment in 3,912 venture-backed companies reached $57.5 billion invested across 3,997 deals in the first half of 2018, according to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, the authoritative quarterly report on venture capital activity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem jointly produced by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). At this pace, venture investment is expected to meet or exceed capital invested in 2017, which saw the highest amount of capital deployed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem since the dot com era (early 2000's). Deal value was driven in part by investment in late-stage companies and unicorns, however, deal sizes increased across all stages. This is most notable in the angel and seed stage, which has been boosted by the emergence of pre-seed financings. These pre-seed rounds allowed for more mature business models by the time of initial seed rounds, naturally leading to larger deal sizes. Additionally, the venture exit market remained healthy in the first half of 2018 and is expected to continue improving with several unicorns poised for exits. Venture fundraising also remained strong, especially for first time fund managers with niche or regional strategies.