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Finless Foods raises $3.5 mln led by Draper Associates

Berkeley, California-based Finless Foods, which uses cellular biology to make lab-grown seafood, raised a $3.5 million funding round led by Draper Associates. Other investors in the round include Softmatter VC, Starlight, U-Start Club, Blue Horizon, Hemisphere Ventures, Babel Ventures, Yakumi Investment, Olive Tree Capital and Harrison Blue Ventures. The company, founded last year by biochemists Michael Selden and Bryan Wyrwas, previously raised early funding from the San Francisco accelerator IndieBio and Hatch, a Norwegian aquaculture accelerator. Finless has also received investment from Hi-Food, an Italian company founded by food scientists.

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Veterinary fintech company Scratchpay raises Series A

Los Angeles-based Scratchpay Financial, which provides financial services for the veterinary care industry, announced it has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. The Companion Fund, a pet care-focused fund launched this year by Mars Petcare, led the round. TTV Capital, Struck Capital and SWS Venture Capital also participated in the round. Scratchpay was founded in 2016 by John Keatley and Caleb Morse.

Mercury Fund seeks $125 mln for fourth fund

Mercury Fund, an early-stage investor that backs startups in the middle of the United States, is seeking to raise $125 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. The firm was formerly known as DFJ Mercury, but rebranded in 2012 before raising $105 million for its third fund, which closed in 2013.

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Travel activities site Peek raises $23 mln for international expansion

San Francisco-based Peek, which develops software for tour operators and travel activity providers, has raised $23 million in Series B funding round, the company said. Cathay Innovation, the venture fund of private equity firm Cathay Capital, led the round.Other investors include Kayak co-founder Paul English. Peek, founded in 2012 by Ruzwana Bashir and Oskar Bruening, has now raised about $40 million in total financing and is using the latest backing to expand to Europe and China.

Venture VCJ On the Bleeding Edge

On the Bleeding Edge: VCJ wins four writing awards from SIPA

Buyouts Insider, publisher of VCJ, took home nine awards from the Specialized Information Publishers Association 41st annual conference on June 6, including four editorial-writing awards for VCJ. VCJ Senior Editor Mark Boslet won first place in the category Best Interpretative or Analytical Reporting: Financial/Investing for his piece on private equity targeting venture capital. The December […]

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Benchmark leads funding in Benchling

San Francisco-based Benchling, provider of a data management and collaboration platform for life sciences research, announced it has raised a $14.5 million Series B round of funding. Benchmark led the financing and General Partner Eric Vishria will join the company board. Also joining the round are F-Prime Capital, which is a firm associated with Fidelity Investments, and returning investor Thrive Capital. The company has now raised more than $27 million since it was founded in 2012.

VCJ Venture Fund New York
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New York-focused seed investor Primary Venture Partners raises $100 mln for second fund

Primary Venture Partners, a New York-focused seed investor that has realized exits with Jet.com and Ticketfly, among others, wrapped up its sophomore fund with $100 million in commitments. Primary, formerly High Peaks Venture Partners, raised $60 million for its debut in 2015. Co-Founder and General Partner Ben Sun said LPs include New York State Common […]

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AI company Jane.ai launches, announces Series A funding

St. Louis-based Jane.ai officially launched today and announced it has raised $8.4 million in Series A funding from a Midwest network of private and angel investors. The company, founded by former Answers.com CEO David Karandish, aims to develop an AI-based platform to increase workplace productivity. The company was founded in early 2017.

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IVP leads $60 mln funding of Podium

Lehi, Utah-based Podium, provider of a customer communication platform for local businesses, announced it has raised a $60 million Series B round of funding. IVP led the round, which include participation from Accel, Summit Partners, GV and Y Combinator. The company, which launched in 2014, previously raised about $33 million in funding.

Israeli cybersecurity company DocAuthority raises $10 mln

Ra’anana, Israel-based data management company DocAuthority announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Raine Ventures led the round, which included Greycroft, ff Venture Capital, Differential VC, as well as 2B Angels and Plus Ventures in Israel. The company was founded by Ariel Peled and Itay Reved in 2013.

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Norwest adds new partner from Facebook

Priti Youssef Choksi has joined the consumer internet investment team at Norwest Venture Partners as a partner. Choksi joins Norwest from Facebook where she spent nine years in various executive roles, including leading the company’s M&A efforts. Prior to Facebook, she spent six years at Google in strategic partnership roles.

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BlackRock leads $93 mln funding of Qumulo

Seattle-based Qumulo, of enterprise file storage technology, announced it has raised $93 million in Series D funding. The oversubscribed round was led by funds managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners. Goldman Sachs and Western Digital also participated. In addition, all major existing investors, including Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Madrona Venture Group and Valhalla Partners also participated in the round. The company, founded in 2012, has now raised $223 million, according to the company.

VCJ Venture 5Q
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Five Questions with Alastair Mitchell of EQT Ventures

EQT Ventures in May held a launch party in at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco to showcase its portfolio companies. The event coincided with the one-year work anniversary of Alastair Mitchell, who joined the Swedish fund as its fourth partner, focused on B2B SaaS. Based out of the San Francisco office, Mitchell helped set […]

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Druva acquires venture-backed CloudRanger

Sunnyvale, California-based Druva, a provider of cloud data protection services, announced it has acquired CloudRanger for an undisclosed price. With offices in Chicago and Ireland, CloudRanger provides backup and disaster recovery services for AWS and was backed by Enterprise Ireland. Druva is also VC-backed, having raised about $200 million from Sequoia Capital, Tenaya Capital and other investors.