Why Dogecoin is surging, the trend driving baristas bananas, and a new offering from Krispy Kreme

May 4, 2021
Top News
 
Strap in, everyone: According to Axios, Tiger Global Management is talking to investors about raising $10 billion for a new growth equity fund, just one month after closing on $6.7 billion for its last one. More here.
 
A series of Instagram ads run by the privacy-positive platform Signal got the latter booted from the former’s ad platform, according to a new blog post by Signal, which says it used Instagram’s own adtech tools to target users. More here.
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Massive Fundings
 
Acronis, an 18-year-old, Singapore- and Switzerland-based data recovery company, has raised more than $250 million in funding led by CVC Capital Partners at a post-money valuation of more than $2.5 billion, it says. The company has now raised $408 million altogether, including from Goldman Sachs, Delta-V Capital, Insight Partners and Almaz Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Collective Health, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based company that offers employers a way to knit together various health benefits on a single platform, has reportedly raised $280 million in new funding, including from Health Care Service Corporation. The round brings the company's total funding to $720 million and its valuation to roughly $1.5 billion, says Bloomberg. More here.
 
Kajabi, an 11-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based company offering a subscription service to people who want to monetize their expertise, offering tools for creating websites, online classes, newsletters, and podcasts and collecting payment from members, has raised $550 million at a post-money valuation of more than $2 billion. Tiger Global Management led the round. Other investors in the round include TPG, Tidemark, Owl Rock and Meritech Capital Partners. Reuters has more here.
 
Locusview, a seven-year-old, Herzliya, Israel- and Chicago-based digital construction management platform for energy, telecom and water, has raised $64 million in Series A funding. Israel Growth Partners led the round, joined by earlier backers Leumi Partners, Clal Insurance and Discount Capital. Calcalist has more here.
 
Memic Innovative Surgery, a nine-year-old, Or Yehuda, Israel-based medical device company that makes an FDA-approved robotically assisted surgical device for performing transvaginal hysterectomy, has raised $96 million in Series D funding. Ceros Financial Services and Peregrine Ventures led the round, joined by OurCrowd and Accelmed. Mass Device has more here.
 
Oculis, a four-year-old, Lausanne, Switzerland-based company whose mission is to develop novel topical treatments (eye drops) for ophthalmic diseases, raised $57 million in Series C funding. BVCF Management and Hyfinity Investments co-led the round, joined by VI Partners, Wille AG, and earlier investors Bay City Capital, Brunnur Ventures, EarlyBird, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Nan Fung Life Sciences, Novartis and Silfurberg. Endpoints News has more here
 
Oura, an eight-year-old, Oulu, Finland-based company that makes a wearable and an app that tracks sleep and activity, has raised $100 million in fresh funding. The Chernin Group and Elysian Park (the Dodgers’ investment arm) led the round, joined by Temasek, JAZZ Venture Partners, Eisai and earlier backers Forerunner Ventures, Square, MSD Capital, Marc Benioff, Lifeline Ventures, Metaplanet Holdings and Next Ventures. The company has now raised $148.3 million altogether.  TechCrunch has more here.
 
Oxford Nanopore, a 17-year-old, U.K.-based  developer of a portable genome sequencer, has raised £195 million at a £2.48 billion post-money valuation ahead of an expected IPO this year. Investors in the round include IP Group, Wellington Management, Temasek, M&G Investments and Nikon. Reuters has more here

Persona, a nearly three-year-old, San Francisco-based identity verification company, has raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from earlier investor Coatue. TechCrunch has more here.

Vast Data, a five-year-old, New York-based startup developing flash based storage software, has raised $83 million in Series D funding led by Tiger Global Management, which was joined by earlier investors and Nvidia. The round reportedly values the company at $3.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion just last year. The company has raised $263 million altogether so far. GeekTime has more here
 
WorkBoard, a 7.5-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based SaaS startup that provides goal setting and management software to other companies, has raised $75 million in Series D funding. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led, and was joined by Capital One Ventures, SVB Capital and earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, GGV Capital, Workday Ventures and M12. The company has now raised $141 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
 
Crayon, a 6.5-year-old, Boston-based maker of market intelligence software, just raised $22 million in Series B funding. Baird Capital led the round, joined by Baseline Ventures, Bedrock Capital, C&B Capital, and Oyster Funds. MarTech Cube has more here.
 
