This is a monthly feature that runs down the month’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. See last month’s top rounds here.
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.
Even as the venture market continues to meander, October saw a lot of big rounds. To make the month’s list, you had to raise a nine-figure round, and to come out on top you had to raise more than $1 billion.
It was also a diverse month, as investors were willing to put cash into everything from parking solutions to space, although biotech and health-related startups took five of the top 10 spots.
1. Metropolis, $1.1B, computer vision: Parking startups aren’t usually high on this list, but when they add computer vision to their offering, well, that’s different. Los Angeles-based checkout-free parking startup Metropolis raised $1.7 billion in debt and equity led by Eldridge and 3L Capital. The company has raised $1.05 billion through a Series C offering and $650 million of debt financing. The deal was used to take logistics firm SP Plus private in a deal worth approximately $1.5 billion. The deal is the biggest M&A transaction of the year by a VC-backed company, per Crunchbase data. It even beat out Databricks’ purchase of San Francisco-based language models training startup MosaicML for $1.3 billion in June. Metropolis has developed a computer-vision system that enables drivers to park without using a credit card or even cash. Instead, drivers can use the app and enter information such as name and payment method. Metropolis then tracks the car and charges the owner. It can even email a receipt as they’re leaving the parking lot. Founded in 2017, the company has now raised $1.9 billion, per Crunchbase.
2. Anthropic, $500M, artificial intelligence: Just last month, San Francisco-based Anthropic — a ChatGPT rival with its AI assistant Claude — inked a deal with Amazon for the e-commerce and cloud titan to invest up to $4 billion in the AI startup. But why stop there when there are more billions of dollars to be had? The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday that previous investor Google agreed to invest up to $2 billion in the OpenAI competitor. The deal includes $500 million upfront an additional $1.5 billion more over time, per the report. The new investment is just the latest in what has become a fundraising spree for Anthropic this year. In February, it was reported that Google had invested between $300 million and $400 million in the startup. In May, the company raised a $450 million Series C led by Spark Capital. In August, Anthropic raised a $100 million round from SK Telecom. The Amazon deal followed late last month.
3. Electric Hydrogen, $380M, energy: Green hydrogen hasn’t always been a favorite among investors, but that may be changing. Earlier this year, Ohmium International raised a $250 million Series C led by TPG Rise Climate. Last month, Electric Hydrogen became a unicorn, raising a $380 million Series C at a $1 billion valuation. The round included funding from the likes of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund and BP Ventures. Green hydrogen is produced through electrolyzer systems, which are used to split water through electrolysis to create hydrogen and are powered by renewable energy. The process can be expensive because of the energy consumed and the equipment needed, but obviously investors are starting to warm to the sector and see a way to make money. Founded in 2021, Natick, Massachusetts-based Electric Hydrogen has raised more than $600 million, per Crunchbase.
4. Main Street Health, $315M, health care: This huge round may have gone unnoticed. Value-based health care provider Main Street Health locked up more than $315 million led by Oak HC/FT. The health care organization focuses on rural America, partnering with primary care physicians in those areas. The firm currently partners with more than 900 clinics in 18 states and plans to expand into another eight states next year. Founded in 2021, the Nashville, Tennessee-based firm has now raised $342 million, per Crunchbase.
5. Aiolos Bio, $245M, biotech: Investors have always backed startups looking to take on asthma and other respiratory ailments. That continued with last month’s $245 million Series A for San Francisco- and London-based Aiolos Bio. Atlas Venture, Bain Capital Life Sciences, Forbion Capital Partners and Sofinnova Investments led the massive round. The newly launched company plans to use the fresh cash for phase 2 clinical trials of its lead drug candidate AIO-001, designed for moderate-to-severe asthma patients. More than 20 startups have been funded in the past several quarters and have raised close to $1.8 billion total, per Crunchbase data. The company that has received the most funding on the list is Waltham, Massachusetts-based Upstream Bio, which has raised more than $400 million to date.
6. MapLight Therapeutics, $225M, biotech: San Francisco-based MapLight Therapeutics locked up a $225 million Series C as it looks to continue to advance its treatments for neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions. The company has a trio of biopharmaceuticals at different stages of development to treat a variety of problems including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. The round was led by Novo Holdings. Founded in 2018, the company has raised nearly $270 million, per Crunchbase data.
