Evans, Chou O’Keefe, Popa, Tagare, Lakshmi, Haddish and Perry are among those involved in deals this week

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing June 7, 2021

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A portfolio company of PeakSpan Capital’s Lyandvert is being acquired by a publicly traded company

For the second time in the past month, a company that PeakSpan Capital’s Shayna Lyandvert lists among her investments is being acquired by a publicly traded company. Ecwid, an e-commerce platform, is being bought by Lightspeed for $500 million. Lightspeed is also acquiring another company, NuORDER. (See In the Spotlight).

Based in Encinitas, Calif., Ecwid raised $48.5 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase. In addition to PeakSpan, its backers also included Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and Runa Capital.

Lightspeed is a Montreal-based one-stop commerce platform. It said the acquisition of Ecwid will enable it to help merchants reach shoppers where they are, whether on social medial or digital marketplaces. Ecwid currently has more than 130,000 paying customers and generated revenue of more than $20 million for the year ended March 31.

In May, another of Shayna’s companies, Kenna Security, Inc., agreed to be purchased by Cisco. The amount being paid by Cisco has not been disclosed. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Kenna is a vulnerability management platform.

Shayna, an associate, joined PeakSpan in 2019. Her portfolio also includes Cloudbeds, MindTouch and Qwil. A growth equity firm, PeakSpan has offices in San Mateo, Calif., and New York.

The Carlyle Group’s Evans invests in NEOGOV

The Carlyle Group’s Ashley Evans invests in an integrated human resources, payroll, talent management, accreditation management and policy management provider. NEOGOV received a significant investment from Carlyle and existing investor Warburg Pincus. The amount invested was not disclosed.

El Segundo, Calif.-based NEOGOV provides a market-leading software-as-a-service human capital management platform to automate and streamline the employee lifecycle for state and local government, education, public safety and other public sector customers. Its software is designed specifically for the unique requirements of these complex and regulated end-markets and serves more than 6,500 organizations.

The new investment from The Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus will allow NEOGOV to capitalize on several compelling organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including investing in NEOGOV’s operations and go-to-market teams, continuing to expand the company’s product suite for current customers and entering adjacent end markets.

Ashley, a managing director specializing in technology investing at Carlyle, said in a statement, “in its mission to ‘serve the people who serve the people,’ NEOGOV makes hiring, training, and managing employees in the public sector easier, more effective, and more equitable.” Ashley is a board member of HireVue, Inc., Veritas Technologies, LLC and ZoomInfo Technologies, which went public in 2020.

Define Ventures’ Chou O’Keefe delivers capital to Intrinsic

Define VenturesLynne Chou O’Keefe delivers capital to a newly emerged company acquiring Amazon-centric health and wellness brands. Define led Intrinsic’s $113 million Series A round that also included Link Ventures.

Based in New York, Intrinsic was founded earlier this year. The company scouts and buys fast-growing health and wellness brands selling on Amazon. In a statement, Lynne said that “consumer health products are frequently used to manage and maintain an individual’s health. Intrinsic is not only rewriting the rules of consumer health products, but it is also building a platform for global health centered around e-commerce.”

In conjunction with the financing, Lynne joined Intrinsic’s board. Earlier this year, she joined DexCare, Inc.’s board after backing the Seattle company. DexCare has developed an intelligent digital care operating system that manages health system capacity and demand across all lines of care.

In 2020, one of Lynne’s portfolio companies, Hims & Hers, went public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, and Define closed its second fund at $200 million. Lynne is Define’s founder and managing partner and has spoken at both the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.

Strange leads Andreessen Horowitz into Jeeves $26M Series A round

Angela Strange, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, backs an all-in-one expense management platform for global startups. According to TechCrunch, Jeeves raised $131 million in total funding, including $31 million in equity and $100 million in debt financing, with the equity consisting of a new $26 million Series A and a previously unannounced $5 million seed round. The Series A funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from YC Continuity Fund, Jaguar Ventures, Urban Innovation Fund, Uncorrelated Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, Stanford University, 9 Yards Capital, BlockFi Ventures and angel investors.

