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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.
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Rounds were small this week, with no round crossing the $200 million barrier. One has to wonder if we may be seeing some Silicon Valley Bank fallout, as the bank would help facilitate closing deals by providing a credit facility before VCs would actually collect money from LPs. It is important to remember that a lot of banks will provide that bridge — it’s very low risk for them — but in the immediate aftermath of SVB’s collapse, there could be some deals held up.
1. Gravie, $179M, insurance: Offering good health care benefits can be tough, even for large companies, as medical and health costs continue to spiral out of control. For small and medium-sized businesses, it can be even harder since they have more limited buying power. Employer health benefits startup Gravie is looking to help that market and raised a $179 million equity investment led by General Atlantic to do just that. The Minneapolis-based company plans to use the cash infusion to grow its flagship health plan for SMBs — called Comfort — among other expansion plans. Gravie currently works with more than 1,200 companies nationwide. Founded in 2013, Gravie has raised more than $340 million, according to Crunchbase data.
2. Character.ai, $150M, artificial intelligence: It isn’t a surprise another AI-startup raised a huge sum of cash — it is a surprise an AI startup didn’t lead this week’s list. Nevertheless, Palo Alto, California-based Character.ai is the newest unicorn in the space after closing a $150 million Series A at a $1 billion valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round had been reported earlier this month. The startup allows people to create their own personalized AI chatbot using language models and deep-learning algorithms. The AI-created companions can help users draft emails, serve as a study buddy, brainstorm ideas or a variety of other activities. Character.ai joins the likes of OpenAI, Anthropic and Adept AI as startups in the AI space that have raised large rounds this year.
3. Amogy, $139M, cleantech: Cleantech and climate tech remain big among investors, who this week turned their attention to emission-free ammonia power. Amogy, which is developing just that, closed a $139 million Series B-1 fundraising led by SK Innovation. The new money will allow the Brooklyn-based startup to begin manufacturing its ammonia-to-power tech and bring its first product to market. In January, the company presented an ammonia-powered semitruck and later this year plans to show off a new ammonia-powered, zero-emission tugboat. If all goes right with that sail, the company expects its first commercial offering next year. Founded in 2020, the company has raised more than $200 million, per Crunchbase.
4. Flare Therapeutics, $123M, biotech: If you read Crunchbase News (and why wouldn’t you?), you know about how the “omics,” — genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics — are big right now in drug discovery. In 2021, funding in the area hit $2.5 billion. Last year, even in a downturn, omics startups still raised nearly $2.4 billion, per Crunchbase data. Flare Therapeutics will help push those numbers up this year, as the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup raised a $123 million Series B co-led by GordonMD Global Investments and Pfizer Venture Investments. The funding will go to push its clinical trial expected to take place later this year.
5. Artera, $90M, health care: Prostate cancer is a common cancer, especially for men as they get older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 13 American men out of 100 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and about two to three of them will die. San Francisco-based Artera is looking to fight that. The startup uses artificial intelligence for cancer testing and personalized care. It raised a $90 million round to support the distribution of its flagship test for prostate cancer from investors that included Coatue, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Walden Catalyst Ventures, Time Ventures, Breyer Capital and The Factory, as well as several angel investors, including Marc Benioff. Founded in 2021, this is Artera’s first outside funding round, per Crunchbase data.
6. Cognito Therapeutics, $73M, biotech: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cognito Therapeutics, which is developing therapies to treat central nervous system diseases, closed a $73 million Series B led by FoundersX Ventures. Founded in 2016, Cognito has now raised $93 million, per the company.
7. Rain, $66M, fintech: Los Angeles-based financial wellness tools developer Rain locked up $116 million in funding this week — $66 million in equity and $50 million in debt — led by QED Investors and Invus Opportunities. Founded in 2019, the company has raised nearly $130 million, per Crunchbase.
8. (tied) Adeptia, $65M, data: Chicago-based data integration platform Adeptia raised a $65 million strategic growth investment round led by PSG. Founded in 2000, the company has raised just more than $70 million, per Crunchbase.
8. (tied) Apprentice.io, $65M, biotech: Jersey City, New Jersey-based Apprentice.io, creator of a drug development platform, closed a $65 million investment led by new investor Iconiq Growth. Founded in 2014, Apprentice.io has now raised $207 million, according to the company.
8. (tied) Placemakr, $65M, hospitality: Washington, D.C.-based hospitality startup Placemakr raised a $65 million round of funding from a number of VC investors including Highland Capital Partners. Founded in 2017, Placemakr says it has raised more than $350 million.
Big global deals
With big rounds being light in the U.S. this week, the biggest raises happened abroad.
- China-based JD MRO, an industrial maintenance, repair and operations firm, raised a $300 million Series B.
- Singapore-based fintech startup Kredivo Holdings closed a $270 million Series D.
- Israel-based social trading and investment network eToro closed a $250 million venture round.
We tracked the largest announced rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of March 18 to 24. 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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