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Clarity Pediatrics raises $10M for treating ADHD and other chronic childhood conditions | TechCrunch

Raising young kids who have been diagnosed with, or are suspected of having, ADHD can be challenging. Some children with this condition may have difficulties completing school work or grow easily frustrated and throw tantrums.

Parents who try to turn to professionals for help are often shocked to learn that due to a nationwide shortage of psychologists, it can take as long as nearly a year to get diagnosed and start seeing a therapist. And that’s not even mentioning the high cost of treatment, which can add up to thousands of dollars a year for out-of-network care.

Clarity Pediatrics, a chronic care startup founded in 2021, says it can reduce the wait time for receiving a diagnosis and beginning ADHD therapy from many months to a couple of days, for an average $15 co-pay per session.

The company’s secret sauce is that instead of providing individual therapy to children, the startup runs 8-week group therapy sessions for parents of newly or previously diagnosed kids.

Clarity chose to offer behavioral parent training (BPT) for one simple reason: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it for families of children ages five to 12 with mild-to-moderate ADHD. Since young kids are not mature enough to change on their own, BPT teaches parents strategies and skills to help their children focus in school and control emotional outbursts.

“There is no evidence that one-to-one therapy is effective for young kids with ADHD,” said Clarity’s CEO and co-founder Christina LaMontagne.

Over the last 18 months, Clarity has provided online care to thousands of families in California, and it plans to use $10 million in seed funds it raised from Rethink Impact with participation from Homebrew and Maverick Ventures, to expend its services to other states in 2024.

Clarity is certainly not alone in trying to solve the problem of the lack of therapists for children. Startups like Brightline, Little Otter and Bend Health offer online pediatric mental health services, including ADHD.

For now, Clarity is solely focused on treating ADHD in kids ages five to 12 by providing diagnosis, therapy and prescriptions, but the company has plans to eventually offer healthcare for low-complexity pediatric chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and obesity.

Prior to founding Clarity, LaMontagne was the chief operating officer at Pill Club and a corporate development executive at Johnson & Johnson. The company’s co-founder, Dr. Alesandro Larrazbal, is a pediatrician who was trained at UCSF and Stanford and was in charge of specialty services at Kaiser Permanente.

Clarity’s seed round also included investments from January Ventures, Vamos Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Citylight VC.

Heidi Patel, a managing partner at Rethink Impact, said she invested in Clarity because the incidence rate of chronic disease in children has tripled over the last forty years, but the medical system doesn’t have enough specialists to treat these kids.

“There’s a really long wait time, and then even if you get a diagnosis, treatments are often not available, which is why 80% of kids are left completely untreated,” she said. “With Clarity, you’re getting a full basket of care.”

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Equities platform Midas raises $45M Series A as fintech retains its sparkle in Turkey | TechCrunch

Midas, a fintech startup that allows people in Turkey to invest in U.S. and Turkish equities, says it has raised $45 million in a funding round led by Portage Ventures of Canada.

The startup is aimed at Turkey’s retail investor market and claims to have more than 2 million users. Its pitch is that it charges significantly lower transaction and commission fees for Turkish customers who want to invest in U.S. or Turkish stocks. It also offers financial content, real-time stock market data and news, and company profiles — all to educate what many consider to be somewhat of an emerging market.

“If you came to Turkey three years ago, there were only 1.5 million investors. That’s in a country of 80 million,” Egem Eraslan, CEO and founder of Midas, told TechCrunch. “Capital markets penetration rates were very, very low. Mobile banking in Turkey is very good and widespread, but there was a lack of investment in equities products because of a lack of infrastructure.”

According to Eraslan, Midas managed to change that dynamic by building its own infrastructure and providing a decent user experience. “We were extremely capital-efficient. We built much of the initial infrastructure product and licensing with less than $500,000, and that allowed us to launch, get traction, raise capital and break that deadlock. We might be the only new broker in the world that launched self-clearing, self-custody, and self-execution.”

Midas is not dissimilar to U.S.-based Robinhood, which has become a giant in the space by providing retail investors an easy avenue to investing in the financial markets. But Eraslan explains that his company has had take a different tack in Turkey.

