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The Week’s 10 Biggest Funding Rounds: Blockchain Leads The Way As ConsenSys And Optimism Have Big Raises; Transportation Platform FLASH Parks Large Round

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

While venture dollars may have slowed, technologies around blockchain and Web3 seem immune to that trend. Two companies that are helping developers build out Web3 and the Ethereum network saw big raises at huge valuations, as investors seem determined to not miss “the next big thing” even if that thing is only vaguely defined.

1. ConsenSys, $450M, blockchain: A couple of weeks back we mentioned how companies do not seem to be raising rounds as close together as they did last year, noting Apollo.io as an exception after it closed a $110 million round just three months after closing a more modest $32 million Series B. Well, Brooklyn-based blockchain startup ConsenSys is a similar outlier after announcing a $450 million round at a valuation of over $7 billion—just about four months after its $200 million Series C. ConsenSys develops decentralized protocols software that runs on the Ethereum network and allows developers and enterprises to build on Web3. The new round more than doubled its valuation since last November and was especially noteworthy due to some of its big-name investors. The round was led by ParaFi Capital, and also included the likes of Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and, perhaps most notably, Microsoft. That investment suggests that while the Redmond, Washington, behemoth has been late to some trends—think cloud—Web3 may not be one of them.

2. FLASH, $250M-plus, parking: Private equity loves safe, unsexy markets that people need—and that describes parking to a tee. Vista Equity Partners led a $250 million-plus investment round for a minority stake in Austin, Texas-based FLASH, a cloud parking-software company. The company’s platform allows users to connect often disparate things like parking, charging stations and other logistic assets and issues to create a smart city ecosystem. Founded in 2011, the company has now raised nearly $315 million, according to Crunchbase data.

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3. SiFive, $175M, semiconductor: Semiconductors are having a big moment right now—unfortunately because there’s not enough of them. But that also makes the space attractive to investors. San Mateo, California-based RISC-V computing developer SiFive raised $175 million a Series F round led by Coatue Management that values the company at more than $2.5 billion. The 6-year-old company has raised more than $350 million. RISC-V is an open standard instruction set architecture that competes with ARM—which is proprietary IP.

4. Nutcracker Therapeutics, $167M, biotech: Emeryville, California-based Nutcracker Therapeutics raised a $167 million Series C led by ARCH Venture Partners. The company plans to use the new funds to expand and advance its pipeline of mRNA medicines for cancer and refine its manufacturing process, according to a release. Founded in 2018, the company has now raised more than $240 million, according to Crunchbase.

5. Optimism, $150M, blockchain: Investors seem optimistic about Web3 and its future—and New York-based Optimism was able to parlay that into a $150 million Series B at a $1.65 billion valuation. The round was led by a16z Crypto and Paradigm. The company offers an ethereum layer 2 scaling solution, to help developers build on the blockchain—which often can be slow and expensive. Layer 2 solutions have been popular with investors, notably India-based Polygon Technology, which closed a $450 million round last month led by Sequoia Capital India at a reported $13 billion valuation.

6. Policygenius, $125M, insurtech: New York-based Policygenius, which lets consumers compare and purchase insurance, closed a $125 million round from large existing investors including KKR, Norwest Venture Partners and Revolution Ventures. Founded in 2014, the company has raised more than $250 million.

7. Webflow, $120M, web design: San Francisco-based Webflow, which offers a no-code development platform to design websites, closed a $120 million Series C at a $4 billion valuation led by the Y Combinator Continuity Fund. The company has now raised more than $330 million.

8. Novel Capital, $115M, fintech: Kansas City-based Novel Capital, a provider of revenue-based financing products for companies, announced $115 million in initial equity and debt funding from undisclosed backers.

9. (tied) Cowbell Cyber, $100M, cybersecurity: Pleasanton, California-based Cowbell Cyber, which offers cyber insurance to small and medium-sized businesses, closed a $100 million Series B led by Anthemis Group. Founded in 2019, the company has raised $123.5 million to date.

9. (tied) Snappt, $100M, fraud detection: Los Angeles-based Snappt, a fraud detection platform for property managers, secured a $100 million Series A led by Insight Partners.

Big global deals

While U.S. startups had some big deals this week, the two biggest fundraises came from companies abroad.

  • Turkey-based on-demand delivery services Getir raised a $768 million Series E, as investors’ appetite for delivery seems insatiable.
  • Paris-based Doctolib, an online and mobile booking platform to make doctor appointments, closed a Series F worth approximately $553 million.

Methodology

We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of March 12 to 18. 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.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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