Hello and welcome to Last Week In Venture, a rundown of deals sealed by interesting companies that may have flown under your radar this week.
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This week Crunchbase News team wrapped up its reporting on the state of venture in Q4 and 2018 as a whole. We profiled VC activity in Asia and in Boston, female founders’ funding, and posted all the charts from the global and U.S.-Canada reports we published last week. Beyond that, though, we covered supergiant rounds (of $100M or more) raised by Vietnamese payments startup Momo and realty platform Knock. We also looked at Illinois startups’ fundraising pace, consolidation in the e-learning space and a couple other M&A deals of note.
The U.S. Federal government is still partially shut down, and the political news has been, how to say it, “interesting” this week. Leading into the weekend, the Midwest and Eastern seaboard are about to be clobbered by a huge snow storm. There’s a lot to keep up with besides what’s going on in venture-land.
It’s easy to miss companies outside the unicorn spotlight, but that doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth sharing. Let’s dive into what you might’ve missed in the week that was!
Earlier this week, back office automation startup ScaleFactor announced it had raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. This follows a $10 million Series A round it closed in July 2018, just six months ago. Several investors from the Series A round followed-on its Series B, including Canaan Partners, Broadhaven Ventures, Firebrand Ventures, and other unnamed individual investors.
Based in Austin, Texas, ScaleFactor helps small and medium-sized businesses (which the company defines as having fewer than 100 employees) track finances for accounting and reporting purposes. It offers a suite of automation tools to help businesses track costs and pay bills more efficiently. A statement from the company said that ScaleFactor grew its customer base by 700% annually in 2018.
Some Other Interesting Deals
- Today, you’re the youngest that you’ll ever be. Toronto-based Acorn Biolabs announced that it has raised $3.3 million in seed funding to to create “an easy, affordable, non-invasive and trusted cell preservation service.” Co-founder and CEO Dr. Drew Taylor said in a statement that “in our later years, when we need our cells for regenerative therapies, our cells are the least viable.” He continued, “Entire heart, liver and kidneys are really just around the corner. The urgency around collecting, preserving and banking youthful cells for future use is real, and freezing the clock on your cells will ensure you can leverage them later when you need them.” Real Ventures, Globalive Technology, Pool Global Partners, and Epic Capital Management, among others, invested in the deal.
- Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of intellectual property and countless corporate secrets are exfiltrated, unwittingly, by employees just answering emails. Tessian is an enterprise software company that’s developed a solution that helps curtail spear-phishing attacks and misaddressed messages by alerting users when they might be sending a message to the wrong person, or to an imposter. The London-based company announced it raised $40 million in Series B funding, led by Sequoia Capital.
- Imagine looking at a forest and not only being able to see the trees, but individually identify them. That’s kind of what AnyVision is building, except it’s in the business of AI-powered individual face detection for large-crowd settings. These features and more are built into its rather Orwellian-sounding “Better Tomorrow” platform highlighted on its website. AnyVision raised $15 million from Qualcomm Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners as an extension of its Series A round. The first part of its Series A, a tranche totaling $28 million, was announced in July 2018.
- The Farmer’s Dog, a NYC-based maker and deliverer of pre-portioned packs of human-grade food for dogs, leashed up $39 million in Series B funding from Insight Venture Partners and others. Our pooches, puppers, and doggos are eating healthier than many of us at this point. Feast on, Fido! 🐶
And with that, we’re done. For those of you in the U.S. that have Monday off, enjoy the long weekend. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day!
Image Credits: Last Week In Venture graphic created by JD Battles. Cover image by Isak Dalsfelt, via Unsplash.
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