Discover more from Sourcery
IPOs + Flexport + Conspiracy Theories ☀ ThetaRay, Clara Analytics, Inceptive, Blooming Health, Imbue, Story Protocol, Ello, Atomicwork, Bandana, Automat, SaaSGrid, Loops, Delphi, Boston Metal
Reading is Good
A professor of mine once told me “reading is good.” And so, let’s keep it light today with a bunch of links to learnings & inspiration. Below are some ‘mildly interesting’ musings on the potential global financial destruction ahead, IPO markets, Flexport shakeup, & of course, GenZ growing pains.
Now for a bit of optimism.. there are a fair amount of climate tech/sustainability funding announcements in the deals section below.
Next week I’ll share why LA is the epicenter of the next wave of US VC funding. #LongLA
PS if anyone can notice the difference in the deals section and emails me a correct answer, I will send you a Sourcery hat.
“A conflict between the two superpowers would trigger mutually assured financial destruction.” how lovely
Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Creator.
This is the deep dive I’ve been waiting to discover, and it’s amazing. Long Creator Economy. It’ll just look/act differently than what you would’ve imagined out of the last Beverly Hills ‘hype-house’ cycle
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been built on databases with structured data, as you might find in an Excel spreadsheet.
Whispers of the Future, OpenAI’s dictation model, Tomasz Tunguz
Commerce Enablement/Supply Chains
The Next Generation
The Rising Generation; Whatever You Are, Be A Good One, Kyle Harrison
“Kids absorb what they get exposed to. Especially before kids get into their teenage years, ego and paranoia haven't set in yet, and so they are able to be uninhibited sponges soaking up everything they see, hear, and experience.”
Montauk Unveiled: Time Warps & Mind Games at a Hidden Air Base? Consequence of Mind
Montauk isn’t just for Surf Lodge, $95 Lobster salads, and draining your bank account. This is a little conspiracy theory primer on what went on at the spooky Montauk Project
For Curious Minds in the Emerging “Hard Industries” Tech Movement
The Hardware Lottery, Sara Hooker
The Good Thing About Hard Things; Software has spent a decade eating the world. What's next? Not Boring by Packy McCormick
The Decentralized Future of Nuclear Power, Anna-Sofia Lesiv
A deep dive into the new developments unfolding in nuclear power generation.
The Past and Future of Metallurgy, Anna-Sofia Lesiv
The past and future of metallurgy. Every important economic activity, whether it's construction, transportation, electrification or computation relies on metal.
. . .
Last Week (9/5-9/8):
Relevant deals include the 60+ deals across stages below.
I've categorized the deals below into four categories, Fintech, Care, Enterprise & Consumer, HardTech, and Sustainability, and ordered from later-stage rounds to early-stage rounds. Highlighted deals include ThetaRay, Clara Analytics, Socket, Inceptive, Blooming Health, Imbue, Story Protocol, Ello, Atomicwork, Integral, Enzai, Bandana, Automat, Mentra, SaaSGrid, Loops, Delphi, Boston Metal, d-Matrix, Mujin, Arduino, Kind Designs, Ascend Elements, Meati, Lydian, Spiritus, Arbor; Blue Force Technologies/Anduril, Ermetic, Butternut Box, SAP/LeanIX, CAA; Zapata AI, Freight Farms; Cendana Capital
Final numbers on Instacart’s Target Valuation at the bottom.
- ThetaRay, an Israeli anti-money laundering startup, raised $57m. Portage led, and was joined by JVP and OurCrowd. https://axios.link/3ZbBvDd
- Clara Analytics, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of insurance claims optimization solutions, raise $24m in Series C funding. Spring Lake Equity Partnersled, and was joined by insiders Aspen Capital Group, Oak HC/FT and QBE Ventures. www.claraanalytics.com
- GenTwo, a Zurich, Switzerland-based financial services provider that enables investors to make all of their assets bankable and investable, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Point72 Ventures led the round.
- Momnt, an Atlanta-based embedded lending startup, raised $15m. TruStage Ventures led, and was joined by Saluda Grade Ventures and Rockefeller Asset Management. https://axios.link/3Pry1cy
- Trident Digital Group, a Stamford, Conn.-based digital asset lender, raised $8 million in seed funding. New Form and White Star Capital led the round and were joined by CMT Digital, Joint Effects, and Permit Ventures.
- Socket, a British Virgin Islands-based company establishing communication between the chains in multichain blockchain programs, raised $5 million in funding. Coinbase Ventures and Framework Ventures led the round.
