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Venture Capital

It’s been 50 years since Venrock established itself to expose investors to venture capital opportunities. Today, the global venture capital industry tracks just south of $200 billion and continues to grow as new entrepreneurs, engineers, financiers, and thought leaders create the economy of tomorrow. The DailyAlts VC channel tracks the trends, opportunities, key thought leaders, and next-generation industries that will generate billions in returns.

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Venture Capital/ESG: Twelve Raises $130M For World’s First Carbon Transformation Platform

June 30, 2022

Twelve has raised a $130 million Series B round to scale up its carbon transformation technology that converts captured CO2 into products traditionally made from fossil fuels. The firm’s technology has already been demonstrated successfully in the commercial production of a line of CO2Made sunglasses with sustainable fashion brand PANGAIA and carbon-neutral sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), E-Jet.

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Artificial Intelligence: Merck Launches Biotech Accelerator Focused On AI/ML Startups

June 30, 2022

Pharma giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) has launched the Merck Digital Sciences Studio (MDSS), a biotech accelerator that will back AI and ML-focused startups developing innovative technologies for drug discovery and development. The 10-month program has been designed in collaboration with the New Jersey Innovation Institute.

Venture Capital: Entrepreneur First Raises $158M From Crème de la Crème Of Tech, Including Stripe Founders

June 29, 2022

Entrepreneur First, the UK-based VC firm run like a startup, has raised a $158 million Series C round at a valuation of $560 million. Known for its unorthodox (but highly successful) approach to selecting founders to back, Entrepreneur First’s portfolio covering over 500 companies has already generated over $10 billion in value.

Venture Capital/ESG: Truist To Fund $120M For Black, Latinx And Women-Owned Businesses

June 28, 2022

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) alongwith Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund, announced $120 million in assistance for small businesses, with a focus on Black, Latinx and women-owned businesses. Bill Rogers, Truist chairman and CEO, made the announcement at Truist’s Innovation and Technology Center in Charlotte, NC. He was joined by Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation, and Alethia Mendez, division president for Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs at Grameen America.

Venture Capital: Fossil-Free Hydrogen Systems Company Electric Hydrogen Lands $198M

June 27, 2022

Electric Hydrogen is developing electrolyser technology for the production of hydrogen to ultimately replace fossil fuels at global heavy industry which accounts for 30% of global emissions. The startup, which is led by a team with experience at innovative clean energy companies like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), announced a $198 million financing comprising Series B equity and venture debt.

Venture Capital/ESG: Brookfield Raises Mammoth $15B Fund Focused On The Climate Transition To Net Zero

June 24, 2022

Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) announced the final close of its $15 billion Brookfield Global Transition Fund, receiving investments from institutions and private wealth channels including public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, financial institutions, and family offices. The fund saw solid demand significantly beyond its initial hard cap and the final fund size was oversubscribed. Brookfield itself is the largest investor in the Fund.

Artificial Intelligence: GM Buys Stake In UVeye For Its AI Vehicle Inspection Systems

June 24, 2022

In a move to incorporate AI into the somewhat tedious and error-prone manual vehicle inspections, GM (NYSE: GM) has taken a stake in UVeye, an Israeli startup creating vehicle inspection systems that incorporate proprietary algorithms, cloud architecture, artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor-fusion technologies.

Venture Capital/Digital: Despite Crypto Meltdown, Institutional Platform FalconX Doubles Valuation

June 23, 2022

Crypto prime brokerage FalconX announced a $150 million Series D round that put the firm’s value at $8 billion, more than twice what it was in August 2021 during Series C, and bringing up aggregate funding to over $430 million. The already profitable company plans to add 55 employees in the coming months, seemingly flying in the face of an industry trend that has recently seen layoffs at many major crypto players following a meltdown in digital asset prices.

Venture Capital: Nuclear Fusion Startup Zap Energy Achieves First Plasmas; Nabs $160M

June 23, 2022

Zap Energy , a Seattle-based startup aiming to achieve commercially viable nuclear fusion and fusion generated energy through a quicker and dramatically lower capital intensive approach, has raised a $160 million Series C round led by Lowercarbon Capital. New investors coming aboard included Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Shell Ventures, DCVC and Valor Equity Partners. Existing investors Addition, Energy Impact Partners and Chevron Technology Ventures also participated.

Venture Capital: Recent Fundraises By Venture Firms, Including Accel

June 22, 2022

This week, three interesting, and high value new fund raisings by venture capitalists. Of note is the new $4 billion global late-stage “leaders fund” from Accel.

Venture Capital: Sustainable Lettuce Grower Little Leaf Farms Scores $300M Round

June 21, 2022

Little Leaf Farms, which makes available lettuce that is locally and sustainably grown in a controlled environment, announced last week its raise of $300 million comprising both equity and debt. While TPG’s The Rise Fund led the equity round, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) provided the debt funding.

FinTech: Brex Dumps Thousands Of Small Business Customers In Rejig

June 21, 2022

Brex will now focus on venture-backed technology startups and larger companies. Brex, the Silicon Valley-based lender to small and medium sized businesses and startups, has announced a shift in its business priorities. It will now focus only on venture-backed technology startups and larger companies. Announced last week, the change puts tens of thousands of small…

DataStax Lands $115M For Multi-Cloud Database

June 17, 2022

DataStax announced a $115 million funding led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with participation from RCM Private Markets fund advised by Rokos Capital Management (US) LP, Singapore-based global investor, EDB Investments Pte. Ltd. and DataStax’s existing investors including Crosslink Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, OnePrime Capital and other current investors. The company will use the money to further develop and expand its ‘Astra DB’ multi-cloud database and its ‘Astra Streaming’ streaming service.

