Top 10 Early-Stage Venture Capital Deals of 2014

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1. #1 Sunnova

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2. #2 Privlo

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3. #3 Juno Therapeutics

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4. #4 Qualtrics

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5. #5 Moderna Therapeutics

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6. #6 Juno Therapeutics

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7. #7 Flatiron Health

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8. #8 SHINE Medical Technologies

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9. #9 Harry’s

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10. #10 Butterfly Network, Inc.

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Data & Featured Lists Editor

It’s common for the largest deals to come from bold-faced names, as we saw with UberAirbnb, Dropbox and others who expanded in 2014. However, last year's most interesting developments came from some of the youngest companies. Tracking deal activity at these smaller firms can act as a window into which sectors are poised to grow and how both the funding cycle and startup path is transforming.

Little-known companies are raising larger rounds earlier, thanks to buzz over tech IPOs, market optimism and hedge funds willing to give them a chance, says Adley Bowden, senior director of analysis at PitchBook, a Seattle-based data provider on the private markets. 2014 saw a whopping 157 early-stage financings besting the $25 million mark, well above any tallies in the past fifteen years, blurring the lines between funding rounds, according to PitchBook. 

Juno Therapeutics, founded in 2013, signifies this VC trend. Last year, the Seattle-based developer of cancer treatments raised more than $300 million in early-stage funding from backers like Bezos Expeditions and the State of Alaska’s direct investment fund. It later pulled off one of the largest biotech IPOs of 2014.

Juno took the top third and fifth spots in PitchBook’s list of top 10 early-stage VC deals. Check out the rest and learn who's catching both VC attention and dollars while remembering the world outside the typical Silicon Valley startup.

Related: VC 100: The Top Venture Capital Firms Investing in Early-Stage Startups

Sunnova, a Houston-based provider of solar power services to homeowners was founded in 2010 and provides solar system installation, insurance, monitoring and maintenance services.

Deal book details:
Deal size: $505,000,000
Deal date: 11/21/2014
Lead investors: Franklin Square Capital Partners, Triangle Peak Partners
Industry sector: Energy and CleanTech
Employees: 35

Privlo is headquartered in Pasedena, Calif and provides an online marketplace for private mortgage loans. The company, founded in 2011, has developed a technology platform that leverages multiple sources of data to facilitate the matching process between borrowers and lenders and enabling credit decisions.

Deal book details:
Deal size: $353,820,000
Deal date: 7/30/2014
Lead investors: QED Investors, Spark Capital 
Industry sector: Financial Services, Consumer Finance
Employees: 28

Juno Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Seattle appears on this list twice, for deals in April and August. The company, founded in 2013, is developing a T-cell reprogramming technology designed to generate an anti-tumor response from the patient's own immune system. 
Deal book details:
Deal size: $176,000,000
Deal date: 4/24/2014
Lead investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Crestline Investors, Individual Investor, State of Alaska, Venrock, WRF Capital
Industry sector: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Employees: 70

*Juno Therapeutics went public on November 14, 2014 after raising $310 million in 2014 in three rounds that year.

Qualtrics, a 13-year-old company from Provo, Utah, provides enterprise data collection and analysis with software. Global organizations and research firms of all types and sizes use Qualtrics software to make strategic decisions based on its research intelligence.
Deal book details:
Deal Size: $150,000,000
Deal Date: 9/24/2014
Lead Investors: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Flagship Ventures 
Industry Sector: Information Technology, Software 
Employees: 535

Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based company founded in 2010, is developing a new treatment modality to enable the production of therapeutic proteins. The platform has applications for inherited genetic disorders, hemophilic & blood factors and oncology.
Deal book details:
Deal size: $135,000,000
Deal date: 8/5/2014
Lead investor(s): Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Flagship Ventures 
Industry sector: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Employees: 145

Juno Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Seattle appears on this list twice, for deals in April and August. It's focused on bringing forward novel immunotherapies for cancer. The company, founded in 2013, is developing a T-cell reprogramming technology designed to generate an anti-tumor response from the patient's own immune system.
Deal size: $134,000,000
Deal date: 8/5/2014
Lead investor(s): ARCH Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Fidelity Investments, State of Alaska, Venrock, Wuxi Pharmatech 
Industry sector: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Employees: 70

*Juno Therapeutics went public on November 14, 2014 after raising $310 million in 2014 in three rounds that year.

New York-based Flatiron was founded in 2012 and provides a cloud-based platform that aggregates and transforms clinical and financial data from electronic medical records and billing systems. The platform is designed to provide a comprehensive view of a patient's experience in the oncology office in real time. It has applications for medical providers as well as life science researchers.
Deal book details:
Deal size: $130,000,000
Deal date: 5/8/2014
Lead investor(s): First Round Capital, Google Ventures, Laboratory Corporation of America
Industry sector: Healthcare and Big Data
Employees: 25

Shine Medical Technologies, based in Monona, Iowa, develops medical tracers and cancer treatment elements. The company, founded in 2010, offers Molybdenum-99, a light-emitting element that is administered to patients for the purpose of diagnosing and staging cancer and heart diseases.
Deal book details:
Deal size: $125,000,000
Deal date: 10/14/2014
Lead investor(s): Deerfield Management 
Industry sector: Healthcare Devices and Supplies
Employees: 22
 

Harry’s was launched in 2013 with the help of a Warby Parker co-founder. This New York-based designer and manufacturer of shaving products sells mainly through Harrys.com, as well as through select specialty retailers in the U.S. and Canada. 
Deal book details: 
Deal size: $122,500,000
Deal date: 1/22/2014
Lead Investors: Highland Capital Partners, Lakestar, SV Angel, Thrive Capital, Tiger Global Management
Industry Sector: Consumer Products and Services
Employees: 50
Location: New York, NY

Butterfly Network is a Guilford, Connecticut device company that uses deep learning and cloud technology to create diagnostic equipment. The firm, founded in 2011, incorporates computer science, physics, and electrical engineering for transforming diagnostic and therapeutic imaging with devices.
Deal book details:
Deal size: $100,000,000
Deal date: 11/3/2014
Lead Investor(s): Aeris Capital, Stanford University 
Industry sector: Healthcare Devices and Supplies
Employees: 18

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