But firms have also been busy funding the next generation of unicorns. And they seem highly interested in companies that are in the business of moving people and things from one place to another.
Several of the startups that have raised the year's biggest VC rounds are in some way connected to the mobility sector. There's SpaceX, which raised more than $1 billion already this year across two separate deals and is now said to be collecting over $300 million more in a third funding. There's Bird, the scooter upstart that banked $450 million in January at a $2.3 billion valuation. There's Aurora, a developer of autonomous driving tech that had reportedly raised a Series B of more than $600 million as of June.
Those companies are concerned with moving people. A host of other major fundings from 1H involved transporting things. Logistics startup Flexport secured $1 billion in a February round led by SoftBank and its Vision Fund. Two months later, in April, the Vision Fund invested a further $1 billion in Rappi, a Latin American startup specializing in on-demand deliveries of every sort. SoftBank was also behind a $940 million funding in February for Nuro, a robotics company building autonomous delivery vehicles.
The list goes on. Meal delivery company DoorDash had a bountiful 1H, raising $400 million at a $7.1 billion valuation in February and following it up with $600 million more at a $12.6 billion valuation in May. Lime brought in more than $300 million at a $2.4 billion valuation to fund its fleet of bikes, scooters and cars. Israeli ridehailing startup Gett got a reported $200 million in funding at a $1.5 billion valuation. Zipline International, which uses drones to deliver medical supplies, became a unicorn with a $190 million funding.
It all adds up to billions of VC dollars being injected into the wider transportation space—whether that transportation is riding a scooter down the street or hopping on a rocket bound for Mars.
With their IPOs, Uber and Lyft may have moved on from the VC universe. But if 1H is any indication, plenty of other startups trying to change the way people and objects move about the world are ready to take their place.
Featured image via Milos-Muller/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Related read: DoorDash picks up $600M Series G as valuation soars