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Monthly Funding Recap: November Smashes Another Record As Financial Services Leads In New Unicorn Creation

As we head into the final months of 2021, global funding is not showing signs of slowing down. In fact, November set another new record for global venture funding, with $65 billion raised. 

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Global funding in 2021 has topped $580 billion as of the end of November, compared to $335 billion in funding for 2020. Last month was also the third month this year to peak at over $60 billion. 

Sectors that raised large funding rounds last month include freight, aerospace, cloud security, gaming, automotive, cryptocurrency, e-commerce, energy, transportation, workplace productivity and biomedicines, among others. 

November saw 48 new unicorn startups minted. 

Six companies in the financial services sector became unicorns in November, making the industry the leader in minting new $1 billion startups: Philippines-based remittances and loan product Mynt, U.K.-based buy now, pay later company Zilch, San Francisco-based small business credit startup Fundbox, New York-based payroll services company Wrapbook, London-based Thought Machine for cloud banking, and India-based consumer credit card challenger Slice.

Four companies in the cryptocurrency space were newly valued as unicorns, including Connecticut-based digital currency and token investor Digital Currency Group through a secondary financing, as well as New York-based crypto-digital asset exchange Gemini, Miami-based payments infrastructure for crypto MoonPay, and Switzerland headquartered blockchain developer ConsenSys

Transportation rides the public markets

Electric vehicle company Rivian was the highest valued IPO in November. The company has raised $11.9 billion—more than any other IPO in 2021—which valued the company at $66.5 billion at its IPO. All that, for a company with virtually no revenue

Self-driving technology companies Aurora and Embark Trucks, both based in Silicon Valley, went public via SPACs last month. Aurora was valued at $14 billion and Embark Trucks at $5.2 billion. 

E-scooter company Bird went public via a SPAC as well, valuing the company at $2.3 billion. This took place on the heels of rival Lime raising a convertible note of $418 million in November, signaling an intent to go public in 2022

Tech’s 2021 transformation

Last month, Facebook rebranded to Meta—altering its global ambition beyond its app businesses to the metaverse. And on Dec. 3, payments company Square announced it is rebranding to Block to acknowledge its focus on cryptocurrency and a broader mission beyond its merchant network. 

These rebrands are taking place as venture capital itself is being transformed from equity in private companies to owning assets in public companies and investing in tokens and more liquid assets. 

The tripling of unicorn counts in 2021 and the frenzied pace of $100 million-plus funding rounds in multiple sectors reimagined by digitization signal the seismic transformation many industries have undergone this year.


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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. 7, 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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