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Group messaging app IRL raises $170 mln, valued at $1.17 bln
  + stars: | 2021-06-15 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
June 15 (Reuters) - Group messaging app IRL, short for in real life, on Tuesday said it raised $170 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2 that valued the company at $1.17 billion. The San Francisco-based startup’s messaging platform works like WhatsApp to create private group chats but also allows for public groups to form, said IRL CEO Abraham Shafi. The funding will be used to expand the business internationally and put in place a trust and safety team to monitor public groups. Until that team is in place, Shafi said IRL will only make verified groups publicly discoverable. While there are many messaging apps, Shafi said apart from Chinese messaging app WeChat, owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd , none offered public group chat along with private messaging.
Persons: Abraham Shafi, Shafi, , Jane Lanhee Lee, Cynthia Osterman Organizations: SoftBank Group, Vision, IRL, Tencent Holdings Locations: San Francisco
FILE PHOTO: An Apt F retailer goes wholesale shopping on the Faire platform that connects small brands with small retailers in this picture taken in Austin, U.S., August 2019. Faire/Handout via REUTERS(Reuters) - Online wholesale marketplace Faire said on Thursday it raised $260 million in its latest funding round and is now valued at $7 billion, thanks to the fast growth in e-commerce following the pandemic. Faire helps small retailers connect with small brands, helping them to compete with retail giants like Amazon.com Inc or Walmart Inc, said Faire Chief Executive and co-founder Max Rhodes. Following its success in the U.S. market, Faire expanded into Europe three months ago and is seeing fast growth there, said Rhodes. “We’re still in the single-digit online penetration for the wholesale market,” said Sequoia partner Ravi Gupta.
Persons: Max Rhodes, , Rhodes, “ We’re, Ravi Gupta, Organizations: REUTERS, Reuters, Amazon.com Inc, Walmart Inc, Zealand, Sequoia Capital Locations: Austin , U.S, United States, U.S, Europe
Cybersecurity startup Brinqa raises $110 million from Insight Partners
  + stars: | 2021-06-08 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
Co-founder and president of cybersecurity startup Brinqa, Hilda Perez poses in a jacket with the company logo in this June 2021 handout photo released June 7, 2021. Brinqa/Handout via REUTERS/Files(Reuters) - Brinqa, a startup that helps businesses map out their cybersecurity applications and alert them of gaps, on Tuesday said it raised $110 million from private equity firm Insight Partners. He declined to share how much the company was valued at, adding only that Insight Partners received a minority stake. The company can then be alerted automatically of any security gaps and in some cases the Brinqa software can change setting on applications to close those gaps, he said. The shortage of cybersecurity talent makes software that can automate a large part of the security work increasingly important, say cybersecurity industry executives.
Persons: Hilda Perez, Amad Fida, Organizations: Insight Partners Locations: Handout, Austin , Texas
TRULIOO/Handout via REUTERS(Reuters) - Trulioo, a Canadian-based startup that provides electronic identity and address verification globally, said on Monday it raised $394 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm TCV and that it is now valued at $1.75 billion. The mega funding round comes as the pandemic accelerated the digitization of businesses and e-commerce firms and financial firms need ways to verify customers’ identities for secure transactions. TCV general partner Jake Reynolds told Reuters his fund is heavily invested in online marketplaces and financial services startups and that it recognized the increasing need for global identity verification. Trulioo said the U.S. digital identity market is projected to exceed $30 billion by 2023, according to consulting firm One World Identity. Among the participants in the latest funding round, Trulioo said, were existing investors Amex Ventures, Citi Ventures, Blumberg Capital and Mouro Capital.
