How much is the hot ‘Uber for X’ category of startups booming? Total funding to ‘Uber for X’ (or ‘AirBnB for Y’) startup companies has hit $1.46 billion in the last four quarters, 94% of which came in the first three quarters of 2014. Of note, 2014 has seen nearly 20 deals per quarter go to on-demand mobile startups.
As funding piles in, this analysis takes a data-driven look at the financing trends, investors and company performance of the expanding category of on-demand mobile services startups (ODMS).
Specifically, this report draws on an earlier presentation by Steve Schlafman of RRE Ventures on primarily U.S.-based or U.S.-operating companies that ‘aggregate demand on mobile devices but fulfill that demand through offline services.’ Uber, which has raised more than $1.5B in total funding, was excluded from the data in an effort to get a look at the broader “Uber for X” ecosystem.
A summary of the data & trends follows:
- $1.37B – the total amount of funding raised by ODMS companies in the first three quarters of 2014. With Uber’s $1.2B round, that figure would hit $2.57B.
- SV Angel – the most active investor by unique ‘Uber for X’ companies
- $7.83M – the average Series A deal size for ‘Uber for X’ companies
Uber for X funding booms in 2014
Even without Uber’s $1.2B round in June, investor funding to ‘Uber for X’ startups has hit a frenzy in 2014 reaching over $1.3B. The bulk of activity came in Q3 2014 when 19 startups including Shyp, Breather and Favor raised $693M. The first three quarters of 2014 saw 230% more funding than all of 2013 and 278% more than in 2012. The chart below highlights the torrid pace of investment into ‘Uber for X’ startups.
As on-demand mobile apps crop up in areas ranging from flowery delivery to working spaces to parking spots, investments in the ‘Uber for X’ category have overwhelmingly come at the early-stage. Seed deals have taken 43% of deal flow since 2012, while Series A deals took another 30%. Mid-stage activity at the Series B and Series C stage has captured just over 21% of deals over the period including to companies such as DogVacay, Postmates and Instacart.
‘Uber for X’ Series A deal sizes larger than typical mobile deals
When we peel back average and median early-stage deal sizes for ‘Uber for X’ startups, we see significantly larger checks than the average mobile deal size at the Series A stage between 2012 and 2014. Notably, the average ‘Uber for X’ Series A deal size topped that in the mobile sector by 37% behind a number of $10M+ deals including Washi.io, Handy and DoorDash to name a few. Seed VC deals were also slightly larger on average.
With 10+ on-demand mobile service startups in its portfolio, SV Angel tops the list of investors by total ‘Uber for X’ startups. Andreessen Horowitz, which has backed Instacart, Homejoy, and YourMechanic among others, comes in second, with First Round Capital rounding out the top 3. A list of investors who have funded 4 or more on-demand mobile services is below.
- SV Angel
- Andreessen Horowitz
- First Round Capital
- General Catalyst Partners
- 500 Startups
- Red Swan Ventures
- Sequoia Capital
- Founders Fund
- Battery Ventures
- SoftTech VC
- Redpoint Ventures
- Canaan Partners
- Sherpa Ventures
- Lerer Hippeau Ventures
- Menlo Ventures
- Greylock Partners
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