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This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 announced funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s biggest funding rounds here.
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The big news of the week in venture obviously is not who raised what but rather where will they put that money? Nevertheless, there were some big rounds this week. It feels like it was just about a month ago we were here talking about Anthropic — and that’s likely because it was only a month ago. AI continues to seduce investors and the public in general. Maybe AI can create a bank for startups to store all that cash.
1. Anthropic, $300M, artificial intelligence: Few companies have been busier this year than San Francisco-based AI startup and rival to ChatGPT, Anthropic. Just weeks after raising hundreds of millions of dollars from Google, it was reported the company is raising another $300 million round at a pre-investment valuation of $4.1 billion. Spark Capital is reportedly leading the round. Just last month it was reported Google had invested between $300 million and $400 million in the startup. The deal came just two weeks after news broke of Microsoft’s massive $10 billion investment into OpenAI. Anthropic’s AI chatbot, Claude, is in closed beta mode, but in a paper detailing its goals, it is expected to combat harmful prompts by explaining why they are dangerous or misguided. Before the massive fundraising this year, Anthropic — which has reportedly made limited revenue — had raised $704 million across Series A and Series B funding rounds in 2022, according to Crunchbase data. The Series B was led by disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
2. Palmetto, $150M, cleantech: Every week some cleantech startup makes it high on this list, and this week it’s Palmetto. The Charleston, South Carolina-based startup raised $150 million from TPG Rise Climate as it looks to take advantage of the growing consumer demand for solar energy. The company’s platform helps to manage the entire residential solar process for providers — handling sales, design, engineering, permitting and fulfillment. According to the Energy Information Administration, solar capacity is expected to grow 84% through the next two years — meaning a lot more houses will be looking toward solar to help combat rising electricity bills. Founded in 2009, the company has now raised nearly $630 million, according to Crunchbase data.
3. Soci, $120M, marketing: Big national brands still need localized digital marketing strategies to drive growth and expansion into new markets. San Diego-based Soci does just that, and this week picked up $120 million in a round led by JMI Equity. The startup helps companies such as Ace Hardware and Jersey Mike’s Subs scale localized marketing efforts — helping push their digital presence in local search and social pages, while also protecting their online reputation. Founded in 2012, the company has now raised nearly $240 million, according to Crunchbase data.
4. Consensus, $110M, SaaS: Like most sectors, SaaS startups saw their funding cut significantly last year compared to 2021. However, that doesn’t mean some startups aren’t getting funded. Demo automation firm Consensus locked up a fresh $110 million round led by Sumeru Equity Partners — the largest round raised by any VC-backed startup in Utah to date. The Lehi, Utah-based company has an interactive video demo platform that helps presale and technical sales teams automate repetitive product demos and reallocate their time more wisely. After a monster year in 2021 — in which U.S.-based, VC-backed SaaS startups raised nearly $33 billion — SaaS companies saw funding nearly halved, dropping to $16.5 billion. So far this year, such startups have raised less than $2 billion to date. Founded in 2013, the company has now raised nearly $140 million, per Crunchbase data.
5. Bicara Therapeutics, $108M, biotech: Biotech dominates this list as we move along, and Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Bicara Therapeutics is the first to pop up. The startup raised a $108 million Series B co-led by Red Tree Venture Capital and RA Capital Management. The company is developing biologics to fight tumors and is already in clinical trials for a head and neck cancer treatment. Founded in 2020, the company has raised $148 million, per Crunchbase.
6. (tied) Humane, $100M, artificial intelligence: New York-based Humane, which plans to launch a product that incorporates artificial intelligence into a consumer device, and partners with OpenAI, raised a $100 million Series C led by Kindred Ventures. Founded in 2017, the company has raised $230 million, according to Crunchbase.
6. (tied) Rapport Therapeutics, $100M, biotech: Boston-based Rapport Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for neurological disorders, launched this week with a $100 million Series A financing from Third Rock Ventures, Arch Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
8. Macro, $90M, media: The Los Angeles-based media company raised more than $90 million from investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs. Founded in 2015, the company — which was behind the making of the film “Fences” by August Wilson — has raised $240 million, according to Crunchbase.
9. QurAlis, $88M, biotech: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based QurAlis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing medicines for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), closed an $88 million Series B led by EQT Life Sciences, Sanofi Ventures and Droia Ventures. Founded in 2016, QurAlis has raised $143.5 million, per the company.
10. Ring Therapeutics, $87M, biotech: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Ring Therapeutics, a developer of a gene therapy platform, raised an $86.5 million Series C funding. The round involved a handful of investors, including funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. Founded in 2017, Ring has now raised $230 million in total, per the company.
Big global deals
Despite another big round by a U.S.-based AI startup, the largest round came from overseas.
We tracked the largest announced rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of March 4 to 10. 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.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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