Persons: Steve Munford, it’s, , Jake Reynolds, , Reynolds, Trulioo Organizations: REUTERS, Reuters, Amex Ventures, Citi Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Mouro Locations: Canadian, Handout, TCV, Vancouver, U.S
(Reuters) - New York-based indoor vertical farming startup Bowery Farming said on Tuesday it raised $300 million in its latest funding round, valuing the company at $2.3 billion as the pandemic shed light on the importance of securing local food supply. Slideshow ( 3 images )Vertical farming grows its produce in stacked arrangements in technologically controlled environments, reducing the need for vast expanses of land and bringing mass production right in to urban areas. According to PitchBook data, nearly $1.9 billion of global venture capital was invested in indoor farming in 2020, nearly tripling investment in 2019. Graphic: Global VC Funding in Indoor Farming,Bowery’s latest funding round, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, would be the largest vertical farming deal on record, based on previous such deals listed by PitchBook. (This story corrects in 6th paragraph location of farm to New Jersey and not New York and increases number of stores to 850)
Persons: Irving Fain, Fain, , Catalyst Organizations: Reuters, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Bowery, GV, Google Ventures, GGV, Temasek Locations: New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, United States
Indoor vertical farming startup Bowery Farming raises $300 mln
  + stars: | 2021-05-25 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com + 0.99   time to read: +2 min
May 25 (Reuters) - New York-based indoor vertical farming startup Bowery Farming said on Tuesday it raised $300 million in its latest funding round, valuing the company at $2.3 billion as the pandemic shed light on the importance of securing local food supply. Vertical farming grows its produce in stacked arrangements in technologically controlled environments, reducing the need for vast expanses of land and bringing mass production right in to urban areas. According to PitchBook data, nearly $1.9 billion of global venture capital was invested in indoor farming in 2020, nearly tripling investment in 2019. Bowery’s latest funding round, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, would be the largest vertical farming deal on record, based on previous such deals listed by PitchBook. Fain said the products are the same or lower in price than their organic rivals, but declined to say whether Bowery was selling them at a profit.
Persons: Irving Fain, Fain, , Catalyst Organizations: Fidelity Management & Research Company, Bowery, GV, Google Ventures, GGV, Temasek Locations: New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, United States
Call center AI firm ASAPP raises $120 mln, valued at $1.6 bln
  + stars: | 2021-05-19 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com + 0.55   time to read: +1 min
May 19 (Reuters) - ASAPP Inc, maker of artificial intelligence software for call center agents, said on Wednesday it raised $120 million, doubling the company’s valuation to $1.6 billion in the past year. ASAPP software does not replace human call center agents, but instead sends agents real-time suggestions of what to say in response to customers’ comments. For web chats, it presents the agent with multiple potential responses that can be sent with a click, helping both agents and customers save time. Sapoznik said ASAPP works mainly with large corporations, like JetBlue Airways Corp and Dish Network Corp , which spend over a billion dollars on call centers. Other investors include former CISCO Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers and prominent venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins.
Persons: Gustavo Sapoznik, Sapoznik, John Chambers, John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins, Jane Lanhee Lee, Dan Grebler Organizations: Inc, The, JetBlue Airways Corp, Dish Network Corp, Fidelity Management & Research Company, CISCO Systems Inc Locations: The New York
Toyota-backed self-driving car Pony.ai partners with Luminar
  + stars: | 2021-05-10 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
Rendering of a robotaxi with Pony.ai?s next generation self-driving technology using Luminar?s Iris lidars, in this undated handout image supplied by Pony.ai. James Peng, Pony.ai CEO said the startup chose Luminar’s Iris lidar for its performance but also as it can be integrated into the car better than traditional lidars. Luminar’s Iris lidar is about 10 centimeters high and Peng said four of them will be mounted on top of the car for 360 degree views. Pony.ai has Robotaxi services in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Irvine and Fremont in California with a fleet of about 200 autonomous vehicles. Luminar, founded in 2012, is one of several U.S. lidar manufacturers in the past year to go public via reverse mergers with blank-check companies.
Persons: Iris lidars, James Peng, Iris lidar, “ It’s, , Austin Russell, Luminar’s Iris lidar, Peng, Pony.ai Organizations: Pony.ai, Toyota Motor Corp, Luminar Technologies, Inc, SAIC Motor Corp, China’s, Volvo, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, Luminar Locations: Handout, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Irvine, Fremont, California
Oculii, radar software maker for autonomous vehicles, raises $55 million
  + stars: | 2021-05-06 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: +2 min
May 6 (Reuters) - Oculii, a startup that makes software to boost the resolution of radars for use in self-driving cars, said on Thursday it raised $55 million in its latest funding round. The artificial intelligence software Oculii has developed can boost the radar resolution by 100 times, Hong said. Hong said Oculii is testing with some autonomous car companies in China and North America using just radars and cameras. He said Oculii is also selling kits that can be integrated into autonomous robots and drones. Oculii’s latest funding round was co-led by Catapult Ventures and Conductive Ventures, but Oculii declined to disclose its latest valuation.
