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Monthly Funding Recap: VC Tear Continues With $61B Invested And 53 New Unicorns Born In July 2021

The furious pace at which venture investment was deployed globally in the first half of 2021 is not slowing down as we move into the third quarter.

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Global funding came in at $61 billion in July 2021 — matching the all-time record set in June 2021, Crunchbase data shows.

“Digitization of entire economies is driving new tech adoption, innovative business models, evolving consumer and enterprise behaviors. The pace of acceleration has actually picked up this year vs last year,” Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, told Crunchbase News via email. The firm has increased its investing pace year over year in 2021 by 74 percent per Crunchbase data and is among the more active venture firms by deal count this past month.

Global monthly funding in 2021 through July averages $50 billion per month — up 82 percent compared to 2020’s $27.5 billion, and 2019 at $24.3 billion.

Mega rounds last month include India-based e-commerce giant Flipkart’s $3.6 billion private equity round led by Canada Pension Plan, GIC, Softbank Vision Fund and Walmart. And Michigan-based electric vehicle company Rivian raised $2.5 billion from the Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners, Ford Motor and T. Rowe Price. Both companies have now raised total funding of more than $10 billion each.

South Korean travel platform Yanolja raised $1.7 billion led by the Softbank Vision Fund. And New York-based Articulate, a 19-year-old workplace training platform, raised a $1.5 billion Series A led by General Atlantic.

Global unicorn counts also continue to grow.

Last month saw 53 new unicorns born, marking the second-highest record after March 2021, when 58 new unicorn companies were created. Crunchbase’s Private Company Unicorn Board now hosts 942 unicorns that have collectively raised more than $600 billion and are valued at more than $3 trillion as a group.

The most highly valued private company on the list currently is Shanghai-based ByteDance, valued in December 2020 at $180 billion.

Eight unicorn companies exited the board in July, all of which went public and were collectively valued at IPO around $60 billion.

Active Investors

The most active investors last month were once again growth equity investors. The Softbank Vision Fund tops the list, having led or co-led 22 investments and participated in four more investments.

Tiger Global Management and General Catalyst round out the top three investors, with 16 and seven lead or co-led investments, respectively.

The Softbank Vision fund also leads on the amounts it has invested in rounds it has led or co-led, tallying up to $10.3 billion.

Exits

Unicorn fintech companies lead on the exit front.

Commission-free stock trading platform Robinhood went public at the end of July, valuing the company at $32 billion. Money transfer company Wise, headquartered in London and  formerly known as Transferwise, went public via a direct listing that valued the company at $11 billion. Meanwhile, lending platform Blend was valued at $4 billion in its IPO.

India-based food delivery services Zomato was the second-largest IPO in July, valued at $12.2 billion on its debut, raising $1.3 billion.

The total public debut valuations of the venture-backed companies that went public in the first seven months of 2021 tops $1 trillion collectively. That’s double the valuations at IPO for the venture-backed companies that went public in all of 2020.

In general, startups are raising larger amounts at each funding stage, and with less time between funding rounds, a recent Crunchbase News analysis found.

The strong performance in the public markets for technology stocks alongside record funds raised by both venture and growth equity firms sets the stage for the increased funding pace in 2021, exceeding all prior years.

“At GGV, our questions are: is this global, and is this the beginning of another 10-year run?” said Tung.

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Methodology

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 Aug. 4, 2021.

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

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