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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.
Huge rounds were the theme of the week, as we saw six rounds of $100 million or more — including two of a half-billion dollars or more. What’s interesting is all the rounds came from different sectors — although one could argue two were in cybersecurity. While AI is dominating the headlines, investors placed bets in several other areas too this week.
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1. Dreamscape, $850M, real estate: One of the difficult aspects of creating this list is trying to figure out what is debt and what is actually growth equity in many of these larger rounds. (This will come up again further down the list.) New York-based Dreamscape, a real estate development and investment firm, completed an $850 million capital raise this week. However, it’s unclear what was debt and what was equity. We do know Wells Fargo led the debt syndicate and Raymond James led the equity private placement, but that’s about it. We don’t know how much of that $850 million was equity. Regardless, it is a big raise. The firm will use the proceeds to create two new platforms: Dreamscape Entertainment Properties and Dreamscape Entertainment Integrated Resorts, both involving gaming, hospitality and entertainment.
2. SandboxAQ, $500M, AI: Nearly a year after spinning out of tech giant Alphabet, AI and quantum computing startup SandboxAQ finally announced more funding details this week, saying it had raised a $500 million round. SandboxAQ is examining the related effects of both AI and quantum — which is where the company gets “AQ” — to develop commercial products for telecom, financial services, health care, security and other computationally intensive sectors. One aspect of security the startup is looking at is how companies and the government can replace current public-key cryptography algorithms with algorithms that are resistant to quantum computer-based attacks. Quantum computing is a level of compute much faster and at a level superior to classical computers that examines quantum states to perform computation. Investors named included Breyer Capital, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Thomas Tull, First Light Capital Group, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Guggenheim Investments, Time Ventures, Section 32, Parkway Venture Capital and other funds and investors.
3. Deepwatch, $180M, cybersecurity: Cybersecurity funding has proven resilient, even in this down market. Managed detection and response company Deepwatch is the latest in the sector to close a big round — locking in a $180 million round of “equity investments and strategic financing.” The financing comes from a handful of investors, including Vista Credit Partners — Vista Equity Partners’ “credit-investing strategy offering flexible, customized debt and structured equity financing,” per its website. However, the company declined to offer a breakdown of the round pertaining to equity investment and debt/credit. The Tampa, Florida-based startup reported 100% sales growth in 2022 while announcing the funding. Founded in 2019, the company has now raised $256 million, per Crunchbase.
4. Juniper Square, $133M, financial services: Ever wonder how GPs and LPs communicate? Well, one way is through San Francisco-based Juniper Square’s platform, which allows GPs and LPs to connect and manage their partnerships. The company announced a $133 million growth capital round this week led by Owl Rock. According to the company, more than 1,800 GPs use Juniper Square to help support more than 32,000 investment partnerships and $700 billion in LP capital. Founded in 2014, the company has raised $241 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.
5. Via, $110M, transportation: Nearly everyone has changed the way they travel and commute in the last several years. New York-based transit company Via locked up a $110 million round to help cities and agencies better traverse that changing landscape of transportation. The new round values the company at $3.5 billion and was led by 83North. The company ended 2022 with an annualized revenue run-rate of over $200 million, more than doubling since the previous financing round — a $130 million Series G in November 2021. Via plans to use the money to further expand its line of products that help cities and transit agencies improve the efficiency of their transportation systems. Founded in 2012, Via has now raised around $900 million, per Crunchbase.
6. R-Zero, $105M, biotech: Salt Lake City-based biosafety technology startup R-Zero closed a $105 million funding round led by the global investment firm CDPQ. Founded in 2020, the company has now raised more than $170 million, per Crunchbase.
7. Hexagon Bio, $77M, biotech: Menlo Park, California-based Hexagon Bio, a biopharmaceutical company focused on medicines encoded in the global metagenome, raised a $77.3 million Series B. New investors in the round include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Founded in 2016, the company has now raised nearly $271 million, according to Crunchbase.
8. NanoGraf, $65M, batteries: Chicago-based battery materials company NanoGraf raised a $65 million Series B led by Volta Energy Technologies and CC Industries. Founded in 2012, the company has raised nearly $90 million, per Crunchbase.
9. Checkerspot, $55M, advanced materials: Alameda, California-based Checkerspot, which designs materials used for outdoor recreational products, closed a $55 million Series C led by ArrowMark Partners. Founded in 2016, the company has raised $109 million, according to Crunchbase.
10. Descope, $53M, software: Los Altos, California-based Descope raised a $53 million seed round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and GGV Capital and emerged from stealth. The company has launched a new authentication and user management platform for developers.
Big global deals
U.S.-based startups were not the only ones to raise rounds of a half-billion dollars or more this week.
- China-based Zeekr, which develops and manufactures electric vehicles, raised a $750 million Series A.
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. 11 to 17. 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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