“We had to launch multiple products with our own self-clearing, custody, and with the entire value chain. If you’re Robinhood, you don’t have to do self-custody or self-clearing.”

Midas now plans to use the new funding to roll out three new products: cryptocurrency trading, mutual funds, and savings accounts. The company has plans to expand beyond Turkey, and aims to target countries in the MENA region.

International Finance Corporation, Spark Capital, Earlybird Digital East Fund, and Revo Capital also participated in the round. The company last raised an $11 million seed round in 2022. Arriving within three years of its founding, Midas’ latest fundraise is one of the largest by a Turkish fintech in recent years, close behind embedded finance startup Param, which raised $50 million in 2022.

Cem Sertoglu, managing partner of Earlybird Digital East Fund, of the startup’s early investors said, “Having timed the explosion in demand in the Turkish investment market perfectly as the first digital-native investment platform, Midas has been executing flawlessly. Winning the domestic market in the world’s 11th-largest economy will already be a success for Midas, but its ambitions lie further than that.”

In a statement, Paul Desmarais III, co-Founder of Portage, and CEO and chairman of Sagard, said: “Midas is leading a wave of transformation within Turkey’s financial landscape. Globally, Portage invests in transformational financial technology and Midas is poised to lead that initiative in a region of early adopters.”

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Langdock raises $3M with General Catalyst to help companies avoid vendor lock-in with LLMs | TechCrunch

Plenty of large corporations want to join the AI revolution, but many feel it’s too early to be locked into one foundational model. That means there’s a market for a layer between companies and Large Language Models (LLMs) — something companies can use to pick LLMs easily without needing to commit for all time to one platform.

That’s the market Langdock is targeting with its chat interface that sits between LLMs and a company. Based out of Germany, the startup has recently raised a $3 million seed round led by General Catalyst, and its European seed-stage partner, La Famiglia.

“Companies don’t want to have a vendor lock-in on just one of those LLM providers,” Lennard Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Langdock, told TechCrunch. “So we’ve kind of abstracted that away in an interface that allows a company to choose which of the underlying models from different vendors can be used by employees.”

Langdock’s chat interface lets companies tap foundational models, open source models, or host their own models and make that accessible, Schmidt said.

The funding round also saw participation from Y Combinator and some noted German founders, including Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago), Hanno Renner (Personio), Johannes Reck (GetYourGuide), and Erik Muttersbach (Forto), along with around 25 other angel investors.

In particular, there is a European play here: Langdock is “going heavy” into the idea that companies in the EU will want to safely and securely integrate LLMs in a manner that’s compliant with regulation.

That means employees can operate in a slightly more closed environment, enabling them to create, for instance, prompt libraries, use more than one LLM, and add sensitive documents.

In addition to the chat interface, the company also offers security, cloud and on-premises solutions.

Langdock claims to have a number of customers including Merck, GetYourGuide, HeyJobs, and Forto. Merck has rolled out the startup’s interface to its 63,000 employees. Walid Mehanna, chief data and AI officer at Merck, said in a statement: “We are early adopters of GenAI and see a paradigm shift in how technology can enable our employees to become more effective and efficient in their daily work life.”

Langdock is not the only company to tackle this space.

Dust, based out of Paris, has raised €5 million to date and is backed by Sequoia. The company is building an interface that companies can use to leverage LLMs for various use cases like customer service, internal reports, research, and more. In contrast, Langdock’s chat interface works for a broader range of use cases and can be used by any kind of staff.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Proxima Fusion raises $21M to build on its 'stellarator' approach to nuclear fusion | TechCrunch

Venture capitalists’ appetite for fusion startups has been up and down in the last few years. For instance, the Fusion Industry Association found that while nuclear fusion companies had attracted over $6 billion in investment in 2023, $1.4 billion more than in 2022, the 27% growth proved slower than in 2022, as investors battled external fears such as inflation.

However, numbers don’t tell the full story: Venture interest in the field has remained strong as startups begin to find novel ways to potentially capture the power of the sun to produce safe, limitless energy.

