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AI startup roundup: IoT cybersecurity, Amazon backs ‘mindful metaverse’
by Deborah Yao
Also – crypto exchange giant Binance’s $500 million venture fund and former PayPal execs start VC fund
Every week, AI Business brings you the latest startup news.
From funding rounds to acquisitions, and product launches to partnerships, AI Business covers all things artificial intelligence.
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Startup: Ordr, a cybersecurity company focused on connected devices for Internet of Things (IoT, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and Operation Technology (OT) security. It uses deep packet inspection and advanced ML to discover devices, profile their risk and behavior, map communications and protect them with automated policies.
Latest funding: $40 million
Lead investors: Battery Ventures and Ten Eleven Ventures
Other investors: Participation from new investor Northgate Capital and continuing investors Wing Venture Capital, Unusual Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and Mayo Clinic.
Other investors also include René Bonvanie, former CMO of Palo Alto Networks, Dan Warmenhoven, former Chairman and CEO of NetApp, and Dominic Orr, former Chairman and CEO of Aruba Networks.
Funding plans: Funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing efforts in health care, manufacturing and financial services, as well as expand channel and partnership programs and invest in customer success initiatives.
Startup: Clear Street, a fintech company offering a cloud-based prime brokerage platform for institutional investors
Latest funding: $165 million, series B
Lead investor: Prysm Capital
Other investors: NextGen Venture Partners, Walleye Capital, Belvedere, NEAR Foundation, McLaren Strategic Ventures, and Validus Growth Investors, as well as angel investors, Illia Polosukhin (founder of NEAR), Moses Lo (founder of Xendit), and Alastair Trueger (Event Horizon Ventures).
Funding plans: Expand its capabilities to serve fintechs, market makers and professional traders
Startup: TRIPP is a startup building a ‘mindful’ metaverse through its digital mental health support tools. Users can access meditative experiences using AR, VR and mobile devices.
Latest funding: $11.2 million, series A
Lead investor: BITKRAFT Ventures
Other investors: Qualcomm, Amazon Alexa Fund, HTC, Niantic and Mayfield
Funding plans: Funds will be used to expand its team.
The startup also announced that it has acquired Eden, which lets gamers build virtual worlds, from BeardedEye for an undisclosed amount. This is TRIPP’s third acquisition. In January, it acquired VR live meditation community EvolVR.
Startup: Equipifi, a fintech company offering a white-label ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) solution to banks and credit unions
Latest funding: $12 million, series A
Lead investors: Curql Collective via Curql Fund and PHX Ventures
Other investors: SixThirty Ventures, Rise of the Rest, Newstack Ventures, SaaS Ventures, Baleon Capital, and several angel investors including Hamid Shojaee and Atomic CEO Jordan Wright.
Funding plans: Funds will be used to enable equipifi to provide financial institutions with BNPL capabilities through their existing debit cards and banking app.
Startup: Devo Technology, a cloud-native logging and security analytics company
Latest funding: $100 million, series F
Lead investor: Eurazeo
Other investors: All other existing investors participated - Insight Partners, Georgian, TCV, General Atlantic, Bessemer Venture Partners, Kibo Ventures. ISAI Cap Venture also provided a strategic investment in the round.
Funding plans: Funds will be used to fuel growth in new regions and verticals, accelerate Devo’s delivery of the “autonomous SOC” and fund potential new M&A expansion.
In other news
Binance raises $500 million fund for crypto investments
Binance Labs, the VC arm of Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has set up a $500 million investment fund that includes participation from institutional investors DST Global Partners and Breyer Capital. Undisclosed major private equity funds, family offices and companies also joined the fund as limited partners.
The fund is expected to invest in projects that expand the use cases of cryptocurrencies and fuel adoption of Web3 and blockchain technologies.
The fund’s goal is to “discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more,” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, in a statement.
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao
Binance Labs has invested in more than 100 projects from more than 25 countries, including 1inch, Audius, Axie Infinity, Dune Analytics, Elrond, Injective, Polygon, Optimism, The Sandbox, and STEPN.
Former PayPal executives start $158 million fintech venture fund
Infinity Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm investing in fintech founders globally, unveiled its inaugural fund with $158 million.
Former PayPal executives formed the fund: Jeremy Jonker, Jay Ganatra, and Mario Ruiz. They will focus on firms building across fintech infrastructure and commerce enablement.
Their deal and investment experience include venture investments in Plaid, Divvy, Olo, Extend, Paxos, PPRO, Acorns, TaxBit, Toss, Tink, Happy Returns, and Paidy. Also, they led the transformational M&A transactions of Venmo, Braintree, Honey, Hyperwallet, Xoom, Swift Financial and iZettle, and executed growth equity investments into companies such as MercadoLibre, GoJek, Pine Labs and Uber.