The Crunchbase News Briefing: Wed., Sept. 30

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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Palantir appears headed to market at lower valuation

Palantir, the big data and analytics company set to begin trading today through a direct listing, appears to be going public at a lower valuation than previously expected.

The New York Stock Exchange said  Tuesday that the reference price for Palantir’s direct listing is $7.25 a share. That price point indicates a valuation of around $15.7 billion, well below its prior peak private valuation.

However,  The Wall Street Journal reports that Palantir’s bankers have told investors the shares could start trading around $10 apiece. At that price, Palantir would have a market valuation of nearly $22 billion.


  • VTEX lands $225M at a $1.7B valuation: VTEX, a startup focused on e-commerce strategies for major retailers and consumer brands, announced it has raised $225 million in a Series D funding round. [Read more here]
  • HOMER inks $50M for new children’s learning program: HOMER, a Begin brand, secured a $50 million Series C funding round to launch a comprehensive new early-learning program aimed at children ages 2 to 8, to co-develop curriculum alongside partners such as Sesame Workshop and to launch globally through distribution partners such as Gymboree Play & Music. The HOMER Method provides skills such as literacy, math, problem solving and social emotional awareness through content personalized for interest, age and learning level. Investors in the round included LEGO Ventures, Sesame Workshop, the principal investor in Gymboree Play & Music, 3One4 Capital, Trustbridge Partners and Interlock Partners. Liquidity Capital also contributed an additional $25 million in trajectory-based funding for growth.
  • Bykea to drive delivery with $22M Series B: Bykea, a Pakistan-based on-demand transport and logistics platform, announced a $22 million Series B funding round led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from existing investors Middle East Venture Partners and Sarmayacar. The company intends to invest in its platform and expand its market reach in smaller, non-English-speaking cities.
  • R-Zero raises $15M for commercial disinfecting device: R-Zero, a San Francisco-based biosafety company that reduces the spread of infectious disease, closed on a $15 million Series A round of funding led by DBL Partners with participation from Bedrock Capital. The new funds will help fast-track distribution of the Arc, a hospital-grade UV-C disinfection device for commercial uses.
  • Siren adds $9M to Series B: Smart textiles company Siren, based in San Francisco, brought in an additional $9 million for its Series B, giving it a total of $20.8 million intended for the development of its fabrics that contain remote patient monitoring applications. The round was led by Anathem Ventures with participation from existing investors DCM, Khosla Ventures, 500 Startups and Founders Fund.
  • Strigo brings in $8M for training platform: Israel-based Strigo raised an $8 million Series A round to continue developing its platform to deliver remote instructor-led, on-demand and third-party training. The new investment was led by Velvet Sea Ventures and existing investor Greycroft with participation from Hanaco, the company’s lead seed investor.
  • Buzzer scores $4M for live sports app: Buzzer, a New York City-based mobile platform for live sports events, raised $4 million in seed funding led by early-stage firm Lerer Hippeau and venture fund Sapphire Sport. Buzzer said other investors joining in the funding include R&R Venture Partners; Imagination Capital; SoFi CEO Anthony Noto; Richard Parsons, the former chairman and CEO of TimeWarner and interim CEO of the LA Clippers; and former Twitter executive Grace Kim. Buzzer said its mobile platform aims to “provide a seamless user and viewing experience by aggregating sports rights and content and allowing its users to set up customized notifications. Fans have the option to either authenticate an existing subscription through Buzzer or instantaneously make a secure micropayment to buy only and exactly what they want to watch.”
  • Emjoy raises $3M for female wellbeing app: Emjoy, a Barcelona-based intimate wellbeing startup, raised $3 million in seed funding led by JME Ventures, with existing investor Nauta Capital participating. The company’s app provides more than 150 audio sessions and sensual stories aimed at female sexual wellbeing.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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