7. (tied) EVPassport, $200M, automotive: Northleaf Capital Partners took a controlling interest in Brooklyn, New York-based EVPassport when it invested $200 million in the charging infrastructure startup. EVPassport’s charging stations differentiate themselves from most others because they do not require an app to use, just a QR code or even just a credit card — making them readily accessible to folks not wanting yet another app. Founded in 2020, the company has raised more than $201 million, per Crunchbase.
7. (tied) Shield AI, $200M, aerospace: Defense tech startups don’t always see a ton of funding, but that didn’t stop Shield AI from raising the biggest round of the year thus far in the sector. Shield AI, the defense and aerospace startup creating AI pilots, raised a $200 million Series F co-led by Riot Ventures and Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology Fund at a $2.7 billion valuation. The round comes less than a year after the San Diego-based company was valued at $2.2 billion after raising $60 million in December. Shield AI’s software is called Hivemind, which enables aircrafts to operate autonomously in high-threat environments. Founded in 2015, Shield AI has raised about $773 million, according to Crunchbase.
9. Headway, $125M, health care: Even before the pandemic, mental health was becoming a primary concern for many people. In June, mental health startup Author Health locked up a $115 million round from General Atlantic and Flare Capital Partners. Last month, New York-based Headway raised $125 million in a Series C at a $1 billion valuation, per Reuters. The round was led by Spark Capital. The startup’s platform helps connect patients with therapists who are covered under the user’s insurance. Founded in 2018, the company has now raised more than $225 million, per Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Iambic Therapeutics, $100M, biotech: Iambic Therapeutics closed a $100 million Series B financing co-led by Ascenta Capital and Abingworth. The San Diego-based biotech firm is developing new therapeutics from its generative AI discovery platform, which may explain why Nvidia also was an investor. Founded in 2019, the company has raised $153 million, per Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Island, $100M, cybersecurity: Venture funding to cybersecurity startups is down 30% year to year, but that doesn’t mean every cyber company is having a hard time raising cash. Dallas-based cybersecurity startup Island landed a $100 million Series C led by Prysm Capital and valued it at $1.5 billion. Island offers an enterprise browser that the company says enhances both security and productivity of workers, giving security teams control of what is often referred to as the “last mile” — how end-users interact with work and web applications. The enterprise browser developer raised a $115 million Series B at a $1.3 billion valuation last year led by Insight Partners. Founded in 2020, the company has now raised $385 million, per Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Pony.ai, $100M, autonomous vehicles: It may not have been a great month for the autonomous driving sector in general, with Cruise suspending its driverless operations. However, it was a good week for Fremont, California-based Pony.ai, which announced a $100 million investment from the NEOM Investment Fund. The new deal is a joint venture to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles in Neom and other parts of the Middle East/North Africa region. Founded in 2016, the company has raised $1.3 billion, per Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Prins AI, $100M, artificial intelligence: Investors love AI, you may have heard. One of the larger and more interesting AI rounds last month went to Lakewood, Colorado-based Prins AI, which raised a somewhat under-the-radar $100 million Series B led by AAB VC. The startup has developed a platform for creating AI digital identities — or “smart workers” — that can be used in lieu of humans for things such as marketing and training videos, or even broadcast media. The company has offices around the world, including China, and plans to use the fresh cash to enhance its R&D in deep-learning tech for digital identity products. The startup has now raised $132 million, per Crunchbase.
10. (tied) Stoke Space, $100M, space: Spacetech has seen some big rounds as of late. In September, Sierra Space raised a $290 million Series B. Last month, Dallas-based reusable rocket developer Stoke Space raised a $100 million Series B led by Industrious Ventures. The company plans to use the new cash to develop its Nova rocket and new construction at its Cape Canaveral Space Force Station site in Florida. Founded in 2019, the company has raised more than $176 million, per Crunchbase.
Big global deals
The largest raise outside the U.S. occurred across the pond.
- London-based property and real estate firm Canary Wharf Group locked up a venture round worth approximately $486 million.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies in October. 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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