The past month saw a 118% year-on-year increase in funding raised, which is slightly below the results of Q4 in 2021. Experts suggest we may be witnessing the expected end of the "pandemic bump" that forced the growth of many tech companies.
Below are our observations for January 2022, including year-on-year and month-to-month comparisons as well as leading industries and companies most deserving of attention.
This January, the total number of companies that raised funding was 1,013, compared to 511 in January of last year. The total funding raised was $37.21 billion, with a 118% year-on-year increase; last year, January clocked in at $17.35 billion.
Looking at the investing dynamics, the number of companies to receive funding has dropped by 16% since December 2021, although the amount invested has remained on par with last month. This is mainly due to decreased public tech valuations as the recent earnings reports of Big Tech companies struggled to meet investor expectations of profits or user growth (e.g., Meta, Netflix, PayPal, Spotify).
*based on the number of companies that raised funding (not total funding)
1. USA — with 555 companies and $24.23B in cumulative investment (117% year-on-year increase vs. Jan. '21)
2. UK — with 66 companies and $1.61B in cumulative investment (20% year-on-year increase vs. Jan. '21)
3. India — with 63 companies and $891.3M in cumulative investment (479% year-on-year increase vs. Jan. '21)
4. France — with 37 companies and $2.47B in cumulative investment (488% year-on-year increase vs. Jan. '21)
5. Canada — with 37 companies and $1.65B in cumulative investment (564% year-on-year increase vs. Jan. '21)
Conclusion: France enters the top 5 race with fervor for the first time since the inception of our VC Reports (Sept. ‘21), trailing only the USA in the cumulative investment funds raised thanks to more than $2 billion in the bank.
133 companies accumulated $4.17B in cumulative investment and saw a 68% year-on-year growth.
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Qonto (an online bank providing financial tools for freelancers and small/medium-sized businesses) - $552.4M (total funding: $703.9M), Ascend (a modern, all-in-one payment solution built for insurance) - $250M (total funding: $285.5M) and CAIS (a fintech platform providing independent financial advisors access to top-tier managers of specialized investment products) - $225M (total funding: $306M).
110 companies accumulated $3.7B in investment and saw a 595% year-on-year growth.
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Highspot (an AI-fueled sales enablement platform helping companies improve their sales teams’ performance) - $248M (total funding: $644.9M), Clari (a connected revenue operations platform that uses automation and AI to unlock all the activity data captures in key business systems) - $225M (total funding: $496M) and Sema4 (a patient-centered health intelligence company advancing healthcare through data-driven insights) - $200M (total funding: $791M).
79 companies accumulated $4.18B in investment and saw a 34% year-on-year growth.
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Eikon Therapeutics (a biopharmaceutical company employing revolutionary tech to discover novel treatments for life-threatening diseases) - $518M (total funding: $666M), Freenome (a biotech company with a comprehensive multiomics platform for cancer detection using a routine blood draw) - $290M (total funding: $1.98B) and Fluidigm (a biotech tools company that creates microfluidic-based chips and instrumentation for biological research) - $250M (total funding: $375.2M).
Conclusion: Biotechnology has overthrown ecommerce from the top 3 industry list for the first time since the inception of our VC Reports (Sept. ‘21). The biotech companies’ accumulated investment even slightly surpasses the fintech space, making it one hell of a contender for the year’s industry to watch.
Lots of Energy
January’s two biggest funding rounds came from the Renewable Energy space: Invenergy, a global privately-held developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, raised a what the?! sum of $3 billion; and Silicon Ranch, a developer, owner and operator of solar energy projects, raised a no-less-impressive $775 million.
Also making this month's top 10 funding rounds were Pine Gate Renewables, a developer of utility-scale solar farms that raised $500 million; and 8minute Solar Energy, a developer of solar PV and storage projects with $400M.
These four companies alone bring renewable energy funding to $4.68 billion — more than the #1 fintech industry managed to accumulate this month.
The term Metaverse continues to be exploited by tech marketers in hopes of driving more interest to their apps in a never-ending war for users. Whether that’s good or bad news, we’ll leave up to you.
According to Sensor Tower, there are now 552 mobile apps that include “metaverse” in their apps’ titles or descriptions, with 86 of them making the change between November 2021 and January 2022. Among these companies, the biggest funding rounds belong to Proof of Learn (POL), a blockchain Web3 education platform, with $15 million; and Affyn, a blockchain-powered metaverse project developing a free-to-play and play-to-earn mobile game, with $10.4 million.
Not Funny Though
The NFT space continues to attract a lot of venture interest as the ape-loving community grows in number by the day.
The raised funding trophy goes to OpenSea, the world's largest NFT marketplace, with $300 million; Autograph, an NFT platform with brand and celebrity collectibles co-founded by NFL veteran (still hurts) Tom Brady, with $170 million; and Wilder World, an NFT market and social platform, with $30 million.
Startups to Watch
The community-owned, fully decentralized, liquid NFT market and social platform comes with no artist fees and its own dynamic token reward system. Scoring $30 million in its latest funding round (probably on that pitch alone), the company uses blockchain for transparent and secure verification of the uniqueness of collectible NFT digital items.
Wilder World was founded in 2019 and is based in San Francisco, California.
The first fan-run professional sports league nabbed $40 million in its latest funding round. What does “fan-run” entail? A whole lot. From selecting the team logos, colors and head coaches to calling plays, fans are calling the shots.
FCF was founded in 2015 and is based in Los Angeles, California.
Masters is an app that lets users train with some of the world’s most famous athletes — including Shaun White, Kai Lenny and JJ Redick — and learn the tricks of the trade via four-week guided on-demand training programs. It’s got big plans, so the latest $2.7 million in funding should come in handy.
Masters was founded in 2021 and is based in Los Angeles, California.