Some pretty substantial rounds took place this week, as companies had to raise at least $130 million to get into the top 10. Investors spread their money around again, from space and food truck delivery platforms, to AI and agtech. While venture dollars seemed to slow this spring, the season ended on a strong note for startups.
1. SpaceX, $1.7B, space travel: We talked about this round several weeks ago in this column, but decided to include it again. There is now more clarity after it was officially filed this week. While it was reported that Elon Musk’s space company was trying to raise at least $1.5 billion—according to The Wall Street Journal—we now know it raised $1.68 billion. The Hawthorne, California-based company apparently looked to raise $1.725 billion.
2. Wonder, $350M, food delivery: Marc Lore’s food delivery startup Wonder gets the second spot this week after The Wall Street Journal reported the New York-based startup raised a $350 million round led by Bain Capital Ventures at a $3.5 billion valuation. Wonder is a slightly different kind of food delivery startup. It operates a network of food trucks from which consumers can order food through a mobile app. The truck then drives near the customer’s home and prepares the food fresh. Lore previously was CEO of retail giant Walmart’s e-commerce division.
3. Little Leaf Farms, $300M, farming: Investors have poured a lot of money into agtech over the past few years, as people’s buying habits have changed when it comes to their food’s taste, nutrition and sustainability. Devens, Massachusetts-based Little Leaf Farms is the latest in the space to see some significant funds roll its way. The company closed a $300 million equity financing led by TPG’s The Rise Fund. The startup will use the new cash for growth and expansion, which includes opening its fourth hydroponic greenhouse and making its lettuces accessible to more than half of the country’s population by 2026. Little Leaf’s lettuce is grown under glass and uses up to 90% less water than field-grown greens, according to the company. Founded in 2015, the company has now raised $435 million, according to Crunchbase data.
4. AlphaSense, $225M, artificial intelligence: We all have spent a lot of our lives searching for things on the internet, be it for work or home life. AlphaSense is betting it can help us do it better when it comes to searching for structured and unstructured market analysis and business intelligence. Well, at least the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Viking Global is betting on that. They led a $225 million investment into the New York-based company, valuing the company at $1.7 billion. That is nearly double what the company was valued after its $180 million Series C in September. The $225 million number does include a “substantial debt investment from funds and/or accounts managed by BlackRock,” the company said in a release. Founded in 2011, the company has raised $520 million, according to Crunchbase.
5. Zoovu, $169M, e-commerce: While buying things online has become commonplace, so has leaving things in your cart, walking away from your computer, and forgetting about what you planned to buy. Zoovu helps companies analyze customer behavior and product performance, and provides tips for optimization so they can close more e-commerce deals. The Boston-based company closed a deal of its own this week when it locked up $169 million led by FTV Capital. Investors must see the potential, since e-commerce purchasing has accounted for nearly 20% of worldwide retail sales in the past two years. That’s projected to grow to 24.5%within the next three years. Founded in 2006, the company has raised $183 million, per Crunchbase data.
6. Metropolis Technologies, $167M, e-commerce: Los Angeles-based mobility commerce platform Metropolis Technologies raised a $167 million Series B co-led by 3L Capital and Assembly Ventures. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $230 million, according to Crunchbase data.
7. Vendr, $150M, software: Boston-based SaaS buying platform Vendr closed a $150M Series B co-led by return investor Craft Ventures and new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2 that reportedly values the company at $1 billion. Founded in 2019, Crunchbase data shows the company has raised $216 million.
8. Overair, $145M, aerospace: Santa Ana, California-based electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle company Overair locked up a $145 million round of funding from Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Aerospace. Founded in 2019, the company has raised $170 million, according to Crunchbase data.
9. Echodyne, $135M, sensor: Seattle-based radar platform company Echodyne raised a $135 million round co-led by Baillie Gifford and Bill Gates. Founded in 2014, Crunchbase data shows the company has raised nearly $200 million.
10. PayCargo, $130M, fintech: Coral Gables, Florida-based PayCargo, an online payment settlement system for the freight maritime industry, closed a new investment of up to $130 million from funds managed by Blackstone. Founded in 2007, the company has raised $290 million, according to Crunchbase data.
Big global deals
Two large rounds well above a quarter-billion dollars went to startups outside the U.S. this week.