DraftKings takes a hit, the Amazon that customers don't see, and a vibrating bed by Yves Behar

July 15, 2021
 
Reminder, semi-vacation, no columns. More tomorrow.:)
Top News
 
The Senate confirmed big tech critic and prominent antitrust scholar Lina Khan as FTC Commissioner today, signaling a new era of scrutiny for the tech industry. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Shares of DraftKings slid as much as 12% today after (you guessed it) short seller Hindenburg Research said that the sports-betting firm’s gambling-technology subsidiary SBTech operates in countries where gambling is banned. The WSJ has more here.
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Massive Fundings
 
Addepar, a 12-year-old, Mountain View, C.-based wealth management company, has raised $150 million in Series F funding from D1 Capital Partners at a pre-money valuation of $2 billion as part of its Series F financing. The company has now raised roughly $475 million to date. The WSJ has more here.
 
Bitwise Asset Management, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency index fund manager, has raised $70 million in Series B funding from a handful of institutional investors and more than 30 individual investors, including D1 Chief Investment Officer Daniel Sundheim, entrepreneur-investor Elad Gil, and Electric Capital. CNBC has more here.
 
Carro, a six-year-old, Singapore-based online marketplace where users can buy, sell or lease pre-owned and new cars, has raised $360 million in Series C funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from several Indonesia-based funds, including EV Growth. CNBC has more here.
 
Duda, an 11-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based professional website builder for digital agencies and SaaS companies, has raised $50 million in Series D financing, though around $10 million of that capital is being used to acquire shares from the company's founders and employees (rather than flow to the company). Claridge IL led the round, joined by earlier backers Susquehanna Growth Equity and Vintage Investment Partners. This is Duda’s largest financing round to date and brings the total raised by the company to $100 million. Calcalist has more here.
 
Ebanx, a nine-year-old, Brazilian fintech that focuses mainly on processing payments from clients of global websites like the AliExpress retail service and Airbnb, has raised $430 million in funding from funds managed by Advent International. Reuters has more here.
 
Formative, an eight-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based software platform that allows teachers to see students' level of comprehension and achievement in real time, has raised $70 million in funding led by Summit Partners, with participation from Emerson Collective, Fika Ventures, Mac Ventures and Rethink Education. Dot.LA has more here.
 
Heliogen, an-year-old, Pasadena, Ca.-based renewable energy tech company, says it recently raised $108 million across two early-stage rounds, including from Prime Movers Lab, ArcelorMittal, Edison International, Ocgrow Ventures, A.T. Gekko, and more. TechCrunch has more here.
 
IRL, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based messaging social network, has raised $170 million in Series C funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Dragoneer also participated in the round, along with returning investors Goodwater Capital, Founders Fund and Floodgate. To date, IRL has raised over $200 million. It is now valued at $1.17 billion, says the company. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Lyra Health, the six-year-old Burlingame, Ca.-based provider of mental health care benefits for employers that was founded by former Facebook CFO David Ebersman, has raised $200 million in new funding at a valuation of $4.6 billion led by Coatue, with participation from Sands Capital and existing investors. The company also now raised $680 million altogether and is reportedly valued by its investors at $4.6 billion. FierceBiotech has more here.
 
Thumbtack, the 13-year-old, San Francisco-based home services marketplace, has raised $275 million at a post-money valuation of $3.2 billion. Qatar Investment Authority led the round, joined by Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, G Squared, and earlier backers Baillie Gifford, CapitalG, Founders Circle Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The company has now raised roughly $700 million altogether, judging by old Crunchbase data. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Uberall, an eight-year-old, L.A. and Berlin-based startup that works with retailers to help them provide more accurate and timely information about themselves across the apps and other services that consumers use to discover them, has raised $115 million in funding led by Bregal Milestone, Level Equity, United Internet and Uberall management. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
 
BookClub, a 16-month-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based platform that enables authors to hold book groups, share exclusive video-based interviews, and engage in questions readers might have, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Signal Peak Ventures. Other investment firms that participated in the round include GSV Ventures, Maveron, Backstage Capital​ and Pelion Venture Partners​. The company had announced $6 million in seed funding just six months ago. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Carbyne, a six-year-old, Israel-based developer of a cloud platform for emergency services communications, has raised $20 million in extended Series B funding five months after originally closing the round with $25 million. The newest tranche was led by Global Medical Response, the largest private emergency medical services provider in the U.S., and it includes participation from the startup's previous investors Hanaco Ventures, Elsted Capital Partners, and Intercap VC, among others. Calcalist has more here.
 
Dusty Robotics, a three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based developer of robot-powered tools for the construction industry, has raised $16.5 million in Series A funding led by Canaan Partners, with participation from earlier backers NextGen Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Root Ventures, and Cantos Ventures. The financing brings Dusty’s total funding to date to $23.7 million. More here.
 
Elisity, a nearly three-year-old, Sn Jose, Ca.-based enterprise cybersecurity company, has raised $26 million in Series A funding co-led by AllegisCyber Capital and Two Bear Capital, the venture firm of former Sequoia Capital investor Mike Goguen. Other investors in the round include Panaseer and earlier backer Atlantic Bridge. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Lingokids, a  five-year-old, Madrid, Spain-based company with a wide-ranging, educational games platform, has raised $40 million led by GP Bullhound, with participation from earlier backers HV Capital and Ravensburger. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Macrometa, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based edge computing cloud and global data network for developers, has raised $20 million in Series A funding eight months after raising $7 million in seed funding. The company has now raised $29 million altogether. Pelion Venture Partners led the round, joined by earlier investors DNX Ventures, Benhamou Global Ventures, Partech Partners, Fusion Fund, Sway Ventures, and Shasta Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Sanity Group, a three-year-old, Berlin-based medical cannabis and wellness brand, has raised $44.2 million in Series A funding led by Redalpine, with participation from Navy Capital, SOJE Capital and GMPVC. More here.
 
