Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.
By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.
Driver No. 1: Soaring customer demand, much of which has been driven by the pandemic, without adequate provider supply (particularly in non-urban areas). Not just among adults, but also for kids and teens.
Driver No. 2: Greater acceptance of telehealth, partially enabled by improved video chat technologies. This is true of patients, providers and insurers — helping encourage some "tech" entrepreneurs and investors to enter the space.
Driver No. 3: Last year's Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes it harder for insurance companies to deny care.
Driver No. 4: Valuation momentum for early VC-backed companies like Lyra Health (now worth $4.6 billion). Nothing attracts venture capitalists like when other venture capitalists pay high prices.
The bottom line: COVID-19 exposed many of America's health system gaps, and we're seeing money rush in to fill them.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Robinhood, the no-fee trading app and meme stock enablement tool, raised $1.89 billion in its IPO. The company priced at the low end of its $38-$42 range, for a fully diluted value of nearly $32 billion, and will list under ticker symbol "HOOD."
🚑 Exo, a Redwood City, Calif.-based handheld ultrasound system, raised $220 million in Series C funding. RA Capital led, and was joined by BlackRock, Sands Capital, Avidity Partners and Pura Vida Investments. http://axios.link/O5ac
• Contentful, a provider of headless content management systems, raised $175 million in Series F funding at a valuation north of $3 billion. Tiger Global led, and was joined by Base10 and Tidemark. http://axios.link/VPzb
• Mercury, a startup banking platform, raised $120 million in Series B funding at a 1.6 billion valuation. Coatue led, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, and Sapphire Ventures. www.mercury.com
🚑 Ring Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based commensal virome platform for gene therapy, raised $117 million in Series B funding from Invus, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Partners Investment, UPMC Enterprises, T. Rowe Price and founding investor Flagship Pioneering. http://axios.link/gMT5
🚑 Bota Bio, a Chinese industrial biotech, raised $100 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital China led, and was joined by insiders Matrix Partners China, Source Code Capital, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and 5Y Capital. http://axios.link/4sn2
• Culture Amp, a San Francisco-based employee engagement platform, raised $100 million in Series F funding at a $1.5 billion valuation co-led by insiders Sequoia Capital India and TDM Growth Partners. http://axios.link/pvdM
• Homebase, a San Francisco-based provider of employee management software, raised $70 million in Series C funding. GGV Capital led, and was joined by insiders Bain Capital Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Bedrock, Cowboy Ventures and Khosla Ventures. http://axios.link/LrXl
• Prime Trust, a Las Vegas-based provider of financial infrastructure for fintech and digital asset firms, raised $64 million in Series A funding. Mercato Partners led, and was joined by Samsung Next, Nationwide, Commerce Ventures, Ayon Capital, Kraken Ventures, STCAP, s20 Capital, Seven Peaks Ventures, Diverse Angels, University Growth Fund and Nevcaut Ventures. http://axios.link/Kg2J
• Lithic, a New York-based card issuing platform for developers, raised $60 million in Series C funding. Stripes led, and was joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Exor, Rainfall, Tusk Venture Partners and Commerce Ventures. www.lithic.com
💈 Squire, a New York-based provider of barbershop management software, raised $60 million in Series C funding at a $750 million valuation led by Tiger Global. http://axios.link/qmfR
• SODA (dba SNKRDUNK), a Tokyo-based sneaker reselling marketplace, raised $56.4 million in Series C funding and acquired rival Monokabu. SoftBank Ventures Asia led, and was joined by KREAM, Altos Ventures and JAFCO. http://axios.link/cqyM
• Coralogix, a San Francisco-based log analytics platform, raised $55 million in Series C funding. Greenfield Partners led, and was joined by Red Dot Capital Partners, StageOne Ventures, O.G. Tech, Janvest Capital Partners, Maor ventures and 2B Angels. http://axios.link/JMbX
• Brain Technologies, a San Mateo, Calif.-based natural language search engine, raised $50 million from Emerson Collective, Goodwater Capital, Scott Cook and WTT Investment. http://axios.link/Qn1N
• Suzy, a New York-based market research software platform, raised $50 million in Series D funding. H.I.G. Growth Partners led, and was joined by insiders Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group and Triangle Peak Partners. www.suzy.com
