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2016 Year in Review: Top 5 VC deals, exits & funds

This year has seen some record-setting VC financings and exits, along with some major funds. Some of the biggest numbers have come out of China, and some major deals involve the usual suspects.

This year has seen some record-setting VC financings and exits, along with some eye-popping funds. Some staggering numbers have come out of China, and many major deals involve the usual suspects.

Here are five of the biggest VC deals, exits and funds of the past year (more 2016 Year in Review content here):

VC Financings

1. Didi Chuxing: $7.3 billion late-stage financing in June ($28 billion valuation)

Another year, another number one spot for the Chinese ridesharing service. Didi Chuxing, which bought out rival Uber’s China operations in August, raised an eye-watering $4.5 billion in equity and $2.8 billion in debt. The financing came less than a year after the company closed a $3 billion round, which set records at the time.

[Related post—A visual guide to the twisted web created by the Uber/Didi merger]

2. Uber: $5.6 billion late-stage financing closed in June ($66.6 billion valuation)

In 2015, Didi took the first spot on this list, and Uber took the second. Noticing a pattern? In one of many ten-figure rounds for Uber this year, the ridesharing giant raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s investment arm in what appears to be the biggest single investment ever for a VC-backed company in the US. As part of the same round, it sold $2.1 billion worth of shares to other investors.

[Related post—Uber still hemorrhaging cash]

3. Ant Financial: $4.5 billion late-stage financing in April ($60 billion valuation)

The operator of online payments platform Alipay raised the mega-round from a number of Chinese investors, including China Investment Corporation and China Post Group. IPO rumors have followed the company for a while, but the latest reports indicate an offering wouldn’t be until late 2017, at the earliest.

4. Meituan-Dianping: $3.3 billion late-stage financing in January ($18 billion valuation)

Next comes the massive Chinese group-deals site formed through the $15 billion Meituan-Dianping merger at the end of last year. Investors in the colossal round include Tencent, DST Global and Temasek. The $3.3 billion raised, fourth on this list, is bigger than the largest round raised in all of 2015.

5. Snap: $1.8 billion financing in May ($20 billion valuation)

Half a year before Snap made headlines with its IPO filing—and months before the business unveiled its internet-connected glasses, shifting its focus away from strictly mobile messaging—the company raised almost $2 billion from prominent VCs like Sequoia and IVP.

[Related post—C’mon Facebook, another Snapchat knockoff?]

VC Exits

1. Stemcentrx: $10 billion corporate acquisition in April

When Stemcentrx was sold to AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), Founders Fund reportedly saw a roughly $1.7 billion return on its early investment in the drug development company. The company also counted ARTIS Ventures and Fidelity Investments among its backers.

2. Acerta Pharma: $4 billion corporate acquisition in February

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) acquired a majority stake in the clinical-stage biopharma with the option to purchase the remaining shares for up to $3 billion. Acerta, a developor of treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, was backed by Frazier Healthcare Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors and BioGeneration Ventures.

3. Jet: $3.3 billion corporate acquisition in September

Before its purchase by Walmart (NYSE: WMT), the ecommerce startup had raised nearly $600 million in venture funding and reached a pre-exit valuation of $1.4 billion with a $350 million round in November 2015. Sellers included New Enterprise Associates, Bain Capital Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.

[Related post—Here are VC’s big winners from the $3.3B acquisition]

4. Jasper: $1.4 billion corporate acquisition in March

VC backers Sequoia, Wing Venture Capital and Benchmark Capital, among others, sold the cloud-based IoT company to Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO). The company had been rumored to be going the IPO route as early as 2014.

[Related post—IoT Breakdown: VCs betting billions on the connected world]

5. Afferent Pharmaceuticals: $1.25 corporate acquisition in July

The drug developer was valued at $280 million one year before pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) bought it for an upfront payment of $500 million in cash, along with a potential $750 million payment associated with attainment of certain clinical development and commercial milestones. Spun out of Roche in 2009, Afferent raised VC funding from Third Rock Ventures and New Leaf Ventures, among other investors.

VC Funds

1. The Baidu Capital Fund: closed on $3 billion in October

This isn’t your typical VC fund. The massive Chinese fund will back mid- to late-stage internet companies with check sizes in the neighborhood of $50 million to $100 million, later and larger than average venture investments.

2. TCV IX: closed on $2.5 billion in August

The fund is only the second largest for Technology Crossover Ventures, which raised $3 billion for its seventh flagship fund in 2007. The firm, which invests in growth-stage tech companies, counts Facebook and Netflix among its success stories.

3. Andreessen Horowitz Fund V: closed on $1.5 billion in June

The famed Silicon Valley VC said it would use the new fund to continue investing in seed, early-stage and mid-stage-growth tech companies. This is the firm’s second fund to raise at least $1.5 billion.

4. Founders Fund VI: closed on $1.3 billion in March

Peter Thiel is perhaps best known this year as a Donald Trump supporter, but he’s also a partner at Founders Fund, a prominent Silicon Valley firm that backs tech and scientific startups. The VC closed its previous flagship fund on $1 billion dollars in 2014.

5. Norwest Venture Partners XIII: closed on $1.2 billion in January

The firm started the year strong, closing its third consecutive $1.2 billion fund. Norwest targets early- and late-stage companies with venture and growth investments across a variety of industries, including financial services and healthcare.

Click here to read more of our 2016 Year in Review content.

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