EV Charging Gets $240M Push As Trump Threatens Cuts

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Includes: ABBV, ADSK, AEP, AMGN, BMWYY, CVX, DDAIF, GS, MRK, NVDA, ORCL, QCOM, SAP, SIEGY
by: VCDeals

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.

EV charging: Chevron (NYSE:CVX) Technology Ventures and American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) were among the investors in a $240M Series E funding round for EV charging network startup ChargePoint. Quantum Energy Partners led with participation from Daimler Trucks & Buses (OTCPK:DDAIF), BMW I Ventures (OTCPK:BMWYY), and Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY). The round brought total funding up to $500M. ChargePoint has over 57K charging locations in North America, Europe, and Australia and appear on Google Maps. The funding came just as President Trump threatened to end or stifle federal subsidies for GM.

AI chips: Potential Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) competitor Wave Computing raised $86M led by Oakland Corp. The AI chipmaker’s total funding now stands over $200M. Wave’s processors lack the clock traditional systems use for speed regulation, which allows its silicon to reach as high as 10 GHz. Wave’s chips also lack the host processor other chips use to coordinate work to reduce latency. Each process has 16,384 AI-optimized cores and comes sold as part of internally developed apps built with machine learning in mind. The new funds will go to global growth and commercialization efforts with general availability of its tech expected by the end of this month.

Open PLM: Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Private Capital Investing Group led a $70M Series D round in open product lifestyle management company Aras. Goldman’s Hillel Moerman and Holger Staude will join the Aras board as a member and observer, respectively. The startup’s platform is free for enterprises to use but Aras offers pay-as-you-go training and consulting and upgrade services. Aras will use the new funds to expand its global operations and grow its PLM platform through in-house development and tech acquisitions.

Competition: Companies with PLM products include Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), and SAP (NYSE:SAP).

Neuro biopharma: MRLV, Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) VC group, and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) Ventures co-led and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) Ventures participated in a $23M Series A round in neurological biopharma Rheostat Therapeutics. Rheostat focuses on new treatments for neurodegeneration and rare diseases by modulating autophagy, the way cells get rid of unwanted materials, and mitophagy (mitochondrial autophagy). The new funds will help the push toward clinical trials, biomarker studies, and building up the team.

Competition: Casma Therapeutics is also looking into autophagy and launched a $59M product engine last spring.

Exit: Bustle Digital Group acquired millennial-focused digital media company Mic for about $5M, well shy of Mic’s $60M in private funding and most recent valuation of “mid hundreds of millions.” Mic recently lost an important content agreement with Facebook.

Fund watch: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Ventures launched a $100M startup fund geared toward on-device AI. As part of the fund, Qualcomm participated in a Series A round for AnyVision, a face, body, and object recognition startup.

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