While a good idea can thrust you into the limelight and the right connections can boost your chances of success, startups need funding to survive. In the business world, the reality is that money talks and the more of it you have, the louder you'll be. Fortunately, there are thousands of options for raising capital, from angel funds and VC firms to crowdfunding campaigns and looking through your couch cushions. And if you need a little inspiration, we've got it for you right here.
Thanks to data from Crunchbase, we can bask in the glory of the five highest funding rounds in 2017 so far. Not only have these companies impressed investors with their innovative tech, their prosperous business models, and their clever names, some of them have also established themselves as some of the most recognizable brands in the world. And when you see the size of these funding rounds, you'll understand why.
Yes, those are billions with a capital B. Didi Chixing, the Chinese ride-sharing giant, has had the largest funding round of 2017, with a $5.5 billion private equity round led by SoftBank, in addition to three other investors. WeWork, everyone's favoring coworking space, came in second with a $4.4 billion private equity round led by SoftBank as well.
Outside the top two, Meituan-Dianping, China’s largest on-demand services provider, closed a $4 billion round led by Trustbridge Partners. Grab, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing platform, raised a $2 billion Series G with help from Toyota, SoftBank, and oddly enough Didi Chixing. And Toutiao, the China-based news and information content platform, raised a $2 billion private equity round from General Atlantic.
Anyone notice anything significant in those numbers? Well, for one, SoftBank isn't shy about throwing around capital from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a $93 billion fund designed to accelerate the innovation of the world. With their name on the top two funding rounds of 2017 and contributing to a third in the top five, there's no denying that SoftBank is making some serious moves in the business world. Although, it's far from surprising when your fearless leader is none other than Masayoshi Son, the richest man in Japan. And it doesn't sound like he's going to slow down anytime soon.
“We are creating a mechanism to increase our funding ability from 10 trillion yen to 20 trillion yen to 100 trillion yen,” said Son in TechCrunch. “[The funds] will probably have invested in at least 1,000 companies within 10 years.”
For more information about the top funding rounds in 2017, take a look at the information on Crunchbase and make sure to check back to see how the holiday season changes these numbers.
Read more about funding rounds at TechCo