The field reached a significant milestone in 2022 when the Department of Energy’s National Ignition Facility managed to bring about a fusion reaction that produced more power than was required to spark a fuel pellet. And then in August last year, the team confirmed that their first test wasn’t just good fortune. The road to true fusion power remains long, but the kicker is that it’s no longer theoretical.

The latest company looking to make a name for itself in the space is Proxima Fusion, the first spin-out from the lauded Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP). Munich-based Proxima has raised €20 million ($21.7 million) in a seed round to begin building its first generation of fusion power plants.

The company bases its technology on “quasi-isodynamic (QI) stellarators” with high-temperature superconductors. In plain English, a stellarator is a doughnut-shaped ring of precisely positioned magnets that can contain the plasma from which fusion energy is born. However, stellarators are  extremely hard to make, as they position the magnets in rather odd shapes, and require extremely precise engineering.

Proxima Fusion claims it came up with a way to address these issues using both engineering solutions and advanced computing in 2022, and as a spin-out, the company has now built on research from the Max Planck IPP, which built the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) experiment, the world’s largest stellarator.

The new approach to fusion is only possible because of the ability to use AI to simulate the behavior of the plasma, thus bringing the prospect of viable nuclear fusion nearer, Dr. Francesco Sciortino, co-founder and CEO of Proxima Fusion, told TechCrunch over a call.

German startup Marvel Fusion, which has been funded by German VC Earlybird, uses laser containment to spark the reaction, and when I asked Sciortino why Proxima uses stellarators, he said, “With lasers, you take a small pellet and blast heat at it with many very powerful lasers. That releases energy via fusion, but you’re compressing something and letting it explode. Whereas what we are working on is that actual confinement. So it’s not an explosion, but in a steady state; it’s continuous in operation.”

Sciortino, who completed his PhD at MIT on tokamak nuclear projects, said Proxima will leverage what has been learned from the W7-X device, which has had more than €1 billion in public investment. He added the projected timeline to get to fusion energy is by the mid-2030s. “We’re looking at, give or take, 15 years. Building an intermediate device in Munich most likely by 2031 is our objective. If we manage to get to that then the middle of the 2030s is possible.”

The startup’s investors are equally convinced.

Ian Hogarth, a partner at one of Proxima’s investors, Plural, told me, “There are two big things that I think are really compelling about what Proxima are doing. First, their stellarator has benefited from two big, big trends in high-temperature superconductors and progress in computer-aided simulation of complex, multi-physics systems. And secondly, the world’s most advanced stellarator in the whole world is in North Germany.”

He thinks that Proxima being the first spin-out from that ambitious government project will give it the edge it needs to succeed: “It’s a classic example of the ‘entrepreneurial state,’ where a startup can build on top of this incredible public investment.”

That said, Proxima is not the only player in the race for fusion. Helion Energy raised a $500 million Series E two years ago, led by tech entrepreneur and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, for instance. And there are at least 43 other companies developing nuclear fusion technologies.

Proxima’s seed round was led by Redalpine, with participation from the Bavarian government-backed Bayern Kapital, German government-backed DeepTech & Climate Fonds and the Max Planck Foundation. Plural and existing investors High-Tech Gründerfonds, Wilbe, UVC Partners and the Tomorrow Fund of Visionaries Club also participated in the round.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Screen Skinz raises $1.5 million seed to create custom screen protectors | TechCrunch

Clay Canning had an idea while in high school: smartphone screen protectors that featured logos, right on the screen.

He later connected with Rashaun Brown, who was working in sports and licensing at the time, and the idea for Screen Skinz was born.

“We both understood the opportunity and complemented each other’s weakness,” Brown, the company’s CEO, told TechCrunch. “In December 2022, I resigned from my job to pursue building Screen Skinz with Clay full time.”

Now, Screen Skinz can officially announce the closing of a $1.5 million seed round led by South Loop Ventures and Abo Ventures.

The company produces custom, patent-pending phone screen protectors that feature personalized logos or slogans that are visible when the phone screen is black and then disappear when the phone is in use. Customers can create their own designs or pick from the company’s existing catalog.

Phone accessories have always been a massive market, with the global screen protector market alone worth an estimated $51 billion as of 2023.

