For an early-stage biotech company, raising venture capital funding for the first time is a crucial milestone. And when you look at all the baby’s-first-financing announcements of the past few years, there’s something going on that Atlas Venture VC Bruce Booth calls “so counterintuitive in a lot of ways.”

New data show that the number of life sciences companies that reach that pivotal moment has stayed flat over the past few years. But the amount of money being invested in these first financings is rising, indicating that when companies do manage to get a first big investment, they’re getting more money. The figures come from PitchBook, a company that analyzes and sells data on the private markets.

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