Venture Capitals / Blockchain / Service Titan / Robotics / Europe
Weekly VC Overview
ServiceTitan, the world’s leading provider of software for the trades, today announced a $500 million round at an $8.3 billion valuation. The round was led by Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital Global Equities with participation from H.I.G. Growth Partners. ServiceTitan also announced that it has surpassed $250 million in annual recurring revenue, having grown more than 50% over the past twelve months. The company serves more than 7,500 contracting businesses that collectively employ more than 100,000 technicians and perform more than $20 billion worth of annual transactions across various home and commercial service verticals, including plumbing, air conditioning, electrical, and more.
Chipotle participated in a $500M Series C round for autonomous delivery startup Nuro. T. Rowe Price Associates led the round, which reportedly doubled Nuro’s valuation to $5B from its SoftBank-led round in late 2019. Nuro uses robotics in its Prius fleet of on-road, driverless autonomous vehicles. The fleet piloted grocery and prescription deliveries in Houston through CVS, Kroger, and Walmart. Nuro recently received California’s first permit for deploying commercial self-driving vehicles in the state.
U.S. startups overall raised a record $143 billion in 2020, up 12 percent over the previous year, but funding to venture-backed companies founded solely by female entrepreneurs dropped 22 percent during the pandemic year, Crunchbase data shows. That drop in funding to sole female founders was particularly pronounced in the later-stage rounds, with seed and earlier stage funding amounts down just slightly year over year.
HiDef Inc., a San Diego video game startup founded by entertainment industry veterans including former NBA champion Rick Fox, said Wednesday that it has raised $7.5 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding. HiDef will use the money to ramp up development of its first flagship game, which is still in stealth mode, said Co-founder and Chief Executive Anthony Castoro. He declined to discuss further details.
–Viz.ai last week announced that it has raised $71 million in Series C funding, led by Scale Venture Partners and Insight Partners with participation from Greenoaks, Kleiner Perkins, Threshold Ventures, CRV, Innovation Endeavors and Susa Ventures. Viz.ai aims to accelerate expansion of its Intelligent Care Coordination A.I. platform beyond stroke to other areas of acute care such as cardiology, pulmonary and trauma, and into new global markets. This round brings the company’s total funding to over $150 million since inception.
Sequoia Capital India’s Surge accelerator announced on Thursday (March 25) that it has closed its second round of seed funding at $195 million, aimed at supporting startups across India and Southeast Asia. In the past two years, Surge, which has previously announced a partnership with Facebook, has grown to 69 startups in more than 15 sectors, representing 164 founders from 17 different nationalities. Of those startups:
- One-third are building SaaS products, primarily for global markets
- 25 percent are building consumer internet startups
- 13 percent are building consumer brands
- 12 percent are in the B2B arena
BBG Ventures, an eight-year-old, New York-based seed- and early-stage venture firm that only backs founding teams which feature at least one woman, just locked down $50 million in capital for its third fund, a major leap over its first two funds, both sized at $10 million. “We’re looking at writing $500,000 to $1 million checks. We look for 7.5% to 10% ownership, and we’re open to co-leading, but we prefer to lead. We’ve been leading rounds already with this fund. We’ll likely do about 30 companies from the fund, backing a mix of pre-seed and seed-stage startups, with reserves for follow-on funding,’ tells Nisha Dua, Co-founder of BBGV.
Silicon Valley-based startup Nuro, which is building compact autonomous delivery vehicles that can carry groceries, restaurant meals or parcels, announced new investors in its latest $30 million Series C financing round.
Robotics safety system developer Fort Robotics last week announced a $13 million raise. Led by Prime Movers Lab, the round also features Prologis Ventures, Quiet Capital, Lemnos Labs, Creative Ventures, Ahoy Capital, Compound, FundersClub and Mark Cuban. This Philadelphia-based company is focused more on safety software, for collaborative robotics and other autonomous systems. Among the other issues being tackled by the company is cybersecurity vulnerability among these sots of workplace robotics. Other issues targeted here include broader system failure and potential human error.
