Freightos has raised $14 million in Series B funding for its service for companies that organize the shipments of goods around the world, known as freight forwarders, to allow them to quickly issue quotes to customers, Yuliya Chernova reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. New investors MSR Capital and Sadara Ventures participated in the Series B round of investment along with existing investors, Aleph VC, Israel Cleantech Ventures, OurCrowd, which is a crowdfunding platform, and Annox Capital.
Freightos, which is incorporated as Tradeos Ltd., is one of several startups that are looking to modernize the shipping industry. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that since the start of 2104 venture capital firms have invested more than $1 billion in freight-forwarding companies. That amount is more than double the amount invested in the five years before that.
ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):
500 Startups a seed investor, is launching operations in Japan right after closing its third fund at $85 million. James Riney, who previously led the venture investment arm of Japanese giant DeNA, will lead 500 Startups Japan LP.
NEXTracker, a fast-growing solar startup, is being acquired by Flextronics International Inc., which agreed to pay more than $245 million in cash. Flextronics may pay $85 million more based on future performance targets.
Chef Software Inc., which helps businesses in a variety of sectors become “software-led enterprises,” has raised $40 million for further overseas expansion. DFJ Growth led the new Series E round, joined by returning investors Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ignition Partners and Scale Venture Partners, the company said. The round also featured a strategic investment by Hewlett Packard Ventures.
AveXis Inc., a company developing gene-therapy treatments for rare neurological disorders, has raised a $65 million Series D round to advance clinical programs related to spinal muscular atrophy, the company said. The round was led by new investor T. Rowe Price Associates, and it included several new and returning investors.
Silversmith Capital Partners has opened its doors as a technology-focused growth-equity firm. The Boston firm said it closed its first pool of capital, Silversmith Capital PartnersI LP, with $460 million in commitments, hitting its hard cap and surpassing its initial target by 30% in slightly more than three months of fundraising.
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ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB:
Okta Raises $75 Million, Boosting Valuation to Nearly $1.2 Billion. Cloud-computing startup Okta Inc., has been valued at more than $1.2 billion in its latest round of funding, The Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide reports. The San Francisco-based startup said it raised $75 million from existing investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. The company was last valued at $675 million in June 2014.
Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citi Ventures Back Stock-Trading Startup. Fintech startup Trading Ticket has raised $4 million in seed funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citigroup’s Citi Ventures, the WSJ’s Anna Irrera reports. The New York-based startup New York-based allows retail investors to place orders for securities on news websites, financial blogs and mobile apps.
Jawbone Answers Up Band Criticism With New Software and Styling. The most recent Jawbone fitness trackers have received criticisms, and the company has responded by rolling out software updates and new designs, the WSJ’s Nathan Olivarez-Giles reports. The most complaints about the company’s Up3 and Up4 bands revolved around the devices’ bioimpedance sensors, which were designed to track heart rate, respiration, galvanic skin response, skin and ambient temperature. One of the upgrades will change how the monitors measure a wearer’s heart rate.