🚑 MedRhythms, a Portland, Maine-based digital therapy platform for those with neurologic injuries, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Morningside Ventures and Advantage Capital co-led, and were joined by Werth Family Investment Associates. http://axios.link/PI4m
• Orum, a “smart calling” app for automating outbound sales workflows, raised $25 million from Craft Ventures, Unusual Ventures and Neo. http://axios.link/oRAc
• Niron Magnetics, a developer of rare-earth free magnet technology, raised $21.3 million from firms like Volvo Cars Tech Fund and Volta Ventures. www.nironmagnetics.com
• QuotaPath, an Austin and Philadelphia-based provider of commission tracking software, raised $21.3 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led, and was joined by ATX Ventures, Integr8d Capital, Stage 2 Capital and HubSpot Ventures. http://axios.link/xwrv
• SolCyber, a Dallas-based managed security services provider, raised $20 million in Series A funding from ForgePoint Capital. www.solcyber.com
• OneDay, a Dallas-based enterprise video storytelling startup, raised $19 million in Series B funding. Volition Capital led, and was joined by insider Silverton Partners. www.oneday.com
• Flock, a connected car insurance startup, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Social Capital led, and was joined by insiders Anthemis and Dig Ventures. http://axios.link/OsDJ
• Noetic Cyber, a Waltham, Mass.-based cyber asset management and controls platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Energy Impact Partners. http://axios.link/vx6d
• ConverseNow, a developer of AI ordering assistants for quick-serve restaurants, raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Craft Ventures. http://axios.link/J4tc
• Silofit, a Canadian provider of on-demand fitness spaces, raised US$10.25 million in Series A funding. Whitecap Venture Partners led, and was joined by Courtside Ventures and Alate Partners. http://axios.link/v4rH
• Algramo, a Chilean developer of reusable containers and distribution points, raised $8.5 million led by Dalus Capital. http://axios.link/RMmC
• INKR, a Singapore-based digital comics platform, raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. http://axios.link/tgBU
• Spot, an Austin, Texas-based provider of accidental injury insurance, raised $15 million in equity seed funding and $2.5 million of debt. GreatPoint Ventures led, and was joined by Montage Ventures, Mutual of Omaha, MS&AD and Silverton Partners. http://axios.link/CS1d
• Relief, a fintech that negotiates on behalf of users with credit card debt, raised $2 million in seed funding led by Collaborative Fund. http://axios.link/JXET
• Drips, an Akron, Ohio-based conversational AI platform, raised money from Accel-KKR. www.drips.com
• Great Hill Partners acquired Labor First, a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based provider of group retiree Medicare benefit management solutions. www.laborfirst.com
• Iress (ASX: IRE), an Australian financial services software provider, rejected two takeover bids from EQT, the second of which valued the company at A$2.96 billion. http://axios.link/UJaQ
🚑 OMERS Infrastructure is in pole position to buy German lab group Amedes from Antin, per Reuters. http://axios.link/C0YV
• Summit Partners invested €180 million in Odoo, a Belgian provider of all-in-one business software. Sellers include Sofinnova Partners and XAnge. www.odoo.com
• TowerBrook Capital Partners agreed to buy a majority stake in French office furniture maker Bruneau from Equistone. http://axios.link/0ZW0
• TSG Consumer Partners bought Rough Country, a Dyersburg, Tenn.-based provider of truck and Keep accessories, from Gridiron Capital. www.roughcountry.com
• Wynnchurch Capital acquired Trimlite, a Renton, Wash.-based maker of residential doors. www.trimlite.com
• Clarios International, a Milwaukee-based maker of low-voltage vehicle batteries, postponed an IPO that had been set raise around $1.7 billion. The company was acquired in 2019 for $13.2 billion by Brookfield Asset Management and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. http://axios.link/Cjfu
• European Wax Center, a Plano, Texas-based franchisor and operator of hair removal salons, set IPO terms to 10.6 million shares at $15-$18. It would have a $1.1 billion fully diluted value, were it to price in the middle, plans to list on the Nasdaq (EWCZ) and is backed by General Atlantic. http://axios.link/KL3o
🚑 Icosavax, a Seattle-based developer of a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, raised $182 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced in the middle of its $14-$16 range, will list on the Nasdaq (ICVX) and had raised $155 million from Qiming Venture Partners (13% pre-IPO stake), Adams Street Partners (12.9%), RA Capital (12.3%), Aventis (12.2%) and NanoDimension (10.8%). http://axios.link/QB6k
