NEWS: SoCal Funding Roundup – July 6-10, 2020: Okami Medical, LaneAxis, Kernel, Aerovironment, Grow Credit, Outstanding Foods, VelosBio
Here are startups throughout SoCal that announced receiving investments this past week, July 6 – July 10, 2020.
And, also those that opened up new rounds or extensions.
And, entities that made investments or started new funds. San Diego saw the biggest investment — $137 million for a biopharma startup…
Orange County (med-device): Okami Medical closed a Series D round of $7.2 million. The financing was led by U.S. Venture Partners, and was joined by members of Okami’s board of directors and med-device industry veterans.
Okami is the second portfolio company of med-device incubator Inceptus Medical, with HQ in Aliso Viejo.
Okami is working to commercialize its innovative catheter-based technologies for peripheral vascular occlusion.
Its system was designed to provide physicians with a single-device for the occlusion of a wide range of arterial targets, without the need for multiple embolic devices.
(from multiple sources – this news first came out on June 12)
Orange County (logistics): LaneAxis raised more than $1 million on crowdfunding platform StartEngine. The startup, with HQ in Huntington Beach, is integrating SaaS tech into the supply chain industry to eliminate what it considers to be “outdated processes.”
LaneAxis uses a data network to connect shippers with carriers and automates shipping management.
Its Pro Truck Driver app was launched in Q4 of last year.
The funds will be used to scale its network and grow the customer base.
Los Angeles (brain recording tech): Kernel, a startup developing tech that monitors magnetic fields and neural activity in the brain, has raised $53 million in a Series C funding round.
The funding was led by General Catalyst, and also included Khosla Ventures, Eldridge, Manta Ray Ventures, and Tiny Blue Dot.
The startup, led by founder and CEO Bryan Johnson, said the funding is the first outside funding of the company.
Johnson, himself, contributed $54 million prior to this raise.
Kernel developed brain recording technologies, which it says are non-invasive, called Flow and Flux.
Flux detects the magnetic fields generated by collective neural activity in the brain (i.e. magnetic flux);
Flow detects cortical hemodynamics, which is representative of neural activity (i.e. blood flow).
The company says its tech might help in the discovery of biomarkers of cognition and brain health, as well as enhancing AI for those who have difficulty with tasks like computer vision, attention, translation and natural language processing.
(From Socal Tech)
Los Angeles (unmanned aircraft systems)
Aerovironment has received a $21 million contract option from the U.S. Army for radio frequency modifications for its Raven UAVs. A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle (an aircraft piloted by remote control or onboard computers).
The award is part of the first of three options under a Flight Control Systems contract. The total award is worth up to $55 million.
The company said the contract includes avionics and data link upgrade packages to modify radio frequencies employed by the Army’s existing fleet of Raven tactical aircraft systems
Aerovironment said delivery will take place over a two-year period.
Los Angeles (fintech): Grow Credit, which provides small- dollar loans and helps consumers establish their credit record, has added a new investor, Commerce Ventures.
Commerce Ventures will join its seed funding round alongside lead investor Mucker Capital, as well as Minal Hasan, founder of K2 Global Ventures.
Size of the investment was not announced.
Grow Credit also said that MRV Banks, a fast growing bank in Missouri, has joined as its latest bank partner. MRV will support a variety of financially inclusive products nationwide for Grow including its Build Membership.
Grow Credit’s service lets consumers establish or re-establish their credit by paying for subscriptions to such services as Netflix, Spotify, or Disney Plus.
Los Angeles (plant-based snacks): Outstanding Foods, known for its PigOut Pigless Pork Rinds raised $5 million.
The funding was led by SternAegis Ventures, and also included LA lakers player JaVale McGee.
The company said it will roll out new products with the funding round, and also use the capital for faster R&D, nationwide marketing, retail expansion, and hiring.
Outstanding Foods said its products are all free from gluten, soy, GMOs, trans fats, and cholesterol. The startup gives back to nonprofits that help improve the well-being of farm animals, the environment and the health of the communities it serves.
San Diego (biopharma): VelosBio raised $137 million in a Series B funding round, to go towards its oncology efforts. The funding was led by Matrix Capital and Surveyor Capital, and also included Adage Capital Management LP, Cormorant Asset Management, Farallon, Foresite Capital, Janus Henderson Investors and Logos Capital.
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