Persons: Steven Hong, Hong, , Oculii, Lang Hong Organizations: Reuters, Ventures, Wright State University Locations: Dayton , Ohio, China, North America
Cerebras Systems is an AI chip designer. AI chip startups are raising big funds from venture capitalists betting on them challenging incumbent chip giants. For a graphic on U.S. venture capital in semiconductor companies:In April alone, SambaNova said it raised $676 million for its reconfigurable AI chips. The opportunities are now piquing the interest of predominantly software-focused venture capital firms such as Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Foundation Capital. Ian Buck, Nvidia’s general manager of accelerated computing, said he is confident the company will stay ahead in the AI chip game.
Persons: , Andrew Feldman, Alan Priestley, SambaNova, Brendan Burke, Dharmesh Thakker, , , Ian Buck, Nvidia’s, Peter Barrett, Andy Rappaport, Groq, Matthew Putman, Nanotronics, Peter Thiel’s, Putnam Organizations: OAKLAND, Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp, Systems, Reuters, Cerebras Systems, REUTERS, SambaNova Systems, Nvidia, Gartner, U.S, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, PitchBook, ACME Capital, Fund, Locations: Calif, Silicon, United States, China
Cell therapy manufacturing tech startup Cellares raises $82 mln
  + stars: | 2021-05-05 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
OAKLAND, Calif., May 5 (Reuters) - Cellares Corp, a cell therapy manufacturing technology startup in South San Francisco, said on Wednesday it raised $82 million in a funding round led by new investor Decheng Capital and existing investor Eclipse Ventures. The funding will help accelerate development of its “Cell Shuttle” - a machine roughly the size of a small conference room that has all the tools needed to automate manufacturing of cell therapy drugs, according to Cellares CEO and co-founder Fabian Gerlinghaus. Patients’ cells are loaded into a cartridge and the machine uses a fully automated process to manufacture a cell therapy product ready for infusion back into the patient, he said. Cellares’ machines would be able to manufacture 10 patients’ cell therapy drugs at the same time, lowering costs by 75%, he said. The machines are not ready for prime time yet, and Gerlinghaus said Cellares is refining the technology with its partners PACT Pharma, a Silicon Valley cancer cell therapy startup, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to prepare for commercialization of the “Cell Shuttles” in 2023.
Persons: Fabian Gerlinghaus, Victor Tong, Gerlinghaus, Fred, Cellares, Jane Lanhee Lee, David Gregorio Organizations: OAKLAND, Cellares Corp, Decheng Capital, Eclipse Ventures, Cell, Decheng, Pharma, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Locations: Calif, South San Francisco
May 4 (Reuters) - Kajabi, an e-commerce platform that serves knowledge-based businesses, said on Tuesday it raised $550 million in its latest round of funding led by Tiger Global Management, which puts the company’s valuation at over $2 billion. The mega round comes as the pandemic has given online businesses a boost and shown the potential growth of what some call the “knowledge economy” including business coaches, trainers, podcast and newsletter makers, and more. Rueter said the latest funds are to help the company keep up with the “hyper-growth” it has experienced, and that acquisitions are possible. Arun Agarwal, managing director of TPG, which participated in the latest round of investments, said it was hard to quantify the knowledge economy’s market size as it was growing fast with more people starting online how-to courses. He said it is becoming apparent “just how unbound the potential was, and frankly how early we are inning-wise and how under-penetrated that market is today.”
Persons: Groq, Kajabi, Kenny Rueter, Rueter, Arun Agarwal, Organizations: Tiger Global Management, Tiger Global, YouTube, TPG Locations: Irvine , California
AI chip maker SambaNova raises $676 million, valued at over $5 billion
  + stars: | 2021-04-13 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.96   time to read: +2 min
(Reuters) - SambaNova Systems, a Silicon Valley startup that makes semiconductors for artificial intelligence related computation work, said on Tuesday it raised $676 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2. The latest injection took SambaNova’s total funding to more than $1 billion, valuing the company at more than $5 billion, it said. The funding round is the third biggest venture capital deal in chips the last two decades, according to data firm PitchBook. Olukotun is the leader of the Stanford Hydra Chip Multiprocessor researchproject and Ré is an associate professor in the Stanford AI Lab. The latest funding round included new investors Temasek and Government of Singapore Investment Corp., along with existing investors including BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and Walden International.
