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The Briefing: DICE Lands $122M, Frontify Raises $50M, And More

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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Ticketing platform DICE lands $122M in SoftBank-led round

London-based DICE, a ticketing platform for concerts and events, raised $122 million in a Series C round led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Founded in 2014, DICE works with over 3,600 venues, festivals and promoters globally. In addition to physical events, at the start of the pandemic last year, the company began offering ticketed live streaming.

— Joanna Glasner

Frontify lands $50M for brands

Frontify, a Swiss software company that operates a platform for enterprises to manage their brands, raised $50 million in a Series C round led by Revaia. Founded in 2013, Frontify has raised over $80 million in known funding to date, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Healthtech

iFit eyes $6.4B IPO valuation: Logan, Utah-based connected fitness equipment and subscription class provider iFit is seeking to raise up to $600 million in its initial public offering, with a proposed share price range of $18 to $21. At the midpoint of that range, iFit would reportedly have a valuation of around $6.4 billion.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-9-27-21/

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The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Crypto Conglomerate Leads The Way, Self-Driving Car Startup Nuro Revs Up Big Round

No $1 billion round this week, but U.S.-based startups did manage to raise three rounds of more than a half-billion dollars, as investors remained attracted to the crypto market, self-driving cars and new, clean energy production

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This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s entry here.

No $1 billion round this week, but U.S.-based startups did manage to raise a couple of rounds of a half-billion dollars or more, as investors remained attracted to self-driving cars, new, clean energy production and fintech.

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1. Nuro, $600M, autonomous cars: Mountain View, California-based self-driving car startup Nuro raised a $600 million Series D from investors including Google and Tiger Global Management. The new round of funding brings Nuro’s valuation up to $8.6 billion, TechCrunch reported. Nuro is designing a fleet of electric self-driving vehicles to transport packages. The investment from Google is noteworthy because it includes a partnership with Google Cloud—something important as it looks to deploy its fleets. Founded in 2016, the company has now raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase data.

2. Helion Energy, $500M, energy: Everett, Washington-based Helion Energy raised $500 million in a Series E funding round led by Sam Altman. The fusion energy startup will use the cash to help complete the construction of Polaris, Helion’s seventh-generation fusion generator. The energy company is looking to produce low-cost around-the-clock power generation with a zero-carbon footprint. The funding includes an opportunity for an additional $1.7 billion tied to reaching performance milestones.

3. HoneyBook, $250M, fintech: The freelance market continues to expand and San Francisco-based HoneyBook closed a $250 million Series E round led by Tiger Global Management to help those in it manage their work better. The company’s platform helps both freelancers and independent business owners manage their customers—from their first interactions though invoicing and payment. Since being founded in 2013, the company has raised $498 million, according to Crunchbase data.

4. Treasure Data, $234M, data analytics: Companies are looking for any advantage they can get to drive better digital customer experiences. Mountain View, California-based customer data platform Treasure Data closed a $234 million investment led by SoftBank on the promise of just that. The company’s platform leverages customer data in an attempt to drive the best possible experiences while also protecting privacy.

5. Everlaw, $202M, legal tech: Oakland, California-based litigation platform Everlaw closed $202 million in a Series D led by TPG Growth at a $2 billion valuation. Everlaw has watched total cases on its platform more than double since its $62 million Series C in March 2020. Companies in the legaltech sector have seen increased interest from investors this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more firms to adopt cloud-native technologies. Founded in 2010, the company has raised just less than $300 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

6. When I Work, $200M, productivity tool: Minneapolis-based When I Work, provider of a platform for hourly workers and their employers to share, plan and track work schedules, has raised $200 million in a growth funding round backed by Bain Capital. Founded in 2010, the company previously raised at least $24 million in known funding and is currently profitable.

7. Plate IQ, $160M, fintech: San Francisco-based restaurant and hospitality payments platform PlateIQ raised a $160 million Series B.

8 to 10. We have a four-way tie for the last three spots this week, as San Francisco-based fintech platform Chipper Cash, San Diego-based hospitality platform Cloudbeds, Los Angeles-based video game engine Mythical Games, and Miami-based senior-assistance platform Papa all raised $150 million rounds.

Big global deals

U.S.-based startups dominated the largest rounds this past week, taking the top six spots. However, two China-based startups saw big funding rounds.

  • Autonomous driving startup Momenta closed a $200 million round.
  • Sugar-free and low-calorie beverage marker Genki Forest also closed a $200 million venture round.

Methodology

We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.

Note: This story has been revised to reflect New York-based Digital Currency Group’s $700 million deal was a secondary offering and not a new fundraise.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/biggest-vc-startup-funding-deals-digital-currency-group-nuro/

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The Briefing: Hailo Lands $136M Series C, SupportLogic Closes $50M Series B, and more

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Hailo lands $136M for AI chips

Tel Aviv-based Hailo, a startup developing AI accelerator chips for edge devices, announced that it raised $136 million in a Series C funding round led by Poalim and entrepreneur Gil Agmon. The round brings Hailo’s total funding to $224 million.

— Joanna Glasner

SupportLogic raises $50M Series B

San Jose -based SupportLogic closed a $50 million Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital Partners and General Catalyst. Existing investors Sierra Ventures and Emergent Ventures also participated in the round.

SupportLogic’s AI-based platform allows businesses to act on customer communications in real-time in order to offer better customer service and support.

