Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Technology News
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StrongAuth Rebrands to StrongKey and Secures $10 Million

StrongKey and parent company StrongAuth have become one company and concluded a Series A round of funding. Systena America claims it made the $10 million investment based on the strength of StrongKey’s chief technical officer Arshad Noor’s industry expertise in symmetric key management, encryption, tokenization, PKI and FIDO-based strong authentication.

According to the company, the rebranding is an indication of its continued growth and motivation to redefine how businesses and government agencies protect their information by making breaches irrelevant.


Once Upon a Farm Closes $20 Million in Series B Funding

Organic, cold-pressed baby food, applesauce, and smoothie provider Once Upon a Farm raised $20 million in a Series B financing round led by consumer-focused investment firm CAVU Venture Partners. CAVU’s co-founder and managing partner Brett Thomas, along with Jared Jacobs, will join the company’s board.

Once Upon a Farm has expanded from 300 to 8,500 retail locations, including key partners Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, and Walmart. As well as dairy products, the company plans to expand its footprint into the baby aisle with in-line coolers. It also announced that a new line of baby food cups specifically designed for spoon-feeding will be in stores in 2019.

Once Upon a Farm plans to use this round of funding to support its growth in retail and product innovation.

iDonate Secures $10 Million Series A Funding

Donor engagement solutions provider iDonate announced a $10 million Series A funding round led by PerformanceEdge Partners, a venture capital company focused on SaaS growth businesses. Additional funding was provided by existing and new investors such as the Miles Foundation.

iDonate was designed from the ground up to accelerate the impact of nonprofit work by increasing donations.  The company says that from its roots as the world’s first non-cash-donation technology provider, it has expanded its platform to cater to every donation type, style, and preference by complementing nonprofit customers’ existing customer relationship management systems and including multiple giving channels such as website, peer-to-peer, text, and event.

This financing will be used by the company to augment its platform with the next generation of donor-centric features, including data analytics, peer-to-peer features, and donor engagement functionality.

Glympse Bio, Inc. Secures $22 Million Series A Financing

Bioengineering startup Glympse Bio, Inc., raised $22 million in a Series A funding round co-led by venture capital firms LS Polaris Innovation Fund and ARCH Ventures. In addition, new investors Charles River Ventures, Gilead Sciences, Yonghua Capital, and Inevitable Ventures were joined by existing investors GreatPoint Ventures, Heritage Provider Network, and Rivas Capital. Glympse Bio is a spin-out from the laboratory of Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The company plans to devote the proceeds of this round to conducting clinical trials for a new platform using bioengineered activity sensors to noninvasively detect human diseases and to monitor drug response. This financing follows an initial $6.6 million seed round in 2015 led by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at Biocon India Ltd and Theresia Gouw at Aspect Ventures.

Machinify Raises $10 Million in Series A Financing

New artificial intelligence company Machinify closed $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Battery Ventures, with participation from GV and Matrix Partners.

Machinify was founded in 2016 by former executives from VUDU, a digital-video company acquired by Walmart in 2010. Its AI is designed to dramatically reduce the cost, time, and complexity of designing, putting into production, and managing sophisticated AI-driven business decisions. Machinify is led by founder and CEO Ganesan (the former chief technical officer of VUDU), former VUDU president Tony Miranz, and VUDU former general manager Edward Lichty. Machinify’s founding executive chairman is Alain Rossmann, who was previously a founder or co-founder of VUDU, PSS Systems, and OpenWave.

Rgenix Gains $40 Million in Series C Funding

Rgenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule and antibody cancer therapeutics, raised $40 million in a Series C financing round led by Lepu Medical, a publicly traded global healthcare firm, Oceanpine Capital, and WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund. Existing investors Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, LLC, and the Partnership Fund for New York City’s Innovate NY Fund also participated in the round.  

The company plans to use the financing to support Phase 1b/2 clinical trials of the lead program RGX-104 in multiple cancer indications, including in checkpoint inhibitor refractory patients. Financing will also be used to support early clinical development of Rgenix’s cancer metabolism program RGX-202, its target discovery platform’s discovery stage programs, clinical and preclinical oncology programs, and general corporate purposes.

