In 2013, prolific corporate VC Google Ventures led what was then perceived as a gigantic $258M deal to Uber at a $3.5B valuation. Since then, Uber has grown its funding total to $6.5B and its success has helped spawn a wave of venture-backed on-demand mobile startups, focused on everything from valet parking to laundry and shipping.
A growing number of venture capital firms have followed Google’s lead and have piled funding into on-demand startups, according to an analysis of CB Insights data.
Corporates with investments in the mobile on-demand space range from Comcast Corp.’s Comcast Ventures to 7-Eleven Inc.’s 7-Ventures to UPS’ Strategic Enterprise Fund. Google Ventures has been the most active investor in on-demand startups, with portfolio companies including Luxe Valet, Homejoy, SideCar and RelayRides in addition to Uber.
Among US on-demand firms, Uber has the highest number of strategic/corporate investors. It has raised funding from Asian corporates including China Life Insurance, Baidu, and Times Internet in recent months — not surprising given Uber’s significant emphasis on Asia.
The graphic below, made with CB Insights’ Business Social Graph tool that maps relationships between investors and companies, highlights the growing group of strategic/corporate investors in U.S. on-demand mobile startups since 2009.
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