Briefing

The Briefing: SES Nabs $139M For EV Batteries, Clubhouse Closes Series C, And More

The Briefing

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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SES raises $139M for EV battery development

Singapore-based SES announced Monday that it raised a $139 million Series D. Auto giant GM led the round for SES, which develops Li-metal batteries for electric vehicles. The funding comes as EVs have been more in the spotlight. Besides EV investment announcements from automakers, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill allocates $174 billion toward the sector’s infrastructure.

–Sophia Kunthara

Clubhouse raises round at $4B valuation

Clubhouse, the fast-growing audio-based social network for group gatherings, announced that it closed a Series C funding round, just three months after closing its Series B.

Andreessen Horowitz led the financing, with participation from major investors DST Global, Tiger Global and Elad Gil. Clubhouse did not disclose the size of the round, which reportedly set a valuation of $4 billion for the San Francisco-based company.

— Joanna Glasner

Zilch picks up $80M for buy now, pay later

U.K.-based Zilch, a buy now, pay later app for online consumers, raised $80 million in a Series B round at a valuation of more than $500 million.

Backers in the round include Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund. The financing brings total funding to date for the 3-year-old company to around $120 million, per Crunchbase data.

— Joanna Glasner

Oatly reveals $60M loss in F-1

Two months after filing confidential for an initial public offering, Sweden-based Oatly filed a F-1 Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 1990, the company, filing as Oatly Group AB, touts itself as “the world’s original and largest oatmilk company,” making a list of products, including milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams, spreads and on-the-go drinks. In addition, it was “leading the transformation of the global dairy market, worth approximately $600 billion in the retail channel alone as of 2020.”

Oatly revealed an IPO size of $100 million, as well as a $60.3 million loss on $421.3 million revenue in 2020, compared with $35.6 million on $204 million in revenue for 2019.

To date, the company raised a total of $241.4 million in known venture-backed funding, according to Crunchbase data. It’s most recent raise was $200 million in private equity, led by Blackstone Group last July.

Oatly plans to list on Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol OTLY.

— Christine Hall

Funding rounds

InsureQ lands $6M: Munich-based insuretech startup InsureQ raised $6 million in a seed round led by Nauta Capital. Founded in 2019, the company offers insurance tailored for freelancers, startups and small business owners.

— Joanna Glasner

Phenix Raises $16.7M: Real-time streaming tech platform Phenix raised a $16.7 million Series B, bringing its valuation to about $90 million. KB Partners led the round with participation from Verizon Ventures1 and Manheim Investments. Phenix delivers streams with less than half a second of latency at broadcast scale, according to the company, and last raised a $7.6 million Series A in March 2020.

–Sophia Kunthara

Health care

Virta Health raises $133M: Virta Health, a type 2 diabetes reversal company, raised $133 million of equity financing, led by Tiger Global, that values the San Francisco-based company at $2 billion. The funding will be used to drive widespread adoption of its telehealth-powered diabetes reversal treatment. Virta helps people reverse their chronic disease while removing the need for costly medications, including insulin.

— Christine Hall

Agriculture

ReelData A.I. inks $2.5M: ReelData A.I., a Canada-based company providing artificially intelligent monitoring for finned fish aquaculture, closed a CA$2.5 million seed investment led by S2G Ventures. It’s technology reads the real-time feed spill in each tank and adjusts feeding systems.

— Christine Hall

Fintech

Knox Financial banks $10M: Knox Financial, a fintech company building a platform for overseeing and optimizing investment properties, raised $10 million in Series A funding led by G20 Ventures.

Bespoke Financial banks $8M: Los Angeles-based fintech Bespoke Financial, providing debt financing to cannabis companies, announced a $8 million Series A to bring the company’s total funding to date to over $28 million, the company said. The raise was co-led by Casa Verde Capital and Sweat Equity Ventures. Founded in 2018, the company provides debt financing tools to cannabis companies across the supply chain in over 80 percent of the U.S. market. Crunchbase data shows 2021 investment in the cannabis space is rebounding a bit after last year’s lull. Some $357 million has gone into 29 companies so far, led by a $200 million Series C round last month for Dutchie, which outfits dispensaries with the technology and tools needed to provide safe and easy access to cannabis.

— Christine Hall

M&A

Jushi to acquire Nature’s Remedy: Jushi Holdings, a Boca Raton, Florida-based multi-state cannabis operator, said it agreed to acquire Nature’s Remedy of Massachusetts in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $110 million. Nature’s Remedy currently operates two retail dispensaries in Massachusetts.

— Christine Hall

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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

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