NEWS: SoCal Funding Roundup – June 15-19: Rx3 Growth Partners, Unest, Open Raven, DroneBase, Cardiff Oncology, Engrail Therapuetics…

Here are startups throughout SoCal that announced receiving investments this week, June 15-19, 2020. And, also those that opened up new rounds or extensions. And, entities/funds that made investments.

Of note this week is that inspired by racial injustice and all the peaceful protests around the country calling for an end to systemic racism, among other things, the National Venture Capital Association finally admitted that although the national VC industry has produced “tremendous innovation and economic success,” it has done so by systematically excluding the participation of women, people of color, and other underrepresented minorities.

To help remedy that, the association announced that it’s launching a nonprofit, Venture Forward, with the goal of advancing initiatives around diversity, education, research, and history within the VC industry, to help promote a strong and inclusive community.

The NVCA – which represents the VC industry, has offices in Washington, D.C., Palo Alto and San Francisco.

The new venture is being funded by donors including Silicon Valley Bank, Deloitte, and Gunderson Dettmer; the new group is being structured as a public charity and supporting organization to the NVCA.

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Orange County (fund investment): Rx3 Growth Partners, in Newport Beach, invested $25 million in Hydrow in a Series B round. Hydrow is a fitness startup that created a connected indoor rowing machine. Hydrow’s HQ are in Massachusetts.

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Los Angeles (fintech): Unest, which developed a mobile app that helps parents invest in their children’s future, raised $9 million. The financing was led by Anthos Capital and included strategic investments from a new investor, two-time NBA All-star Baron Davis, as well as returning investors Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon, and Unlock Ventures. With this investment, UNest said it will accelerate its growth with strategic hires and industry-leading partnerships. It will also add new features including a gifting feature and expand its product offering to help families save for various major life events.

(From a company press release)

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Los Angeles (cybersecurity): Open Raven, a cybersecurity startup focused on preventing enterprise data leaks, has raised $15 million. The funding came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), along with Upfront Ventures, Signal Sciences, as well as angel investors including Phil Venables.

(From SoCalTech)

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Los Angeles (drone data): Drone data management software developer DroneBase raised $7.5 million in a Series C round. The funding came from investors Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures, and also included prior investors Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and DJI.

According to the company, it will use the new funding round to expand its services to the renewable energy market, rolling out a new product called DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar, as well as for expansion in Germany. DroneBase has now raised a total of $32M in funding.

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San Diego (pharma): Cardiff Oncology raised $13.5 million in an equity funding round. The company, which is working on drugs to treat cancer, said the funding was led by Acorn Bioventures and CAM Capital. The company said the funding will go to accelerate the development of its lead compound, onvansertib.

(From SoCalTech)

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San Diego (biopharma): Engrail Therapeutics, a biopharma startups developing treatments for diseases of the nervous system, has raised $32 million in a Series A funding round.

The funding was led by Nan Fung Life Sciences (NFLS).

The company said the funding will go towards clinical development of its first pipeline drug.

(From SoCalTech)

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If I’ve missed anything, please let me know – dnewman@ocstartupsnow.com

Thanks!

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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