NYC Startup Funding, Month-end Wrap-up: February 2019

February continued a solid start to the year for NYC-based startup funding. Below are five of the largest rounds of funding closed by NYC-based startups over the course of February 2019.

Aetion - $27M
Date: 2/5/19
Round: Series B
Industry: Healthcare, Enterprise Software
Lead Investor: N/A
Company: Founded in 2013, Aetion is a healthcare technology company that provides analytics and evidence for the improvement of patient care. The company's patented rapid-cycle analytics™ and the Aetion Evidence Platform™ deliver real-world evidence for life sciences companies, payers, and at-risk providers. To date, Aetion has raised over $74.6 million after three rounds of funding.

Chainalysis - $30M
Date: 2/12/19
Round: Series B
Industry: Fintech, Cryptocurrency, Financial Exchange
Lead Investor: Accel
Company: Founded in 2014, Chainalysis is a company designing and developing anti-money laundering software for Bitcoin businesses. According to Chainalysis, its products include, 'REACTOR, an interactive and investigation tool that identifies offenders, visualizes data, and shares results with people and organizations, and API, a transaction based risk scoring solution that contains source and destination of funds to measure risk.' To date, Chainalysis has raised more than $47.6 million after four rounds of funding.

VAST Data - $40M
Date: 2/26/19
Round: Series B
Industry: Data Storage, Software
Lead Investor: N/A
Company: Founded in 2016, VAST Data is an enterprise data storage infrastructure provider. According to VAST Data, their mission is to, 'bring an end to decades of complexity and application bottlenecks that have been caused by mechanical media and by the complex tiering of data across different types of storage systems.' To date, VAST Data has raised more than $80 million after three rounds of funding.  

HiberCell - $60.8M
Date: 2/7/19
Round: Series A
Industry: Biotechnology
Lead Investor: ARCH Venture Partners
Company: Founded in 2016, HiberCell is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of novel therapeutics to prevent relapse and metastasis. According to HiberCell, 'We are the first company exclusively focused on therapeutically modulating the biology and mechanisms of tumor dormancy.' To date, HiberCell has raised $60.8 million after one round of funding.

YieldStreet - $62M
Date: 2/26/19
Round: Series B
Industry: Fintech, Financial Services, Wealth Management
Lead Investor: Edison Partners
Company: Founded in 2015, YieldStreet is an investment platform allowing investors to effortlessly participate in curated investments with low market correlation and high yield, across litigation finance, real estate, and other alternative asset classes. To date, YieldStreet has raised more than $178.5 million after five rounds of funding.


Lalamove Officially Gains Unicorn Status

Hong Kong-based delivery startup Lalamove has reportedly raised a $300 million round of Series D funding at a +$1 billion valuation.

A Huge Southeast Asian Presence

Founded in 2013, Lalamove is a ride-haling delivery and logistics company like similar to Uber, which focusing on business and corporate clientele. The company - which operates out of mainland China - has over 2 million drivers across more than 130 cities, and boasts more than 28 million active users. Outside of China, Lalamove operates in seven other Asian countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. The latest round of funding is anticipated to be used to further expansion into southeast Asia and India.

The Latest Large Round of Funding

The latest $300 million round of Series D funding will reportedly be split in to two halves: Hillhouse Capital will lead the ‘D1' portion, and Sequoia China will lead the ‘D2’ tranche. The exact size of each half has not been disclosed. Previous to this, Lalamove closed a $100 million round of Series C funding in 2017. To date, Lalamove has raised more than $460 million after seven rounds of funding.

Firmly in Unicorn Territory

According to reports, the latest round of funding places Lalamove firmly into unicorn status. However, according to company head of international Blake Larson, Lalamove has been, “past the unicorn mark for quite some time [but] we just don’t talk about it.” The company was reportedly just shy of a $1 billion valuation when it closed its $100 million round of Series C funding.

A 21st Century Founder and CEO

Lalamove was founded in 2013 by Stanford graduate, Shing Chow. According to Sequoia China founder and managing partner Neil Shen, “Shing is a role model for Hong Kong’s new generation of innovative entrepreneurs. Raised in Hong Kong and educated at Stanford University, Shing returned and plunged himself in the entrepreneurial wave of ‘Internet Plus,’ becoming a figure of entrepreneurial success.” By all accounts, the future seems very bright for the young CEO.


5 of the Largest Rounds of Funding for NYC-based Startups in 2018

 

2018 was a banner year for NYC-based startup funding. Below are five of the largest rounds of funding closed by NYC-based startups throughout 2018.

 

UiPath – $265M
Date: 11/15/18
Round: Series C
Industry: Automation, Enterprise Software, Information Technology, Robotics
Investors: 6 – Sequoia Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), CapitalG, Accel
Company: Founded in 2005, UiPath is a software and automation robotics company. UiPath aims to streamline tedious tasks such as document management and data extraction and is currently used by thousands of companies. To date, UiPath has raised more than $448 million after four rounds of funding. This round was an additional $40 million to a Series C previously announced.

 

Oscar Health – $375M
Date: 8/14/18
Round: Corporate Round
Industry: Healthcare, Information Technology
Investors: 1 – Alphabet
Company: Founded in 2013, Oscar Health is a medical insurance company aimed at easing the process for its patients. The company offers individual, couple, and family plans, and is currently available in New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas. To date, Oscar Health has raised over $1.3 billion after eight rounds of funding.

