Startups Venture

Another Vision Fund, Scooters Scoot, And A Unicorn That’s Really A Hippo

Illustration of a "nerdy" unicorn.

Welcome to the Crunchbase News Weekend Update. An email form of this post went out Saturday morning. Happy reading!

It was a week of scooters, startups born out of the failures of others, and Softbank. Whatever summer slowdown the venture world used to entertain now seems firmly passé. This late in the unicorn era, there are no reins.

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Given the pace of news that’s coming out, we wind up covering many positive market indicators (new rounds and the like). But piggy-backing off an earlier column this week, it’s important to keep an eye on what could go wrong. Tap here to find out what has us worried.

In funding news, we pored over several nine-figure rounds, including insurance unicorn Hippo scoring $100 million (it’s now a unicorn) and China-based ride-hailing company Didi raising six times as much. Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, also raised $200 million to help power SMB HR.

Fintech, one of our favorite sectors, raised frugal and lavish rounds this week. Stackin’ picked up $4 million to text users advice on how to be better with their money. In contrast, MoneyLion raised $100 million in a Series C, and Robinhood raised a huge $323 million Series E.

In news that could help all of us: Tile, which helps users track items like their phone and keys, raised $45 million. In news that could’ve helped Anki a few months ago: Freedom Robotics raised $6.6 million to make it easier and cheaper to be a robot startup.

Looking ahead, the funding landscape, especially for late-stage firms, is very bright given that Vision Fund 2 is a go. (What’s up with the Microsoft money?) Threshold also has new money to invest, and WeWork’s IPO is coming sooner than expected.

Also, a growing share of global VC funding is going to the United States at the expense of China. Reminder, China’s share of the worlds supergiant rounds—venture rounds of $100 million or more—has fallen from its leading position to third place.

All that and here’s a scooter story concerning a retreat, and one more that’s a bit more positive.

Ending on a note beyond the numbers: We chatted with Elizabeth Ashford for Proust Goes Tech this week. Just wait until you get to the part about how an anesthesiologist with pennies taped to his shoes inspired her.

Until next week,

Natasha (follow herread her) and Alex (follow himread him)

P.S. Listen to our podcast on Spotify.

Featured image by Dom Guzman.


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