Sempre Health, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that works with health plans and pharma manufacturers to dynamically adjust copays based on individual adherence and behavior, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Blue Venture Fund, a venture capital firm backed by 35 Blue Cross and Blue Shield entities, led the round, which brings the company's total funding to $26.5 million. Forbes has more here.
 
SkyWatch, a seven-year-old, Waterloo, Canada-based startup that offers a data management and distribution platform to Earth-observation companies, has raised $17.2 million in Series B funding led Drive Capital. Earlier backers also joined the round, including Bullpen Capital, Space Capital, Golden Ventures and BDC Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Wristcam, a five-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based Apple Watch accessory maker, has raised $25 million in new funding led by Marker LLC, with participation from a global syndicate of family offices. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Smaller Fundings
 
Finley, a six-month-old, San Francisco-based company developing software for debt capital raise and management, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Matt Harris of Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Haystack, Nine Four Ventures, Twenty Two Ventures, and Y Combinator. Crunchbase has more here.
 
Frank, a 2.5-year-old, Chicago-based app lets coworkers create chatrooms to discuss issues and campaigns around a particular demand they want to make of their company, has raised $3 million in seed funding from Hyde Park Venture Partners, Starting Line, Hyde Park Angels, and Shomik Dutta from Higher Ground Labs. Axios has more here.
 
Jingling, a year-old, China-based startup developing Linux-based tablets and laptops, has raised $10 million in seed funding led by Sinovation Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Owl Peak Labs, a two-year-old, Charlottesville, Va.-based life sciences company that develops new screening solutions to detect colorectal cancer, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from undisclosed investors. More here.
 
Ramp, a London-based crypto payments infrastructure startup, has raised $10.1 million in seed funding in a round led by NFX and Galaxy Digital, with participation from earlier investors Seedcamp, firstminute Capital, Fabric Ventures, angel investor Balaji Srinivasan and Dapper Labs founder Roham Gharegozlou. CoinDesk has more here.
 
Serenity Kids, a five-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based startup focused on making low-sugar, healthy baby food, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by CircleUp Growth Partners, with participation from Wild Ventures and a long list of individual investors. Crunchbase News has more here.
 
Waeve, a three-year-old, Somerville, Ma.-based lifestyle brand made for and by Black women, launched today with a line of ready-to-wear wigs along with $2 million in seed funding led by Pillar VC, with participation from Maveron, former Glossier COO Henry Davis, Pillpack cofounder and CEO TJ Parker, Pillpaack cofounder Elliot Cohen, and numerous other individual investors. More here.
New Funds
 
8VC, the 10-year-old  venture capital fund founded by Joe Lonsdale, who moved it last year from the Bay Area to Austin, Tex., is raising $640 million for its fourth flagship fund, and $880 million for its second opportunity fund, per SEC filings first flagged by Axios. More here.
 
Fox Corp. said today that it’s launching a new fund for digital creators and seeding it with $100 million. The fund is part of a broader effort announced last month that includes a new business unit, Blockchain Creative Labs. Bloomberg has more here.
 
Geodesic Capital, a six-year-old, Foster City, Ca.-based venture firm that's focused on mid- and later-stage consumer tech startups, is raising $500 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. More here.
 
Meron Capital, a four-year-old, Israel-based venture firm focused on early-stage, deep-tech software startups, has raised $50 million for its second fund. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Roble Ventures, a year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based venture firm led by Sergio Monsalve, who previously spent 14 years as an investor with Norwest Venture Partners, is raising $38 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing first flagged by Axios. More here.
 
SNÖ Ventures, a six-year-old, Oslo, Norway-based venture firm, has launched a $100 million fund for Nordic tech companies, and says billionaire Peter Thiel is an investor and strategic partner. The firm’s second fund will focus on startups from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark, says Sifted. It's also dramatically larger than the firm's debut fund, which closed with $12 million in capital commitments. More here.
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Going Public
 
In just the latest news of a battery company going public, Solid Power, a 10-year-old, Louisville, Ky.-based solid-state battery developer, says it has agree to merge with the blank-check company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at an implied market valuation of $1.2 billion. The company just raised $130 million in Series B funding last month. TechCrunch has more here.
People
 
FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried talks with Bloomberg about going public, SPACs and a Bitcoin ETF.
 
Zhenni Liu has joined MaC Venture Capital as partner in San Francisco. She previously spent 1.5 years as a senior associate with Commerce Ventures and 1.5 years before that as an associate with Peterson Ventures. More here.
Data
 
Wow: $171 billion is how much U.S. IPOs have already totaled in 2021, eclipsing the $168 billion that companies raised through IPOs in all of 2020. Reuters has more here.
 
According to new Gartner research, within the next three years, 80% of tech products and services will be built by people who are not tech professionals. VentureBeat has more here.
Essential Reads
 
The Amazon that customers don't see.
 
Airbnb spends tens of millions of dollars each year to make nightmares go away, including payouts for counseling sessions, crews to clean up blood, and worse.
 
Most of Amazon’s properties including Amazon.com, WholeFoods.com and Zappos.com are preventing Google’s tracking system FLoC — or Federated Learning of Cohorts — from gathering valuable data reflecting the products people research in Amazon’s vast e-commerce universe, according to website code analyzed by Digiday and three technology experts who helped Digiday review the code. It could seriously weaken the fledgling effort, says the outlet. More here.
Detours
 
The health benefits of coffee.
 
The often insane journeys superyachts take to reach their owners.
 
China's people get on skis.
 
TikTok is bringing in big business for doctors, but they’d prefer that it stop.
Retail Therapy
 
Opus SoundBed, to calm your nerves.
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