Screen Skinz already holds creative licenses with various big-name brands, working with organizations such as the NFL and NBA and entertainment brands like Marvel and the WWE.

Example of Screen Skinz screen protector. Image Credits: Screen Skinz

The latest fundraise allowed Screen Skinz to move manufacturing from Asia to the U.S., allowing it to more easily control its supply chain.

The company is looking to double down on the screen protection industry, and though it currently only focuses on smartphones, there is a plan to one day expand to making screen protectors for tablets. “With our IP, we can essentially develop screen protection for any mobile device that has use for a screen protector and features a backlit display,” Brown said.

Brown described Screen Skinz’s fundraising process as “different,” stating that it took the company about a year to close its seed round. Brown and Canning intentionally took their time, as they also sought to refine their supply chain and prepare inventory for a mass go-to-market. “We wanted to do the work of selling a realistic vision to investors,” Brown said.

Screen Skinz met its co-lead investor, Abo Ventures, through Brown’s network from when he worked at Texas A&M. They then met South Loop Ventures while participating in the DivInc Sports Tech Accelerator in Houston.

Michelle Micone, the former SVP of consumer products at NFL and Hasbro, said she liked that the team had a unique concept and also figured out the manufacturing and logistics of producing it. “Customers want a high level of personalization, but it’s really, really hard to deliver on time and at a reasonable price. Screen Skinz has that formula, and I wanted to be part of it,” she told TechCrunch.

Other investors in the round include Brent Montgomery, the CEO of Wheelhouse CEO, alongside Wayne Pfeffer and Brendan O’Donnel, former directors of worldwide mobile accessory products at Apple. Pfeffer, in particular, was also sold on the idea of making screen protectors more personalizable. “For years, personalizing your device was limited to the case,” he told TechCrunch. “When I saw the evolution to the front on a screen protector, I was sold!

Brown said the company could look to raise as early as next year again. Screen Skinz next has some partnerships lined up and is focused on customer acquisition and deepening licensing relationships.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Ramp raises another $150 million co-led by Khosla and Founders Fund at a $7.65B valuation | TechCrunch

Spend management startup Ramp has raised another $150 million at a post-money valuation of $7.65 billion, the company confirmed to TechCrunch today.

New investor Khosla Ventures and existing backer Founders Fund co-led the raise, which also included participation from new backers Sequoia Capital, Greylock and 8VC. Other existing investors Thrive Capital, General Catalyst, Sands Capital, D1 Capital, Lux Capital, Iconiq Capital, Definition Capital, Contrary Capital also put money into the latest round.

The raise is characterized as an extension of Ramp’s Series D, in which the fintech company raised $300 million at a 28% lower valuation of $5.8 billion. The latest capital infusion brings it back closer to the $8.1 billion valuation it had achieved in March of 2022.

With this raise, Ramp has secured $1.2 billion in equity financing and $700 million in committed debt funding since its 2019 inception.

In March 2023, co-founder and CEO Eric Glyman told TechCrunch that the company saw its revenue grow by 4x in 2022 — led by its fastest-growing segment of bill pay — but was not yet profitable. The company had crossed $100 million in annualized revenue before its third birthday in March 2022, and said last summer that it had passed $300 million in annualized revenue.

While the company declined to reveal updated revenue figures, Glyman told TechCrunch today that in the first quarter of this year, Ramp’s total purchase volume and revenue growth increased “faster quarter over quarter than it did over the same period in 2023, on a much larger base.”

Notably, Keith Rabois led the investment for new backer Khosla, having recently moved to the firm from Founders Fund. Apparently, there were no hard feelings on the part of Founders Fund, which still participated in the financing, even without Rabois. 

The relationship with Founders Fund “runs so deep,” Glyman said, as the company was its first institutional investor since its “very early days.” While they work with the whole team there, Glyman pointed to partners Napoleon Ta and Delian Asparouhov as being the “most involved” since Rabois’ departure. (It’s worth noting that Rabois originally represented Founders Fund and has sat on Ramp’s board since 2019.) 

Glyman said he believes that Ramp’s continued emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) also helped attract Khosla’s interest. (Khosla is an early investor in OpenAI).

