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The Briefing: Klook Lands $200M, Rhino Raises $95M, 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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Klook lands $200M for travel platform

Hong Kong-based Klook, a platform for travel booking, announced that it raised $200 million in a Series E round led by Aspex Management.

The fundraise follows a rough several quarters for the travel sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For its part, Klook says it took steps to address the pandemic’s impact on business by increasing its focus on digitizing the experiences booking sector, and launching new verticals such as staycations and car rental.

The new round brings total funding to date for the 7-year-old company to around $721 million, per Crunchbase data.

Sidecar Health earns $1B valuation following $125M Series C

Insurtech startup Sidecar Health raised $125 million in a Series C funding round, giving the company a new valuation of $1 billion.

Drive Capital led the new round, which included new investors BOND, Tiger Global and Menlo Ventures, and existing investors Cathay Innovation and GreatPoint Ventures. Including the new investment, the company has raised a total of $175 million in known funding since the company was founded in 2018, according to Crunchbase data.

El Seguno, California-based Sidecar Health provides health insurance via a “cash price” model that allows members to pay lower prices for medical bills and procedures using a prepaid Visa card. Members save 40 percent compared to traditional insurance and can enroll for coverage at any time.

Sidecar expects to use the new funding for growth, hiring new talent and to fund the launch of a new Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” offering for 2022.

Albert banks $100M Series C

Albert, a fintech company focused on improving financial wellness, closed on a $100 million Series C led by General Atlantic.

Also participating in the round was CapitalG, Portag3 and QED, which brings the company’s total funding to $173 million since 2016, according to Crunchbase data. This is the second funding announcement in under a year for Albert, which raised $50 million in Series B funding in March 2020.

The company said more than 5 million people are using its platform, and the funding will be used to expand its team and product development.

Since our launch in 2016, more than 5 million people have trusted Albert with improving their financial health.

Fast bags $102M Series B

Fast, which has developed an online login and checkout experience, brought in a $102 million Series B to boost its overall funding to $124 million since the San Francisco-based company was founded in 2019.

Addition and Stripe led this round and were joined by existing investors Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, Sugar Capital and Jaren Glover. The Series B follows a $20 million Series A round, led by Stripe, in March 2020, and a $2.5 million pre-seed round from October 2019, led by Index, according to Crunchbase data.

Fast launched its Fast Checkout product in September 2020, which is now being used by millions of WooCommerce and BigCommerce sellers. The new funding is being deployed into product expansion, customer and talent acquisition and international expansion.

Despite what seemed like a flurry of investment activity in the past year, for e-commerce technology startups—those with a focus on “e-commerce platforms” and “retail technology”—deals and dollars fell both globally and in the U.S. in 2020, according to Crunchbase data. Investments totaled $2.4 billion in the U.S. in 2020, compared with $2.5 billion in 2019. Globally, it was $4 billion in 2020, compared with $5.1 billion the year prior.

Funding rounds

  • Rhino raises $95M for renter insurance: New York-based Rhino, a provider of security deposit insurance that renters can use in lieu of cash deposits, reportedly raised $95 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global at a valuation of just under $500 million.
  • Wyre secures $7M for payments: Wyre, a blockchain-based payment platform based in San Francisco, raised $7 million in funding led by Stellar Development Foundation, along with Draper Associates and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
  • OFFOR Health inks $5M for medical services: OFFOR Health, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, which coordinates on-site anesthesia and specialty medical services for local dental and medical offices, announced $5 million in Series A funding led by SpringRock Ventures.
  • Joshu emerges from stealth with $3.7M: Insurtech startup Joshu, based in Menlo Park, said it came out of stealth with $3.7 million in seed funding, led by Blumberg Capital, to digitize and automate commercial insurance.
  • GoodTrust raises $2.3M for digital afterlives: GoodTrust, a Palo Alto-based startup providing legacy document management, announced a $2.3 million seed funding round led by Bling Capital, Synetro Ventures and Azure Capital Partners.

M&A

Twitter acquires Revue: Twitter has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that helps writers and publishers establish and get paid for newsletters, for an undisclosed sum.

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-1-26-21/

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Alife Health Aims To Improve IVF Outcomes With $9.5M Seed

Alife Health is leveraging artificial intelligence and data to create personalized IVF treatment insights.

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Investors infused $9.5 million of seed funding into fertility technology company Alife Health, which is building a modern operating system for in vitro fertilization (IVF) designed to improve reproductive outcomes.

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Lux Capital led the seed round and was joined by Amplo, IA Ventures and Springbank Collective as well as a group of angel investors that include Anne Wojcicki, Fred Moll and Amira Yahyaoui.

One in eight families struggle with infertility, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. San Francisco-based Alife Health was founded in 2020 and is leveraging artificial intelligence and data to create personalized treatment insights so clinicians can make better decisions that maximize a patient’s chances of success while also lowering costs and barriers to IVF access.

