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
|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.|
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.)
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.
- Lyft Drives Mobile VC Funding to $1.4B in April
- Mobile VC Tops $1B in March Madness
- Mobile VC Pulls in $592.9M in February
- Chinese Startups Dominate January VC Funding
- Mobile VC Bumps Up to $868M in December
— Sarah Thomas, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading