Briefing

The Briefing: SoFi Starts Trading, Wefox Lands $650M, Bought By Many Secures $350M, 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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SoFi shares close up

Shares of online lender SoFi closed 12 percent above its opening price on the first day of trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq under its new ticker SOFI.

This follows an opening at $21.97 per share, which were down slightly most of the day into the late afternoon before closing at $22.65 per share, according to Yahoo Finance. It’s market capitalization now stands at $15.5 billion, according to investor DCM Ventures.

The company announced in January that it would enter the public markets through a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V, a special-purpose acquisition company led by billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya.

The deal gave San Francisco-based SoFi a post-money valuation of $8.65 billion and was expected to provide up to $2.4 billion in cash proceeds, according to the company.

SoFi has raised $2.5 billion in known funding since it was founded in 2011, according to Crunchbase data. Its most recent venture capital round was a $500 million Series F in 2017 led by Silver Lake Partners. In 2019, it raised another half-billion-dollar round of private equity led by Qatar Investment Authority. At that time, the company was valued at $4.8 billion post-money.

In a Tuesday blog post, DCM wrote that it watched SoFi go from refinancing student loans to becoming a “one-stop shop for financial independence.  … They have also become the infrastructure layer that powers other leading fintechs through their acquisition of Galileo. Lastly, they have also become the leading millennial focused brand for financial services and successfully made a once ‘boring’ topic cool.”

Wefox lands $650M for digital insurance

Berlin-based Wefox, a provider of an app-based digital insurance platform, raised $650 million in a Series C funding round led by Target Global.

The funding reportedly sets a $3 billion post-money valuation for the 6-year-old company. Wefox operates in  five European countries presently, with plans for expansion. The company offers tools for agents to streamline and automate their processes for quoting and selling insurance policies for categories such as homeowners, automotive and other areas.

Bought By Many raises $350M for pet insurance

London-based pet insurance provider Bought By Many raised $350 million in a Series D round led by EQT Growth.

The financing sets a valuation of $2 billion for the company, which provides policies for pet owners in Europe and the U.S. Previously, Bought By Many raised around $123 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data. The company was founded in 2012 and launched exclusively in pet insurance in 2017.

— Joanna Glasner

Funding rounds

Project44 lands $202M Series E: Logistics startup Project44 said Tuesday that it raised a $202 million Series E, valuing the company $1.2 billion. Goldman Sachs and Emergence Capital led the round, which brought the company’s total funding to $442.5 million. The funding will help the company expand in Asia, grow its AI and data science capabilities, and expand its sales and marketing efforts, according to a statement from the company.

— Sophia Kunthara

ElectroNeek raises $20M for process automation: Robotic process automation technology provider ElectroNeek just announced that it raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Baring Vostok. The San Francisco-based startup develops software to automate repetitive tasks.

— Joanna Glasner

Fintech and e-commerce

Kushki banks $60M: Ecuador-based payments platform Kushki raised $86 million in Series B funding to give it a valuation of $600 million, the company said. The company is touting the investment as “the highest valuation Series B in the history of Latin America.” Backers of the round include SoftBank Latin America Fund. Kushki intends to use the new funds to expand across the region, build out its developer teams and grow in new markets, such as Brazil and Central America.

Kudos launches with $2.4M: Kudos launched its sensitive skin- and eco-friendly disposable baby diapers company with $2.4 million in seed funding. The round included participation from Foundation Capital, XFund, PJC, Precursor Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, SV Angel1, UnderscoreVC, Alpha Bridge Ventures and April Underwood.

Opopop secures $5M: Denver-based popcorn brand Opopop, launching on June 7, closed on $5 million in Series A funding led by Valor Siren Ventures. The new investment brings the company’s combined pre-launch funding from seed and Series A rounds to $11.6 million to date, according to the company. Opopop will offer six flavors, including Fancy Butter, Salted Umami and Vanilla Cake Pop.

Food Rocket bags $2M: Food Rocket, a San Francisco-based grocery delivery startup, announced $2 million in financing from a group including AltaIR Capital to expand in the United States. The company provides on-demand delivery touting 10- to 15-minute delivery of fresh groceries, ready-to-eat meals and household goods. The service is currently only available in San Francisco, but by the end of 2021 Food Rocket intends to open 150 dark stores on the West Coast, each capable of servicing at least 25,000 households.

Belvo banks $43M: Mexico City-based Belvo, an open finance API platform, announced a $43 million Series A round, touting it as “the largest ever Series A for a fintech company in Latin America.” The round included investors, such as Future Positive. Since 2020, the company expanded coverage to more than 40 financial institutions and now enables companies to connect to more than 90 percent of personal and business bank accounts in Latin America.

— Christine Hall

Health care

Standard Bariatrics secures $35M: Cincinnati-based Standard Bariatrics completed a $35 million Series B round led by U.S. Venture Partners. The company developed the Titan SGS medical device for sleeve gastrectomy, a bariatric surgical procedure for obesity disease.

Allotrope Medical inks $4M: Houston-based medical device company Allotrope Medical closed on an oversubscribed $4 million in Series A funding led by Rockies Venture Club. The company developed StimSite, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared muscle stimulation device that assists surgeon’s existing laparoscopic and robotic instruments to rapidly and safely identify and locate the ureter during pelvic operations.

DayTwo raises $37M: DayTwo, headquartered in California, raised $37 million to further the development of its precision nutrition platform designed to improve the health of people with diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Backers in the investment included aMoon Fund and brings the company’s total capital raised to $85 million, according to the company.

True Angle secures $1.64M: Canada-based True Angle raised an oversubscribed $1.64 million funding round, co-led by The51 Ventures Fund 1 and Accelerate Fund, to further advance the technology behind its dysphagia medical device.

— Christine Hall

New fund

Uncle Nearest creates $50M fund: Whiskey brand Uncle Nearest announced its $50 million Uncle Nearest Venture Fund created specifically to invest in rapidly growing, minority-founded and -owned spirit brands. The company’s fund has already invested in two companies, with each receiving $2 million: London-based Equiano, an Afro-Caribbean rum founded by Ian Burrell and Aaisha Dadral, and Jack From Brooklyn, touted as “the first-known Black-owned distillery in America post Prohibition,” which makes Sorel Liqueur.

— Christine Hall

Cybersecurity

Exabeam raises $200M at $2.4B valuation: Foster City, California-based cybersecurity company Exabeam closed a $200 million Series F growth round at a $2.4 billion valuation. The round was led by the Owl Rock division of Blue Owl Capital and included participation from existing investors Acrew Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

The security analytics company also announced Michael DeCesare has become the new CEO and president. The company’s co-founder and first CEO, Nir Polak, will continue to be on the executive team and remain at the company.

— Chris Metinko

Enterprise software

Cloudera taken private: Santa Clara-based enterprise data cloud company Cloudera agreed to be taken private by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and KKR in an all-cash transaction. The deal values the Hadoop company at approximately $5.3 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Cloudera went public in 2017 as the Hadoop space heated up. In 2018, it merged with competitor Hortonworks in a $5.2 billion deal.

— Chris Metinko

M&A

Bill.com completes acquisition of Divvy: Bill.com, a provider of back-office financial operations for small and midsize businesses said it completed its cash-and-stock acquisition of spend management company Divvy, valued at $2.5 billion.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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