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The big ones
Reports in late 2018 suggested SoftBank Vision Fund was planning to invest between $15bn and $20bn in order to take a majority stake in portfolio company WeWork, but sources have told the FT that after the fund’s LPs balked at the idea (though a separate report said Masayoshi Son decided to pull out during the economic turmoil on the stock markets ahead of the Christmas period), SoftBank itself is set to provide $2bn of funding for the company.
Amazon has paid a reported $200m to acquire CloudEndure, a cloud migration and disaster recovery software producer that had disclosed a little over $18m in venture funding.
Healthcare system Providence St Joseph Health launched Providence Ventures in 2014 with $150m and a brief to make strategic investments of up to $5m in health technology developers.
On GUV, Ribon Therapeutics, a US-based biotechnology company developing enzyme families activated under cellular stress conditions, has come out of stealth with $65m in series B capital provided by a consortium led by Novartis Venture Fund, the corporate venturing division of pharmaceutical firm Novartis.
One of several China-based smart electric car developers to raise substantial funding last year, Byton is reportedly now lining up an additional $500m or so in a round set to value it at $4bn.
Mobile banking service N26 has secured $300m at a $2.7bn valuation, in a series D round led by Insight Venture Partners.
Just three weeks ago in our 2018 round up we were talking about the rapid growth of e-scooter rental platforms, and now news has emerged that Bird – one of the two key players in the sector – is lining up $300m in funding at a $2bn valuation.
Financial leasing service Tokyo Century has been an investor in strategic partner Grab since 2016, and has expanded its overall commitment to the ride hailing platform to $175m, consisting of both equity funding and financing for its Grab Rentals subsidiary.
ClearMotion, a developer of object-sensing systems for use in autonomous vehicles that was spun out of MIT, emerged from stealth almost two years ago having just raised $100m in series C funding from investors including Qualcomm.
Boom Supersonic is working on an aircraft that will be able to reach supersonic speeds while producing the same carbon footprint as business class travel. Its earlier investors include Japan Airlines and Ctrip, and it’s raised $100m in a series B round led by Emerson Collective.
Energy utility CLP has co-led a $100m series C round for digital health management platform Kang Sheng Health Management with China International Capital Corporation.
Instalment buying platform and credit provider Akulaku is in advanced talks to raise $100m in a series D round set to be led by Ant Financial, e-commerce firm Alibaba’s financial services affiliate.
Indian ride hailing service Ola has received $74m in funding from Steadview Capital at a reported valuation of $5.7bn, adding to an ongoing round it aims to close at $1bn.
Appliance producer Midea has raised $104m for an investment fund with a targeted close of up to $293m that will target developers of intelligent home products, smart manufacturing, retail and new energy technology.
Neurological disorder drug developer Alector has filed to raise up to $150m in an initial public offering that will enable investors including corporate venturing units MRL Ventures (which owns a 6% stake), GV, AbbVie Ventures, Lilly Asia Ventures and Amgen Ventures to exit. All five contributed to Alector’s last funding round, a $133m series E closed six months ago.
“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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