Briefing Venture

The Briefing: Verily Brings In $700M, Oscar Raises $140M, Robinhood Pays $65M To Settle Charges, And More

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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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Verily brings in $700M for health care data

Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet’s life sciences company that develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, said it raised $700 million in a funding round from existing investors including Alphabet, Silver Lake and Temasek Holdings, Reuters reported.

The new funding will go toward expanding commercial businesses Baseline and Verily Health Platforms, the company said.

With this new round, Verily has raised approximately $2.5 billion in funding since the company was founded in 2015, according to Crunchbase data.

Brainly lands $80M for homework help

Online learning platform Brainly has announced that it closed on $80 million in a Series D funding round led by existing investor Learn Capital.

New York-based Brainly’s aim is to directly support students and their parents with schoolwork. The company says it is used by more than 350 million students, parents and teachers every month, 30 million of whom are based in the U.S.

Since April, Brainly’s user base has increased by over 75 percent, as more education is happening online. Using the company’s websites and apps, students connect with their peers and experts to receive and offer help with homework problems and questions.

Oscar Health Raises $140M to expand health plans

Health insurance company Oscar is closing out 2020 with another round of funding, this time $140 million.

The round was led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Dragoneer, Baillie Gifford, Coatue, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Lakestar and Reinvent, the company said in a written statement. The round follows a July announcement of $225 million in funding to give Oscar approximately $1.6 billion in total since its inception in 2012.

The New York-based company offers individual and family plans, Medicare Advantage and small group products. As of Sept. 30, Oscar had approximately 420,000 members across 15 states. The funding comes as Oscar saw growth of 74 percent in direct policy premiums over the past three years. In 2021, Oscar policies will be available in 18 states.

Robinhood Agrees to Pay $65M to Settle SEC Charges

Investing platform Robinhood was charged Thursday with making “misleading statements and omissions” in relating to customers how it made money and not delivering the promised quality of executions of trades by the Securities and Exchange Commission

Robinhood agreed to pay $65 million to settle the charges.

According to the SEC, between 2015 and late 2018, Robinhood made misleading statements in customer communications concerning its largest revenue source — payments from trading firms in exchange for Robinhood sending its customer orders to those firms. The SEC also charged Robinhood with falsely claiming its “execution quality matched or beat that of its competitors,” while Robinhood’s trade prices were inferior to other brokers’ prices.

Robinhood, most recently valued at $11.7 billion with $2.2 billion in venture funding behind it, according to Crunchbase data, is expected to make a run for the public markets next year.

Funding rounds

  • Aceable closes on $50M for edtech: Austin-based Aceable, a startup providing state-approved online drivers ed and real estate courses, has raised $50 million in  a funding round backed by private equity investor HGGC.
  • Paxos raises $142M to expand blockchain infrastructure: Paxos, a New York-based blockchain infrastructure platform, closed a $142 million Series C round of funding led by Declaration Partners.
  • DISCO lands $100M to scale: DISCO, an Austin-based legal technology company, said it completed $100 million in financing, which included $60 million in equity from an investor group led by Georgian and $40 million in debt from Comerica.
  • GoCardless banks $95M to advance open banking strategy: London fintech GoCardless, focused on recurring payments technology, announced a $95 million Series F funding round, led by Bain Capital Ventures.
  • raises $42M for booking platform: Berlin-based, a digital booking platform for freight forwarders, has raised $42 million in a Series B funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Lyte shines $33M on event e-commerce platform: Lyte, a San Francisco-based technology platform for live event ticketing, announced $33 million in a Series B round, a combination of equity and debt. Joining as first-time investors are Social Capital, music icon Quincy Jones and Rocketship VC.
  • Octave Bioscience raises $32M for care platform: Octave Bioscience, a Menlo Park-based developer of a care management platform for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases, closed a $32 million Series B financing led by Northpond Ventures.
  • Yoshi fuels up with $23 million: Yoshi, a startup that delivers fuel, car washes, oil changes and other services to customers’ parked cars, said it has raised $23 million as part of its Series B fundraising, which was led by GM Ventures.
  • Diameter Health inks $18M for health data interoperability: Diameter Health, based in Farmington, Connecticut, raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Centene Corp.
  • Crehana raises $13M for LatAm skills training: Crehana, a Mexico-based skills training platform added $13 million to its Series A round for a total of $17.5 million. The new funding was led by Mountain Nazca.
  • Passport bags $12M for e-commerce shipping: Passport, an international shipping carrier for e-commerce brands, announced a round of $12 million in Series A funding, led by M13.
  • Deed earns $2M to launch enterprise business: Social impact platform Deed, based in Brooklyn, announced a $2 million seed round led by Paua Ventures, as well as the launch of its SaaS social impact tools for employees.
  • Revi secures $2M for restaurant ordering app: Revi, formerly known as Zryl, a San-Francisco-based startup developing a mobile ordering app for restaurants, emerged from stealth with $2 million in seed funding led by Ubiquity Ventures.
  • Bambee raises $15M Series B: Los Angeles-based Bambee closed a $15 million Series B led by QED Investors, with participation from Alpha Edison and Mucker Capital. The company provides human resource solutions tailored for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • RAIN raises $3M for voice-driven AI: RAIN, a startup making voice-driven AI for workers in the “deskless workforce,” or those in industries like construction or delivery who work primarily with their hands, said it has raised $3 million in a Series A round led by Stanley Ventures.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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