The $100 Million Club

Money - dollars

How rare is it to land a $100 million round of venture funding? Well, Twitter just became the first U.S. based digital media company in the last year-and-a-half to do so, according to the National Venture Capital Association. That’s not to say that no other companies have raised nine-digit sums over that time period, but they typically are either solar or telecom companies that need lots of cash to build up their infrastructure. Here are the companies on that list from the last year, courtesy of data both from Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) VentureSource and the NVCA:

* Solar Power Partners, $100 million second round to develop solar energy facilities
* Pocket Communications, $100 million first round to build out a mobile network in five Northeast cities
* Open Range Communications, $100 million late stage round to launch high-speed broadband internet and voice services for 6 million people living in 546 rural communities
* Small Bone Innovations, $108 million later stage round used to purchase another orthopedics firm and launch a treatment option for ankle arthritis
* HomeAway, $250 million later stage round for vacation rentals online marketplace
* Solyndra, $219 million and $198 million later stage rounds used in part to build a 500-megawatt cylindrical solar module production facility
* Clovis Oncology, $146 million first round to purchase anti-cancer compounds

As for Twitter’s social-networking peers, Facebook never raised $100 million in a round, (Of course, it has received nine-digit strategic investments from both Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and more recently Digital Sky Technologies.) Neither did MySpace. And like Twitter, LinkedIn raised money at a $1 billion valuation, but its most recent round was for $53 million.

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