2018 has been an intense year in the startup funding world.

While for early stage companies seed rounds have dangerously stretched into the smaller, stealthier raisings of a Seed Phase, later stage funding has seen the surge of Megarounds – gargantuan VC funding involving hundred millions of dollars. It has been a record year in terms of money poured into the startup environment and the resulting increase of unicorns.

The mythical beasts are no longer a US exclusive, though. China is showing a fast-paced maturation of its innovative landscape, with a sheer amount of companies whose valuations have surpassed the USD 1B threshold.

This year we have also seen the deflation of the crypto-hype. The blockchain technology has still many challenges to face, but on the funding side ICOs are no longer the “barbarian at the gate”. Largely defined and regulated by SEC, in the last months of 2018 they have been often paired with more traditional VC funding, showing complementarity between the two approaches.

In tech, a new round of IPOs seems to be starting, reverting from previous years’ trend. Spotify and Dropbox are a couple of big names, but the list of tech giants gone public is longer, and set to grow in the next year: Uber and Lyft already filed their papers, while Palantir and Slack are reported to follow up soon.

We expect 2019 to be even more lively. Volatility is coming back to public markets (as last October showed us), nonetheless the heavy weights of tech are expected to get into the trading pit. At the same time, regulators feel the pressure for widening the access to startup investment, as institutional investors’ appetite for young, fast growing companies soars.

Next year will likely witness the line between public and private becoming a bit blurrier, with a tighter link of valuations and funding opportunities.