Deals That Matter

Top VC deals this week: Food delivery, eSports and Hyperloop One

Key Points
  • Years after Grubhub's debut, investors are still pouring money into food delivery services, including a mega-round of $385 million for Deliveroo.
  • Shervin Pishevar's Hyperloop One has raised $85 million more to zip people and things around in hovering vehicles and tubes.
  • An eSports company called has attracted funding from Brian Singerman, a partner at Founders Fund and former video game champ.
Mike Kemp | In Pictures | Getty Images

Here's a roundup of the most important deals in venture capital this week.

Start-ups funded

London-based Deliveroo, a food delivery service (reminiscent of Grubhub in the U.S.) has raised $385 million in growth funding from T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and earlier backers like Index Ventures. As the Financial Times reported, Deliveroo has been widely criticized for "giving away its product almost at cost." Investors are hoping that, like at Amazon, growth will be more important than margins.

Logistics start-up Flexport has raised $110 million, TechCrunch reported. The company aims to compete with big freight companies like FedEx and DHL. Founded in 2013, Flexport provides its customers with real-time online tracking of the goods and containers that they're waiting for or shipping out.

Hyperloop One, co-founded by investor Shervin Pishevar, raised $85 million to build futuristic, high-speed transportation systems. According to its website, the HyperloopOne system includes a "low pressure tube" and "vehicles that float above a track using magnetic levitation to glide at airline speeds for long distances."

Hyperloop One

Big biotech and agriculture funds including Baillie Gifford and Activant Capital are pouring $156 million into Indigo Agriculture. The company develops seed coatings that contain bacteria, viruses and fungi that help improve yields in crops like cotton and wheat.

Disney and Haim Saban's venture fund were among investors in a $35 million funding round for Playbuzz. Variety reports that the company's content-creation platform is used by 13,000 publishers to create videos, quizzes and other potentially viral content, and to put it in front of audiences who actually want to see it.

Norwest Venture Partners led a $53 million investment in business software maker ProsperWorks. GV, formerly Google Ventures, also joined the round. The company's software is known for its ease of use alongside Google apps like Gmail and Google Drive.

A start-up that delivers food to employees at their offices, Fooda, raised $12.5 million from investors including Lightbank and Valor Equity Partners, according to an SEC filing. The company aims to replace costly, traditional corporate cafeterias with its delivery and catering services.

Horizons Ventures, Li Ka-shing's venture fund, led a $7 million investment in Nanoport. The start-up is developing components to fuel a new generation of mobile phones and features you won't find in an iPhone 8, IEEE Spectrum reported.

The idea of playing video games professionally for cash prizes or for a college team is no longer a novelty. One start-up that's emerging as a kind of NFL for e-sports,, has raised $19.7 million of a targeted $25 million round from investors including Founders Fund partner Brian Singerman. Singerman was once a champion player of the fighting game SoulCalibur II.

Jobbatical raised $4 million in a round led by Japan-based Mistletoe with additional financing from Union Square Ventures and other funds. Founded by Karoli Hindriks in 2014, Jobbatical connects software engineers, designers and marketers with companies willing to hire them for remote work.

New funds and growing firms

IVP raised a $1.5 billion fund to continue investing in later-stage tech companies. General partner Steve Harrick told CNBC it's a great time for late-stage deals for three reasons: Capital for growing companies is more abundant than ever, venture investors have new ways to sell shares and large corporations have become more acquisitive.

Shell Technology Ventures, a 20-year-old fund, is setting up an office in China, Reuters reported. The venture arm of the energy giant historically invested in and around the oil and gas industry. But now it's expanding into more markets and adding three investment managers in China.