This is a monthly feature that runs down the most active investors in U.S.-based companies, looks at some of their most interesting investments, and includes some odds and ends of who spent what. Check out last month’s feature here.
As funding slowed in the second quarter, so did many of the top investors in the U.S.
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Startup accelerator Y Combinator and diversity investor Gaingels led the way in June when it came to the number of funding deals announced for U.S.-based startups. However, every firm on our list—including the top two—inked fewer deals last month than they did in June 2021.
However, that was a very different market.
Even with numbers down, let’s take a closer look at the most active investors in U.S.-based startups in June and some interesting rounds they took part in.
Y Combinator, 18 deals
The Mountain View, California-based accelerator led the way last month with a dozen-and-a-half investments. While that is a lot, it is dwarfed by the 29 that Y Combinator made in June 2021.
Yet there were still some noteworthy deals. One that caught our eye was one of its smaller investments. Y Combinator took part in a $500,000 seed funding round for Novig, a commission-free sports betting exchange. The startup promises bettors the best lines while eliminating traditional sportsbooks.
How does it do that?
Simple, the New York-based startup allows users to bet directly against the market—nixing the traditional middleman role that sportsbooks play.
Gambling and betting are old industries and difficult to disrupt due to the money involved. However, because of that money, any disruption can be very profitable.
Gaingels, 17 deals
New York-based Gaingels—which invests in companies with diverse and inclusive leadership teams—also had a busy month in June, closing out 17 deals.
One of those deals included participating in TaskHuman’s $20 million Series B. The Palo Alto, California-based startup offers a one-on-one digital coaching platform. While some platforms concentrate on executive training or physical fitness, what made TaskHuman notable is the breadth of its offerings.
The platform offers employees both work and personal life coaching, which range from physical fitness to family dynamics to leadership coaching. Users can also build out their own teams of coaches.
Insight Partners, 13 deals
Insight Partners has made its name investing in enterprise software and tech. That’s why it’s good to note when it invests in a technology one has never heard of.
“Real-time accent translation” was not something we were familiar with, but it’s what startup Sanas aims to provide. Insight led a $32 million Series A for the Palo Alto, California-based startup, which uses AI to allow users to choose the accent they want to use.
The thought is the software can allow speakers to deliver clearer communication through accent correction and also eliminate the unfortunate issue of accent bias.
General Catalyst, 11 deals
Similar to Insight, General Catalyst is normally associated with software investments. That’s why a food delivery deal by the Massachusetts-based firm prompts a double take.
The firm took part in the $350 million funding round for New York-based Wonder at a reported $3.5 billion valuation. Wonder is a different type of food delivery service to be sure. It operates a network of food trucks that consumers can order food from through an app. The truck then drives to the customer and prepares the food fresh.
Likely the big-name firms that participated in the round and large valuation were caused by who its founder is—Marc Lore. Lore previously was founder of Jet and CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce division after Jet was acquired by the retail giant.
Andreessen Horowitz, 9 deals
No large VC firm has embraced crypto and the digital world more than Andreessen Horowitz. Now the venture giant wants to imagine what a toy is in that world.
Andreessen Horowitz led a $23 million investment in Miami-based OnChain Studios, the creator of “Cryptoys.” Cryptoys brings NFT’s to kids as colorful characters that can be part of an innovative platform for games and apps.
We’ve come a long way since little plastic toy soldiers.
GV, 9 deals
Access to quality health care is one of the biggest problems for many people in the U.S.—not to mention globally.
GV led a round last month in a startup looking to help alleviate some of the financial barriers.
New York-based Sesame closed a $27 million Series B to help expand its online medical care marketplace.
While online medical markets are not new, Sesame’s only involves patients and physicians. The platform leaves out insurance companies and, in theory, drops the price of care. The company claims to provide “half-price, whole quality medical care.” It also allows for virtual care at an upfront cost with no surprise billing later.
Cutting out insurance in health care would be a game changer for a game desperately in need of change.
Tiger Global, 9 deals
The crypto market has been through a lot lately, but that hasn’t stopped some startups from raising large rounds at even bigger valuations.
One of the reasons FalconX was undoubtedly attractive to investors is it taps into the market that has helped validate the greater crypto market—large institutional investors. FalconX’s platform allows institutions to access and manage their crypto assets.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies by large institutional firms is one of the main reasons many people believe the digital asset will survive the current ”crypto winter” and be a staple of the financial markets for the foreseeable future.
- Accel, Alumni Ventures, B Capital Group and Sequoia Capital finish off the list with eight U.S.-based investments each in June. Interestingly, Alumni invested in 35 U.S.-based deals last June.
- Insight Partners outpaced every firm easily when it came to leading or co-leading U.S.-based rounds for the month. The large late-stage growth giant led or co-led 11 rounds. Battery Ventures and B Capital were next up with 6 deals led or co-led.
- No firm led or co-led rounds totaling $1 billion or more this month. TPG came the closest, leading or co-leading two rounds—into Intersect Power and Sauce Labs. However, only the value of the Intersect Power round, at $750 million, was disclosed.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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