Based in Stanford, Calif, Jeeves has created a platform that allows any company to spin up their finance function quickly and get access to 30 days of credit on a true corporate card, non-card payment rails, as well as cross-border payments. Customers can also pay back in multiple currencies, reducing foreign transaction fees. The company will use the fresh capital to onboard new companies to the platform from its waitlist, scale its infrastructure to cover more countries and currencies as well as increase hiring and expand its product line.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Angela said, “it’s cumbersome for companies to make bank to bank payouts, handle wires, and they usually also have expenses in the U.S. (and often other countries) so there is also foreign transaction fees. And they manage multiple bank accounts. Not only is paying hard, reconciliation on the backend takes weeks. Finally — a multicountry/currency expense management and payouts platform, where increasingly companies have employees and operations in multiple countries from the start and can use a single company to manage their financials.”

Angela earlier this year backed SeedFi, whose mission is to help Americans break the cycle of debt and realize their financial potential, and Valon, a tech-enabled residential mortgage servicer. Angela is also on the boards of SynapseFi, Addi and Tally and is an observer on the boards of firm portfolio companies Earnin, HealthIQ, Mayvenn, PeerStreet and Point.

The Rise Fund’s Popa pours capital into Climavision

The Rise Fund’s Mariana Popa pours capital in a platform to vastly improve the timing and accuracy of weather forecasting. Climavision secured a $100 million strategic investment from The Rise Fund. Mariana will also join the company’s board of directors.

Based in Louisville, Ky., Climavision is a pioneering weather services and intelligence platform powered by a private network of high-resolution radars, GPS-RO data and proprietary software to vastly improve the timing and accuracy of weather forecasting and to fill low-level gaps in existing weather surveillance.

The partnership with Climavision highlights The Rise Fund’s focus on investing in solutions that are delivering the necessary technology, products and services that help businesses and communities mitigate or slow the effects of climate change. Enabling solutions, like Climavision, are a core pillar of The Rise Fund’s climate investing strategy. The Rise Fund is a global impact platform committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns.

BDC Capital’s Corbett and Tokio Marine’s Rivera put capital into Clir Renewables

BDC Capital’s Cheri Corbett and Tokio Marine HCC’s Susan Rivera put capital in a critical technology provider to support owners of renewable energy assets. Clir Renewables secured 27 million dollars Canadian in a Series B funding round led by Longbow Capital, Inc. and ArcTern Ventures, and included Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, BDC Capital, Active Impact Investments and Tokio Marine HCC.

The Vancouver, Canada-based SaaS company provides a cloud-based AI platform to give asset managers and owners tools to maximize annual energy production and provide clarity on portfolio performance. This latest round will allow Clir to further develop “smart” products, utilizing industry-wide data to evaluate technical and financial risk with more accuracy, enabling improved contractual and financing terms for owners and investors. Additionally, this round will enable the firm to accelerate Clir’s growth within the existing European and North American markets, as well as grow its presence in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

In a statement, Cheri said, “we are thrilled to support Clir, a highly innovative Canadian company with software focused on the optimization of renewable energy assets. We are glad that our financial support will enable the company’s experienced management team to realize their ambitious and sustainable growth plan.” Cheri is director of BDC Capital’s cleantech practice.

Also in a statement, Susan said the investment “aligns with our environmental, social, and governance goals of funding opportunities in the renewable energy space; promoting clean energy transition; and supporting businesses in renewable energy project development and operations.” Susan is CEO of Tokio Marine HCC.

Tagare leads Qualcomm Ventures into Locus’ $50M Series C round

Qualcomm Ventures, LLC’s Varsha Tagare backs a machine learning platform automating complex supply chain decisions. Locus raised $50 million in Series C funding led by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation with participation from Qualcomm’s venture arm and existing investors Tiger Global and Falcon Edge, as well as angel investors.

Based in San Francisco, Locus is a technology platform that uses machine learning and proprietary algorithms to automate complex supply chain decisions. Its supply chain solutions provide end-to-end visibility and enable enterprises to enhance their operational efficiency by reining in costs, streamlining the customer experience and reducing environmental impact. Locus will mostly use the funds for improving geographical reach and building its research and development team to expand the product line.

In a statement, Varsha said, “Locus’ smart product suite is optimizing supply chain efficiencies by using machine learning to deliver real-time tracking and insights for the last mile fulfillment. We’re excited to invest in Locus to enable logistics as a service and support their journey to become a global last-mile automation leader.”

