The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Air-Taxi Startup Wisk Hails $450M Round, Crypto Company FTX Nabs $400M

By Chris Metinko,

This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S. Check out 2022’s biggest funding rounds here.

Last week we wondered aloud what it meant when no company raised a round worth a quarter-billion dollars or more. Well, this week VCs seemed to make up for that by writing checks for five rounds to U.S.-based startups that topped that number. In actuality, there could have been six, but we are not including New York-based Fireblocks in this week’s listing despite the company announcing a $550 million Series E. We are leaving it out because we included that round last month, when news of the raise broke.

The other attention-getting aspect of this week’s list is the diversity of companies. From self-flying air taxis to Kim Kardashian‘s underwear company to a farming startup, this week ran the gamut of different sectors and verticals.

1. Wisk, $450M, transportation: The reality of self-flying air taxis may be a step closer after this week, as Mountain View, California-based Wisk closed a $450 million funding round from The Boeing Co. The developer of self-flying air taxis—which also has operations in New Zealand—plans on using the new cash to push development of its Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft, an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft.

2. (tied) FTX, $400M, crypto: Although last week was not a great week for the crypto market, FTX still was able to secure $400 million in a funding round from investors including SoftBank and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. The cryptocurrency exchange, which allows users to trade a variety of digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is now valued at $8 billion.

2. (tied) Plenty, $400M, agriculture: Agtech is looking to grow even more after a pretty good 2021—and it’s off to a solid start. South San Francisco, California-based farming startup Plenty sprouted a $400 million Series E led by new investors One Madison Group and JS Capital. The round also included participation from strategic partner Walmart and existing investor SoftBank Vision Fund 1. The company’s indoor vertical farming platform allows different crops to grow with vertical towers. Founded in 2014, the company has now raised $940 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.

4. o9 Solutions, $295M, enterprise software: Every company is looking to make better decisions, so why not get a platform that does just that? Dallas-based o9 Solutions received a $295 million equity investment from General Atlantic, Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and existing investor KKR, valuing it at $2.7 billion. The company reached a $1 billion valuation in April 2020 after an investment led by KKR. o9 Solutions, which calls itself the “digital brain platform,” offers cloud-based solutions that help companies with planning and operations.

5. SKIMS, $240M, clothing: Combine the fact that underwear startups are hot right now with Kim Kardashian and you get a really big funding round. SKIMS, the underwear and shapewear brand founded by Kardashian, raised $240 million in a round led by Lone Pine Capital. The new round values the company at $3.2 billion, as it battles with other underwear startup brands like Savage X Fenty and Parade, which also saw VC money in the last year.

6. Fever, $227M, media: New York-based live-entertainment discovery platform Fever raised a $227 million round led by the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The latest round values the company at more than $1 billion.

7. Enable Injections, $215M, health care: Cincinnati-based Enable Injections closed a $215 million Series C led by Magnetar Capital. Founded in 2011, the developer of a drug delivery platform has now raised nearly $350 million, according to Crunchbase data.

8. Blockdaemon, $207M, blockchain: New York-based blockchain infrastructure company Blockdaemon closed a $207 million Series C at a $3.25 billion valuation. The round was led by Sapphire and Tiger Global.

9. Metagenomi, $175M, biotech: Emeryville, California-based genetic medicines company Metagenomi raised a $175 million Series B led by PFM Health Sciences, Farallon Capital Management and “a leading global investment firm,” the company said in a release. The company has now raised $300 million in total.

10. Dremio, $160M, data: Santa Clara, California-based Dremio, a data lake engine enabling faster analytics, raised a $160 million Series E funding round led by Adams Street Partners that values the company at $2 billion.

Big global deals

Globally, U.S. startups took three of the top five rounds for the week, but the largest of the week went to an India-based startup.

Food delivery platform Swiggy closed a $700 million venture round.
Baidu’s electric vehicle arm Jidu Auto closed a $400 million round.

Methodology

We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Jan. 22-28. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.

Source : https://news.crunchbase.com/news/biggest-vc-startup-funding-deals-wisk-ftx-skims/

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