July sees record-breaking number of $100m+ funding rounds

Tim Maytom

July saw venture capitalists invest in a record-breaking 55 investment rounds of $100m (£76.9m) or more in the tech industry, totalling just over $15bn all together.

This huge injection of capital into 'supergiant venture rounds' represents the largest amount invested into firms of this size in a single month. Among the firms receiving funding as part of this wave were JD Finance, which raised $1.9bn in Series B investment; WeWork, which underwent a $500m Series B round; and Didi Chuxing, which raised $500m through a corporate venture round.

'Supergiant' rounds were relatively rare prior to 2013, occuring only once every few weeks at the most, and often not for many months at a time. However, with the tech industry entering a later stage of consolidation, venture capitalists are still raising huge funds and can support larger and larger rounds.

While the rate of supergiant rounds has been steadily climbing for some time, analysts warn that several factors could lead to a slowdown. With a number of tech firms including Facebook and Twitter all reporting slower than expected growth, confidence in the tech industry could begin to wane among investors.

In addition, if the pace of tech firms undergoing successful IPOs begins to slow, that could result in a similar loss of confidence, as investors seek areas more guaranteed to return a result. Finally, a change in US monetary policy might change investment strategies. At the moment, low interest rates make vehicles such as bonds a poor choice, but even a slight change in that could result in a shift in capital.