Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.
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Rocket-maker Astra eyes $2.1B public offering via SPAC
Alameda, California-based Astra, a developer of rockets and provider of satellite launch services, announced plans to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
Astra announced that will be merging with Holicity, a SPAC launched by a subsidiary of Pendrell Corp., a “permanent capital vehicle” with the controlling shareholder being telecom and tech tycoon Craig O. McCaw.
The transaction will set an an enterprise value for Astra of approximately $2.1 billion, and will also include $500 million in cash proceeds, comprised of up to $300 million of cash held in the trust account of Holicity and an $200 million investment led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
- Bumble seeks to raise $1B in IPO: Dating app Bumble is reportedly seeking to raise as much as $1.04 billion in its initial public offering, according to a new securities filing.
- UiPath lands $750M: Robotic process automation unicorn UiPath announced that it has raised $750 million in a Series F funding round at a post-money valuation of $35 billion.
Capital Rx, C. Light Technologies, Plume raise rounds: Pharmacy benefit manager Capital Rx said it raised $50 million in Series B financing to redefine how prescriptions are priced and administered in the U.S. Transformational Capital led the round with participation from Edison Partners, who led Capital Rx’s $16 million Series A round in 2019. Meanwhile, C. Light Technologies, a Berkeley-based neurotech company developing a retinal eye-tracking scan to assess neurological diseases, closed on a $2.5 million seed round led by Creative Ventures. Also, Plume, a health tech company built for the transgender community, announced a $14 million Series A funding round, led by Craft Ventures with participation from General Catalyst, Slow Ventures and Town Hall Ventures. Members pay $99 a month and receive access to gender-affirming care, personal consultations, lab monitoring, letters of support and home delivery of their hormone medications. Announcing similar funding news Tuesday was Folx Health, which secured $25 million in Series A financing to provide digital health care service designed for the LGBTQIA+ community. All of these investments come as Crunchbase data shows investors poured record investment dollars into digital health startups in 2020: $14.2 billion globally and $9.2 billion domestically.
— Christine Hall
Narmi raises $20.4M: Fintech startup Narmi, developing a digital banking platform, secured $20.4 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from more than a dozen investors including Patriot Financial Partners, Picus Capital, Contour Ventures and Firebolt Ventures. Headquartered in New York, Narmi works with community banks and credit unions, enabling them to use any of its digital platforms—account opening, consumer banking, business banking and an administrator console—to drive growth, deposits and cost efficiencies. The retail core banking systems industry is expected to reach $11.4 billion by 2027, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. There are approximately 90 companies that include the phrase “digital bank” in the Crunchbase database, and some have grabbed investor attention in the past year, raising significant rounds:
- Last week, Nubank, the Brazil-based upstart online bank, reportedly raised $400 million in Series G funding at a valuation of $25 billion.
- Brazilian fintech startup Neon Pagamentos raised $300 million in a Series C round of funding last September.
- Mobile banking company Varo Money closed a $241 million Series D round last June.
— Christine Hall
Illustration: Dom Guzman