Christina Smolke, Kristy Hawkins, Dr. Suzanne Goh, Molly He and Sam White see their firms raise capital

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 5, 2021

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Christina Smolke and Kristy Hawkins’ Antheia secures $73M in Series B financing

Investors pour capital onto a company that Christina Smolke and Kristy Hawkins founded to create plant-inspired medicines. Antheia secured $73 million in Series B financing led by Viking Global Investors with participation from Sherpalo Ventures and Hillspire.

Through a novel whole-cell engineering approach to reconstruct complex molecules in yeast, Antheia’s platform enables the discovery and manufacturing of plant-inspired drugs of unprecedented complexity and diversity. The funds will support the Menlo Park based company as it brings its first pharmaceutical compound to market and scales up the production of several critical active pharmaceutical ingredients and key starting materials.

In a statement, Christina said, “with this funding, we are equipped to begin decoupling the production of essential plant-based medicines from unpredictable harvests and unsustainable supply chains, while ensuring that these critical, life-saving medicines are available when and where they’re most needed.”

Investors provide additional financing to Dr. Suzanne Goh’s Cortica

Investors provide additional financing to Cortica, Inc., which was co-founded by Dr. Suzanne Goh and which provides technology-enabled clinical services for autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. The San Diego company raised $60 million in Series C funding from .406 Ventures, Adam Boehler and existing investors Questa Capital Management and Aperture Venture Partners.

Suzanne, who is a pediatric neurologist, is Cortica’s chief medical officer. She founded the company with Dr. Neil Hattangadi, who is CEO. The two are both Rhodes scholars and met at Harvard Medical School. In conjunction with the financing, Martha Temple joined the board. She is the former CEO of Optum Behavioral Health and New England market president at Aetna.

EQT Infrastructure purchases Sarah Slusser-led Cypress Creek Renewables

Cypress Creek Renewables, whose CEO is Sarah Slusser, becomes EQT Infrastructure’s first acquisition of a renewable energy platform in the United States. Terms of EQT’s purchase of Cypress Creek from HPS Investment Partners, LLC and Temasek were not disclosed.

Cypress Creek is a solar and storage energy company that develops, owns and operates projects throughout the United States. It employs approximately 300 people and operates across 25 states. It began in 2014 and has commercialized 11 GW. EQT will support Cypress Creek’s growth and strategic vision – through development pipeline execution, fleet optimization and expansion, and scaling of its operations and maintenance services businesses.

Molly He’s Element Biosciences raises a $276M in Series C financing

Element Biosciences, Inc., developer of a DNA sequencing platform co-founded and led by Molly He, raises a sizable Series C round. The San Diego-based company secured $276 million in Series C financing from Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Counterpoint Global, T. Rowe Price and such existing investors as Fidelity Management & Research Company, JS Capital Management, LLC, Foresite Capital and Venrock. Element has now raised $400 million.

Element will use the capital to scale the commercial organization in anticipation of, as well as fund, the launch of the company’s next-generation sequencing solution.

Molly has served as a venture partner at Foresite. She was previously a senior director of scientific research at Illumina.

Sam White’s Freedom Services Group secures a 5M pound loan from BOOST&Co.

A U.K. based organization founded by Sam White, which is comprised of a group of motor-based insurance businesses, garners capital. Freedom Services Group secured a 5 million pound loan from BOOST&Co.

Freedom Services Group is working to revolutionize the insurance industry by providing a customer-centric approach. Freedom Services Group also includes Action365, a provider of motor claims accident management services. The investment will be used to help the company expand its management team, implement new IT systems and support working capital, which will enable it to continue developing new propositions and further improve its digitalization.

Nicole Emrani Green’s Givingli raises $4M in seed funding

Investors send funds to a design-forward gifting app co-founded by Nicole Emrani Green. Givingli received $4 million in seed funding led by Seven Seven Six with participation from Snap’s Yellow Accelerator and Harry Hurst.

The Los Angeles-based app allows users to choose from hundreds of virtual greeting cards designed by global independent artists and customize virtual greetings with a video, text, photos, stickers, paint or a virtual envelope. Greetings can be sent via text message with an optional digital gift card from over 150 brands, including Uber, Nike, Sephora, Airbnb and Amazon.

The funding will be used to expand Givingli’s gift offerings and grow creative partnerships with its community of independent artists.

Cynthia Chen-led Kikoff raises $30M in Series B funding

A personal finance platform led by Cynthia Chen raises capital to help consumers build credit. According to TechCrunch, Kikoff raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Portage Ventures with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, Coatue and Core Innovation Capital.

