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Here is the top 20 most funded Companies of all time. Some big money there!
While most companies have raised around $1B, Facebook really stands out from the rest, having raised a massive $18B (that’s $13B more than Clearwire at number 2).  Now let’s dig a bit deeper into these companies and see what they have in common.


Apart from a few startups located in cities such as Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Louis, the most funded “startups” are all based either in New York or the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. That is hardly surprising, since both are immense startup hubs and homes of countless VC firms – other cities barely stand a chance.

Year founded
Eight of the 20 companies were founded before the turn of the millennium, with Xerox being founded (in some form or another) back in 1906! (ok maybe it is no more a startups) The remaining were founded between 2001 and 2008 (with 2007 being a popular year).

Telecommunications stands out as the most represented industry, with five companies falling under that category. The others are a mix of internet and e-commerce startups, that don’t manufacture physical products (Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, LivingSocial, Zynga) along with a few medical/pharmaceutical companies, solar energy companies and the odd car manufacturer and radio broadcaster.

Current status of company
Surprisingly all the “most funded startups of all time” are still active and more or less successful, apart from Solyndra and Fisker (filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and 2013 respectively). This is of course more of an achievement for the companies that have been around for longer and only time will tell the fate of the more recent startups, such as Facebook, Groupon and Twitter.

IPO or no IPO?
Twelve of the companies are listed on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or NASDAQ – in fact all of the top 10 except Carestream Health. That may help to explain how the companies have managed to raise so much funding. Zynga is the most recently founded company that has gone from private to public, and in only four years!

Number of employees
With so much money to invest, you’d think that all of the companies would be employing tens of thousands of people globally… well unfortunately that is not the case. The number of employees varies wildly from under 1,000 (Wave Broadband, Cloudera, Bloom Energy) to over 140,000 (Xerox, Verizon), but the majority of them have fewer than 3,000.

To sum up…
It seems that if you want to raise a billion dollars or more in funding, your might want to consider a startup in the field of telecommunications and definitely be located in New York or Silicon Valley. In a few years’ time you can expect to be listed on the stock market and have around 2,000 employees.

Good luck!

Top 20 most funded startups of all time:

Name Total Funding (equity) Location
Facebook 18.0B Bay Area
Clearwire 4.7B Seattle
Verizon 3.82B New York
Carestream Health 2.4B Rochester
Cardinal Health 2.1B Dublin
Charter Communications 1.66B St. Louis
Twitter 1.16B Bay Area
Groupon 1.14B Chicago
Xerox 1.1B New York
Sirius XM Radio, Inc. 1.1B New York
Wave Broadband 1.1B Seattle
Cloudera 1.0B Bay Area
AOL 1.0B New York
Blackberry 1.0B Waterloo
Bloom Energy 980M Sunnyvale
LivingSocial 935M Washington D.C.
Fisker Automotive 922B Los Angeles
Palantir Technologies 888M Bay Area
Zynga 867M Bay Area
Solyndra 846B Bay Area

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