The Crunchbase News Briefing: Tues., Sept. 8

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. Indian online learning unicorn BYJU’S has raised $500 million in a new financing round that reportedly sets a $10.8 billion valuation for the Bengaluru-based company.

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.

BYJU’S raises $500M from Silver Lake

Indian online learning unicorn BYJU’S has raised $500 million in a new financing round that reportedly sets a $10.8 billion valuation for the Bengaluru-based company.

Silver Lake led the financing, which brings the 9-year-old company’s total funding to date to more than $2 billion.

The fundraise comes as venture and growth investment in the edtech space is on a tear. Global edtech funding hit $4.1 billion for January through July of 2020, per Crunchbase data. The spending spree was fueled in part by rising demand for distance learning options amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in 2011, BJYU’S focuses primarily on K-12 students, offering online classes and learning apps, as well as exam prep. In the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns, BJYU’S has reportedly added 20 million new students on its platform. Today, the app has over 64 million registered students and 4.2 million annual paid subscriptions.

Zymergen raises $300M

Science and material innovation company Zymergen announced $300 million its first closing of a Series D investment to accelerate its delivery of sustainable chemicals and materials.

The Emeryville, California-based company’s was founded in 2013. It’s proprietary platform uses a combination of biology, chemistry, machine learning to commercialize materials.

The funding was led by Baillie Gifford, joined by Baron Capital Group and Perceptive Advisors. Zymergen said it expects to raise additional capital in later this year as part of the Series D round.

In addition, the investment provides Zymergen to bring its Hyaline product to market more quickly, and accelerates its development of all-natural pesticides and other bio-derived crop protection products and a bio-based insect repellent.

Funding rounds

  • GM takes $2B stake in electric truck maker Nikola: General Motors is investing $2 billion for an 11 percent stake in Nikola, an electric pickup truck maker with plans to roll out a fuel cell truck by late 2022. Shares of both companies jumped following the news.
  • Mollie raises $110M for payments: Mollie, an Amsterdam-based payments platform, has raised $106 million in a fresh funding round led by TCV. The company offers an easy-to-implement process for integrating payments into a site or app.
  • Melio gets $80M for B2B payments: Melio, a New York City-based payments startup that caters to small businesses, came out of stealth Tuesday and announced that it had raised $80 million in Series C funding last month, bringing its total raised to date to $144 million. Its backers have included Accel, Aleph Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue Management, General Catalyst, LocalGlobe, Corner Ventures and American Express Ventures.
  • Ouster Lidar lands $42M for digital lidar sensors: Ouster, a San Francisco-based lidar sensor maker, said Tuesday that it has raised $42 million in new funding. The company has now raised $132 million to date, according to Crunchbase data. The company is developing high-resolution digital lidar sensors for self-driving cars, robotics, industrial automation and infrastructure. Existing investors Cox Automotive, Fontinalis Partners and Tao Capital Partners all participated in the latest round, a Series B funding, according to TechCrunch.
  • Sarbacane lands $27M: Sarbacane Group, Mailify’s parent company, closed on $27 million. The France-based company, with a U.S. headquarters in New York, publishes applications for corporate communications and will use a majority of the investment for external growth. IDI is investing nearly $10 million in the company alongside the management, including founder Mathieu Tarnus, who remains the majority shareholder.
  • Adona Medical raises $22M: Adona Medical, a Shifamed portfolio company, announced a $22 million round of Series A financing, which will be used to advance product development for its heart failure management platform, support pre-clinical testing, and expand its team. The financing was led by Cormorant Asset Management, with participation from Excelestar Ventures, AMED Ventures and angel investors. The investment included previous debt investments that converted to preferred shares.
  • Virtual Kitchen scores $20M for commercial kitchen delivery tech: This food delivery and logistics tech startup founded by former Uber executives Ken Chong and Matt Sawchuk raised $20 million in a round led by Keith Rabois of Founders Fund, according to a filing first spotted by CNBC.
  • CATALOG secures $10M for R&D: Boston-based CATALOG closed on a $10 million round of Series A funding. The company touts itself as having the “world’s first” DNA-based platform for massive digital data storage and computation. Horizons Ventures led the oversubscribed round, joined by Airbus Ventures.
  • Sumsub inks $6M for product development: London-based Sumsub, developing an identity verification platform, announced $6 million in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised to more than $7.5 million. The round was led by MetaQuotes and also involves a group of strategic investors and several existing investors, including Ilia Perekopsky.

New fund

Brightspark Capital’s third fund closes with CAD$60M: Brightspark Capital said it had the third close of its new Brightspark Canadian Opportunities Fund with commitments of CAD$60 million toward an ultimate fund size of $75 million. Investors in the new fund include Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, BMO Capital Partners, Fondaction, Investissement Québec, RBC, and Teralys Capital Fonds Amorçage Québec managed by Teralys Capital, as well as individual investors and family offices. The fund will focus on early and Series A investments in entrepreneur-driven technology companies in Canada. Since its first closing in January, Brightspark has made six investments from this fund in Potloc, BuyBack Booth, Prevu3D, Elevate Farms, ClassCraft and Potential Motors.


  • Suma Logic Sets IPO Price Range: Cloud management software company Suma Logic has set its IPO price range between $17 and $21. At the top of the range, the company would raise about $310 million through its IPO.
  • JFrog Sets IPO Price Range: Sunnyvale’s JFrog set its IPO price range between $33 and $37 per share. JFrog’s stock is set to start trading on the public markets on Wednesday, September 16, according to IPO Scoop.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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The company, focused on e-commerce strategies for major retailers and consumer brands, is now valued at $1.7 billion.

Yotta rewards savings account depositors via weekly drawings with prizes that range from $10 to $10 million.

In addition to the new funding, Bloomscape announces an acquisition and product line.

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