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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Korean game maker Krafton plans $5B IPO
The anticipated listing would rank as South Korea’s largest offering in years. Founded in 2007, Krafton previously raised at least $574 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, with Tencent as its largest backer.
Motif FoodWorks Lands $226M
Motif FoodWorks, developing ingredient technology to make plant-based food better tasting and more nutritious, raised $226 million in Series B funding, co-led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
Those backers were joined by AiiM Partners, Wittington Ventures, Rethink Food, Rage Capital and Rellevant Partners, alongside existing investors, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, CPT Capital, General Atlantic, Louis Dreyfus Co. and Viking Global Investors. The new investment gives Boston-based Motif a total of $345 million in funding since the company was spun out of Ginkgo Bioworks in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.
Motif intends to deploy the new funding into R&D, commercializing its food technologies, hiring and expanding its facilities footprint. It has secured licensing partnerships with the University of Guelph and Coasun for technologies that create melting and stretching characteristics in plant-based cheeses, as well as healthier fat alternatives that marbleize plant-based meats.
Alternative proteins, which include plant-based foods, used to attract only vegetarians and vegans. But as technology advances within the sector, experts say there will be tasty options for everyone, even die-hard meat eaters, and that opens up a massive market for investment.
The plant-based food market grew 27 percent in 2020 to $7 billion, nearly double the growth rate of overall U.S. retail food sales during the same period. In 2020, just under $2 billion was invested in global venture-backed startups in the space, dominated by Impossible Foods’ total raise of $700 million in Series F and Series G rounds last year, according to Crunchbase data. That was a 101 percent jump in funding from 2019 to 2020, according to the database.
— Christine Hall
BrowserStack raises $200M: India-based BrowserStack, operator of a software testing platform, raised $200 million in a fresh funding round led by Bond that sets a $4 billion valuation for the 14-year-old company.
— Joanna Glasner
Illustration: Dom Guzman