Briefing Venture

The Briefing: Amazon Buys Wondery, Fluence Raises $125M For Energy Storage, 23AndMe Gets $82.5M, 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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Amazon to buy podcast company Wondery

Amazon said Wednesday that it’s buying Wondery, a subscription podcast platform, for an undisclosed sum. The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier this month that an acquisition deal was in the works that would value 4-year-old Wondery at more than $300 million.

The West Hollywood, California-based startup has raised $15 million in venture investment, including a Series B round in June 2019, from investors including Waverley Capital and Lerer Hippeau, according to Crunchbase data. It was last valued at about $100 million by venture investors, according to Privco data supplied to Crunchbase.

“We’re pleased to announce that Wondery — an innovative podcast publisher with a track record of creating and producing top-rated podcasts — has signed an agreement to join Amazon Music,” Amazon said in a deal announcement Wednesday. “With Amazon Music, Wondery will be able to provide even more high-quality, innovative content and continue their mission of bringing a world of entertainment and knowledge to their audiences, wherever they listen.”

Fluence gets $125M from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund at $1B valuation

Fluence, a joint venture between AES Corp. and Siemens that makes energy storage technology, said Wednesday that it has entered a deal with the Qatar Investment Authority to get $125 million from the sovereign wealth fund through a private placement transaction.

The investment in Arlington, Virginia-based Fluence, which makes energy storage products for wind farms and other renewable providers, comes at a $1 billion valuation, according to the company. Fluence said it plans to use the proceeds to grow its product offerings and launch in more markets around the world. AES and Siemens will remain major shareholders in Fluence following the deal, each with an approximately 44 percent stake in the company, according to a funding announcement.

Funding rounds

Tech news

  • Apple loses copyright case against startup Corellium: A federal judge in Florida rejected Apple’s claims that security and virtualization startup Corellium had violated copyright law with its software, which helps  researchers find bugs and security holes on Apple’s products.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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