Briefing

The Briefing: Lucid Motors Going Public Via SPAC, Serena Closes €300M Fund, And More

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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Lucid Motors to go public via SPAC

Electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors has announced a plan to go public through a merger with a blank check acquirer, or SPAC, at an equity value of around $11.75 billion.

Newark, California-based Lucid, which makes luxury electric vehicles, plans to merge with Churchill Capital Corp IV, a SPAC that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CCIV. The deal includes a private investment that is expected to provide Lucid with approximately $4.4 billion in cash.

Lucid says it currently employs nearly 2,000 people, and plans to add 3,000 U.S. employees by the end of 2022. Financing from the transaction will go to expand its Arizona manufacturing facility, with the company planning to introduce its first car, the Lucid Air, this year, followed by its Gravity performance luxury SUV in 2023.

— Joanna Glasner

New Funds

Serena closes €300 million fund: French venture capital firm Serena closed on a 300 million euro ($365 million) fund, Serena III, which will focus on early-stage startups. Founded in 2008, the firm describes itself as not focused on a particular industry, but notes that it does have “a special affection for DeepTech, enterprise software, marketplaces, and entertainment.”

— Joanna Glasner

Fintech

Klarna eyes direct listing: Swedish payments unicorn Klarna is considering a direct listing to take itself public, according to a Reuters report citing the company’s CEO, Sebastian Siemiatkowski. The report also cited unnamed sources saying that Klarna is finalizing another private funding round to bring in at least $500 million.

— Joanna Glasner

Bottlepay, FundGuard, ErudiFi raise rounds: Bitcoin-based payments company Bottlepay, headquartered in the United Kingdom, secured $15 million in seed funding. Investors include Alan Howard, present and former Goldman Sachs partners, FinTech Collective, NYDIG and Phil Doye. Bottlepay’s new platform facilitates instant payments in conventional currencies and Bitcoin and strips out transaction charges. The new funding will be used to expand the team and develop the platform’s functionality and geographical reach. Meanwhile, FundGuard, an investment funds operating platform, closed a $12 million Series A funding round. Team8 co-led the round with  existing investors Blumberg Capital and LionBird Ventures. The financing round brings the total amount of capital raised by New York-based FundGuard to $16 million. The company uses artificial intelligence to manage investments across mutual funds and ETFs, alternatives, insurance and pensions. And, Singapore-based ErudiFi, a tech-enabled company providing access to affordable education financing in Southeast Asia, closed on a $5 million Series A round co-led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Qualgro. The funding will be deployed in new hires across the company, to scale its education financing services, expand into Indonesia and the Philippines, and product development.

— Christine Hall

Foodtech

Mosa Meat raises $10M: Mosa Meat, a Netherlands-based food technology company, brought in another $10 million to close its Series B funding round at $85 million. Blue Horizon Ventures led the round. Mosa Meat launched its first product, a cultivated beef hamburger, in 2013, and intends to use the funds to scale its real beef production in a sustainable and safe way. In addition, the company will extend its current pilot production facility, develop an industrial-sized production line, expand its team and continue product development.

— Christine Hall

Family tech

Maple launches with $3.5M: Michael Perry and Mike Taylor, who co-founded the virtual marketing assistant Kit, and sold it to Shopify in 2016, are back with San Francisco-based Maple, a family tech app. Using AI and machine-learning technology, Maple builds daily and weekly personalized plans for parents, and over time, provides smarter recommendations based on their needs. The company raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Inspired Capital, with participation from Box Group. The funding will be used on technology development, hiring and partnerships.

— Christine Hall

Cloud

ScienceLogic secures $105M: ScienceLogic, providing AI-driven monitoring solutions for hybrid cloud management, announced $105 million in Series E funding. Silver Lake Waterman led the round. The investment will support the company’s continued innovation in the AIOps market.

— Christine Hall

Health care

VenoStent inks$2.3M: VenoStent, a Houston-based advanced materials company, closed $2.3 million in seed funding led by Creative Ventures. The company is using polymer engineering technology to develop bioresorbable slip-on polymer wraps, called SelfWrap, that are aimed at eliminating vascular surgery failures. The new investment will be used to complete the company’s first in-human clinical work and to conduct relevant studies. Since 2017, the company has raised more than $6 million.

— Christine Hall

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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