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Megadeals Explode Early In The Year As US Startups Gobble Up More $100M+ Rounds

Want to keep track of the largest startup funding deals in 2024 with our curated list of $100 million-plus venture deals to U.S.-based companies? Check out The Crunchbase Megadeals Board.

Although venture funding seems to be stagnating, more and more startups seem to be having an easier time securing really big funding rounds — that seemed to dry up last year — from investors.

Rounds of $100 million or more — or megadeals — have exploded this year, as U.S.-based startups have collected 115 such rounds through mid-May, per The Crunchbase Megadeals Board. That is a 58% spike compared to the 73 megadeals raised last year at this time.

Of course, that is well off the number of nine-figure rounds raised in 2021 and 2022, when nearly 280 such rounds were raised by this time each of those years.

Still, considering the overall VC market in 2024, the large number of megadeals seem out of place.

Where is the money going?

One of the things that stands out about the startups that have raised rounds of $100 million or more this year is the variety of sectors they have emerged from. From gaming (Epic Games) to food delivery (Wonder) to quantum computing (PsiQuantum), investors have continued to spread large checks around.

While most would think such a list is AI-dominated, it is not. In fact, only 11 U.S.-based startups with a main AI classification have raised such rounds this year — with AI cloud infrastructure startup CoreWeave leading the way, after locking up a $1.1 billion round led by Coatue earlier this month.

Instead it’s actually biotech and healthcare lapping the field when it comes to megadeals, with such startups rising a whopping 38 so far this year.

That includes April’s biggest round: Xaira Therapeutics coming out of stealth and announcing it had secured more than $1 billion of committed capital from lead investors Arch Venture Partners and Foresite Capital — both of which jointly incubated the company. Xaira is the latest — although likely best-funded — startup to try to use AI models to find new drugs.

Cybersecurity also has had its share of big $100 million-or-more rounds this year, as 10 such raises went to startups in the sector. The largest was cloud security startup Wiz, which recently raised $1 billion at a $12 billion valuation — the biggest cybersecurity round of the year globally thus far.

The money flows in

As one can see from the rounds above — all happening in the past 45 days — the pace of such big deals have seemingly gathered speed as the year has continued. While January was slow, February saw the start of the $100 million-plus round pickup.

The numbers do seem out of place in the current venture market, but likely can be explained.

Since overall venture numbers have remained steady, even declining slightly, investors clearly are taking money from possible other late-stage growth deals, and perhaps even some early-stage deals. It wouldn’t be possible to take enough money out of seed-stage deals to make a dent when it comes to nine-figure rounds.

Nevertheless, the influx of megadeals this year seems to show investors are again willing to bet big on companies in which they see significant potential.

By the end of last year, investors had participated in 210 rounds of $100 million or more. It seems VCs and strategics are well-ready to shoot past that number this year.

Methodology

The numbers in this story pull data from The Crunchbase Megadeals Board, including the single industry it assigns each round. The board tracks only U.S.-based startups.

Related reading:

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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If the current sluggish pace of IPOs and acquisitions continues, it would take decades for every U.S. unicorn to generate an exit.

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