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.
Toyota creates $800M fund to back mobility, AI companies
Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development said it has created Woven Capital, an $800 million global growth-stage investment fund, following a July announcement “to expand and strengthen its operations by forming a new holding company called Woven Planet Holdings, which will begin operations in January 2021.”
Woven Capital will invest in companies developing technologies and business models in areas such as autonomous mobility, automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and analytics, connectivity and smart cities. In addition to sourcing deals from Toyota AI Ventures, Woven Capital will also invest in other global venture capital funds, the organization said.
Orchard raises $69M for real estate platform
Orchard’s business model focuses on people who want to buy a new home but also are looking to sell one they currently own. The company makes an offer on a sellers’ old home that’s good for 120 days. The house then goes on the market. If it sells for higher than the offered amount, the seller gets the higher amount. If it doesn’t, the Orchard backup offer price stands.
The idea is to enable the purchase of a new home without having to first vacate and sell the old one.
The company currently operates in the Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver and San Antonio metro areas, with plans for expansion to new geographies.
- StackRox lands $26.5M to secure containers: Mountain View, California-based StackRox, a startup focused on container and Kubernetes security, raised $26.5 million in a new round led by Menlo Ventures. Founded in 2014, StackRox has seen particularly high growth of late, with business reportedly growing by 240 percent in the first half of this year.
- Sana Benefits raises $20.8M: Austin-based Sana Benefits, a provider of self-funded health insurance for small businesses, announced the closing of $20.8 million in Series A funding led by Gigafund with participation from Trust Ventures and mark vc. The company, with coverage in Texas and Kentucky, is expanding to new states every year and will use the funding to scale customer acquisition and provide better benefits at lower costs.
- Klue inks $15M: Klue, a Canada-based AI-powered competitive enablement platform, said it raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by Craft Ventures with participation from HWVP, existing investors OMERS Ventures, Rhino Ventures and BDC Ventures, as well as angel investors including Frederic Kerrest and Zach Coelius. The investment, which brings the company’s total funding to $19 million, will go toward accelerating product and machine learning development and to meet customer demand.
- Totient raises $10M to discover COVID-19 antibodies: Totient, an AI-driven drug discovery company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, secured $10 million in seed funding and a strategic discovery partnership with Ginkgo BioWorks to work on discovering COVID-19 antibodies and use those to create treatments. Investors in the round included Mission BioCapital, Sands Capital, Viva Biotech, Kaitai Capital, Tau Ventures and Jonathan Milner.
- BinSentry raises $7.7M for feed sensors: BinSentry, a Canada-based startup developing digital sensor technology to help feed mills and farmers operate more efficiently, announced a $7.7 million investment round. Lewis & Clark AgriFood led the round with participation from BDC Capital and existing investors Garage Capital and Chilligo Investments. BinSentry sensors are mounted on animal feed bins to provide real time data on feed levels.
- Greenfield Partners raises $150M fund: Greenfield Partners announced the closing of a $150 million fund to support early-stage Israeli and Israel-related technology and tech-enabled businesses. The fund’s investments currently include Avanan, BigPanda, Guardicore, and Vast Data.
Unity Sets IPO Price Range: Unity Software set a price range of between $34 and $42 per share. If it prices at the top of the range, the company would raise $1.05 billion and be valued at more than $11 billion.
Illustration: Dom Guzman