2018 was the year supergiant VC deals became a nearly everyday occurrence. Equity funding rounds of $100 million or more dominated the global VC market, accounting for a vanishingly small percent of total deal volume, but accounting for 56 percent of the total dollar volume.
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Here’s the thing about these supergiant VC deals though. The New York Times headline from August 2018 said it simply: $100 million was once big money for a startup. Now, it’s common. In our Q4 and end-of-year analysis of the global VC market, Crunchbase News found that there were over 500 rounds in the “supergiant” size class throughout 2018, worldwide. Although we covered many of them last year, there were just too many to discuss individually.
“Supergiant” stars aren’t the absolute biggest, brightest things in the universe, though they loom larger than just about everything else. Supergiant VC rounds bent the curve of the venture market. But, there’s another size up. Hypergiant stars are many times the size of supergiant stars, and, so, it follows that hypergiant VC rounds would follow a similar pattern.
In a prior exploration of beyond-supergiant VC, Crunchbase News defined “hypergiant rounds” as any VC round of $250 million or more (at least 2.5x larger than the “supergiant” threshold). These are the deals that shine a bright and sometimes harsh light over a given market. And, at this point, there are sufficiently few of them that we can track a whole year’s worth of hypergiant deals.
So, below, you can find an ever-expanding list of hypergiant rounds from 2019, filed in reverse-chronological order based on announcement date. We’ll update this post on a weekly basis. If you’d like to check in on a more real-time basis, take a look at the query we’re using to surface these rounds.
Last updated on February 20, 2019.
Shiheng is an online catering management service provider based in Beijing, China.
- The company raised $300 million in a Series B round announced on February 18. SoftBank (not the Vision Fund) and TPG co-led the deal. CEO Fang ShiHun told DealStreetAsia that “ShiHeng is now valued at more than 1 billion yuan ($150 million), and is the leader of the takeaway/catering industry,” adding that “Our current GMV (gross merchandise value) is over 400 million yuan ($59 million).”
- The company was founded in 2017.
- DealStreetAsia reports that Shiheng has “raised three funding rounds in the last 12 months.” The report says that over the course of 2018, Shiheng raised over ¥200 million (approximately $30 million USD) between its Series A and “Series B-1” round. (The round above is being reported as a “Series B-2” deal.) Sequoia Capital China, Gaorong Capital, and Vision Plus Capital invested in those prior rounds.
Nuro is a Mountain View, CA-based designer and manufacturer of autonomous delivery robotics.
- The company raised $940 million in a Series B round that valued the company at $1.8 billion, pre-money. The SoftBank Vision Fund was the sole named investor in the deal, which was announced on February 11th.
- The company was founded in 2016.
- Prior to the hypergiant round mentioned above, the company had raised $92 million in a Series A round co-led by Gaorong Capital and Greylock Partners.
- Crunchbase News’s Mary Ann Azevedo and Holden Page covered the transaction as it was announced.
Reddit is a social media and community platform company headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
- In a Series D round, Reddit raised $300 million in a deal formally announced on February 11th. The transaction transaction was led by Chinese tech and media conglomerate Tencent Holdings. Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Investments, and Andreessen Horowitz participated in the deal, which valued the company at $3 billion, post-money.
- The company was founded in 2005 by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. Reddit was acquired by Condé Nast in 2006, but it was spun out as an independent company once again in September 2011.
- Prior to the hypergiant round mentioned above, the company had raised at least $250 million in prior venture funding. Y Combinator backed Reddit’s seed round and led its $50 million Series B round in 2014. Reddit raised $200 million in a Series C round announced in August 2017.
Based in Manchester, U.K., OakNorth is a commercial bank focused on serving the capital needs of small and medium-sized businesses.
- On February 8th, OakNorth announced it raised $440 million in a venture funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. Singapore-based Clermont Group participated in the deal, which values the financial services company at over $2.8 billion, post-money. The round is earmarked for funding expansion into North America and other international markets.
- The company was founded in 2013 by Joel Perlman and Rishi Khosla.
- Prior to the deal mentioned above, OakNorth had raised $100 million (USD) and £367.5 million (GBP) across its seed, Series A, and multi-tranched Series B rounds.
Aurora is a Palo Alto-based self-driving vehicle company.
