The 12 largest Series B rounds of 2016

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The 12 largest Series B rounds of 2016

Let’s face it, if you’re an investor, you were probably priced out of these insanely large rounds. If you’re a founder, you’re swooning at the mere prospect of making such a statement. But no matter who you are, a lot can be gleaned from analyzing investment trends.

Looking at B rounds provides a nice balance between the somewhat predictable success stories of late-stage unicorns and the volatility of companies that just raised early-stage capital.

It’s hard to say what predictive power the Series B round has in determining a company’s ultimate value. Airbnb, for example, raised a massive $112 million Series B in 2011. Snapchat’s 2013 Series B was also notable, coming in at $80 million. But Palantir’s $10.52 million round in 2006 and even Uber’s $38 million round in 2011 would have failed to make our list. In 2011, Snapdeal, Flipboard and Dropbox all raised larger rounds. And, of course, things like this happen all the time. 

This year’s fundraising skewed heavily toward companies in the biotech space, as could be expected. Other standouts like NextVR and Quanergy Systems are providing solutions that are critical to the growth of new product ecosystems — virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.

With that in mind, enjoy our countdown of 2016’s twelve largest Series B rounds, put together with the help of CrunchBase.

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Juicero – $70 million

Love it or hate it, most people have strong opinions about Juicero’s $700 juice making machine. The GV and KPCB backed company locked down $70 million in Series B financing in March of this year. While this is certainly a ton of capital, the startup is rumored to have raised another massive round in 2015.

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Arcus Biosciences – $70 million

Biotech is no stranger to massive rounds. Arcus Biosciences is developing cancer immunotherapies that help to prevent tumors from stopping our immune system. The California based company raised $70 million back in September from GV, Taiho Ventures and others to add to an impressive $50 million Series A.

 

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Defy Media – $70 million

The large $70 million Series B round theme continues with Defy Media, the startup behind Smosh. The round size on this one is a bit less concrete because part of the round consisted of a secondary transaction. Either way, this was probably the largest Series B of the year for a digital media company.

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Hyperloop One – $80 million

When you consider how large Hyperloop One’s infrastructure ambitions are, $80 million starts to feel like pocket change real fast. If the company is able to pull it off, transportation of both people and goods will never be the same. Sherpa Capital led this one with participation from a long list of investors including Khosla and GE Ventures.

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NextVR – $80 million

VR was alive and kicking in 2016 but for the space to continue to grow into 2017, someone has to deliver attractive content to bring out the full value of expensive VR headsets. NextVR wants to be that startup by focusing on live content and sporting events. The $80 million round was a party for corporate investors like Comcast Ventures, Dick Clark Productions and Time Warner Investments looking to get ahead of the future of media consumption.

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Quanergy Systems – $90 million

Another company supporting a growing ecosystem, but this time it’s autonomous vehicles. Sunnyvale based Quanergy Systems is building low-cost LiDAR systems. The newly forged unicorn received $90 million back in August and could become a key supplier for traditional automobile manufacturers.

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Letgo – $100 million

After merging U.S. operations with Wallapop, Letgo raised $100 million to help people sell their stuff. The service, something of a mobile-first Craigslist, earned the favor of NEA and Accel Partners, among others.

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Thrive Market – $111 million

LA based Thrive Market hauled in $111 million in June to give organic groceries an online shopping makeover. By paying a membership fee, shoppers can get access to deeply discounted groceries that Thrive gets direct from brands. Cross Culture Ventures, e.ventures, Greycroft Partners and Kapor Capital were all in on this mega consumer deal.

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Unity Biotechnology – $116 million

From here on out it’s all biotech. Unity Biotechnology is developing solutions for diseases that come with aging. Specifically, they want to eliminate senescent cells that accumulate in the body with age. These cells are important for stopping the over-multiplication of cells, but they can also damage neighboring cells and cause a myriad of problems. The $116 million round the company raised in October included Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

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Denali Therapeutics – $130 million

Kicking off our top three, Denali Therapeutics raised $130 million in August to develop solutions for neurodegenerative diseases. The ex-Genentech team has ambitious goals to target degenogenes, block axon degeneration, correct glial dysfunctions and modulate intracellular trafficking.

 

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Zymergen – $130 million

Though second place by a mile, Zymergen’s $130 million Softbank-led Series B is still massive. The company is building new materials out of genetically altered microbes. The startup has attracted lots of interest from the Fortune 500 because of its promises to work with existing businesses to lower production costs by applying biology.

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Human Longevity – $220 million

Lastly – Human Longevity. This behemoth $220 million round drew the participation of Illumina, DFJ and GE Ventures, among others. The startup wants to apply machine learning to human genotype and phenotype data to fight disease.

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