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The Briefing: Deliveroo Sets Range For Massive IPO, Spark Capital Cuts Ties With Dispo, And More

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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Deliveroo IPO sets valuation of up to $12.2B

Food delivery service Deliveroo set a proposed share price range for its upcoming London IPO that would value the company at up to $12.2 billion.

The British company, which counts Amazon among its backers, previously raised at least $1.7 billion in known funding, per Crunchbase data. The listing will be one of the largest London offerings of the year.

— Joanna Glasner

Spark Capital cuts ties with Dispo, founder steps down

Spark Capital, which led the Series A for buzzy photo-sharing app Dispo, announced Sunday night that it was severing ties with the company co-founded by popular YouTuber David Dobrik. The announcement came after Insider reported allegations of sexual assault against a former member of Dobrik’s “Vlog Squad.” Since the report came out last week, brands including Dollar Shave Club and HelloFresh have ended partnerships with Dobrik, according to Insider, and Dobrik parted ways with the company Monday morning.

— Sophia Kunthara

Ro Lands $500M Series D

New York-based health care technology company Ro announced $500 million in Series D funding to scale its telehealth services, pharmacy distribution and in-home care delivery.

Existing investors General Catalyst, FirstMark Capital and TQ Ventures led the round and were joined by existing investors SignalFire, Torch and BoxGroup, as well as new investors Altimeter, Baupost, Dragoneer, Shawspring, Radcliff and 776. The new funding gives Ro a total of $876 million in fundraising since the company’s inception, according to Crunchbase data. Ro’s previous raise was a $200 million Series C last June, also led by General Catalyst.

The company intends to use the new funding to bolster its primary care platform, including expanding its pharmacy distribution network, developing its Ro Collaborative Care Center, technology development and entering new treatment areas.

The funding comes three months after Ro announced the acquisition of Workpath, a Richmond, Virginia-based software platform specializing in on-demand, in-home care and diagnostic services. The acquisition enabled Ro to integrate virtual and in-person care on its own platform and offer these in-home capabilities to other health care companies, according to the company.

— Christine Hall

Funding rounds

Flex Logix lands $55M: Mountain View, California-based Flex Logix, a startup designing reconfigurable AI accelerator chips, announced that it closed a $55 million funding round led by Mithril Capital Management.

Firstbase.io raises seed funding to help entrepreneurs set up in the US: New York based Firstbase.io, a Y Combinator company, closed a seed round led by Earnest Capital. More than 5,000 companies in over 160 countries have used the service to incorporate their company in the US. Mark Milastsivy, CEO and founder of Firstbase.io., acknowledged that as a foreign born entrepreneur he had to go through a very manual process with banks and lawyers. Firstbase.io streamlines these procedures. And in the era of remote work, the company expects demand to increase.

— Joanna Glasner, Gené Teare

Public markets

Greenidge to go public via Support.com merger: Greenidge Generation, a Dresden, N.Y.-based bitcoin miner, announced it will go public via a reverse merger with Support.com (Nasdaq: SPRT) in a stock-for-stock transaction. When the deal closes in the third quarter, Support.com will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Greenidge. In addition, the company said it expects to be the first publicly traded bitcoin mining company with a wholly owned power plant. It has plans to replicate its vertically integrated mining model at other power sites and expects to achieve at least 500 megawatts of mining capacity by 2025. For the 12 months ended Feb. 28, 2021, Greenidge reported that it mined 1,186 bitcoins at a net variable cost of approximately $2,869 per bitcoin. Merger news sent shares of Support.com up more than 200 percent to $7.97 per share, prior to the bell Monday, from its March 19 close of $2.14 per share.

— Christine Hall

Cybersecurity

Wiz raises $130M at $1.7B valuation: Israel-based cybersecurity company Wiz raised $130 million in financing at a $1.7 billion valuation, just three months after emerging from stealth with a $100 million funding round. Wiz’s co-founders are the same team from cloud security company Adallom, which was bought by Microsoft for a reported $320 million in 2015.

Wiz’s platform allows companies to find security issues in public cloud infrastructure where they may be running software.

The round was led by Advent Venture Partners. Cyberstarts, Index Ventures, Insight Partners and Sequoia also participated in the round.

— Chris Metinko

Enterprise software

Camunda closes Series B: Berlin-based automated workflow startup Camunda closed a €82 million Series B — approximately $100 million — led by Insight Partners. The open source software platform allows companies to design and automate business processes, allowing companies to move more quickly and efficiently.

The company has raised €107 million — or about $128 million — to date, according to Crunchbase data. The new round also included participation from existing investor Highland Europe.

— Chris Metinko

E-commerce

TryNow bags $12M: TryNow, a try-before-you-buy software for shopify brands, raised $12 million in Series A funding from a group of backers including Shine Capital, Craft Ventures, SciFi VC, Third Kind, Zachary Perret and William Hockey. The San Francisco-based company is mixing the StitchFix and Affirm business models to bring Shopify Plus brands from the dressing room into your home, enabling users to check out items for free, try them in the comfort of their own home, return unwanted items easily, only paying for what they keep.

