Perhaps paving the way for the next Snapchat or Instagram, venture-capital backed mobile startups raised lots of cash in 2018. Across 150 deals, U.S. mobile and telecommunications startups took about $3.5 billion, last year.
That’s according to the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights.
Internet-related startups raised $9.1 billion across 540 deals, software startups (including non-Internet and mobile software), took $3 billion across 111 deals; and startups solely focused on consumer products and services took $382 million across 51 deals.
All together, stateside startups took a whopping $99.5 billion across 5,536 deals, last year, per PwC and CB Insights.
The market hasn’t been that rich since before the dot-com bubble popped in 2000; and it was significantly more than the $76.4 billion exchanged in 2017.
“2018 was a phenomenal year for U.S. venture capital, with $99.5 billion invested — a record-breaking 55 unicorn births, 184 [$100 million+] mega-rounds, and funding levels at their highest since 2000,” Tom Ciccolella, partner-US ventures leader at PwC, notes in the report.
“Mega-rounds” -- which consist of investments greater than $100 million -- were particularly popular in 2018. From 2017 to 2018, they grew in number from 120 to 184.
Among other notable deals in 2018, Epic Games -- maker of the gaming mega-sensation Fortnite -- raised $1.25 billion, and mobile commerce company Instacart took $600 million.
Yet, growth wasn’t the only story in 2018. For example, Artificial Intelligence funding appeared to peak in the third quarter of the year, and then taper off in the fourth.
In fact, AI-related funding actually declined from $2.7 billion in the third quarter of 2018 to $2.4 billion in the fourth.
Additionally, startups just trying to get off the ground had a more difficult time raising cash in 2018, compared to 2017. According to PwC and CB Insights, seed stage investments declined year-over-year.Among other popular sectors, U.S. Fintech -- or financial technology -- startups saw funding increase by 38%, from 2017 to 2018. That worked out to about $11 billion in funding spread out across an estimated 627 transactions.