- Firstcard, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of financial products to college students, raised $4.7m in seed funding from AngelList Early Stage Quant Fund, CyberAgent Capital, East Venture and Keisuke Honda. https://axios.link/3L7Yw3Z
- Numeral, a San Francisco-based financial data management and accounting automation company, raised $3 million in seed funding. Bienville Capital led the round and was joined by Angelist Ventures and others.
- Givzey, a Boston, Mass.-based nonprofit fundraising solution designed for giving donations in split payments, raised $2.1 million in seed funding. Oyster Fund, York IE, CJ Orr and The Orr Group, and members of Tiger 21 Indianapolis Group and Launchpad Venture Group participated in the round.
. . .
- Inceptive, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company that’s using A.I. to develop drugs and vaccines, raised $100 million in funding from Nvidia, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Section 32, and others.
- Blooming Health, a New York-based platform that connects aging care providers with patients and their caregivers, raised $4.2m in seed funding, per Axios Pro. Afore Capital and Crossbeam Venture Partners co-led, and were joined by Metrodora and Evan Moore. https://axios.link/45YLVZ1
- Jude, a London, U.K.-based health startup for bladder care, raised $4.2 million in seed funding. Eka Ventures and Joyance Partners led the round.
. . .
Enterprise & Consumer:
- Imbue, a San Francisco-based A.I. research lab, raised $200 million in Series B funding from Astera Institute, Nvidia, Kyle Vogt, Simon Last, and others.
- Story Protocol, an SF-based developer of an open-IP creator collaboration platform, raised $54m. Andreessen Horowitz led, and was joined by Hashed, Endeavor, Samsung Next, David Bonderman and Paris Hilton's 11:11. https://axios.link/3RblgnI
- Certa, a Saratoga, Calif.-based platform that manages third party risk and compliance, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Fin Capital and Vertex Ventures led the round and were joined by Tru Arrow Partners and existing investors.
- Harmonya, a New York City-based A.I.-powered software firm that helps companies analyze and classify product data, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Bright Pixel Capital led the round and was joined by Team8, Arc Investors, J Ventures, Silicon Road Ventures, Allen & Company, and others.
- Ello, a San Francisco-based developer of an A.I. reading coach for children, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Goodwater Capital led the round and was joined by Homebrew, Reed Hastings, Common Sense Growth, and Ravensburger.
- Tradeteq, a London, U.K.-based Securitisation-as-a-Service platform allowing users to turn assets into securities, raised $12.5 million in extended Series A funding. MS&AD Ventures led the round and was joined by Interlock Partners and angel investors.
- Atomicwork, a San Francisco-based employee support startup, raised $11 million in seed funding. Blume Ventures and Matrix Partners led the round and were joined by Storm Ventures, Neon Fund, and others.
- Point.me, a New York City-based airline booking platform, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Thayer Ventures led the round and was joined by PAR Capital Ventures, RiverPark Ventures, and others.
- Integral, a San Francisco-based privacy and data software company, raised $6.9 million in seed funding. Haystack, The General Partnership, and Virtue Ventures led the round and were joined by Also Capital, Array Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, and others.
- Pynt, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based API security platform provider, raised $6 million in seed funding. Joule Ventures led the round and was joined by Dallas VC and Honeystone Ventures.
- Enzai, a Belfast, Ireland-based A.I. governance software startup, raised $4 million in seed funding. Cavalry Ventures and Seedcamp led the round and were joined by existing investor Techstart Ventures and others.
- Worldover, a London, U.K.-based platform that helps cosmetic brands comply with regulations, raised £3 million ($3.8 million) in seed funding. Index Ventures and Chalfen Ventures led the round and was joined by Entrepreneur First and Plug and Play Ventures.
- Bandana, a New York City-based job site for hourly jobs, raised $3.8 million in seed funding. General Catalyst and Craft Ventures led the round and were joined by Triple Impact Capital, Sarah Smith Fund, and angel investors.
- Automat, a San Francisco-based automation software company and Google Chrome add-on, raised $3.75 million in seed funding. Initialized led the round and was joined by Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, Schox, Goodwater, and others.
- Mentra, a Charlotte-based "neuroinclusive employment network," raised $3.5m in seed funding from Hydrazine Capital, Verissimo, Full Circle and the Charlotte Fund. https://axios.link/3sIqL3f
- SaaSGrid, a business intelligence and dashboarding tool for SaaS startups, raised $3.3m in seed funding led by founding investor Craft Ventures.
- Loops, a Washington, D.C. and New York City-based developer creating an email-sending tool for SaaS companies, raised $3.2 million in funding. Altman Capital, SV Angel, Liquid2, Soma, Box Group, and others participated in the round.
