SYDNEY: The Australian start-up sector has been dealt a blow by the coronavirus, with latest figures showing the number of venture capital deals has slumped more than 75pc on last year. Figures from Right Click Capital’s Internet DealBook reveal there was also a substantial drop-off between February and March, with 26 VC deals closed in February 2020, but only 12 in March, a month historically busier for deals.

Right Click Capital co-founder Ben Chong said the numbers revealed the underlying fears of many in the investor community about spending during the crisis. In March 2019, there were 49 VC deals completed, compared with just 12 this year.

Across the first quarter of calendar 2020, Internet DealBook recorded 50 Australian venture capital deals closed, compared with 90 in 2019.

Despite this, the total deal value grew from $411 million in 2019 to $478 million, according to the Internet DealBook figures, with the average deal size leaping from $6.7 million to $11.7 million.