VC Deals: Niantic Gets $245M Before 'Harry Potter'

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Includes: AMZN, AYX, CRM, MSFT, QCOM, SFTBF, SFTBY, SSNLF, SSNNF
by: VCDeals

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1. SoftBank backs Katerra (again)

SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) Vision Fund was in talks to lead a $700M round in construction startup Katerra with the valuation up over $4B, according to The Information. If it happens, the deal will push Katerra's total equity value to over $2B. Last year, SoftBank led an $850M round in the startup.
The tech-driven offsite construction company wants to build faster and cheaper hotels and apartment buildings. The company was founded in 2015 by former Flextronics CEO (and Tesla vet) Michael Marks and Fritz Wolff.
2. Niantic's pre-Potter infusion
Samsung (OTC:SSNNF, OTC:SSNLF) Ventures participated in a $245M Series C round for Pokémon Go creator Niantic with a post-money valuation of nearly $4B. IVP lead and aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, and CRV joined.

The infusion precedes Niantc's awaited Harry Potter AR game. The company's games are powered by the Niantic Real World Platform engine, and the new funds will go towards accelerating related staffing to eventually release the platform to developers.

Competitor: Mobile game startup Jam City has its own Harry Potter game and $145M in new funding.

3. Salesforce bets on Alteryx competitor
Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) Ventures and Sapphire Ventures co-led a $50M Series C round for data catalog startup Alation. The investment brought total funding up to $82M.
Alation's tech crawls a company's existing databases to build a data search catalog. Alation connects with data sources like Oracle's Redshift, Teradata, and Tableau to create a centralized catalog. The company claims triple-digit growth for four consecutive years. Customers included 100 large enterprises including BMW, Hilton, and Salesforce. The new funds will go to adding 100 to 200 employees in the next year and continuing to build out partnerships.
Competitors: Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) and Permira's Informatica.
4. Amazon, Qualcomm invest in new semi tech
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Ventures, and Samsung participated in a $30M round for Wiliot, a startup with semiconductors that use electromagnetic energy from cellular, wi-fi, and Bluetooth rather than batteries or wired power and does its computing in the cloud. Other investors included RFID tag maker Avery Dennison, Norwest Venture Partners, and M Ventures. Sources say the post-money valuation stands at $120M and total fundraising is at $50M.
Wiliot unveiled the chips for the first time with the fundraising announcement, meaning they haven't been manufactured or commercialized. The new funds will go towards figuring out scale production that will allow for a low enough price to compete with other solutions like RFID tags. Applications could include embedding in retail labels to give at-home care instructions and a wide range of IoT uses.
Competitor: France's Sigfox, which has €277M in total funding from backers including Elliott Management and Salesforce Ventures.
5. Microsoft adds $11M to health data platform
Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) M12 added $11M to a $35M round wrapping up for Innovaccer, which offers a healthcare data platform for clinically integrated networks. The Series B round brought in Westbridge and Lightspeed Partners last year.
Innovaccer's software connects to labs, EHRs, claims management software, and health information exchanges. The funding will go towards enhancing the software, which currently houses data from Harford Healthcare, Mercy ACO Iowa, and the University of California, to name a few. The startup estimates it has saved customers $400M in expenses.

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