Mobile internet startups pocket $19.2b of VC investment

Mobile internet-based technology startups have pocketed more than $19.2 billion globally from venture capital and non-public investors over the past 12-month period, with m-commerce making up the biggest single investment category.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Venture capitalists, along with private investors, corporate investors, and equity groups, have pumped more than $19.2 billion globally into mobile internet-based technology startups over the past 12 months, according to new research by UK-based mobile internet industry consulting firm Digi-Capital.

The research carried out by Digi-Capital for its Mobile Internet Investment Review Q3 2014 report found that the multibillion-dollar VC investment in mobile internet-based tech startups for the year represented a 232 percent increase compared to Q3 2013.

Digi-Capital director Tim Merel said that the largest share of the total investment amount went into mobile-commerce businesses, followed by travel and transport platforms, and utilities.

"The big money went into m-commerce ($4.2 billion), travel/transport ($3.3 billion), utilities ($1.8 billion), and games ($1.1 billion), with 10 other mobile internet sectors raising over half a billion dollars each (food and drink, enterprise/B2B, social, tech, advertising/marketing, messaging, medical, photo and video, music, and finance)," said Merel.

Mobile internet investment - 19.2B invested (1)
Image: Digi-Capital

While the amount being invested in mobile internet businesses rose, so did the potential for returns, which proved to be strong during the period.

"Institutional investors have seen their faith in mobile internet justified, with the Digi-Capital Mobile Internet Index of 78 public companies in and around mobile internet giving a 28 percent return in the last 12 months," said Merel.

The report showed that there were strong returns across the study's 15 individual mobile internet sector indices, with travel/transport recording a 78 percent return, social networking with 45 percent, navigation at 43 percent, and messaging with 40 percent.

According to the research, global mobile internet revenue is expected to grow to $700 billion by 2017, primarily driven by m-commerce and app-as-a-service platforms, with ripening market opportunities in several sector categories, including wearables, education, and navigation.

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