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An important takeaway from Maven Clinic’s $1 billion valuation

August 18, 2021, 2:34 PM UTC

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The venture capital industry historically ignored startups focused on women’s health, dubbing the space too small to make meaningful dollars.

On Tuesday, Maven Clinic proved those detractors wrong. 

The digital health startup with services around pregnancy and fertility announced that it had raised $110 million in Series D funding led by Dragoneer Investment Group and Lux Capital, valuing the company at over $1 billion. Other investors in the round included The Bond firm, Sequoia, Oak HC/FT, Icon Ventures, and Oprah Winfrey.

The deal, per my colleague Beth Kowitt, crowns Maven as the only U.S.-based unicorn in the women’s and family health sector. Once considered too niche and too piecemeal, women’s health startups have taken off, with funding to the industry up 105% last year to $418 million, according to Rock Health

Meaning there’s more money in women’s health than investors originally thought.

But there’s a broader takeaway in Maven’s new round of funding too. Here’s Maven CEO Kate Ryder, in conversation with Beth on how investor interest in her company has changed since she started her business:

“Every time we’ve raised money, people are a little bit more informed about the problems we’re tackling. In the very early days, it was a struggle just to get people to understand that there’s even a problem. It’s hard when there are mostly male investors, when a lot of those investors are probably not on the normal health plan that most Americans are on, and when society isn’t talking about things like IVF, fertility, miscarriage, and postpartum depression.”

Personal experience does in the end, color the investing decision process. And the lack of diversity in venture capital’s investors, not only in gender and race, but also in socio-economic status and life experiences, means the industry could be missing the next unicorn opportunity right under its nose.

You can read the full story on Maven here. It is behind paywall, though readers of Term Sheet can get a subscription for 50% off using code “TERMSHEET” 😉.

BILL ACKMAN’S SPAC LAWSUIT:  The Pershing Square Tontine was considered among the most friendly of SPACs for investors. On Tuesday, shareholder George Assad sued the holding company, alleging that it is operating illegally as an investment company. If courts side with Assad, it could have wide-ranging consequences for SPACs at large as investment companies are subject to greater regulation and have restrictions on investment advice fees. But it is unclear if the suit will succeed (SPACs are not exactly new, after all) and Ackman has pushed back against the lawsuit.

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

Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Apeel, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based maker of a casing for fruits and vegetables, raised $250 million in Series E funding, valuing it over $2 billion. Temasek led the round.

- Postman, a San Francisco-based API platform, raised $225 million in Series D funding valuing it at $5.6 billion. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Coatue, Battery Ventures, BOND, CRV, and Nexus Venture Partners. 

- Carrot Fertility, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based fertility benefits provider for employers, raised $75 million in Series C funding. Tiger Global Management led the round and was joined by investors including OrbiMed, F-Prime, CRV, U.S. Venture Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank. 

- MobileCoin, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency privacy company, raised $66 million in Series B funding. Investors include Alameda Research, Berggruen Holdings, BlockTower Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Vy Capital, General Catalyst, and Future Ventures.

- InfoSum, a New York City-based data collaboration platform provider, raised $65 million in Series B funding. Chrysalis Investments led the round.

- CloudPay, an employee pay platform, raised $58 million. The Olayan Group led the round and was joined by investors including Pinnacle Investment Partners and Rho Capital Partners .

- Immunitas Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass.-based cell genomics-based therapeutics company, raised $58 million in Series B funding. Agent Capital led the round.

- Imubit, a Houston-based maker of A.I. for refiners and chemical operators, raised $30 million. Zeev Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Insight Partners, Spider Capital, and UpWest.

- Split.io, a testing platform, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Owl Rock led the round and was joined by investors including Northgate Capital, Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Harmony Partners, M12, Atlassian Ventures, and ServiceNow. 

- Branch, a Minneapolis-based fintech focused on workforce payments, raised $48 million in Series B funding. Addition led the round and was joined by investors including Drive Capital, Crosscut Ventures, Bonfire Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, and HR Tech Investments.

- Rapid Robotics, a San Francisco-based robotic machine operator, raised $36.7 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global led the round and were joined by investors including NEA, Greycroft, Bee Partner, and 468 Capital.

- Browzwear, a Singapore-based digital fashion industry modelling company, raised $35 million. Radian Capital led the round.

- Kairos Aerospace, a Mountain View, Calif.-based identifier of oilfield methane leaks and emissions, raised $26 million in Series C-1 funding. DCVC led the round and was joined by investors including OGCI Climate Investments, John Crane, and Energy Innovation Capital.

- Regrow, a San Francisco-based company focused on the agri-food supply chain, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Ajax Strategies, Tenacious Ventures, and Cargill invested.

- TrustLayer, a San Francisco-based risk management platform, raised $15.1 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Abstract Ventures, Box Group, Propel Venture Partners, NFP Ventures, Sure Ventures, and PruVen Capital.

