The Crunchbase News Briefing: Wed., Oct. 14

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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Calm said to seek $150M at $2.2B valuation

Popular meditation app-maker Calm is reportedly seeking to raise $150 million in fresh funding at a valuation of around $2.2 billion.

Founded in 2012, the San Francisco-based company previously raised at least $143 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from backers including Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and TPG.

The company’s flagship app has had over 80 million downloads to date. Calm says it is the top app for sleep, meditation and relaxation on both the App Store and Google Play store. Its most popular feature is a 10-minute meditation called “The Daily Calm,” which explores a new mindful theme and inspiring concept each day.

Two foodtech startups raise mega rounds

New York’s plant-based food company LIVEKINDLY Collective said it raised $135 million in a venture round to expand its footprint of plant-based alternatives to meat, while South San Francisco-based vertical food farming company Plenty Unlimited secured $140 million in Series D financing. [Read more]

Funding rounds

  • Augury raises $55M Series B: Augury, which works with large enterprises to maintain machines in their production and distribution lines, has raised $55 million in a Series D round led by Qumra Capital.
  • M1 Finance secures $45M for financial app: M1 Finance closed a $45 million Series A round to further develop its Finance Super App, which offers automated investing, borrowing and banking products. The new funding, led by Left Lane Capital, gives the Chicago-based company just under $100 million in total funding and follows four months after a $33 million Series B, also led by Left Lane.
  • Dataloop lands $16M for AI data management and annotation: Israel-based Dataloop has raised an $11 million Series A round led by Amiti Ventures. The funding, which follows a previously undisclosed $5 million seed round, will be used to roll out the company’s platform for AI data management and annotation and help the company expand its presence in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Playbook brings in $9.3M for fitness platform: Mobile marketplace Playbook announced $9.3 million in Series A funding by a group of investors including, Michael Ovitz, Abstract, Aglae Ventures, Porsche Ventures and FJ Labs. The New York-based company enables instructors in fitness and athletics to turn their iPhone content into a subscription income. This latest round of funding adds to a $3 million seed round raised in June, bringing total funding for Playbook to $12.3 million.
  • Findem launches with $7.3M: San Francisco-based people intelligence platform Findem exited stealth Wednesday with a $7.3 million Series A round led by Wing Venture Capital. Wing’s Founding Partner Guarav Garg has joined Findem’s board. The funds will be used to build out its recruitment and talent management platform, add to its development team and on marketing.
  • Tiltify raises $6.5M to add new platform features: Fundraising platform Tiltify announced $6.5 million in Series A funding led by Pace Capital to develop its platform  targeting socially conscious consumers. The company plans to add new features and integrations, such as polls, rewards, milestones, visual overlays and animations. Los Angeles-based Tiltify has raised nearly $9 million to date.
  • Profitboss secures $3.5M for restaurant ordering platform: Profitboss, which provides restaurants with a free online ordering platform, announced a $3.5 million seed round to scale its business led by Redpoint Ventures. The Beverly Hills, California-based startup helps restaurants create a menu to launch on their website, accept credit cards for orders, and connect to delivery that is charged per mile.
  • SunDensity raises $2.5M for blue-light technology: Rochester, New York-based SunDensity closed on $2.5 million in initial financing to commercialize its photonic smart coating technology that increases the power output of any solar module by as much as 20 percent. The round was led by Clean Energy Ventures and included Luminate, Rochester Angel Network, LaunchNY and Clean Energy Venture Group.

New funds

  • True Ventures closes $840M in two funds: Palo Alto-based True Ventures’ seventh early-stage fund, True Core Fund VII, raised $465 million and will invest in areas including technology-enabled consumer brands, SaaS and infrastructure software, as well as health and life sciences. Its fourth select fund, True Select Fund IV, raised $375 million and will provide follow-on funding to existing True portfolio companies that exhibit high-growth potential and large-scale opportunity.
  • OpenView raises $450M for sixth fund: OpenView Venture Partners, based in Boston, closed its sixth fund. The fund was oversubscribed, reaching $450 million in commitments, the firm said. OpenView invests in business software companies. Since 2006, the firm has raised $1.5 billion across six funds and partnered with 54 companies.

Other news

  • McAfee may price IPO next week: Cybersecurity provider McAfee set a projected price range of $19 to $22 per share for its upcoming IPO, according to a new filing. The company is reportedly looking to price its IPO on Oct. 21 and begin trading the next day.
  • MilkLaunch has four finalists: NYS MilkLaunch, a new startup competition focused on new dairy products in New York, announced the four finalists for its inaugural competition. You might remember we highlighted this program in September while exploring how the dairy industry continued to innovate despite a challenging environment. The products chosen include: Slate, a low-sugar, higher-protein line of lactose free milk for everyone; Karviva: Gold Sage, wellness drinks infusing ingredients like turmeric and other minerals into milk to deliver a full range of health benefits; Superfrau, an Alpine-inspired electrolyte recovery drink made with surplus whey and infused flavors like cucumber lime, lemon elderflower and peach mango; and Pursue Happiness Cold Brew Cowffee, a dairy-based, shelf-stable coffee drink. Each finalist receives $15,000 worth of support for their new product and a customized mentorship program.


Illustration: Dom Guzman

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