Varsha is a managing director with Qualcomm Ventures and oversees its India fund, a $150 million allotment dedicated to India and cross border investments. Varsha currently manages investments in Borqs, Capillary Technologies, Jio, ideaForge, Lookout, MapMyIndia, Ola, MindTickle, Ridlr, Reverie Language Technologies, YourStory, and Zinier. She joined Qualcomm from Intel Capital where she invested in U.S. and Indian companies. Varsha is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit. Qualcomm Ventures invests in startups targeting the wireless ecosystem. 

ICONIQ Growth’s Xie and SVB Capital’s Bannett invest in Nayya

ICONIQ Growth’s Caroline Xie and SVB Capital’s Tilli Bannett invest in a developer of an insurance benefits experience and management platform that Felicis VenturesVictoria Treyger just backed earlier this year. ICONIQ and SVB led Nayya’s $37 million Series B round, which also included Felicis, Bow Capital, Social Leverage, SemperVirens, Guardian Strategic Ventures, Unum Business Ventures and CNO Financial Group. Felicis led Nayya’s $11 million Series A round that was announced in January.

Based in New York, Nayya utilizes billions of datasets across the health care and insurance industries to eliminate the complexity of benefits selection and help consumers choose and utilize the right personalized benefits plans throughout the year. The company’s customers and partners include Guardian, Unum, American Public Life, Selerix and dozens of national employers. It also has existing alliances with several of the country’s largest brokerage firms.

In a statement, Caroline said that ICONIQ believes Nayya “is redefining benefits decisioning for American workers.” A general partner, Caroline recently had a portfolio company file to go public, Sprinklr.

Also in a statement, Tilli said that Nayya “has reinvented the entire benefits experience, creating a brand-new medium that empowers consumers, while helping them save money and avoid unexpected medical costs.”

Tilli is a managing director with SVB Capital, which manages more than $6 billion of assets. Her portfolio includes Pie Insurance, Bluevine, Homebound, Capitolis, Humu, Fireblocks and Orum.

Trendlines Agrifood Fund’s Kardish plants capital in PlanetWatchers 

Trendlines Agrifood Fund’s Nitza Kardish plants capital in a crop monitoring company. PlanetWatchers closed a $3.5 million Pre-A series funding round co-led by Seraphim Capital and Creative Ventures, with participation from Trendlines and Ridgeline Partners.

Based in London, PlanetWatchers uses advanced machine learning to support crop insurers in reporting planting dates, acreage, crop classification and claims validation at scale. The company uses synthetic aperture radar data to provide accurate insight regardless of cloud cover, bad weather or poor lighting. PlanetWatchers will use the funds to significantly expand the commercial team and invest in technology to ensure it becomes the market leader in synthetic aperture radar-based data analytics.

In a statement, Nitza said, “our investment in PlanetWatchers corresponds with our goals and objectives: the company has a robust and unique technology enabling direct access to a great deal of data to all players in the agri-food value chain, from the farmer in the field to insurance companies and banks. PlanetWatchers’ management and development teams bring excellent capabilities and a proven track record, which together with us and our financial and strategic co-investors, provide a complete set of skills and knowledge for the future of the company. In addition to the company’s important and direct contribution to its customers, it also makes a very significant contribution to minimizing the world’s carbon footprint. We are confident that PlanetWatchers heralds a new paradigm for preserving our planet’s resources.”

Treadlines invents, discovers, invests in and incubates innovation-based agrifood technologies.

Lakshmi, Haddish and Perry dish out capital to Shef

Padma Lakshmi, Tiffany Haddish and Katy Perry dish out capital to a platform that allows local cooks to sell homemade dishes to their neighbors. Shef raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Craft Ventures, M13 and Y Combinator, as well as the celebrity investors.

San-Francisco-based Shef empowers local cooks to make a meaningful income from home by selling authentic, homemade dishes to their neighbors. Chefs on the platform earn an average of $40 an hour after expenses compared with an average of $13 to $15 an hour as a line cook. Shef collects a transaction fee for each order, delivery fees are calculated based on region and chefs keep 100 percent of tips and other payments. The new funding will go toward hiring, expansion into new markets and the development of a mobile app.

Pozios leads Sambrinvest and Calenda leads Mérieux Equity Partners into Amyl’s 18.3M euros Series A round

Sambrinvest’s Helena Pozios and Mérieux Equity PartnersValérie Calenda invest in a Belgium company pioneering an approach to treat rare and severe peripheral protein misfolding and neurodegenerative diseases. Amyl Therapeutics closed 18.3 million euros in Series A financing comprised of 8.6 million euros in equity led by Noshaq with support from Mérieux, Sambrinvest and other private investors, as well as 9.7 million euros in non-dilutive funding from DG06.

