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Giant Leap team: Will Richardson, Adam Milgrom, Rachel Yang, Charlie Macdonald. Image credit: Giant Leap

Funding roundup August 30 – September 3: $1.6b for Databricks, Giant leap launches the second fund and KOBA raises on Birchal

Dynamic Business brings you the key startup fundraising rounds from this week:

Databricks raises $1.6 billion in Series H at $38 billion valuation

Databricks, a data, and AI business announced a US$1.6 billion round of funding to accelerate data lakehouse innovation and adoption, as the data architecture’s popularity among data-driven organisations continues to increase at a rapid pace. 

Databricks has a post-money valuation of US$38 billion after the Series H fundraising led by Counterpoint Global. Other new investors joining Counterpoint Global include Baillie Gifford, ClearBridge Investments, and UC Investments.

Existing investors in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, BlackRock funds and accounts, CPP Investments, Coatue Management, Fidelity Management & Research, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Greenoaks, Octahedron Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates funds and accounts, Tiger Global Management, and Whale Rock Capital Management.

Giant Leap raises $15 million for second impact fund 

Giant Leap, Australia’s first pure impact venture capital fund, raised more than $15 million in less than four weeks for its second fund, Giant Leap II. 

Many investors from Fund I contributed to the fund, as did new investors including Former NAB CFO, Chair of QBE Australia and Pexa, Mark Joiner, and early employee of Culture Amp and co-founder of Bookish, Peter Haasz, are among the investors.

Giant Leap II will build on the work of Giant Leap I by investing in scalable businesses that combine financial returns with significant social and environmental impact across three core themes: sustainable living, health and wellbeing, and empowering people. 

Giant Leap, which was founded in 2016, is Australia’s first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to investing in impact start-ups. Giant Leap I, the company’s inaugural fund, went on to invest in 19 companies over the next four years.

Insurtech Open raises $31 million in Series B for expansion

Open, an Australian insurtech, has acquired $31 million in series B funding as it prepares to launch in New Zealand and the United Kingdom within the next 12 months. 

Movac, a New Zealand-based venture capital firm, and Latitude, a UK-based firm, led the round. AirTree Ventures, an existing investor, extended its support for the scale-up, bringing the total funding raised to $53 million. Hollard Insurance, which underwrites Open’s products, Seven West Media, and Five V are among the other investors.

Following the funding, the company plans to launch in New Zealand in late 2021, followed by the United Kingdom in mid-2022. The money will be used to expand the company’s staff in Australia and New Zealand, accelerate expansion, and provide new products for the SME market.

Refundid raises $3 million 

Refundid, an instant-refunds firm, has raised $3 million in equity and debt capital just six months after its launch. The financing was led by AP Ventures, the venture capital fund funded by Afterpay, the Australian buy-now, pay-later company. 

Paul Greenberg, an e-commerce veteran who previously formed the National Online Retailers Association, also has invested and will serve on Refundid’s advisory board. 

Refundid, a finance service founded in July 2020 and debuted in February 2021, is a fintech service designed to reduce waiting times for refunds for products purchased online. 

NZ startup Komodo raises $1.7 million for student welfare in schools

Komodo, a student wellbeing startup located in New Zealand, has raised NZ$1.8 million ($1.73 million) in seed capital as founders Chris Bacon and Jack Wood prepare to expand across Australia, New Zealand, and beyond. 

Folklore Ventures led the round, which also included Kylie Frazer and Rachael Neumann’s angel syndicate Flying Fox and Kiwi VC Icehouse Ventures. 

The startup offers a software solution that uses student data and surveys created by psychologists to identify individuals who may be in danger and assist them in dealing with common concerns such as cyberbullying, harassment, anxiety, and depression as early as possible.

KOBA Insurance raises $1 million through crowdsource funding round

Car insurance start-up KOBA Insurance has raised $1 million in a recent funding round on crowd-sourced equity platform Birchal. KOBA launched its crowdsourcing round earlier this week, meeting its minimum target of $200k in two hours and receiving $525k from 160 investors on the first day. 

In just five days, the start-up raised $1 million from 358 investors, exceeding its $1 million goal. KOBA, which was founded in 2020, provides comprehensive insurance that is divided into two calculations: a driving premium and a set premium.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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