🚑 Rallybio, a New Haven, Conn.-based rare disease biotech founded by ex-Alexion execs, raised $81 million in its IPO. It priced at the low end of its $13-$15 range, will list on the Nasdaq (RLYB) and had raised $213 million from firms like 5AM Ventures, Viking Global, Rise fund, F-Prime Capital Partners, Tekla Capital Management, Canaan Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners and Connecticut Innovations. http://axios.link/ee6W
• Riskified, an Israeli provider of e-commerce fraud protection for enterprises, raised $368 million in its IPO. It priced at $21 ($18-$20 range), for a $3.3 billion market value. It will list on the NYSE (RSKD) and had raised over $225 million from firms like Genesis Capital, Pitango, Fidelity and General Atlantic. http://axios.link/uQzk
🚑 Nuvalent, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech focused on kinase targets in cancer, raised $166 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced in the middle of its $16-$18 range, will to list on the Nasdaq (NUVL) and had raised $187 million from Deerfield Management (60% pre-IPO stake), Bain Capital Life Sciences (8.4%), Fidelity (7%), Wellington Management, Viking Global, Janus Henderson, Avoro Capital Advisors, Boxer Capital, Venrock, Fairmount Funds, Driehaus Capital Management and Logos Capital. http://axios.link/wBcJ
• MeridianLink, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based credit reporting and lending platform owned by Thoma Bravo, raised $343 million in its IPO. It priced 13.2 million shares at $26, versus plans to offer 12 million at $24-$26, and listed on the NYSE (MLNK). http://axios.link/k1Ws
🥩 Traeger, a Salt Laker City-based maker of wood pellet grills, raised $424 million in its IPO. It priced at the high end of its $16-$18 range, will list on the NYSE (COOK) and is backed by AEA Investors, Ontario Teachers’ and Trilantic Capital Management. http://axios.link/uM7N
• Nanosys, a Milpitas, Calif.-based developer of quantum-dot tech for electronic displays, is in talks to go public at around a $1 billion valuation via GigInternational1, a SPAC led by semiconductor vet Avi Katz, per Bloomberg. Nanosys had raised over $200 million (plus got a PPP loan) from firms like Samsung Ventures and Applied Ventures. http://axios.link/vUxd
• Vacasa, a Portland, Ore.-based vacation rental management platform, agreed to go public at an implied $4.5 billion valuation via TPG Pace Solutions (NYSE: TPGS). It had raised over $600 million from firms like Silver Lake, NewSpring Capital, Riverwood Capital and Level Equity. http://axios.link/x5h2
• Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition, a minority-owned business SPAC, filed for a $100 million IPO. http://axios.link/69y3
• WODA Corp., a fashion sustainability SPAC, filed for a $100 million IPO. http://axios.link/sEWR
🚑 Lee Equity and FFL Partners are seeking a buyer for Summit BHC, a Franklin, Tenn.-based network of mental health and addiction treatment centers, per PE Hub. http://axios.link/EBNW
• Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) acquired Suplari, a Seattle-based provider of supplier spend intelligence software that had raised over $18 million (plus got a PPP loan) from firms like Madrona Venture Group and Shasta Ventures, Amplify Partners, Two Sigma Ventures and Workday Venture. http://axios.link/3qc3
• SoftBank Vision Fund plans to sell 45 million of its 184 million shares in Uber (NYSE: UBER), to help offset losses on its investment in Didi Chuxing (NYSE: DIDI).
🚑 Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API) rejected an A$680 million takeover offer from retailer Wesfarmers (ASX: WES). http://axios.link/LB7z
• FLSmidth of Denmark agreed to pay €325 million for Thyssenkrupp’s mining equipment unit. http://axios.link/iG10
🚑 Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC), a Chicago-based medical equipment maker, rejected a $9.6 billion takeover offer from Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Dt6W
• Volkswagen agreed to buy a majority stake in Paris-listed car rental company Europcar at a €2.9 billion valuation. http://axios.link/bSdV
• Tribe Capital raised $333 million for its second VC fund. http://axios.link/tx7i
• Michelle Gonzalez was named global head of M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm. She previously was managing partner for Area 120, Google’s internal incubator, and an EIR with Comcast Ventures. www.m12.vc
• Donald Tucker joined DocuSign to work on corp dev and venture investments, per his LinkedIn. He previously was with Cisco. http://axios.link/eba1
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized 6.5% rate in Q2 2021. It's a tick higher than Q1 GDP, but well below the 8.4% rate that economists expected. Go deeper.
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