Spark Capital certainly came in like a lion this March.
The San Francisco-based firm — whose previous investments include Twitter, Oculus and Slack — made headlines earlier this month as the lead investor in San Francisco-based AI startup Anthropic’s $300 million round at a valuation of more than $4 billion.
Search less. Close more.
Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.
Less than a week after that news broke, Spark co-led another San Francisco company’s big round — this time Adept AI’s $350 million Series B that reportedly gave the startup a post-money valuation of at least $1 billion.
The two big rounds were a change of pace for Spark, which had significantly decreased its investment pace last year as the market cooled down and venture capital dramatically slowed — especially for big growth rounds.
Looking at the numbers
Like many firms, Spark Capital hit a high in dealmaking in 2021, per Crunchbase data. The company made 66 announced investments in deals that totaled $6.4 billion. It’smportant to note the amount any investor — including Spark Capital — invests as a specific stake in a round is not usually divulged.
Spark’s dealmaking pace hit a high in the second quarter that year, but has significantly slowed since.
Last year, Spark took part in 45 — a more than 30% drop — rounds that totaled about $2 billion.
Both the Anthropic and Adept AI deals were large rounds to lead, which also is a recent change for the firm. Spark took a more hands-off approach to leading or co-leading big rounds last year when compared to 2021 — according to Crunchbase numbers.
In 2021, Spark led or co-led four rounds of more than $100 million:
- Spark co-led New York-based blockchain security firm Fireblocks’ $310 million Series D and its $550 million Series E.
- It led Toronto-based chatbot startup Ada’s $130 million Series C.
- Co-led San Francisco-based Clarify Health Solutions’ $115 million Series C.
However, in 2022, the two biggest rounds Spark led or co-led were a $115 million Series B for San Francisco-based Afresh and a $40 million Series B for Serbia-based Tenderly.
In fact, Spark led or co-led only 15 rounds last year, but already has done four in 2023.
Only time will tell if Spark keeps up leading big rounds — nothing is hotter than all things AI at the moment — or if this month will prove an outlier and it goes into the rest of the year like a lamb.
Spark Capital did not return a request to comment.
- Tiger Catnapped As 2022 Wore On
- Insight Partners’ Dealmaking Slows Substantially
- What Slowdown? Founders Fund Latest To Close Two New Monster Funds
- Founders Fund’s Investment Pace Slowed Ahead Of Fund Cut
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.