Based in Liege, Belgium, Amyl is developing its amyloid fibrils specific technology platform, ClariTY, for the treatment of all forms of Amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a group of diseases characterized by an endogenous production of misfolded proteins that aggregate as insoluble amyloid fibrils and form deposits in various organs and tissues, resulting in organ dysfunction, serious morbidity and even death. Amyl will use the funds to progress the discovery and preclinical development of therapeutic candidates that are able to target multiple misfolded proteins implicated in both progressive peripheral and neurodegenerative rare diseases. With the funds raised, Amyl expects to generate strong preclinical proof of concept for its lead therapeutic candidates and to set up a production process as part of its clinical readiness.

In a statement, Helena said that “investing in Amyl Therapeutics alongside Noshaq and other partner funds was a no brainer. We have faith in the management and their team to find effective treatments to tackle all forms of Amyloidosis.” Sambrinvest is a venture capital player and catalyst for the development of local ecosystems, such as biotech, digital and engineering.

Valérie, also in a statement, said, “we are pleased to support such a great team and to get the opportunity to bring new drug candidates against these diseases into clinical development.” Earlier this year, Valérie led Mérieux into AcuSurgical, a French robotic microsurgery company. She is on the boards of Keranova, Ninox, and PhysioAssist and co-leads Mérieux’s OMX Europe Venture Fund.

Chen’s Cormorant invests in Myra Medical

Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management continues to like the companies being spun-out of Shifamed, a Silicon Valley medical innovation hub. Cormorant has now invested in at least six such companies – the most recent being Myra Medical, Inc.

Myra Medical is developing a first-of-its-kind treatment for patients with moderate to severe glaucoma. A leading cause of blindness, glaucoma affects an estimated 66 million people globally. The company’s device allows safe outflow control to achieve maximum intraocular pressure reduction while also reducing complexity and complication rates.

Cormorant took part in the Campbell, Calif. company’s $17 million Series A round, which also included The Capital Partnership and angel investors.

Other Shifamed companies backed by Cormorant include Adona Medical, Inc., a heart-failure management platform; Tioga Medical, which is seeking to developing a procedurally simpler and less invasive transcatheter valve replacement experience; NuVera Medical, which is developing a novel imaging platform for use during complex cardiovascular interventions; Atia Vision, Inc., whose president and CEO is Mariam Maghribi and which is developing a next-generation of accommodating intraocular lens; and Supira Medical, which is developing a next-generation, percutaneous ventricular assist device for use in high-risk patients undergoing interventional procedures.

Cormorant’s investments this year also include Stablix Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering the field of targeted protein stabilization (see story below). NiKang Therapeutics, which is advancing highly differentiated small molecules that are addressing difficult-to-drug targets; Numab Therapeutics, which is developing immunotherapies for cancer and inflammation; Interius BioTherapeutics, which is developing what it describes as a paradigm-shifting platform for vivo cell-specific gene delivery; Tyra Biosciences, which is developing compounds targeting drug resistant cancer cells; Pyxis Oncology, which is led by Dr. Lara Sullivan and which is focused on developing therapies aimed at defeating difficult-to-treat cancers; EpimAb Biotherapeutics, Inc., which specializes in bispecific antibody development; Graphite Bio, a next-generation gene editing company whose scientific co-founders include Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo; Neurelis, Inc., which has launched an epilepsy treatment; Ventyx Biosciences, Inc., which is advancing a pipeline of immune modulators to treat inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders; AgomAb Therapeutics, which is developing drug candidates to modulate regenerative pathways to induce functional organ recovery in acute and chronic diseases; BlossomHill Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology company founded by Jingrong Jean Cui; FogPharma, a precision medicine company co-founded by WeiQing Zhou; DTx Pharma, Inc., which is creating RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease; Ensoma, which is developing an in vivo approach to delivering off-the-shelf genomic medicines; Verve Therapeutics, which is developing gene editing therapies to permanently reduce risk of coronary artery disease in adults; Affinivax, Inc., which is developing vaccines utilizing its Multiple Antigen Presenting System platform; Immuneering Corp., which seeking to create better medicines through insights from bioinformatics; and Icosavax, Inc., which is seeking to develop vaccines against life-threatening respiratory viruses in older adults.

