Startups

A Quick Peek At Zoox’s $500M Round

Morning Report: A quick look at Zoox’s half-billion-dollar round.

A recent profile of self-driving car startup Zoox caught our eye. In a space where Alphabet, Uber, and traditional auto manufacturers are competing, how much room is left for a plucky startup? Especially a startup that wants to build its own vehicle along with its own self-driving tech?

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As it turns out, there’s plenty of room, at least according to Grok Ventures. The firm recently put $500 million into Zoox at a post-money valuation of $3.2 billion. According to TechCrunch, Zoox was worth $2.7 billion before the infusion. The company likely sold more stock at a flat per-share price.

As has been reported, Zoox has raised around $800 million across three rounds. Grok, per Crunchbase, did the latest round itself. The company has had little trouble, therefore, getting capital into its balance sheet.

(Here’s a full list of Grok’s known ventures to date.)

Zoox is something of binary wager. If the company manages to pull off its technical efforts, it will be worth a multiple of $3.2 billion. The firm wants to launch its own ridesharing service, per Bloomberg, and could certainly license its tech to any number of global corporations. Or the company will be raided for parts, patents, and people after running out of money.

Only in 2018 can a company with $800 million in capital raised count as a long shot.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Greycroft closes $250M fund

  • New York-based VC Greycroft has raised $250 million for its latest early-stage fund, which will invest in seed through Series A rounds for promising technology startups.

Pintec files for IPO

  • Two-year-old fintech startup Pintec has filed for a U.S. IPO, hoping to raise $70 million.The Beijing-based company provides online financial services including loans, wealth management, and insurance.

Rubius raises $241M in upsized IPO

  • Rubius Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of drugs based on genetically-engineered red blood cells, has raised $241 million in an upsized IPO that reportedly sets an initial market valuation for the company of around $2 billion.

K Health adds AI to online diagnosis

  • K Health, an app that uses AI and anonymous health records to augment the diagnoses of health problems, has raised $12.5 million. Investors include Comcast Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Mangrove Capital Partners, among others.

Niantic snaps up Seismic Games

  • Niantic, the augmented reality game developer best known for Pokemon Go, has acquired Seismic Games, a venture-backed developer of mobile games based on the Marvel comic universe.