Sunday, January 26, 2020
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Pensando Systems, the company pioneering the new edge services model of enterprise and cloud computing, today announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lightspeed Venture Partners led a Series C round to raise up to $145 million in funding. The company will use the new funding to accelerate engineering, operations, and go-to-market activities.

5G, IoT, AI and massive application growth are transforming the way modern enterprises operate, from manufacturing to warehouses and logistics to delivering services to end users. By 2025, more than 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed at the edge, according to Gartner, creating significant challenges for existing infrastructure. This change driving modern infrastructure to a scale-out approach will also require scale-out services to match.

Pensando is the first secure, programmable, edge-accelerated platform that directly addresses the generational shift occurring as data pushes to the edge of the cloud. The foundation of the Pensando platform is a custom programmable processor optimized to execute a software stack delivering cloud, compute, networking, storage and security services wherever data is located, all managed via the Venice Centralized Policy and Services Controller.


Life sciences R&D cloud platform Benchling closed $34.5 million in Series C funding led by Menlo Ventures. New investors Lead Edge Capital and Y Combinator Continuity participated in the round, as well as returning investors Benchmark and Thrive Capital. According to the company, it has tripled its revenue and customers, winning one hundred new industry and institutional clients since closing its Series B a year ago. 

Launched in 2012, Benchling is used by over 170,000 scientists worldwide, including those in academic labs at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, and industry leaders Zoetis, Beam Therapeutics, Zymergen, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. According to the company, scientists working in fields like CRISPR, CAR-T immunotherapy, and genetic engineering depend on Benchling’s suite of cloud applications to design DNA, collaborate on experiments, manage research workflows, and make R&D decisions.

The company plans to use the investment to grow globally, extend its product lead, and expand commercial relationships.

Snowflake Inc., a data warehouse built for the cloud, tapped Frank Slootman as its chairman and chief executive officer. Former CEO Bob Muglia has left the company after leading Snowflake through five years of growth. 

Between 2011 and 2017, Slootman was chairman and CEO of SaaS provider ServiceNow, taking it from $100 million to $1.4 billion in revenue through a successful IPO.  Prior to that, Slootman was chairman and CEO of Data Domain, which he led from the early stages through an IPO, and ultimately to a $2.4 billion sale to EMC. 

Ticket delivery solutions provider FanDragon Technologies has launched with $12 million in funding, naming technologist and entrepreneur Robert Weiss its founding chief executive officer. Weiss has also joined the company’s board of directors. 

With offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, FanDragon aims to create SaaS tools and mobile products to combat fraud and scalping across the full spectrum of ticketing markets by commercializing the Aventus digital assets-focused blockchain protocol—providing sports, music, theater, cinema, family entertainment, fandom events, and theme park ticket sellers additional data, transparency and control over the process. As a result, rightsholders can improve the fan experience, unlock additional revenue streams, and better protect the overall integrity of events.


Behavioral analytics company Heap Inc. raised $55 million in a Series C financing round led by NewView Capital, increasing its total funding to $95.2 million. This round also includes new investors DTCP, Maverick Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Alliance Bernstein Private Credit Investors, and Sharespost, as well as existing investors NEA, Menlo Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Pear VC. Ravi Viswanathan, NewView founder and managing partner, will join Heap’s board.

Heap collects and organizes customer behavioral data, allowing businesses to analyze customer experiences without the costs associated with analytics implementations. In addition to its revenue growth, the company boasts a unique company culture, as evidenced by its Glassdoor recognition as the #1 Best Place to Work in 2019 among small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.

The company plans to use the new funding to support international growth and expand Heap’s product, engineering, and go-to-market teams.

The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a growth-stage private equity fund dedicated to providing capital to agribusiness companies throughout rural America, is the lead investor in Agrivida’s current round of financing. The first $8 million close includes $3 million from Open Prairie and participation from existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Batios Holdings Limited, Cultivian Sandbox, Syngenta Ventures, Maschhoff’s Agricultural Holdings, and Middleland Capital.   

Headquartered in Village of Four Seasons, Missouri, Agrivida is an animal health and nutrition company developing feed additives for poultry, swine, dairy and beef cattle, and aquaculture.  Agrivida’s GRAINZYME®Phytase is designed to express enzymes and proteins by utilizing plants as the core manufacturing and delivery system. This technology has a favorable sustainability profile while providing increased value and profitability to producers.    

