We’re ending the week with a quick round-up on all the funding, acquisitions, and other startup news from across the Southeast you need to know. Know of a headline we missed? Let us know!
Atlanta-based Aerospace startup Hermeus announced it has closed a $16 million Series A round from Canaan Partners. We have more up on Hype here.
Atlanta-based fintech startup Funding U, which helps underrepresented college students find better loan options, raised $14 million in debt and equity funding. $10 million of that comes from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. MacKenzie Scott is also listed as an investor in the round. “Traditional student loan decisions at banks are made based on co-signer FICO. This practice shuts out millions of historically underrepresented students seeking $3,000-10,000 loans every year to cover the last mile of college costs after financial aid, small-cap federal loans and grants,” said Jeannie Tarkenton, Co-Founder and CEO of Funding U, in a statement. “Accessing a college degree is proven to increase earnings by $1 million over a lifetime, as well as stabilize employment in times of recession. Our borrowers and portfolio outcomes to date have proven that academic success, employability and earnings potential should be the factors that assess the risk of a student loan – not simply FICO scores or parent income level.”
Research Triangle’s Hip eCommerce, a marketplace for collectibles such as comic books, postcards, and stamps, raised $5.3 million in Series A funding from Next Coast Ventures. In addition to the round, the Board of Directors will grow to include founders of Reverb.com’s Mike Smerklo and David Kalt, and founder of RetailMeNot Cotter Cunningham.
Virginia-based fintech startup StreetShares, known for providing small business lending technology, closed $10 million in funding from Motley Fool Ventures, Ally Ventures, and other fintech angels.
Florida-based EdgePresence, which provides multi-tenant and modular data centers, announced a $30 million investment from DataBank.
Atlanta-based gaming startup Shotcall announced their team has raise $2.2 million from New York City-based Lerer Hippeau. Shotcall looks to further connect gamers and streamers closer.
New Moves Across the Southeast
- German pharmaceutical giant Bayer announced it plans to buy North Carolina-based Asklepios BioPharmaceutical Inc. (AskBio) for up to $4 billion. AskBio develops gene therapies for various genetic disorders.
- Atlanta-based tech PR firm Carabiner Communications announced it is opening a satellite office in Nashville. The expansion is capitalizing on Nashville’s growing entreprenuerial and startup scene. “While most people think of Nashville as the home of country music, it’s also a hotbed for entrepreneurial development,” said Peter Baron, founder and principal at Carabiner Communications, said in a statement. “We’ve had our eye on Nashville for a while now as a location for expanding our firm. The city continues to grow rapidly, offers a strong talent pool, and has a number of state and local entrepreneurial resources to help support the startup ecosystem.”
- Payment giant PayPal announced this week they are investing $50 million in eight early-stage and Black and LatinX-run VC funds, one of which is Atlanta-based Fearless Fund. Fearless Fund is is led by Arian Simone, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Ayana Parsons. “PayPal recognizes that our lived experience allows us to deeply empathize with the journey of other women of color entrepreneurs,” said Arian Simone, founding partner of Fearless Fund, in a statement. “Women of color should be able to pitch to people who look like them on the other side of the table. We’re excited to begin this relationship with PayPal.”
- Atlanta-based IT provider SereneIT, which is focused on data center automation and AI, announced it would be acquired by Pennsylvania-based Anexinet.