“They were so ahead of the curve in investing with OpenAI and in what’s happening in the AI world that of course, so we were thrilled,” he added.

Ramp counts over 25,000 companies across a variety of industries as customers. Interestingly, venture-backed startups represent a “minority” of its customer base, which a includes farms, shops, hospitals and nonprofits.

Glyman told TechCrunch that the new funding will be used to “triple down” on innovation including using AI capabilities “to automate cumbersome processes, provide deeper insights into spending, enhance decision-making capabilities, and more.” Last November, Ramp announced a new integration with Microsoft Copilot as part of its efforts to incorporate AI into its offering.

“I think there’s this this shift in AI investment from primarily being on these large infrastructure models to the application layer,” Glyman said.

Ramp will also use the money towards acquisitions. In January, the company announced it had acquired AI-powered startup Venue as it expanded its procurement offering. Generally, in the past few years, Ramp has been on what might look like a buying spree. In August of 2021, Ramp purchased Buyer, a “negotiation-as-a-service” platform that claimed to save its clients money on big-ticket purchases such as annual software contracts. Then last year, Ramp acquired, (not to be confused with OpenAI competitor Cohere). was a startup that built an AI-powered customer support tool.

Presently, Ramp has about 730 full-time employees, up from 495 a year ago.

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Kiki World, a beauty brand that uses web3 for customer co-creation and ownership, raises $7M from a16z | TechCrunch

If you think that choosing a nail polish color or which ingredients go into your face cream can’t have anything to do with blockchain, think again.

Kiki World, a beauty startup launched last year, wants consumers to co-create products and co-own the company with the help of web3 technology.

On Tuesday, LA-based Kiki announced that it raised a $7 million seed round from the Andreessen Horowitz crypto fund and The Estée Lauder Companies’ New Incubation Ventures, along with other backers such as Orange DAO and 2 Punks Capital.  

Kiki co-founder Jana Bobosikova said she believes that being a loyal user of a brand in the Web 2.0 world can be a net negative experience. “You probably have watched a lot of creators on TikTok recommend it to you. You probably recommended it to all your friends. And what do you get for that? Just more retargeted ads,” she said.

Kiki is flipping that model by allowing its community members to vote on the features they want before the beauty products are made. As a reward, voters earn points toward free products and receive digital tokens in the company.    

“It’s a dynamic that the internet and your bathroom have not seen yet,” Bobosikova said. (She may be right about the bathroom, though of course, the internet has seen plenty of customers vote on products and earn digital tokens for their participation.)

Since it’s not uncommon for cosmetics companies to find themselves with large piles of inventory they can’t sell, another benefit of Kiki’s on-demand approach is that it uses less capital and resources.

Although members’ product votes are recorded on Ethereum, Bobosikova said some participants don’t need to know they are taking action on blockchain. Users can sign in with an email, and voila, Kiki has created an on-chain account that will store the members’ votes into perpetuity.  

a16z decided to back Kiki after the startup completed its 10-week crypto startup accelerator program. “Jana is a force of nature. She was one of the things that most drew us to the company,” said Arianna Simpson, a general partner at the firm. “She has incredible expertise in the beauty space, but also a unique understanding of web3, which is not always something we see if we have a founder coming out of a more traditional industry.”

Prior to founding Kiki, the Czech-born Bobosikova was the CEO of Epic Future Labs, a product development and brand innovations agency.

Simpson noted that Kiki is not the firm’s only bet on a company that rewards customers using blockchain technology. Last year, a16z led a $24 million Series A of Blackbird Labs, a hospitality tech company that developed a loyalty program that incentivizes guests to dine in independent restaurants.

For now, Kiki has launched five product collections, including a nail polish pen, for which consumers can choose the next color Kiki will manufacture.

But, as Simpson pointed out, Kiki has plans to eventually expand beyond the world of beauty.

How long will it be until it’s possible to vote on jeans styles or purse sizes? Perhaps a while.

“We have faced insane challenges on the physical side of things,” Bobosikova said, adding that some products take much longer to manufacture than others. “The power of asking people what they want and giving it to them, it’s very, very simple. It’s just very hard to do.”

