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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.
Not many big rounds were announced this week, likely because everyone knew Silicon Valley Bank would dominate the headlines. Nevertheless, AI remained big.
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Ever since January’s news of Microsoft’s massive $10 billion investment into OpenAI — creator of ChatGPT — the AI craze has been on among investors. Even SVB’s collapse couldn’t stop it this week. Last week, San Francisco-based AI startup Anthropic led the way with a $300 million round. This week it’s another San Francisco-based AI company coming in near the top. Investors seem to have blinders on for AI startups right now, so don’t bet against another big raise next week.
1. Stripe, $6.5B, fintech: The biggest round of the week went to payments giant Stripe, but it is not the typical huge, late-stage growth round. The South San Francisco-based company raised a $6.5 billion Series I at a $50 billion valuation. The valuation is a significant drop, as the company was valued at $95 billion in March 2021, and earlier this year it was reported this round would be at a $60 billion valuation. The company will use the new cash to provide liquidity to current and former employees and help offset a tax bill that will come due when it modifies employees’ stock grants that are set to expire (which we’ve talked about before). No lead investor was announced, but firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and General Catalyst participated.
2. Rippling, $500M, human resources: San Francisco-based HR management company Rippling was caught up in the collapse of SVB, its primary banking partner. It faced 50,000 employees across its customer base at risk of not getting paid in its Friday pay run. The company stepped in with $130 million of its own capital to support those customers. To meet payroll the following week, Parker Conrad, Rippling’s CEO, reached out to existing investor Neil Mehta at Greenoaks, which led and closed a $500 million Series E funding that valued the company at $11.25 billion, the same valuation as its May 2022 Series D funding.
3. Adept AI, $350M, artificial intelligence: Adept AI announced its $350 million raise even in the midst of the Silicon Valley Bank news. It was reported the new financing — led by General Catalyst and Spark Capital — gives the startup a post-money valuation of at least $1 billion. Spark Capital also reportedly led Anthropic’s round last week. Adept is developing AI models that don’t just respond to text commands — like a chatbot — but actually turn that command into actions. In theory, the company’s generative AI could help users do tasks from browsing the internet to navigating enterprise software tools. The company had previously raised a $65 million Series A. Nothing seems to be able to stop generative AI startups from raising large amounts of cash.
4. Element8, $200M, telecommunications: About a quarter of the U.S. does not have home broadband internet connections — with rural and minority communities seeing even lower rates of adoption, according to the latest Pew Research Center data. Dallas-based Element8, an internet service provider, is looking to change that and raised a $200 million strategic investment from Digital Alpha to help with that effort. E8 also announced it has acquired Oklahoma City-based high-speed internet provider AtLink Services for an undisclosed sum to make it a pretty busy week. Founded in 2015, this is the company’s first outside funding, per Crunchbase.
5. Mediar Therapeutics, $85M, biotech: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Mediar Therapeutics closed a $105 million financing, including a recent $85 million Series A round co-led by Novartis Venture Fund and Sofinnova Partners. What was especially noticeable, however, was it also involved a lot of big names in the pharmaceutical world — including Pfizer Ventures, Bristol Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly. The startup is developing therapies for fibrotic disease, which is caused by chronic inflammatory disease and can lead to the shutdown of organs. Founded in 2019, the company has now raised nearly $117 million, per Crunchbase.
6. Nimble Robotics, $65M, robotics: Everybody orders things online, and everyone wants that important order for a stuffed animal, candlesticks or mango slicer fulfilled as quickly as possible. If it’s by a human or robot, it really doesn’t matter. San Francisco-based startup Nimble has created a fully autonomous logistics and robotics platform that helps warehouses deliver everything as fast as possible. This week Nimble locked up a $65 million Series B led by Cedar Pine, bringing its total capital raised to $115 million, per the company. According to the company, its robotic fulfillment systems will pick, pack and ship orders while also shrinking warehouse size by up to 75%. At least until we start ordering more stuff.
7. Switch Therapeutics, $52M, biotech: South San Francisco-based Switch Therapeutics, which is developing new ways to use RNA science to treat diseases, launched this week with a $52 million Series A co-led by Insight Partners and UCB Ventures.
8. Fairmatic, $46M, insurance: New York-based commercial auto insurance provider Fairmatic raised $46 million in new funding led by Battery Ventures. Founded in 2019, Fairmatic has raised $88 million to date, according to the company.
9. Clever Care, $42M, health care: Westminster, California-based health care company Clever Care closed a $42 million Series C led by GV. Founded in 2019, the company has raised nearly $140 million, per Crunchbase.
10. Zus Health, $40M, health care: Boston-based Zus Health, a shared health data platform closed a $40 million round from investors that included Maverick Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz Founded in 2020, the company has raised $74 million, according to Cruchbase.
Big global deals
The largest round outside the U.S. came from India this week.
- Lenskart, an online shopping portal that sells eyewear, landed a $500 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 11 to 17. 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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