Cormorant has also had at least nine companies go public in 2021: Centessa Pharmaceuticals; Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; VectivBio Holding; Biomea Fusion; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad.

Cormorant also has at least five companies in registration: Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., Ambrx, Inc., Elevation Oncology, GH Research Ireland, Ltd. and Graphite Bio, and another, Tango Therapeutics, which is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Tango’s CEO is Dr. Barbara Weber.

Chen’s Cormorant takes part in Stablix’s $63M Series A round

Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management also helped launch a company developing a targeted protein stabilization platform. Cormorant took part in Stablix’s $63 million Series A round, which also included founding investor Versant Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Euclidean Capital and Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Based in New York, Stablix is initially focused on using its platform to treat rare diseases, cancer and immunological disorders. Many inherited and acquired diseases are caused by insufficient levels of specific proteins. With inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, mutations in the CFTR gene produce a protein that remains functional but is subject to excessive ubiquitination, leading to its rapid degradation via the proteasome.

Excess ubiquitination is also a feature of cancer, where E3 ubiquitin ligases – enzymes that add ubiquitin to proteins – are frequently upregulated or amplified, driving the degradation of tumor suppressor proteins. Until now, it has not been possible to inhibit the ubiquitin-proteasome system in a target-selective manner. Stablix’s RESTORED platform generates heterobifunctional small molecules that recruit deubiquitinase enzymes to remove ubiquitin from targeted proteins and consequently stabilize or increase target protein levels and activity.

Cormorant’s investments this year also include Myra Medical, Inc., which is developing a first-of-its-kind treatment for patients with moderate to severe glaucoma (see story below); NiKang Therapeutics, which is advancing highly differentiated small molecules that are addressing difficult-to-drug targets; Numab Therapeutics, which is developing immunotherapies for cancer and inflammation; Interius BioTherapeutics, which is developing what it describes as a paradigm-shifting platform for vivo cell-specific gene delivery; Tyra Biosciences, which is developing compounds targeting drug resistant cancer cells; Pyxis Oncology, which is led by Dr. Lara Sullivan and which is focused on developing therapies aimed at defeating difficult-to-treat cancers; EpimAb Biotherapeutics, Inc., which specializes in bispecific antibody development; Graphite Bio, a next-generation gene editing company whose scientific co-founders include Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo; Neurelis, Inc., which has launched an epilepsy treatment; Ventyx Biosciences, Inc., which is advancing a pipeline of immune modulators to treat inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders; AgomAb Therapeutics, which is developing drug candidates to modulate regenerative pathways to induce functional organ recovery in acute and chronic diseases; BlossomHill Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology company founded by Jingrong Jean Cui; FogPharma, a precision medicine company co-founded by WeiQing Zhou; DTx Pharma, Inc., which is creating RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease; Ensoma, which is developing an in vivo approach to delivering off-the-shelf genomic medicines; Verve Therapeutics, which is developing gene editing therapies to permanently reduce risk of coronary artery disease in adults; Affinivax, Inc., which is developing vaccines utilizing its Multiple Antigen Presenting System platform; Immuneering Corp., which seeking to create better medicines through insights from bioinformatics; and Icosavax, Inc., which is seeking to develop vaccines against life-threatening respiratory viruses in older adults.

Cormorant has also had at least nine companies go public in 2021: Centessa Pharmaceuticals; Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; VectivBio Holding; Biomea Fusion; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad.

Cormorant also has at least five companies in registration: Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., Ambrx, Inc., Elevation Oncology, GH Research Ireland, Ltd. and Graphite Bio, and another, Tango Therapeutics, which is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Tango’s CEO is Dr. Barbara Weber.

QED Investors’ Bock backs Trellis Technologies and Spinwheel

QED InvestorsLaura Bock backs two companies, one a digital solution to get the most value from car and home insurance and another that helps Americans get out of debt sooner. Laura took part in QED’s investments in Trellis Technologies, Inc. and Spinwheel.

QED led Trellis’s $10 million Series A round, which also included existing investors NYCA Partners and General Catalyst. Based in San Francisco, Trellis makes it easier and safer for insurers and non-insurers to acquire and please customers with streamlined, personalized experiences, offers and services through Savvy, its recommendation platform. Savvy has seen rapid adoption by fintech apps and digital media publishers. As these companies work on democratizing access to quality financial services, the platform helps them deliver in-app insurance insights that serve their users in new ways while also adding sales commissions as a revenue stream supporting their growth.