Persons: , Rodrigo Liang, SambaNova, Liang, , Kunle Olukotun, Chris Ré, Olukotun Organizations: Reuters, SambaNova Systems, SoftBank Group, Vision, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, Stanford University, Stanford Hydra, Stanford AI, Temasek, Government of Singapore Investment Corp, BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV, Google Ventures, Walden International
AI chip maker SambaNova raises $676 mln, valued at over $5 bln
  + stars: | 2021-04-13 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.97   time to read: +2 min
The latest injection took SambaNova’s total funding to more than $1 billion, valuing the company at more than $5 billion, it said. The funding round is the third biggest venture capital deal in chips the last two decades, according to data firm PitchBook. Liang said SambaNova developed its own chip architecture rather than use one of the major architectures such as ARM or x86, used in smartphones and laptop computers. Olukotun is the leader of the Stanford Hydra Chip Multiprocessor research project and Ré is an associate professor in the Stanford AI Lab. The latest funding round included new investors Temasek and Government of Singapore Investment Corp., along with existing investors including BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and Walden International.
Persons: , Rodrigo Liang, SambaNova, Liang, , Kunle Olukotun, Chris Ré, Olukotun, Jane Lanhee Lee, Jane Wardell Organizations: SambaNova Systems, SoftBank Group, Vision, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, Stanford University, Stanford Hydra, Stanford AI, Temasek, Government of Singapore Investment Corp, BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV, Google Ventures, Walden International
(Reuters) - Silicon Valley self-driving startup Gatik and Isuzu North America Corp on Tuesday said they will work together to build autonomous delivery trucks that Gatik will use to serve its retailer customers. He said Gatik’s business model for now is to be a delivery service provider for retailers using self-driving technology rather than selling the technology to automakers. Narang said Gatik and Walmart plan to test out fully driverless delivery in Arkansas later this year. So far it has been using the Ford Transit chassis for its existing fleet of autonomous delivery trucks. Isuzu North America Corporation is a unit of Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Persons: , Gautam Narang, Narang, Gatik, , Bill, Shaun Skinner Organizations: Reuters, Isuzu North America Corp, Walmart Inc, Loblaw Companies Ltd, Walmart, Commission, Ford Transit, Ford Motor Co, Fontinalis Partners, Isuzu, Isuzu North America Corporation, Isuzu Motors Ltd Locations: Arkansas, Louisiana, Canada, Gatik, United States
A person exercises at home in this undated handout photo, as digital gym-on-a-wall startup Tonal, which sports big names like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Serena Williams as investors, raises $250 million in its latest round of funding, valuing the company at $1.6 billion. Courtesy of TONAL/Handout via REUTERSOAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - Digital gym-on-a-wall startup Tonal, which sports big names like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Serena Williams as investors, said on Wednesday it raised $250 million in its latest round of funding, valuing the company at $1.6 billion. According to data firm PitchBook, home exercise startups raised $3.02 billion in venture capital globally last year, up from $1.79 billion in 2019. The $3,000 mirror-like box streams video coaching and adjusts its weights according to the person using it to work out. Tonal said the latest round, led by Dragoneer Investment Group, an investor in Airbnb, DoorDash and Peloton, brings the total raised to $450 million.
Persons: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Serena Williams, San Francisco, Aly Orady, Organizations: REUTERS, Interactive, Nautilus Inc, Reuters, Dragoneer Investment Group Locations: REUTERS OAKLAND, Calif, San, Airbnb, DoorDash
Digital gym-on-a-wall startup Tonal raises $250 mln at $1.6. bln valuation
  + stars: | 2021-03-31 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
According to data firm PitchBook, home exercise startups raised $3.02 billion in venture capital globally last year, up from $1.79 billion in 2019. At-home-fitness plays on the stock market have been hit on concern the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and re-opening of gyms could hurt their prospects. “My sense is that the market is over-reacting to reopening,” said Orady, adding that Tonal’s sales momentum is holding up even with the vaccine rollouts. The $3,000 mirror-like box streams video coaching and adjusts its weights according to the person using it to work out. Tonal said the latest round, led by Dragoneer Investment Group, an investor in Airbnb, DoorDash and Peloton, brings the total raised to $450 million.
