Briefing

The Briefing: Aqua Security Lands $135M, Snyk Snags $300M, 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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Aqua Security lands $135M, becomes unicorn

Aqua Security, a Boston- and Tel Aviv-based company providing cloud-native security technology, announced that it has raised $135 million in Series E funding at a valuation of $1 billion.

ION Crossover Partners led the round for the 6-year-old company, which brings total funding since its inception to $265 million. Several other venture and strategic investors participated in the financing.

The funding comes on the heels of a big year for Aqua, which says it doubled the number of paying customers in 2020.

— Joanna Glasner

Cybersecurity

Snyk snags $300M at $4.7B valuation: Boston-based application security developer Snyk closed a $300 million Series E at a valuation of $4.7 billion — quadrupling its value since the start of last year.

The round was co-led by Accel and Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors Addition, Boldstart Ventures, Canaan Partners, Coatue, GV, Salesforce Ventures1, Stripes and funds managed by BlackRock. Several new investors also joined the round, including Alkeon, Atlassian Ventures, Franklin Templeton, Geodesic Capital, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek.

The company — which now has raised a total of $470 million — plans to use the new funding to grow internationally.

— Chris Metinko

Public offerings

Roblox sets $45 per share reference price for direct listing ahead of debut on NYSE: The New York Stock Exchange set a reference price of $45 per share for gaming company Roblox, which began trading today at $64.50 after completing the first major direct listing for a venture-backed company.

— Joanna Glasner

Enterprise Software

Tetrate raises $40M Series B: San Francisco-based Tetrate closed a $40 million Series B led by Sapphire Ventures. The round included participation from new investors Scale Venture Partners and NTTVC, and existing investors Dell Technologies Capital, Intel Capital, 8VC2 and Samsung NEXT participated in the round.

Tetrate will use the new proceeds to grow its cloud networking platform and expand in the Americas and initiate go-to-market operations in Europe and Asia. The company has raised a total of $52.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

— Chris Metinko

Transportation

Optibus raises $107M for mass transit planning: Tel Aviv-based Optibus, developer of an AI-enabled SaaS platform for planning and running mass transportation, announced it has raised $107 in a Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Insight Partners. With this latest round, Optibus has raised a total of $160 million since its founding in 2014.

— Joanna Glasner

Food tech

Belliwelli launches snack bars with $1M: Belliwelli raised $1 million in seed funding, led by Michael Costello, with participation from Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, as well as other individual investors, to launch its four gut-friendly, plant-based snack bars on March 23. Research on how gut health affects a person’s overall health is fairly new, and more startups are launching in the field. Meanwhile, venture investors pumped $1 billion into U.S. companies working on gut microbiome projects in the past five years, according to Crunchbase data.

— Christine Hall

Health care

Tausight, Cybrexa raise significant rounds: Tausight announced $20 million in Series A funding to continue development of its platform aimed at ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of patients’ protected health information (PHI). The round was co-led by existing investors Polaris Partners and Flare Capital Partners, which were joined by new investor .406 Ventures. Founded in 2018 by David Ting, the Boston-based company enables facility information officers to better secure clinical workflows when clinicians access and use PHI. The company will use the funding to expand its go-to-market team and technology development.

Cybrexa Therapeutics, an oncology-focused biotechnology company, announced $25 million in Series B financing from a group of investors that included HighCape Capital and new investor Elm Street Ventures. This new funding gives the New Haven, Connecticut-based company $44.4 million in known funding, according to Crunchbase data. Cybrexa is developing tumor-targeting treatments and will use the new funding to advance its lead candidate toward a Phase 1 study this year.

— Christine Hall

Fintech

Flutterwave, Silvr, Cheese raise rounds: Africa-based payments technology company Flutterwave secured $170 million in Series C funding led by Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global Management. Founded by entrepreneur Olugbenga Agboola in 2016, the company’s valuation is more than $1 billion. This new fundraise brings the total investment to $225 million, according to the company. The new funds will go toward the company’s global growth strategy, to accelerate customer acquisition and on product development. The shift to digital payments in Africa, especially during the global pandemic, contributed to Flutterwave’s revenue compound annual growth rate of 226 percent from 2018 to 2020.

France-based fintech Silvr raised 3 million euros from an investor group including ISAI, Idinvest and Serena Capital, to continue developing its financing tool exclusively for e-commerce companies to finance their business growth while retaining 100 percent of their capital. Founded in 2020, the company is already working with 15 online customers to finance their digital campaigns and multiply their turnover. Silvr intends to use the funding to hire a dozen new employees and target 100 customers within 18 months, the company said.

Digital bank and social cause platform Cheese unveiled its platform to support Asian communities with $3.6 million in seed funding from an investor group co-led by Ifly.vc and Amplify. There are nearly 21 million Asian Americans in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but continue to be subject to discrimination and face challenges in securing basic banking services due to a lack of credit history and language barriers, the Pasadena, California-based company said.

— Christine Hall

New funds

  • Active Impact Investments closed the first tranche of a new fund with $41 million that will be invested in startups focused on climate technologies. Investors getting in on Vancouver-based Active’s second fund include new investor First West Credit Union, the firm said. Founded in 2018, Active expects to close the fund in the second quarter.
  • SIP Global Partners, a U.S.- and Japan-headquartered venture capital firm, announced the first close of $75 million of commitments for its first fund, which is targeting $150 million in total, the firm said.  SIP invests in early-stage U.S. technology companies and supports their expansion across Asia.  To date, SIP has invested in five startups, including gaming development companies Croquet and Tilt Five.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


  1. Salesforce Ventures is an investor in Crunchbase. It has no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.

  2. 8VC is an investor in Crunchbase. It has no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.

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