In a statement, Laura said, “consumer-facing franchises are eager to help their customers make good financial decisions and are jumping at the opportunity to help them choose the insurance policy that is right for them. The demand for Trellis’ product is clear – Trellis has grown from zero to tens of millions of dollars in revenue in less than a year, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to further accelerate their phenomenal growth.”

QED also led Spinwheel’s $11 million round, which included participation from Core Innovation Capital, Fika Ventures and Firebolt Ventures. Based in Oakland, Calif., Spinwheel is a modern loan infrastructure startup that helps Americans get out of debt sooner by making it possible to embed the application, payment and management of loans into the apps people use the most. By increasing access, choice and transparency, Spinwheel aims to improve outcomes and shorten the debt lifecycle for all borrowers and their loved ones. QED believes Spinwheel’s platform will pave the way for a whole new category of financial tools.

QED in 2020 closed a new fund at $350 million. It has $1.8 billion under management and focuses on investing in early-stage, disruptive financial service companies. Based in Alexandria, Va., QED has invested in more than 120 companies since its founding in 2007.

Wang leads SAIC Capital into Realtime Robotics’ $31.4M Series A round 

SAIC Capital’s Ye Wang invests in an autonomous motion planning provider for industrial robots. Realtime Robotics secured $31.4 million in a Series A round from SAIC, HAHN Automation, Soundproof Ventures and Heroic Ventures, as well as existing investors SPARX Asset Management, Omron Ventures, Toyota AVentures, Scrum Ventures and Duke Angels.

Boston-based Realtime was founded to transform automation with flexible robot control capabilities, built on its innovative, real-time collision-free motion planning technology. Realtime’s products enable single or multiple robots to operate autonomously at full speed in unstructured and uncaged environments. Its technology empowers companies to automate more processes by removing engineering complexity and reducing cycle time, lowering overall expenses, increasing throughput, driving greater operational efficiency and significantly improving ROI.

Realtime plans on using the new funds to accelerate its product rollouts and continue its investment in innovative enhancements and solutions. The company will also deepen its reach in the warehouse automation industry, while continuing to serve global automotive manufacturers and their supply chain.

In a statement, Ye said, “Realtime Robotics is making the promise of optimized manufacturing and logistics operations a reality. Its innovations in autonomous motion planning have proven to remove the complexity behind robotic deployment, lowering costs and improving overall cycle time. We’re thrilled to partner with them in the next stage of their development.”

SAIC invests invest in early-stage to growth-stage startups in mobility, transportation, and automotive related areas.

Patterson guides Gradient Ventures into Vault Platform’s $8.2M Series A round

Gradient VenturesAnna Patterson guides Google’s AI-focused venture fund into a company co-founded and led by Neta Meidav that is seeking to change how workplace misconduct is reported – a company whose prior backers include Kindred Capital, whose founding partners include Leila Zegna and Tracy Dorée. Gradient led Vault Platform’s $8.2 million Series A round, which included Illuminate Financial and existing investors Kindred and Angular Ventures. Kindred led Vault’s 2019 $4.2 million seed round.

Based in London, Vault has developed software that improves how employees can report bullying or harassment. It is geared at replacing existing “hotline” systems. Neta founded Vault in 2018 with Rotem Hayoun-Meidav, who is the company’s chief technology officer.

In a prepared statement, Anna said that Vault “tackles an important space with an innovative and timely solution” and that its application “provides organizations with a data-driven approach to tackling challenges like occupational fraud, bribery or corruption incidents, safety failures and misconduct. Given their impressive team, technology and customer traction, they are poised to improve the modern workplace.”

Anna founded and is managing partner of Gradient. Her investments include Headroom, ŌURA, unitQ and Labelbox.

Key Saruhashi steers QED Investors into Capchase’s $125M Series A round

Camila Key Saruhashi takes part in her first investment since joining QED Investors, helping to back a company that she says allows companies “to put their funding needs on autopilot and focus on growth.” QED led Capchase’s $125 million Series A funding, which also included Bling Capital, ScifiVC and Caffeinated Capital.

A provider of non-dilutive capital, New York-based Capchase will use the funding – a mix of debt and equity – to expand the programmatic funding offered to recurring-revenue companies. Capchase enables companies to unlock cash that is tied up in future predictable revenue payments. It advances future revenues, enabling companies to invest more in growth without depleting their cash reserves.

