Through the first nine months of 2019, investors put more than $25 billion into the industry, per PitchBook data. This week, a quintet of mega-rounds nudged that figure even higher.
DoorDash is adding more money to its already well-stocked coffers. Trucking startup Convoy is now worth nearly $2.75 billion. And a Tesla rival is teaming up with a Chinese tech titan. The recent arrival of nearly $1.5 billion in new funding for mobility startups is one of 11 things you need to know from the past week:
1. Deals on wheelsEach of the five aforementioned companies takes a slightly different tack. But all five are clearly reliant on using tech to tackle mobility challenges. Combined VC funding raised in the past seven days: A cool $1.45 billion.
DoorDash's new cash is coming from T. Rowe Price, according to Bloomberg, in the form of a $100 million follow-on to the $600 million round the meal delivery company announced in May. It will reportedly take DoorDash's valuation to nearly $13 billion, a slight uptick from the $12.6 billion valuation it attained in the spring.
The funding is the latest development in a frantic past 20 months at the startup, a period during which it's now raised just shy of $1.9 billion in total VC and blown past rivals Uber Eats and GrubHub in terms of market share. Over that same span, DoorDash's valuation has climbed from $1.4 billion to $13 billion. And in case you were wondering, yes, SoftBank is involved: The Japanese conglomerate got the crazy stretch going by leading a $535 million investment in DoorDash back in March 2018.
While DoorDash is attempting to use tech and transportation to change the way meals are delivered, Convoy is doing the same for much larger shipments. The Seattle-based startup has long been pitched as "Uber for trucking," using its platform to match available long-haul drivers with freight that needs to be shipped. This Wednesday, it unveiled by far its largest funding yet, a $400 million round that came at a nearly $2.75 billion post-money valuation.
T. Rowe Price was involved in this one, too, teaming with Al Gore's Generation Investment Management to lead the financing. Those firms join a rather eclectic list of existing investors, one that also includes Greylock Partners, Y Combinator, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Bono and fellow U2 member The Edge. The new funding marks a major step up from September 2018, when Convoy last raised VC, hauling in $185 million at a $1.08 billion valuation.
Out in Buffalo, NY, a business called ACV Auctions got in on the act, raising $150 million in Series E funding to finance its wholesale vehicle marketplace, an online platform used by franchises and used-car dealers to buy and sell cars in quick-moving auctions. ACV has now raised five rounds of VC in the past four years. Over that span, its valuation has grown from $12 million to $1.5 billion, welcome news for backers like Bessemer Venture Partners and Tribeca Venture Partners.
In China, meanwhile, it was a pair of enormous tech companies pumping hundreds of millions into mobility. First, electric vehicle developer Xpeng Motors announced a $400 million Series C and a new partnership with Xiaomi, the consumer electronics powerhouse. That only adds to Xpeng's clout in the country: It already counted Alibaba among its backers. The company currently has one electric model available for sale, with a second offering set to arrive next year.
And to round things out, there was Tuhu, which raised between $300 million and $400 million this week in a round led by Tencent, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. It was Tuhu's first funding since last September, when it collected a reported $450 million at a $1.16 billion valuation in a round co-led by Tencent, The Carlyle Group and Sequoia. Tuhu operates an online platform for the auto repair market, selling tires and other parts and services via a vast network of partner stores.
These five businesses are reflective of the overall diversity in the mobility market, which in turn probably plays a role in the sector's growing popularity: With this much going on, there's something for every type of investor. (If you want more data on subsectors like ridesharing and micromobility, check out this preview of a recent PitchBook report on the space. PitchBook subscribers can access the full 130-page document.)
Here we are, more than 800 words in, and I still haven't mentioned the most exciting mobility startup that raised VC this week: That would be JetPack Aviation, which, after tackling its initial goal of building a jetpack, has now moved on to flying motorcycles. To finance these insanely cool vehicles—which I will never personally use in a million years because I would surely crash and kill myself—the company reportedly brought in a $2 million seed funding.