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Funding roundup February 21 – February 25: Melbourne-founded change foods closes Seed round, E-bike co Zoomo secures $20m in Series B and Bitcoin mining startup Arkon Energy raises $2.6m in pre-seed capital

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

Melbourne-founded change foods closes Seed round

Change Foods has announced a $16.9 million Seed Extension round, bringing the total Seed investment to $21.5 million, a new high for precision fermentation companies. 

Upfield, Orkla, Green Generation Fund, Giant Leap, Google icon Jeff Dean, Plug and Play Ventures, Clear Current Capital, Better Bite Ventures, Sigma, English soccer star Chris Smalling, and Melbourne-based entrepreneur Tom Crago were among the large international and Australian impact investment funds and industry players who participated in the oversubscribed round. 

In addition, Upfield and Sigma signed strategic collaboration agreements with the company. Change Foods’ product development will be accelerated by the collaboration agreements, allowing the company to scale cheese production and distribution capability rapidly.

E-bike innovator Zoomo secures $20m in Series B funding round

Zoomo, the global leader in electric last-mile delivery vehicles, has announced a $20 million increase to its Series B funding round. 

The additional funds bring the total funding raised to date to more than US$100 million, a combination of equity and debt. As a new investor, Collaborative Fund led the round. Collaborative is a New York-based venture capital firm that has invested in well-known companies such as Lyft, Whoop, and Beyond Meat. 

Strategic investors in the round included the venture capital arm of Mitsubishi UFJ, one of Japan’s major conglomerates; SG Fleet, Australia’s leading provider of integrated mobility solutions; WIND Ventures, the venture capital arm of COPEC, one of Latin America’s most forward-thinking energy and mobility companies; and Akuna Capital, a leading trading firm.

Fintech Scalapay secures $692 million Series B

Scalapay, an Australian-founded BNPL startup, has raised A$692 million in a debt and equity Series B round. 

Tencent, a Chinese tech powerhouse, led the round, with participation from existing backers Tiger Global, Gangwal, Moore Capital, Deimos, and Fasanara Capital. 

The fintech already achieved unicorn status last year after raising a $210 million Series A round in September, which was followed by a $67 million seed round in January 2021.

RIOS announces $39m in new funding 

RIOS Intelligent Machines, the leader in end-to-end AI-powered robotic workcells for factory automation, announced today that it had raised $39 million (US$28 million) in Series A funding led by Main Sequence, the CSIRO-founded deep-tech fund. 

The round was oversubscribed, with new major investors Yamaha Motor Ventures, Orbit Venture Partners, and Hypertherm Ventures joining existing investors Morpheus Ventures, Grit Ventures, Valley Capital Partners, and others. Mike Zimmerman, a partner at Main Sequence, has joined the board of directors of RIOS, and Anish Patel, COO and Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Ventures, has joined as a board observer.

OCR Labs secures $42 million in Series B

OCR Labs, an Australian regtech firm, has closed a $42 million Series B round as it prepares to expand its global footprint. 

The digital identity verification technology is intended to assist businesses in complying with anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations by utilising features such as character recognition, face-matching, and video fraud assessment. 

In the last year, the startup has seen a 500 per cent increase in new clients and tripled its headcount. 

The latest round, led by New York venture capital firm Equable Capital, will expand its team in Australia, North America, and the EMEA region.

Customer experience startup Upflowy raises $6.6 million

Upflowy, a customer conversation platform based in Sydney, has raised US$4 million (A$6.6 million) to expand into the US market. Counterpart Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, led the round in its first Australian-based deal. 

Tidal, Global Founders Capital, Black Nova, and Antler increased their pre-seed investment in the two-year-old company, which emerged from Antler’s 2020 accelerator programme. The funds will be used for US expansion and expanding the local and US teams to 40+ full-time employees.

Bitcoin mining startup Arkon Energy raises $2.6 million in pre-seed capital

Arkon Energy, a bitcoin mining startup, has raised $2.6 million in a pre-seed round. 

The round was led by blockchain investment firm Kestrel0x1, with strategic investors including trade services and renewable energy products provider, Linked Group Services, and other angel investors. 

The funds will be used to expand the startup’s bitcoin mining operations.

Small business carbon tracking software startup Trace raises $1.5 million

Trace, a greentech startup, has raised $1.5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) track and manage their carbon emissions. 

21 investors participated in the round, including private family office 5 Pillars Capital, existing investor Antler, The Fund, Epoch Capital, Existential Capital, and several angel investors, including Envato co-founder Collis Ta’eed. 

Trace previously participated in the Antler accelerator programme and raised $400,000 in pre-seed funding.

Australian Start-Up Unlocks Remote Learning For Stem During COVID

When it was first released, Pokit Pro raised over $1.5 million on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. The company is seeking funding to scale and accelerate its growth while producing high-quality, innovative, and portable products for the electronic test and measurement industry.

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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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