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As the first quarter of 2014 was coming to an end, several companies were announcing big rounds of funding, leaving most of the previous month’s investments in their shadow. While the top investments of December 2013 and January 2014 were $250M (Lazada) and $350M (Dropbox) respectively, the top figure for March was bigger than the two combined! Now let’s have a look at a selection of the companies that raised the most funding in March 2014.

Date Name Amount Series
31/03/2014 Cloudera $900m F
20/03/2014 Tango $280m D
07/03/2014 Wayfair $157m B
14/03/2014 Klarna €90m
04/03/2014 Borro $112m
31/03/2014 Cool Planet Energy Systems $100m D
25/03/2014 Hortonworks $100m D
24/03/2014 Actifio $100M E

Top Startups Round Starting off at $100 M

A total of three companies raised this very respectable sum. Firstly – Cool Planet Energy Systems, which is developing fuels based on plant photosynthesis that remove carbon dioxide from the air (very cool indeed!). Their series D investors were Goldman Sachs and UBS.

Secondly, Hortonworks, a big data software company, also announced their series D, funded by Tenaya Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Index Ventures, Benchmark, Yahoo!, Passport Capital, BlackRock.

Finally, Actifio, an enterprise technology company, raised its series E from Advanced Technology Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Technology Crossover Ventures, Tiger Global Management, Greylock Partners Israel.

Raising the stakes

Borro, an online pawnbroker that provides loans of up to $1M secured against personal assets (such as watched as fine art). Their sole investor was Victory Park Capital, from which they secured $112M towards further expansion in the UK and US markets.

At €90M (just over $120M), we have Klarna, a Swedish company providing e-commerce payment solutions. The funds were raised from US-based Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, plus London-based Atomico (founded by Niklas Zennström).

Wayfair, an online platform for furniture and home decor, announced its series B total of $157M, backed by T. Rowe Price. Wayfair experienced 55% growth in sales last year and is expected to file for IPO later this year.

Now, on the Top Startups Rounds fast forward to $280M and you find Tango, the social networking app. Its series D funds came primarily from Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant that is frequently mentioned in our blog posts. Tango is the most recent of several investments by Alibaba, in preparation for its IPO on either NASDAQ or NYSE. Other recent investments from 2014 include ByeCity and 1stbids.

Getting close to a billion

Now take a giant leap from that $280M to $900M, and we find the biggest raiser of March – another big data company, Cloudera. It raised $740M from Intel (in return for an 18% stake in the company) and a further $160M from Google Ventures and T. Rowe Price. Combined with previous rounds A to E, between years 2009 – 2012, it has received over $1B in funding.

So, to sum up, March brought a rather successful close of Q1 2014 for many companies. Let’s just wait and see if another company will break this record set by Cloudera. Also, on a sidenote, T. Rowe Price has been on a real spending spree recently, so expect to see it mentioned in many future posts.

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