Top VC deals: SoftBank dumps $1.1 billion into smart glass; Coinbase is worth $8 billion

  • SoftBank invests in a smart-glass company and, reportedly, a pizza-making robot.
  • Coinbase and U.K. digital bank Monzo closed rounds above $100 million.
  • Palo Alto-based True Ventures closes two new funds with combined committed capital of $635 million.

Start-ups

View Dynamic Glass windows at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 
Source: View
View Dynamic Glass windows at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 

SoftBank's Vision Fund invested $1.1 billion in smart glass maker View, the start-up announced Friday. View makes dynamic window glass that can adjust the level of tint to keep cooling costs down and reduce glare. The company has installed smart windows at commercial airports, apartment buildings and corporate offices for Facebook and CenturyLink.

The company behind a pizza-making robot disclosed a $375 million investment, reported by The Wall Street Journal to be from SoftBank's Vision Fund. Zume Pizza employs a mix of robots and humans to create and deliver food. Robots squirt and spread the tomato sauce onto the uncooked pies and then transfer them into 800-degree ovens.

Coinbase raised $300 million in Series E funding, led by Tiger Global. The round, which also included participation from Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz, values the company at $8 billion. Coinbase is the leading platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. It's now raised more than $520 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

U.K. fintech firm Monzo announced £85 million ($110 million) in Series E capital. General Catalyst led the round with participation from Accel and others. The company bills itself as a bank that lives on your smartphone, eliminating some of the traditional barriers to banking and spending. Monzo is authorized in the U.K. to operate as a bank, something of a rarity among fintech companies.

Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital led an $80 million Series E round in graph database company Neo4j. One Peak Partners also led the round, which brings Neo4j's total funding to $160 million. The company offers graph-power business applications like graph-enabled artificial intelligence and machine learning.

98point6, a company that sells text message-based medical care, raised $50 million in fresh financing, led by the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. The Series C round brings total funding for the start-up to $86.1 million. 98point6 matches patients with board-certified physicians to provide diagnosis and treatment via a mobile app.

Digital sports media company The Athletic raised $40 million in Series C financing, according to Axios. Founders Fund and BedRock Capital co-led the round, which values the subscription-based news site at $200 million, Axios reports. The company's previous investors include Advancit Capital, Comcast Ventures and Y Combinator.

Aly Song | Reuters

Alphabet's venture arm, GV, is among the backers of a $35 million investment round in Ethos, a start-up that says it can process life insurance applications in a matter of minutes. GV and Accel co-led the round, which brings Ethos' total funding to $46 million. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Arrive, the venture fund of U.S. rapper Jay Z's entertainment firm Roc Nation, also participated in the funding round.

Israeli drone start-up Airobotics announced $30 million in Series D financing, led by Pavilion Capital. The round brings Airobotics' total funding to $101 million. The company makes pilotless drones and maintains a platform of aerial data.

Contract compliance software company Concord raised $25 million in Series B financing, led by Tenaya Capital. Concord works with business partners such as Kickstarter and Rent the Runway. To date, 180,000 companies have joined the company's compliance platform, Concord said.

Menlo Ventures led a $21 million round in Clear Labs, an automated food safety platform. The round brings total funding for the company to $45 million. Clear Labs leverages DNA sequencing, data analysis and robotics to better prevent food safety concerns.

HeadSpin raised $20 million in a Series B round including backers GV and Iconiq, among others. The start-up maintains a global network of devices to evaluate mobile performance and troubleshoot user experience. HeadSpin sells access to the platform and analysis to enterprise clients like DocuSign and Dell.

Lottery tech company JackPocket raised $16 million in Series B capital led by Conductive Ventures. The mobile app lets lottery players securely order official lottery tickets. The company has raised $25 million to date. The app allows users to play the lottery as groups, check if they've won, and enroll in autoplay to automatically purchase tickets.

Education tech company Imbellus raised $14.5 million in Series A funding for its game-based online learning assessments. Owl Ventures led the round, which brings the start-up's total funding to $23 million. Imbellus seeks to upend traditional tests like the SAT and ACT.

Funds and firms

Palo Alto-based True Ventures announced the closing of two new funds this week. Its sixth early-stage fund, True Ventures VI LP, closed with $350 million in committed capital, and its third Select Fund, True Ventures Select III, closed with $285 million in committed capital. Fund IV will invest in early-stage start-ups in the software, hardware, consumer products, cryptocurrencies and digital biology fields. Select III will fund new investments in True Venture's existing portfolio companies. True Ventures has previously made investments in Fitbit, Peloton and Ring, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year. It manages more than $2 billion.

— CNBC's Ryan Browne, David Reid and Kate Rooney contributed to this report.

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