Global on-demand companies secured $17.8B of funding in 2015 as investors rushed to fund startups providing everything from on-demand home cleaning to gasoline delivery.
However, on-demand financings cooled as the year drew to a close, with deal activity and dollar funding plunging in Q4’15, according to CB Insights data. Since then, the tightening funding environment has already begun to curb the lofty ambitions of at least one on-demand poster kid, Doordash, which reportedly is seeking to raise at a $600M valuation after initially aiming for $1B+ unicorn status.
Our on-demand category includes private companies that aggregate demand on mobile devices and applications, enabling consumer access to a wide variety of offline services.
On a year-over-year basis, investors deployed 142% more dollars to global on-demand startups in 2015 over 31% more deals than in 2014. The dollar growth reflects the mega-round phenomenon that also pushed overall VC funding to record highs in Q3’15.
However, in Q4’15 deal activity plummeted to the lowest point since Q1’14, while funding dollars fell to their lowest point since Q3’14.
Uber, Didi Kuaidi, and AirBnB take 59% of 2015 on-demand funding
The three most well-capitalized on-demand companies (Uber, Didi Kuaidi, and AirBnB) are capturing a growing piece of the on-demand funding pie, and accounted for much of the explosive growth in funding.
These companies received a staggering 59% of all on-demand funding in 2015, up from 57% in 2014 and 41% in 2013.
Excluding these juggernauts, on-demand funding growth has been uneven at best, peaking at roughly $2B in Q3’15 as seen below. As a point of reference, Didi Kuaidi alone raised $3B in the same quarter. A few notable rounds outside of those going to the big three in 2015 include Lyft’s $530M Series E in March, GrabTaxi’s $350M Series E in August, and Deliveroo’s $100M Series D in November.
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