Mobility Startups are Blowing Funding Through the Roof

November 9, 2021

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investments can sometimes be quite “herd following.” With the increasing popularity of mobility companies, it likely comes as no surprise that PE and VC interest in mobility startups is growing. The question is how by how much. Here’s the view according to research provided by PE data provider Pitchbook.

The 30,000 Foot View

Here’s the first view of the mobility tech VC deal activity. The figure has an enormous figure for the dollar volume of deal activity. As of the end of the third quarter of 2021, total dollar volume summed to $74.5 billion (blue bars), which surpassed the previous all-time high of $64.3 billion in 2018. And there’s still three months to go! The dollar volume of deal activity in 2021 will far surpass any previous yearly activity of financial interest in mobility tech.

Switching to the number of deals completed, as of the end of September 2021, the number of deals stood at 1,326, about three hundred behind the 2018 all-time high of 1,605. If the current trend continues, 2021 will also likely see the highest number of deals in a year ever. It certainly pays to be investing in and being an entrepreneur in an area that has a seemingly bright future.

Source: Pitchbook

Some of the Key 2021 Deals

Shifting to some details behind the deals, the following table provides a view of some of the top deals so far in 2021. Before looking, which company would you guess had the top mobility tech funding round?

The largest deal, so far, in 2021 has been SVOLT, with lead investor BOCGI Zheshang Capital. The Series B deal totaled almost $1.6 billion for the electric vehicle startup.

The second largest deal was DeepRoute.ai, an autonomous driving company. Led by Alibaba Group, the Series B deal reached $300 million.

Rounding out the top five (with deal size in parentheses) were Inceptio Technology ($270 million), Onto ($242 million), and Semidrive ($154 million). Lead investors were JD Logistics, PAG, and Meituan (Inceptio Technology), Alfven & Didrikson (Onto), and China V Fund and Puluo Capital (Semidrive).

Other companies in the top ten included (again, with deal size in parentheses) EmergeTech ($130 million), Kovi ($124 million), Verkor ($120 million), AutoFlight ($100 million), and QCraft ($100 million).

Overall, these figures show significant PE and VC interest in electric vehicles, autonomous driving, auto commerce, freight technology, auto commerce, and advanced air mobility.

Source: Pitchbook

Summing Up

Overall, 2021 has been an amazing year for mobility startups. If the trend continues, the number of deals and the dollar volume of PE and VC-backed deals will far surpass any previous yearly accounting of deals. May the good times live on forever, at least for mobility tech.

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