VC Deals: Toyota Mulls $550M Ride-Hail Bet

by: VCDeals

Welcome to Seeking Alpha's Venture Capital Deals of the Week. Follow this account and turn on the email alert to receive VCDeals in your inbox on Friday afternoons.

  • Pending: Toyota (NYSE:TM) is considering a $550M investment in ride-hail company Didi Chuxing (DIDI), according to Nikkei Asian Review sources. The automaker might also set up a new mobility cooperation with DIDI with both moves aiming to gain a foothold in the China market. The companies previously collaborated on ride-hailing, development of the self-driving e-Palette commercial vehicle, and connected car testing.
  • Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV) participated in a $82.5M Series B for cybersecurity startup BlueVoyant, which pushed valuation over $430M and total funding to nearly $208M. BlueVoyant provides managed security and threat intelligence for the private sector. The startup has operations in the United States, Israel, the UK, Spain, and the Philippines.
  • Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) competitor Kustomer raised $40M in a Series D round led by Tiger Global with participation from Battery Ventures, bringing the total raised up to $114M. The omnichannel CRM provider will use the funds to add more automation and AI processes to handle the repetitive aspects of CRM and to expand further into Europe.
  • GV (GOOG,GOOGL) led a $30M Series A for Firefly, which lets ride-hail drivers earn extra money for advertising. NFX also participated. Firefly is prepping an NYC launch by acquiring the digital ad operations of Strong Outdoor, which will help the push into traditional taxi ads. The startup already operates in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Advertisers that appear on Firefly’s installed digital smart screen include Brex, Segment, and Zumper.
  • GE (NYSE:GE) Ventures joined an $18M Series B for “data beaming” platform Equalum, pushing total funding to $25M. Planven Investments led the round, and United Ventures and Innovation Endeavors participated. Equalum’s tech collects data from multiple sources to feed AI, machine learning, and business intelligence requirements. The investment will fuel customer outreach to build scale.
  • Autodesk-backed (NASDAQ:ADSK) eSub Construction Software raised $12M led by Catalyst Ventures with Revolution Ventures backing. The startup’s software integrates with strategic backer Autodesk’s offerings and offers standalone construction estimation and accounting for the entire building process.