This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last week’s biggest funding rounds here.
After a slow week in funding to kick off the month, this week saw a slight uptick as private equity helped lead the charge. PE firms were big backers of the top two rounds this week, with greentech and cleantech again leading the way. Enterprise software and IT startups also came up big this week, taking five spots in the top 10 rounds.
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1. Monolith, $300M, greentech: For the third week in a row, the top round went to a cleantech/greentech company. Lincoln, Nebraska-based Monolith— which produces clean hydrogen, carbon black and ammonia—closed a $300 million round led by TPG Rise Climate and Decarbonization Partners, a partnership between BlackRock and Temasek. The company uses 100% carbon-free energy in a proprietary process to convert conventional and renewable natural gas to hydrogen and carbon black. Monolith joins other cleantech companies Xpansiv and Electric Hydrogen in raising large rounds in the past few weeks. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $364 million, according to Crunchbase data.
2. Pico, $200M, software: What do you do if your SPAC deal falls through? You raise $200 million from private equity. New York-based Pico was going to merge with Betsy Cohen’s special-purpose acquisition company in a $1.75 billion deal, but it was scrapped in February as the market tumbled and SPACs, in particular, were doing poorly. Nevertheless, Pico—a provider of software and data for the financial services market—was able to close a $200 million strategic investment this week from Golden Gate Capital. The company said the capital will be used to pursue strategic M&A opportunities. Founded in 2009, Pico has raised more than $372 million, per Crunchbase.
3. SingleStore, $116M, database: The database sector may not be the sexist of sectors, but it does produce its share of unicorns. San Francisco-based SingleStore joined that herd after raising $116 million led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management at a $1.3 billion valuation, according to the company’s blog. SingleStore has now raised $278 million in the last 20 months. The cloud-native database developer competes with other, former unicorns in the space such as MongoDB and Snowflake, which are now public. Founded in 2011, the company has raised more than $434 million, according to Crunchbase.
4. Merlin Labs, $105M, air transportation: Even though autonomous driving has not been perfected, many startups already have moved on to autonomous flight. Boston-based Merlin Labs is one of those startups, with the company just closing a $105 million Series B round this week from Snowpoint and Baillie Gifford. The raise is just the latest milestone for the company in the last 12 months. In September, Merlin Labs achieved approval of its certification basis for its takeoff-to-touchdown autonomy system as part of a joint project with the Federal Aviation Administration and the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority. The company also announced a partnership with the United States Air Force to bring its autonomy systems to its cargo planes. Founded in 2018, the company says it has raised $130 million to date.
5. (tied) Cruising Kitchens, $100M, automotive: Even though the food truck craze seems to have died down a little, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t money in the sector. San Antonio, Texas-based food truck manufacturer Cruising Kitchens raised up to $100 million in funding from Ghost Financial. Austin-based Ghost Financial will become the exclusive financial partner of the startup and allow brands and franchise chains to leverage financing options to grow into new markets. Founded in 2011, this is Cruising Kitchens’ first financing, according to Crunchbase data.
5. (tied) Tecton, $100M, machine learning: Even though everyone loves to talk about machine learning, the truth is it’s hard. For development teams, deploying machine-learning applications can be a time-consuming proposition. San Francisco-based Tecton aims to speed up that process for developers, and its platform has attracted some big-name investors. The company closed a $100 million Series C led by new investor Kleiner Perkins, but the round also included investment from strategic investors Databricks and Snowflake Ventures as well as Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Founded in 2019, the company says it has raised $160 million in total.
7. Wildcat Discovery Technologies, $90M, cleantech: San Diego-based EV battery material developer Wildcat Discovery Technologies raised a $90 million Series D led by Koch Strategic Platforms. Founded in 2006, the company has raised $160 million to date, per Crunchbase data.
8. Bishop Fox, $75M, cybersecurity: Phoenix-based cybersecurity firm Bishop Fox locked up a $75 million Series B funding from Carrick Capital Partners. Founded in 2005, Bishop Fox has now raised a total of $100 million, according to the company.
9. SingleOps, $74M, software: Atlanta-based SingleOps closed a $74 million round led by FTV Capital. Founded in 2013, the company—which has developed a platform for outdoor service industries, such as tree and lawn care—has raised a total of nearly $83 million, according to Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Epic Bio, $55M, biotech: South San Francisco-based therapeutic gene editing startup Epic Bio has raised a $55 million Series A. It is the biotech startup’s first round of funding, per Crunchbase data.
10. (tied) Scale Computing, $55M, IT infrastructure: Indianapolis-based Scale Computing, a edge computing and virtualization software developer, raised a $55 million round led by funds managed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Founded in 2007, the company has now raised nearly $203 million, according to Crunchbase.
Big global deals
Despite the large round by Monolith and Pico, some of the largest rounds were raised by startups outside the U.S.
- Swedish buy now, pay later titan Klarna raised an $800 million round of funding that values the company at $6.7 billion, Reuters reported. The new valuation represents a significant drop from when the startup was valued at $46 billion last year.
- China-based natural gas provider Hefei Gas raised a corporate round worth approximately $686 million.
- Germany-based digital insurance company wefox raised a $400 million Series D.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of July 9-15. 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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