Here’s a round-up of the most important deals in venture capital from the past week.
Alphabet, its venture arm GV, and Uber led a $335 million investment into Lime, the mobility start-up that lets users rent bikes or scooters using their smartphones to unlock and pay for them. With the deal, Lime’s valuation has risen to $1.1 billion. The deal continues the hot streak in last-mile mobility: In April, Uber acquired Jump Bikes, the start-up that first popularized “dockless” bike sharing in the U.S. And Lime’s competitor in the burgeoning scooter market, Bird, raised $300 million, notching a $2 billion valuation.
Opener, a company building a fixed-wing vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, announced that Alphabet CEO Larry Page has backed the company with a private investment. It is Page’s second known investment in personal flying vehicles; he also is an investor in Kitty Hawk, which demonstrated its flying car last month.
A Starbucks competitor in China, Luckin Coffee, raised $200 million in series A funding from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, attaining a $1 billion valuation, Reuters reported. LuckIn delivers coffee on-demand to its customers, and operates 525 stores in 13 cities across China.
Convene raised $152 million in a series D round of funding led by ArrowMark Partners, with a number of other tech and real estate investors. According to a company statement, Convene partners with large real estate firms to bring various, Google campus-like amenities to their office buildings, so they can offer them to all tenants there. Convene also leases offices, and rents out meeting and work spaces much like its better-funded competitor, WeWork.
Autonomous vehicle tech start-up Pony.ai raised $102 million in a series A extension round led by Eight Roads Ventures and ClearVue Partners. Run by former Baidu exec James Peng, Pony.ai is already operating and road testing self-driving vehicles in major cities in China. Pony.ai is developing software algorithms that can enable a car to perceive its surroundings, anticipate what others will do, and maneuver accordingly without a driver. The company secured a license to begin autonomous vehicle testing in Beijing earlier this month.
Toast, a Boston company that makes restaurant management software raised $115 million in series D funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion. T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global led the deal.
French startup Meero raised $45 million to grow its business internationally. The company operates a marketplace of photographers, and has developed software that automatically edits, filters and generally beautifies uploaded photos of products and places. Alven Capital and Idinvest led the round.
Health start-up Nurx raised $36 million in deal led by Kleiner Perkins. The Nurx app connects women with physicians online, and delivers birth control and other prescribed products to their homes. Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator and Lowercase Capital also invested, with Chelsea Clinton joining the start-up’s board. Today, Nurx can deliver birth control pills, patches, injectables and products like the Nuva Ring, and the anti-HIV medication PrEP. It also intends to sell a home HIV-test in the near future.
Lightspeed Venture Partners closed $1.8 billion in new funds to back more tech start-ups. The firm previously backed Snapchat, Stitch Fix and Nutanix, and 14 others that have gone public over the last five years, Reuters reports.The enterprise and consumer tech focused fund boasts that more than one-third of the companies it has funded in the past 6 years include women in their original, founding teams.
Scale Venture Partners has closed a new, $400 million fund, its sixth to-date. The firm is best known as an earlier investor in: Box, DocuSign and HubSpot. In a statement, Scale said it will be focusing on investing in “companies leveraging AI and frontier technologies for the enterprise.”
Source: Tech CNBC
Top VC Deals: Uber and Alphabet backed Lime, Larry Page invests in personal aircraft company