Coolfire Solutions Raises $11.5 Million in Oversubscribed Series B

St. Louis-based software company Coolfire Solutions—creators of the Ronin Platform, a situational awareness delivery platform—gained $11.5 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round. An undisclosed strategic investor led the round, along with a significant follow-on investment from Clayton Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of Enterprise Holdings Inc. Additional funding came from new and existing investors, including the IrishAngels investing group.

According to the company, the Series B funding builds on a year of achievement for Coolfire, which saw a growing list of customers, platform upgrades, and expansion of its partner program. The company’s Ronin Platform was selected, in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security, for the Smart City IoT Innovation (SCITI) Lab program.

The company plans to use the funds to aggressively accelerate sales, marketing, and product development for commercial industries.

Hopper Announces $100 Million in Series D

Travel booking app Hopper closed $100 million in a Series D financing round led by OMERS Ventures. Existing investors Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Accomplice, Brightspark Ventures, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund, and new investor Citi Ventures participated in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $184 million.

As a leading mobile-only travel booking company, Hopper strives to distinguish itself with its conversational commerce model and machine learning. The app is designed to enable travelers to save money and travel more by predicting future prices for flights and accommodations with 95% recommendation accuracy, offering personalized tips, and notifying travelers about price drops and deals.

The new funding will be used to expand Hopper’s market presence globally and continue its AI development.


Pivot Bio secured $70 million in a Series B funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and included Singapore-headquartered investment company Temasek.

The company plans to use the funds to strengthen Pivot Bio’s 2019 commercial launch of the first and only nitrogen-producing microbes for U.S. corn farmers, Pivot Bio PROVENTM. This product is designed to supply a clean alternative to synthetic nitrogen to the crop each day. The new funding will also be used to support expanded research and development for the company’s second-generation product – a seed treatment option – as well as product introductions in Brazil, Argentina, and Canada. Within the company’s pipeline, Pivot Bio is developing nitrogen-producing microbes for other crops beyond corn, including wheat and rice.

The company received early support from Series A investor co-leads DCVC (Data Collective) and Monsanto Growth Ventures, as well as Prelude Ventures and Spruce Capital Partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Pivot Bio was recently named to Forbes’ Most Innovative AgTech Startups list, and was the recipient of two Business Intelligence Group awards: Sustainability Leadership and the Sustainability Product of the Year.


Online Employment Marketplace ZipRecruiter Raises $156 Million

ZipRecruiter acquired a Series B $156 million investment co-led by Wellington Management Company and returning investor IVP.

According to the company, since launching in 2010, ZipRecruiter has helped 1.5 million businesses—from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies—find applicants for jobs ranging from admin personnel and truck drivers to data scientists and autonomous car engineers. The company’s AI technology is allegedly so proficient that 80 percent of employers who post a job through the site get a quality candidate within the first day, and most job seekers receive a notification that their application has been viewed by a hiring manager within 48 hours after they’ve submitted their resume.

The financing will be used to accelerate the company’s growth as well as its ongoing investment in AI-powered matching technology and mobile apps to actively connect more job seekers and businesses of all sizes.


Human Headphones Startup Raises $21 Million in Series B Funding

Human, Incorporated closed a $21 million Series B investment led by Fred Warren’s Sage Venture Partners, Kurt Dammeier’s Sugar Mountain Capital, and Ropart Asset Management II. The round also included a strategic investment from Microsoft Corp.  

The funds will be used to accelerate the pace of innovation and launch its next-generation wireless, voice-controlled headphones called Human Headphones. According to the company, the state-of-the-art hybrid design of these headphones enables intelligent voice control, all-day comfort and fit, and powerful sound.  

JFrog Secures $165 Million Investment

JFrog, a universal DevOps technology leader, closed a $165 million Series D funding round led by Insight Venture Partners. Co-founder and managing director Jeff Horing will join JFrog’s Board.

JFrog offers an end-to-end, universal, highly-available software release platform for storing, securing, monitoring, and distributing binaries for technologies including Docker, Go, Helm, Maven, npm, Nuget, and PyPi. According to the company, this enables a continuous software release flow from code to production with zero downtime.

JFrog plans to use the secured funding to drive product innovation, support rapid expansion into new markets, and accelerate both organic and inorganic growth.