Inside Venture Capital - March 17th, 2020 |

Inside Venture Capital (Mar 17th, 2020)

Impossible Foods raises $500M / Bakkt clinches $300M / $1.14B raised over 17 deals

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  1. Startups developing tech to combat COVID-19 urged to apply for fast-track EU funding: The drive is related to the European Innovation Council’s $182M accelerator program; the deadline is tomorrow.
  2. Evergreen Funds Equipped To Weather Market Cycles: Crunchbase introduces the basic concept, which uses open-end dates to allow fund recycling and restructure pressure, and talks to partners from Maverick and Thomvest.
  3. Online code database GitHub acquires JavaScript packaging vendor npm, terms undisclosed; nom will be kept free, though its underlying infrastructure will be updated.
  4. Impossible Foods (Redwood City, CA), plant-based meats and dairy products: $500M F led by Mirae Asset Global Investments, participation from Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Temasek, Jay Brown, Common, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, Peter Jackson, Jay-Z, Mindy Kaling, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams,, Zedd. Brings total funding to $1.3B.
  5. Workplace messaging platform Slack’s share price fell 20% after reporting Q4’20 results (ending Jan 31): revenue rose to $181.9M, operating loss $91.2M, negative net income of $89.1. TechCrunch sees the drop despite coming relatively in line with investor expectations as being related to the general market shift and the lack of forward guidance.
  6. New Enterprise Associates closes its latest (XVII) fund at $3.6B, the largest sum to date; will focus mostly on early-stage, with select growth-stage rounds excepted; also added former president Liza Landsman as a general partner.
  7. Bakkt (Atlanta, GA), crypto derivatives trading platform: $300M B from M12, PayU, Boston Consulting Group, Goldfinch Partners, CMT Digital, Pantera Capital, Intercontinental Exchange. Plans to release a mobile app soon.
  8. HashiCorp (San Francisco, CA), platform enabling IT admins to seamlessly transition to cloud workforces: $175M E from Franklin Templeton Investments. Was valued at $5B.
  9. Proxy (San Francisco, CA), phone-based keyless office door unlocking platform: $42M B led by Scale Venture Partners, participation from Kleiner Perkins, Y Combinator, Silicon Valley Bank, West Ventures.
  10. Rancher Labs (Cupertino, CA), open-source Kubernetes management platform: $40M D led by Telstra Ventures, participation from Mayfield, Nexus Venture Partners, GRC SinoGreen, F&G Ventures.

--VC Reads--

-- The Corona Crisis Checklist For Start-Up CEOs: German angel investor Feliks Eyser takes us through the basic how-to of dealing with downturns for first-time founders.

A new merger should shake up the career coaching world with a new unified offering. In addition, a 15-year-old venture fund reports its latest vehicle, and more.

Though the onslaught of IPOs of early 2019 is over, 'big fish eat little fish' still reigns in the M&A world, while venture funds continue to expand. Inside VC covers the most important topics once a week, on top of breaking down the best funding news.

Subscribe now to Inside VC for public markets, mergers, and more!


-- Encoo (China), robotic process automation platform: $30M B led by Sequoia Capital China, participation from GSR Ventures, Future Capital Discovery Fund.


-- Stonewise (Beijing, China), AI-based drug discovery platform: $10M A led by Longhill Capital.

-- StanPlus (Hyderabad, India), medical transport to major hospitals: $1.5M Pre-A led by Pegasus FinInvest, participation from Hyderabad Angels, et al.


-- HEX (Boulder, CO), cleaning products for synthetic activewear: $5M led by Lykos Capital Partners.

-- ZunRoof (Mumbai, India), home IoT product for solar powers: $3M A from Godrej Investment Office.

-- Pitstop (India), hyper-local car repair garages with at-home service: $2.5M A from Group Landmark.


-- ZeroNorth (Boston, MA), risk-based vulnerability orchestration for apps and infrastructure: $10M A+ led by Crosslink Capital, participation from investors ClearSky, Rally Ventures, Petrillo Capital.


-- The Org (New York, NY), enterprise organizational chart exploration platform: $8.5M A led by Founders Fund, participation from Sequoia, Balderton Capital, et al.


-- Smartcoin (India), app providing small loans to consumers: $7M A from LGT LightstoneAspada, Unicorn India, Accion Venture.


-- Bazooka Tango (San Mateo, CA), mobile gaming studio: $2.5M Seed led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, participation from Modern Times Group, Mergelane, et al.


-- Abwaab (Jordan), Arabic-speaking home learning platform: $2.4M Pre-Seed led by Adam Tech Ventures, participation from Endure Capital, Equitrust, Innovative Startups SMEs Fund, et al.

--Consumer Internet--

-- Bimble (UK), place remembrance app: $1.6M Seed from Dimitris Panagopoulos, Rupert Rittson-Thomas, Julian Granville, et al.

--Funding Breakdown--


1 Deal: $500,000,000


1 Deal: $300,000,000


2 Deals: $215,000,000


1 Deal: $42,000,000


1 Deal: $30,000,000


2 Deals: $11,500,000


3 Deals: $10,500,000


1 Deal: $10,000,000


1 Deal: $8,500,000


1 Deal: $7,000,000


1 Deal: $2,500,000


1 Deal: $2,400,000

--Consumer Internet--

1 Deal: $1,600,000

Inside VC's writer/curator Stephen currently lives in Berlin and is pursuing a Master's degree in philosophy. He otherwise enjoys cooking Indian/Southeast Asian cuisine, received his Bachelors in NYC, and lived almost two years in Bucharest.

Edited by Beth Duckett, staff writer at Inside.

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