Tech roundup: NYC adds over $300M in major fundings, two huge companies file for IPOs, and more

December 13, 2018
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Car marketplace Vroom raises $146M in Series G funding

Skrr! Vroom, a top online destination for the buying and selling of used automobiles, announced this week the closure of its Series G round (yeah, we didn’t know they went that far down the alphabet either). The majority of the $146 million in funding comes from retailer AutoNation, with existing investors T. Rowe Price, L Catterton, General Catalyst and Fraser McCombs Capital also joining the fun. This is the second time in recent memory that Vroom has struck gold: the company closed a $50 million corporate round in early September. [TechCrunch]


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Uber and Lyft file IPO paperwork within hours of each other

December 6 was a landmark day for Uber...and Lyft, as it turns out. Documents filed with the SEC indicate that both companies are looking into Initial Public Offerings in the coming year. As of now, the filings are both preliminary and confidential, meaning that nothing about a potential IPO is finalized, and that the public does not yet have insight into what the deals may look like. IPO rumors have chased both companies for some time, and it looks like 2019 may just ring in the dreams of every Wall Street investor with the new year. [Crunchbase]


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Indoor farming startup Bowery closes $90M round

Craving Romaine lettuce in these trying times? Bowery, an indoor-based agricultural startup, just raised $90 million to fuel expansion of its crops, which are currently flourishing in several New Jersey warehouses. GV led the round, with Temasek Holdings, General Catalyst, First Round Capital, GGV Capital and Almanac Insights also participating. Not only does this latest funding add to Bowery’s already-impressive $20 million Series A from earlier this year, it adds a competitive spark between Bowery and California-based Plenty, a similar concept startup that received major SoftBank investment this year. [Bloomberg]


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Restaurant hardware startup ShopKeep scores $65M in fresh funding

Since 2008, ShopKeep’s point-of-sale hardware and software system has captured the hearts of restaurants and retailers around the world — more than 25,000 of them, to be exact. Now, the company has secured $65 million in equity and debt financing. Returning investor Tribeca Venture Partners led, with First Data Corporation and Salesforce Ventures also participating. ShopKeep intends to use the funding to scale growth initiatives surrounding its platform. [New York Business Journal]


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UNICEF Innovation Fund sets sights on blockchain startups

Charitable organization UNICEF is turning to the blockchain, hoping to unlock its potential to help children around the world. The organization has announced plans to use its $17.9 million Innovation Fund to, in part, support six different blockchain projects in “emerging markets.” Blockchain has already proven to have numerous public-interest-based uses, as evidenced by the work of groups like Blockchain for Change. [Forbes]


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Prose raises $18M to fuel its custom haircare solutions

It’s an $18 million Series B for Prose, the custom haircare company that will turn but a year old this January. The latest round, which brings Prose’s funding total to $25 million, was led by Insight Venture Partners. Lerer Hippeau, Correlation Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and Isai also participated. According to reports, funding will be used to hire an in-house data team, and the company’s research and development team is expected to double. [Fast Company]

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