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Electric rail vehicle startup Parallel Systems raises $49.55M Series A – TechCrunch

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on January 19, 2022! What a roundup of news we have for you today: China’s changing venture capital landscape, the power of passwords, no-code startups, and why women continue to raise paltry sums compared to men. Have fun! – alexander

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • China’s venture capital landscape is hitting a regulatory wall: Chinese tech giant ByteDance has disbanded its strategic investment team, it became known today. The news comes as other sources have reported that the country’s government may require big internet companies to get approval before making investments. If this materializes, news from ByteDance could prove to be more foreshadowing than ad hoc, possibly reducing the total capital available to startups nationwide.
  • Funding for female founders continues to disappoint: new data indicates that less than 2% of venture capital funding last year went to all-female teams. The dollar amount grew as the business landscape grew, but the data was still more than patchy. What is going on? TechCrunch explored the issue.
  • When will the VCs brake? The boom in venture capital activity that the world witnessed last year, and which appears to be continuing today, stands in increasing contrast to the falling valuations of public technology companies. The growing dissonance between public concerns and private enthusiasm has us wondering when VCs might slow their turnover a bit.

Startups/VCs

The biggest news from the startups today is that 1Password has raised a massive $620 million seed round at a $6.8 billion valuation. The new funding was led by Iconiq Growth and saw the participation of a row of venture capital firm killers.

Putatively a Series C, the investment comes after the company raised a whopping $200 million Series A and an equally large $100 million Series B. Companies that wait to raise capital and then raise a big check are rare, but not so rare that we only occasionally see the news event doubling down. Such was the case today: Dovetail, which after raising a modest amount since inception and burning only half the funds, raised a whopping $63 million Series A, he announced today.

1Password, of course, is a password manager, while Dovetail develops researcher-focused software for enterprise teams.

Before we get to the venture capital rounds, let’s talk about some fund news:

  • The pace of investment in fintech is pretty crazy: the venture capital field is awash with superlative numbers, huge sums, titanic tallies and big rounds. But perhaps the biggest niche, or at least the one that seems to be making the most noise, is fintech. So we dug into this category to find out more.
  • Viola Ventures closes $250 million: Israel’s tech scene has been more than busy in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that Viola’s latest fund was “oversubscribed and hit its ceiling,” reports TechCrunch. The company now has $1.25 billion under management.
  • Turns out you can raise a small crypto fund: with crypto funds hitting the $1 billion mark and often surpassing that figure, it’s almost nice to find a smaller pool of capital. Inflection has raised a blockchain-focused fund worth just under $41 million, and our very own Romain Dillet has taken a look. (And speaking of crypto, POAP or “proof of presence protocol” just raised $10 million, while something involving Tom Brady and NFTs raised $170 million.)

And now, today’s deluge of new rounds of capital from a multitude of startups:

  • $49.55 million for self-driving electric rail: Parallel Systems, founded by a team of SpaceX alumni, wants to “build self-driving battery-electric rail vehicles.” It just sneaked out. Decarbonization is hot. Autonomy is hot. The transit is hot. It is therefore not surprising that the company has just acquired eight figures of capital.
  • HR tech company Lattice raises $175m at a $3bn valuation: The new round, a Series F, will be used to grow its people management service. Considering we’re in an endless pandemic and the work landscape has changed forever, it’s no surprise that people are lining up to fund Lattice’s work.
  • South African mobile game company lands $20 million: Meet Carry1st, a social game publisher that just hit eight figures. The round signals that the African continent’s successful 2021 fundraising cycle continues into the new year and marks a16z’s first investment in a startup with an African headquarters.
  • Filmhub is like the DistroKid for movies: if you’re making a movie and want to land it on streaming channels, you might need some help. Filmhub has just raised $6.8 million to help filmmakers broadcast their work on “more than 100 streaming channels”, reports TechCrunch.
  • Softr builds on the strength of the no-code market: Softr’s product lets people build apps from datasets – today Airtable, with others on the way – and intends to create a marketplace of templates and extensions in the future. He just landed $13.5 million to continue. TechCrunch has its seeds covered here.

And to shut us down, Revolut is launching stock trading in the US, and there could be rainy days ahead for crypto in the UK

Why Microsoft’s $2,000+ Market Cap Makes Its $68 Billion Activision A Cheap Bet

Electric rail vehicle startup Parallel Systems raises $49.55M Series A – TechCrunch

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Picture credits: Michael Ciaglo/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Risk is an essential part of gaming, so it may be inappropriate to describe Microsoft’s planned purchase of Activision Blizzard as a “bet.”

Considering Microsoft has a market capitalization of over $2 trillion, buying a game company that produces titles like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and Candy Crush for $68 billion isn’t exactly dangerous.

According to Box CEO Aaron Levie, the move solidifies Redmond’s entry into AR/VR gaming.

“If you believe virtual reality and immersive computing are the future – whether for consumer or professional use cases – Activision is helping Microsoft create a flywheel of content and technology that empowers more users to embark on this future.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can register here.)

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Electric rail vehicle startup Parallel Systems raises $49.55M Series A – TechCrunch

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Picture credits: SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

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