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The work-at-home frenzy has led to the natural prediction that tech companies may decentralize their workforces away from the typical and pricey New York and Silicon Valley hubs to less trafficked areas.
The question was and still is, where will they go?
One apparent pick: Denver, Colorado.
Palantir, the big data company that is reportedly seeking to go public via a direct listing, recently changed its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Denver. And e-commerce giant Amazon is planning to add some 3,500 corporate jobs and 900,000 square feet of office space in Dallas, Detroit, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, and, yes, Denver.
Meanwhile, startups in California, New York, and Boston raised about 74% of venture capital dollars in 2019. But as more dollars chase fewer ideas, investors are starting to look outside the typical hubs. And Colorado-based startups did rank in the top 10 states—raising about $2.5 billion that year, representing about 1.9% of all U.S. VC dollars that year, per the NVCA’s 2019 yearbook.
If the prediction comes to pass, a new crop of startup founders could rise from these newer hubs.
That’s not to say the top hubs are dead. Amazon has, after all, named New York among the cities in its expansion plans. As for Palantir, it’s still unclear the exact scale of the move.
AIRBNB’S IPO: The short-term rental company filed confidentially for a listing on Wednesday. It’s been a trying saga: The company previously considered a listing. Then the pandemic hit. Revenues dropped off the cliff. Firms like Silver Lake swooped in with new terms. Now the travel-focused mega-unicorn must still contend with the uncertainty of the pandemic.
- BlockFi, a Jersey City-based financial services company developing products for cryptocurrencies, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Morgan Creek Digital led the round and was joined by investors including Valar Ventures, CMT Digital, Castle Island Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, SCB 10X, Avon Ventures, Purple Arch Ventures, Kenetic Capital, HashKey, and NBA player Matthew Dellavedova.
- Exo, a Redwood City, Calif.-based health information and devices company, raised $40 million in extended Series B funding. Investors included Action Potential Venture Capital and Intel Capital.
- Icon, an Austin-based 3D construction tech company, raised $35 million in a Series A funding. Moderne Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Citi, Vulcan Capital and CAZ Investments.
- Cobalt, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity platform, raised $29 million in Series B funding. Investors included Highland Europe.
- Chili Piper, a San Francisco-based platform for sales teams, raised $18 million in Series A funding. Base10 Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Gradient Ventures.
- CoPilot, a Chicago-based platform for high-value purchases, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Next Coast Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including SciFi Ventures, Arthur Patterson, and Chicago Ventures.
- Yalochat, a Mexico City-based conversational commerce platform in emerging markets, raised $15 million in Series B funding. B Capital Group led the round and was joined by investors including Sierra Ventures.
- Castor, a Hoboken, N.J.-based provider of clinical trial technology, raised $12 million in funding. Two Sigma Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures and INKEF Capital.
- Perishable Shipping Solutions, a Youngstown, Oh.-based e-commerce market for perishable cold and frozen food fulfillment logistics, raised $8.7 million in Series A funding. SJF Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Grotech Ventures and Supply Chain Ventures.
- Podimetrics, a Somerville, Mass.-based virtual care management company, raised $8.6 million in Series B-2 funding round from investors including Polaris Partners, Rock Health, Norwich Ventures, and Scientific Health Development, bringing its total Series B funding to $24.6 million.
- Offr, a London-based platform for real estate agents and buyers, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Barclays led the round and was joined by investors including Delta Partners on behalf of Bank of Ireland, AIB, Enterprise Ireland, The European Investment Fund and Frontline Ventures.
- Apheris, a Berlin-based deep tech company, raised €2.5 million ($3 million). LocalGlobe led the round and was joined by investors including Dig Ventures, the family office of MuleSoft Founder Ross Mason, and Patrick Pichette (former CFO of Google).
- Riff, a London-based voice-first chat company, raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Balderton Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Seedcamp.
- Welcome, a New York-based hiring management startup, raised $1.4 million. Ludlow Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Weekend Fund, Global Founders Capital, Shrug Capital, and Basement Fund. Read more.
- VRAI, a Dublin-based AI powered VR simulation training maker for high hazard environments, raised €1.2 million in seed funding.
- Hg led a majority investment in Sovos, a tax software company. TA Associates also joined as a minority investor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Newlight Partners invested in Propeller Industries, a New York-based provider of financial and accounting services for venture-stage companies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Carrick Capital Partners made a “significant” investment in Factor, a New York-based solution for legal work. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- DAZN Group, a U.K.based sports-streaming service backed by Len Blavatnik, revived talks to raise new funding, per Bloomberg. It is considering a stock-market listing, divestment, or combination with a SPAC. Read more.
- Flexis Capital, along with Eurazeo Brands and Moore Strategic Ventures, acquired a controlling stake in Waterloo Sparkling Water, an Austin-based independent sparkling water brand, from Waterloo co-founder CAVU Venture Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- EQT Infrastructure agreed to acquire EdgeConneX, Inc., a data center operator, from an investor group led by Providence Equity Partners.
- Hangar, a New York-based venture firm for government-focused tech startups, raised $15 million. Investors include Kresge Foundation endowment and Michael Bloomberg.
- Freestyle Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, announced that co-founder Josh Felser plans to step away from full-time duties to focus on “companies that foster a more resilient business.” He will continue as a Board Partner.
- 8VC, a venture capital firm founded by entrepreneur and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale, named Dr. Francisco Gimenez as partner.