 

Compass – $400M
Date: 9/27/18
Round: Series F
Industry: Real Estate
Investors: 4 – Softbank Vision Fund, Qatar Investment Authority, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), Fidelity Investments
Company: Founded in 2012, Compass is a mobile app that pairs prospective real-estate buyers and sellers. With 30 offices in 19 regions, Compass caters to the luxury high end market.  To date, Compass has raised more than $1.2 billion after fourteen rounds of funding.

 

Letgo – $500M
Date: 8/8/18
Round: Series E
Industry: E-commerce, Online Shopping, Internet Marketplace
Investors: 1 – Naspers
Company: Founded in 2015, letgo is a free app that allows users to buy and sell products online. Using advanced AI technology, letgo allows users to take pictures of their products, then automatically identifies, categorizes, and lists them. According to the website, in their first two years in business, letgo’s app has been downloaded over 75 million times, and over 200 million items have been listed on the site. According to letgo, this makes them, ‘the largest and fastest growing app to buy and sell locally.’ To date, letgo has raised over $975 million after five rounds of funding.

 

Peloton – $550M
Date: 8/2/18
Round: Series F
Industry: Fitness, Cycling, Video Content
Investors: 10 – Winslow Capital, Wellington Management, True Ventures, Tiger Global Management, TCV, NBCUniversal, Kleiner Perkins, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Felix Capital, Balyasny Asset Mgt
Company: Founded in 2012, Peloton is a new high tech fitness concept that allows users live streaming access to elite fitness classes and instructors based in the NYC area. One of the standout stars of fitness from Silicon Alley, Peloton uses a specifically designed cycling hardware that merges with their software and content to revolutionize the at-home fitness space. To date, Peloton has raised over $994.7 million after eight rounds of funding.

 

Here's to hoping 2019 is even better!


SpaceX Raising $500 Million at $30.5 Billion Valuation

 

The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is reportedly raising a $500 million round of funding at a $30.5 billion valuation.

Funds to be Used in SpaceX's Starlink Program

According to the Wall Street Journal report, the round of funding will go toward the company’s ambitious new Starlink program. The program intends to put 11,000 low-orbital satellites in operation in order to blanket the planet with high-speed internet connectivity.

The Advantages of Low-Orbital Satellites

While low-orbit satellites tend to fall into the earth’s atmosphere and burn up sooner than standard communication or geosynchronous satellites, the lower orbit does offer several advantages. First, at only 550 kilometers above the earth’s surface, servicing the satellites is much more possible. Also, at lower-orbit the satellites tends to create a stronger signal, as well as faster signal due to the the distance the signal needs to travel being reduced by nearly half.

SpaceX Has Investors Intrigued

This is not the only large round of funding closed by SpaceX recently. Just last month, the company raised a reported $250 million through the sale of a high-yield loan. In order to close the most recent round, SpaceX is reportedly courting one of its largest investors in the Tesla brand, Scottish firm, Baillie Gifford & Co. If the round of funding is successful, SpaceX will have raised over $2.5 billion of equity funding to date.

A History of Ambitious Goals

Starlink is just the latest in the SpaceX’s ambitious undertakings. Last year, company owner Elon Musk made headlines when he announced his intentions for a rocket-powered terrestrial travel system capable of allowing flights to take passengers from New York to Shanghai in just 39 minutes. The announcement was only the latest in a serious of ambitious statements by the company founder, including his very public assertion the company will someday soon be able to colonize Mars.

Founded in 2002, SpaceX has been the crown-jewel of the Elon Musk commercial empire. Along with the company, Musk has also launched the Tesla company, as well as co-founding digital pay system, PayPal. As of October of 2018, Musk’s personal worth was estimated to sits at $22.8 billion.


Niantic Raising $200 Million at $3.9 Billion Valuation

 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported Niantic Inc., the developer behind ‘Pokemon Go’, is currently raising a $200 million round of Series-C funding at a $3.9 billion valuation.

A History of Large Rounds of Funding

The round is reportedly being led by venture firm IVF with participation from Samsung Electronics and aXiomatic Gaming LLC. Last year, Niantic also raised $200 million in Series-B funding at a reported $2.7 billion valuation. That round was led by Spark Capital with participation from Javelin Venture Partners and the Founders Fund. After the most recent round closes, the company will have raised over $425 million after four rounds of funding.

The Technology that Sets Niantic Apart

Niantic gained prominence in 2016 when its Pokemon Go game exploded onto the mobile gaming scene. The game was the first widely-successful offering to utilize augmented reality (AR) technology; a technology which places the gaming world over a map of the real world. AR technology lays at the heart of Niantic's business and is key to the company’s success.

The Supernova Success of Pokemon Go

Less than two years after launching, Pokemon Go has been downloaded a reported 800 million times and has generated over $2 billion in revenue. For comparison, only 4 movies in history have ever earned more than $2 billion at the box office. In response to the overwhelming popularity of the Pokemon Go game, the company is also developing a Harry Potter AR-styled game which promises to be another success and is planned to be released sometime in 2019.

Niantic Opens Platform to Third Party Developers

Along with the success of its own games, earlier this year Niantic also announced it will open its platform to third party developers. The move could potentially have implications in fields as wide-ranging as medicine and entertainment. In commenting on the decision to open the platform to outside developers, company CEO John Hanke remarked, ‘'Because we are so excited about the opportunity in advanced AR, we want other people to be able to make use of the Niantic Real World Platform to build innovative experiences that connect the physical and the digital in ways that we haven't yet imagined.'