The company plans to use the new funding to expand its research and development platform and advance its commercialization strategy for its GRAINZYME® Phytase technology into the global poultry and swine markets.

Blend Secures $130 Million in Series E Funding

Digital lending technology company Blend raised $130 million in a Series E funding round led by Temasek and General Atlantic. Existing investors 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $310 million.

According to the company, it processes $2 billion in loans daily in partnership with 150 lender customers. The company also announced product expansions into deposit account opening, home equity, and homeowners insurance, along with additions to its executive team, including former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos.

Blend intends to use the funds to continue growing its team of 400 employees, invest in new technologies, grow its ecosystem of partners, and further its expansion.

Email Security Platform GreatHorn Raises $13 Million

GreatHorn, a provider of an email security platform designed to protect organizations before, during, and after an email attack, closed a $13 million funding round co-led by RRE Ventures and .406 Ventures, with participation from existing investors Techstars Ventures, V1.VC, and Uncork Capital

Unlike legacy tools that rely on reactive threat detection methods and binary, perimeter-based analysis, GreatHorn’s 100 percent cloud-native platform is designed to use integrated threat detection, protection, defense, and incident response to secure enterprises from email threats from inline pre-inbox analysis to delivery, and post-delivery during incident response and continuous analysis.

TrueFort Gains $13.7 Million to Provide Data Breach Protection

Application behavior security analytics company TrueFort raised $13.7 million in a Series A funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners, with the participation of Lytical Ventures and Emerald Development Managers. As part of the financing round, Karthik Subramanian, partner at Evolution Equity Partners, will join the company’s board of directors. 

Using advanced analytics and machine learning,TrueFort strives to prevent insider and advanced threats against financial services and other computer-intensive industries by monitoring over 100 end-to-end interdependencies. According to the company, it has partnered and integrated with security and infrastructure product vendors to make adoption easier, while extending the value of existing technology investments regardless of whether applications are based in an on-premises data center or the cloud. 

The company plans to use the funds to expand sales, marketing, R&D, customer support, and go-to-market activities.

Privitar Acquires $40 Million in Series B Funding

Data privacy software company Privitar closed a $40 million Series B funding round led by global venture capital firm Accel, with participation from existing investors Partech, Salesforce Ventures, 24Haymarket, and IQ Capital. Seth Pierrepont, a partner at Accel, will also join Privitar’s board of directors.

According to the company, following events like the Equifax breach and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, consumers around the world are concerned with how enterprises are handling their personal data. Additionally, regulation and consumer rights around data protection are growing, with the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and California Consumer Privacy Act in the United States. To this end, Privitar plans to use the investment to strengthen the company’s position in the global data privacy market.

Komodo Health Appoints Bill Evans as CMO

Healthcare AI company Komodo Health announced the appointment of Bill Evans as chief marketing officer. 

Most recently, Evans served as chief marketing and digital officer of Point of Care Network, where he led the creation and activation of brand and product positioning to pharmaceutical companies. Prior to that, he served as chief marketing officer of IBM Watson Health, where he was responsible for leading the creation of its global brand identity and building the marketing and communications team. Before working in digital health, Evans held leadership roles in the healthcare groups of top marketing agencies WPP and Fleishman Hillard.

Vulcan Cyber Acquires Additional $10 Million in Series A

Israeli startup Vulcan Cyber secured $10 million in Series A funding from Silicon Valley-based Ten Eleven Ventures and original seed backer YL Ventures. In addition, the company announced that Ten Eleven Ventures’ general partner Mark Hatfield has joined the Vulcan board and Glenn Chisholm, former CTO of Cylance and co-founder and CEO of Obsidian Security, has joined as an investor.

The Vulcan Cyber platform is designed to control and orchestrate security, DevOps, and IT tasks and tools, allowing enterprises to automate and scale their vulnerability remediation processes. Its contextual prioritization engine ranks vulnerabilities to the enterprise by correlating asset technical attributes and configurations, security assessment results, and threat intelligence. This approach allows teams to focus on the most critical vulnerabilities predicted to be exploited in their digital networks.

The company plans to use the funds to expand commercial operations in North America and grow development and support capabilities.