Briefing

The Briefing: Grab Inks $40B SPAC Deal, Epic Games Gets $1B, Grover Lands $71M, 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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Grab to go public via SPAC in $40B deal

Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab has agreed to a merger with a SPAC in a deal that would value the Singapore-based company at around $40 billion.

Grab will be merging with the U.S. SPAC Altimeter Growth Corp., backed by Altimeter Capital. The deal also includes a private investment in public equity component of more than $4 billion backed by investors including BlackRock, Fidelity International, Janus Henderson Investors and Temasek Holdings.

Founded in 2012, Grab has raised at least $12.1 billion in known funding to date, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Epic Games raises $1B

Epic Games, the maker of popular games like Fortnite, announced Tuesday that it raised $1 billion in new funding, bringing its valuation to $28.7 billion. The funding round includes $200 million from Sony, which has invested in Epic Games in the past. The funding comes as gaming in general has seen an uptick in interest amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Epic Games last raised $1.5 billion in August 2020, according to Crunchbase.

–Sophia Kunthara

Fintech and e-commerce

Grover lands $71M for device subscriptions: Berlin-based Grover, a startup that offers a subscription model for consumer electronics, raised $71 million in a Series B round led by JMS Capital-Everglen. Three-fourths of the financing consists of equity, while the remaining quarter is debt funding.

— Joanna Glasner

Verix is now Wage, raises $5M: San Francisco-based Verix announced it has changed its name to Wage and raised $5 million in funding, led by Gradient Ventures. Wage is an infrastructure software solution that lets people seamlessly and securely share their payroll data with third parties without clunky login flows or document uploads.

SmartCommerce bags $13M: Atlanta-based SmartCommerce, a provider of SaaS tools for the consumer packaged goods industry, closed a $13 million growth financing led by Argentum Capital Partners IV. The company’s Click2Cart platform enables consumers to save products from any digital impulse point such as ads, videos, social media, influencers’ platforms, emails, websites, magazines and product packaging, into carts of a network of over 500 global retail partners.

— Christine Hall

Health care

Papa picks up $60M for eldercare: Miami-based Papa, a startup that connects older adults and families with providers of companionship and assistance, has raised $60 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global Management. Founded in 2018, the company previously raised at least $31 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Cohere Health, Vericred, Biloba raise rounds: Cohere Health, a Boston-based digital health company, closed a $36 million Series B round led by Polaris Partners. The round comes less than a year after the company’s launch and three months since its $10 million Series A extension. Cohere Health intends to use the new funding on continued technology development, including automating prior authorization processes and care coordination.

New York data services platform Vericred completed a $23 million Series B round to continue developing its application programming interface that connects health insurance and benefits carriers with technology partners, such as human resources software, insurtechs and consumer apps. Aquiline Technology Growth led the funding round, which will be used to expand Vericred’s teams in New York and Omaha, Nebraska.

France-based Biloba, an on-demand pediatric startup, raised $1.6 million in a seed round led by Aglaé Ventures and ID4, to continue providing medical consultations in an unlimited membership format.

— Christine Hall

Aerospace

Orbital Sidekick brings in $16M: Orbital Sidekick, a San Francisco-based company, secured $16 million in Series A funding, led by Temasek, to commercialize its hyperspectral satellite. The company develops space-based infrastructure of hyperspectral sensors to provide monitoring services to the energy and defense sectors. The company will invest the new dollars in product development, new strategic partnerships and expansion into new industries. The company intends to launch its satellite on multiple SpaceX Falcon 9 missions beginning in 2022.

— Christine Hall

Agriculture

Hazel Technologies lands $70M: Agricultural technology company Hazel Technologies closed on an oversubscribed $70 million Series C funding co-led by Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund and Temasek. Hazel Technologies’ products deliver a controlled release of shelf-life enhancing vapor from packaging inserts called sachets, which are placed in boxes of bulk produce by commercial growers at the time of harvest. The company says the sachets extend the shelf-life of produce up to three times by slowing aging in produce and preventing decay.

— Christine Hall

New funds

Finistere launches New Zealand agricultural fund: Palo Alto-based VC firm Finistere Ventures, which invests in the agriculture sector, announced a $28 million Finistere Aotearoa Fund, in partnership with New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, to invest in New Zealand companies focused on sustainability and nutrition needs. Finistere’s new fund operations will be based at The Factory, an R&D and company incubation cluster in New Zealand.

— Christine Hall

Enterprise software

Scale AI hits $7B-plus valuation: San Francisco-based Scale AI raised a $325 million Series E co-led by Dragoneer, Greenoaks Capital and Tiger Global at a valuation of more than $7 billion. The company, which develops a data platform allowing companies to more effectively use AI, had raised a $155 million Series D just last December at a $3.5 billion valuation.

Additional new investors to the round include Wellington Management and Durable Capital, which joined existing investors Coatue, Index, Founders Fund and YC.

Scale has continuously realized year-to-year growth greater than 100 percent and has moved past the $100 million ARR mark.

— Chris Metinko

Insurance

Clearcover raises $200M: Car insurance startup Clearcover said Tuesday that it raised $200 million in a Series D round led by Eldridge. The company’s technology automates manual insurance processes to save money and offer lower insurance rates to the customers. The Series D, which brings Clearcover’s total funding to $329 million, comes after the company expanded into new states last year.

–Sophia Kunthara

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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