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2015 Is the Year of the Mega Fundraising Round

There have been over 100 mega rounds over $100 million so far this year.

jtyler via iStock

Uber might have started the mega fundraising trend in 2014, but other companies are taking up the mantle in 2015. There have been over 100 rounds over $100 million so far this year, totaling $16 billion in investment. The numbers come from a new report out by venture analytics company CB Insights and tax adviser KPMG.

Part of the reason for such massive capital raises is that they allows startups to stay private longer, especially as economic growth remains sluggish and the possibility of the Fed raising interest rates later this year could curb investment dollars. It also allows startups to grow outside the prying eyes of the public markets, a more recent phenomenon known as the “private IPO.”

As companies’ sizes grow, so do their valuations. In the second quarter of 2015, 24 new private companies passed the billion-dollar valuation mark, compared with nine during the same period last year. Unicorns are multiplying.

“There is real fear among certain investors that they will be left out if they don’t have a number of unicorns in their portfolio,” the report said.

Asia is keeping up with the U.S. in terms of producing companies valued at more than $1 billion. Nine of the newly anointed unicorns in the second quarter of 2015 came from Asia, twelve from the U.S. and only three from Europe.

The rise of Asia is a major theme in the report, which explores how much more in funding Asian companies are receiving than their European counterparts. Over the past year, the average size of early-stage fundraising rounds for Asian companies has grown to rival that of American startups. As for the size of average late-stage deals, Asia is leaving both the U.S. and Europe in the dust.

For other tidbits about the venture industry in the second quarter of 2015, see the report here.

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