The startup and venture capital community moves fast. Innovation waits for no one and, as a result, it can be tempting to dash forward without examining trends and news from the recent past.
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At Crunchbase, our job is to do that for you. As it’s often said–hindsight is 20/20–and we hope our monthly recap of July 2020 will provide decision-makers with the vision they need to define current and future endeavors in a thoughtful way.
The data: July 2020
Overall global funding for July is at $26.8 billion, up from July 2019’s $26.1 billion, and above the average for the last 12 months by more than $3 billion.
Venture looks like it is rebounding, with only one other month higher in invested dollars since the beginning of 2019–pre-pandemic December at $29 billion.
However, it is worth noting that a larger concentration of dollars went into rounds above $100 million, reaching $17.6 billion and representing 66 percent of capital deployed. For the 12 months prior to June 2020, rounds above $100 million averaged 50 percent of dollars invested.
What this means for July 2020 is that rounds under $100 million were down by 22 percent when compared to July 2019, with rounds above $100 million increasing by 23 percent.
$20 billion to Reliance Jio
The largest funding round in July goes to India’s Reliance Jio, a telecommunications company with a mobile network of 400 million subscribers, in which major tech giants invested to gain access for commerce, entertainment and services. Reliance Jio raised $4.5 billion from Google–representing 17 percent of the capital raised in July. In total, the company has raised $20 billion since April from the likes of tech giant Facebook and corporate venture firms Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital, as well as sovereign wealth funds and a slew of private-equity investors.
New unicorns in July
New unicorns in July–companies valued in a private round at or above $1 billion for the first time–include Oatly, Ro, Remitly, Thrasio, Nxtra Data, Qumulo, Infobip, Sema4 and Innovium. These companies join the ever-growing Crunchbase Private Unicorn Company List of 609 companies as of the end of July. Sectors include alternative food, health, e-commerce, payments and data service platforms.
Of the nine companies, Thrasio reached unicorn status in the shortest amount of time, having raised its first seed round in 2018. As noted in a Crunchbase news article, Thrasio purchases Amazon’s category-leading mom and pop stores–with 60 stores to date building out e-commerce winners. Two other companies achieving fast growth to unicorn status are health care startups Ro and Sema4, both founded in 2017.
Emerging unicorns in July
July’s emerging unicorns–companies valued in a private round between $500 million and less than $1 billion–include biotech company Tizona Therapeutics, live content platform Caffeine, and e-learning platform Vedantu. Our Emerging Unicorn List features 185 companies we actively track as likely candidates to become the next unicorns–provided they are not snapped up before that milestone is reached.
Notable sectors for investment
We selected five sectors for investments in July 2020. These include industries that saw increased funding in the month of July relative to the prior six months’ averages. We also looked at funding to logistics companies, given the impact of Covid-19 on the supply chain.
Health care funding garnered over $6 billion in July. Some leading fundings in this sector include the following:
- Chicago-based VillageMD, a provider of services for primary care physicians, raised $275 million from Walgreens Boots Alliance.
- Texas-based Preventice Solutions, a maker of heart monitoring devices, raised $137 million in a round led by Vivo Capital.
- Medly Pharmacy, a digital pharmacy platform based in Brooklyn that offers free, same-day prescription delivery, raised a Series B of $100 million led by Greycroft and Volition Capital.
- Based in San Francisco, Doctor On Demand, a mobile app that provides on-demand and scheduled visits with U.S.-licensed health care providers, raised a Series D of $75 million led by General Atlantic.
- Brooklyn’s Cityblock Health, which addresses the root causes of health issues for underserved urban populations, raised a Series B of $53.5 million led by Kinnevik AB.
- Brisbane, California-based Caption Health uses artificial intelligence to interpret ultrasound exams has raised a Series B of $53 million led by Data Collective DCVC.
e-Commerce and shopping startups raised close to $4 billion in July 2020.
- Flipkart, an e-commerce giant out of India that competes with Amazon, raised an additional $1.2 billion from Walmart, which in 2018 invested $16 billion, giving it a majority equity ownership of 77 percent at that time. Also announced in July, Flipkart acquired Walmart India.
- Beijing-based Missfresh, an e-commerce platform for high-quality fresh food, raised a whopping $495 million round led by investment bank CICC.
- Misfits Market, a subscription service for organically sourced produce out of New Jersey, raised an $85 million Series B from Valor Equity Partners.
- Bolt, a San Francisco-based online checkout experience platform for e-commerce, raised a $50 million Series C led by WestCap.
Investments in electric vehicle companies led the transportation sector in July 2020.
- Rivian, an electric truck manufacturer based in Michigan that has yet to launch a product, raised a private-equity round of $2.5 billion led by T. Rowe Price, which had led a group of investors in a $1.3 billion round for the company in December.
- Guangzhou-based Xpeng Motors, an electric vehicle manufacturer, raised a $500 million Series C round.
- Based in Alberta, Canada, Drivewyze, a mobile driving solution for the transportation industry in North America, raised $60 million in a round led by Sageview Capital.
With the supply chain impacted by COVID-19, logistics providers raised large rounds in July.
- Zongteng Network, a Shenzhen-based provider of cross-border shipping and fulfillment solutions for e-commerce, raised a $71 million Series C led by Taikang Life Insurance.
- Shanghai-based FineEx, an e-commerce warehouse integration service, raised $71 million in a Series D round led by Baidu Capital.
- Palo Alto, California’s Dexterity, which builds robots for logistics, warehousing and supply chain operations, came out of stealth raising a $56 million Series A.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing startups raised just under $500 million in July, matching average funding for the first six months of 2020. These investments range from customer service engagement platforms to digital platforms focused on helping marketers grow their customer base.
- San Francisco’s enterprise contact center platform Talkdesk , with more than 1,800 customers in 75 countries, raised a $143 million Series C.
- New York-based Ceros, an interactive content creation platform for marketers and designers, raised $100 million in a private-equity round led by Sumeru Equity Partners.
- Chorus.ai, a San Francisco-based conversation intelligence platform for sales teams, raised a $45 million Series C in a round led by Georgian Partners.
- Berlin based zeotap, which helps brands understand their customers, raised a $42 million Series C.
- Insider, a Singapore-based platform that helps digital marketers drive growth, raised a $32 million Series C.
IPOs in July
The IPO market opened up in June with a continued push into July. There were 20 venture-backed companies that went public in July, according to our records. Beijing-based electric vehicle company Li Auto raised $1.1 billion, valuing the company at $10 billion. The next biggest raise was for GoHealth, a health insurance comparison platform that raised $913 million, valuing the company at close to $6.6 billion.
Acquisitions in July
In July, we tracked $7.5 billion in 93 venture-backed acquisitions. While the majority of companies do not disclose their price, the higher-priced acquisition amounts are typically disclosed. The largest acquisition in July was when Uber acquired Postmates for $2.65 billion–both companies are based in the Bay Area.
As our world shifts to remote, tech is stepping up to fill the gap by providing solutions for rapid digitization. With investors more active than ever, the public markets opening up, and acquirers looking for opportunities, we anticipate increased activity in the months ahead.
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 July’s global funding. 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.
Funding rounds included in this report are seed, angel, venture, corporate venture and private-equity rounds in venture-backed companies.
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