Earlier this year, we remarked that Q3 2013 was the largest quarter ever in U.S. venture capital financing to the Mobile & Telecom sector. With massive financings to mobile-first companies including Uber, Flipboard and Snapchat to name a few and seed-stage activity heating up, there was no shortage of interest by VCs to invest in technologies and platforms across the mobile ecosystem this year. Bubba Murarka, a managing partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and former Facebook mobile product manager, captured some of the investor excitement and interest in mobile, writing in AllThingsD that
“Mobile is the single-biggest secular technology platform shift of our time. It’s so big, it bears repeating, and for entrepreneurs (and investors like me), presents edge-of-our-seats opportunities waiting to be unlocked.”
Given the outgrowth of mobile interest and investments in 2013, we wanted to highlight a few of the most active venture investors on the mobile front this year as well as some of the largest venture-backed financings and exits. The data below:
Andreessen Horowitz tops the list of venture capital investors by deal activity to U.S.-based mobile firms in 2013 year-to-date. The majority of Andreessen Horowitz’s 2013 mobile investments came at the early-stage (Seed/Series A), including seed investments to startups including Aviate, Propeller and Red Hot Labs. The top 3 was rounded out by early-stage investors SV Angel and 500 Startups.
Not to be outdone, corporate venture capital investors were also highly active on the mobile front this year. In fact, Q3 2013 saw U.S.-based mobile CVC deals increase 68% and 39%, respectively, on a year-over-year and sequential basis. Driving CVC deal activity in the mobile sector in 2013 were Google Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, which combined to take over 1/2 of the mobile deals completed by the top CVCs in the year to date.
Uber’s $258M round by Benchmark, Google Ventures and TPG Capital was the largest mobile financing round in 2013 YTD, one of four U.S. venture financing rounds to mobile-related startups at or over $100M. Interestingly, while the largest financing rounds in the Mobile & Telecom sector were previously dominated by the capital-intensive telecom equipment and services, 2013 has seen a number of large rounds to relatively leaner mobile software and app-based companies including Snapchat and Flipboard, which raised $100M in Series C funding at a $800M valuation.
The biggest news this year on the mobile exit front may have been Snapchat’s decision to turn down a multi-billion dollar offer from Facebook, but there have been a handful of large U.S.-based venture-backed exits in the mobile sector in 2013 YTD (though none over $1B). The top 5 venture-backed mobile & telecom exits saw an aggregate exit valuation of $1.42B at the time of exit and all were acquisitions.
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