Venture

The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Self-Driving Car Startup Nuro Revs Up Big Round, Helion Energy Powers Up With Large Raise

This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s entry here.


No $1 billion round this week, but U.S.-based startups did manage to raise a couple of rounds of a half-billion dollars or more, as investors remained attracted to self-driving cars, new, clean energy production and fintech.

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1. Nuro, $600M, autonomous cars: Mountain View, California-based self-driving car startup Nuro raised a $600 million Series D from investors including Google and Tiger Global Management. The new round of funding brings Nuro’s valuation up to $8.6 billion, TechCrunch reported. Nuro is designing a fleet of electric self-driving vehicles to transport packages. The investment from Google is noteworthy because it includes a partnership with Google Cloud—something important as it looks to deploy its fleets. Founded in 2016, the company has now raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase data.

2. Helion Energy, $500M, energy: Everett, Washington-based Helion Energy raised $500 million in a Series E funding round led by Sam Altman. The fusion energy startup will use the cash to help complete the construction of Polaris, Helion’s seventh-generation fusion generator. The energy company is looking to produce low-cost around-the-clock power generation with a zero-carbon footprint. The funding includes an opportunity for an additional $1.7 billion tied to reaching performance milestones.

3. HoneyBook, $250M, fintech: The freelance market continues to expand and San Francisco-based HoneyBook closed a $250 million Series E round led by Tiger Global Management to help those in it manage their work better. The company’s platform helps both freelancers and independent business owners manage their customers—from their first interactions though invoicing and payment. Since being founded in 2013, the company has raised $498 million, according to Crunchbase data.

4. Treasure Data, $234M, data analytics: Companies are looking for any advantage they can get to drive better digital customer experiences. Mountain View, California-based customer data platform Treasure Data closed a $234 million investment led by SoftBank on the promise of just that. The company’s platform leverages customer data in an attempt to drive the best possible  experiences while also protecting privacy.

5. Everlaw, $202M, legal tech: Oakland, California-based litigation platform Everlaw closed $202 million in a Series D led by TPG Growth at a $2 billion valuation. Everlaw has watched total cases on its platform more than double since its $62 million Series C in March 2020. Companies in the legaltech sector have seen increased interest from investors this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more firms to adopt cloud-native technologies. Founded in 2010, the company has raised just less than $300 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

6. When I Work, $200M, productivity tool: Minneapolis-based When I Work, provider of a platform for hourly workers and their employers to share, plan and track work schedules, has raised $200 million in a growth funding round backed by Bain Capital. Founded in 2010, the company previously raised at least $24 million in known funding and is currently profitable.

7. Plate IQ, $160M, fintech: San Francisco-based restaurant and hospitality payments platform PlateIQ raised a $160 million Series B.

8 to 10. We have a four-way tie for the last three spots this week, as San Francisco-based fintech platform Chipper Cash, San Diego-based hospitality platform Cloudbeds, Los Angeles-based video game engine Mythical Games, and Miami-based senior-assistance platform Papa all raised $150 million rounds.

Big global deals

U.S.-based startups dominated the largest rounds this past week, taking the top six spots. However, two China-based startups saw big funding rounds.

  • Autonomous driving startup Momenta closed a $200 million round.
  • Sugar-free and low-calorie beverage marker Genki Forest also closed a $200 million venture round.

Methodology

We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. 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.

Note: This story has been revised to reflect New York-based Digital Currency Group’s $700 million deal was a secondary offering and not a new fundraise.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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