Neuroelectrics, a 10-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based company that has developed wireless stimulation devices that aim to monitor and enhance brain health, has raised $17.5 million in Series A funding led by Morningside Ventures. More here.
 
JupiterOne, a three-year-old, Morrisville, N.C.-based maker of cyber asset management and governance software, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round, joined by Bain Capital Ventures, among others. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Pawp, a two-year-old, New York-based veterinary tele-health platform, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. Lux Capital led the round, joined by Good Friends (founders of Warby Parker, Harry's, and Allbirds) and earlier backers. AlleyWatch has more here.
 
Recount Media, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based political media startup co-founded by media veterans John Battelle and John Heilemann, has raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Foundry Group. Other investors in the round include Union Square Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Burda Principal Investments, True Ventures and Correlation Ventures. Axios has more here
 
Smaller Fundings
 
Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals, a nearly seven-year-old, Groton, Ct.-based drug discovery and development company at work on neuro-protective therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative brain injuries, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Boston Harbor Angels. Other investors in the round include Clinical Research VenturesDeepWork CapitalLife Science AngelsTrend Investment GroupDreamers Startup Ventures,  Zhi Gao HoldingsMass Medical AngelsMid Atlantic Bio AngelsKyto Technology and Life ScienceSideCar Angels, and others. More here.

Carry1st, a three-year-old, Capetown, South Africa-based mobile games publishing platform, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Konvoy Ventures led the round, joined by Riot Games, Raine Ventures, AET Fund/Akatsuki and TTV Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Copper Cow Coffee, a five-year-old, L.A.-based specialty Vietnamese coffee company, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Cultivian Sandbox and Arborview Capital, with participation from Siddhi Capital, Silverton Partners, Social Starts, Montage Ventures, CRCM, and Stormbreaker Ventures. Food Business News has more here.
 
Cumulus Neuroscience, a six-year-old, Belfast, Ireland-based biomarker platform for developing central nervous system therapies (users wear its headsets, then perform simple cognitive tasks with the results tracked via its software platform), has raised £6 million. Dementia Discovery Fund led the round, joined by LifeArc and the UK Future Fund. The Irish Times has more here
 
Fewcents, a year-old, Singapore-based fintech startup that enables publishers to take “micropayments” for individual pieces of content, announced today it has raised $1.6 million in seed funding co-led by M Venture Partners and Hustle Fund. TechCrunch has more here.
Fluence Technologies, a two-year-old, Toronto, Ontario-based maker of financial close and consolidation software for mid-sized companies, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Banneker Partners. BetaKit has more here.
 
Graviti, a 1.5-year-old, Mexico City, Mexico-based buy-now-pay-later startup focused on home appliances, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Active Capital, Other backers in the round include Mucker Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and entrepreneur Matt Brezina. Crunchbase News has more here
 
Lami Technologies, a three-year-old, Nairobi, Kenya-based digital insurance platform, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage investment firm that supports financial services targeted at underserved markets. Other participants in the round include AAIC, Consonance, P1 Ventures, Acuity Ventures, The Continent Venture Partners and Future Africa. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Little Otter, a year-old, San Francisco-based mental health company focused on providing personalized, virtual care to children, has raised $4.2 million in pre-seed and seed funding. Backers in the round include  Torch Capital, Vast Ventures, Box Group, Canaan, 8VC, Able, and Hinsdale. Forbes has more here.
 
RTFKT, a year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based startup that's creating and selling digital sneaker designs, memes and collectible exclusives, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. C Ventures, Galaxy Digital, and Shrug Capital also joined the round, among others. Business of Fashion has more here.
 
Tame, a five-year-old, Copenhagen-based customizable virtual events platform that's primarily used by companies for their sales events, has raised $5.5 million in seed funding. VF Venture led the round, with participation from byFounders and several individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.

