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Over $7 Billion Raised In Mega-Rounds By 27 Firms

September was spectacular for startups, as 27 tech companies raised $100 million or more, taking in a total of $7.1 billion during the month.

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It was also a good month for private equity firms and venture capitalists to raise their own rounds, with the money to be invested in early-stage companies and more mature ventures.

A semiconductor company led the month. Nexperia, once the Standard Products business unit of NXP Semiconductors, took in $1.5 billion of senior credit facilities. The money will go toward refinancing debt and partly to finance the chipmaker’s acquisition by Wingtech Technologies of China. Nexperia was spun off from NXP (formerly Philips Semiconductors) in early 2017, with Beijing Jianguang Asset Management (also known as JAC Capital) and Wise Road Capital among the investors in the consortium buying Nexperia.

Among other investments, cybersecurity startups were highly attractive, with nearly 20 companies getting new funding during September. Software startups were also popular, with almost 20 investments. About 15 companies involved in automotive and mobility technologies were funded. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and services startups were also popular, on a smaller scale.

Startups offering a variety of platforms were big in September, with nearly 30 companies seeing money from private investors.

San Francisco-based Samsara Networks, which markets an Industrial Internet of Things platform, received $300 million in Series F funding, bringing its total private funding to $530 million and valuing the startup at $6.3 billion. New investors Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group joined existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst.

Gitlab of San Francisco raised $268 million in Series E funding for its dev-ops platform, giving the startup a post-money valuation of $2.77 billion. Investors include Adage Capital Management, Alkeon Capital, Altimeter Capital, BlackRock, Capital Group, Coatue Management, D1 Capital Partners, Franklin Templeton Investments, Light Street Capital, Tiger Management Corp., and Two Sigma Investments.

Boston-based DataRobot, which provides an automated machine learning platform, raised $206 million in Series E funding. Sapphire Ventures led and was joined by fellow return backers DFJ Growth, Geodesic Capital, Intel Capital, Sands Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Meritech Capital. New investors were Tiger Global Management, World Innovation Lab, Alliance Bernstein PCI, and EDBI. The company has $431 million in private funding, the startup says, and a pre-money valuation of $1 billion, per PitchBook.

San Francisco-based Checkr received $160 million in Series D funding for its background check platform. T. Rowe Price Investment Services led and was joined by Bond, Coatue, and return backers Accel, Institutional Venture Partners and Y Combinator.

Montreal-based Element AI, which offers an AI-as-a-service platform, raised C$200 million (about $151 million) in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of $600 million to $700 million. The investors in this round are Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Gouvernement du Québec and return backers Data Collective, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Hanwha Asset Management and Real Ventures, among others. Element AI’s total private funding comes to C$340 million (more than $257 million).

Grove Collaborative was close behind with $150 million in Series D funding at a post-money valuation of $1 billion. It offers a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform for natural home and personal care products. Lone Pine Capital, General Atlantic, and Glynn Capital co-led and were joined by return backers Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NextView Ventures, MHS Capital, and Heron Rock Capital.

Cybersecurity
Topping the cybersecurity startups in September funding was Acronis International, a Swiss specialist in cloud data security, which received $147 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs. Founder and CEO Serguei Beloussov told TechCrunch that the company’s valuation now is between $1 billion and $2 billion. Acronis was established in Singapore in 2003 as a data backup and recovery startup. It now has more than 1,400 employees in 18 countries. The profitable company aims to have $1 billion in annual revenue by 2022.

Snyk, a provider of security analysis tools, raised $70 million in new funding led by Accel, with participation by existing investors GV and Boldstart Ventures. A year earlier, the startup raised $22 million, and it has $102 million in total private funding. The company’s three founders came out of the Israel Defense Forces 8200 intelligence unit. It has 170 employees, with 60 of them working in Tel Aviv, Israel. The open-source security platform startup also has offices in Boston; London, England; and Ontario, Canada.

San Mateo, Calif.-based PerimeterX added $14 million to its Series C funding, bringing the round’s total up to $57 million. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners and Salesforce Ventures joined Scale Venture Partners, which led the round, along with Adam Street Partners, Canaan Partners, Vertex Ventures, and Data Collective. The startup’s total private funding now is $91.5 million. PerimeterX provides application security tools to detect risks to web applications and for proactive website management.

Trulioo of Vancouver, B.C., received C$70 million (nearly $59 million) in Series C funding, including C$60 million led by Goldman Sachs with participation from Citi Ventures, American Express, and Santander InnoVentures, as well as C$10 million in unannounced follow-on funding from early investors Blumberg Capital and BDC Capital last year. The company offers electronic identity and address verification for businesses and individuals.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Shape Security raised $51 million in Series F funding at a pre-money valuation of $1 billion. C5 Capital led, and was joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins, HPE Growth, Norwest Ventures Partners, Focus Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners, and Epic Ventures. The startup provides bot and online fraud mitigation. Shape uses AI, historical data, and machine learning to detect whether a “user” is real or not. Its total private funding is $183 million, according to Crunchbase.

Kenna Security of San Francisco received $48 million in Series D funding, raising its total private funding to $98 million. The latest round includes new investors Sorenson Capital and Citi Ventures and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, Costanoa Ventures, Hyde Park Angels, and OurCrowd. The startup offers an enterprise risk-based vulnerability management platform.

Software
Verafin of St. John’s, Newfoundland, completed a C$515 million ($388.4 million) equity and debt recapitalization. Equity came from Spectrum Equity, Information Venture Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners, BDC Capital, and Teralys Capital, while debt came from Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Scotiabank. The startup provides financial crime management software.

Clio of Hence, Canada, raised $250 million in Series D funding from TCV and JMI Equity. The startup offers cloud-based client intake, customer relationship management, and legal practice management software for law firms. Founded in 2008, the startup has $286 million in total private funding. It has 150,000 customers across 100 countries.

