Funding reports Venture

Supergiant VC Rounds Weren’t Limited To Late-Stage Startups

It’s become the norm for some private tech companies to raise in a single round what VC firms raise for an entire new fund. For a certain class of large, rapidly-growing companies flying in the rarified air of startup finance, raising $100 million or more in a venture round is, if you’ll forgive the pun, just not that big of a deal anymore.

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Supergiant venture capital rounds are on the rise across all stages, data from Crunchbase shows.

It’s common to associate nine-figure VC deals with later-stage companies.

The first nine-figure round Uber raised was its GV-led Series C, in which the company raised at least $258 million (though Crunchbase data states $363 million) in 2013, after the company had been around for a little over four years, previously raising just under $50 million along the way, according to Crunchbase data.

Facebook, founded near the beginning of the “unicorn era” (starting in January 2003, as stated in Aileen Lee’s article defining the term “unicorn startups”)1 raised its first supergiant round in 2007, also three years after launch, and also at Series C.

VC rounds of $100 million or more really took off in 2014 and 2015, as massive amounts of money began flowing into venture capital funds at the far end of the assets-under-management spectrum, which, in turn, began investing ever-larger sums in a subset of startups.

While concentrated in late-stage deals, supergiant venture checks aren’t exclusive to more mature companies.

Series A and Series B deals accounted for between 21 and 37 percent of global supergiant deal volume since 2010, according to Crunchbase News analysis.

This is in keeping with prior research, which indicated that companies aren’t getting much older or younger by the time they raise their first supergiant round.

At least for the past several years, the composition of companies raising supergiant venture capital hasn’t changed all that much. There’s just more of them now.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

  1. Disclosure: Cowboy Ventures is an investor in Crunchbase, the parent company of Crunchbase News. Crunchbase’s investors are listed as part of its Crunchbase profile. For more about Crunchbase News’s editorial policies on disclosure, see the News Team’s About page.

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