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Clean tech is getting a fresh slate in 2020

September 28, 2020, 2:25 PM UTC

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Happy Monday, readers.

A few weeks back, Fortune asked for submissions to the Impact 20, a list of startups that are trying to make money while addressing social issues.

And, well, Term Sheet readers were very, very responsive to the call. Here’s the list.

What’s notable: Many startups are focusing on environmental sustainability. About 40% of the 20 startups on the list address the issue—whether it be through food waste (TreeDots), recycling (AMP Robotics), or energy consumption (Dandelion Energy).

The numbers capture a shift in momentum for so-called “clean tech.” It’s a storied part of venture-investing lore at this point: Startups seeking to disrupt the energy sector boomed in the mid-2000s—but cheap natural gas prices, a financial crisis, and high capital costs resulted in a massive bust. An MIT Energy Initiative working paper estimates that VCs plowed some $25 billion into the sector between 2006 and 2011…and lost over half of their money. The sector became nigh untouchable.

Today investors are seeing promise in the space—and not just a small glimmer of it. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that in 2019 alone, venture capitalists plowed $16 billion into “climate tech” deals, helping create some 43 unicorns. Well-regarded firms such as Sequoia Capital have called for pitches recently in the sector.While the sector has changed since 2008, with successful companies like Tesla having created space for an ecosystem to grow, it will still face challenges. For green tech companies focused solely on attacking traditional energy (and many of them are), they are competing with oil prices—which have recently taken a dive in the pandemic.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

- Xingyun Group, a Shenzhen-based supply chain provider for imported goods from foreign countries, raised $200 million in a Series C funding. Taikang Insurance Group, Highlight Capital, and Shanghai United Media Group’s joint fund Zhongyuan Capital invested. Read more.

- InventisBio, a Shanghai-based a clinical-stage biotech developing small molecule drugs, raised $147 million in Series D funding Hillhouse affiliate GL Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Qiming Venture Partners, Janchor, AIHC Capital, Matrix Partner China, Dyee Capital, and E Fund Capital.

- Biocytogen, a Chinese clinical-stage biotech, raised $142 million in Series D1 funding. CMB International led the round and was joined by investors including PICC Capital, SDIC Ventures, China Life Equity, 3E Bioventures, Cowin Capital, and Baifu Capital.

- Star Charge, a Chinese electric vehicle charging company, raised 125 million. Investors included Schneider Electric and CICC Capital’s sub fund. Read more

- Allbirds, a San Francisco-based sustainable footwear maker, raised $100 million in a Series E funding. Franklin Templeton led the round that values Allbirds at $1.7 billion. Read more.

- ShipBob, a Chicago-based e-commerce and fulfillment company, raised $68 million in Series D financing. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the round and was joined by investors including Menlo Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels and Y Combinator.

- Fiture, a Beijing-based maker of smart fitness mirror, raised $65 million in Series A funding. Tencent led the round and was joined by investors including Bertelsmann, C Ventures, Cathay Capital, and Sequoia Capital China. Read more.

- Galecto, a Boston and Copenhagen-based biotech developing treatments for fibrosis and cancer, raised $64 million. Soleus Capital and Eir Ventures led the round and were joined by Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, Hadean Ventures, Sphera, Asymmetry Capital Management, Canica, as well as current investors. 

- Nutcracker Therapeutics, an Emeryville, Ca.-based developer of mRNA therapies, raised $60 million in Series B funding. Arch Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Bluebird Ventures

- Mosa Meat, a Netherlands-based food technology company, raised $55 million in its first close of its Series B funding round. Blue Horizon Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Bell Food Group and M Ventures.

- Humane, a San Francisco-based company computing company, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Sam Altman and Lachy Groom led the round and were joined by Marc Benioff, Valia Ventures, Plexo Capital, Kindred Ventures and others.

- Palladio Biosciences, a Horsham, Pa.-based firm developing medicines for kidney diseases, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Investors included Roche Venture Fund and Medicxi.

- Showmac Tech, a Beijing-based provider of SIMs for Xiaomi devices, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Addor Capital led and was joined by investors including GGV Capital and Hongtai Aplus. Read more.

- Noyo, a San Francisco, Calif.-based API platform for health insurance data exchanges, raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. Costanoa Ventures and Spark Capital led the round and were joined by Homebrew, Fika Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Garuda Ventures and Webb Investment Network.

- Acin, a London-based data standards firm digitizing operational and non-financial risk, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Notion Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Fitch Ventures.

- Snappr, a New York-based photography service, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Basis Set Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including YesVC and Y Combinator.