Thentia, a seven-year-old, Toronto, Ontario-based maker of cloud-based licensing software, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Spring Mountain Capital, with participation from earlier investor BDC Capital. BetaKit has more here
New Funds
 
KKR & Co. raised $18.5 billion for the latest and largest version of its flagship North America buyout fund, according to Bloomberg, which notes the New York-based firm has been among the most active dealmakers during the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.
 
Multicoin Capital, a four-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based investment firm that funds blockchain startups, cryptocurrencies and tokens via a venture fund and separate hedge fund, says it has raised $100 million fo a second venture fund that will help it back new entrants in the space, including startups focused around DeFi, digital collectibles, and crypto-enabled infrastructure. TechCrunch has more here.
Exits
 
Better Collective, a Stockholm-based publicly trades sports betting media group, says it is buying Action Network, a three-year-old, New York-based provider of sports betting information, for $240 million. According to Crunchbase, Action Network had raised $17.5 million from outside investors, including Chernin Group, RSE Ventures, Bitkraft, and entrepreneur and investor Adam Marchick. SportsPro Media has more here.
 
Twitter has agreed to buy Scroll, a five-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based online content management platform that had raised $10 million from more than a dozen investment firms, including Union Square Ventures, OATV, and Founder Collective. In related news, a Scroll service, Nuzzel, is “going away" later this week. Nuzzel sends daily emails of the top stories shared by people in users' Twitter feed; Twitter says that it will “bring the core elements of Nuzzel directly to Twitter over time.” TechCrunch has more here.
Going Public
 
The Honest Company, the 11-year-old, L.A.-based personal care brand co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, has raised $413 million in an IPO after investors today sold about 25.8 million shares for $16 each, according to a statement confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The shares had been marketed for $14 to $17, with the company offering 6.5 million shares and existing investors selling 19.4 million. Now the company’s chief creative officer, Alba owns 5.65 million shares. She didn’t plan to sell her shares in the offering, per filings. The share sale gives her a stake valued at about $90 million, notes Bloomberg. More here.
 
Krispy Kreme is preparing to go public. The doughnut company said today that it has confidentially filed SEC paperwork related to a public offering of its stock, though the number of shares that will be offered and their price range has not been determined. Krispy Kreme has been private since 2016, when it was purchased by JAB Holding Company, a private firm that invests in food and beverage brands. CNN has more here.
 
Marqeta, an 11-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based card issuing platform that provides infrastructure and tools to help companies build and manage payment programs, is reportedly planning a June IPO. The company, whose customers include DoorDash, Instacart and Goldman Sachs, was last valued at $4.3 billion, notes Business Insider, which has the scoop here.
People
 
Greg Abel, who oversees non-insurance operations for the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, is next in line to lead the company, Warren Buffett confirmed to CNBC. More here.
 
Cyril Abiteboul, a former Renault Formula 1 Team principal, has joined HCVC (the venture arm of Hardware Club), as a venture partner. More here.
 
Marty Chavez, a top Goldman Sachs exec for many years -- he served as both its CTO and CFO -- is now a partner and vice chairman at Sixth Street, a San Francisco-based investment firm that promises flexible capital to its clients. More here

Jomayra Herrera has joined the edtech- and future-of-work-focused venture firm Reach Capital as a partner. She was previously an investor with both Emerson Collective and Cowboy Ventures. More here.
 
William Hurd, a former congressman and former undercover CIA operative who long focused on AI issues, has joined the board of OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research lab that counted Elon Musk as a co-founder and has been run since early 2019 by founder-investor Sam Altman. Axios has more here
 
Eric Yuan, the CEO of Zoom, told a virtual audience today that he has Zoom fatigue, too.
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Essential Reads
 
Berkshire Hathaway's stock price is too much for computers.
 
Elon Musk’s upcoming SNL appearance is fueling another frenzied run for Dogecoin, the meme-inspired token. CNBC has more here.
Detours
 
One of the best restaurants in the world is turning exclusively to plants. “The current food system is simply not sustainable in so many ways,” its chef tells the New York Times.
 
Starbucks baristas say trendy, complicated drink orders first seen on TikTok are driving them insane.
 
Why the Carters look so tiny alongside POTUS and FLOTUS in this picture.
Retail Therapy
 
Superyachts inspired by by the world of Formula 1.
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