- Aurora raised $530 million in a Series B round, which was announced on February 7th. Sequoia Capital led the deal, in which T. Rowe Price, and Amazon participated in the deal. Aurora is valued at $2.53 billion, post-money.
- The company was founded in 2016 by Chris Urmson, J. Andrew Bagnell, Sterling Anderson.
- Prior to the hypergiant round mentioned above, the company had raised $90 million in a Series A round, which was co-led by Greylock Partners and Index Ventures.
- Crunchbase News’s Mary Ann Azevedo covered the transaction when it was announced.
Lime is an on-demand point-to-point transportation company that offers electric scooters and bicycles for metered rental enabled through its mobile application. The Silicon Valley company is situated in San Mateo, California.
- Lime raised $310 million in a Series D round announced on February 6, 2018. The company announced it is now valued at $2.4 billion, post-money. Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Fidelity Investments, GV, and IVP co-led the round. Existing investors including Alphabet (parent organization to GV) and Singapore’s GIC fund, among others, participated. Additional, new investors joined in in what looks like quite the party round.
- The company was founded in June 2017.
- Crunchbase does not have information about Lime’s Series A round, or how much was raised in its seed round, at time of writing. Lime raised $120 million across two separate tranches in its Series B round. The company subsequently raised $335 million in its Series C round, announced in July 2018.
- Crunchbase News has covered Lime and other scooter companies in the past.
Databricks offers big data and analytics software as a service, built on top of Apache Spark. The company is based in San Francisco, California.
- The company raised $250 million in a Series E round formally announced on February 5th. Andreessen Horowitz, a longtime investor in the company, led the deal, which valued the company at $2.75 billion, post-money. Prior investors New Enterprise Associates, Battery Ventures, and Green Bay Ventures participated, as did new investors Coatue Management and Microsoft.
- The company was founded in 2013, though its founding team had worked together on Apache Spark since 2009.
- Prior to the hypergiant round mentioned above, the company had raised just over $247 million in prior venture funding.
- Crunchbase News covered the transaction.
Clover Health is a Medicare benefits company based in San Francisco, California.
- The company raised $500 million in a Series E round that was announced on January 29th. Greenoaks Capital led the deal.
- The company was founded in 2013 by Kris Gale and Vivek Garipalli.
- Prior to the hypergiant round mentioned above, the company had raised at least $425 million in prior venture funding.
Based in Shenzhen, China, Jusda (准时达) is a B2B supply chain management (SCM) company.
- The company raised CN¥2.4 billion ($356 million USD) in a Series A round announced on January 29th. A triumvirate of state-backed investors—IDG Capital, CICC, and China Life Insurance—co-led the deal; TI Capital, Oriza Holdings, and China Railway Supply Chain Group participated in the offering.
- The company was founded in 2010.
- This is the first publicly disclosed funding round that Crunchbase or Crunchbase News was able to find for the company. It’s unclear how the company has financed its operations and growth to date.
BridgeBio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating genetic diseases. It is based in Palo Alto, California.
- The company raised $299.2 million in a round formally announced on January 23. Late-stage private equity investors Viking Global Investors and KKR & Co co-led the deal. A number of BridgeBio’s prior investors, including Sequoia Capital, Cormorant Capital, Aisling Capital, AIG Investments, Perspective Advisors, and Hercules Capital, among others.
- The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Neil Kumar.
- At time of writing, Crunchbase does not have a complete history of BridgeBio’s prior rounds in its dataset. Apart from the $299.2 million round mentioned above, Crunchbase data shows that BridgeBio raised $135 million in a Series C round, which was also co-led by KKR and Viking. (Note: Crunchbase News may update this paragraph as more data is added to Crunchbase.)
Zhangmen is a K-12 personalized online tutoring company based in Shanghai, China.
- The company raised $350 million in a Series E round announced on January 23rd. The deal was co-led by China Media Capital and CICC Alpha.
- The company was founded in 2015.
- Crunchbase does not have a complete funding history for Zhangmen at time of writing. The first round listed on Zhangmen’s Crunchbase profile is a CN¥200 million Series C deal, led by Huaxing Growth Capital and announced in December 2016. Zhangmen’s $120 million Series D round was co-led by Warburg Pincus and Genesis Capital. The Series D deal was announced in January 2018.