- OneDome, a U.K.-based platform for buying property, getting mortgages, and handling the legalities, raised £5 million in a Series A funding. Investors include  Lord Jacob Rothschild, Reuben Brothers Capital, and Winslow Capital founder Clark Winslow.

- Attunely, a Seattle-based platform payments collection, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Investors included Framework Venture Partners, Anthos Capital, and Vulcan Capital. Read more.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Apollo and Caesars Entertainment approached William Hill (LON: WMH), a U.K.-based casino operator. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.

- BioDuro, backed by Advent, merged with Sundia, a Shanghai-based life sciences contract research and manufacturing organization. Bridgewest Capital invested. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Ivanti, backed by affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, agreed to acquire MobileIron, a provider of endpoint management solutions, for $872 million. Ivanti also agreed to acquire Pulse Secure provider of secure access and mobile security solution, from Siris Capital Group. Financial terms of the latter deal weren't disclosed.

- Lightyear Capital invested in and formed ProfitSolv, a provider of integrated billing and software. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Trilantic North America made a minority investment in Rarebreed Veterinary Partners, a Portland, Maine-based veterinary services platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- Kioxia Holdings Corp, the second-largest maker of flash memory chips in the world, shelved plans for a $3.2 billion IPO in Japan. Read more.

- Cleveland-Cliffs agreed to acquire ArcelorMittal S.A. (NYSE: MT), a steel producer, for approximately $1.4 billion. 

EXITS

- Wondery, a California-based podcast maker, is exploring strategic options including a saale. Backers include Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau, according to Pitchbook. Read more.

Breakups and bankruptcies

- Neiman Marcus emerged from bankruptcy with new investors: Pacific Investment Management Co., Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Sixth Street Partners. Previous investors included Ares Management and CPPIB. Read more.

- Sycamore Partners made a preliminary bid to acquire assets Ascena Retail Group Inc, the bankrupt company behind Ann Taylor brand. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.

IPOs

- Poshmark, a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of an online marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods, filed confidentially for an IPO. Investors include Temasek, Mayfield Fund, and GGV Capital.

- Kaspi.kz, a Kazakh lender, Goldman Sachs backs the firm, revived plans for an IPO in London. Read more.

- Eargo, a San Jose, Calif.-based hearing-aid maker, filed for a $100 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $32.7 million and loss of $44.5 million in 2019. New Enterprise Associates, Future Fund, Gilde Healthcare, and Longitude Venture back the firm. Read more.

- Aligos Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based clinical-stage maker of therapies for viral and liver diseases, filed to raise $100 million. Backers include Roche, Versant Ventures, and Baker Bros. Advisers. Read more.

- Praxis Precision Medicines, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical-stage biotech developing therapies for central nervous system disorders, filed to raise $100 million. Blackstone, Novo Holdings, and Vida Ventures back the firm. Read more.

- Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotech developing therapies for ophthalmic conditions, filed to raise $86 million. Vivo Capital and Frazier Life Sciences backs the firm. Read more.

SPACS

- Hims, a California-based telemedicine company, is nearing a deal to go public via merger with Oaktree Acquisition Corp., a SPAC. The deal could value the firm at $1.6 billion. Read more.

- Altitude Acquisition, an Atlanta-based blank check company seeking a target in the a travel or travel-related industry, filed to raise $300 million. Gavin Isaacs (director at DraftKings), Thomas Breitling (co-founder of Travelscape.com) and Gary Teplis (Teplis Travel) founded the firm. Read more.

- Supernova Partners Acquisition, a Washington D.C.-based blank check company, plans to raise $300 million. Spencer Rascoff (former Zillow CEO), Alexander Klabin (co-founder of Senator Investment Group), Robert Reid (former senior managing director at Blackstone’s PE Group) and Michael Clifton (formerly The Carlyle Group) formed the company. Read more.

- Tekkorp Digital Acquisition, a blank check company targeting the digital media and leisure industries, plans to raise $300 million. Tekkorp Capital formed the company. Read more.

- Spring Valley Acquisition, a Dallas-based blank check company targeting the sustainability industry, plans to raise $250 million. Pearl Energy Investment Management formed the company. Read more.

- 10X Capital Venture Acquisition, a blank check company seeking a tech-enabled business, plans to raise $220 million. 10X Capital formed the business. Read more.

- Genesis Park Acquisition, a Houston-based a blank check company seeking a target in aviation, seeks to raise $200 million. Genesis Park backs the firm. Read more.

F+FS

- 776, a fund founded by Alexis Ohanian, is targeting $150 million for a pre-seed fund. Read more.

PEOPLE

- Defy named Bob Rosin as a partner. Rosin was formerly head of partnerships at Stripe.