Briefing Venture

The Briefing: Klook Lands $200M, Rhino Raises $95M, And More

The Briefing

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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Klook lands $200M for travel platform

Hong Kong-based Klook, a platform for travel booking, announced that it raised $200 million in a Series E round led by Aspex Management.

The fundraise follows a rough several quarters for the travel sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For its part, Klook says it took steps to address the pandemic’s impact on business by increasing its focus on digitizing the experiences booking sector, and launching new verticals such as staycations and car rental.

The new round brings total funding to date for the 7-year-old company to around $721 million, per Crunchbase data.

Sidecar Health earns $1B valuation following $125M Series C

Insurtech startup Sidecar Health raised $125 million in a Series C funding round, giving the company a new valuation of $1 billion.

Drive Capital led the new round, which included new investors BOND, Tiger Global and Menlo Ventures, and existing investors Cathay Innovation and GreatPoint Ventures. Including the new investment, the company has raised a total of $175 million in known funding since the company was founded in 2018, according to Crunchbase data.

El Seguno, California-based Sidecar Health provides health insurance via a “cash price” model that allows members to pay lower prices for medical bills and procedures using a prepaid Visa card. Members save 40 percent compared to traditional insurance and can enroll for coverage at any time.

Sidecar expects to use the new funding for growth, hiring new talent and to fund the launch of a new Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” offering for 2022.

Albert banks $100M Series C

Albert, a fintech company focused on improving financial wellness, closed on a $100 million Series C led by General Atlantic.

Also participating in the round was CapitalG, Portag3 and QED, which brings the company’s total funding to $173 million since 2016, according to Crunchbase data. This is the second funding announcement in under a year for Albert, which raised $50 million in Series B funding in March 2020.

The company said more than 5 million people are using its platform, and the funding will be used to expand its team and product development.

Since our launch in 2016, more than 5 million people have trusted Albert with improving their financial health.

Fast bags $102M Series B

Fast, which has developed an online login and checkout experience, brought in a $102 million Series B to boost its overall funding to $124 million since the San Francisco-based company was founded in 2019.

Addition and Stripe led this round and were joined by existing investors Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, Sugar Capital and Jaren Glover. The Series B follows a $20 million Series A round, led by Stripe, in March 2020,  and a $2.5 million pre-seed round from October 2019, led by Index, according to Crunchbase data.

Fast launched its Fast Checkout product in September 2020, which is now being used by millions of WooCommerce and BigCommerce sellers. The new funding is being deployed into product expansion, customer and talent acquisition and international expansion.

Despite what seemed like a flurry of investment activity in the past year, for e-commerce technology startups—those with a focus on “e-commerce platforms” and “retail technology”—deals and dollars fell both globally and in the U.S. in 2020, according to Crunchbase data. Investments totaled $2.4 billion in the U.S. in 2020, compared with $2.5 billion in 2019. Globally, it was $4 billion in 2020, compared with $5.1 billion the year prior.

Funding rounds

  • Rhino raises $95M for renter insurance: New York-based Rhino, a provider of security deposit insurance that renters can use in lieu of cash deposits, reportedly raised $95 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global at a valuation of just under $500 million.
  • Wyre secures $7M for payments: Wyre, a blockchain-based payment platform based in San Francisco, raised $7 million in funding led by Stellar Development Foundation, along with Draper Associates and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
  • OFFOR Health inks $5M for medical services: OFFOR Health, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, which coordinates on-site anesthesia and specialty medical services for local dental and medical offices, announced $5 million in Series A funding led by SpringRock Ventures.
  • Joshu emerges from stealth with $3.7M: Insurtech startup Joshu, based in Menlo Park, said it came out of stealth with $3.7 million in seed funding, led by Blumberg Capital, to digitize and automate commercial insurance.
  • GoodTrust raises $2.3M for digital afterlives: GoodTrust, a Palo Alto-based startup providing legacy document management, announced a $2.3 million seed funding round led by Bling Capital, Synetro Ventures and Azure Capital Partners.

M&A

Twitter acquires Revue: Twitter has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that helps writers and publishers establish and get paid for newsletters, for an undisclosed sum.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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