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

TransferGo raises $10M to expand its remittance business in Asia, doubling valuation | TechCrunch

TransferGo, the U.K.-based fintech best known as a consumer platform for global remittances, has raised a $10 million growth funding round from Taiwan-based investor Taiwania Capital, with a view to expanding in the Asia-Pacific region. It last raised a $50 million Series C funding round in 2021.

TransferGo claims its growth, combined with the new investment, doubles its valuation. In September 2021 Dealroom valued it at $200 million-$300 million, but TransferGo declined to go into specifics.

Daumantas Dvilinskas, TransferGo co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch: “We have been profitable for the last year in and out, and the only burn was marketing, but the burn was very limited. We achieved sustainability of the business and became profitable and we still have proceeds from the last funding round. So we are profitable. We don’t need external capital to grow.”

However, he saw the opportunity to raise funding from Asia to expand there. “We raised money because we wanted to expand faster in Asia Pacific. So that’s the next frontier for us,” he said. “We are still taking customers from incumbents: 75% come from cash, banks and Western Union — that’s still the gorilla in the room.”

He puts TransferGo’s growth down to focusing on the consumer experience. “We’ve always been probably the most consumer-centric company in the space,” he said. “This is evident in our Trusted Reviews — still better than others. We really build out the product for our consumers. So that instant settlement of 90%, 24/7 instant, consumers love that. And it’s not easy to do. It takes time. You have to solve existing technology issues.”

Still, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Last year TransferGo was hit with a €310,000 fine from the Bank of Lithuania for AML (i.e. anti-money laundering) failings.

“We’ve been going through inspection and they found some procedural gaps that we closed by the end of the year,” Dvilinskas told me. “Regulation is getting stronger, but we’re happy that we closed the door on that, because we received successful feedback from them after closing the mediation.”

TransferGo largely competes with market dominator Western Union, but newer upstarts such as Remitly and Wise are also in the competitive mix.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Sprinto raises $20M to bring automation to security compliance management | TechCrunch

Sprinto, a security compliance and risk platform, has raised a $20 million Series B round to build more automation into its compliance management platform and widen its customer base to include the wide gamut of companies that operate digitally but aren’t tech-first.

Compliance with frameworks such as SOC 2, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ) has become crucial for companies across sectors to ensure data security and privacy, but compliance management remains a cumbersome process for most businesses, as it requires teams to maintain records frequently and regularly monitor data flows.

Sprinto is working to automate this aspect of security compliance management, which involves vendor risk management, vulnerability assessment, access control, evidence collection and other filing tasks. The company’s platform connects directly with its customers’ HR, IT, and engineering systems via over 160 integrations and has baked-in support for popular frameworks like SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), HIPAA, PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), and CIS. Sprinto uses a mix of AI, GPTs and its own internal large language model to offer efficiencies in compliance management. The company said it aims to focus more on bringing intelligence to the platform by bolstering its R&D.

“Our goal is to help companies build trust and grow their business using the trust they’ve built,” Sprinto’s co-founder, Girish Redekar, told TechCrunch.

The all-equity Series B funding round, which takes the company’s total capital raised to $31.8 million, was led by Accel. Existing investors Elevation Capital and Blume Ventures also participated.

The market for automated compliance management solutions already has players such as Vanta and Drata, which Sprinto considers its key competitors. However, Redekar said Sprinto primarily focuses on automating the entire compliance management process and helping businesses build trust.

Redekar founded Sprinto with Raghuveer Kancherla after their startup Recruiterbox was acquired by the private-equity firm Turn/River Capital in 2018. The co-founders were familiar with how difficult and onerous a problem compliance can be, and they set out to address that problem with their new startup.

Sprinto employs about 200 people, and Redekar said it currently has more than 1,000 customers across 75 countries, but a majority of its client base is in the U.S. and Europe. It plans to expand its presence in both these markets by attracting traditional businesses that have deployed tech but are not natively a tech company.

“The largest opportunity is in companies that are digitally native; they are not necessarily tech-first, but are tech-enabled. Increasingly, every company is a digital company in one way or another. We are really focused on growing that market,” Redekar told TechCrunch.