DaDa is a Shanghai-based online education service for English language learners.
- The company raised $255 million in Series D funding led by global private equity and growth-stage investment firm Warburg Pincus. Yonghua Capital and TAL Education Group participated in the deal, which was announced on January 16th.
- The company was founded in April 2013, according to Crunchbase data.
- Prior to its Series D round, DaDa raised over $600 million in prior funding. That includes a $500 million Series B round raised from undisclosed investors back in April 2016.
Hailing from Palo Alto, Rubrik is a provider of enterprise-focused data backup, management, and recovery services.
- Rubrik raised $261 million in a Series E round announced on January 15. Bain Capital Ventures led the deal, which reportedly valued the company at $3.26 billion, post-money. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, and Khosla Ventures—a veritable who’s who of old school Silicon Valley VC—participated in the round.
- The company was founded in 2014.
- Before its hypergiant Series E round, Rubrik had raised $292 million in prior venture funding, according to Crunchbase data.
Launched by the founding team members of real estate listing site Trulia, Knock is a “home trade-in” platform for existing homeowners. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Almost exactly two years after closing a $32.5 million Series A round, Knock announced it had raised $400 million, led by Foundry Group, in a Series B round disclosed on January 15th. An undisclosed portion of that total was debt financing. Prior investors RRE Ventures, FJ Labs, WTI, and Corazon Capital participated in the round; Company Ventures joined the Series B as a new investor.
- The company was founded in 2015.
- Besides the Series B round announced in January 2019 and the Series A from January 2017, Knock’s only other known funding was a $2 million seed round announced in May 2016. Knock also received an unspecified amount of non-equity assistance from NY-based Grand Central Tech.
- Crunchbase News covered the news of Knock’s Series B round as it was publicly announced.
Shanghai-based Yimidada develops logistics management systems.
- Yimidada raised a CN¥1.8 billion ($266.2 million) Series D round led by private equity firm Boyu Capital. HOPU Investment Management Company and Source Code Capital participated in the deal, which was announced on January 14th.
- The company was founded in March 2015.
- Prior to raising its Series D round, Yimidada had raised $137.4 million in known venture funding, which includes a $79 million Series C announced in April 2018.
German fintech company N26 is a provider of mobile banking and international money transfer infrastructure and services.
- N26 raised $300 million in a Series D round led by Insight Venture Partners. Greyhound Capital and Singapore’s government-backed fund GIC participated in the deal. It was announced on January 9th and valued the company at $2.7 billion, post-money.
- The company was founded in February 2013.
- Prior to its Series D round, N26 had raised nearly $213 million in prior venture capital funding.
- Crunchbase News covered N26’s Series D round, as well as the $160 million the firm raised back in a Series C round from March 2018.
The We Company
Née “WeWork,” the recently re-christened The We Company is a New York City-based commercial real estate company that offers temporary, shared, and private workspace options to clientele ranging from individuals to corporations.
- The company raised $1 billion in a Series H round formally announced on January 9th. SoftBank (not the Vision Fund) invested $2 billion total in the transaction: $1 billion from the de novo equity financing, and an additional $1 billion in equity acquired through a secondary stock sale from prior shareholders. These were the final parts of a transaction that ultimately netted The We Company $6 billion.
- The company was founded in 2010.
- Prior to the $6 billion deal (which included debt and warrant issuance was announced in several parts between August 2018 and January 2019), The We Company had raised nearly $6.8 billion in prior equity and debt funding.
- Crunchbase News covered the deal when it was announced.
Grab, a ride-hailing platform offering transportation in shared and private car rides, as well as motorbikes, is based in Singapore.
- The company raised $350 million in the latest tranche of an extended Series H round, formally announced on January 7th. Tokyo Century led the deal.
- Grab was founded in June of 2012. Prior to the company’s multi-part Series H round (the first part of which closed in June 2018) Grab had raised at least $4.135 billion in VC, PE, and debt financing.
- Crunchbase News covered Grab’s never-ending Series H round back in December 2018. Between the first tranche from June 2018 and the last (for now?) $350 million raised in January, Grab has raised at least $3 billion in its Series H round.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias