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Mobile Startups Rack Up $4.2B in January

Sarah Thomas
2/12/2015
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It was a fruitful start to the year for mobile startups. According to Rutberg's latest numbers, private companies in the mobile space raised $4.2 billion in venture capital from 118 deals in the month of January, with Uber once again leading the charge.

Even without Uber's $1.6 billion raised and the 17 other growth equity rounds of $50 million or more, startups still managed to earn $765.6 million last month, Rutberg & Co. , which tracks the VC space closely, says.

Interestingly, Uber wasn't the only transportation app to attract funding in January. The second and third largest deals of the month went to its Chinese competitors, Kuaidi Dache, which raised $600 million from Alibaba.com Hong Kong Ltd. , SoftBank Corp. and Tiger Global Management; and to Didi Dache, which raised $700 million from DST Global, Temasek Holdings and Tencent Inc. last month.

For its part, Uber raised $1.6 billion in convertible debt from Goldman Sachs & Co. 's Private Wealth Management clients, bringing its total raised to date to $4.3 billion. (See Mobile VC Holds Steady at $1.3B in July and Uber Drives June Mobile VC to $2.3B.)

Here are the top five earners for January:

Table 1: Table 1: Top 5 Funded Mobile Startups in January

Startup Latest funding Location Developing Backers
Uber $1.6 billion San Francisco, Calif. mobile, on-demand transportation app convertible debt from Goldman Sachs’s Private Wealth Management clients
Kuaidi Dache $600 million Hangzhou, China global car service app Alibaba, SoftBank, Tiger Global Management
Didi Dache $700 million Beijing, China taxi-hailing smartphone app DST Global, Temasek Holdings, Tencent
One97 Communications $575 million New Delhi, India Paytm mobile payments app in India Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group
Source: Rutberg & Co.


Read more about mobile topics on the dedicated 4G LTE channel here on Light Reading.

It wasn't all cars and mobile apps in January, however. Other big earners that telecom service providers might want to keep an eye on include Rounds, which raised $12 million led by Sequoia Capital and with participation from both Samsung Ventures and Verizon Ventures, among others, for a real-time mobile video chat application with group chat functionality. (See Verizon Likes OTT Video Prospects.)

Another is WorldVu Satellites, which pulled in cash from Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Virgin Group for its OneWeb mobile Internet satellite constellation. (See OneWeb Gets Funding From Qualcomm, Virgin Group, O3B Founder Taps Virgin, Qualcomm for New Satellites and SpaceX Nabs $1B From Google for Satellite Internet.)

And Altiostar , which raised $50 million for its distributed radio that uses Ethernet to connect the radios and the controller. (See Altiostar Secures Another $50M in Funding .)

Of course, there had to be a robot or two. Startup Jibo raised $25.3 million for its WiFi-connected "household robot." (See SoftBank Launches $2K Personal Robot That Feels Emotions, Evolves.)

To follow the cash from the past year, read up on Rutberg's past monthly VC reports below.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

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adamjones
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adamjones,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/29/2016 | 8:33:43 AM
Re: Uber
Now a days mobile application is need of any business. World is getting digital and we cannot ignore that uber is the new technological definition of taxi business. Uber has clearly fulfilled the need of customer.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/16/2015 | 12:20:40 PM
Re: big month for $$$
I feel like with Uber, they are much more than just a mobile app. 

Uber is like a infrastructure play. Sure, the windows into its business is via a mobile app. But the true value it is bringing to the market is a remake of transportation, an area of our infrastructure that needs total transformation. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
2/16/2015 | 1:08:39 AM
Re: big month for $$$
It makes sense, Sarah. Mobile devices are populating the world at a very fast space and mobile app deveopers are in demand. Mobile apps are shaping and chaging different industries bringing ROI and value to organizations.

Startups started to flourish already a few years ago and now they are exploding everywhere. This makes them a VCs favorite.

-Susan 
shashidhara
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shashidhara,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/15/2015 | 11:29:04 PM
nice article
nice article. crisp and clear
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