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.
If the venture market truly is slowing down, it is interesting to see how investors are placing bets in so many different areas. It would seem logical in a down market to bet on tried-and-true platforms, but this week VC put money into Elon Musk’s big-dig company, a meat grower and an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) firm. And that was just the top three rounds of the week. Even in this market it seems VCs are willing to dream big.
1. The Boring Company, $675M, infrastructure: Elon Musk has had a hard time staying out of the news recently—although he surely doesn’t mind. The Boring Company, one of several companies founded and/or led by Musk, closed the biggest round this week when it landed $675 million at a nearly $6 billion valuation. The round was led by Vy Capital. The Boring Company is responsible for the Vegas Loop—an electric high-speed public transportation system—and the Prufrock, a large piece of construction equipment that mines underground. The company last raised $120 million in July 2019 and has now raised more than $900 million, according to Crunchbase.
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2. Upside Foods, $400M, foodtech: This week saw the largest raise for a startup in the cultivated meat space ever. Berkeley, California-based Upside—which claims to be the first cultivated meat startup to produce lab-grown meat from multiple species—locked up a $400 million Series C led by Temasek and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Founded in 2015, the company has raised more than $600 million to date, according to Crunchbase data. The new round is just the latest in the growing sector. Last year was a record for the foodtech industry, as more than $12.8 billion was invested, according to Crunchbase.
3. Beta Technologies, $375M, aviation: With everyone talking about supply chain disruption, some companies are looking to solve the problem: Case in point, South Burlington, Vermont-based Beta Technologies. The electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) maker touched down on a $375 million Series B led by TPG Rise Climate and Fidelity Management & Research Co. The company, which hopes to achieve Federal Aviation Administration certification by 2024, is looking to help improve both last-mile and regional cargo delivery—including that of human organs. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $890 million, according to Crunchbase.
4. Crusoe Energy Systems, $350M, energy: While the market for all things bitcoin is growing, so is the environmental concern over how much energy is used to mine it. That’s where Denver-based Crusoe is looking to help. The company helps power mining by harnessing natural gas that is typically burned during oil extraction and puts it toward powering the data centers needed for bitcoin mining right at the drilling site. That business model was enough to close a $350 million Series C equity round led by G2 Venture Partners, as well as credit facilities of up to $155 million. The new round values the company at $1.75 billion, according to The Information.
5. Tessera Therapeutics, $300M, biotech: What if scientists could write therapeutics right into your own genome to cure a disease right at its source? Sounds kind of science fiction-y, but that is what Somerville, Massachusetts-based Tessera Therapeutics is trying to do. The gene-writing technology firm closed a $300 million Series C, which included investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. Founded in 2018, the company has raised more than $530 million, according to Crunchbase data.
6. Reify Health, $220M, health care: Boston-based Reify Health raised a $220 million Series D co-led by Altimeter Capital and Coatue that values the company at more than $4.8 billion. Founded in 2012, the company, which develops cloud-based software tools for the clinical trial ecosystem, has raised nearly $480 million, according to Crunchbase.
7. (tied) Convoy, $160M, supply chain: Seattle-based digital freight network Convoy closed a $160 million Series E equity round led by Baillie Gifford and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, along with a $100 million venture-debt investment. The equity round values the company at $3.8 billion.
7. (tied) Lygos, $160M, biotech: Berkeley, California-based biotechnology company Lygos took in $160 million of growth capital as part of an agreement to merge with publicly traded Flexible Solutions International, a developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products. Founded in 2011, the company had raised $50 million before the announced merger.
9. (tied) Agility Robotics, $150M, robotics: Corvallis, Oregon-based Agility Robotics raised a $150 million round led by DCVC and Playground Global. The recently announced Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund also participated in the round. Founded in 2015, the company has raised more than $175 million, according to Crunchbase.
9. (tied) Oyster, $150M, human resources: Employment platform developer Oyster—with offices in San Francisco and London—raised $150 million in a Series C led by Georgian at a $1 billion-plus valuation. Founded in 2020, the company has raised a total of $227 million to date.
Big global deals
U.S. startups dominated the biggest rounds raised this week. No startup outside the U.S. raised a round that was in the top five. However, the biggest raise by a company outside the U.S. was:
- Saudi Arabia-based Foodics, a restaurant management system that manages everything from transactions to employee schedules, raised a $170 million Series C.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of April 16-22. 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.
Note: This is an updated list from an earlier version.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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