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.


Opendoor to Raise $200 Million at $3.7 Billion Valuation

It was announced Friday that real estate startup Opendoor filed paperwork in the state of Delaware indicating its intent to raise $200 million in funding at a $3.7 billion valuation. 

A Huge New Round of Funding

According to the paperwork, the shares are described as ‘Series E-2’, which according to reports, likely means the latest round will be an extension of the company’s latest existing round of funding. That round - which closed in September of last year - initially closed for $400 million and was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The new round will likely be added to that. To date, Opendoor has raised more than $1 billion after six rounds of funding. The announcement comes just months after one of Opendoor's main competitors - Knock - announced it had raised $400 million in its own round of Series B funding.

A New Way of Home-Buying

Opendoor aims to streamline the home-buying process. In order to do this, Opendoor plays the middle-man between buyers and sellers. As the company explains their role, “If you’re selling, sell your home to us to eliminate the hassles of showings and months of uncertainty. If you’re buying, we make it incredibly easy to tour hundreds of Opendoor homes so you can find the perfect one.” This model is similar to Knock, which purchases the house from the seller outright then collects a fee. 

A Company on the Rise

According to reports, more than 800,000 people toured an Opendoor home in 2018. Of those 800,000, Opendoor claims it has served over 30,000 customers. These customers are distributed across 19 metro regions in 20 cities. The company also states it currently has more than 2,000 monthly customers. To date, Opendoor has managed to attract more than 36 investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, SoftBank, GV, and others.


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

2019 picked up right where 2018 left off for NYC startup funding. Below are some of the largest rounds of funding closed by NYC-based startups over the the last month.

Kustomer - $35M
Date: 1/24/19
Round: Series C
Industry: CRM, SaaS, Enterprise Software
Lead Investor: Battery Ventures
Company: Founded in 2015, Kustomer is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software company. Rather than focusing on tickets, Kustomer is a platform which allows users to focus on their customer service and customer relationships. To date, Kustomer has raised over $73.5 million after four rounds of funding.

The Farmer's Dog - $39M
Date: 1/15/19
Round: Series B
Industry: E-commerce, Pet Food Products
Lead Investor: Insight Venture Partners
Company: Founded in 2014, The Farmer's Dog is a high-quality dog food manufacturer that delivers healthy and balanced freshly made dog food. The Farmer's Dog uses only human-grade USDA ingredient and customized its meal plans for each dog based on their individual profile. To date, The Farmer's Dog has raised more than $49.1 million after three rounds of funding.

Stelexis Therapeutics - $43M
Date: 1/8/19
Round: Series A
Industry: Therapeutics, Healthcare
Lead Investor: Deerfield Capital Management
Company: Founded in 2017, Stelexis Therapeutics goal is to develop novel drugs and to utilize its proprietary platform of targeting per-cancerous stem cells in order to become the leading cancer therapeutic company in the world. To date, Stelexis Therapeutics has raised $43 million after one round of funding.

Andela - $100M
Date: 1/23/19
Round: Series D
Industry: Recruiting, Software, Training
Lead Investor: Generation Investment Management
Company: Founded in 2014, Andela aims to address the global tech talent shortage by recruiting Africa's top software developers. Over the past four years, Andela has hired more than 1,000 developers from over 100,000 applicants, and was also named the 'Best Place to Work in Africa'. To date, Andela has raised more than $181 million after six rounds of funding.

Infor - $1.5B
Date: 1/16/19
Round: Private Equity Round
Industry: Cloud Data Service, Enterprise, Information Technology
Lead Investor: Koch Equity Development and Golden Gate Capital
Company: Founded in 2002, Infor provides enterprise software and services worldwide. Infor is the largest privately held technology provider in the world and has acquired over 40 other software companies since its founding in 2002. To date, Infor has raised more than $4 billion in funding.


Bird to Allow Entrepreneurs to Buy Scooters

 

After becoming the fastest company to reach a $1 billion valuation Bird scooters has now opted to allow entrepreneurs to purchase scooters outright in order to operate their own fleet.

Bird Scooters Adopt the Uber Model

Much the same way Uber drivers often own the vehicle they use to make money, Bird Scooters has decided to allow individuals the ability to purchase scooters which buyers can then rent-out on the Bird Platform. Again much like Uber, Bird says it will take 20% of the cost of the rides, while the owner will pocket the other 80%. Owners will also have access Bird chargers and mechanics, and will also have the ability to brand their scooters in any way they see fit.

A Move Brought-On by Demand

According to company CEO Travis VanderZanden, the move - which is called Bird Platform and has been in the works for some time - comes in response to an overwhelming amount of requests received from individual investors interested in taking Bird Scooters into new markets. “In the last year of operating, we kept getting these inbound requests from entrepreneurs that really wanted to take Bird to their cities. I think there’s been a lot of people passionate about the electric scooter movement and taking cars off the road. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who want to bring Bird to their city.”

Some Details Still Unclear

While there is no minimum, or maximum of scooters a person can own, owners will have to abide by all local and city regulations. In cities such as San Francisco, regulations have capped the number of e-scooters allowed within the city limits, making the new initiative irrelevant. Other factors that are unclear at present are the cost per each scooter and what risk owners run in the event of stolen or damaged scooters.

Bird Scooters: a Company on the Rise

One thing that’s certain however is the enthusiasm investors have shown so far for the Bird scooter trend. As mentioned about, Bird - which is now valued at a reported $2 billion - was the fastest company to ever reach unicorn status. This is all the more impressive considering the company's just over a year old. Currently, Bird scooters are operate in more than 100 cities, and have given more than 10 million rides. To date, Bird has raised more than $415 million in venture funding from.

Just how much Bird owners stand to make from the venture remains to be seen, but with over 300 partners already lined up to invest Bird's Platform initiative is certain to get a true test out in the marketplace.