— Christine Hall

Health care

DexCare lands $20M: Providence, a national, Catholic, not-for-profit health system, announced its spin-out company DexCare, a digital health company based in Seattle, took in a $20 million Series A round of funding led by Define Ventures. DexCare provides a Platform-as-a-Service offering to manage health system capacity and demand across all lines of care.

— Christine Hall

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Spark Capital, which led the Series A for buzzy photo-sharing app Dispo, announced Sunday night that it was severing ties with the company co-founded by popular YouTuber David Dobrik. The announcement came after Insider reported allegations of sexual assault against a former member of Dobrik’s “Vlog Squad.” Since the report came out last week, brands including Dollar Shave Club and HelloFresh have ended partnerships with Dobrik, according to Insider, and Dobrik parted ways with the company Monday morning.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-3-22-21/

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Exclusive: Forager Chews On $4M To Digitize Local Food Access

Its platform digitizes and streamlines the discovery of new local food vendors, onboarding and management of those relationships.

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Forager, a startup connecting local farmers with grocery stores to source local food, raised $4 million in a funding round led by a group of backers, including Duncan Saville via ICM and Coastal Enterprises.

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The Portland, Maine-based company was founded in 2015 by David Douglas Stone to develop a platform that digitizes and streamlines the discovery of new vendors, onboarding and management of those relationships.

Joe Blunda took over as CEO in 2019, while Stone is still involved as executive chairman. Local food accounts for 3 to 5 percent of what people buy from stores, and while that number shifted during the global pandemic, it is still in the single digits, Blunda told Crunchbase News

“The original problem is building a supply chain and getting it organized, which is what we are doing,” he added. “Grocers bring the cultural perception of what will resonate with the consumer, and we bring the ability to execute that.”

Blunda intends to use the new funding to expand the company’s sales outreach and product development. Grocers want to invest time in building local supply chains, but have difficulty operating them afterward, he said.

One of the problems they face is that there are so many small vendors, and grocers are trying to layer them on top of their platforms that were made for a small number of large vendors, Blunda added.

“Local food access is such a critical problem and patience is waning,” he said. “Grocers are passionate about fixing the problem, and we have some product development to do.”

The company has 10 employees and Blunda expects to add another two to five people by the end of the year. Forager operates in more than 12 states and works with more than 40 grocers and institutions, as well as 500 local suppliers.

In addition, the company has seen 4x growth since 2018, with nearly 200,000 local products sourced through its platform to date. It has also doubled both its supplier and buyer bases. Blunda expects even faster growth in the second half of 2021.

Saville, ICM’s founder and chairman, said in a written statement that local food is a “market trend that cannot be ignored and is critical to the future health of our planet.”

“I invested in Forager for two reasons, first this is a $40 billion fast growing market that is largely analogue and in desperate need for technology so it can scale and be data driven,” Saville added. “Second, the majority of people I know are interested in buying more sustainably sourced products, especially at the local level. This is an important market trend that cannot be ignored and is critical to the future health of our planet.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Joe Blunda took over as CEO in 2019, while Stone is still involved as executive chairman. Local food accounts for 3 to 5 percent of what people buy from stores, and while that number shifted during the global pandemic, it is still in the single digits, Blunda told Crunchbase News

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/exclusive-forager-chews-on-4m-to-digitize-local-food-access/

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Exclusive: Boston’s Aryeo Raises $3.65M Seed Round

The Boston-based startup aims to streamline content in the real estate industry, helping agents get photos and other types of content where it needs to go.

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Real estate content platform Aryeo has raised $3.65 million in seed funding, the company told Crunchbase News.

The Boston-based startup aims to streamline content in the real estate industry, helping agents get photos and other types of content where it needs to go. Hyperplane Venture Capital and Amplo led the seed round.

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Aryeo co-founders Brendan Quinlan, Matt Michalski, and Branick Weix.

If you’ve bought or sold a home before or done any late-night Zillow surfing, you know how important photos and videos are to a home listing. Photos and 3D tours are essential to selling a home, especially now, according to Aryeo CEO Branick Weix, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing guidelines that have come with it.

“It’s very similar to a Dropbox system, but it’s more tailored to the real estate industry,” Weix said in an interview.

Aryeo goes a step further than Dropbox. When content is uploaded into the system, Aryeo automatically makes promotional materials for the property, such as flyers, Facebook ads and a website.

One of Weix’s first jobs in high school was as a photographer taking photos for real estate agents. Most people don’t even realize that’s a job or industry, he added.

The idea for Aryeo came about when drones became more popular and real estate agents were interested in using drone footage to market homes. Aryeo’s co-founders Weix, Brendan Quinlan, and Matt Michalski began a drone photography business in Minnesota, but it wasn’t long before agents began asking for more content, and the team realized all of the pain points involved with getting content where it needed to be.

