L Catterton has sold its stake in Sweaty Betty co-founded by Tamara Hill Norton and led by Julia Straus

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing August 2, 2021

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L Catterton has sold its stake in Sweaty Betty, the fitness and lifestyle brand co-founded by Tamara Hill Norton and led by Julia Straus

Terms of L Catterton’s sale of the company to publicly traded Wolverine World Wide, Inc. were not disclosed, but published reports out of the UK put it at 300 million pounds. Tamara and her husband, Simon Hill-Norton, founded Sweaty Betty in 1998, helping to pioneer the women’s premium activewear category. L Catterton partnered with the company in 2015 and helped drive a global digital strategy while establishing wholesale partnerships in Europe and the United States and expanding its footprint in Asia.     

An Israeli start-up co-founded by Einat Orr secures funds to meet the challenge of storing and processing big data.

Treeverse raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Zeev Ventures. Treeverse is behind lakeFS, an open-source technology that helps streamline data management and version control to data lakes, which are storage repositories that hold a vast amount of raw data in its native format until it is needed. The lakeFS’s open-source base encourages data engineers to participate in designing the solution to meet the data needs of their businesses, as well as those of the community of data professionals worldwide. In a statement, Einat said, “we created lakeFS to solve the pain and frustration we knew firsthand as data engineers ourselves. We’re most proud of how lakeFS elegantly solves the file system challenge for data lakes of exponential size and how the growing community around it is involved in finding new ways to leverage lakeFS to improve their data workflows. We plan to use this round of funding to perfect the open-source core capabilities and build a SaaS offering over it that allows fast creation of predefined workflows that are essential for managing an ever-growing amount of data within every enterprise.” https://treeverse.io/.

A platform led by Manoela Ribas Mitchell which sells and manages health care benefits for Brazilian companies gains funding. 

According to TechCrunch, Pipo Saúde raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital with participation from Atlantico, along with existing backers Monashees, Kaszek and ONEVC and individual investors David Velez and Florian Otto. Pipo Saúde buys and manages health care benefits for corporations in combination with providing a care navigation platform for employees. The start-up plans to use its new capital to do some hiring, with the goal of doubling the number of its full-time employees by the end of the year. https://www.piposaude.com.br/.

Realm, which shows homeowners what their property could be worth and whose founder and CEO is Liz Young, raises additional capital just six months after landing seed funding. 

The New York company raised $12 million in Series A funding from GGV Capital and existing investors Primary Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau and Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures. Realm announced a $3 million round in February. The company provides free-to-use tools help homeowners navigate complex and expensive decisions. Realm provides analysis of over 70 million single-family homes in the US, not only sharing information about what a home is worth today, but what it could be valued at in months and years to come by completing value-boosting home projects. Realm's recent round of funding will improve the quality and sophistication of the platform's data insights in a variety of ways, including expanded hires across the data science, engineering, marketing and operations teams that will ultimately provide customers with more information and ongoing support. The brand will also prioritize the continued development of proprietary data sets and models. In a statement, Liz said, “with this new capital, and support from great partners like GGV, Realm will continue to build the largest, free database of actionable home advice to help homeowners make important home decisions with confidence, while increasing the value of their biggest asset.” http://www.myrealm.co/.

Investors provide a large amount of capital to company co-founded by Cheryl Cui focused on programming biological systems and scaling sustainable production of biomolecules. 

Bota Bio raised more than $100 million in an oversubscribed Series B round led by Sequoia Capital China with participation from previous backers Matrix Partners China, Source Code Capital, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and 5Y Capital, among others. Based in San Francisco and Hangzhou, China, Bota Bio is a global industrial biotechnology company focused on programming biological systems for the clean and efficient biomanufacturing of common household and industrial products. The new funds will be used to expand the company's global operations and build out Bota Bio's lab-to-pilot scale platform to facilitate the rapid scale-up and deployment of the company's product pipeline in consumer goods, food, nutrition and pharmaceutical products. In a statement, Cheryl said, “most traditional manufacturing comes with a high environmental cost. We are building Bota Bio to innovate solutions that help manufacturers in all industries leverage the power of biology to accelerate the design and scale-up of high-performance products using sustainable processes. We are empowering a diverse global client base from different industries to develop bio-based alternatives to traditional ingredients. We are thrilled to have this syndicate of renowned investors support our efforts in transforming global manufacturing.” www.bota.bio.

Talkiatry, a provider of accessible in-network psychiatric care co-founded by Dr. Georgia Gaveras expands its Series A round. 

The New York company said it raised $20 million in a financing led by Left Lane Capital. In February, Talkiatry said it raised $5 million from Sikwoo Capital Partners, Relevance Ventures and Dr. Richard Park, founder and former CEO of CityMD. The company was founded in April 2020 by Georgia, who is chief psychiatrist and Robert Krayn, who is CEO. Their aim was to create a mental health service built with psychiatrists’ needs in mind, empowering them to deliver the highest quality of patient care. Talkiatry has partnered with insurers and Medicare to allow patients to access psychiatric care on an out-patient basis. The capital will enable Talkiatry to expand its operations and team of providers and further develop its technology solution, which encompasses a patient-provider matching algorithm and a pre-diagnosis platform. https://talkiatry.com/.

