A Unique $60 Million Investment Fund and Increased Acquisitions within Startup Community

Equity Podcast 2019 Phone
Ah, spring has sprung here in the Northeast United States, and it’s not only flowers that are blooming. Today on Equity’s startup-focused Wednesday show, we dug into the Multiverse-Searchlight deal, which reminded us of the Wonderschool-Early Day transaction that we covered on the show a few weeks ago. Startup Land is feeling quite busy and high-dollar again, and that’s a lot of fun! We wrapped up the show with a cool discussion of this new venture capital fund that’s targeting growth-rounds in Africa. Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.

“Verod-Kepple’s Pan-African Venture Capital Fund Secures $60M in Inaugural Close”

Vk E1712670688650
Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) plans to back up to 21 growth-stage companies across the continent after closing its first fund at $60 million. The pan-African VC hit the milestone following fresh backing from Nigeria’s SCM Capital formerly Sterling Capital Markets Limited, and the only non-Japanese investor. Verod-Kepple is the latest African VC to get capitalized, amid an ongoing investment downturn, allowing it to provide much-needed capital to series A and B startups even as local capital pools for growth-stage companies remain limited. We think there’s still a need for more growth stage capital with locally based investors,” she said. How VKAV makes investmentsThe VKAV fund backs startups that are building infrastructure for the digital economy, solving inefficiencies encountered by businesses, and market creators for the emerging consumer population.

“Boosting Small Businesses: Homebase’s $60M Series D Funding to Revolutionize Team Management”

Hb Co Founders
The round also includes existing investors, Notable Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and PLUS Capital. “To have over 2 million workers on Homebase, which is over 2% of the workforce, is impressive for a private company,” Richards said. In 2021, sources told TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden that the company’s valuation was between $500 million and $600 million. “We are using technology to give workers superpowers and in fact, make the work more human, not less,” Waldmann said. Small businesses have always provided that, and this, to me, is why our mission is so important to make these jobs even better.”

“LG Invests $60M in Bear Robotics: The Fledgling Robot Waiter Company”

Screen Shot 2019 08 30 At 3.00.42 Pm
LG Electronics may no longer be a household name in smartphones, but it still sees a big future in gadgets like robots. Today, the company confirmed a $60 million investment in Bear Robotics, the California startup that makes artificial intelligence-powered server robots for restaurants and other venues — autonomous tray towers on wheels that are meant to replace waiters. With the investment, LG Electronics becomes Bear’s largest shareholder. We’ve contacted Bear and LG for further comment. The Korean electronics company has been researching and developing software and hardware in robotics.