In a statement, Camila said, “we had met multiple companies in the space, but we were by far most impressed by Capchase and what they had built. Their programmatic financing product is unique in the market, allowing companies to put their funding needs on autopilot and focus on growth. Tech companies that work with Capchase grow faster and Capchase channel partners increase revenue per user by more than 50 percent.”

Camila joined QED as a principal last fall after previously being in product development and strategy at Earnin and prior to that head of operations at Nubank – a QED portfolio company. QED in 2020 closed a new fund at $350 million. It has $1.8 billion under management and focuses on investing in early-stage, disruptive financial service companies. Based in Alexandria, Va., QED has invested in more than 120 companies since its founding in 2007.

Ramnath’s Multiples Alternate Asset Management is poised to sell Vikram Hospital

Multiples Alternate Asset Management, whose founder and CEO is Renuka Ramnath, is poised to sell a multi-specialty hospital in India that it has owned for the past six years. Terms of Multiples sale of Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru, India to Manipal Hospitals were not disclosed, but industry publication VCCircle said the private equity firm would make 2.5 times its money on the deal.

Established in 2009, Vikram has 200 beds and is known for its clinical expertise in the fields of cardiology and neuroscience. Manipal is the second-largest hospital chain in India, with 27 hospitals in 14 cities. Nine of its hospitals are in Bengaluru.

In a statement, Renuka said, “we are very pleased that we are handing over this marquee asset to an extremely worthy Manipal Hospital Group. With this larger canvas our doctors will have the ability to have a deeper impact on the health care needs of the city.”

Multiples recently led a consortium that is acquiring an animal health care business in India for nearly R3,000 crore ($450 million). Renuka founded Multiples in 2009.

Spark Capital’s Sandman backs Medallion

Spark Capital’s Natalie Sandman backs a company focused on reducing the administrative workload of health care providers. Medallion raised $20 million in funding, including both a $3 million seed round and $17 million Series A round, led by Spark with Optum Ventures, BoxGroup and Susa Ventures, with participation from a group of individual investors and founders. As part of the investment, Natalie is joining Medallion’s board.

Based in San Francisco, Medallion offers an all-in-one licensing, credentialing and payer enrollment platform to take care of logistics and streamline back-office operations for health care providers so they can spend more time focusing on their patients.

Natalie has now done two health care-related investments, having been involved in Spark’s backing of Noyo, which is developing infrastructure for health insurance. In an interview with Crunchbase,

Natalie said, “the health care industry as a whole is going through a strong transformation, and every specialty is being reimagined. The problem Medallion is trying to solve is one that is ripe for technology and innovation so that it is just as easy to hire a provider as it is to hire an employee.”

Natalie joined Spark in 2019 from Shasta Ventures. She is a member of Spark’s early-stage team, which last year closed a new fund at $400 million.

Sequoia Capital’s Lixandru invests 15M euros in Pennylane

Sequoia Capital’s Luciana Lixandru’s latest investment will probably cause more than a few people to think about The Beatles. Sequoia invested 15 million euros in Pennylane, a Paris-based financial and account management solutions provider.

Founded in 2020, Pennylane is focused on becoming the main financial management and accounting platform for companies and their accountants. It is currently working with more than 1,000 French companies and more than 100 accounting firms.

In a statement, Luciana said that “Pennylane is becoming the key financial management platform for (small and medium businesses) in Europe” and that Sequoia is “thrilled to partner with their exceptional team to ensure businesses of any size can have a single, up-to-date source for their financial data and improve how they collaborate with their accountants.”

Luciana joined Sequoia last year as the firm’s first European partner. She was previously a partner with Accel. Earlier this year, she did her first deal with Sequoia, backing Xentral, a German software company co-founded by Claudia Sauter. Also in 2021, two companies that she backed at Accel, UiPath and Deliveroo, went public.

Suebsaeng takes part in TA Associates’ $130M investment in Stackline

TA AssociatesAmara Suebsaeng takes part in an investment in a company that builds subscription-based, e-commerce tools for brands and retailers. Stackline received a $130 million strategic investment from TA.

Based in Seattle, Stackline provides an e-commerce platform to unite real-time data across shopper, marketing, operations and competitive intelligence. The company also equips brands with tools to automate and execute ecommerce marketing and operations, spanning the largest online retail platforms. Stackline will utilize TA’s capital to continue growing its product offerings and expanding its global footprint.

