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The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Databricks And Generate Biomedicines Lead Another AI Surge

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Want to keep track of the largest startup funding deals in 2023 with our new curated list of $100 million-plus venture deals to U.S.-based companies? Check out The Crunchbase Megadeals Tracker.

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.

The AI craze will not settle down. This week, four of the top six rounds are directly related to AI and the use of the new technology. The rounds also show how AI is affecting every industry — from data analytics to biotech — and Nvidia’s growing tentacles as an investor in the technology.

1. Databricks, $500M, data: AI-enhanced data analytics company Databricks raised more than $500 million in a Series I led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. The deal values the company at $43 billion, a boost from the $38 billion valuation San Francisco-based Databricks received after raising a $1.6 billion Series H led by Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global in 2021. The new round also included chip-making giant Nvidiawhich has been busy of late investing in AI startups. The company also said it’s recently passed some impressive financial milestones, including surpassing the $1.5 billion revenue run rate at more than 50% revenue year-to-year growth during the second quarter ended July 31. Databricks said it ended that quarter with more than 10,000 global customers. Since being founded in 2013, Databricks has raised more than $4 billion, per Crunchbase.

2. Generate Biomedicines, $273M, biotech: Generate Biomedicines is the top biotech startup this week when it comes to raising a big round. The Sommerville, Massachusetts-based startup, which has developed a generative AI platform to rapidly invent new drugs, raised a $273 million Series C financing. The company did not name a lead investor, but mentioned one of the new  investors included NVentures, Nvidia’s venture capital arm. Founded in 2018, the company has raised nearly $700 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

3. Lyten, $200M, manufacturing: Once again we have a startup that helps with the production of rechargeable batteries high on the list. A week ago, it was Westborough, Massachusetts-based Ascend Elements snapping up a $460 million Series D. A week before that it was Houston-based battery recycling startup Redwood Materials snagging a massive $1 billion-plus round. This week, it’s San Jose, California-based advanced materials company Lyten raising a $200 million Series B led by Prime Movers Lab. Lyten manufactures lightweight composites and next-gen IoT sensors, but also lithium-sulfur batteries. Founded in 2015, Lyten has now raised more than $410 million, per the company.

4. EquipmentShare, $150M, construction: It was just in April that EquipmentShare topped this list with a $290 million funding round. This week the company raised a $150 million extension to the round led by BDT & MSD Partners. The round now totals $440 million. The Columbia, Missouri-based equipment and digital solutions provider serves the construction industry, providing companies a real-time view of job sites and operations, as well as equipment arsenals. EquipmentShare has more than 185 locations, including additional rental, retail and service locations. Founded in 2014, EquipmentShare has raised nearly $2.5 billion in a mix of debt and equity, per the company.

5. Enfabrica, $125M, semiconductor: Investors have been opening their pocketbooks in a big way for AI infrastructure startups — those making hardware, chips and other infrastructure needed for such modeling. This week was no exception, as Enfabrica — which designs networking chips to handle AI workloads — closed a $125 million Series B led by Atreides Management, and included an investment from new investor Nvidia. The Mountain View, California-based startup’s chip allows for the consistent flow of data needed for modern AI workloads. The company plans to use the new cash infusion to expand its research and development capabilities and grow production. Other rounds for infrastructure plays include Imbue locking down a massive $200 million Series B that valued the AI research lab at $1 billion. The round also included an investment from Nvidia. That was followed the next day by generative AI chip designer D-Matrix closing a $110 million Series B led by Singapore-based Temasek.

6. Pixis, $85M, marketing: San Francisco-based AI marketing startup Pixis raised an $85 million Series C1 led by Touring Capital. Founded in 2020, Pixis says it has raised a total of $209 million.

7. Rome Therapeutics, $72M, biotech: Boston-based Rome Therapeutics raised a $72 million Series B extension, bringing the total Series B amount raised to $149 million. The company did not announce a lead investor, but did say new strategic investors included Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC and Bristol Myers Squibb. Rome is developing therapies for a range of serious diseases, including autoimmune disease and cancer, by examining the role of the dark genome. Founded in 2020, the company has raised $199 million, per Crunchbase.

8. Arialys Therapeutics, $58M, biotech: La Jolla, California-based biotech firm Arialys Therapeutics raised a $58 million seed round from several investors including Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC. This is the company’s first outside raise, per Crunchbase.

9. Actio Biosciences, $55M, biotech: San DIego-based biotech firm Actio Biosciences completed a $55 million Series A led by Canaan and Droia Ventures. Founded in 2021, this is the company’s first outside raise, per Crunchbase.

10. Mighty Buildings, $52M, 3D printing: Oakland, California-based 3D printing construction startup Mighty Buildings raised $52 million in funding co-led by Wa’ed Ventures and Bold Capital Partners. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $154 million, per Crunchbase.

Big global deals

Databricks’ raise was big, but not the biggest, this week. That honor went to France-based Verkor, a manufacturer of low-carbon batteries, which raised a Series C of approximately $2.1 billion.


We tracked the largest announced rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Sept. 9 to Sept. 15. 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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