The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Fintech Rules

After a slow-down of funding announcements last week—for obvious reasons— things got back to normal a little bit. Perhaps not surprisingly, fintech led the way—reaffirming private investors just can’t get enough of that sector. Half of the top 10 list is made up of companies in the space or at least adjacent to it. However, there are still a lot of signs of potholes in the market, as the top round of the week shows.

1. Acorns, $300M, fintech: Acorns’ big raise this week may speak more to the current state of the market than anything else. Last May, the company announced a SPAC deal that would reportedly have brought about $450 million to the company and valued it at about $2.2 billion. The Irvine, California-based mobile savings and investing app called off the SPAC merger two months ago—since saying the timing wasn’t right—and this week announced a $300 million Series F led by TPG at a $1.9 billion valuation. The change seems indicative of the market pressures right now, where companies are staying away from going public until some uncertainty is removed. Acorns has stated it will eventually look at a traditional IPO, but when is not known. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $500 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

2. Stax, $245M, fintech: Orlando, Florida-based Stax became the latest fintech unicorn after a $245 million raise that included investment from Greater Sum VenturesHarbourVest Partners and Blue Star Innovation Partners. The company is led by sibling co-founders Suneera Madhani, CEO, and Sal Rehmetullah, president—meaning it joins a small list of unicorns founded by both a woman and a minority. Stax’s platform allows its more than 22,000 businesses and platforms the ability to manage their payment ecosystem, analyze data and streamline customer experience. Founded in 2014, the company has raised more than $263 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

3. Roofstock, $240M, proptechThe rental market is hot, which happens when inflation is at a 40-year high. It may be a good time to invest in single-family rentals, or at least maybe a platform that helps people and institutions do that. Oakland, California-based Roofstock—an online platform for single-family rental investing—closed a $240 million Series E at a $1.94 billion valuation led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Just in the past year, Roofstock handled more than $2.5 billion in transaction volume, so there clearly is an appetite to buy rental properties. Founded in 2015 the company has now raised more than $400 million.

4. (tied) A24, $225M, media: New York-based indie studio A24—the studio behind both “Moonlight” and “Uncut Gems”— reportedly closed a $225 million round led by Stripes at a $2.5 billion valuation. The new investment group will hold less than 10 percent of the studio, which before the new round had only raised a seed round in 2013 led by Eldridge.

4. (tied) Marlette Holdings, $225M, fintech: As stated earlier, fintech was popular this week. You may not be familiar with Marlette Holdings, but you may know its online credit and financial wellness platform Best Egg. Apparently Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan does, because it led the $225 million Series E in the Wilmington, Delaware-based fintech company. Best Egg saw $300 million in revenue and $4.6 billion of personal loans facilitated in 2001, the company said in a release. Founded in 2013, the company has now raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase.

6. (tied) Axonius, $200M, cybersecurity: New York-based cybersecurity firm Axonius raised a $200 million Series E led by Accel at a $2.6 billion valuation. Founded in 2017, the company has raised a total of $395 million.

6. (tied) DNAnexus, $200M, biotech: Biomedical data software developer DNAnexus closed a $200 million financing round led by Blackstone Growth. Founded in 2009, the Mountain View, California-based company has raised approximately $472 million, according to Crunchbase.

8. Edly, $175M, fintech: Student loan platform Edly announced an additional $175 million investment from funds and co-investment vehicles managed by Medalist Partners and Windmuehle Funds. Edly uses tuition funding known as income-based repayment loans, which are specifically tailored to the starting salary of students and adjusts with their professional progress. Founded in 2019, the New York-based company has funded more than 4,000 students.

9. Menlo Micro, $150M, hardware: Irvine, California-based electronic switch developer Menlo Micro raised a $150 million Series C led by Vertical Venture Partners and Future Shape. Founded in 2016, the company—whose switches are used in a variety of industries including aerospace and defense, telecommunications and consumer electronics—has now raised a total of $225 million.

10. Saltbox, $128M, coworking: Atlanta-based co-working and warehousing space Saltbox announced a $128 million investment from real estate investment firm Fundrise to help expand in the US. Founded in 2019, the company has raised more than $140 million, according to Crunchbase.

Big global deals

A couple of funding rounds outside the U.S. cracked the quarter-billion-dollar mark this week, and not surprisingly one was fintech related.

  • London-based Lendable, a lending platform, raised a venture round worth approximately $274 million.
  • Berlin-based Forto, an online platform for freight forwarding, closed a $250 million Series D.