Top 10 VC Deals from Summer 2016

SEPTEMBER 15th, 2016


1. Uber - Didi Chuxing

  • Date: Aug 2016 (planned but not yet signed)
  • Amount: $35 billion
  • Why it's relevant: Uber had been bleeding hard money in China for months during a price war with Didi. After the deal, they'll be able to focus more on other markets, such as in the U.S. against long-time rival Lyft. As for Didi, with an 85% share of the ride share market in China before the merger, the company is now well-placed for a potential IPO in the near future. In the meantime, the Uber-Didi deal is facing investigation from anti-trust regulators in the Chinese government.

2. Microsoft - LinkedIn

  • Date: June 2016 (planned but not yet signed)
  • Amount: $26.2 billion
  • Why it's relevant: As Microsoft's largest acquisition ever as well as the biggest-ever in the software industry, there has been a lot of buzz about why this deal happened. According to Wall Street Journal, one of the reasons is that, as a network of professional profiles, LinkedIn is precisely Microsoft's core targeted demographic for Microsoft's Office productivity suite. Access to those users as well as their data could "yield insights and products within Microsoft that allow it to monetize its investment in LinkedIn." This could give Microsoft an edge in its competition with in salesforce automation and the B2B marketing space.

3. Dreamworks - Comcast

  • Date: Aug 2016
  • Amount: $3.8 billion
  • Why it's relevant: Other than Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg being sued over the deal, there are a couple of other important things that come out of this acquisition. By integrating Dreamworks' animations operations with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Comcast is perhaps attempting to rival Disney and other franchises through bringing in characters like "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda." Comcast EVP Steve Burkes states, "We have to keep putting good shows on, and it is tougher and tougher in a fragmented world to get a rating. But when you do, you do get rewarded for it significantly.”

4. Walmart-Jet

  • Date: Aug 2016 (planned but not yet signed)
  • Amount: $3.3 billion
  • Why it's relevant: Jet, Marc Lore's startup that has already raised over $800 million in funding, is the latest acquisition target by Walmart in a move to better position the retail giant in the e-commerce space against Target and Amazon. According to Jason Del Rey at Recode, "Walmart’s e-commerce growth is lower than the industry average and has been decelerating for more than a year. In the fall, the company said it would invest an additional $2 billion into those efforts to try to close the gap." For Jet, the acquisition, other than a huge check, the deal could potentially mean cheaper inventory because of Walmart's vendor relations and the volumes it already buys.



5. Line

  • Date: July 2016
  • Amount: $32.84 stock price, $1.15 billion offer amount
  • Why it's relevant: The LINE IPO (owned by South Korean internet company Naver) is the largest tech IPO in 2016 so far, and is the first Japanese company to IPO in the US since 2000. CNN calls the company a mixture of Skype, WhatsApp, Twitter, Zynga, Spotify, and Uber all in one app, with sweeping appeal and many different monetization streams. That being said, LINE's main customer base is in East and Southeast Asia in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, with far fewer users than rival WhatsApp. However, the APAC region is quickly becoming a hot spot for ecommerce with countries like India and Indonesia.

6. Twilio

  • Date: June 2016
  • Amount: $15.00 stock price, $150 million offer amount
  • Why it's relevant: After a dismal drought in the IPO market in the first half 2016, with Q1 2016 being the slowest quarter in seven years, the Twilio IPO came as a sliver of hope in a market plagued by concerns of volatility in the Chinese and European economies. Some venture capitalists are seeing the IPO as a sign of improving IPO market conditions, with strong optimism for 2017. If Twilio and LINE continue to perform well, they may even be setting the stage for unicorns like Uber, Snapchat, Airbnb, and Palantir to go public as well.


Funding rounds


  • Date: June 2016
  • Amount: $3.5 billion (Series G)
  • Investors: Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund
  • Why it's relevant: Uber's latest round from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is the largest single investment ever made in a private company, putting the company at a $62.5 billion valuation after having raised a total of $13.8 billion of venture capital money. Only two IPOs have raised more money - Alibaba with $21.7 billion and Facebook with $16 billion. The funding round came at around the same time of the news of the Uber-Didi merger, with speculation that most of the money would go towards expanding operations in the Middle East.

8. Snapchat

  • Date: May 2016
  • Amount: $1.8 billion (Series F)
  • Investors: Coatue Management, Fidelity Investments, General Atlantic, Glade Brook Capital Partners, GSV Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Lone Pine Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price, York Capital Management
  • Why it's relevant: In March, Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat's previous Series F funding round still left the company at a flat valuation of $16 billion. TechCrunch has also written about a leaked deck with revenues and user numbers from 2015, with quarterly revenue and daily active users growing at staggering rates.

9. Deliveroo 

  • Date: Aug 2016
  • Amount: $275 million (Series E)
  • Investors: Bridgepoint, DST Global, General Catalyst Partners, Felix Capital, Greenoaks Capital, Nokia Growth Partners
  • Why it's relevant: The London-based food delivery company, currently operating in 12 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The round put the startup at a valuation above $1 billion, effectively making Deliveroo one of two European unicorns this year. The funding will be used for "geographic expansion in new and existing markets as well as further investments in projects such as RooBox, which gives restaurants access to off-site kitchen space to cater for takeaway demand which cannot be supplied by their own restaurant kitchens" (Fortune). This comes after Uber has announced intentions in recent weeks to expand UberEats, currently mostly operating in the US, to Europe and Asia.

10. Human Longevity

  • Date: April 2016
  • Amount: $220 million (Series B)
  • Investors: Illumina, Celgene, GE Ventures
  • Why it's relevant: Human Longevity, a company applying large-scale genomic and clinical data to improve medicine, has raised a Series B financing that values the San Diego-based Human Longevity at more than $1.2 billion. The money will go towards developing the company's line of health products such as a clinical health center that employs genomics called Health Nucleus, a cancer program, and a database with more than 20,000 genomes linked to health information. According to J. Craig Venter, one of the company's CEO's, "The company will likely hold an initial public stock offering at some point in the future, after it has grown past the development stage."

For more blogs like this, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and sign up for our monthly newsletter!