Venture capital funding for mobile crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time in both the third and fourth quarters of last year, according to CB Insight’s 2013 Venture Capital Annual Report.
That trend will almost certainly accelerate in 2014, said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights.
“Mobile is what venture capitalists view as next frontier. That should probably continue unabated and only get hotter going forward,” Sanwal said.
All told, VC deal activity for mobile and telecom start-ups increased from 13 percent of all deals in 2012 to 16 percent in 2013.
Most of these were with companies in San Francisco and New York, with 115 deals in the Bay Area and 62 in New York, according to the report. And the mobile company that took home the most money was Uber with its $285 million Series C funding round.
But even though mobile start-ups saw an increase in capital, Internet companies still took the top spot for funding with $11.8 billion pouring into their coffers.
In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2013 funding for Internet companies hit an eight-quarter high, with $3.25 billion being invested.
For companies in all sectors last year, there was $29.2 billion raised and 3,354 deals, according to the report.
During the third quarter alone, there was 857 venture deals completed, which is more than any quarter since the days of the dot-com boom.
In the fourth quarter the number of deals dropped slightly to 849 deals, but funding jumped to almost $8 billion from $7.2 billion in the previous quarter.
While total funding doesn’t really compare to the funding amounts that were raised in the dot-com era, the number of deals, especially those for seed stage companies, still points to some bubble-like behavior
“There has definitely been excess enthusiasm at the seed stage level that has been going on for awhile,” Sanwal said.
There are also more micro-venture capitalists—which are smaller firms with less than $75 million under management—making more deals at the seed level. In addition, bigger firms are also making more investments in seed stage companies, but giving them only $1 million or so to prove what they can do before they up their ante.
Bigger rounds of funding are coming from the larger firms, but only going to the hot, well-known tech companies like Pinterest, Dropbox and Snapchat, Sanwal said.