This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the US Check out last week’s biggest funding rounds here.
For anyone who follows the flow of venture dollars, it’s become quite obvious there has been a slowdown in the last week and a half. We’ve written about it and talked to VCs themselves about the shift. Large funding announcements are few and far between, and just funding announcements in general are slow. (For the past week, it took me about one cup of coffee to go through my inbox — instead of dedicating a majority of my morning to the project as usual.)
While this week saw three rounds of more than a quarter-billion dollars each, this is also only the second time since we started running this weekly list a company did not have to raise more than $ 100 million to make the top 10. (For those keeping score, Boston-based biotechnology Expansion Therapeutics made the very first column back in October after raising an $ 80 million Series B.)
It is important to remember most rounds are announced a month or more after closing, so it’s likely most companies are holding news as to not compete with — or appear tone deaf to — world events. However, it is fair to wonder if this a blip, or a new normal for the industry.
1. Fanatics, $ 1.5B, retail: While it may have been a slow week for funding, it was not if you sell sports apparel. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jacksonville, Florida-based Fanatics raised $ 1.5 billion in a new funding round that values the sports platform company at $ 27 billion. The company — which has exclusive licensing deals with most US-based professional sports leagues and many universities to make and sell official team merchandise — was most recently valued at $ 18 billion, less than a year ago. The latest funding round includes new investors Fidelity, BlackRock and MSD Partners, as well as existing investors. Earlier this year, Fanatics acquired Topps trading cards for $ 500 million.
2. Weee, $ 425M, grocery: While there are a lot of different options to get groceries delivered to your home, Weee has tried to differentiate itself based on its more ethnic offerings — and investors seem to have taken note. The Fremont-based e-grocer secured at $ 425 million Series E led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Its catalog includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indian and Latin offerings. Founded in 2015, the company has now raised more than $ 800 million. Weee’s massive funding follows a huge year for global venture funding in the sector. Investors have poured more than $ 12 billion into the grocery space in the past 12 months.
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3. Veev, $ 400M, construction tech: As home prices soar, developers cannot build them fast enough. Technology-enabled homebuilding company Veev is hoping to lessen that problem after raising a $ 400 million Series D led by BOND. Veev’s building technology takes a prefabrication approach to produce fully cladded walls, complete with mechanical, electrical and plumbing. The pre-inspected walls are delivered to the site ready for installation. Founded in 2008, the company has raised nearly $ 600 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.
4. Aurora Solar, $ 200M, energy: Last week saw a $ 375 million round go to Charleston, South Carolina-based Palmetto, whose platform attempts to make it easier for homeowners to source their energy from renewable energies like solar power. This week, we see another large round go to Aurora Solar, which has developed a software platform for solar sales and design. The San Francisco-based company closed a $ 200 million Series D co-led by current investors Coatue and Energize Ventures. The company plans to use the cash to take advantage of a growing solar market — which has seen an average annual growth rate of 42 percent in installed solar capacity over the past decade — just as many solar companies are looking to digitize their business processes.
5. Apollo.io, $ 110M, sales: While we touched on the slowdown in venture at the beginning of the column, another thing we’ve noticed is companies are not raising rounds as close together as they did last year — when it was not uncommon for only six months to go by before raising new cash. San Francisco-based Apollo.io is an exception. The sales intelligence and engagement platform closed a $ 110 million Series C round led by Sequoia Capital — just three months after closing a more modest $ 32 million Series B. Founded in 2015, the company has raised about $ 150 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
6. Luminous Computing, $ 105M, artificial intelligence: Mountain View, California-based supercomputer company Luminous Computing closed a $ 105 million Series A from investors including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Luminous is building a supercomputer capable of running more sophisticated AI applications — something difficult for most companies that can’t afford the expensive, power-consuming hardware currently needed to run complex AI systems. Founded in 2018, Luminous has raised $ 115 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.
7. OpenSpace, $ 102M, construction tech: Speaking of AI, San Francisco – based OpenSpace raised a $ 102 million Series D funding round led by PSP Growth. The company uses AI-powered analytics to create navigable photo representations of job sites. Founded in 2017, the company has raised $ 190 million, according to Crunchbase.
8. Visby Medical, $ 100M-plus, health care: San Jose, California-based Visby Medical closed a $ 100 million-plus Series E led by Ping An Voyager Partners. The diagnostics company develops PCR-based diagnostic tests for the detection of infectious diseases and is looking to expand its offerings to include a COVID + influenza A / B combination test.
9. Kin Insurance, $ 82M, insurance: Chicago-based direct-to-consumer home insurance company Kin Insurance announced an $ 82 million first close of its Series D round — with additional commitments for a second close totaling $ 18 million — led by QED Investors. Founded in 2016, Kin raised $ 133 million in equity funding prior to this Series D.
10. (tied) GridPoint, $ 75M, energy: Reston, Virginia-based GridPoint, an energy management platform for commercial buildings, closed a $ 75 million strategic capital raise led by the Sustainable Investing Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
10. (tied) Vesalius Therapeutics, $ 75M, health care: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vesalius Therapeutics, which is using technology to reevaluate how diseases are treated, raised a $ 75 million round from Flagship Pioneering.
Big global deals
Not only was it slow in the US for funding, but also the global market. Only one round from outside the US cracked the top five rounds raised globally.
- China-based Inceptio Technology, a developer of autonomous trucks, closed a $ 188 million Series B.
We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by US-based companies for the seven-day period of Feb. 26 to March 4. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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