Tech finance 2014: Big IPOs, big valuations, big acquistions

Tech finance 2014: Big IPOs, big valuations, big acquistions
Alibaba head Jack Ma celebrated a big payday on Sept. 18 when shares of his company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

2014 was a big year in tech finance, headlined with multibillion-dollar acquisitions, valuations and mega IPOs, including Alibaba, the biggest initial public offering in U.S. history.

The highlights:


In January …

Dropbox received a new private investment round that valued the cloud storage company at $10 billion.

In March …

Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus VR for almost $2 billion. Oculus was cofounded by home-schooled Palmer Luckey in his parents' Long Beach garage. Original funding came from Kickstarter.

An AirBnB investment round pegged total company value at more than $10 billion, which seems to be a popular sum.

Food ordering service GrubHub, cloud computing company Arista and health technology firm Castlight Health went public.

In June …

Action camera manufacturer GoPro went public.

In August …

Amazon bought video streaming platform Twitch for $970 million.

Snapchat, the Venice-based disappearing message app-maker, reached a $10-billion valuation based on a new investment round.

In September …

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba scored the biggest U.S. IPO ever. The market valued the company at $220 billion, with $22 billion of that amount landing on the company's balance sheet.

PayPal was spun off from Ebay.


In October …

Facebook closed a $21.8-billion deal for WhatsApp.

In December …

Google bought 12 acres in Playa Vista, vastly expanding its Los Angeles presence.

In a jaw-dropping investment round, ride-hailing company Uber was valued at $40 billion.

Lending Club went public in the biggest IPO by a California company in 2014 with a valuation of $8.5 billion.

Investors value Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi at $46 billion.