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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Kahoot lands $215M for gamified learning
While SoftBank is best known for investments in private companies, Kahoot is an exception as it is publicly traded. The company is listed in Oslo, where it maintains a market capitalization roughly equivalent to $2.5 billion. Prior to going public a year ago, Kahoot raised over $50 million in venture funding.
SoftBank was not a shareholder in Kahoot prior to the private placement. Under terms of the deal, SoftBank has agreed that six months following completion of the investment, it will not to increase its ownership interest to 10 percent or more of the company’s shares.
GetSetUp gets $10M for online learning platform for seniors
GetSetUp, a peer-to-peer online learning and social platform aimed at older adults, said this week it had raised $10 million in funding led by ReThink Education. Other firms that invested include AME Cloud Ventures, Work Play Ventures and Sweat Equity Ventures. Individual investors including David Ko, John Danner, Dan Rosensweig, Jeff Alter and Bradley Horowitz also joined in the funding.
GetSetup offers older adults live, interactive classes on topics ranging from professional development to wellness and hobbies. The company says its classes help older adults combat social isolation and learn new skills that can lead to economic opportunity. The startup is one of several aimed at older adults: A recent Crunchbase News analysis found that venture and seed funding in the areas of elder care and home health care peaked in 2018, at $490 million. As of Sept. 25, $368 million was invested in 40 companies in 2020, with the most recent being Papa and Carewell. Overall we found 365 companies operating in those two sectors that collectively raised approximately $2 billion to date.
GetSetUp’s partners include health plans, care providers and employers. The startup said it’s currently running a pilot program with the YMCA of Houston to make its classes available to more than 30,000 members.
“One in seven Americans are age 65 and older, and that number will continue to grow to nearly a quarter of the population by 2060,” ReThink Education’s Matt Greenfield said in a statement on GetSetUp’s funding. “This is a very large and active group that is living, working and contributing to society longer than any generation prior. GetSetUp has the potential to provide millions of older adults a way to engage, stay active, rejuvenate and reinvent or reimagine themselves.”
- EdiGene raises $67M for gene therapy: EdiGene, a China-based developer of genome editing technologies, raised approximately $67 million in Series B funding to advance its programs into clinical stage. 3H Health Investment led the round and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital China, Alwin Capital and Kunlun Capital.
- Cedilla Therapeutics inks $56.7M for cancer treatments: Cedilla Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing targeted small molecules for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, closed on a $57.6 million round of Series B financing. The funding was co-led by Casdin Capital and Boxer Capital and includes new investors Eli Lilly and Schroder Adveq, as well as existing investor Third Rock Ventures. In connection with the financing, Eli Casdin, chief investment officer and founder of Casdin Capital, and Dominik Naczynski, senior vice president at Boxer Capital, will join Cedilla’s board.
- BlackSwan Technologies raises $28 million for AI operating system: BlackSwan Technologies has landed a $28 million Series A led by Prytek, FinTLV, and MS&AD Ventures, the company announced Tuesday. BlackSwan Technologies makes an enterprise AI operating system used for risk management, compliance, lead generation, and other functions. Its platform also allows users to build enterprise applications faster with its no code/low code system. The Series A funding will be used to speed up growth, hire more employees, and develop new AI applications.
- NinjaCat nabs $26M for marketing analytics: NinjaCat raised $26 million from Clovis Point Capital to expand its portfolio of products, build additional tools, launch in 2021 and double its team. The New York-based company is developing a single platform to integrate hundreds of different marketing sources of data and enable customers to efficiently transform, monitor and analyze or report on that data without the need for data engineers and data scientists.
- Chord Therapeutics closes $16M to take drug into clinical trials: Switzerland-based Chord Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing drugs for rare diseases, announced $16 million in Series A from Omega Funds. As part of the investment, Omega Funds’ Managing Director Claudio Nessi and Principal Francesco Draetta will join the board. Chord’s lead drug candidate is an oral drug for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, which occur when the body’s immune system reacts against its own cells in the central nervous system.
- Qatalog closes on $15M: London-based Qatalog, developer of a collaboration hub for remote teams, raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Atomico.
- JAXJOX raises $10M for connected strength-training: Fitness technology company JAXJOX announced a $10 million Series A round to research and develop its JAXJOX InteractiveStudio, which will ship to customers later this year, as well as global retail expansion. Investors in the round included Dowgate Capital and Nigel Wray and brings the Seattle-based company’s total funding raised to $17 million. JAXJOX touts the InteractiveStudio as “the first fitness platform to combine connected strength-training equipment with live and on-demand content, enabling users to track their own performance in real time during classes.”
- Cyberpion raises $8.25M: Cyberpion, a cybersecurity startup founded in Israel, announced it has emerged from stealth after closing an $8.25 million seed funding round led by Team8 Capital and Hyperwise Ventures.
- Navina raises $7M for health platform: Navina, developer of an AI-driven platform that restructures patient data into intuitive, actionable patient portraits for better diagnoses and care, announced $7 million in seed funding led by Grove Ventures. The Israel-based company will use the new funding on research and development, expanding its customer base within physician groups and health care companies.
- Lassogen brings in $4.5M for new peptide treatments: Lassogen, a San Diego-based biotechnology company exploring lasso peptides as a way to develop new medicines, raised $4.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round of funding led by Playground Global with participation from Better Ventures, First In Ventures and Tsingyuan Ventures. The peptide therapeutics are thought to be used to treat disorders, such as cancer, autoimmunity, pain and inflammation.
- Grata inks $3.2M to advance search engine: New York-based Grata, a search engine for discovering small to middle market private companies, secured $3.2 million in seed funding to scale its proprietary search engine technology and double its employees in the U.S. The round was led by Bling Capital with participation from Accomplice and Alumni Ventures Group.
- Kegg launches with $1.5M: Femtech company Lady Technologies unveiled the FDA-registered kegg, buoyed by a $1.5 million seed round. San Francisco-based Kegg is a two-in-one device that combines fertility tracking with pelvic floor exercising. Investors include Crescent Ridge Partners, SOSV, Texas Halo Fund, Fermata Fund, MegaForce and angel investors. The device uses advanced sensing technology to analyze changes in hormone levels to determine a woman’s fertile window and ovulation.
Vungle acquires AlgoLift: Mobile ad network Vungle announced its acquisition of AlgoLift, a marketing intelligence platform for mobile advertising. San Francisco-based Vungle has raised $25.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase data. AlgoLift co-founders Andre Tutundjian and Dmitry Yudovsky and their team will join Vungle and continue to operate in Los Angeles.
Illustration: Dom Guzman