Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Venture Capital Deals of the Week. Follow this account and turn on the e-mail alert to receive VCDeals in your inbox on Saturday mornings.
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Grab twice: Hyundai (OTCPK:HYMPY) and Kia poured $250M into ride-hailing company Grab (GRAB) in an ongoing round expected to reach $3B by the end of the year. The investment adds to partnerships with the automakers to deploy electric vehicles.
Thailand’s Kasikornbank PLC invested $50M in Grab for a partnership that will bring the GrabPay digital wallet to its sixth SE Asia market next year. The bank will use Grab’s merchant and driver data to tailor loan products. GrabPay by KBank will locally compete with True Corp’s TrueMoney and messaging app LINE’s Rabbit Line Pay.
Corporate trips: TripAdvisor’s (NASDAQ:TRIP) corporate-leaning brethren TripActions raised $154M at a $1.5B valuation in a Series C round led by Andreessen Horowitz with backing from Lightspeed Venture Partners and SGVC. Total funding now stands at $232M. TripActions’ personalized travel booking services have attracted over 1,000 clients including Dropbox and Lyft, and the startup claims a 700% annual growth rate.
Emergency data: Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) M12 venture fund joined a $30M Series B round for RapidSOS, a startup working to improve emergency response systems by sending connected device data like location along with an emergency call. Playground Global led the round, which brought total funding up to $65M. RapidSOS says its user base grew from 10K users to 250M in the next year as it integrates with more agencies and partners including Apple, Google, Uber, and other connected device makers. Next up? International expansion to tap a global market with 2B emergency calls per year.
Crop tech: Nutrien (NYSE:NTR) participated in a $20M Series B for crop-monitoring tech startup Taranis. Viola Ventures led with participation from Wilbur-Ellis VC arm and Sumitomo Corporation Europe. Taranis’ aerial imaging tech identifies potential crop issues and provides magnified, high-res images to help farmers see more details of the problem. Farms in five countries currently use the tech with post-funding expansion planned. Precision farming startups are popular acquisition targets with Deere (NYSE:DE) snapping up Blue River and Syngenta buying Strider.
Seeking: China’s third-largest bike-share company Hellobike is looking to raise $400M in its latest round and Reuters sources say SoftBank and Chinese private equity firm Primavera Capital are among those joining up. Hellobike currently has over 200M registered users and operates in 300 cities in China. The startup started a car-hailing business in September.
Exits: Ford (NYSE:F) bought scooter-sharing startup Spin for $40M, according to an Axios report. Spin rents dockless scooters in 13 cities and college campuses and previously raised $8M in funding. The scooter scene also includes Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT).
Fund Watch: Mary Meeker is reportedly raising $1.25B for her debut fund. Meeker recently revealed plans to leave Kleiner Perkins after eight years. Meeker plans to form a late-stage firm with three KP colleagues.
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