“How things normally work for many of these agents, they just have content emailed to them and they have to download it to their computer and then they have to go to all these sites separately,” Weix said.

Consolidating content in a “highly fragmented marketplace with multiple data sources” is a pressing need in the real estate industry, and Aryeo’s platform can universally solve the problem, Hyperplane VC managing partner Vivjan Myrto said in a statement.

The company was founded in 2019, and Aryeo processed more than 50,000 homes last year, or about 1 percent of the total annual home sales in the United States. The company works with more than 40,000 real estate agents and photographers and operates in all 50 states and countries including Canada, Belgium, Australia, and South Africa.

The company, which currently has around 15 employees, plans to use the funding to hire, especially in sales and customer support, Weix said. Most of its work so far has been with photographers, but the company is expanding and building out tools to work more with agents and brokers.

Aryeo bootstrapped for the first 1.5 years and grew through word of mouth before raising $3.6 million in outside funding.

Other investors in the company include Contrary, Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer, and WePay founder Bill Clerico.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Photo courtesy of Aryeo.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

If you’ve bought or sold a home before or done any late-night Zillow surfing, you know how important photos and videos are to a home listing. Photos and 3D tours are essential to selling a home, especially now, according to Aryeo CEO Branick Weix, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing guidelines that have come with it.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/exclusive-bostons-aryeo-raises-3-65m-seed-round/

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Mimicking A Hospital At Home: Huma Brings In $130M Series C

Huma Therapeutics

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Huma Therapeutics is creating digital “hospitals at home” across different disease areas so that the pharmaceutical and research industries can run decentralized clinical trials.

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“Our mission is to create a world where everyone lives longer and has a fuller life,” Dan Vahdat, founder and CEO of Huma, told Crunchbase News. “By using technology, we can do better research, which enables new treatments to come to market faster through virtual clinical trials.”

To continue to do this, the company, based in London, closed on $130 million in Series C financing co-led by Leaps by Bayer and Hitachi Ventures. The firms were joined by Samsung Next, Sony Innovation Fund, Unilever Ventures and HAT Technology & Innovation Fund, as well as from individual investors, including Nikesh Arora and Michael Diekmann.

In addition, the company received a further commitment of $70 million in equity funding that can be exercised at a later date. It brings the total funding raised to more than $200 million since Huma was founded in 2011, Vahdat said. Goldman Sachs acted as lead placement agent, while HSBC Bank and Nomura acted as joint placement agents.

Huma’s digital hospital at home was co-created with clinicians and independently shown to almost double clinical capacity, reduce hospital readmissions by over a third, and has patient adherence levels of over 90 percent, Vahdat said. The service supports governments’ pandemic responses on a not-for-profit basis and is now used for a range of patients including those going through knee- and hip-replacement surgery.

Huma app

The company works with four national governments, including England’s NHS, Wales, Germany and United Arab Emirates. The new funding was driven by its plan to go after additional government contracts and 10-year strategic partnerships with clinical research organizations, health care providers, payers, research organizations and technology companies. However, the company didn’t need the money — Huma still had most of its $25 million Series B funding in the bank, Vahdat said.

“We wanted to bring together strategic investors in the areas and geographies where we want to expand,” he said. “We ended up having more interest, but put certain conditions on the $70 million equity for the investors to achieve so that they would help us get where we need to be. For us, we are selective with partners, and it is most important what we can do with the company, but also how their reach can accelerate the impact for patients.”

Over the past few years, Huma grew 3x, Vahdat said. The new investment will be invested in growth in new markets, including the U.S., Asia and the Middle East. In the last year, Huma was able to build a solid team, and plans to double and triple down in this market. It will also work on R&D with technology aimed at collecting patient data in real-time to make it possible for new insights, predictive care and to make sure the right patients are prioritized, he added.

Juergen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer, said in a written statement that Huma’s mission to improve health outcomes will be accelerated by those and future new partnerships.

“Aligned with the vision of Leaps by Bayer, Huma’s expertise and technology will help drive a global paradigm shift towards prevention and care and may boost research efforts using data and digital technology,” Eckhardt added. “We invest into the most disruptive technologies of our time that have the potential to change the world for the better. As an early investor into Huma we know how perfectly the company fits into that frame as one of the leading digital innovators in health care and life sciences.”

Feature photo of Huma’s Dan Vahdat and inset screenshot courtesy of Huma.
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

In addition, the company received a further commitment of $70 million in equity funding that can be exercised at a later date. It brings the total funding raised to more than $200 million since Huma was founded in 2011, Vahdat said. Goldman Sachs acted as lead placement agent, while HSBC Bank and Nomura acted as joint placement agents.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/mimicking-a-hospital-at-home-huma-brings-in-130m-series-c/

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