- Delphi, a Miami, Fla.-based platform that uses generative A.I. to create digital clones of individuals, has raised $2.7 million in funding. Founders Fund led the round and was joined by Lux Capital, Xfund, MVP Ventures, and SaxeCap.
- Athena Alliance, a San Francisco-based professional development community for executive and board-ready women, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Leonas Capital and Advisory led the round.
- Takes, a San Francisco-based social app for sports fans, raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. Riccardo Silva, Carlo Pozzali, Astralis Capital, and Joe Inzerillo participated in the round.
- SimpleClosure, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company that helps automate the processes for startups when they’re shutting down, raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. Michael Vaughn and Jon Pomerantz of Vera Equity and Rex Salisbury of Cambrian Ventures co-led the round and were joined by others.
. . .
- Boston Metal, a Boston, Mass.-based global metals technology startup, raised $262 million in Series C funding. ArcelorMittal SA led the round and was joined by Aramco Ventures, M&G Investments, Goehring & Rozencwajg, and others.
- d-Matrix, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based designer of A.I. chips for data centers, raised $110 million in Series B funding. Temasek led the round and was joined by existing investors Playground Global, M12, Nautilus Venture Partners, Entrada Ventures, and others.
- Envisics, a British developer of holographic tech for autos, raised $50m in new Series C funding ($100m round total) from firms like M&G Investments. Existing backers include Hyundai Mobis, InMotion Ventures and Stellantis. https://axios.link/3sHxWZr
- Mujin, an industrial robot developer with offices in Tokyo and Atlanta, raised $85 million in Series C funding. SBI Investment Company led the round and was joined by Pegasus Tech Ventures, Accenture, and others.
- Arduino, a Monza, Italy-based technology developer that designs and manufactures advanced devices and software for engineers, students, and hobbyists, raised an additional $22 million in Series B funding. CDP Venture Capital and Anzu Partners co-led the round and were joined by Arm.
- Kind Designs, a Miami-based developer of 3D-printed seawalls, raised $5m in seed funding from GOVO Venture Partners, M4 Investing and the Florida Opportunity Fund. www.kinddesigns.com
. . .
- Ascend Elements, a Westborough, Mass.-based manufacturer of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles, raised $460 million in Series D funding. Decarbonization Partners, Temasek, and Qatar Investments led the round and were joined by Tenaska, Alliance Resource Partners, and others. The company also disclosed it had raised $82 million in funding earlier this year.
- Meati, a Boulder, Colo.-based maker of plant-based meats, raised around $50m in Series C extension funding, per Axios Pro. Backers include Bond, Congruent Ventures and Revolution Growth. https://axios.link/3sMNsTT
- Certa, an SF-based vendor management startup focused on ESG compliance, raised $35m in Series B funding. Fin Capital Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India co-led, and were joined by Tru Arrow Partners, BDMI, Aglae Ventures, Mantis VC and GOAT Capital. https://axios.link/3EsRyTx
- Ambient Photonics, a Scotts Valley, Calif.-based developer of low-light energy harvesting technology, raised $30 million in Series A2 funding. Fine Structure Ventures led the round and was joined by Helios Climate Ventures, Regeneration.VC, Sustainable Future Ventures, and existing investors I Squared Capital, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and Cthulhu Ventures.
- Lydian, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of CO2-derived fuels and chemicals, raised $12m in seed funding. Congruent Ventures and Galvanize Climate Solutions co-led, and were joined by Grok Ventures, Voyager Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Overture VC and Overlap Holdings. www.lydianlabsinc.com
- Spiritus, a developer of materials to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, raised $11m. Khosla Ventures led, and was joined by Page One Ventures. https://axios.link/3PwnQUd
- Arbor, a digital energy startup, raised $9m in seed funding. First Round Capital led, and was joined by Obvious Ventures and Spring Tide. https://axios.link/3ZabHrh
- Okra Solar, a developer of solar grids in rural areas, raised $7.9m in Series A equity funding (plus $4.1m in debt). One Ventures led, and was joined by FMO, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, Autodesk Foundation and King Philanthropies. https://axios.link/3sJFCdL
- Opna, a London, U.K.-based climate financing platform that helps companies manage carbon removal and reduction projects, raised $6.5 million in seed funding. Atomico led the round and was joined by Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective, Angelinvest, Tiny VC, and angel investors.