Redekar did not disclose the startup’s valuation, but Ravi Adusumalli, co-managing partner at Elevation Capital, said Sprinto has grown over 20x since it raised its Series A in 2021. Redekar said the company’s ARR rose 3x from 2022 to 2023, and is projected to double in the coming year.

“We are able to go a mile beyond just checking a box where you can show to an auditor that we do this, but we actually want to make you more secure. We want to do it more continuously. And we want to be able to build tools that help you demonstrate what you’re doing to external stakeholders,” he said.

The startup plans to utilize the fresh funding for product R&D and to cater to new businesses. Redekar said the plan is to scale its current intelligent automation by four times in less than 12 months.

“Sprinto is doing an incredible job of helping companies focus on their core business by making compliance low-touch, automated, and efficient. With a deep understanding of the product and a sharp focus on execution, Sprinto has been on a rare growth trajectory. We are thrilled to partner with Girish, Raghuveer, and their team at Sprinto in their mission to ensure that compliance becomes a driver of growth for businesses,” said Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel, in a prepared statement.

Software Development in Sri Lanka

Robotic Automations

Evolution Equity Partners raises $1.1B for new cybersecurity and AI fund | TechCrunch

Cybersecurity has had a rough go of it lately, with investment in the sector dropping a precipitous 40% compared to the year prior. But there’s promising early — if preliminary — signs of a recovery.

The vast majority of chief information security officers reported higher budgets for 2024, according to the cybersecurity-focused VC firm NightDragon. And, despite lower overall investment in the cybersecurity industry in Q1 2024, the number of deals increased compared to Q1 2023, per recruitment outfit Pinpoint.

It’s against this backdrop that Evolution Equity Partners, a growth capital investment firm based in NYC, today launched a $1.1 billion cybersecurity and AI fund, the third such fund in Evolution’s history.

The fund — Evolution Technology Fund III — was oversubscribed, with participation from existing and new endowments, sovereign investors, insurance companies, foundations, fund of funds, family offices and angels. It’ll pursue investments ranging from $20 million to $150 million in cybersecurity firms and startups leveraging machine learning and AI to build “market-leading” platforms, Richard Seewald, managing partner at Evolution and one of the firm’s founders, told TechCrunch.

“The Evolution Technology Fund III has already backed fifteen leading cybersecurity companies, initiating its investment period over 12 months ago,” Seewald said. “We expect to invest in a portfolio of up to thirty companies in the present fund. We’ll work with management teams and founders, providing them with support and insight in areas including sales and marketing, product technology, human capital, M&A and business development, really enabling them to excel.”

With Evolution Technology Fund III, Evolution’s strategy will be to reserve ~75% of the $1.1 billion total for early-growth-stage companies, ~15% for later-growth-stage startups and ~10% for earlier-stage VC tranches, with investments to be made not only in North America but in Europe and Israel — a hotspot for security tech.

“Our strategy is to invest that fund in a diversified portfolio across the different stages of maturity,” Seewald said. “We believe that provides private markets investors with diversified exposure to cybersecurity opportunities.”

ESG will be another factor, according to Seewald.

“Evolution is committed to integrating material environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in its investment processes and ownership practices,” he said. “We actively engage with our portfolio companies creating diverse boards and leadership teams bringing varied perspectives to decision-making processes, reducing the risk of groupthink and enhancing accountability.”

We’ll hold them to it.

Evolution, which has offices in Palo Alto, London and Zurich in addition to New York, was founded in 2008 by Seewald and Dennis Smith, who met while working together at the cybersecurity giant AVG (now owned by Avast). J.R. Smith and Karel Obluk — the former CEO and chief scientist at AVG, respectively — joined Seewald and Smith to start Evolution after AVG went public.

Evolution’s 30-person teams manages around $2 billion in assets and has backed 60 companies to date; its previous fund was $400 million. Among some of the firm’s more successful bets are Arctic Wolf (which is planning for an IPO), Talon Cyber (which is reportedly in negotiations with Palo Alto Networks for an M&A deal), Snyk, Aqua Security, SecurityScorecard and Carbon Black.

Software Development in Sri Lanka