Paris-based Spendesk received €35 million (more than $38 million) in Series B funding led by Index Ventures, which also invested in the Series A funding of €8 million ($8.75 million) in January 2018. The startup’s total private funding is €45 million (more than $49 million). The startup provides a spend management platform for small and medium-sized enterprises. The company was established in 2016 and works with 1,500 customers in 30 countries, all in Europe.

ComplianceQuest of Tampa, Fla., raised $36 million in Series A funding led by Insight Partners. The startup has a Salesforce-based Enterprise Quality Management System.

Here’s a toothy item: Pleasant Grove, Utah-based Dental Intelligence received $34 million in Series A growth funding from K1 Investment Management. The startup’s specialty is an analytics and workflow automation platform for dental practices.

Duda of Palo Alto, Calif., raised $25 million in equity funding from Susquehanna Growth Equity. The startup offers a website-building platform that can be used by agencies, freelancers, hosting companies, publishers, and anyone providing web design services.

ScyllaDB, also of Palo Alto, also raised $25 million in new funding, bringing its total private funding to $60 million. The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Magma Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and TLV Partners. The startup provides a real-time database for big data analytics.

Automotive/mobility
Santa Monica, Calif.-based Fair, which has a car leasing application, got $500 million in loans from Mizuho Bank, SoftBank Group Corp., and other creditors. The startup will use the money to provide leasing services to Uber drivers. It raised $285 million in equity funding from SoftBank and other investors late last year.

Cox Automotive invested $350 million in Rivian Automotive, a developer of electric vehicles. The EV startup has raised nearly $1.9 billion from investors, including Amazon and Ford Motor.

Cluno of Munich, Germany, received €140 million ($153 million) in debt financing for its car subscription service. In February, the startup raised €25 million ($27.3 million) in Series B funding led by Valar Ventures and joined by Acton Capital Partners and Atlantic Labs. Cluno’s private funding totals €32 million (almost $35 million).

Tucson, Ariz.-based TuSimple, a developer of self-driving trucks, got $120 million in Series D funding led by Sina Corp. and joined by CDH Investments, Lavender Capital, and Mando Corp.

China’s AutoX Technologies raised $100 million in Series A funding to develop deep learning technology for autonomous driving. Dongfeng Motor Corporation led the round. Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund also joined, together with Plug and Play Tech Center, Hong Kong Science Park, and other investors.

San Francisco-based Embark Trucks received $70 million in new funding. Tiger Global Management led the round, joined by DCVC, Y Combinator, SV Angel, Maven Ventures, OMERS Ventures, and Mubadala Ventures. The self-driving trucks startup has raised a total of $117 million.

Wunder Mobility, a German carpooling platform, raised $60 million in Series B funding from return backers Blumberg Capital and KCK.

Volocopter, a German developer of autonomous flying taxis, raised €50 million ($54.6 million) in Series C funding led by the Volvo Cars parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Odds and ends
Automattic Inc., the parent company of WordPress.com, raised $300 million in Series D funding led by Salesforce Ventures. The investment puts Automattic’s valuation at $3 billion post-funding. The raise brings Automattic’s total amount raised to $617.3 million in funding over 10 rounds. Salesforce Ventures joins Insight, Tiger Global, and True Ventures as an investor in the company.

CRM Surgical, a British developer of surgical robots, raised £195 million ($239.6 million) in Series C funding at a valuation of more than £1 billion ($1.23 billion). Backers include LGT, Escala Capital Investments, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Watrium, and Zhejiang Silk Road Fund.

Postmates, the on-demand delivery service, received $225 million in new funding led by GPI Capital, valuing the company at $2.4 billion. The funding was completed after the startup filed for an initial public offering. In total, Postmates has raised $906 million in private funding.

Trifacta, a San Francisco-based data wrangling startup, raised $100 million from Telstra Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, BMW i Ventures, and ABN AMRO.

More funds for the funders
Providence Equity Partners raised more than $6 billion for its eighth flagship fund. Advent International raised $2 billion for its first tech-focused private equity fund, which will invest alongside the firm’s $17.5 billion flagship fund. AnaCap Financial Partners raised €1 billion (more than $1.2 billion) for its fourth credit opportunities fund. Georgian Partners of Toronto is raising $750 million for its fifth growth equity fund. Data Collective raised $725 million for its fifth flagship fund, focused on VC investments in “deep tech.” Revolution Ventures raised $215 million for its third fund. Splunk launched an investment arm that includes a $100 million early-stage VC fund and a $50 million social impact fund. Silverton Partners of Austin, Texas, is raising $120 million for its sixth VC fund. PICO Venture Partners, an Israeli early-stage VC firm, raised $80 million for its second fund. Maven Ventures, an early-stage software VC firm, raised $65 million for its third fund. Union Labs, a venture capital fund, is raising $50 million for its first fund. Capital Factory of Austin, Texas, is raising $20 million for its sixth VC fund.

Prior 2019 Startup Funding Reports
August 2019 Startup Funding Report
18 firms received more than $100 million.
July19 Startup Funding
Twenty-one startups raised mega-rounds.
June’19 Startup Funding
Fifteen startups raised mega-rounds in June.
May’19 Startup Funding: Mega-Funding Rounds Continue
Startups revel in investments of billions of dollars.
April’19 Startup Funding: Corporate Gushers
Money pours into startups with more big investments on the way.
March’19 Startup Funding: Money Springs Forth
The SoftBank Vision Fund figures in some of the biggest rounds in the month.
February’19 Startup Funding: Big Cash Keeps Rolling In
A month with a trio of billion-dollar rounds.
January’19 Startup Funding: $100M+ Rounds Abound


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