2014 was the biggest year for venture capital since the peak of the dot-coom boom in 2000. Venture capitalists poured US $48.3 billion across 4,356 deals with U.S. startups last year, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. That’s 61 percent higher than the $30 billion startups got from investors in 2013 and twice the $20.4 billion invested in 2009.
Those impressive numbers are largely due to deals with tech startups, and many of those have to do with mobile apps and peer-to-peer services. Software startups nabbed the largest share (41 percent) of total investment with funds of $19.8 billion, with media and entertainment software topping that segment. Meanwhile, Internet-specific companies captured $11.9 billion.
2014 also saw some massive investment deals. There were two financing rounds exceeding $1 billion, both to the mobile car-booking company Uber. And there were over 40 smaller “megadeals”, or funding rounds exceeding $100 million.
Virtual-reality startup Magic Leap and online media company Vice Media pulled in $542 million and $500 million respectively. Mobile messaging company SnapChat, despite privacy concerns, reeled in $485 million while AirBnB collected $475 million. Online file sharing and storage service DropBox, grocery delivery service provider Instacart, and mobile payment service Square were some of the other tech startups that got healthy funds in 2014.
Prachi Patel is a freelance journalist based in Pittsburgh. She writes about energy, biotechnology, materials science, nanotechnology, and computing.