Hello Sunshine, the women-centric media company founded by Reese Witherspoon and led by Sarah Harden, has been acquired by a private equity-backed media company. 

Terms of Hello Sunshine’s purchase were not disclosed, but media reports said it was north of $900 million. Hello Sunshine’s backers included Emerson Collective, which was created by Laurene Powell Jobs. The company making the acquisition is led by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs and is backed by Blackstone. It does not yet have a name. Reese, who founded the company in 2016, and its senior management team will continue to oversee its day-to-day operations and remain significant equity holders in the business. Both Reese and Sara will be part of the new media company’s board. Hello Sunshine creates content across all platforms – from scripted and unscripted television, feature films, animated series, podcasts, audio storytelling, and digital series – including productions such as “Big Little Lies,” “The Morning Show,” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” It is also home to Reese’s Book Club – one of the largest and most influential book clubs in the world, with many of its best-selling picks developed and produced for screen by Hello Sunshine. In a prepared statement, Reese said, “today marks a tremendous moment for Hello Sunshine. I started this company to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film and social platforms. Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with Blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally. I couldn’t be more excited about what this means for our future. I am committed to continuing to create opportunity for filmmakers, authors and creators of all backgrounds and experiences to tell their stories in their own way, and to reach more audiences who will see that their stories matter. This is a unique time in our world where the intersection of art, commerce and media makes it possible for these creators to tell their stories and Hello Sunshine is here to put a spotlight on their amazing creations. I am deeply proud of the team that got us to this incredible moment, and I’m thrilled to be working with Blackstone, Kevin, and Tom to grow a next generation media company. They are committed to helping our mission to empower women and the people who celebrate them. One story at a time.” 

A U.K. based money-saving app founded by former Virgin Money CEO Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia secures funding. 

Snoop raised 15 million pounds in Series A funding from Paulson & Co. Snoop helps people spend and save on bills and subscriptions through personalized insights, as well as highlight bad deals, poor value renewals and wasteful subscriptions. The app works through an open banking platform, which analyses spending across an individual's account to give maximum insight. Users can view all their financial arrangements in one place, get a daily feed of smart spending tips and weekly spending reviews. The funding from Paulson will be used to continue to scale rapidly, fund product and distribution development and extension, as well as aid international expansion. In a statement, Jayne-Anne said “I’m delighted that Paulson has invested in the Snoop proposition, team and ambition, and that they – like us – view open banking as a major growth opportunity within the financial sector. We’re building a business with unstoppable momentum and this investment from a global financial heavyweight is a massive vote of confidence. It will play a key part in realizing Snoop’s ambition to become a global leader, synonymous with open banking and smart money management.” https://snoop.app/.

Investors pop capital into a pet pharmacy co-founded by Stella Kim.

Mixlab raised $20 million in Series A funding from Sonoma Brands, Global Founders Capital, Monogram Capital Partners, Lakehouse Ventures and Brand Foundry Ventures, according to TechCrunch. Based in New York, Mixlab has developed a digital platform that enables veterinarians to prescribe medications and have them delivered to a pet’s owner. Stella, who is chief experience officer, founded the company in 2017, with Fred Dijols, who is CEO. https://www.mixlabrx.com/.

Urban Innovation Fund, which was founded by Clara Brenner and Julie Lein, re-invests in a company co-founded by Kristen Anderson that enables gig workers to get health and retirement benefits. 

Urban Innovation Fund took part in Catch’s $12 million Series A round, which included Crosslink Capital and such other existing investors as Khosla Ventures, NYCA Partners and Kindred Ventures, according to TechCrunch. Based in New York, Catch sells health insurance, retirement savings plans and tax withholding directly to freelancers, contractors or anyone uncovered. Kristen founded the company in 2019 with Andrew Ambrosino. https://catch.co/.

Scrigno, which is led by Maddalena Marchesini and offers counter frame solutions for sliding and swing doors, has a new private equity owner. 

Terms of PAI Partners purchase of the Italian company from Clessidra Private Equity were not disclosed. With a primary focus on residential applications, Scrigno operates through counter-frames, security doors and performance products. PAI will support Scrigno’s management team in its future growth plans, which include further consolidating the fragmented opening solutions market and diversifying the company’s product offering. In a statement, Maddalena said “Today, we are bringing to PAI an innovative product portfolio, a talented international workforce and strong manufacturing capabilities. I firmly believe that this new organization is well positioned to accelerate innovation and deliver added value for our stakeholders. PAI’s global vision will enhance Scrigno’s ability to execute its long-term strategy and ambitious growth plan, which we are excited to pursue.” https://www.scrigno.net/.

An Indian business-to-business commerce platform co-founded by Ruchi Kalra has become a unicorn following a significant funding round.

OfBusiness raised a $160 million Series E round, which was led by SoftBank Vision Fund-II and which valued the company at $1.5 billion, according to Economic Times. OfBusiness is a tech-enabled platform that facilitates raw material procurement and credit for SMEs with focus in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. It integrates technology to SME's buying behavior to make available better products, at better prices, in better timelines to customers with a comprehensive online and offline support. The company will use the new capital for acquisitions and strategic investments to gain greater control over the supply chain of its core segments like food grains, metals, plastics, petrochemicals, industrial chemicals, food grains and building materials. https://www.ofbusiness.com/.


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