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The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Lambda Leads Massive Week For Megadeals

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This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 announced funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s biggest funding rounds here.

Check the calendar — is it 2021 again? Sure seemed that way this week, as there were 10 rounds of $100 million or more raised by U.S.-based startups. That may not have happened since the early part of 2022 — if then. Not just that, but three rounds were for a quarter-billion dollars or more. Not exactly sure what was in the water this week, but AI and biotech led the way as happens often.

1. Lambda, $320M, artificial intelligence: In a big week, this was the biggest round. Lambda hit unicorn status after a $320 million Series C at a $1.5 billion valuation. The company offers cloud computing services and hardware for training artificial intelligence software. The startup is a provider of Nvidia’s latest GPUs, which are highly sought after by AI developers. The round was led by Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology Fund. The San Jose, California-based startup’s customer list includes Microsoft and Amazon. The round marks the largest by an AI startup this year, per Crunchbase data. In general, the sector seems to be picking up after a slow start to the year with AI startups now raking in more than $3 billion for the current calendar year.

2. Freenome, $254M, biotech: This is just the first of many big biotech raises this week. Blood-test developer Freenome raised a $254 million round led by drugmaker Roche. The South San Francisco-based startup is developing tests that can potentially detect multiple early-stage cancers — currently focused on colorectal and lung cancers. Founded in 2014, the company has raised $1.4 billion, per Crunchbase.

3. Cinq Music, $250M, music: It’s weird to say a $250 million funding round may have slipped through the cracks, but this one may have. Los Angeles-based Cinq Music, an independent record label and subsidiary of GoDigital Media Group, locked up $250 million in funding to acquire music rights. The company plans to use the cash to grow its diverse catalog, including in the genres of reggaeton, Música Mexicana, Afrobeat and country. Cinq has previously raised  $160 million since 2017, per the company.

4. BioAge Labs, $170M, biotech: You didn’t think we were done with biotech for the week did you? This week continued with multiple big rounds  for the industry. BioAge Labs, a Richmond, California-based firm taking on obesity and metabolic diseases, raised a $170 million Series D led by Sofinnova Investments. The company will use the cash infusion to help advance the Phase 2 clinical development of its weight-loss drug Azelaprag. The  oral drug has been shown to decrease body mass but not make the patient lose muscle. Founded in 2015, the company has raised nearly $294 million, per Crunchbase.

4. Lilac Solutions, $145M, advanced materials: This round is interesting for a couple reasons. First, while a lot of companies from San Francisco and Silicon Valley make this list, we don’t get a lot from the East Bay of the Bay Area. However, Lilac Solutions — which raised $145 million this week — is based in Oakland, California. Another interesting thing is just what the company does. Lilac is one of a growing handful of startups specializing in lithium extraction technology. Of course, efficient, low-cost and environmentally friendly lithium extraction is needed for the exploding EV market. That’s likely why while the round was led by Mercuria, Lowercarbon Capital and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, it also featured BMW i Ventures and Mitsubishi Corp. With the close of the Series C, Lilac says it has now raised $315 million since being founded in 2016.

6. Latigo Biotherapeutics, $135M, biotech: Thousand Oaks, California-based Latigo Biotherapeutics locked up a $135 million Series A financing co-led by Westlake Village BioPartners, 5AM Ventures and Foresite Capital. Founded in 2018, Latigo is a clinical-stage biotechnology startup developing nonopioid pain medicines. The company has raised $150 million, per Crunchbase.

7. ProfoundBio, $112M, biotech: Seattle-based ProfoundBio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics for patients with cancer, raised a $112 million Series B led by Ally Bridge Group. Founded in 2018, the company has raised $247 million, per Crunchbase.

8. Sierra, $110M, artificial intelligence: San Francisco-based Sierra, a conversational AI company, raised $110 million led by Sequoia Capital and Benchmark at a reported valuation of nearly $1 billion. This is the company’s first announced fundraise.

9. Bugcrowd, $102M, cybersecurity: Hackers-for-hire platform Bugcrowd locked up $102 million in fresh funding led by General Catalyst. The San Francisco-based platform allows companies of all sorts to hire freelance hackers and coders for “bug bounty” programs, helping those companies find problems in software code. The company plans to use the new cash to accelerate growth across the globe — including in the U.S. —  and leverage opportunities for strategic M&A. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $180 million, per Crunchbase.

10. Alys Pharmaceuticals, $100M, biotech: Investment firm Medicxi merged six of its dermatology-focused portfolio companies to launch Alys Pharmaceuticals this week with $100 million in funding. The immunodermatology-focused startup is based in both Boston and Geneva, Switzerland. Alys will concentrate on dermatological advancements, including programs focused on mastocytosis, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and prevention of skin side effects of oncology therapies.

Big global deals

While it was hard to keep up with all the big deals in the U.S., things were quiet elsewhere. In fact there was just one raise of $100 million outside the country.

  • Netherlands-based Omnetic, a web-based services provider, raised a round worth approximately $108 million.


We tracked the largest announced rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Feb. 10 to Feb. 16. 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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