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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SellerX raises $118M to grow Amazon businesses
Berlin-based SellerX, a new startup that aims to consolidate and grow promising smaller businesses that sell via Amazon’s platform, has raised $118 million in what is reportedly being called a seed funding round.
Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital and TriplePoint Capital led the financing, which the company reportedly plans to use to roll up smaller businesses using Fullfilment by Amazon for payments, logistics and delivery.
SellerX’s focus will be consumer goods, covering categories including household, pets, garden supplies, goods for kids and beauty.
Forter bags $125M to reach unicorn status
Forter, a New York-based company focused on e-commerce fraud prevention, said it raised $125 million in Series E funding. The round propels Forter’s valuation to more than $1.3 billion.
Bessemer Venture Partners, Felix Capital and Itai Tsiddon co-led the round and were joined by Sequoia Capital, NewView Capital, Scale Venture Partners, March Capital Partners and Commerce Ventures. The new funding brings Forter total raised to more than $225 million in venture-backed investments since the company was founded in 2013, according to Crunchbase data.
The company intends to use the new funding to continue product development and growing its global data network that has doubled in size over the last 12 months to exceed $200 billion in annual online transactions protecting over 800 million shoppers, the company said in a release.
- ZenBusiness lands $55M: Austin-based ZenBusiness, provider of an online platform for starting a business, raised $55 million in a Series B round led by Cathay Innovation.
- Verbit closes $60M: Verbit, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to power transcription and captioning, landed a $60 million Series C led by Sapphire Ventures. The company will use the new funding to accelerate growth and look toward mergers and acquisition opportunities, Verbit said in a statement.
- CAIS secures $50M for investor tools, education: CAIS, a New York-based alternative investment platform, announced a $50 million Series B equity investment from Eldridge. Independent financial advisers use the CAIS platform to access funds and products, including hedge funds, private equity, private credit, real estate, structured notes and digital assets.
- Apprentice.io raises $24M for pharma innovation: Apprentice.io has announced the close of a $24 million Series B round led by Insight Partners. The Jersey City, New Jersey-based company develops an intelligent manufacturing execution system that helps life science teams scale faster, with applications in COVID-19 therapies and other areas.
- Aya Payments secures $2.9M: Aya Payments, a Toronto-based startup that builds payment tools and programs for employee benefits packages, closed on $2.9 million in financing led by MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Luge Capital. The investment will fuel Aya’s expansion into the U.S. market.
- Coterie raises $2.75M: New York-based baby care product-maker Coterie announced a $2.75 million seed funding, led by Willow Growth, to accelerate expansion of its high-performance diaper product.
- Vennfi banks on $2.3M for CharityVest: Vennfi, an Atlanta-based financial technology company for tax-exempt payments, announced $2.3 million in seed funding for its charitable giving platform, CharityVest, led by Tom Blaisdell. CharityVest enables anyone to create a Donor-Advised Fund, or charitable giving account.
- Juni brings in 2 million euros: Sweden-based Juni raised 2 million euros, led by Cherry Ventures, to improve banking for e-commerce and online marketing entrepreneurs.
- Ubiq Security raises $6.4M seed: San Diego-based Ubiq Security, a cybersecurity startup trying to simplify encryption, closed a $6.4 million seed equity round. The round was led by Okapi Venture Capital and included participation from TenOneTen Ventures, Cove Fund, DLA Piper Venture, Volta Global and Alexandria Venture Investments. The company plans to use the money for platform development and customer acquisition.
- Datafold snags $2.1M in seed round: San Francisco-based Datafold raised a $2.1 million seed round led by New Enterprise Associates. The company attempts to help businesses by automating the testing and monitoring of analytical data.
- SumUp acquires Goodtill: London-based global payments service provider SumUp said it acquired Goodtill, a point-of-sale software provider for hospitality businesses, also based in London, for an undisclosed amount. SumUp, which has raised more than $425 million in venture-backed funding since 2011, said the deal will help it grow and develop its restaurant and hospitality sectors. This is the company’s third acquisition, following Shoplo in 2019 and Payleven in 2016, according to Crunchbase data.
- OurCrowd receives $60M for technology transfer: Israel-based venture investment platform OurCrowd raised $60 million from ORIX, a financial services group based in Japan. The collaboration will lead to new Israeli technology and financial products, as well as investment opportunities for Japan and global markets.
- Financial Venture Studio has a new fund: Financial Venture Studio, a San Francisco-based venture firm, closed on its first fund, FVS Fund I with more than $13 million in commitments. The fund will invest in early-stage fintech startups that “improve the way that Americans conduct their financial lives.” To date, FVS has invested in 18 companies through three cohorts of its networking program.
Illustration: Dom Guzman