Microsoft to create $1B Climate Innovation Fund | Unconventional space launch startup SpinLaunch raises $35M | Series C round raises $30M for AI-based recruiting startup Phenom People
January 17, 2020
NVCA SmartBrief
News for the startup ecosystem
The Lead
Microsoft to create $1B Climate Innovation Fund
Microsoft intends to be carbon negative by 2030 and is launching a Climate Innovation Fund to pick up the pace of development for carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies. The fund will support innovative work with equity and debt investments.
VentureBeat (1/16),  GeekWire (1/16) 
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Capital Call
Unconventional space launch startup SpinLaunch raises $35M
SpinLaunch, a startup that believes it can put payloads into outer space using a kinetic launch system rather than rockets, raised $35 million in a funding round that included an investment from Airbus Ventures. The new money will be used to build out a headquarters and research and development facility in California, and a flight test facility in New Mexico.
TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (1/17) 
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Series C round raises $30M for AI-based recruiting startup Phenom People
Phenom People, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of corporate recruiting, brought in $30 million in a funding round that included an investment from AXA Venture Partners, the venture arm of the global financial company AXA. With the new capital it expects to scale its operations and expand internationally.
VentureBeat (1/16) 
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Automated cloud app monitoring startup Epsagon raises $16M
Epsagon, a startup that helps clients monitor and manage microservice apps running in the cloud, raised $16 million in its most recent funding round. CEO Nitzan Shapira said the new capital will fund expansion of research and development, sales and marketing.
VentureBeat (1/16) 
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View from Abroad
Temasek reportedly discussed buying majority stake in WeWork China
Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek and private equity investor Trustbridge Partners have discussed increasing their stake in WeWork China, sources said. The objective of the investors reportedly is to acquire majority ownership of the company.
Reuters (1/17) 
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Marketing data analysis startup Funnel brings in $47M
Funnel, a Swedish-based startup that helps clients collect and organize their marketing data, raised $47 million in its Series B round. The company said the new capital will be used to expand its operations in the US and invest in its technical teams.
TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (1/17) 
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Chinese hotel technology startup Xie Zhu raises $37M
Xie Zhu, a Chinese technology startup that uses artificial intelligence to manage hotel systems such as air conditioning, lighting and locks, raised $37 million in its Series A funding round. The company will use the new capital to further develop its technology, expand in Southeast Asia and position itself for an initial public offering this year.
PhocusWire (1/17) 
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Corporate Venture Capital
Nestle plans $260M venture fund for sustainable packaging startups
Nestle will create a $260 million venture capital fund to invest in startups working on sustainable packaging. The company intends to cut its use of new plastic by a third by 2025.
Reuters (1/16) 
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Foxconn leads $26M round for inexpensive X-ray startup Nanox
Nanox, a startup with operations in Japan and Israel that aims to significantly reduce the cost of X-ray equipment, raised $26 million in a funding round that included a strategic investment from Foxconn.
VentureBeat (1/16) 
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Sector Spotlight: Tech
Stock gain makes Alphabet a $1T company
Alphabet shares hit a record high Thursday, taking the company's market value to $1 trillion. The stock has gained more than 8% this year.
CNN (1/16),  The Verge (1/16) 
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