Venture Capital: The New, £3m ‘Black Founders Fund’ From Google For Startups Will Back 40 European Entrepreneurs

June 16, 2022

Between 2009 and 2019, a mere 0.24% of VC funding went to Black founders in the UK. Last year, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) backed 30 Black-led startups with a £1.5m Black Founders Fund. These firms have already achieved an additional £65m in follow-on funding. Encouraged, Google has doubled this year’s fund to £3 million.

Venture Capital: Travertine Raises $3M To Remove Carbon Dioxide While Producing Sulphuric Acid

June 15, 2022

Travertine Technologies, a spin-off resulting from University of California research, has raised a seed round of $3 million to commercialize its process that captures and permanently sequesters ambient carbon dioxide while producing sulphuric acid. The round was led by jointly led by Grantham Environmental Trust and Clean Energy Ventures. The funds will allow Travertine to advance towards its objective for a pilot scale implementation of its process.

Venture Capital: Sequoia Raises $2.85B Venture Fund For India, SouthEast Asia

June 14, 2022

Sequoia (India & Southeast Asia) announced today the raise of $2.85 billion comprising $850 million for the firm’s first dedicated fund for the SEA region, and the rest for Indian venture and growth funds. The VC firm launched in India back in 2006 and has invested $6 billion in more than 400 firms across India and SEA.

Venture Capital: Indian Startup SolarSquare Raises $4M Including From Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital

June 13, 2022

SolarSquare, a startup based in Mumbai, India, that aims to make clean energy affordable and accessible to homes across India, has raised a $4 million funding round led by Good Capital, with participation from US-based Lowercarbon Capital, Singapore-based Symphony Asia, and Nithin Kamath’s Rainmatter.

Venture Capital: Brown Foods, Maker Of Alternative Milk From Cell Culture, Nabs $2.36M Seed Round

June 10, 2022

Alternative milk creator Brown Foods, which recently graduated from startup accelerator Y Combinator, has raised a $2.36 million seed round backed by AgFunder, SRI Capital, Amino Capital, Collaborative Fund, a group of individual angel investors, and Y Combinator itself.

Artificial Intelligence: Shield AI, The Defense Tech Company Creating AI Pilots, Lands $165M

June 10, 2022

Shield AI is a defense-tech company that is developing autonomous software to enable collaborative teams of unmanned aircraft to operate in GPS- and RF-denied environments. The startup announced Thursday its S165 million Series E fundraising that achieved a valuation of $2.3 billion.

Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz Is Lead Investor In SCiFi Foods Series A

June 9, 2022

SCiFi Foods, a food tech startup is creating beef using both plant-based and real cultivated beef cells, has raised a $22 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The company was founded in 2019 by Joshua March, CEO, and Kasia Gora, CTO

Venture Capital: Insurtech Branch Lands $147M, Joins Unicorn Club

June 8, 2022

Home and auto insurance provider Branch uses data and technology to make its products better and more affordable for all. The insurtech announced today its $147 million Series C funding led by Watherford Capital with participation by new and existing investors including Acrew, AmFam Ventures, Anthemis, Gaingels, Greycroft, HSCM Ventures, Narya, SignalFire, and Tower IV.

Venture Capital: Ecuadorian Payments Platform Kushki Raises $100M In Extended Round, Turns Unicorn

June 7, 2022

Kushki, the Ecuadorian platform facilitating digital payments for LatAm businesses, announced it had raised $100 million in an extended Series B round at a valuation of $1.5 billion. New and existing investors including Kaszek Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, SoftBank Latin America Fund and DILA Capital among others participated in the round.

Venture Capital: AI And Robotics Powered, “Weeding As A Service” Provider FarmWise Nabs $45M

June 6, 2022

FarmWise, a startup founded in 2016 by Sebastien Boyer and Thomas Palomares using technology they worked on while working in MIT and Stanford Computer, makes a machine that kills weeds without using chemicals. The company raised a $45m Series B funding round, led by AgTech venture firms Fall Line Capital and Middleland Capital, with participation from GV and Taylor Farms. Existing investors Calibrate Ventures, Playground Global, SVG Ventures and the venture arm of Wilbur Ellis also participated.

Venture Capital: Upskilling Platform Guild Lands $175M Series F At A Valuation Of $4.4B

June 3, 2022

Upskilling platform Guild Education observes that 63% of workers quit their jobs and seek new employment citing a lack of opportunity for advancement; further, about 76% feel they are unequipped with the skills needed for success in the future of work. Successful employers recognize these difficulties and connect with Guild to bridge the gaps. Guild announced a $175 million Series F fundraising round that will expand its role as a Career Opportunity Platform and help America’s workforce gravitate towards dynamic, in-demand sectors.

Digital Assets: Gemini, The Crypto Exchange Founded By The Winklevoss Twins, Lays Off 10% Of Staff

June 2, 2022

Gemini blamed the crypto winter as well as the macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil for the decision. In a note to employees this morning, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, CEO and President, Gemini, communicated their “difficult but necessary decision to part ways with approximately 10% of our workforce.” Gemini will close all of its physical offices today…