The 11 largest VC rounds of 2013

Pinterest raised the most from investors last year at $425m, but on demand car service Uber takes the top spot.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 21 Mar 2014

Internet firms are still the darlings of Silicon Valley, if VC interest is anything to go by.

Uber Technologies, the on demand car service, took the number one spot for the largest single VC funding round of 2013, raising $361.2m from Google Ventures, TPG Capital LP, and Benchmark.

However, virtual pinboard site Pinterest took the most from venture capitalists overall, raising a total of $425m and taking both third and fourth place in the list.

London-based Spotify came second, raising $350m from Technology Crossover Ventures, according to the data by research firm PrivCo (see the full list below).

‘Geographically this year's list looks a bit more diverse than past years  as Spotify is headquartered in London, and HootSuite [at number 8] is based in British Columbia,’ said PrivCo Founder Sam Hamadeh.

Pinterest has been one of the bigger successes of 2013, as a second round of equity financing showed its value had more than doubled that year. The four-year-old firm saw its value soar from $1.5 billion in May to $3.8 billion in October 2013, despite being unprofitable and still struggling to generate revenue from advertising.  The firm is now hotly tipped to IPO soon, along with rumours that AirBnB, Dropbox, Uber and King.com could also float.

As recent history suggests, tech IPOs are enough to get investors clamouring over shares. Twitter made a storming stock market debut in November 2013, with shares soaring 73% when markets opened, valuing the company at $30bn. However, shares in the micro-blogging site fell by 24% earlier this month after it reported slower growth in user numbers. Still, its stock is currently worth around $56 – more than double its $26 opening price.

First-placed Uber’s revenue stream is potentially more tangible to investors. It is thought the firm brought in $230m in revenue in 2013, averaging 316,000 new signups per month.  ‘To put in perspective the size of the bet Google Ventures placed on Uber, Google invested 83% of their stated annual investment budget for 2013 in Uber,’ PrivCo said.

The top 11 VC investments in 2013 in full:

1. Uber Technologies -  $361.2m from Google Ventures, TPG Capital LP, and Benchmark

2. Spotify -  $250m from Technology Crossover Ventures

3. Pinterest - $225m led by Fidelity Ventures

4. Pinterest - $200m led by Valiant Capital Partners

5. AirWatch - $200m from Insight Venture Partners

6. Palantir Technologies - $196.5m by Unspecified Investors

7. ConforMIS - $167.7 Million from Unspecified Investors

8. HootSuite Media - $165m  led by Insight Venture Partners

9. Fab - $150m led by Tencent Holdings LTD

10. Intrexon Corporation - $150m from Randal J. Kirk, and Third Security, LLC

11. SevOne - $150m from Bain Capital Ventures and Bain Capital, Inc.

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