The Week’s Biggest Funding Rounds: Faux Cheese, Hunting Tech Talent, And Insurance Policies Against Hackers

Illustration of gardener holding a rake. Venture

This is a new weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S.

While the largest round in the U.S. last week went to a company looking at new ways to make cheese, it also included companies in the more traditional spaces of biotech, cybersecurity and talent recruitment.

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The leaders:

  1. Berkeley, California-based Perfect Day closed a flawless $350 million Series D co-led by Temasek and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The company sells an ice cream using animal-free milk protein it has developed. The company will use the new cash to expand its biological engineering research and move into new consumer categories like cheese. Founded in 2014, the company has raised a total of $750 million.
  2. With the increase in cyberattacks, companies are looking for insurance against hackers—in the form of actual insurance policies. San Francisco-based Coalition was able to use that demand to close a $205 million Series E—co-led by Durable Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates and Whale Rock Capital—at a $3.5 billion-plus valuation. The company just crossed $325 million in run rate premiums as cyber threats continue to proliferate. Coalition has now raised more than $505 million in total funding since being founded in 2017.
  3. As every company searches for talent, New York-based Andela closed a $200 million Series E to expand its search area. Andela helps companies build remote engineering teams by finding software engineers in more than 80 countries. Softbank Vision Fund 2 was impressed, as it led the round that valued the company at $1.5 billion. Launched in Africa in 2014, the company has now raised $381 million, according to Crunchbase data.
  4. Looking for better investment advice? New York-based AlphaSense might be able to help—especially after it closed a $180 million Series C financing round led by Viking Global Investors and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The company’s AI market intelligence search engine extracts insights from analyst research, conference call transcripts, trade journals and more to drive business decisions at more than 2,000 large companies and financial institutions. Founded in 2011, the company has raised nearly $300 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.
  5. With the need to develop drugs faster never more apparent, a company that claims it can do just that secured a sizable round. New York-based TrialSpark raised a $156 million Series C led by Sam Altman and Lachy Groom. The pharma company’s platform tries to lessen the time it takes for drugs to pass through the clinical trial process, which can often last a decade or more. The company says it can run clinical trials 50 percent faster—and cheaper—through its integrated platform.

    Quick hits:

  6. Nashville, Tennessee-based Built Technologies, a construction finance platform, closed a $125 million Series D led by new investor TCV, which valued the company at $1.5 billion.
  7. San Francisco-based Gem, a recruiting platform that integrates with third-party applications such as LinkedIn and Gmail, raised a $100 million Series C at a $1.2 billion valuation. The round was led by ICONIQ Growth.
  8. Redwood City, California-based Totango, which helps track customer engagement, secured a $100 million Series D led by Great Hill Partners.
  9. New York identity verification company Alloy closed a $100 million Series C led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and valued the company at $1.35 billion.
  10. Boston-based biotechnology Expansion Therapeutics raised an $80 million Series B led Cormorant Asset Management.

In other news:

Even as U.S. companies raised a total of more than $3.8 billion this week, the top three rounds raised globally were all elsewhere, with London-based renewable power provider Octopus Energy, Singapore-based delivery service Ninja Van, and India-based online reselling platform Meesho all raising rounds in excess of a half-billion dollars.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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