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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Ÿnsect raises $224M debt and equity for bug farms
Ÿnsect, a French startup that builds insect farms for use in feedstocks, has added $224 million in equity and debt funding.
The financing includes $139 million in debt and another $65 million in equity, according to a TechCrunch report. It will go toward constructing what Ÿnsect says will be the world’s largest insect farm, with an aim of producing more than 100,000 tons per year.
The company sees a core use for its product in fish feed for aquaculture, as well as potential in pet foods.
- Dialpad raises $100M Series E: Dialpad, a provider of cloud-based phone, video and contact center systems for businesses, has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round led by OMERS Growth Equity, at a reported valuation of $1.2 billion.
- Onapsis secures $55M for SaaS expansion: Cybersecurity and compliance company Onapsis raised $55 million in Series D financing, led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and NightDragon, with participation from existing investors .406 Ventures, LLR Partners and Arsenal Venture Partners. The investment will be used to significantly scale the company through rapid expansion into the mission-critical SaaS applications market, starting with protection and compliance for Salesforce and SuccessFactors applications. Federation Bio launches with $50M, new CEO:
- Federation Bio launches with $50M, new CEO: Federation Bio, a microbial therapeutics company, debuted with $50 million Series A financing. Horizons Ventures led the financing, joined by existing investors Venrock and Altitude, and new investors Seventure Partners and Health for Life Capital. The company, which is targeting diseases in which the human microbiome can play a curative role, intends to use the new funds to accelerate one of its programs to the clinic in 2022. In addition, the company appointed Emily Drabant Conley, Ph.D., as CEO, taking over from Venrock partner and founding CEO Racquel Bracken.
- Skilljar inks $33M for expansion: Customer education platform Skilljar announced $33 million in Series B funding. Insight Partners led the round with participation from existing investors Mayfield, Trilogy Equity Partners and Shasta Ventures. Skilljar will use the new funding to expand its team, fuel go-to-market programs, and accelerate product development.
- Walnut raises $2.5M to be ‘Wix for sales demos’: New sales demo platform Walnut closed on its $2.5 million seed round to enable customer-facing sales representatives to create, personalize, and manage the sales demo experience. The round was led by NFX with additional investments from Avishai Abrahami, Joe Montana, Michael Ma, Matt Wyndowe, Kenny Stone, Immad Akhund and Alon Gamzu.
- Doppler raises $2.3M: New universal secrets manager Doppler raised $2.3 million in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Kleiner Perkins, Abstract Capital and Soma Capital, among others. The company is touting the creation of the industry’s first universal secrets manager for developers that works across every language, stack and infrastructure.
- Empowerly brings in $1.6M to democratize college admissions: Edtech startup Empowerly, which also launched today, raised $1.6 million from TransLink Capital, Scrum Ventures, Azure Capital Partners and Spero Ventures, as well as angel investors Yun-Fang Juan and Russ Holdstein. The funds will be used to expand service offerings and make new hires.
- GigaPoints secures $1.5M to provide credit card recommendations: Another new startup, GigaPoints, a platform that provides personalized credit card recommendations based on a user’s spending, announced $1.5 million in seed funding. Participating in the round were Next Coast Ventures, Sam Kingsland and a group of angel investors. GigaPoints plans to use the funding for marketing, additional hiring and platform development.
- Greycroft closes two funds: Venture capital firm Greycroft announced that its newest funds, Greycroft VI and Greycroft Growth III, have raised a total of $678 million. Greycroft VI is a $310 million venture fund with an emphasis on early-stage investments, while Greycroft Growth III is the firm’s newest growth-stage fund with more than $368 million of commitments. Including these new funds, Greycroft has raised $2 billion in commitments across 10 investment vehicles and has more than 200 active investments. In August, we profiled the firm to discuss why its investments hadn’t slowed down during the pandemic.
- Salesforce closes on second impact fund: Salesforce announced the closing of its second Impact Fund from its strategic investment arm, Salesforce Ventures1. The $100 million fund will accelerate the growth of cloud companies addressing areas, such as education and workforce development, climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as providing tech for nonprofits and foundations. The Global Impact Investing Network estimates the market size at $715 billion, up more than 40 percent from last year. Salesforce Ventures introduced its first $50 million Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund back in 2017, and to date, has invested in more than 25 companies.
- Draper Goren Holm launches first fund: Draper Goren Holm announced the launch and first close of Fund 1. The venture studio’s first traditional venture fund of $25 million will invest seed and Series A funding into promising fintech and blockchain startups.
- SEC charges McAfee with fraud: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has charged businessman and computer programmer John McAfee with fraud for promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so. McAfee’s bodyguard, Jimmy Watson Jr., was also charged for his role in the alleged scheme.
- Faraday eyes public offering via SPAC: Electric vehicle maker Faraday Future is reportedly in talks about potentially going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, according to a Reuters interview with company CEO Carsten Breitfeld.
- ZeroFOX acquires Cyveillance: Digital risk production company ZeroFOX acquired the “Cyveillance” business from LookingGlass Cyber Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Cyveillance provides comprehensive threat intelligence services in the financial services, energy and public sectors. ZeroFOX has raised over $150 million in funding to date, including a $74 million Series D round in February, according to Crunchbase data.
Illustration: Dom Guzman