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.
Curio Wellness, a cGMP certified medical cannabis and wellness company, announced today the formation of a $30 million investment fund to provide start-up capital for upto 50 minority entrepreneurs.
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Conductor, the Brazilian startup that has become the leading payments & banking as a service (BaaS) platform in Latin America, announced Monday its raise of $150 million. The funding was led by Viking Global Investors , with additional participation from investors such as Sunley House Capital Management, an affiliate of Advent International.
Nestle USA, which is ultimately owned by Nestle SA (SWX: NESN), on Friday, signed and closed its acquisition of Freshly, a startup that provides healthy, freshly prepared, and chef-cooked meals that are heat-and-eat in three minutes or less. Freshly’s pioneering direct-to-consumer service is subscription-based in the range of $45.96 to $101.88 per week. Nestle will pay $ 950 million for the purchase, and potentially another $550 million depending upon Freshly’s growth in the future.
London-based Air Street Capital announced Friday its close of a $17 million fund to back early-stage “AI-native” startups. The venture firm positions itself too as an AI-native investor – because “generalism is dead” and its team of Operating Partners combines AI expertise with deep sector-specific knowledge.
Benson Hill, an agtech startup based in St. Louis, announced Thursday its close of a $150 million Series D round led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures). It uses biotechnology and data science to enhance the nutritional qualities and sustainability of crops.
CrowdProperty, a leading crowdfunder/lender to the U.K. SME property sector, has lent over £100 million to development professionals. The funding had a beneficial impact on the UK economy because it catalyzed an expenditure of over £ 80 million on construction-related labor, materials, and services. Notably, all of the funded projects have been fully repaid, with platform investors earning, on average, 8% per annum.
Leading mobile games and interactive entertainment company Scopely raised $340 million in a Series E round within a year of its previous $200 million funding. The company, which boasts of blockbuster games such as Star Trek Fleet Command, Marvel Strike Force, and WWE Champions, “seized the play,” garnering a whopper of a valuation of $3.3 billion. That valuation is twice what it was a year ago.
Ordermark announced Tuesday its successful close of a $120 million Series C investment round led by SoftBank’s Vision 2 Fund. Existing investor Act One Ventures also participated in the round.
Ordermark will use the new funds to expand its services to more restaurants looking to go online amidst the Covid 19 pandemic.
UBS Group (SWX: UBSG) announced Tuesday a strategy to increase its interaction with the fintech industry, particularly digital ventures. UBS Next, its new venture arm, will invest US$ 200 million in direct equity investments into early-stage fintechs and other tech companies.
RVshare is a marketplace that matches up trippers looking to hire an RV with owners wanting to earn something from their vehicle by letting it out. It announced Wednesday a fundraising of $100+ million led by KKR. Existing investor Tritium Partners also participated in the round.
Venture Capital: Yale Endowment’s Legendary Boss Swensen Moves To Change “Mostly White, Mostly Male”
David Swensen stands tall in the field of management of endowment funds at universities. He joined the Yale Investments Office at the age of 31. The fund was then worth $1 billion. Today, Swensen runs $31.2 billion for Yale, second only to Harvard’s corpus of $40 billion. On October 2, Swensen wrote to the investment management firms that handled Yale’s prodigious endowment fund.
T-Mobile Ventures is a venture capital fund floated by T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) to focus on early-to-mid stage startups using 5G technology for developing core technologies, products, and services around the areas of edge computing, future of work, security, and industrial IoT.
You could call it providential timing, but Kalanick’s CloudKitchens startup received a huge boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. With restaurants out of business, or temporarily shuttered, shelter in place diners had no choice but to order food for home delivery. Ghost kitchens, which let out space for cooking to food-for-delivery businesses, particularly in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, suddenly witnessed a surge in business.
Venture Capital: Apple Invites Applications From Black Founders and Developers For Its Entrepreneur Camp
In a notice on Monday, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) said applications were open from Black founders and developers for its Apple Entrepreneur Camp to be held online from February 16-25, 2021.
Former executives-turned-venture capitalists are doing rather well, thank you. Lee Fixel, previously of Tiger Global Management, has just wrapped up a $1.4 billion fund, close on the heels of his first fund which closed less than four months ago. (FT) That fund was a monumental success too and nabbed $1.3 billion in June for Addition, Fixel’s VC vehicle.
San Francisco-based Whisper, which launched in 2017, announced Thursday its Whisper Hearing System. The company simultaneously announced the successful close of its $ 35 million Series B which was led by Quiet Capital and received participation from Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, and IVP.
Plenty builds indoor vertical farms that create the optimum environment for food plants and reduce the vagaries from changing weather and climate conditions. The startup announced Wednesday its Series D raise of $140 million led by existing investor Softbank Vision Fund 1 and including new investor Driscoll’s, the world’s leader in fresh berries.
Razorpay, which enables businesses in India to accept, process, and disburse payments with its product suite, has achieved the hallowed unicorn status. The fintech raised $100 million in a Series D funding round led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Sequoia with participation from previous investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y-Combinator, and Matrix Partners.
SoftBank Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra said during the 2020 Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday that the Fund is planning a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). SPACs are the latest craze in the stock market, and 80 of them have raised more than $32 billion in the third quarter of 2020. That amount is up 4X from the second quarter. According to CNBC, the Vision Fund’s plans around its SPAC are likely to firm up in the next two weeks.
Ÿnsect is a start-up based in France that farms insects for use as feed for aquaculture and pets, as well as a fertilizer for crops. It is building the world’s largest insect farm in northern France where it will grow mealworms and produce proteins. It raised $ 224 million in its Series C round which culminated with a total of $ 372 million.
Digital lender Molo, which focuses on buy-to-let purchases or remortgages only, raised £ 266 million to cater to a sharp rise in mortgage applications since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
goPuff, the startup that brings the convenience store to your home, announced Thursday its latest funding round worth $ 350 million led by Accel and D1 Capital Partners. The round helped the everyday fulfillment company garner a valuation of $3.9 billion and included participation by Luxor Capital and previous investor SoftBank Vision Fund.
E.ON, the Germany-based, international, privately owned energy supplier, announced October 8 the launch of Future Energy Ventures, its venture capital arm. The fund will invest in energy focused startups employing digital technology or business models that could “redefine the energy landscape.
Salesforce Ventures, the global strategic investment arm of Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), announced Tuesday the launch of its second Impact Fund worth $ 100 Million. The fund will invest in cloud companies that have a positive social mission in education, climate action, diversity, equity, and inclusion, or support for nonprofits and foundations.