This is a year-end wrap up of our weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last year’s here.
While last year shattered records in venture capital, 2022 started off slow and only declined from there. Large, late-stage rounds were most affected as venture capital started to pull back. However, 10 companies in the U.S. were still able to break the $1 billion barrier in individual raises this year.
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As we close out the year, let’s take a look at the top rounds of 2022:
1. Epic Games, $2B, gaming: The metaverse is going to be epic — at least that is what both Sony and KIRKBI — the family-owned holding and investment company behind The LEGO Group — are betting on. Both invested $1 billion in North Carolina-based Epic Games, valuing the gaming giant at $31.5 billion. The deal came just a week after Epic announced a partnership with LEGO to develop a “family-friendly” metaverse for kids. The company said the new cash will “advance the company’s vision to build the metaverse.” Founded in 1991, the Fortnite creator has raised more than $7 billion to date, according to Crunchbase data.
2. SpaceX, $1.7B, space travel: Elon Musk was everywhere this year — including here. Along with the seemingly never-ending Twitter purchase, his SpaceX company made headlines after it raised $1.68 billion in June. It was reported that the raise values the Hawthorne, California-based company at around $125 billion. SpaceX raised $1.9 billion in funding in April 2020 and has raised a total of $7.8 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase data. Previous investors in the company include NASA, Stack Capital, Bracket Capital and the United States Space Force, among others.
2. (tied) Lineage Logistics, $1.7B, logistics: Logistics were big this year with the supply chain still supremely mucked up. Novi, Michigan-based Lineage Logistics rode that interest to a huge $1.7 billion private equity round led by D1 Capital Partners in January. The past couple of years exposed many flaws in the global and domestic supply chains — and investors have taken note that it is an industry ripe for disruption. Other startups such as Seattle-based Convoy and San Francisco-based Flexport also landed large rounds in 2022.
4. (tied) Anduril, $1.5B, defense: Costa Mesa, California-based Anduril locked up a Series E worth nearly $1.5 billion in December that valued the company at $8.5 billion. That nearly doubles the company’s previous valuation in June 2021. The funding round was led by Valor Equity Partners. Anduril was founded in 2017 by Palmer Luckey, most famous for selling virtual reality company Oculus to Meta — then called Facebook — for $2 billion. Anduril builds software and hardware enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning for the military and defense industry. It works with the U.S. and its allies to create drones, underwater vehicles, and different operating and control systems. Luckey has said he started Anduril because many big tech firms were turning their backs on doing business with the U.S. Department of Defense, hurting the U.S. military’s ability to modernize as defense needs change.
4. (tied) Fanatics, $1.5B, retail: Jacksonville, Florida-based Fanatics raised $1.5 billion in a funding round that values the sports platform company at $27 billion. The company — which has exclusive licensing deals with most U.S.-based professional sports leagues and many universities to make and sell official team merchandise — was most recently valued at $18 billion, less than a year ago. The latest funding round includes new investors Fidelity, BlackRock and MSD Partners, as well as existing investors. Earlier this year, Fanatics acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million.
6. Cruise, $1.35B, autonomous cars: This was a strange one. In February, Cruise announced that SoftBank Vision Fund would invest $1.35 billion now that Cruise was operating fully driverless cars. The thing is — SoftBank reneged. That would be the first sign of SoftBank’s growing problems and poor investment strategy. SoftBank had made the commitment to invest when the company hit the milestone back in 2018 with its initial funding of $900 million. After SoftBank backed out, however, General Motors acquired SoftBank’s equity ownership stake in Cruise for $2.1 billion and made the startup whole on the round.
7. Citadel Securities, $1.15B, financial services: Miami-based market-maker Citadel Securities locked up a $1.15 billion minority investment led by Sequoia. The company provides both institutional and retail investors with liquidity to execute transactions across an array of equity and fixed income products. Citadel Securities works in more than 50 countries, supporting more than 1,600 clients.
8. (tied) TeraWatt Infrastructure, $1B, electric vehicles: San Francisco-based charging startup TeraWatt Infrastructure landed a huge Series A of more than $1 billion back in September. Launched out of stealth in May 2021, TeraWatt Infrastructure has built out a network of charging stations. The company acquires property in “strategically relevant” locations and helps customers operate EV fleets without the need to own and operate their own infrastructure. The new funding comes from funds managed by Vision Ridge Partners and existing investors Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital, and will be used for further development and expansion, including the buildout of a growing portfolio of charging centers. The round is the largest raised by a VC-backed startup in the electric vehicle segment this year, according to Crunchbase data. The company says it previously raised a $100 million seed round.
8. (tied) Securonix, $1B, cybersecurity: No cybersecurity company raised a round larger than this Lone Star State cyber company. The $1 billion-plus round was led by Vista Equity Partners, and is cybersecurity’s largest raise since San Jose, California-based cloud security provider Lacework closed a $1.3 billion round in November 2021. That was cybersecurity’s only round worth $1 billion or more last year. Addison, Texas-based Securonix offers security information and event management, and extended detection and response capabilities to companies. While we covered the heat the XDR sector has seen here, it is also interesting to add a note about the SIEM space. Earlier this year, news broke that Cisco had looked at buying Splunk in what would be the giant’s largest acquisition ever. While Splunk does a lot of things, many looked at the deal as a way for Cisco to enhance its IT security with Splunk’s SIEM platform and ability to use data to improve security.
8. (tied) Verily, $1B, health care: Google and its parent, Alphabet, have been active health care investors — especially recently. That trend has continued as Alphabet led a $1 billion investment in its former life sciences unit, Verily. Alphabet spun out what would become Verily as its own independent subsidiary in 2015. The South San Francisco-based firm — which introduced a COVID-19 testing program in 2020 — has now raised more than $3.5 billion in capital, according to Crunchbase.
Big global deals
While U.S.-based startups were able to weather the chilly conditions and raise large rounds, three of the five biggest global rounds were raised by companies outside the U.S.
- Denmark-based energy trading house Danske Commodities raised a $3.7 billion corporate round.
- China-based GAC Aion New Energy Automobile, which has five different EVs in the market, raised a Series A worth approximately $2.5 billion.
- Viacom18 Digital Ventures, a joint venture operation in India between Viacom, raised a $1.8 billion venture round.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the year. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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