Founded in 2016, the company has raised approximately $62 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

— Chris Metinko

SaaS

GitLab raises IPO range: San Francisco-based GitLab, a provider of development and collaboration tools for programmers, raised the proposed share price range for its upcoming IPO. The company now plans to raise around $700 million by offering 10.4 million shares at a price range of $66 to $69, up from the prior range of $55 to $60.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-12-21/

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Under The Hood: Plug and Play Ventures Sheds Light On Investing As The World’s Largest Startup Accelerator

Plug and Play

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Plug and Play Tech Center is the world’s largest startup accelerator, with more than 2,000 startups going through the organization’s programs last year. It’s also one of the most active investors in the world, investing in early-stage companies globally, according to Crunchbase data.

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Given the rapid pace at which the Sunnyvale, California-based firm invests and the global reach of Plug and Play, we thought we’d take a closer look at the firm’s investment strategy and recent bets. The firm in 2021 has already surpassed the record number of exits it set last year, with still about a quarter of the year left.

Crunchbase News talked with Ivan Zgomba, a partner at Plug and Play Ventures, to learn more about the firm’s recent investing pace.

“We do have 15 different industries that we’re very active in,” Zgomba said. “What makes us unique is we have built ecosystems around each industry.”

Plug and Play Ventures is the investment arm of the Plug and Play Tech Center. Its “bread and butter” is pre-seed and seed-stage investing out of a technology-agnostic global fund. Check sizes tend to be between $100,000 and $150,000.

The firm’s investments this year will be split 50/50 between U.S.-based and international companies, Zgomba said.

The firm’s international investments tend to be near Plug and Play’s offices, which number more than 30 worldwide. Lately, it’s had a big presence in areas like France, Germany and the Asia Pacific region.

While the Plug and Play Tech Center is known for its industry-focused and stage-agnostic accelerator programs, it’s unlike typical accelerators where companies go through the program and then receive an investment at the end.

Rather, Plug and Play Ventures makes investments and runs startup programs, but doesn’t invest in all the companies that go through those programs.

“It’s almost separate in the sense that these programs are designed to bring as much value to our companies, whether it’s synchronous or asynchronous, it doesn’t matter,” Zgomba said.

The Plug and Play Tech Center was founded in 2006, but 2013 or 2014 or so was when it began to “roll up its sleeves” when it came to investing in startups. That’s clear in its investment count, which shot up around 2014.

Investment pace

Plug and Play has invested in 146 funding rounds so far this year, with more than a third of them being seed rounds, according to Crunchbase data. Among its most recent investments were the seed rounds for user behavior analysis platform ForMotiv, women-focused social bank Oraan, and edtech startup T-Lab.

Last year, the firm invested in 162 companies with an average check size of $108,000, per its website. According to Crunchbase data, 2018 was the firm’s most active year of the past decade in terms of investing, with Plug and Play participating in 167 funding rounds.

The firm actively invests in around 15 different industries, including smart cities, fintech, insurance, supply chain and logistics, retail, and food and beverage.

About 40 percent of Plug and Play Ventures’ deals are in what they call the “smart money and health” sectors, which includes fintech, insurance, health and wellness. Smart cities, which includes mobility startups, the Internet of Things, and real estate, make up about 25 percent of its investments. The firm also actively invests in supply chain and logistics companies.

Part of the Plug and Play Tech Center is its corporate ecosystem, which currently has about 450 members. Those partners come to Plug and Play when looking for pilot programs, investments, or event M&A activities, according to Zgomba. The Plug and Play Tech Center connects those corporations with startups.

“When it comes to the access to the largest global brands, largest corporations in the world, getting those customers, the B2B side, that’s definitely by far one of our biggest strengths (for helping startups),” Zgomba said.

Exits

Plug and Play Ventures has seen 21 of its portfolio companies exit so far this year, making 2021 the most active year in at least a decade for the firm in terms of number of exits, per Crunchbase data. Over the course of the firm’s history, it’s invested in companies that exited at billion-dollar-plus price valuations, including fintech unicorn Honey and insurtech company Hippo Insurance.

Of this year’s exits, the majority happened through an acquisition. Hippo and biotech company RenovoRx both had public market exits, but the other 19 exits so far this year were all acquisitions. That makes sense, given the increased activity in the M&A market in 2021, particularly for startups.

Plug and Play Ventures

Some notable acquisitions this year of Plug and Play portfolio companies include gaming company Skillz’ $150 million acquisition of Aarki, and Pluralsight’s acquisition of Next Tech.

Plug and Play Ventures generally takes minority stakes in businesses, around 1 percent to 5 percent, according to Zgomba. Its stakes in the acquired companies is unclear, and the firm wasn’t listed as one of the largest shareholders in Hippo Insurance or RenovoRx in regulatory documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This year’s activity has already broken the record Plug and Play Ventures set last year in terms of number of exits, when 19 of its portfolio companies exited. The firm saw around a dozen of its companies reach the coveted—though increasingly common—unicorn status of a valuation of $1 billion or above in the past 12 months, bringing its unicorn count to 24 companies.

While Plug and Play Ventures usually invests at the earliest stages, the firm stays with its companies until they exit, according to Zgomba.

“We tend to move quickly,” he said. “We do have a process, but that process depends on how quick the round is coming along on the startup’s side. I would say our ecosystem is our biggest strength, our ability to help those companies.”

Crunchbase Pro Queries Used In This Article

Plug and Play Tech Center Funding Rounds

Plug and Play Tech Center Exits

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/under-the-hood-plug-and-play-startup-investor/

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