- Florrent, an Amherst, Mass.-based developer of ultracapacitors made from hemp, raised $2.1m in pre-seed funding, per Axios Pro. MassVentures led, and was joined by MassMutual Catalyst Fund, AIN Ventures, Tale Venture Partners, NextFab Ventures and Boston Impact Initiative. https://axios.link/3PtjCfL
Acquisitions & PE:
- Anduril, a defense-tech company most recently valued by VCs at $8.5b, acquired Blue Force Technologies, a Morrisville, S.C.-based maker of autonomous fighter jets. https://axios.link/44I4Ciz
- Tenable (Nasdaq: TENB) agreed to acquire Ermetic, an Israeli cloud infrastructure entitlement manager, for upwards of $265m (including $240m in cash). Ermetic raised over $80m in VC funding from firms like Accel, Qumra Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Target Global, Accel, Forgepoint Capital, Glilot Capital Partners and Splunk Ventures. www.ermetic.com
- Saothair Capital Partners acquired MJM Yachts, a Washington, N.C.-based luxury yacht designer and builder. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Butternut Box, a London, U.K.-based fresh dog food company, raised £280 million ($351.7 million) in Series E funding from General Atlantic and existing investor L Catterton.
- Dataprise, backed by Trinity Hunt Partners, acquired Cohere Cyber Secure, a New York City-based cybersecurity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- SAP has agreed to acquire LeanIX, a Bonn, Germany-based enterprise architecture management provider supporting companies simplifying their IT infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Artémis agreed to acquire a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based entertainment and sports agency, from TPG. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Victory Park Capital is struggling to sell Perch, an Amazon marketplace rollup platform that in 2021 raised $775 million, per Bloomberg.
- Steve Cohen, the hedge fund manager and NY Mets owner, will own the fourth team in TGL, the new golf league being developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. https://axios.link/44CD7al
- Nestle (Swiss: NESN) agreed to buy Brazilian chocolate brand Kopenhagen for around $600m, per local media reports. https://axios.link/462QAJo
. . .
- Zapata AI, a Boston-based provider of "industrial generative AI" solutions, agreed to go public at an implied $200m valuation via Andretti Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: WNNR), a SPAC co-led by race car driver Michael Andretti (originally formed to focus on the auto industry). Zapata AI raised over $60m in VC funding from firms like Comcast Ventures, Pitango, Prelude Ventures, The Engine, Pillar, BASF VC, Itochu and Honeywell. https://axios.link/487giOL
- Freight Farms, a Boston-based vertical farming company, agreed to go public at an implied $147m valuation via Agrinam Acquisition Corp. (TSX: AGRI.U). Freight Farms raised around $57m in VC funding, from firms like Spark Capital, Stage 1 Ventures, Alkaline Partners, Aliaxis and Ospraie Ag Science. www.freightfarms.com
- Cendana Capital raised $470m for new funds-of-funds focused on seed-stage managers. https://axios.link/3Pd0e5F
A long-awaited delivery
Instacart is — finally — gearing up to make its debut on the public market, with the grocery delivery company targeting a valuation range of $8.6bn to $9.3bn, a significant discount from its lofty $39bn price tag in March 2021.
Instacart’s impending IPO, along with listings for chip-designer Arm and marketing firm Klaviyo, is poised to serve as a major litmus test for the US market after an almost two-year freeze-out that’s seen high-profile private tech companies like Stripe, Canva and Reddit, adopt a “wait and see” approach to timing their public market debuts.
Apoorva Mehta, a former supply chain engineer at Amazon, tested nearly 20 different services before finding his niche with Instacart in 2012. The company initially took root in San Francisco, but grew quickly to other US cities, before expanding into Canada in 2017. Despite losing key investor support from Whole Foods in 2018 — which had been responsible for ~10% of Instacart’s sales — the company could rely on major partnerships with Costco and Kroger. By 2019, Instacart was shipping $5bn+ worth of groceries a year. Then Covid hit.
With lockdowns and restrictions, Instacart became a sensation, and daily app downloads skyrocketed an astonishing 218% in March 2020. That propelled Instacart to new heights, eventually reaching its peak valuation of $39bn, trailing only SpaceX as the most valuable US-based unicorn. However, as the era of social distancing began to wane, and VC funding began to dry up, Instacart’s $39bn valuation passed its use-by date.
The material presented on Molly O’Shea’s website are my opinions only and are provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice. It is not a recommendation of, or an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy, any particular security, strategy, or investment product. Any analysis or discussion of investments, sectors or the market generally are based on current information, including from public sources, that I consider reliable, but I do not represent that any research or the information provided is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. My views and opinions expressed in any website content are current at the time of publication and are subject to change. Past performance is not indicative of future results.