Persons: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Serena Williams, San Francisco, Aly Orady, , Jane Lanhee Lee, Dan Grebler Organizations: OAKLAND, Interactive, Nautilus Inc, Reuters, Dragoneer Investment Group Locations: Calif, San, Airbnb, DoorDash
Mountain View, Calif. (Reuters) - French logistics firm Geodis and Silicon Valley remote driving software startup Phantom Auto Inc on Wednesday announced a partnership for developing remote-controlled forklifts, a move that can make forklift driving an office job. Hervé said the technology could eventually help alleviate the challenges of hiring employees for warehouse work and also enable people with disabilities to have a new kind of job. “To show the robustness of our technology, we’ve had customers that have driven the forklifts 5,000 miles away,” said co-founder Elliot Katz. The forklifts used at the Geodis warehouses are made by Fenwick-Linde, part of German multinational Kion Group AG. Phantom Auto has raised approximately $25 million to date, with Bessemer Venture Partners as one of its investors.
Persons: , Stéphanie Hervé, Hervé, we’ve, Elliot Katz, “ We’ve, Katz, Fenwick Organizations: Inc, Wednesday, Geodis, Reuters, Phantom Auto, Auto, San, Linde, Kion Group AG, Phantom, Bessemer Venture Partners Locations: View, Calif, Silicon, Marseille, Calais, France, Western Europe, Middle East, Africa, View , California, Asia, California, , San Francisco
OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Silicon Valley self-driving truck startup Kodiak Robotics Inc and Shanghai-based lidar maker Hesai Technology Co Ltd on Wednesday announced a partnership to integrate the Chinese lidar into the autonomous trucking system. Laser-based lidar sensors help self-driving cars detect objects ahead and around the vehicle and are a key component to many self-driving systems. Kodiak will use a Hesai lidar on each side of the truck and will also keep one forward-facing Luminar lidar, said Don Burnette, Kodiak’s CEO, who was a co-founder of self-driving truck startup Otto and before that an early engineer working on Google’s self-driving car program. Increasing deals with several big self-driving vehicle companies and momentum in the industry has helped Hesai increase it sales, said Hesai’s CEO David Li. Hesai and another Chinese lidar firm RoboSense were sued by U.S. lidar company Velodyne Lidar Inc in 2019 for patent infringement, but Li said Hesai has settled with Velodyne with a global cross license deal.
Persons: lidar, Don Burnette, Kodiak’s, Burnette, ” Burnette, David Li, RoboSense, Li, Hesai, , Robert Bosch Organizations: OAKLAND, Kodiak Robotics Inc, Hesai Technology, Wednesday, Luminar, SAIC Motor Corp, China’s, Revenue, U.S, Inc, Velodyne, Robert Bosch GmBH Locations: Calif, Shanghai, Kodiak, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston
After layoffs, travel start-up TripActions is hiring and raises $155 million
  + stars: | 2021-01-21 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
TripActions co-founder and CEO Ariel Cohen speaks at the company's conference TRAVERSE in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 2, 2019. TripActions via REUTERS(Reuters) - U.S. corporate travel startup TripActions on Thursday said it raised $155 million at a valuation of $5 billion, after a sharp downturn in business due to the coronavirus pandemic last year forced it to lay off a quarter of its staff. Cohen said its travel budget under management - the amount of travel companies book through TripActions - is expected to hit $3.6 billion by the end of January from $2.1 billion a year ago. Businesses are only spending about 20% of their normal travel budget but Cohen said TripActions had signed up new customers, including Netflix and electric truck maker Rivian. Cohen said TripActions, which competes with American Express Global Business Travel and Concur Travel, now had around 4,000 corporate customers, having added 700 since the pandemic.
Persons: TripActions, Ariel Cohen, Cohen, Rivian, Andreessen Horowitz Organizations: TripActions, REUTERS, Reuters, Netflix, American Express Global Business Locations: San Francisco , California, U.S
Incubators help entrepreneurs take ideas and turn them into businesses, often taking a stake. Airbnb Inc and DoorDash Inc both went through Y Combinator and are the first and second-highest valued companies among the graduates. Jared Friedman, a partner at Y Combinator, said the last demo day in August 2020 was record breaking. In addition to trying to include more international entrepreneurs, Y Combinator has been working to increase racial diversity of the startups it guides, said Seibel. He said since 2015 Y Combinator has funded over 500 female founders, over 200 Black founders and almost 300 Latinx founders.
