Here’s the roundup of all the startup headlines of this week around the globe [May 28 – Jun 1]
Uber’s biggest rival in Europe and Africa, Taxify has made it into the unicorn club with a USD 175 Mn funding led by Daimler.
Klaxoon, a teamwork application suite provider, is a France based start-up that has announced USD 50 Mn of funding received in Series B round. Idinvest Partners led the round with participation from BPI, Sofiouest, Arkea and White Star Capital Fund.
Ava, a fertility cycle monitoring bracelet device developer, has secured USD 30 Mn in Series B fund round. It is a Zurich based startup, and the funding was from its existing investors Polytech Ventures, btov, and SVC.
Pleo is a Danish Fintech startup that tracks company spending on individuals through smart company cards. It has raised USD 16 Mn in its series A funding round, led by Swedish investment firm Kinnevik along with other participants that included Creandum, Seedcamp and Vækstfonden.
One of the most active investors in Europe, a German VC firm High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) has secured its third fund. The fund closed at USD 369.5 Mn; its backers include German public partners such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the KfW, as well as 32 companies including the likes of Bayer, Robert Bosch, Deutsche Post and BASF.
Digital fund manager, Moneyfarm a UK based start-up has received USD 46.7 Mn in its Series B round. Allianz led the round and other participants included Endeavor Catalyst, Fondazione di Sardegna, Cabot Square Capital and initial investor United Ventures.
Alibaba has committed USD 15.6 billion to “build the technical backbone for a smart logistics network aimed at improving delivery reach and efficiency.” It’s logistics arm Cainiao is aiming to extend 72-hour delivery from the country to the rest of the world.
Chinese unicorn SenseTime that develops facial recognition tech has raised billions in mere months! It secured USD 620 million in a Series C plus round from Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global giving it a post-money valuation of USD 4.5 Bn. This came just two months after previous funding when it netted USD 600 Mn in April.
Food-delivery giant Ele.me – which was acquired by Alibaba in April – has been granted permission to begin dropping off its orders by drone, with 17 air routes gaining approval in Shanghai.
Hangzhou-based e-commerce startup Jollychic has raised hundreds of millions of US dollars in a series C round and entered the unicorn club. Sequoia Capital led the round, with Legend Capital also participating.
Ant Financial, the operator of digital wallet powerhouse Alipay, has netted USD 10 billion in its latest funding round, at a valuation of USD 150 Bn according to sources. If confirmed, the deal could make Ant Financial the most valuable startup in the world.
VC firm Sinoventures has announced a USD 390 Mn investment fund for AI companies in Guangzhou. Sinoventures said it would help Guangzhou develop an AI ecosystem by setting up a subsidiary and a research center there.
Co-living space operator Harbour, backed by Gaw Capital Partners and Trustbridge Partners, has set up USD 1.58 Bn fund for rental housing. The Chinese government has been increasingly promoting options such as co-living in an attempt to address housing demand amid rising property prices in the country.
Tencent has partnered with the Shenzhen Taxation Bureau to develop and implement digital fapiao (tax receipts) which would be verified with blockchain tech to prevent tax evasion. China has a major issue with fake fapiao, which people use to evade taxes or commit fraud against their employers.
PayPal and Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek have each picked up minority stakes in PineLabs developer of cloud-based POS, investing USD 125 Mn between them, giving it a reported post-money valuation of USD 800 million.
Qtrove, a curated marketplace for artisanal products, has secured USD 51.6 Mn from Springboard Ventures-Brand Capital. The startup claims to host over 600 vendors, with 6,000 products across more than 40 categories.
Cow-milking platform Stellapps has received USD 14 Mn funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IndusAge Partners. Bangalore-based Stellapps provides internet-of-things based tech solutions for dairy farmers.
The online budget hotel brand Treebo has acquired events discovery platform Events High for an undisclosed sum. The purchase will help Treebo diversify its offering beyond hotel booking and management.
Freecharge co-founder and CEO, Kunal Shah has raised USD 30 Mn in a funding round led by Sequoia, along with participation from a clutch of investors. He is reportedly planning to launch an incubator for consumer tech startups.
Tokyo-based mobile games publisher Gumi has established a USD 30 million blockchain and cryptocurrency fund, named Gumi Cryptos. It’s the third fund set up by Gumi, following media-focused Gumi Ventures and VR- and AR-themed Venture Reality Fund.
Singapore’s Sentinel Protocol, a blockchain company, raised USD 8 Mn in a token sale. The company identifies, analyzes, and records online threats to crypto-currencies. CEO Patrick Kim lost had 7,218 ether in a 2016 cyber attack, an incident that made him realize that crypto assets need greater security.
GrabFood launches after lights out at UberEats. Grab’s food-delivery service is now available in Singapore and Malaysia, following Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations – including UberEats – earlier this year.
Uber has reported a USD 2.5 Bn first-quarter profit following Grab deal, which is mostly accounted for by USD 2.9 Bn in savings, attributable to Uber’s sale of its Southeast Asian and Russian ride-hailing businesses to Grab and Yandex, respectively. The company will put profits back into its emerging markets such as India, according to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Thai bank SCB has doubled the size of its VC fund to USD 100 Mn through its fintech investment arm Digital Ventures. Digital Ventures is targeting investments in technologies such as blockchain, quantum computing, and geolocation, among others.
California based, Signifyd is a fraud protection provider for e-commerce biz that has secured USD 100 Mn in Series D funding. The round was led by Premji Invest, with participation from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Menlo Ventures, American Express Ventures and others.
New York-based blockchain settlement platform, Paxos raised USD 65 Mn in Series B funding. The round was led by existing investors including Liberty City Ventures, RRE Ventures and Jay Jordan. It has raised a total of USD 93 Mn to date.
A Cambridge-based platform, Camp4 Therapeutics, a firm focused on finding the treatment approach for different patients has raised USD 30 Mn in series A financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Polaris Partners and The Kraft Group.
San Francisco based dating app, Coffee meets Bagel has secured USD 12Mn in its series B financing round. Atami Capital led the round with participation from GingerBread Capital, DCM Ventures, Wi Harper and Quest Venture Partners.
Virtru, a Washington based data encryption startup that has received USD 37.5 Mn in Series B financing. Iconiq Capital led the round and was joined by existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Samsung, Blue Delta Capital, and Soros Capital.
Honest Buildings, a New York-based project management platform for real estate owners has announced that it has secured USD 5 Mn additional funding to close its series B funding round at USD 30 Mn. This additional investment was led by First Capital Realty, which joined existing Series B industry investors Brookfield Property Partners, Oxford Properties Group and others.