San Francisco-based Kikoff’s mission is help consumers without a credit history establish one and help those with credit histories to continue building credit. According to TechCrunch, Cynthia grew up in Beijing before coming to the U.S. for college on a scholarship and was struck by the experience of her parents having to borrow money from family and friends in order to purchase a TV.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Cynthia said, “there are many Americans who don’t come from affluent families and have tons of student loan debt. For them and so many others, we wanted to create a better way to build good credit than existing offers in the market.”

Dana Jones is named CEO and president of RealPage

Dana Jones is tapped to lead a company that Thoma Bravo recently paid $10.2 billion to take private. Dana was named CEO and president of RealPage, Inc., a Richardson, Texas provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry. Dana has been a member of RealPage’s board since 2019.

Dana most recently served as CEO of Sparta Systems. Her background also includes being CEO of Active Networks and holding multiple leadership roles with Sabre Airline Solutions.

Sara Stephen’s Rest Less secures $8.5M from MTech Capital, Viola FinTech, QED Investors and Octopus Ventures

A London-based digital platform co-founded by Sara Stephens raises capital to support people moving through midlife transitions. Rest Less secured $8.5 million led by MTech Capital and Viola FinTech with further participation from existing investors QED Investors and Octopus Ventures.

Rest Less is a social impact business helping a generation of over 50s get the most from life, focusing on health, lifestyle, learning, financial wellbeing, work, dating, volunteering, community and more. Rest Less will use the funding to grow its member base further, expand its commercial partnerships and significantly expand its financial services offering to its members.

Jen Goldsmith’s Tendo Systems raises a $50M Series B round

A company co-founded by Jen Goldsmith lands additional capital to accelerate digital engagement between patients, clinicians and caregivers. Tendo Systems secured $50 million in a Series B round led by existing investor Lux Capital, with additional participation from General Catalyst.

Based in Philadelphia, Tendo is a digital engagement platform and suite of applications that connects patients, clinicians and caregivers throughout the care cycle. Tendo’s software delivers important capabilities to support a new era of consumer-centric health care, where better patient and caregiver experiences are an imperative for health care providers. Jen founded the company with her brother, Dan Goldsmith.

In a statement, Jen said, “by focusing on the creation of a robust software platform and configurable applications, we will provide seamless, connected, and consumer-driven experiences where common activities – such as scheduling an appointment – are as easy and intuitive as making a dinner reservation on your phone.”

Emilia Molimpakis’ Thymia raises $1.1M in a pre-seed round

A company co-founded by Emilia Molimpakis that uses neuropsychology-based video games to make mental health assessments gains funds. Thymia received $1.1 million in a pre-seed round co-led by Kodori AG and Calm/Storm Ventures and joined by Form Ventures, with backing from Entrepreneur First.

Through its online platform, London-based Thymia is aiming to empower clinicians to make faster and more accurate clinical decisions by making mental illness as objectively measurable as visible physical conditions. Its technology removes the subjectivity from mental health assessments, where instead of answering questionnaires, patients play specially designed video games which use cutting-edge neuropsychology, linguistics and machine learning to detect signs of depression, as well as monitor whether symptoms are improving or worsening over time.

In a statement, Emilia said, “we’re bringing something truly revolutionary to the market and we’re aiming to change how we treat, talk about and engage with depression as a result.”

An AI-powered translation platform co-founded by Isabelle Andrieu receives $25M from Ardian’s Growth Fund

An AI-powered translation platform co-founded by Isabelle Andrieu is well understood by Ardian. Translated raised $30 million, $25 million of which came from Ardian’s Growth Fund.

With operations in Paris, Rome, and San Francisco, Translated is an end-to-end translation platform that combines its renowned proprietary adaptive neural machine translation software, ModernMT, with its network of 200 000 engaged linguists. Through this investment, Ardian will help Translated grow even faster and scale the adoption of its AI-powered platform in Europe and in the U.S.

In a statement, Isabelle said, “I am thrilled for the milestones reached so far, thanks to our determination, hard work, and wonderful team of people that have given their time and talent to bet on us. We are rich in enthusiasm and desire to pursue this incredible journey.” 

Jade Francine’s WeMaintain receives 30M euros in funding after completing an acquisition

A tech-enabled lift maintenance company co-founded by Jade Francine receives capital after completing an acquisition. WeMaintain raised 30 million euros in Series B funding from Red River West, Bpifrance Digital Venture and Swiss Immo Lab, as well as existing investor Eurazeo.

Based in Paris and London, WeMaintain provides asset owners and operators with an end-to-end solution for implementing critical maintenance, using data collected by its IoT hardware and powered by cloud-based proprietary technology. The raise follows the company’s acquisition of Shokly, a fire alarm solutions company. The funding will accelerate its international expansion, as well as enable it to open a Singapore location and extend its proprietary technology.

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