CNBC reports that the Robotic automation company UiPath files to go public — revenue grew 81% last year, according to documents filed with the SEC. The company brought in $607.6 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 — an 81% jump from last year, according to the filing. The company also became cash-flow positive in 2020, as net losses fell from $519.9 million in 2020 to $92.3 million in 2021.
Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 63- June 26) – HYE TECH MINDS
- Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 63- June 26)
- Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 57- April 16)
- Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 56- April 9)
- Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 55- March 12)
- Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 54- March 5)
List of 50 VCs Investing in AI and Deep Tech
Blockchain innovators are riding the tailwinds of a global crypto-industry that’s reached $1.4 trillion. Whether you’re following the traditional credit card giants …Or the first wave of the payments services innovators …And the backend picks and shovel virtuosos who bring the lucrative world of crypto mining, wallets, banking and exchanges all together under one understandable umbrella …The money is in the blockchain. Mentioned in this commentary includes: Tesla, Inc. , Microsoft Corporation, Visa Inc. , Overstock.com, Inc. , BlackBerry Limited.
As Coinbase is about to go public in the U.S., another cryptocurrency company is having a blockbuster first quarter of 2021. Blockchain.com, the company behind a popular cryptocurrency wallet, an exchange, a block explorer and more has raised a $300 million Series C round.
Chainalysis Inc., a blockchain research, risk-management and analysis firm, raised $100 million from investors led by Paradigm, co-founded by Coinbase‘s Fred Ehrsam. The new investment values Chainalysis at more than $2 billion and comes just months after a previous $100 million investment in November, according to a statement Friday. Other backers include Addition, Ribbit and Time Ventures, the investment fund of billionaire Marc Benioff, Chainalysis said.
Startups in Europe
Berlin-based on-demand delivery startup Gorillas has raised $290M (€244M). According to the company, this round makes it the fastest unicorn in Europe to surpass a $1B valuation. The round was led by repeat investor Coatue Management, DST Global, Tencent. Greenoaks, Fifth Wall, Dragoneer, along with previous investor Atlantic Food Labs also participated in this round.
This Friday at its annual Digital Day, the European Commission will be launching a “legislative instrument” called the EU Startup Nations Standard (SNS). Now, before you think I’m about to bore you to death, you might like to know that the SNS is a huge political initiative. It will aim to make the European Union the most attractive place to create a startup, in comparison with obvious global leaders like the U.S. Therefore, its significance is not to be underestimated.
Dutch cleantech startup Sympower raises €5.2 million to boost the European energy transition.
In 2021, a new phenomenon hit Europe’s startup ecosystem: Clubhouse. Since January, from angel investors offering startup advice and women tech workers finding a space to support one another, to VCs bragging about their portfolios and founders shamelessly promoting their businesses, being on Clubhouse is variously helpful, entertaining — and annoying.
New Zealand-based startup, Imagr announced last week that it is expanding its cashierless checkout services into Europe and opening an office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands next month. Imagr is part of a rising cohort of cashierless checkout startups that create more automated retail experiences for shoppers. Imagr’s particular solution uses smart baskets and shopping carts equipped with cameras to recognize items placed inside. The carts tally up everything the shopper keeps and charges the user automatically in conjunction with the Imagr mobile phone app.
Polish startup Tylko, a modular furniture company that employs augmented reality as part of its sales cycle, has closed a €22 million ($26 million) investment Series C funding round, led by Israel-based Pitango Growth and Finnish Evli Growth Partners, following previous investors TDJ Pitango and Experior Venture Fund. Additionally, Brian Walker, former CEO of Hermann Miller, and Mark Williamson, COO of U.S.-based MasterClass, join as new investors. Tylko has now raised a total of €33 million since its inception in 2015.
