2014 saw a tidal wave of investment to mobile companies across the spectrum from on-demand services to security to payments. As mobile technologies continue to proliferate, Andreessen Horowitz partner Benedict Evans explained in a presentation titled ‘Mobile is Eating the World,’
“There is no point in drawing a distinction between the future of technology and the future of mobile. They are the same. In other words, technology is now outgrowing the tech industry.”
With another huge year in mobile VC, we took a look at the most active venture investors in mobile as well as the biggest deals and exits to venture-backed mobile companies in 2014. Note: All of the data below comes from the interactive ‘Rankings’ feature on CB Insights.
SV Angel led the list of investors by deal activity to mobile software and commerce companies in 2014 YTD. Lerer-Hippeau Ventures, which in June raised a new $62M fund, came in second and Sequoia Capital rounded out the top 3. Mobile investments by Sequoia in 2014 included Yik Yak, Thanx, Relcy and Clari.
|2||Lerer Hippeau Ventures|
|6||Doll Capital Management|
|7||IDG Capital Partners|
|10||Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers|
On the corporate front, Google Ventures led the way based on total investments, which included Luxe Valet, Duo Security and URX. Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital rounded out the top 3. The top 10 ranked corporate venture arms and corporations based on mobile investment activity in 2014 are highlighted below.
|9||Recruit Strategic Partners|
|10||KDDI Open Innovation Fund|
Uber took the top two largest financing deals to venture-backed mobile companies in 2014 with a total of $2.4B raised within six months of each other (and potentially more to come with Baidu reportedly expected to invest $600M). The mobile transport market was hot as evidenced not only by Uber but the large fundraisings of DiDiDache and GrabTaxi which target Asia and Lyft which is Uber’s archenemy in the United States. Each of the top 10 mobile financings topped $150M as mutual funds, hedge funds and Asian Internet giants poured money into emerging mobile companies.
Sequoia Capital-backed WhatsApp‘s $22B acquisition by Facebook was the largest in mobile by a long shot (as well as the most capital-efficient). Other notable exits in mobile this year included security firms AirWatch and MobileIron as well as Chinese mobile browser UCWeb, backed by investors including GGV Capital and Nokia Growth Partners. Kakao‘s reverse merger with Daum reportedly netted Doll Capital Management a 20-30x return on its investment.
For more mobile financing and exit data and interactive rankings, check out the CB Insights Venture Capital Database. Sign up for free below.