December’s total for the VC investments was a huge $8.7 billion – easily dwarfing November’s $2.4 billion. That’s some serious Christmas shopping.
Growing at lightning speed, Chinese mobile phone and consumer electronics maker, Xiaomi raised $1.1 billion in December’s round of VC investments, placing it among largest funding rounds for any company in 2014. But $1.1 billion was only enough for a second place position in 2014.
Uber took top spot for the most raised in one fundraising round that month and that year as a whole: $1.8 billion after previously raising $1.2 billion earlier in 2014. The $40 billion valuation of the San Francisco based company bolstered VC confidence and although a formal investor list hasn’t been disclosed, names like Sequoia, TPG and Menlo Ventures have been floated as well as Baidu.
It’s not surprising to see Asian companies and investors increasingly interested in the company. Uber’s plans include expansion into the Asia-Pacific region but that market may prove a tougher area to crack than the US or Europe.
That’s because of the likes of Didi Dache, one of China’s two dominant taxi app firms. Its $700m came in a series D round led by Singapore’s Temasek Holding with existing investors DST Global and Tencent, planning on cementing its position as one of China’s leading transportation apps.
Another big winner in December was Flipkart, India’s largest online retailer. It also scored a $700 million funding round from existing investors DST Global, GIC, ICONIQ Capital and Tiger Global, and new backers Baillie Gifford, Greenoaks Capital and Steadview Capital as well as others.
Sequoia once again was seen as the most active investor and the e-commerce and marketplaces sectors received the most funding from this round of VC investments.
Regionally, the US dominated the funding floors but Israel-based trading and investing platform eToro just made the top 50. The firm raised $27 million to support its mission to disrupt foreign exchange.
eToro now has 4 million registered users in more than 140 countries using its trading and investing platform.