COVID-19 Data Liquidity Startups Venture

Monthly Funding Recap November 2020: 14 New Unicorns From Meal Kits To Virtual Events, And M&A Ramps Up

Global funding slowed down a little in November, year over year, following a blockbuster third quarter. All told, global funding last month came in at $23 billion, down 12 percent from November 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

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Invested dollars in 2020 outpaced 2019 in both the second and third quarters, but is unlikely to do so in the final quarter of the year.

Key findings

  • Global funding in November 2020 came in at $23 billion, down 12 percent from November 2019.
  • Unicorn creation continued with 14 new unicorns joining the board in November.
  • M&A heated up in November 2020 with 145 exits at $23.7 billion.

New unicorns keep pace

November’s new unicorns hail from six countries, with eight headquartered in the U.S. The most highly valued are: Klaviyo, a marketing automation company based in Boston, which raised a $200 million round led by Accel valuing the company at $4.2 billion; Better.com, a New York-headquartered home-financing platform, also raised $200 million from L Catterton at a $4 billion post money valuation; and Relativity Space, from Long Beach, California, which has built its own 3D printed rocket, raised the largest round this past month at $500 million led by Tiger Global Management.

The company with the fastest time to unicorn is U.K.-based Hopin, a live virtual events platform founded in 2019, which announced its seed and Series A and B rounds in 2020. The company has scaled from 5,000 registered users and 1,800 organizations in pre-COVID March to 3.5 million users and over 50,000 organizations that have hosted events.

Rounds above $100 million—not all to unicorn companies—continued to dominate in 2020, with 60 percent of overall capital awarded to 48 companies this past month.

Decacorn valuations

The single decacorn valuation in November went to Manbang Group, a truck-hailing logistics company headquartered in China that connects shippers with drivers. It raised $1.7 billion at a $12 billion post money valuation led by SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Permira and Fidelity. The company claims to be profitable and has said it connects more than 10 million drivers and 5 million cargo owners.

A recent Crunchbase News analysis found increased interest in funding for the supply chain as “digitization and visibility could lead the next wave of investment.”

Active investors

Of the 15 most active investors in November 2020, seven represent private-equity or growth-stage investors.

Corporate venture firms Sapphire Ventures, GV and Qualcomm Ventures lead on this list as well as multi-stage venture firms GGV Capital, Sequoia Capital, Accel, and General Catalyst. And recently founded Acrew Capital upped its investing pace significantly in November, leading three out of four funding rounds in new portfolio companies.

“At Acrew, we are seeing significant acceleration of digital adoption in many of our core thesis areas. All four of these investments are great examples of companies where the need for their offering is even more pronounced in a remote world: Cato with enabling secure remote network access usage for employees; HMBradley with digital-first banking; Observable with collaborative data visualization; and Solv with fast access to remote urgent care,” said Lauren Kolodny, a founding partner at Acrew Capital.

M&A increases

M&A deals are up in 2020 with February, September and November the three standout months for acquisitions with disclosed amounts. In November, a total of 10 companies were acquired at $1 billion or more—a far higher count than any other month in the past two years. Other standout months each include multiple acquisitions above $5 billion.

Key sectors for M&A of private companies include delivery, customer engagement, workflow management, supply chain and cybersecurity.

Of those sectors, notable acquisitions in customer engagement include: Kustomer by Facebook to engage more with its small business customers; Adobe acquired Workfront, a work management platform for marketers; Coupa, a public company that manages business spend, acquired LLamasoft to improve supply chain design and optimization for its customers; and private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners acquired Gainsight for optimizing customer experience and Pipedrive, a CRM company for sales.

IPOs

The initial public offering market for venture-backed companies slowed down in November. But December is likely to be a high-profile month with Affirm, Airbnb, DoorDash, Roblox and Wish all expected to go public before the end of the year. Collectively, these companies have raised $10.8 billion and are valued at $52 billion as of their last private valuations.

December is likely to be busy with liquidity events, including Slack’s pending  acquisition by Salesforce1 and a half-dozen or so companies still seeking to go public before the end of the year.

On the horizon

November marks Crunchbase News’ final monthly recap for 2020. We head into 2021 with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, promising some return to normalcy next year. But our societies are also indelibly altered. Local businesses are boarded up. Corporations are rethinking the function of the office. Services in entertainment, shopping, fitness, health, education and finance are on paths to more fully cater to us in our homes.

Still, the pandemic—and a record vaccine development timeline—also showed us how we as a society can solve even the most difficult of problems, aided by investments in innovation. Let’s hope a decade of venture investment totaling $1.8 trillion—with $270 billion just this past year to date—sets us up to further innovate for higher productivity and a better quality of life in the new year.

Methodology

Pro tip: Crunchbase Pro allows users to easily query the dataset. Here are some useful queries used in this report. See the Crunchbase Pro list for November global funding information. Pro users can save the list to their account, filter by location and match it against target customers.

View the full list of private unicorns here and the list of emerging unicorns here.

Learn about companies that recently went public, and perform Pro searches for recent venture-backed acquisitions here.

All 2020 unicorn IPOs are listed here.

Funding rounds included in this report are seed, angel, venture, corporate-venture and private-equity rounds in venture-backed companies. This reflects data in Crunchbase as of Dec. 3, 2020.

Please note that all funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


  1. Salesforce is an investor in Crunchbase. It has no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.

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