|Hello and happy Thursday.:)|
|Bird, the L.A.-based highly hyped e-scooter startup, has officially closed on $300 million in fresh funding led by Sequoia Capital. The company announced the long-anticipated round this morning, with Sequoia’s Roelof Botha joining the company’s board of directors. TechCrunch has more here.|
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|Away, a three-year-old, New York-based direct-to-consumer travel brand, has raised $50 million in Series C funding, including from Forerunner Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Comcast Ventures. Forbes has more here. |
Baffin Bay Networks, a year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based cybersecurity startup, has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding led by the European venture firm EQT Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
BitSight, a seven-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that produces daily security ratings for its enterprise customers to help them manage third-party risk, underwrite cyber insurance policies, benchmark performance, and assess aggregate risk, has raised $60 million in Series D funding. Warburg Pincus led the round, with participation from earlier backers Menlo Ventures, GGV Capital and Singtel Innov8. TechCrunch has more here.
BrightFarms, a seven-year-old, Irvington, N.Y.-based indoor farming startup known for its locally grown packaged salads, has raised $55 million in Series D funding led by Cox Enterprises, with participation from Catalyst Investors, WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners. The WSJ has more here.
Bumped, a year-old, Portland, Ore.-based company whose app tracks spending with participating publicly traded companies, then gives customers a percentage of their purchases back in fractional shares of stock, has raised $14.1 million in Series A funding. Canaan led the round, with participation from other investors that include Peninsula Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Oregon Venture Partners. More here.
Cerebri AI, a 2.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company that uses machine learning to help companies track, analyze and predict their customers’ behavior, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures). Other participants in the round include the University of Texas Horizon Fund,WorldQuant Ventures, and Leawood Venture Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Ceres Imaging, a nearly four-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company whose tech helps farmers conserve water and fertilizer and improve yields in their crops, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from earlier backer Romulus Capital. The company has now raised around $35 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.
Everlaw, an eight-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based e-discovery and litigation platform, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from earlier investor Andreessen Horowitz. More here.
High Fidelity, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based social VR startup founded by one of Second Life’s original creators, Phillip Rosedale, has raised $35 million Series D funding. The blockchain investment firm Galaxy Digital Ventures(founded by former hedge funder Michael Novogratz) led the round, with participation from Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners, Vulcan Capital and Blockchain Capital.
Hims, a year-old, San Francisco-based company that sells men’s prescription healthcare products, has raised $50 million in Series B-2 funding led by IVP. Other participants in the round include Founders Fund and Cavu Venture Partners and earlier backers Thrive Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and SV Angel. (We told you about this company, and why its timing makes sense, late last year.)
JASK, a 2.5-year-old, Bay Area-based startup behind an autonomous security operations platform, has raised $25 million in Series B funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with managing partner Ted Schlein (who specializes in cybersecurity) joining the board. The company has now raised $39 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
KaiOS, a two-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company that has built an eponymous operating system for feature phones that packs a range of native apps and other smartphone-like services, has raised $22 million from Google. TechCrunch explains the deal here.
Oh BiBi, a six-year-old, Paris, France-based gaming company, has raised $21 million from Atomico with Korelya Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Republic, a two-year-old, New York-based investment platform that connects retail investors with curated startups and blockchain projects and is affiliated with AngelList, has raised $12 million in funding. Binance Labs and NGC ECO Fund co-led the round, with participation from East Chain Co, Oyster Ventures, FBG Capital, Hazoor Capital, ZK Capital, ZhenFund, and others. More here.
Unblockable, a month-old, L.A.-based startup that’s tackling a new area for blockchain technology — sports fandom, specifically collectibles and fantasy sports — has raised $5 million from Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
UST Global, a 10-year-old, Aliso Viejo, Ca.-based multinational digital and tech services firm, has raised $250 million in new funding from Temasek — Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund — at a billion-dollar-plus valuation. TechCrunch has more here.
|IQ Capital, an 11-year-old, Cambridge, England-based venture firm, says it’s raising £125 million ($165 million) that it will use specifically to back U.K.-based startups that are building “deep tech” — the layer of research and development and potentially commercialized technology that’s considered foundational to how most tech will eventually work. So far, some £92 million has been committed, the firm tells TechCrunch. More here. |
Media mogul Peter Chernin is planning to raise a new media investment fund of more than $500 million, says The Information. According to the outlet, the new fund will “likely be run through Mr. Chernin’s main firm, the Chernin Group, through which he has invested in a range of digital media ventures over the past few years. These include sports and lifestyle site Barstool Sports, mobile gaming company Scopely and Headspace, a Los Angeles-based developer of a meditation app.” More here.
|A week after appointing famed polymath Atul Gawande CEO of its healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, Amazon today announced plans to buy PillPack, a five-year-old, Manchester, N.H.-based online pharmacy the lets users buy medications in pre-made doses. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but PillPak had raised $123 million from investors, including Accel and Accomplice, and TechCrunch sources close to the deal say it was closed for just less than $1 billion. (VC BIll Gurley notes that whatever the price Amazon paid, this is very bad news for CVS.) More here.|
India’s Times Internet has invested Rs 1,000 crore ($140 million) to acquire a majority stake in MX Player, one of the world’s largest local video platforms, as it prepares to enter the over-the-top (OTT) video streaming sector. The move helps it take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon in India. The Economic Times has more here.
|Forty Seven, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing therapies targeting cancer immune evasion pathways based on technology licensed from Stanford University. Forty Seven’s lead program, 5F9, is a monoclonal antibody against the CD47 receptor, a “don’t eat me” signal that cancer cells commandeer to avoid being ingested by macrophages. This antibody is currently being evaluated in several clinical trials involving solid tumors and blood-based cancers.|
|Salesforce Ventures is looking to hire a senior associate. The job is in San Francisco.|
|Hot on the heels of Coinbase expanding its crypto fund to U.S.-based investors, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has unveiled a fund of his own — focused on philanthropy. GiveCrypto.org is aiming to raise $10 million by the end of this year, and to grow to $1 billion over the next two years. Armstrong says it has already locked down $3.5 million, including $1 million from his own bank account. TechCrunch has more here. |
Google announced today that it has tapped GE’s global affairs chief Karan Bhatia to become its next head of policy. According to Bloomberg, Google wants Bhatia to craft the search giant’s public policy strategy on a wide range of issues, including artificial intelligence and job creation. His first focus will be dealing with a regulatory backlash that includes antitrust investigations and new digital-privacy rules. More here.
The SEC just charged a former Equifax manager with insider trading in advance of the company’s September 2017 announcement of a massive data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other personal information of approximately 148 million U.S. customers. This is the second case the SEC has filed arising from the Equifax data breach. More here.
Twitter is replacing its head of product, says Recode. Again.
|Amazon says it’s launching a new program to help people with entrepreneurial ambitions establish their own last-mile delivery businesses on its behalf, but we still can’t get this piece out of our heads. |
Line — Japan’s biggest messaging service — is opening a cryptocurrency exchange next month called Bitbox that will offer trading between more than 30 virtual tokens including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin.
Adidas said today that a “few million” customers shopping on its U.S. website may have had their data exposed to an unauthorized party. Neither the specific number of users affected nor the time frame of the potential breach were immediately disclosed, but the German sportswear maker said it became aware of the issue on Tuesday and has begun a forensic review.
|Robot stunt doubles that can flip through the air and stick a landing every time. |
What the royal family really costs British tax payers.
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|A little justice for these turbulent times.|