PIPEs in the recent quarter generated $21.8 billion dollars in capital, versus $17.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Securities attorneys told The Deal that a loosening of Nasdaq‘s “20 percent rule” that requires investor approval for some transactions could make it easier to raise capital and lower the cost of capital.

Biotech continued to be the most robust deal driver, with more than 130 transactions that generated over $8 billion. Many of the deals involved less than a $5 million raise, with many at the $1 million level.

Biotech deals included those ranging from $1.24 million from Apricus Biosciences Inc.(APRI) to Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC)’s $3.1 billion offering with investor beverage maker Constellation Brands Inc.

Cannabis companies continue to drive the PIPEs market in Canada, while retrograde policies in the U.S. channel cannabis capital to other nations.

Jefferies LLC came in with the largest number of placements, with 15, and H.C. Wainwright & Co. LLC with 14.

Other active players included Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.B. Riley FBR Inc.Cowen and Co. LLCand Stifel Financial Corp.

Some big energy deals included at-the-market deals from Williams Cos. (WMB) ($1 billion), Targa Resources Corp. ($750 million) and DCP Midstream LP ($750 million).

ATMs continue to serve as back up capital resources for real estate companies as well, and the quarter’s offerings included a $1 billion offering from Ventas Inc. (VTR), a real estate investment trust that specializing in investing in structures for elderly citizens and healthcare institutions.

ATMs do not usually involve an actual initial cash transaction.