Indian-Asian Startup Ecosystem
Google’s latest investment in India is a startup that is helping businesses come online. One-year-old DotPe, a Gurgaon-based startup, said on Friday it has raised $27.5 million in its Series A financing round. The round was led by PayU, with participation from existing investor Info Edge Ventures and Google. The young startup, now valued at about $90 million, helps brick and mortar stores sell to customers online and collect payments digitally.
Bengaluru and Los Angeles-based Pixxel has lapped up $7.3 million (₹52.8 crore) in a seed funding round from Techstars, Omnivore VC and others. The space data startup, which is one of India’s most hyped spacetech companies, also announced the launch of a new product – hyperspectral imaging, which basically refers to capturing and processing images at various wavelengths. The company said that it plans to launch ‘world’s highest resolution hyperspectral satellite constellation’.
China’s Hottest Grocery Startup, Worth $8 Billion, Wants to Build an Online Version of Costco. The founder of one of China’s hottest startups Yue Lihua grew up in a poor village, located in a remote corner of rural China. He was one of seven brothers and sisters whose parents ran a modest grocery at a time when private enterprise was just emerging in the communist country. The nearest big town was 25 miles away via muddy roads, a trip he didn’t take until he was 18. As a young man, Yue seemed destined to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
M Capital Management, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, announced today it has closed its debut fund, M Venture Partners (MVP), totaling $30.85 million USD. It plans to invest in 40 early-stage startups, primarily seed and pre-Series A, with an average initial check size of about $500,000.
Southeast Asian technology startups defied the pandemic and attracted a similar level of investments in 2020 as the year before, outperforming most other emerging markets. The region’s tech upstarts raised $8.2 billion, down 3.5% from 2019, research from Cento Ventures showed. That compares with a 31% drop in India and 38% in Africa, according to the Singapore-based venture-capital firm. The region of about 650 million people is moving online fast, with countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam embracing e-commerce, fintech and transportation apps. Still, Southeast Asia trailed the U.S. and the European Union, whose tech startups drew record investments last year and grew 13% and 15%, respectively, Cento said. Startups in China attracted 6% more funding than the year before. Read more about this on Bloomberg
Startups in Israel
Obligo, a leading security deposit alternative that builds trust between landlords and renters through financial technology, has been recognized as the Most Promising Israeli-Founded Fintech Startup in Lending and Financing for 2021, in an event hosted by Citi, Visa and Israel Discount Bank. The awards were selected by 30 financial entities and venture capital funds operating in Israel. The award recognized fintech companies expected to have the largest impact in their respective sectors in 2021. Seven winners were selected from a field of over 750 startups operating in the global fintech industry.
680 Cybersecurity, privacy and security startups in Israel have raised $1.9 billion in three months this year, on pace to reach $7.6 billion or more in 2021, over four times more than was raised throughout 2010 ($1.7 billion), according to a Crunchbase Pro query.
Israeli cybersecurity company Orca Security, which develops cloud-security solutions, announced on Tuesday that it has raised a $210 million series C at a $1.2 billion valuation. The round was led by Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG and Redpoint Ventures. Existing investors GGV Capital, ICONIQ Growth, and Silicon Valley CISO Investment, which is made up of 50 angel investors from the cybersecurity sector, also participated in the round. The round also included a small secondary sale of shares.
In the spirit of the Abraham Accords, a recently signed partnership between two Israeli and Emirati entities aims to bring greentech innovation to the Gulf region and to Israel. The deal between Gulf-Israel Green Ventures (GIGV) and the UAE’s United Stars Group aims to expand people-to-people, business and economic cooperation through the exchange of green technologies – solutions that promote sustainability by mitigating the negative environmental impacts of development. These include reducing the use and depletion of resources through water recycling, energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy.
Israel is seeking to build its first quantum computer, joining a global race for one of the world’s most important emerging technologies. The Ministry of Defense and Innovation Authority are taking bids from multinational companies, Israeli businesses and universities for a 198 million-shekel ($60 million) project to build a computer with 30 to 40 qubits, according to Aviv Zeevi, vice president at the Authority’s Technological Infrastructure Division. He expects the winner of the tender to begin work before the end of the year.
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