Persons: Michael Seibel, Y, , , Jared Friedman, Combinator, Y Combinator Organizations: Reuters, Airbnb, DoorDash Inc, Twitch Interactive, Amazon.com Inc, reuters Locations: United States, Silicon Valley
Website design tech startup Webflow raises $140 million
  + stars: | 2021-01-13 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com + 0.91   time to read: +1 min
(Reuters) - San Francisco-based Webflow, a platform for web designers who do not know how to code, on Wednesday said it raised $140 million at a valuation of over $2.1 billion as investors bet a shortage of coders will give a boost to the so-called “no-code” tech. While there are other website builders like Squarespace, Webflow chief executive Vlad Magdalin said those were for consumers while Webflow provides more complex functions for companies and web designers. “No-code is still an early category and a lot of things you still have to do with code. On Tuesday Boston-based airSlate, which helps non-coders build internal workflow systems for things like customer data collection or getting travel expenses signed off by a manager, said it raised $40 million. Accel, an early investor in Facebook, and Silversmith Capital Partners led the Webflow funding round, which included participation from new investor, CapitalG.
Persons: Vlad Magdalin, , , Borya, Arun Mathew Organizations: Reuters, Tuesday Boston, Accel, Facebook, Capital Partners Locations: Francisco, Silicon, U.S
Fintech startup MX raises $300 million at $1.9 billion value
  + stars: | 2021-01-13 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.96   time to read: +1 min
(Reuters) - Utah-based fintech startup MX said on Wednesday it raised $300 million in a funding round led by private equity firm TPG Capital, giving it a valuation of $1.9 billion, as companies and investors seek to bet on the fast-growing e-commerce sector. The boom in e-commerce and other contactless payment technology during the pandemic resulted in a record year for venture capital investments in U.S. fintech companies with $20.6 billion invested, according to data firm PitchBook. Globally around $41.4 billion were invested in fintech companies in 2020, still lagging the record $51.4 billion invested in 2018 due to big investments in Asia, PitchBook said. Other investors in the fund-raising round include CapitalG, Geodesic Capital, Greycroft, Canapi Ventures, and Digital Garage. MX said it is working with 2,000 banks, credit unions, fintech companies, as well as 85% of digital banking providers, and has a combined reach of over 200 million consumers.
Persons: PitchBook, Ryan Caldwell, Tesla, Caldwell Organizations: Reuters, TPG Capital, Plaid, Visa, Spotify, Canapi Ventures Locations: Utah, Asia, The Utah, U.S
Fintech startup MX, Blend each raise $300 million
  + stars: | 2021-01-13 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.88   time to read: +2 min
(Reuters) - Fintech startups Utah-based MX and San Francisco-based Blend both said on Wednesday they each raised $300 million in their latest funding rounds, as investors seek to bet on companies benefiting from a surge of business moving online. MX was valued at $1.9 billion in its funding round led by private equity firm TPG Capital, and Blend was valued at $3.3 billion in its round led by Coatue and Tiger Global Management. The boom in e-commerce and other contactless payment technology during the pandemic resulted in a record year for venture capital investments in U.S. fintech companies with $20.6 billion invested, according to data firm PitchBook. Globally around $41.4 billion were invested in fintech companies in 2020, still lagging the record $51.4 billion invested in 2018 due to big investments in Asia, PitchBook said. MX said it is working with 2,000 banks, credit unions, fintech companies, as well as 85% of digital banking providers, and has a combined reach of over 200 million consumers.
Persons: Coatue, PitchBook, Ryan Caldwell, Tesla, Caldwell Organizations: Reuters, TPG Capital, Tiger Global Management, Plaid, Visa, Spotify Locations: Utah, Francisco, Asia
Database software startup Cockroach Labs raises $160 million
  + stars: | 2021-01-12 | by ( Jane Lanhee Lee | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.78   time to read: +1 min
(Reuters) - Cockroach Labs, a cloud database management software startup, said on Tuesday it raised $160 million, following other tech startups in securing big funding during the pandemic as businesses move online at a greater pace than ever. The latest funding round was led by Altimeter Capital, an investor in cloud data platform Snowflake Inc, which raised $3.36 billion in September. While Snowflake helps companies analyze big data in the cloud, Cockroach helps ensure real time data in the cloud is correct across all platforms, said Cockroach chief executive Spencer Kimball. To compete, Kimball said Cockroach needed to accelerate its product development, and the additional funding would be used in part for that purpose. Cockroach said existing investors Benchmark, Bond, FirstMark, GV, Index Ventures, and Tiger Global participated in its latest funding round.
Persons: Spencer Kimball, Kimball, , Bond Organizations: Reuters, Capital, Oracle Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Inc, Microsoft Corp, GV, Index Ventures, Tiger Global
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