There’s a reason so many startups bill themselves as “the Uber for” this or that. The on-demand ride-sharing service helped popularize the concept of getting anything—car, laundry, valet, marijuana, you name it—at any time.
From 2010 to the first quarter of 2015, investors have collectively poured $9.4 billion into the on-demand economy, according to data from CB Insights. Uber accounted for 58% of the $4.12 billion in venture funding that on-demand startups raised in 2014.
A sector that’s heating up, some on-demand startups are raising money at an increasingly fast clip. CB Insights identified a dozen startups—Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Instacart, to name a few—that have raised three rounds of funding within a year and a half. Uber—which is reportedly seeking another round of investment that would value the company at $50 billion—has raised by far the most to date at $5.51 billion, followed by the rival ride-sharing service Lyft at $862.5 million, and Airbnb at $794.8 million.
There’s plenty of enthusiasm on investors’ part. Five years ago, only 20 investors had made deals in on-demand mobile services. Today, close to 200 have.