The rise and rise of supergiant rounds


With more money flowing into a shrinking number of deals, the average startup funding round is getting bigger. And it’s not by a small margin, either. Supergiant funding rounds are coming to dominate the funding landscape at all stages.

Although a lot of attention has been paid to huge funding rounds at the later stage — in particular, the recent spate of mega-rounds led by SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund — outsized rounds abound at all stages. Crunchbase News has also explored some of the smallest funding rounds startups raise. But up to this point, we haven’t taken a look at big rounds at early stages. And this is a somewhat glaring omission, because seed and early-stage funding rounds make up the surpassing majority of deal volume around the world.

If you’ll forgive the pun, it’s kind of a big deal.

Today, we’re going to take a look at this growing phenomenon, what it means and what might be happening “under the hood” in supergiant seed rounds.

The rise and rise of supergiant rounds

In this section, we’re going to zip through a fairly large amount of funding data rather quickly. The exact numbers are less important than the overall trends they indicate. To wit, that both middle-of-the-road rounds and their supergiant counterparts alike have grown significantly in size over the past decade.

But before showing the charts and analyzing the data behind them, allow us a second to explain what, exactly, we’re talking about when we talk about supergiant rounds.

For our purposes here, we’ve borrowed the term “supergiant” from astronomy. Supergiant stars, as the name may suggest, are some of the most massive and luminous celestial bodies in the universe. Similarly, the supergiant funding rounds we’re examining here are among the largest raised by startups, and they’re the rounds that grab the most headlines.

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