“Many of us are touched by infertility,” Paxton Maeder-York, founder and CEO of Alife Health, told Crunchbase News. “Typically, IVF is expensive and time-consuming. It can cost an average of $10,000 to $12,000 per cycle and can take an average of three times. We aim to improve success rates across every cycle and bring costs down.”

Before Alife Health, Maeder-York was building surgical robots to fight lung cancer and decided to go back to school to study how AI and machine learning was impacting medicine. One of his focus areas was IVF and the impact on women and the LGBTQ+ community.

One of the biggest challenges to infertility is loss of control by the patient, Maeder-York said. While other companies are focusing on one process along the IVF journey, Alife is working to optimize every step using AI and personalized medicine.

“Starting a family is a personal experience, and if you can’t, it feels like you’ve also lost the ability to control the situation,” he added. “We are re-empowering the patient to make the best choices. If they have the right data, they may be able to make different decisions, such as banking more embryos. Here, the patient is an enormous stakeholder.”

He intends to deploy the new funds in pushing the company to its next stage. He believes Alife Health is already understanding what technology should be built and has received endorsements from doctors and partnerships. The company has 11 full-time employees, and Maeder-York plans to double that by the end of the year in order to scale up to a full ecosystem of platforms that will integrate

The next phase is getting the technology through regulatory submissions and out to patients. There are 500 fertility clinics across the United States, both private and academic institutions, and Alife has been working with some of the largest clinics to build a use case and unbiased dataset over the past year, Maeder-York said.

As part of the investment, Lux Partner Deena Shakir is joining the Alife board. Her focus is on women’s health, which she said is particularly salient. In addition, Alife is bringing equity and diversity into the fertility space that traditionally skewed to middle- and upper-class white families, she said in an interview.

“We’ve been looking at this space for a long time,” she said. “Their focus on health equity and diversity are a major issue with health care at-large, and we’ve seen that come out during COVID. Alife is building in the core of research and working with top academics who are specifically keeping that in check.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/alife-health-aims-to-improve-ivf-outcomes-with-9-5m-seed/

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The Briefing: Wealthsimple Raises $610M, Path Robotics Scores $56M, 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

Wealthsimple pulls in $610M at $4B valuation

Toronto-based Wealthsimple, a provider of tools for managing one’s money and investment portfolio, reportedly raised $610 million in fresh funding at a valuation of around $4 billion.

Meritech and Greylock led the financing, which roughly doubled the company’s valuation since its last round in October. Previously, Wealthsimple had raised around $310 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Funding rounds

Path Robotics lands $56M: Columbus, Ohio-based Path Robotics, a developer of autonomous welding robots, announced it has raised $56 million in a Series B funding round led by Addition. The company says its AI-enabled robotics product will self-adjust for each part it produces, filling demand in a field facing chronic labor shortages.

— Joanna Glasner

Health care

Bone Health Technologies inks $2.5M: San Francisco-based Bone Health Technologies closed on $2.5 million in an oversubscribed funding round led by Good Growth Capital. Bone Health is developing a new standard of care for treating both osteoporosis and osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. The company was recently granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for OsteoBoost, its vibration belt designed for the prevention of osteoporosis. Studies show that one 30-minute treatment with OsteoBoost reduced bone loss activity in all study participants, according to the company.

— Christine Hall

M&A

Dell to sell Boomi for $4B: Dell struck a deal to sell its Boomi cloud computing business to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG in a transaction valued at around $4 billion. Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Boomi makes software that helps applications communicate with each other.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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

— Joanna Glasner

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-5-3-21/

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The Briefing: Darktrace Soars In IPO, Mux Picks Up $105M, 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

Darktrace shares soar in London IPO

Shares of British cybersecurity company Darktrace surged in first-day trading in London Friday, with the stock up as much as 43 percent in initial trades.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based company priced shares for its offering before trading commenced at a valuation of around $2.4 billion.

Founded in 2013, Darktrace uses AI to detect and respond to threats in companies’ IT systems. Previously, the company raised at least $230.5 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Funding rounds

Mux raises $105M for video streaming: Video platform Mux has raised a $105 million Series D, bringing its valuation above the $1 billion mark. Mux’s technology helps developers build live and and on-demand video streams, something that became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic with many people staying home. The round, which was led by Coatue, brings Mux’s total funding to $175 million.

–Sophia Kunthara

PortalOne picks up $15M for hybrid gaming: PortalOne, a startup developing what it describes as “hybrid games,” combining gaming and TV, raised $15 million in a seed round backed by a long list of investors, including Founders Fund, Atari, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and Coatue Mangement. Founded in 2018, the company, which operates offices in Oslo, is looking to popularize a new category of entertainment that mixes games with live shows that are embedded directly inside the games.

OnLume Surgical raises $7M Series A: Madison, Wisconsin-based OnLume Surgical, a medical device company developing novel imaging systems for use during surgery, announced the completion of its Series A funding to assist its plans for a commercial launch.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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

Founded in 2013, Darktrace uses AI to detect and respond to threats in companies’ IT systems. Previously, the company raised at least $230.5 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-4-30-21/

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