The Briefing: HeadSpin Co-Founder Charged, Headspace Merges With Ginger, And More

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HeadSpin co-founder charged with defrauding investors

U.S. authorities charged the co-founder and former CEO of HeadSpin with defrauding investors out of as much as $80 million by overstating the financial numbers of the Palo Alto, California-based startup.

The U.S. Department of Justice arrested Manish Lachwani on charges of securities fraud and wire fraud related to raising money from investors. In a release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Lachwani is charged with defrauding investors by falsely claiming that the company had “achieved strong and consistent growth in acquiring customers and generating revenue.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, Lachwani is alleged to have engaged in a fraudulent scheme to push HeadSpin’s valuation to more than $1 billion by “falsely inflating the company’s key financial metrics and doctoring its internal sales records” from at least 2018 through 2020. The alleged fraud came to light after the company’s board of directors conducted an internal investigation which revised HeadSpin’s valuation down from $1.1 billion to $300 million.

Lachwani co-founded HeadSpin—a digital experience test platform—and acted as its CEO from its inception in 2015 until approximately May of last year.

— Chris Metinko

Headspace merges with Ginger

Headspace and Ginger, two startups focused on mental health and well-being, announced plans to merge into a single company named Headspace Health.

Santa Monica, California-based Headspace, known for its mindfulness and meditation apps, was founded in 2010 and has raised around $216 million in known funding to date. San Francisco-based Ginger, a provider of on-demand mental health coaching and therapy, was founded in 2011 and has raised around $220 million to date.

As Headspace Health, the two companies will serve consumers, employers and health plans, offering support for mental health symptoms from anxiety to depression to more complex diagnoses.

Cribl lands $200M Series C

San Francisco-based Cribl raised a $200 million Series C led by Greylock and Redpoint Ventures. The round also included new investor IVP, existing investors Sequoia and CRV and strategic investments from Citi Ventures and Crowdstrike.

Founded in 2017, Cribl helps companies manage their flow of data and route it to where it can be used best. The company has now raised a total of $254 million.

 — Chris Metinko

Energy Vault raises $100M

Energy Vault, an energy storage technology provider, announced it has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round led by Prime Movers Lab. Based in Westlake, California, and Lugano, Switzerland, Energy Vault focuses on renewable energy storage products.


LexisNexis Risk Solutions to acquire Trunarrative:  LexisNexis Risk Solutions announced that it is acquiring startup Trunarrative, for an undisclosed sum.  Founded in 2016, Leeds, U.K.-based Trunarrative provides a cloud-based platform that detects and prevents financial crime and fraud.

— Joanna Glasner

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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