VC Funding Trends September '21

VC-REPORTS-COVER-3

In hand with STRV’s knowledge sharing mindset that has our engineers, designers and product managers putting out content about recent learnings and observations, we’d like to follow suit.

The STRV Marketing and Sales teams are consistently tracking the venture industry. As we near the end of 2021, here’s what we know: Venture Capital (VC) is currently performing better than ever, creating a sense of fervent optimism that deserves attention.

To share the trends we observe as we go, we will be publishing monthly VC Funding Trends reports. We hope to help our partners and anyone within this realm navigate where opportunities lie in terms of industries and companies most deserving of attention.

Following are our observations for September 2021.

GENERAL OVERVIEW

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This September, the total number of companies that raised funding was 1,043. Compared to 528 in September of last year, this is a notable spike. The total funding raised was $32.8 billion, with a 134% year-on-year increase; last year, September clocked in at $14 billion.

Last year’s lackluster result can of course be attributed to COVID-19, while this year’s stellar numbers mark an overwhelming recovery revved up by a surge in equities, increased liquidity and a growing focus on industries that have benefited from the pandemic and the subsequent societal shift.

LEADING COUNTRIES

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1. USA — strikingly dominant, with 513 companies and $19.9B in cumulative investment (120% year-on-year increase vs. Sept. '20)

2. UK — with 82 companies and $2.37B in cumulative investment (211% year-on-year increase vs. Sept. '20), the United Kingdom

3. India — with 63 companies and $718M in cumulative investment (24% year-on-year decrease vs. Sept. '20)

4. Canada — with 40 companies and $889.2M in cumulative investment (826% year-on-year increase vs. Sept. '20)

5. Germany — with 31 companies with $1.73B in cumulative investment (43% year-on-year increase vs. Sept. '20)

Honorable mention: Australia — with 27 companies with $1.41B (ground-breaking growth compared to only 9 companies in Sept. '20 with $14M in investment)

LEADING INDUSTRIES

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1. Fintech

142 companies accumulated $5.96B in investment, a 208% year-on-year growth.

The top three biggest funding rounds are attributed to Genesis Digital Assets (industrial-scale bitcoin mining) - $431M, MarketFinance (an accredited recovery loan scheme lender) - $383.2M and HomeLight (simplifying real estate transactions) - $263M.

2. E-commerce

102 companies accumulated $5.55B in investment, a 168% year-on-year growth.

The top three biggest funding rounds are attributed to Kavak (online platform that offers insight into buying and selling used cars) - $700M, Berlin Brands Group (a globally active vertical commerce company with group of consumer brands) - $700M and Thrasio (a digital consumer goods company) - $650M.

3. AI

100 companies accumulated $1.92B in investment, on par with last year.

The top three biggest funding rounds are attributed to Agile Robots AG (an intelligent robot system development and application service provider) - $220M, Spring Health (a platform for employee mental well-being) - $190M and Insurify (a software platform that specializes in car insurance) - $100M

STARTUPS TO WATCH

Sorare

A new unicorn, the French fintech startup has built a fantasy soccer platform based on NFTs, with $680M in the Series B round led by SoftBank, which valued the company at $4.3B

Mayk

The Santa Monica-based social media and music startup — founded by Cameo and Snap alums — has secured $4 million in funding to continue developing their currently invite-only app. It provides a virtual music studio designed to help people make original songs for streaming or social media.

Mayk was also co-founded by former TikTok Head of Global Marketing and Cameo CMO Stefan Heinrich Henriquez (who serves as CEO) and former Snapchat engineer Akiva Bamberger (CTO).

Playpulse

The Oslo-based in-home fitness company raised $2M in its recent funding round to finalize the build of an exercise bike that motivates people to work out using games. It grows its content library through partnerships.

Like a Peloton with games, the Playpulse One integrates games into an exercise bike that has considerable graphics and computing power, allowing users to be immersed in the experience and stay on the bike longer.

NTWRK

The Los Angeles-based livestream shopping platform has raised $50M in funding. NTWRK provides a livestream shopping platform where “entertainment meets e-commerce.”

Built on a digitally-innovative model of daily product drops, livestream shopping festivals and exclusive partnerships with world-renowned brands and creators, NTWRK has fostered an organic global community of artists and fans since its launch in 2018, providing a curated digital shopping experience for Gen-Z and Millennial consumers.

PickUp

The New York-based fan opinion platform raised $3M in a recent funding round to build its social prediction platform that allows publishers to embed prop-like prediction challenges in their content. Guessers with a profile are then able to track and compare their accuracy and earn prizes from affiliates.

OVERALL OBSERVATIONS

Edtech startups are shifting focus towards data science literacy and coding courses (Kodezi, CoderSchool, Turing College, Lambda School), also targeting the younger generation (Codingal).

Fantasy sports as an industry continues to introduce more startups to the world (Sorare, Sleeper).

Furthermore, fantasy sports signature mechanics like gamification and betting can now be seen in a variety of startups (PickUp, Playpulse). Besides sports-network companies like Overtime (which STRV is a big fan of), big players like Reddit and Facebook have also recently introduced prediction contests in a bid to increase engagement.

Even though Biotech and Healthcare industries are relevantly equal in terms of present competition within these verticals (77 and 64 companies, respectively), the concentration of cash is far bigger on Biotech's side ($3.91B vs. $1.52B, respectively).

REACH OUT

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Nikita Korobeynik

Nikita Korobeynik

Growth Manager

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