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