The 5 Hottest Series D Startups from 2014 

Mattermark ranked the five fastest-growing Series D startups from last year in its Startup Traction Report, and the top three are all services in the sharing economy.

The sharing economy refers to goods or services that are rented or borrowed among people, rather than used by solely one person. Users can share apartments, cars, and music, or even online staff and money (crowdfunding). PwC estimated that the sharing economy will be worth $335 billion in 2025, catching up with the traditional rental industry.

Series D is typically the fifth round of funding that a startup raises, after seed and Series A-C.  The size of a Series D round varies, but the startups listed below raised between $150 million and Uber’s $1.2 billion (probably an outlier). Fast growth is determined by the Mattermark growth score, which takes into account monthly unique website visitors, weekly mobile downloads, social media metrics, number of employees, and equity funding.

Here are those hot Series D startups:

1. Uber

Uber raised a $1.2 billion Series D round in June 2014. Since then, they have raised over $4 billion more and acquired deCarta, which provides mapping software.

Growth score: 15,401

Mattermark says: “Uber, the ridesharing service that connects passengers to drivers, is worth more than several Fortune 500 brands. After launching in 44 foreign countries, Uber is growing faster in Europe and Asia than in the US.”

2. Lyft

Lyft raised a $250 million Series D round in April 2014 and has since raised over $600 million more. In the meantime, they also acquired ridesharing app Hitch and messaging app Leo.

Growth score: 7,026

Mattermark says: “Lyft, another peer-to-peer ridesharing service, has higher customer growth rates than Uber when adjusted for size.”

3. Airbnb

Airbnb raised a $475 million Series D round in April 2014 and went on to raise $1.5 billion in private equity in June of this year. They also acquired Pencil Labs (a scheduling app) last December.

Growth score: 4,289

Mattermark says: “With its $475M Series D cash injection, Airbnb, a vacation rental marketplace, has seen its listings pass 550,000 in 192 countries.”

4. Hortonworks

Hortonworks raised Series D funding in 2014 totaling $150 million. Since then, they’ve acquired three analytics companies: XA Secure, SequenceIQ, and Onyara.

Growth score: 2,366

Mattermark says: “Hortonworks, the enterprise Hadoop data platform, plans to overhaul the Hadoop ecosystem. According to CEO Rob Bearde, this focus is attracting enterprise customers and valuable partners, including Microsoft, Teradata, and Rackspace.”

5. Houzz

Houzz raised a $165 million Series D round in October 2014. This August, they acquired GardenWeb, which handles their discussion threads.

Growth score: 2,123

Mattermark says: “Houzz, the online home remodeling and design community, has aggressive global expansion plans. After opening offices in Berlin, London, and Sydney, the site has more than 5 million monthly unique users outside the US.”

The fastest-growing Series D startups of 2014, along with a wealth of other data on the fastest-growing startups, regions, and industries, are reported in the 2014 Startup Traction Report (get it for $99).

Mattermark’s 2014 Startup Traction Report uses data from public sources like Crunchbase, AngelList, NASDAQ, the SEC, and the White House Office of Management & Budget, as well as private relationships they have with investors and entrepreneurs. Everything was measured for the 2014 fiscal year, which covers October 2013-September 2014.

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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