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The Briefing: Kuaishou launches $5.4B IPO, Weights & Biases lands $45M, 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 DailyTikTok rival Kuaishou launches $5.4B IPO

Chinese short video app Kuaishou Technology will raise $5.4 billion from its Hong Kong listing, hitting its maximum fundraising target, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The offering will value the Tencent-backed company at nearly $61 billion. The company’s services in China had 305 million average daily active users in the nine months ended in September.

Shares are expected to start trading on Friday.

The Honest Co. poised to enter public markets

Insiders at The Honest Co. told Bloomberg that the Los Angeles-based company is considering a confidential IPO filing.

The Honest Co., co-founded by actress Jessica Alba in 2011 and offers baby and beauty products, has raised just over $500 million in total known funding, most recently a $200 million private equity round led by L Catterton in 2018, according to Crunchbase data. Other backers include Fidelity Management and Research Company, Glade Brook Capital Partners and Wellington Management.

Funding rounds

  • Weights & Biases Lands $45M: Weights & Biases, a startup developing software tools for machine learning, raised $45 million in a Series B round led by Insight Partners.
  • Future Meat Technology gobbles up $26.75M: Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based company developing technology to produce cultured meat, announced an additional $26.75 million in funding through its strategic partners. The company is backed by companies including Tyson Foods, and investors such as S2G Ventures.
  • ELSA raises $15M for language learning: ELSA, a language-learning app with a focus on pronunciation, has raised $15 million in a Series B round led by Vietnam Investments Group and SIG.
  • Wallbox inks 33 million euros: Wallbox, an electric vehicle charging station company with headquarters in Barcelona, closed on 33 million euros ($39.8 million) in financing, led by Cathay Innovation and WIND Ventures.
  • Axoni banks $31M: Axoni, a New York-based provider of financial market infrastructure, announced $31 million equity financing from investors, including Deutsche Bank, Intel Capital and UBS, to give the company a total of $90 million in funding.
  • Cellino brings in $16M: Cellino, a personalized regenerative medicine company developing an AI-guided laser editing platform for autologous cell-based therapies, closed on $16 million in a seed round co-led by The Engine and Khosla Ventures.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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

Shares are expected to start trading on Friday.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-2-1-21/

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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.

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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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