Top VC deals: Ford buys a scooter start-up; Microsoft's venture arm backs an emergency response firm

  • Ford agrees to buy scooter-sharing start-up Spin, in a deal reportedly worth $40 million.
  • Microsoft's venture fund, M12, is among the backers of RapidSOS, a company working to improve emergency response systems with data from connected devices.
  • Start-ups using artificial intelligence for farming, in-home robots and smart urban development close growth rounds.

Exits

Ford agreed to buy scooter-sharing start-up Spin in a deal worth close to $100 million, a person familiar with the terms told CNBC. The deal was previously reportedly to be worth $40 million, according to Axios. San Francisco-based Spin rents out dockless scooters in 13 cities and college campuses. Spin previously closed $8 million in funding from investors including Grishin Robotics and CRCM Ventures, according to Crunchbase.

Start-ups

Andreessen Horowitz led a $154 million round in corporate travel management company TripActions. Lightspeed Venture Partners and SGVC also participated in the Series C round, which brings total funding for the start-up to $232 million. TripAction offers personalized travel booking services for enterprise customers, including Dropbox and Lyft.

Microsoft's venture fund, M12, is among the backers of RapidSOS, a company working to improve emergency response systems with data from connected devices. The start-up this week closed a $30 million Series B financing, led by Playground Global. The round brings total funding for the company to $65 million.

Agriculture intelligence platform Taranis raised $20 million in Series B funding, led by Viola Ventures. The company uses aerial imaging and data-driven deep learning to identify crop stresses. The start-up has raised $30 million to date.

Rael sells period products made from organic cotton and beauty products specifically made for women who are menstruating
Source: Rael
Rael sells period products made from organic cotton and beauty products specifically made for women who are menstruating

Rael, a feminine care start-up, raised $17.5 million in Series A financing, led by Mirae Asset and GS Retail Fund. The online retailer sells period products made from organic cotton and beauty products specifically made for women who are menstruating. Rael has raised $20.4 million to date.

Intel Capital led a $16 million Series B round in Overwolf, an Israeli gaming and services platform.

Smart city start-up Quantela received a $10 million investment from Digital Alpha. The company developed an artificial intelligence platform to process data for urban infrastructure applications.

Opternative, a company that makes eye care tech, closed $9 million in new funding, led by Trust Ventures and Pritzker Group Venture Capital.

A company trying to build home robots beyond the automatic vacuum raised $11 million in new financing. Trifo, based in Santa Clara, California, developed a system for sensing and perceiving that allows in-home robots to communicate more effectively with humans. The company's backers include Walden International and Samsung Ventures.

San Antonio-based Plus One Robotics closed an $8.3 million Series A round, led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital and with participation from Zebra Technologies. The company develops computer vision software for supply chain automation robots.

Menlo Park, California-based cloud company YotaScale raised $8 million in a Series A round. Crosslink Capital led the round, which brings the company's total funding to $11.6 million. YotaScale uses artificial intelligence to make cloud operations more cost-effective and reliable.

Seattle-based BigBox VR raised $5 million in seed funding, led by Shasta Ventures. The start-up develops multiplayer virtual reality games and is set to release its second title. The founders previously worked at Disney, Sony and Microsoft.

Funds and firms

Biomatics Capital Partners, based in Seattle, announced its second fund with $300 million in committed capital. The venture firm invests in start-ups in the diagnostics, therapeutics, research and development and clinical care fields. The firm also brought on Mike Poole as a partner. Poole previously worked with the Gates Foundation and supported Bill Gates' investments into Alzheimer's diagnostics and treatments.

Los Angeles-based SGVC closed its third fund with $51 million in committed capital. The firm focuses on early-stage fintech start-ups and previously invested in SoFi, among others. The SGVC Fund III is anchored by Hachshara Insurance Company, True Capital Management and Manhattan West Asset Management.

—CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.