- Uizard, a Danish design assistant for non-designers, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led the round.

- Blumira, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based cybersecurity provider, raised $10.3 million in Series A funding. Mercury led the round and was joined by investors including Ten Eleven Ventures and Duo Security and Zendesk executives Zack Urlocker and Jim Cyb. 

- Circles, a Tel Aviv-based therapy startup, raised $8 million in seed funding. NFX and Flint Capital led the round.

- Fluence Analytics a Houston-based polymer reaction monitoring and control company, raised $7.5 million in funding. Yokogawa Electric, Energy Innovation Capital, Diamond Edge Ventures, and JSR Corporation invested.

- ForeVR Games, a Los Angeles-based VR gaming company, raised $7 million in additional seed funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Galaxy Interactive, All Star Capital, Mark Pincus, and Emmett Shear

- Parallax, an Edina, Minn.-based provider of business analytics, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Grotech Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Matchstick Ventures and Rally Ventures.

- Hashnode, a Dover, Del.-based blogging platform for the software development community, raised $6.7 million in Series A funding. Salesforce Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, and Accel Partners.

- TrovaTrip, a Portland, Or.-based platform for planning  group trips, raised $5 million. PSL Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Elevate Capital and Oregon Venture Fund

- TurnoverBnB, a Hawaii-based vacation rental clearing service platform, raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. RET Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Blue Startups.

- PayEngine, a Los Angeles-based white-label payments platform, raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Mucker Capital led the round and was joined by investors including BAM Ventures, I2BF Global Ventures, and HIVE Ventures.

- LitPic, a Seattle-based social network for creators, raised $1.5 million in venture capital. Investors included Fritz Lanman (CEO of ClassPass), Kal Vepuri (Brainchild), Adrian Aoun (founder of Forward), Arrington Capital (Founder of TechCrunch), Tod Sacerdoti, Andreas Penna, Tribe Capital, and Coca Rocha.

- Plaid, a San Francisco-based API fintech, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from J.P. Morgan Private Capital Growth Equity Partners and existing investor Amex Ventures.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Generate Capital invested $240 million in Nexamp, a Boston-based solar power provider.

- BlackRock invested in Morae Global Corporation, a Houston-based provider of tech solutions for the legal industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- FlavorSum, a portfolio company of The Riverside Company, acquired Whittle & Mutch, a Mt. N.J.-based formulator of flavors for beverages. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- iVision, backed by CIVC, acquired Carve Systems, a New York City-based cybersecurity consultancy. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Kellermeyer Bergensons Services, a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management, acquired American Maintenance, a Babylon, N.Y.-based provider of facility maintenance solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- FullCycle Climate Partners invested in InPipe Energy, a Portland-based micro-hydro technology company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Periscope Equity invested in CyberMaxx, a Nashville-based cybersecurity solution. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Permira invested in CommentSold, an e-commerce and social media company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- WestView Capital Partners invested in Framework Solutions, a Danbury, Conn.-based life sciences and pharmaceuticals promotional agency. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXIT

- Brex acquired Weav, an API developer, for $50 million.

- Quantic Corporate Holdings, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, acquired BEI Precision Systems & Space Company, a Maumelle, Ark.-based maker of position feedback sensors and frequency reference technologies, from J.F. Lehman & Company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- PRO Unlimited, backed by EQT, agreed to acquire Workforce Logiq, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of workforce management solutions, from Carlyle. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Woodside Petroleum will acquire Australia-based BHP Group’s (AX:BHP) petroleum business, valuing the company at A$38.5 billion ($28 billion).

- Deutsche Post will acquireJ.F. Hillebrand Group, a European freight forwarder, for €1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

- Stanley Black & Decker will acquire the remaining 80% of MTD Holdings, a Valley City, Oh.-based maker of tractors and power tools, for $1.6 billion.

- Cox Enterprises acquired BrightFarms, an Irvington, N.Y.-based indoor farming company backed by investors including Catalyst Investors and WP Global Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- Sportradar Group AG, a Switzerland-based sports betting company, filed for an IPO in the U.S. It previously planned to merge with a SPAC, per Bloomberg. The company posted €404.9 million in 2020 and net income of €22.1 million. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board backs the firm.

SPAC

- Forbes Media, a Jersey City, N.J.-based business media company, is in talks to go public via a merger with Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd., a SPAC, according to Bloomberg. A deal could value the company at more than $650 million. Forbes had previously been discussing a deal with a consortium led by GSV Asset Management.

F+FS

- Felicis Ventures, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture firm, closed its eighth early-stage fund with $600 million and its first opportunity fund with $300 million.

PEOPLE

- Felicis Ventures, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture firm, named Viviana Faga as a general partner.

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