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This is a monthly feature that runs down the month’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last year’s top rounds here.
The new year did not start slowly, as U.S.-based startups saw five rounds of more than $200 million. Of course, all the talk was about OpenAI’s huge strategic raise, but health care, cybersecurity and renewable energy startups all saw large raises last month as investors wrote big checks.
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1. OpenAI, $10B, artificial intelligence: The deal had been rumored for weeks, but was finally made official. Microsoft confirmed it has agreed to a “multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment” into OpenAI, the startup behind the artificial intelligence tools ChatGPT and DALL-E. The exact dollar amount was not confirmed, but Semafor reported earlier last month that Microsoft was in talks to invest as much as $10 billion. The deal follows a $1 billion investment in 2019 from Microsoft into the AI startup. It will help position Microsoft in what will be an all-out battle for AI dominance with other tech giants such as Alphabet and Amazon. Earlier this month The Wall Street Journal reported the startup could be valued at $29 billion thanks to a new tender offer.
2. Netskope, $401M, cybersecurity: There must be something about cybersecurity startups and $401 million in convertible notes. In October, Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Arctic Wolf raised $401 million in convertible notes led by existing investor Owl Rock. This week another startup, Santa Clara, California-based Netskope received a $401 million convertible note investment led by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value. Both Netskope and Arctic Wolf are companies that have been rumored to be IPO candidates for the past few years, so such financings make sense with the path to the public market blocked. Convertible notes work like a short-term loan, but are repaid to the investor at a later point in equity — i.e., after an IPO — typically at a discount and can also include an interest rate. Founded in 2012, Netskope has now raised $1.4 billion, per Crunchbase.
3. (tied) Monogram Health, $375M, health care: Nashville-based Monogram Health is one of several health care startups to raise big last month, as the company closed a huge $375 million funding round. The round included strategic investments from the likes of CVS Health, Cigna Ventures and others. The startup is a specialty provider of in-home care for patients living with polychronic conditions, including chronic kidney disease. More than 37 million American adults live with chronic kidney disease, according to the company. Founded in 2019, the company has raised $555 million, per Crunchbase data.
3. (tied) Silicon Ranch Corp., $375M, renewable energy: Silicon Ranch Corp. actually announced a $600 million raise last month, but only the initial funding of $375 million has closed, with the additional $225 million expected to fund in early 2023. Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch provides customized renewable energy, carbon and battery storage solutions for a variety of partners across North America. Last year, the company installed 11 new solar facilities that produce nearly 700 megawatts of new generating capacity. Silicon Ranch is no stranger to large raises; it raised $775 million early last year. The company has now raised about $1.6 billion, per Crunchbase.
5. Paradigm, $203M, health care: New York-based Paradigm emerged last month looking to take on one of the more complicated aspects of the health care industry. The startup, conceived by Arch Venture Partners and co-incubated by Arch and General Catalyst, raised a $203 million Series A. Paradigm is trying to change the way clinical trials are run, making it more equitable for patients to get in on them while also making it easier for health care providers to participate and cooperate. The tech-enabled platform aims to open up trials for more people and reduce barriers such as location and finance as it also looks to accelerate the clinical research process. Time will tell if it is successful — the startup already has big-name backers.
6. (tied) Asimov, $175M, biotech: In what seemed like a good month for biotech, Boston-based Asimov raised a $175 million Series B led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The startup is developing a synthetic biology platform to design and manufacture next-generation therapeutics, including biologics, cell and gene therapies, and RNA. It currently partners with more than 25 companies that include pharmaceutical companies, biotechs and manufacturing organizations. Founded in 2017, Asimov has raised more than $200 million, per the company.
6. (tied) VettaFi, $175M, financial services: In the financial realm, data is gold and VettaFi has a lot of that apparently. The New York-based startup formed last year and provides data analytics and indexing for financial advisers, asset managers and institutional investors. The company received a $175 million investment from global market developer TMX Group — whose operations include both the Toronto Stock Exchange and Montreal Exchange. The deal gives TMX a 21% common equity stake in VettaFi.
8. (tied) Colossal Biosciences, $150M, biotech: The idea of bringing back the dodo also was able to bring in big money. De-extinction platform Colossal Biosciences raised a $150 million Series B, giving the startup a valuation of more than $1 billion, per reports. The Dallas-based startup, which launched in 2021, plans to use the new cash infusion to continue to advance its genetic engineering, as well as keep developing its software and hardware solutions for applications involved with de-extinction, conservation and human health care. With this new round, Colossal has launched its Avian Genomics Group, which will pursue the de-extinction of the dodo. The startup previously had talked about bringing back the woolly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger. Last March, Colossal Bioscience raised a $60 million Series A led by Thomas Tull and At One Ventures. Per the company, it has now raised a total of $225 million.
8. (tied) Pathalys Pharma, $150M, biotech: Raleigh, North Carolina-based Pathalys Pharma raised $150 million through what it called “a combination of secured product financing and equity to support the two phase 3 clinical trials, registration efforts and pre-commercialization activities for upacicalcet” — which is used to treat hyperparathyroidism. Abingworth was the lead investor. Simultaneously, the company and Launch Therapeutics announced a collaboration to advance phase 3 clinical trials for the drug. Founded in 2021, Pathalys has raised $150 million to date, according to the late-stage biopharma startup.
10. Xpansiv, $125M, financial services: San Francisco-based Xpansiv was busy last month. The company announced the acquisition of Evolution Markets — which helps with transacting environmental commodities — and the closing of a $125 million round. Xpansiv said the new capital is “linked to the recent $400 million capital raise led by Blackstone Energy Partners which closed in August 2022.” New strategic investors Bank of America and Goldman Sachs participated in the new round. Xpansiv is looking to grow its market infrastructure platform which helps with energy transactions such as carbon credits and renewable energy certificates. Founded in 2017, the company has raised more than $700 million, according to Crunchbase.
Big global deals
Not all the big rounds went to U.S.-based startups, as another AI firm had a big raise.
- London-based global life insurance group Resolution Life raised a $1 billion investment from Nippon Life.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies in January. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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