The Crunchbase News Briefing: Thurs., Sept. 3

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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 informed.

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Battery-maker QuantumScape to go public via SPAC

QuantumScape, a developer of solid-state batteries used in electric cars, is the latest heavily funded, venture-backed company to declare its intention to go public.

The San Jose-based company has agreed to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp., and go public with an initial enterprise value of $3.3 billion.

Previously, the 10-year-old company has attracted financing from a range of high-profile backers, including Volkswagen, as well as venture firms Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures.

Cybersecurity startup KnowBe4 eyes IPO

KnowBe4 Inc., a cybersecurity startup that detects phishing attempts, is preparing for an initial public offering later this year or early next that would value it at more than $2 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The Florida-based company has raised $393.5 million from investors to date, according to Crunchbase data, including a Series C round in June 2019 led by KKR.

Ackman confirms he held early talks with Airbnb, Stripe about taking them public

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman told Bloomberg TV on Thursday that he’d had early talks with Airbnb, Stripe and other privately held startups about potentially taking them public through his special purpose acquisition company. Airbnb last month filed to go public via a traditional IPO.

Ackman acknowledged in Thursday’s interview that the talks with Airbnb hadn’t proceeded to the due diligence stage. “We did not discuss valuation, and we didn’t get to do a deep enough dive, frankly, to determine whether this is a business that we’d want to own and what price we’d like to own it at,” he said. “We like the company — at least from the outside in terms of the nature of the business.”

Airbnb, which was founded in 2008, has raised at least $5.4 billion in total funding, per Crunchbase data.

Funding Rounds

  • Livspace lands $90M: Livspace, an India-based home interiors and renovation platform, raised $90 million in a  Series D round led by Kharis Capital and Venturi Partners to fuel its expansion in Asia.
  • Zomato raises $62 million: Indian food delivery company Zomato landed $62 million in new funding from Temasek, according to TechCrunch.
  • ENVizion closes on $18M investment: Envizion Medical, an Israel-based startup with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k)-cleared “Waze”-like feeding tube, announced an $18 million investment and an agreement with an unnamed private hospital network in the U.S. with more than 100 hospitals. Key investors included unnamed private medtech backers, family offices and the Technion Venture Capital fund.
  • Hypatos raises $11.8M for deep learning: Hypatos, a process automation startup based in Germany and Poland has raised a 10 million euro ($11.8 million) seed round of funding from investors including UVC Partners and Plug and Play Ventures.
  • spaceOS secures $2.9M investment: Ireland-based startup spaceOS, focused on office real estate tenant experience and management software, announced a $2.9 million investment led by IMMOFINANZ with participation by existing investor BeyondBuild. The company secured a deal with IMMOFINANZ, a commercial real estate firm, in December to rollout its platform across the group’s entire portfolio. Existing investor BeyondBuild contributed an additional 500,000 euros to this funding round.
  • IOMED receives $2.4M investment: Barcelona-based IOMED, a company specializing in transforming electronic health records into structured data for clinical research, closed on a $2.4 million investment round led by Adara Ventures. Existing investors EASO Ventures and Speedinvest also participated. Along those same lines, we interviewed Syntegra last week, which raised $3.1 million in seed funding to create synthetic health care datasets from patient data.
  • Huckleberry raises $2.4M: Huckleberry, an Irvine, California-based startup applying artificial intelligence to pediatric sleep and other behavioral areas, said it raised $2.4 million in seed funding. Founded by Jessica Toh and Seng Oon Toh, the company is already helping more than 500,000 families. Huckleberry’s seed round was led by Spero Ventures, and joined by Burst Capital, Tamarisc Ventures, Vela Partners and Tom Williams.
  • Justpoint inks $1M seed round: Justpoint, a New York-based startup that uses artificial intelligence for faster analysis of individual medical malpractice claims, said it raised $1 million in seed funding led by Vivek Garipalli, with participation from Amino Capital, Whoa Ventures and Harry Langenberg.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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