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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Databricks lands $38B valuation after Series H raise
San Francisco-based data and AI company Databricks hit a post-money valuation of $38 billion after raising a $1.6 billion Series H led by Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global. The new round comes just seven months after the company raised $1 billion at a $28 billion valuation.
The Series H includes new investors Baillie Gifford, ClearBridge Investments and UC Investments. Existing investors participating in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Coatue Management, Fidelity Management & Research, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Greenoaks, Octahedron Capital, funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global Management and Whale Rock Capital Management.
Databricks creates tools and products to help companies view both structured and unstructured data in a single location—what it calls a data “lakehouse”—without moving between different systems.
The company has now raised a total of almost $3.6 billion, according to the company.
— Chris Metinko
Whoop scores fresh $200M for athletic performance tech
Athletic performance startup WHOOP has raised $200 million in a Series F funding round at a $3.6 billion valuation led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The Boston-based company said the latest funding has tripled its valuation in less than 12 months and follows on the heels of its October 2020 Series E, when it raised $100 million at a $1.2 billion valuation.
The company offers a digital fitness and wellness platform that connects with a wearable device to help people monitor and make changes to their sleep, recovery and fitness training schedules.
The funding makes WHOOP one of the highest-valued players in the world of sports tech startups, an industry that is seeing increased investment. Through early August, investors had spent nearly $790 million in the sector, per Crunchbase data, with many of the largest rounds occurring in the last 12 months.
— Marlize van Romburgh
Indian ride-hailing platform Ola plans to raise $1B in IPO
India-based ride-hailing giant Ola is reportedly planning a public offering and has been narrowing down its list of bankers for the IPO. Bankers currently involved in the planned offering include Citigroup, Kotak Mahindra and Morgan Stanley, per a Reuters report.
— Joanna Glasner
• Ellipsis Health gets $26M to use voice as a vital sign in mental health care: San Francisco-based Ellipsis Health has raised a $26 million Series A funding round for its AI-assisted platform to identify and quantify behavioral health conditions such as depression through voice assessment. The round was led by SJF Ventures with participation from AblePartners, Akhil Paul at Caparo Group, Alumni Ventures, Divesh Makan, Gaingels, Gary Loveman, Generator Ventures, Greycroft, Helmy Eltoukhy, Joanne Bradford, Khosla Ventures, Luminous Ventures, TIME Ventures, Richard Socher, Ricardo Villela Marino, SpringTide Ventures and What If Ventures. Ellipsis says its goal is to use a patient’s voice as a vital sign to help assess their mental health. “Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Ellipsis Health generates a science-based assessment of stress, depression and anxiety from less than 60 seconds of a person’s natural speech,” the company said in a funding announcement.
• Peak raises $75M for decision-making AI software: Peak, based in Manchester, U.K., said it has raised a $75 million Series C funding round to grow its enterprise AI software platform. The latest funding round was led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from all existing investors including MMC Ventures, Oxx, Praetura Ventures, Arete and Octopus Ventures. Peak’s software is in an area referred to as decision intelligence and is designed to help companies boost efficiency and increase business performance by embedding artificial intelligence into their core decision-making operations. The company said it will use the fresh capital in part to open new offices in the U.S. and India and for R&D investment.
The company, which uses an AI-driven platform that matches private companies with institutional capital options, will use the new funding to scale its go-to-market operations and add new institutional investors.
Hum said in its release it has helped companies secure more than $400 million in capital commits since the start of the year.
— Chris Metinko
• Buy Now Pay Later Jifiti closes on $22.5M: Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, owner of Ikea stores, led the round in the point of sale company. Jifiti, a white-label service, works with banks, lenders and merchants. As of 2019 Jifiti has been offered in-store at Ikea in Spain, France, Portugal and Belgium. Ingka Group will work with Jifiti to extend its point of sale for e-commerce and in-store solutions across all its markets. Other retail customers include Walmart and Burlington Stores.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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