This is a monthly feature that runs down the month’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out last month’s here.
A couple of $1 billion rounds led the way for funding big rounds last month, as investors spread money around to everything from energy to the metaverse. Biotech and health care continued to be strong in September, as some U.S.-based startups saw substantial rounds.
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Here’s a quick review of the top 10 rounds of September:
1. TeraWatt Infrastructure, $1B, electric vehicle: A San Francisco-based charging startup tops the list for the month with a huge Series A of more than $1 billion. Launched out of stealth in May 2021, TeraWatt Infrastructure has built out a network of charging stations for the operation of light- to heavy-duty fleets. The company acquires property in “strategically relevant” locations and helps customers operate EV fleets without the need to own and operate their own infrastructure. The new funding comes from funds managed by Vision Ridge Partners and existing investors Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital, and will be used for further development and expansion, including the buildout of a growing portfolio of charging centers. The round is the largest raised by a VC-backed startup in the electric vehicle segment this year, according to Crunchbase data. The company says it had previously raised a $100 million seed round.
2. Verily, $1B, health care: Google and its parent, Alphabet, have been active health care investors—especially recently. That trend has continued as Alphabet led a $1 billion investment in its former life sciences unit, Verily. Alphabet spun out what would become Verily as its own independent subsidiary in 2015. The South San Francisco-based firm—which introduced a Covid-19 testing program in 2020—has now raised more than $3.5 billion in capital, according to Crunchbase.
3. Pie Insurance, $315M, insurtech: Funding numbers for VC-backed startups in insurtech are not what they were last year, but Pie Insurance got its slice last month. The Denver-based workers’ compensation insurance platform for small businesses locked up a $315 million Series D led by Centerbridge Partners and Allianz X. The round more than doubled Pie’s total capital raised to over $615 million since being founded in 2017, according to the company. The round is the second largest in the insurtech space this year—behind only Berlin-based wefox’s $400 million raise in July—per Crunchbase. Nevertheless, funding numbers are still down in the space, according to Crunchbase numbers. Last year, startups in the space saw more than $8 billion in investment, but this year similar startups have realized less than $3.5 billion roll into the sector.
4. Gotham Greens, $310M, agtech: Startups that solve some of the farming and food issues we are now facing due to drought and changing habits have been quite popular with investors. New York-based Gotham Greens is the latest to raise big—securing a $310 million Series E led by the BMO Impact Fund and Ares Management Fund. The indoor farming startup sells leafy greens grown in hydroponics-equipped greenhouses. The company says using hydroponics in its greenhouses allows it to use 97% less land when compared to farming. Gotham Green’s goal is to have 13 locations across nine states by 2023. So far, the company is building new greenhouses in Texas, Colorado and Georgia, in addition to existing greenhouses in Chicago and Providence. Launched in 2009, the company has raised $435 million to date, per Crunchbase.
5. Triller, $310M, digital media: Triller has big plans for the end of the year. The Los Angeles-based music and video app—not dissimilar to TikTok—raised $310 million from GEM late this month. In addition, Triller said it confidentially filed its S-1 last month and is submitting what it expects to be its final S-1 now to go public by the end of the year. The company’s planned $5 billion SPAC deal fell through in June. Triller said it expects to be debt free by the time it debuts in the public market. The company has raised more than $600 million to date.
6 (tied). ACELYRIN, $300M, biopharma: Los Angeles-based ACELYRIN raised a $300 million Series C led by Access Biotechnology. ACELYRIN has now raised $550 million in less than 12 months. The company is developing treatment for inflammatory diseases and is entering late-stage trials. Founded in 2020, the biotech startup has raised $558 million to date, per Crunchbase data.
6 (tied). Mysten Labs, $300M, blockchain: Palo Alto, California-based Web3 Layer 1 startups are popular right now. In July, Palo Alto, California-based Aptos Labs closed a $150 million Series A led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto at a $2 billion valuation. In September, Palo Alto-based Web3 Layer 1 startup Mysten Labs closed a $300 million Series B at a more than $2 billion valuation led by FTX Ventures with Jump Crypto participating. Looks like it pays to be a Palo Alto, California-based Web3 Layer 1 company. Layer 1 system blockchain build their own blockchain—meaning it will not sit on Ethereum or another network, but be its own decentralized network. Mysten Labs has now raised $336 million, per Crunchbase data.
7. ArsenalBio, $220M, biotech: Battling cancer is big business. San Francisco-based ArsenalBio helped illustrate that with its $220 million Series B. The biotech startup specializes in cell therapy—where healthy, engineered human cells are transplanted into a patient whose body is too weak to fight disease—and is using the technique to battle a variety of cancers. The new round—the second-largest funding among cell therapy startups in 2022, per Crunchbase data—included investments by pharmaceutical company Bristol Meyers Squibb, along with biotech-focused Westlake Village BioPartners and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Founded in 2019, ArsenalBio has raised $305 million, according to Crunchbase.
8. Verkada, $205M, security: Although we often focus on cybersecurity, there is still a real need for security in the physical world. That is something technology can help with, too. San Mateo, California-based Verkada is doing just that and closed a large $205 million Series D led by Linse Capital that values the company at $3.2 billion. The company offers a plethora of products that include video security cameras, door-based access control, environmental sensors and more. Founded in 2016, Verkada says it has raised more than $360 million.
10. (tied) Atlas, $200M, human resources: Chicago-based Atlas raised a $200 million Series B funding led by San Francisco-based growth investor Sixth Street. Atlas helps companies build a presence in new countries by dealing with compliance and payroll as the employer of record. “Atlas is enabling companies to seize the opportunity to be competitive, flexible, and borderless” said Rick Hammell, its founder and CEO.
10. (tied)LootMogul, $200M, blockchain: The metaverse is here and it is not going away. Santa Monica, California-based sports metaverse company LootMogul secured a $200 million investment commitment from GEM. The startup is looking to build virtual sports cities based on real world brands and professional athletes. The platform will be accessible on multiple devices.
Big global deals
Three of the five biggest rounds in September went to U.S.-based startups, but there were a couple noteworthy rounds abroad.
- China-based Vital Thin Film Materials, a developer of materials for vacuum coatings, raised a Series B worth approximately $632 million.
- Italy-based Bending Spoons, developer of the video editing suite Splice, closed a venture round worth nearly $349 million.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the month of September. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the month.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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