Nikita Korobeynik4 min

VC Funding Trends Report December '21

ProductJan 10, 2022

2021 was a record-breaking year for the world of Venture Capital (VC), refusing to slow down even during the final month of the year.

December saw a 218% year-on-year increase. A total of 1,172 companies raised funding, with the Fintech industry taking the lead — making it ahead of every other industry for all twelve months of the past year.  

Below are our observations for December 2021, including year-on-year and month-to-month comparisons as well as leading industries and companies most deserving of attention.

General Overview

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This December, the total number of companies that raised funding was 1,172, compared to 523 in December of last year. The total funding raised was $37.22 billion, with a 218% year-on-year increase; last year, December clocked in at $11.94 billion.

We saw a very strong end of the venture record-breaking year, which did not slow down during the notoriously unpredictable winter season.

Leading Countries

*based on the number of companies that raised funding (not total funding)

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1. USA — with 571 companies and $23.74B in cumulative investment (184% year-on-year increase vs. Dec. '20)

2. UK — with 79 companies and $1.22B in cumulative investment (126% year-on-year increase vs. Dec. '20)

3. India — with 71 companies and $1.47B in cumulative investment (a spectacular 2,000% year-on-year increase vs. Dec. '20)

4. Germany — with 50 companies and $1.99B in cumulative investment (262% year-on-year increase vs. Dec. '20)

5. Canada — with 46 companies and $2.62B in cumulative investment (an unbelievable 2,083% year-on-year increase vs. Dec. '20)

Conclusion: These five leading countries continue to drive the most interest from venture funds, with all of them surpassing $1 billion in raised funding for the second month in a row.

Leading Industries

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1. Fintech

157 companies accumulated $6.35B in investment (vs. $6.63B last month) and saw a 275% year-on-year growth.

The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to NYDIG (a technology and financial services firm dedicated to Bitcoin for institutions, private clients and banks) - $1B (total funding: $1.41 B), FINN (offers monthly car-subscriptions to create a sustainable method for mobility) - $563.2M (total funding: $597.2M) and Flexiti (a sales financing company) - $414.1M (total funding: $530.4M).

2. Ecommerce

97 companies accumulated $2.67B in investment (vs. $9.66B last month) and saw a 134% year-on-year growth.

The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to ROKT (ecommerce marketing technology that gives customers a personalized and relevant experience while buying online) - $325M (total funding: $487M), Zetwerk (end-to-end manufacturing supply chain solutions provider) - $210M (total funding: $649.9M) and Everphone (online phone-as-a-service platform that provides B2B smartphone and tablet rental) - $200M (total funding: $383.3M).

3. AI

91 companies accumulated $2.03B in investment (vs. $4.12B last month) and saw a 31% year-on-year growth.

The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to BigBear.ai (decision dominance company serving the national defense and intelligence communities) - $450M (total funding: $646.9M), Smartling (language service and technology provider helping customers localize content across devices and platforms) - $160M (total funding: $223.1M) and Noname Security (security platform that allows enterprises to see and secure managed and unmanaged APIs) - $135M (total funding: $220M).

Conclusion: The top three industries remain the same, with Fintech having been at the top of the food chain throughout the entirety of 2021.

Startups to Watch

FORME

A modular smart home gym and home fitness system for personal programs and strength workouts, FORME raised $58.7M in its latest funding round. The company is the exclusive partner of Barry's (an STRV client), with Barry’s X digital library content being available to all FORME customers. FORME is based in L.A., California.

StartEngine

With $50M raised in the latest funding round, the equity crowdfunding platform is allowing more and more everyday people to invest and own shares in startups and early-stage companies. It is the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the US and, so far, it has successfully funded 500+ companies. StartEngine was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in West Hollywood, California.

The Desire Company

A content and media video-led platform that helps everyone learn new skills from professionals in their respective fields and introduces them to the best products available, the company raised $8M in its latest funding round. It was created around the passions of pros at the top of their game in order to democratize their knowledge and build a community in which to share it. The company was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Monthly Highlights

Blockchain startups are venture fund favorites in the Fintech space. Every fifth company that received funding in December was cryptocurrency-focused, owning 1/3 of the cumulative investment into Fintech with one of the biggest venture rounds (NYDIG with $1B, Fireblocks with $400M, Anchorage Digital with $350M — all in the latest funding round).

Companies in the Cannabis space are being further supported as legalization continues to spread throughout the US and Canada (Acreage Holdings with $100M, Schwazze with $95M, Fire & Flower with $30M, FLOWER CO with $16M — all in the latest funding round).

The mental health startup market continues to be a hot niche in the Healthtech space (Quartet Health with $60M, Firsthand with $14.8M — all in the latest funding round).

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