In a statement, Amara said, “we were attracted to Stackline’s belief that success in modern business requires intentional partnerships between people, data and breakthrough technology, and we look forward to working with the company’s management team to help define Stackline’s next chapter in retail.” In conjunction with the financing, Amara joined Stackline’s board.

A principal with TA, Amara is also on the boards of OMNIA Partners; PurposeBuilt Brands, which has filed to go public; and Backstage, a freelancer marketplace that connects talent and content creators, which TA backed earlier this year.

A portfolio company of Cornell Capital’s Cheng makes an acquisition 

INW | Innovations in Nutrition + Wellness, which Cornell Capital Partner Justine Cheng led her firm’s acquisition of earlier this year, has made an acquisition. A provider of differentiated nutritional and wellness products, INW acquired Capstone Nutrition from Brightstar Capital Partners. Terms were not disclosed.

Based in Ogden, Utah, Capstone is a developer and manufacturer of nutrition and wellness products. Lindsey Tannenbaum was on Capstone’s board prior to leaving Brightstar last month to join Astara Capital Partners.

Cornell acquired INW from Rosewood Private Investments. INW offers a diversity of product forms across powders, liquids, capsules, tables, food bars, cremes and lotions. It has manufacturing operations across four states. INW also this year acquired Bee Health, a UK developer and manufacturer of nutritional supplements.

In a statement, Justine said the acquisition of Capstone “positions INW as a leading, full-service platform in this fragmented and high-demand segment of the health and wellness market.”

Justine is chair of Cornell portfolio company Knowlton Development Corp. and a director of Instant Brands and Blue Mistral. She joined Cornell in 2016 after being a managing director in the private equity group at Fortress Investment Group. Cornell, which has offices in New York and Hong Kong, manages more than $6 billion of assets.

Justine individually is also on the board of Northern Star Investment Corp. III and Northern Star Acquisition Corp., special purpose acquisition companies led by Joanna Coles. Northern Star Acquisition has agreed to merge with BarkBox, a subscription service for dog supplies co-founded by Carly Strife.

Wassenaar oversees Apollo’s acquisition of Total Operations and Production Services

Apollo Global Management, Inc.’s Olivia Wassenaar oversees the firm’s acquisition of a provider of gas compression services for the Permian Basin. Terms of Apollo’s purchase of Total Operations and Production Services, LLC from Black Bay Energy Capital were not disclosed.

Based in Midland, Texas, TOPS specifically focuses on electric driven compression systems that offer customers improved performance and reduced emissions. Apollo’s investment will enable TOPS to expand its capabilities to better serve the growing market of electric driven compression for gas lift and other applications.

Olivia, a senior partner who co-leads Apollo’s natural resources group, said in a statement that “electrification of the oil and gas sector and a focus on sustainability and emissions reduction are top of mind for the industry. TOPS have been an early mover in this trend through its electric driven compression equipment and services. We are impressed with the business they have built and see continued tailwinds for the company.”

Olivia serves on the boards of Apollo portfolio companies American Petroleum Partners, LifePoint Health, Pegasus Optimization Managers and Talos Energy, Inc., which is publicly traded. She is also involved with a series of special purpose acquisition companies that Apollo has launched over the past year. Olivia joined Apollo in 2018 from Riverstone Holdings, where she was most recently a managing director. Oliva has spoken at both the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and the Women’s Private Equity Summit, which Apollo is a sponsor of. The firm had approximately $461 billion of assets under management as of March 31.

Natauri leads GS Asset Management’s involvement in the merger of Datavant and Ciox Health

Jo Natauri, a managing director within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, leads the investment bank’s involvement in a transaction that will create the largest neutral and secure health data ecosystem. Goldman is among those supporting the merger of Datavant and Ciox Health – a transaction valued at $7 billion. Others taking part include Sixth Street and existing investors New Mountain Capital, Roivant Sciences, Transformation Capital, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Labcorp, Cigna Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. and Flex Capital.

Datavant helps health care organizations securely connect their data and Ciox enables clinical data exchange. The combined company will be known as Datavant and will enable patients, providers, payers, health data analytics companies, patient-facing applications, government agencies and life science companies to securely exchange their patient-level data. It will have $700 million in revenue.

In a statement, Jo said, “the combined Ciox Health and Datavant platform will represent a powerful force in enabling connectivity of critical clinical data across the health care ecosystem.”

Jo is global head of health care within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Earlier this year, a company on whose board she served, Flywire, went public.

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