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.
Farmers Business Network (FBN) is a farmer-to-farmer network launched in 2014 as an information source and for sharing of agronomic precision data. It now has thousands of farmer-members managing millions of acres of land across the world. FBN announced last week its $300 million Series G funding led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from LN Mittal Family Office, ADM Ventures Investment Corp., Colle Capital Partners, Walleye Capital, and Tudor Investment Corporation.
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KoBold Metals, a startup specializing in exploration for the minerals essential for EVs and green energy transition, has inked an agreement with BHP (ASX: BHP), the world’s largest mining company, to explore for metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper, starting in Western Australia.
CFS and MIT’s PSFC announced Wednesday their successful test of a powerful magnet constructed from high temperature superconductors (HTS); the magnet can later be used in a “tokamak,” a fusion machine that could be scientists’ Holy Grail because it produces more energy than it consumes.
Quantum Machines, a startup based in Israel, has developed a Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP) that allows users to implement computing via the revolutionary quantum processors. The platform makes it easier to build and operate quantum computers using the company’s standard universal language developed for the purpose. The company announced Monday its raise of $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Red Dot Capital Partners.
African fintech Wave, which aims to make Africa the first cashless continent, has raised $200 million from Sequoia Heritage, Founders Fund, pStripe and Ribbit Capital, who jointly led the company’s Series A round. The amount was a record for a Series A raising in Africa, and propelled Wave into the unicorn club with a valuation of $1.7 billion.
OLIO, the food sharing app which encourages community sustainability, announced its Series B raise of $43 million led by Swedish investment firm VNV Global and New York-based hedge fund Lugard Road Capital. Existing investors Accel, Octopus Ventures, Rubio, tech entrepreneur Jason Stockwood, and politician and media businessman Lord Waheed Alli also participated.
Volvo Group Venture Capital AB has announced its investment in Foretellix Ltd, a platform provider automating the testing, verification and validation for automated driving systems. Israel-based Foretellix simultaneously announced the close of its $32 million Series B funding round led by MoreTech Ventures, with participation from several strategic investors, including Volvo Group Venture Capital, Nationwide, NI and Japan-Israel High Tech Ventures.
Razorpay, the Indian payments fintech founded in 2014 by Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur, is looking to raise $200-250 million from global investors at a valuation of around $4 billion, two people familiar with the development told Mint.
HomeLight, a real estate technology platform that makes it easy to buy or sell a home by partnering with the right agent, raised a $100 million Series D capital round and $263 million in debt financing. The equity round valued the proptech at $1.6 billion, was led by existing investor Zeev Ventures and included participation from Group 11, Stereo Capital, Menlo Ventures and Lydia Jett of the SoftBank Vision Fund.
Data and AI company Databricks announced Tuesday (August 31, 2021) its Series H raise of $1.6 billion in a round led by led by new investor Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley). Databricks previously raised $1 billion in February at a valuation of $28 billion.
In a move aimed to decarbonize the UK’s energy networks, Ofgem, the country’s energy system regulator, and Innovate UK are inviting applications for a £450 million (US$620 million) energy innovation fund in the areas of heating, transport, digitalization, and system integration.
Secretive but high profile battery technology startup Form Energy has collected a $240 million Series D funding round that included Breakthrough Energy Ventures as an investor. Breakthrough is backed by investors such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Form Energy’s first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of storing electricity for 100 hours.
Dawn Aerospace is developing suborbital and orbital planes powered by rocket engines that take off and land, horizontally, from conventional airfields. The startup announced today the completion of five successful flights of its Mk-II Aurora suborbital spaceplane from the Glentanner Aerodrome in New Zealand’s South Island.
AgNext has developed an integrated platform that can undertake objective portable quality assessments, analysing food in 30 secs, instant and on-Edge. Agnext, a deep-tech, Indian agtech startup has raised $21 million to advance its solutions for food quality assessment, monitoring, and management. It was the largest ever Series A round for an Indian agtech and…
DriveWealth last week raised $450 million in a Series D round co-led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital investors Insight Partners and Accel, with significant participation by Greyhound Capital, Softbank Vision Fund, and Series C lead Point72 Ventures. New investors including Base 10, FTX, and FlightDeck also participated. The round valued the fintech at a sizable $2.85 billion.
Saskatchewan, Canada-based Conexus Venture Capital Inc. (CVC) has raised $45 million for its Emmertch Venture Capital Fund, which will focus on early-stage entrepreneurs in Canadian agtech, food-tech, and agribusiness sectors.
Opay, a mobile payments platform and POS device maker based in Africa, raised $400 million in a round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 with participation by Sequoia Capital China and Redpoint China. Opay became a unicorn after the funding, the fastest startup in Africa to do so, after snagging a valuation of $2 billion.
FinTech Collective, a New York-based venture capital firm founded in 2012, announced its raise of $250 million for investing in financial services startups focused on traditional fintech and DeFi. Of this $200 million would be directed towards investments in early-stage fintechs, and $50 million in DeFi applications.
Nexamp, which offers solar and energy storage solutions for a decarbonized future, has raised a $240 million equity investment led by Generate Capital. In March, closed on a $440 million senior secured credit facility for a 380-megawatt portfolio of solar and energy storage assets, the largest debt financing of its kind. The $680 million fundraising will enhance Nexamp’s ability to offer a range of decarbonization options.
Apeel Sciences, which applies an edible, plant-based coating to fresh produce to extend its life, announced today its Series E raise of $250 million led by returning investor Temasek. “Since 2019, Apeel has prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail, which has helped avoid 10,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve nearly 4.7 billion liters of water,” the company claimed in a statement.
Plaid has announced today an extension of its April $425 million Series D round that was led by Altimeter Capital with participation from new investors, Silver Lake and Ribbit Capital. The expanded round now includes funding from J.P. Morgan Private Capital Growth Equity Partners and existing investor Amex Ventures.
Ecommerce platform Nuvemshop, which is said to be the Latin American version of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), announced today its $500 million Series E funding co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global Management, with significant participation from Alkeon and Owl Rock. Other investors that joined the round included Sunley House Capital and VMG Partners, as well as existing investors Accel, Kaszek, Kevin Efrusy, Qualcomm Ventures LLC, and ThornTree Capital.
Austrian cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda announced today (August 17, 2021) its raise of $263 million in a Series C round led by Valar Ventures, with the participation of Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, as well as existing investors LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital. Valar Ventures is the venture capital firm co-founded by U.S. tech billionaire Peter Thiel. The round valued Bitpanda at $4.1 billion, up from $1.2 billion in March, when the startup raised $170 million.
Craft Ventures, an early-stage VC firm of “founders backing founders,” closed earlier this month two funds for a combined $1.12 billion fundraising – Craft Ventures III ($612 million) and Craft Ventures Growth I ($510 million). The new growth fund will round off the firm’s investment strategies, covering startups in both early and growth stages.