Mobile software, commerce, and service are still booming areas for investment in private companies. The growth of the on-demand economy has been a major contributor to growth.
And though startups working across mobile have seen investment drop dramatically in Q4’15, there was a modest recovery in both deals and dollars in Q1’16.
Yearly financing trends
Deal volume in 2015 saw a modest increase of 11%, while funding grew by a sizable 75% year-over-year. Over the past 5 years, funding to the space has grown from $3.7B to $28.2B, an impressive 662% increase.
At a quarterly scale, the recent boom in funding becomes even more apparent. Funding to mobile startups peaked in Q3’15, fueled by 17 mega-rounds of $100M or more, the largest again being rounds to ride-hailing giants Didi Chuxing and Uber.
This past quarter saw an increase in both deals and dollars, up to $4.2B invested across 653 deals. Compared to the quarter prior, Q1’16 translates to 15% growth in funding and 16% increase in deal volume.
Investment by stage
In each of the past 5 years, early-stage companies have taken the majority of deals. That figure peaked in 2012, when 72% of deals were early stage (seed/angel and Series A). More recently that proportion has retreated somewhat, revealing some maturity in the space. In 2015, 64% of deals went to early-stage companies.
Dollar share by stage
Looking at funding by stage, investment has increasingly skewed toward the late stages as the mobile industry has matured.
Late-stage deals took only 19% of funding in 2011, but saw 43% of dollars in 2015. Meanwhile, early-stage funding has slowed from 39% of all dollars invested in 2013 to just 15% in 2015. And middle-stage deals, once seeing 36% of dollars in 2013, received only 23% of dollars invested in 2015.
The geography of mobile investment since 2014 skews heavily toward deals in the United States, which is a bit surprising given how global the mobile revolution has been.
Home to 40% of all deals, California took the bulk of mobile deals in the US market since 2014. At the same time, New York saw a sizable 15% of deals.
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