24 July 2017 – Those Who Rule Data Will Rule the Entire World


One of the regional ride hailing platforms backed by SoftBank and Didi Chuxing is Southeast Asia-based Grab, which is reportedly in talks to raise up to $2bn in a round that will feature both.

If you read the Big Deal, you’ll know that SoftBank already holds stakes in ride hailing unicorns Didi Chuxing, Ola and Grab, and according to Bloomberg the firm has discussed acquiring shares in the largest of all, Uber, through a secondary transaction with early investors such as Benchmark.

Urban farming company Plenty has raised $200m in a series B round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

Autonomous driving has been a hot sector for the past 18 months, and the latest company in the sector to close a big round is Nauto, a developer of retrofitted AI technology that helps cars navigate obstacles, which has completed a $159m series D round co-led by SoftBank and Greylock Partners.

Just five months after closing a $45m series C round that valued it at $350m, the 3D metal printing technology developer has at a reported valuation of more than $1bn.raised $115m in series D funding

SoftBank has also led a $114m series C round for another artificial intelligence technology developer, Brain Corp, through the $93bn Vision Fund it recently closed.

Rover, the dog walking and pet sitting service backed by pet products retailer Petco, has secured $65m in a round led by Spark Capital that boosted its overall funding to more than $155m.

Menlo Therapeutics has meanwhile secured $50m in a series C round backed by pharmaceutical firm Novo, and will use funding to advance its lead candidate, a tablet treatment for pruritus, an itch associated with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

And it’s all a bit of a déjà vu with another pruritus therapy developer, Trevi Therapeutics, closing its own $50m series C round just a couple of days later.

Shift, the creator of an online vehicle marketplace that places an emphasis on its concierge service, has secured $38m in a series C round led by BMW iVentures.

Amphora Medical, the developer of a non-invasive device to help patients suffering from overactive bladders (OAB), has closed a $35.5m series B round co-led by medical device producer Boston Scientific and venture firm Longitude Capital.

Personalised marketing technology provider Dynamic Yield has added $9m from investors including Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners to a series C round that now totals $31m.

Machine intelligence technology developer Graphcore has raised $30m, doubling its total funding to $60m in the process.


UK-based augmented reality technology developer WaveOptics raised £12m ($15.7m) in a funding round yesterday that included Touchstone Innovations, the commercialisation firm spun out of Imperial College London.

Metropolitan Construction Investment (YMCI) has committed RMB500m ($73m) to Wukong Zuche, a China-based car rental service provider.


Cisco Investments, the CVC arm of Cisco, and the Witelo Fund, a joint venture of PZU Insurance Group and Poland’s National Center for Research and Development, have contributed to a $125m technology fund for growth equity firm Evolution Equity Partners.

Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru have joined forces to support entrepreneurial projects in the four countries, aiming to raise a $120m fund with the help of Angel Ventures.

The government of Nigeria has launched a $1m venture capital fund that will focus on startups in the creative economy.


Songkick, a US-based live music discovery platform operator backed by conglomerate Access Industries, has sold most of its assets to entertainment and record label conglomerate Warner Music for an undisclosed sum. Warner has acquired the company’s concert discovery app and website as well as the Songkick trademark.

Pharmacy chain Genoa has purchased Medication Management Systems, a US-based spinout of University of Minnesota that helps patients use drugs more efficiently, for an undisclosed amount.

Imperial College London meanwhile has given its backing to a takeover of its spun out commercialisation firm Touchstone Innovations by rival IP Group.

Over at Global Government Venturing, State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC), a China state-owned investment holding firm, has achieved an exit following the RMB1.7bn ($250m) initial public offering of BGI Genomics, a China-based genome sequencing company.

“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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