This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out 2022’s biggest funding rounds here.
Although blockchain and biotech saw the most large rounds this week, the biggest winner was a supply chain tech company—with a nearly $1 billion round. While it is not surprising to see investors throw money at the supply chain sector, seeing an adtech company get a round of more than a quarter-billion dollars is slightly out of the ordinary in this day and age. But investors showed some love to a sector that has seen fewer venture dollars the past couple years.
1. Flexport, $935M, supply chain: Venture money is pouring into the supply chain tech sector, and that is where we’ll start this week. San Francisco-based Flexport locked in a $935 million Series E led by Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners, which included participation from new investor Shopify, at a $8 billion valuation. The global freight forwarder and logistics platform moved nearly $19 billion in merchandise across 112 countries last year—even as global supply chains suffered from multiple disruptions—the company said in a release. Even after a record year of funding in 2021, the supply chain management space already has seen a half dozen rounds of more than a quarter-billion dollars, so investors’ appetite still does not seem sated. Flexport has now raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase data.
2. Branch, $300M, adtech: Just last week Facebook parent company Meta and others mentioned their ad businesses took a hit because of Apple’s privacy changes. However, when one opportunity dries up, another is born. Palo Alto, California-based Branch, a cross-platform solution for mobile linking and attribution, this week raised a $300 million round at a $4 billion valuation, led by existing investor NEA. Despite the Apple changes, Branch has figured out ways to measure ad performance that complies with Apple’s new rules, along with other ways to help advertisers. Adtech has taken a hit in venture fussing in recent years, but Branch seems to have bucked that trend.
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3. Starburst, $250M, data: Data runs the world and Starburst is trying to help companies get more insights from it faster and easier. The company closed a $250 million Series D led by Alkeon Capital at a $3.35 billion valuation. The round brings Starburst’s total financing to date to $414 million. The company’s data-driven insights are designed to help improve business performance, detect fraud and more, while also offering fast and easy-to-access data no matter where it is stored.
4. (tied) Alchemy, $200M, blockchain: Building on blockchain was big this week with investors—as usual. First up is San Francisco-based Alchemy, which closed a new $200 million “Series C-1” led by Lightspeed and Silver Lake that values the company at $10.2 billion. That is nearly triple the valuation it received back in October when it raised a $250 million series C. The company is looked at as the AWS of blockchain in the sense that it provides tools and hosting for those wanting to transact on blockchain and Web3. Similar to what Amazon did for those who wanted hosted businesses on the cloud.
4. (tied) Aleo, $200M, blockchain: Next up in the blockchain world is Aleo, which provides a platform for building private blockchain-based applications. The San Francisco-based company raised a $200 million Series B led by Kora Management LP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The new round gives the company a valuation of $1.45 billion—minting it as a new unicorn.
6. KoBold Metals, $192.5M, metals: Berkeley, California-based KoBold Metals closed a $192.5 million Series B, according to the WSJ. The round included investment from Apollo Projects, Bond Capital, BHP Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. KoBold is backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and looks to use artificial intelligence to find metals needed for electric vehicles and renewable energy.
7. (tied) Salt Security, $140M, cybersecurity: Palo Alto, California-based API security company Salt Security closed a $140 million Series D round led by Alphabet’s CapitalG, earning the company a $1.4 billion valuation and minting it as cybersecurity’s latest unicorn. The new round brings the company’s total funding to $271 million, with $210 million raised in the past 12 months.
7. (tied) Ventus Therapeutics, $140M, biotech: Small molecule therapeutics developer Ventus Therapeutics raised a $140 million Series C co-led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and RA Capital Management. The company, located in Montreal and Waltham, Massachusetts, has raised a total of $300 million, according to Crunchbase data.
9. (tied) Endeavor BioMedicines, $101M, biotech: San Diego-based Endeavor BioMedicines, a developer of treatments targeting pulmonary fibrosis, completed a $101 million Series B led by Ally Bridge Group and Avidity Partners. The company has raised a total of $163 million, according to Crunchbase data.
9. (tied) Seismic Therapeutic, $101M, biotech: Watertown, Massachusetts-based Seismic Therapeutic, which uses machine learning for immunology drug development, closed a $101 million Series A led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Big global deals
While Flexport pulled in the largest round of the week globally, its funding was the only raise by a U.S. company to make the top five (Branch ties for fifth). Here’s a rundown of the next four largest rounds globally.
- Cardiovascular specialist chain Hong Kong Asia Heart Centre raised a $400 million Series D.
- Abu Dhabi Ports Co., a developer of ports and industrial zones, closed a $326.7 million round.
- London-based fintech startup GoCardless raised a $312 million Series G.
- India-based ElasticRun, a logistics and distribution platform, closed a Series E worth approximately $300 million.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Feb. 5 to 11. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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