Is the Series A round becoming bifurcated between startups that are able to raise significantly larger amounts of funding vs. those that have to raise fewer dollars in the face of the Series A Crunch? That’s the idea Nikhil Basu Trivedi at Shasta Ventures floated last week, explaining that:
“Companies with factors such as traction as exhibited by usage growth or revenue growth, or an all-star team, or an insanely compelling story are raising larger Series A rounds than in the past.”
We decided to dig into CB Insights data since 2009 to see whether a rise in mega Series A rounds for tech startups (internet, mobile, hardware, electronics) was indeed bearing out and, if so, which venture capital investors are spurring the rise of the super-sized Series A. The data below.
The Rise of the $10M+ Tech Series A
Since 2009, there has indeed been a decisive increase of $10M+ Series A rounds to tech companies. As the chart below highlights, 2013 saw 74% more $10M+ tech Series A rounds than 2010 and a whopping 206% more than 2009. But as we noted in our earlier research, these larger transactions are mostly outliers within the spectrum of Series A deals. The mega Series A rounds do get a lot of attention because they are anomalies, but average and median tech Series A transactions remain largely within historical ranges since 2009.
The Investors behind the $10M+ Tech Series A
Which VC investors are behind the rise in the super-sized Series A? Two investors stick out. Andreessen Horowitz leads the investors who have completed the highest number of $10M+ tech Series A rounds since 2009. The firm has participated in over 25 such investments over the past five years including Rap Genius, Mixpanel and Crowdtilt. Andreessen Horowitz has also used its financing muscle to write larger checks to mid and later-stage startups than fellow mega venture funds NEA and Greylock.
Accel Partners has completed the second highest number of 10M+ tech Series A deals in the period including Birchbox, Nomi and Hailo. The top 10 venture capital and corporate venture investors who have participated in the highest number of $10M+ Series A deals can be found below.
A spreadsheet of the investor chart above with the specific $10M+ tech Series A deals can be found on the ‘Research’ tab, after logging in to CB Insights. Note: This research is only available to subscribers with access to CB Insider.