‘Kiking’ into high gear; nucleic acid therapies startup gets $66 million in Series B; shorter diagnostic waits means big money for Genalyte
In another exciting Thursday filled with funding announcements, this is your daily dish from the Geektime crew.
Tencent kicks $50 million over to newly crowned unicorn Kik
Canadian messaging app Kik scored $50 million in Series D funding from Chinese Internet titan Tencent, the creator of WeChat and QQ. The investment comes as Kik was valued in unicorn territory (above $1 billion). CEO Ted Livingston implied in an open letter that Tencent was likely to be a permanent partner for the platform. Kik claims to have penetrated 40% of the American teenage market. Read at length about Kik’s rise here.
Kindara gets $5.3 million in seed funding
The round was led by Boston Seed Capital with investments also coming from a handful of other venture capital funds including SOS Ventures, Good Works Ventures, PV Ventures, MENA Venture Investments and 62 Mile Ventures.
The funding will go toward manufacturing Wink, their basal thermometer used by women to know when they are ovulating. The company produces numerous apps for women’s health.
The company purports 750,000 app downloads thus far. It has not submitted Wink for FDA approval yet. SOS provided $1.25 million of previous funding along with Vast Ventures, Drummond Road Capital, and angel investors according to Xconomy.
WAVE Life Sciences gets $66 million in Series B
The company focuses on “stereopure nucleic acid therapies” for rare diseases. According to a press release, the company hopes its latest round will fund research into experimental therapies for Huntington’s disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
HotelGG.com completes $20 million Series B Round
Shanghai-based event planning platform HotelGG.com just wrapped up a $20 million Series B round from former investors Matrix Partners, Chengwei Capital and SIG Asia Investments. The company has registered 100,000 users since its founding in 2012. Users can book spaces via the app and website.
According to the China Money Network, the company counts 12,000 transactions a month, worth over $67 million.
Genalyte raises $44 million from Khosla for blood-based diagnostics
San Diego-based medtech Genalyte raised $44 million in a Series C round led by Khosla Ventures. The round also included the Redmile Group, Claremont Creek Ventures, and BioMed Ventures. The company is looking to conduct clinical studies on its new Maverick Detection System. The company’s ultimate mission is to cut the wait time between test and results.
The detection system analyzes a blood drop onto a silicon microchip, where biosensors do the job that is typically done by tests requiring long incubation times.
Genalyte was founded in 2007 and is led by CEO Cary Gunn.
Evolve gets $9 million in Series A
Evolve Biosystems has scored $9 million in Series A, led by Tate and Lyle Ventures and Horizons Ventures. Spun out of UC Davis’ Food For Health Institute (FFHI) in 2011, the company develops probiotics products for infants. The company’s research focuses on dysbiosis, a condition that creates a lack of “good bacteria” found in human digestive systems. Dysbiosis is a leading cause of irritable bowel syndrome.
“Completion of the Series A round ahead of schedule is a reflection of both the importance of the ground-breaking discoveries of the company’s founders at the University of California at Davis, and a compelling business case that focuses on the improvement of the health trajectory for babies worldwide,” said CEO Dr. David Kyle said in a press release.
The company hopes to extend its research to other age groups.
Revel Systems raises $13.5 million in Series C- raising value to $500m
Revel Systems grabbed $13.5 million from Roth Capital Partners in Series C, bringing its haul to about $110 million. The company produces modern point-of-sale (unfortunately abbreviated POS) systems, touch screen interface systems, for use on iPads.
The company produces customized systems for grocery stores, concession stands at stadiums and department stores. The systems integrate with inventory, payroll management, split bills for customer and payment encryption, among other options.
The San Francisco-based startup was founded by Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra in 2010. The company is currently valued at over $500 million according to tech.co.
Photo Credit: Kik.com