Tuesday, December 11, 2018


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Exits

Bustle Digital Group agreed this week to buy digital media company Mic, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNBC. The deal was valued at about $5 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mic had previously raised almost $60 million from investors including WPP Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Alumni Ventures Group, according to Crunchbase.

Start-ups

Wave Computing, a Silicon Valley-based cloud company specializing in artificial intelligence, raised $86 million in Series E funding, led by Oakmont Corporation. The round brings total investment in Wave to more than $200 million.

Workforce management company Deputy closed $81 million in Series B funding, led by IVP. The Australian software start-up works with companies like Amazon, Uber and Compass to schedule hourly employees for shifts and pay out wages. Deputy has raised $106 million to date.

Quip electric toothbrushes hang on a bathroom mirror by a suction strip on the brush holder.

Quip electric toothbrushes hang on a bathroom mirror by a suction strip on the brush holder.

Online oral health company Quip raised $40 million in equity and debt financing. The equity round was led by Sherpa Capital. The company mails sleek electric toothbrushes and other oral care products to subscribers and offers ongoing dental advice.

Rheostat Therapeutics announced $23 million in Series A financing. The start-up works to discover new treatments for neurodegeneration, cognition and rare diseases. The round was led by MRLV, a venture capital group within Merck, and AbbVie Ventures. It also included participation from Amgen Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments and the Mayo Clinic.

Former Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Kahn has raised $17.5 million for a new e-commerce start-up, Axios reports. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the investment round, according to Axios. Kahn hasn’t commented on the name of the company or what it plans to sell, but an unnamed source tells Axios the start-up with launch in time for the 2019 holiday season.

MondoBrain, an enterprise AI firm, raised $13.3 million in Series A financing, led by French fund Japia. The start-up is headquartered in Virginia and has more than 50 enterprise customers including Airbus and Johnson & Johnson.

San Francisco-based Roam Robotics builds robotic exoskeletons to enhance strength, speed and endurance for everyday people. 

Source: Roam Robotics
San Francisco-based Roam Robotics builds robotic exoskeletons to enhance strength, speed and endurance for everyday people. 

Roam Robotics announced $12 million in Series A funding, led by Yamaha Motor Co. The company says it builds “robotic exoskeletons to enhance strength, speed and endurance for everyday people as they live, work and play.” Boost VC, Menlo Ventures and Venture Investment Associates also participated in the round.

Tock, a global platform for restaurant and winery reservations, raised $9.5 million in a round led by Valor Equity Partners and Origin Ventures. The start-up manages reservations and seatings for restaurants, similar to OpenTable or Resy, but applies the technology to pop-up shops and event-based businesses as well.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Ashton Kutcher’s venture fund Sound Ventures were among the backers in a $2 million seed round in LearnLux, a digital financial wellness platform. The start-up offers customized financial services platforms for businesses and employers as a means to reduce stress in the workplace.

Facebook invested $1 million in CodePath.org, a nonprofit that provides computer science education to female and minority students at universities around the country. Since launching its university program three years ago, CodePath.org has taught 1,700 students across 30 universities.

Fred Moll, inventor of the da Vinci Surgical System, has raised $220 million for his next-generation robotics venture, Auris Health, in a deal led by Partner Fund Management. The company’s Monarch Platform is a flexible, robotic endoscope that is operated using a game controller. The device can snake through a patient’s natural body openings into the far reaches of their lungs to diagnose and help treat lung cancer as early as possible.

Funds and firms

A pedestrian passes a sign on the Qualcomm campus in San Diego, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters
A pedestrian passes a sign on the Qualcomm campus in San Diego, California.

Qualcomm Ventures launched a $100 million AI start-up fund, which will “focus on start-ups that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms,” Qualcomm said. Qualcomm Ventures has previously invested in companies including Cruise, Cloudflare, Fitbit and Magic Leap.

—CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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