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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.
There are some reports the AI craze may be cooling, but that’s not the case in funding this week. Three of the top four rounds went to startups directly tied to AI — with the other going oddly enough to an insurance tech company. All in all, it was a slow week that ended rather quietly.
1. Mapbox, $280M, logistics: SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son told investors months ago his multinational investment holding giant would again be shifting from “defense mode” as it looked to be a leader in AI. He has seemed to keep his word, as just days after the successful initial public offering of SoftBank-owned U.K. chip designer Arm — arming the firm with even more cash — SoftBank led a $280 million funding round for San Francisco-based location-mapping startup Mapbox. The startup, whose platform is used by the likes of Toyota and General Motors, is trying to bring AI to help with automated driving and safety. Founded in 2010, the company has raised more than $600 million, per Crunchbase.
2. (tied) Openly, $100M, insurance: If you own a home, you know home insurance matters, as does who you get it from. Openly provides independent insurance agents with a platform that offers coverage to homeowners and streamlines processes, improves risk underwriting, and helps with claims. The Boston-based insurtech firm will be able to push that offering after raising a $100 million Series D led by Eden Global Partners. Openly says it already serves 30,000 independent agents across 21 states in the U.S. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $240 million, per Crunchbase.
2. (tied) Pryon, $100M, artificial intelligence: AI startup Pryon locked up a $100 million Series B investment led by Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology Fund this week as the company looks to grow its market for its “knowledge management” platform. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based startup allows companies to upload internal data and information to produce answers to employee questions. It’s basically AI building an institutional knowledge base for a company. It was reported the new round values the company between $500 million and $750 million. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $160 million, per Crunchbase.
2. (tied) Writer, $100M, artificial intelligence: Writer joined a handful of other San Francisco-based generative AI startups such as Anthropic, Adept AI and OpenAI in raising a big round. The AI startup raised a $100 million round led by Iconiq Growth, and values the startup at $500 million, per Bloomberg. Writer’s platform is designed to help businesses use large language models to generate writing and content that can be used across different departments, such as operations, product, sales, human resources, marketing and more. The company has grown revenue by 10x in the past two years with a customer base that includes Spotify, L’Oreal and Uber. Writer had previously raised a $5 million seed funding in 2020 and a $21 million Series A round in 2021, according to the company.
5. Dragos, $74M, cybersecurity: It’s been a while since we’ve written about industrial security — also called operational technology security. Just a few years ago, the space saw huge raises constantly, including New York-based Claroty closing a $400 million Series E back in 2021. However, while things have been quiet recently, maybe Hanover, Maryland-based Dragos’ raise this week will change that. The company locked up a $74 million Series D extension led by WestCap. The company originally announced its $200 million Series D at a valuation of $1.7 billion way back in October 2021, so it’s been a while. Founded in 2016, Dragos has raised approximately $440 million, according to the company.
6. Harbinger Motors, $60M, electric vehicles: Garden Grove, California-based electric chassis developer Harbinger Motors secured a $60 million Series A led by Ridgeline and Thor Industries. Founded in 2021, the company has raised nearly $85 million, per Crunchbase.
7. Hyku Biosciences, $56M, biotech: Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotech firm Hyku Biosciences launched with a $56 million seed round led by RA Capital Management, Droia Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund.
9. (tied) Four companies tied for our last two spots with $50 million rounds: Austin, Texas-based AI security firm HiddenLayer, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Magnet Biomedicine, Latham, New York, supply chain startup Rail Modal Group and Dallas-based ReCode Therapeutics.
Big global deals
Mapbox’s raise is the second biggest of the week globally, beaten out by an automotive company.
- China-based FAW Pentium, a maker of budget-friendly cars, raised a nearly $329 million venture round.
We tracked the largest announced rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Sept. 16 to Sept. 22. 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.
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