Top tech startup news for today, Monday, April 15, 2019
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Monday, April 15.
Africa-focused mobile lending app Branch raises a whopping $170 million in funding. Branch International, a fintech app startup that offers loans to people without bank accounts in developing countries, has raised $170 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Foundation Capital and Visa, with participation from existing backers including Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, Formation 8, the IFC, Credit Ease and Victory Park, along with new investors Greenspring, B Capital and Foxhaven. Founded in 2015 by CEO Matthew Flannery, Branch has more than 3 million users in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, as well as India and Mexico. The startup uses smartphone data including GPS data, call logs, contact lists, and texts such as bank balance messages and bill payment receipts to determine credit worthiness.
Butterfly to acquire Bolthouse Farms, for $510 million. Butterfly, a private equity firm specializing in the food sector, is acquiring Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Company for $510 million. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to occur in summer 2019. Founded in 1915 and based in Bakersfield, CA and Santa Monica, CA, Bolthouse Farms is a vertically integrated food and beverage company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing proprietary, high value-added natural products.
Amsterdam-based accelerator Rockstart to close €15 million fund to invest in AgriFood startups. Amsterdam-based Rockstart, one of Europe’s first accelerators, is set to close its first fund of €15 million for its AgriFood domain accelerator and fund. Staying true to its commitment to support and empower startups and provide unparalleled access to capital, Rockstart AgriFood now offers (follow-on) investments in participating startups up until Series B.
LuluLab, a Samsung beauty AI startup spin-off, to unveil AI skincare solutions designed for the Middle Eastern market. LuluLab, a Samsung beauty AI startup spin-off, is unveiling its AI skincare assistant “LUMINI,” designed for the Middle Eastern market, The launched is scheduled to be announced at Beautyworld Middle East, the largest beauty expo in the Middle East, which will be held in Dubai from April 15 to 17. Founded in 2017, LuluLab is the developer of Lumini, a personalized AI skincare assistant that analyzes the user’s skin and recommends the best products and services for each user. Lumini examines the facial skin based on six categories: wrinkles,pores, acne, sebum, melasma, and redness simply by taking a photo of the face.
Dashlane raises $30 million in debt financing. Dashlane, a NYC-based provider of a password and identity management platform, closed a $30m debt financing round. Th fresh round, which brought total funding raised to date to over $100 million, came from Hercules Capital in addition to previous funding from FirstMark Capital, Rho Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransUnion and Silicon Valley Bank. In conjunction with the funding, the company announced that Seth Farbman, former CMO for Spotify and Gap, Inc., will join its board of directors.
Cityblock secures $65 million in Series B funding for expansion. Cityblock, a Brooklyn, NY-based healthcare company focused on providing care to low-income communities, has secured $65 million in Series B funding to open more clinics and continue to develop its care delivery platform. The round was led by Redpoint Ventures, with participation from 8VC, Echo Health Ventures, StartUp Health, Sidewalk Labs, Thrive Capital, Maverick Ventures, Town Hall Ventures and EmblemHealth.
Customer lifecycle management platform CleverTap raises $26 million in a Series B. CleverTap, a customer lifecycle management and engagement platform for consumer brands, has raised $26 million in a Series B funding round. The additional fund, which was led by equoia India with participation from Tiger Global Management, and Accel, brings the company’s valuation to over $150 million. Founded in 2013 by Anand Jain, Sunil Thomas, and Suresh Kondamudi, CleverTap combines real-time customer insights, an advanced segmentation engine, and powerful engagement tools into one intelligent marketing platform. CleverTap is trusted by over 8,000 global brands, including Sony, Vodafone, Domino’s Pizza, DC Comics, Go-Jek, BookMyShow, and DealsPlus.