Seeking Alpha

VC Deals: Alphabet Pushes Duolingo To $1.5B Valuation

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 Friday afternoons.

  • Funds advised by T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) participated in the $254M Series H for used car marketplace Vroom. Durable Capital Partners led the round. The startup plans to use the funds to keep scaling and to expand the product and engineering hub in Detroit. Vroom says its platform has been used by more than 250K buyers and sellers and includes roughly 3,000 vehicles at any time. Vroom competes with public company Carvana (NYSE:CVNA).
  • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF,OTCPK:SFTBY) is leading the $100M round for Mexican financial services platform Konfio. SoftBank will participate through its $5B Latin American fund that launched earlier this year. Konfio’s data-first credit underwriting service can process small business loan applications in a day.
  • Cisco Investments (NASDAQ:CSCO) participated in the $65M round for AI startup Gong. The Sequoia Capital-led round brought the total funding up to $134M. Gong uses AI to help enterprises like GE and LinkedIn understand customer interactions to improve sales. The new capital will be invested in product and engineering. Gong plans to add 150 new jobs next year.
  • Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) Flipkart led the $60M Series D for Indian logistics startup Shadowfax. Qualcomm Ventures (NASDAQ:QCOM) also participated in the round, which brought total funding up to $100M at a $250M valuation. Shadowfax’s B2B logistics network operates in more than 300 cities across India. The startup has its own warehouses and fulfillment hubs and hires freelancers as delivery drivers. Shadowfax says it currently processes more than 10M delivers per month. Flipkart is among the company’s “hundreds” of clients.
  • Toyota (NYSE:TM) led the $50M round for autonomous shuttle startup May Mobility. May operates 25 low-speed shuttles across Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island. The company hopes to increase the number to 25 per city. As part of its investment, Toyota selected May as one of its autonomous partners for future open platforms.
  • Alphabet’s Capital G (GOOG,GOOGL) invested $30M in language-learning app Duolingo, pushing the valuation to $1.5B. Duolingo will use the money to expand its tech, marketing, and staff. The startup says its bookings have jumped from $1M to $100M in the past three years. The app has expanded to include language podcasts and the Duolingo Plus subscription plan.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.