Early-stage funding rounds are the best way to take promising start-up businesses to the next level. It’s typically the first opportunity for high-potential businesses to attract significant capital that can be used to grow the company.
An investor funding round gives growing companies an opportunity to raise the capital they need to continue building their businesses. During the funding round, companies will pitch themselves to investors for the purposes of raising capital and other resources (such as business expertise) from investors. Funding rounds are beneficial to investors as well because they provide the opportunity to invest in up-and-coming businesses in exchange for equity.
Both Seed and Series A funding rounds are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and investors alike. If you’re looking for inspiration to launch funding round for your own business, be sure to check out the following six companies that have succeeded in landing enormous investments this year to accelerate their growth.
Cross River Bank posted one of the biggest funding rounds of the year to date. The financial services company is owned by Fort Lee, the company that provides the technological infrastructure to underpin over 80 of the world’s leading payment providers and lending companies, namely Stripe, Coinbase, and Affirm.
At the end of March 2022, Cross River confirmed it had raised $620 million in Series D funding, following a pre-money valuation of $2.4 billion. The funding was shared across six large-scale investors, including Eldridge, Whale Rock Capital Management, Hanaco Venture Capital, and General Global Capital.
Its crypto-first approach to fintech is one of the key reasons why Cross River continues to attract so much external interest from investors. It had the foresight to move into the crypto frontier and provide support for Coinbase, which is one of the leading fiat-to-crypto portals online today.
Binance is one of the world’s largest and most liquid cryptocurrency exchanges. It handles millions of dollars in cryptocurrency trades daily. Binance.US is the American subsidiary of the original Binance exchange which is based in Asia.
It is aimed solely at the US cryptocurrency trading market, giving retail and institutional investors access to 190 trading pairs across 85 different crypto assets.
Binance.US has recently launched a seed funding round for the purposes of improving its spot trading platform, extending its crypto trading product line, and funding crypto education and marketing initiatives. The firm eventually raised a total of $200 million following a pre-money company valuation of $4.5 billion. Binance.US intends to go public in the coming years and is now accessible and regulated in 45 US states.
FTX.US is another US-based cryptocurrency trading exchange that aims to compete on a level playing field with Binance.US. They concluded one of the largest Series A funding rounds in 2022 to date, closing with an additional $400 million in external investment following a company valuation of $8 billion – almost twice that of Binance.US.
FTX.US has certainly experienced significant growth in the last 12 months. It now boasts an active trading community of 1.2 million users, with some $67 billion worth of spot crypto prices traded in 2021. Average daily traded volumes also soared by 608% year-on-year, according to crypto media outlet CoinDesk.
FTX.US has only been operational in the US since May 2020 but CoinGecko believes some $255 million is now traded daily on its crypto exchange. The brand has been marketed aggressively stateside in the sports industry and from a commercial advertising perspective.
This Series A funding is ring-fenced for “accelerating its growth” and cementing its position as the “largest crypto exchange in the US” while “maintaining strict compliance” with all necessary crypto regulations.
A refreshing departure from the cryptocurrency space, Luminous Computing aims to redefine the world of machine learning. In early March 2022, the Silicon Valley company confirmed a raise of $105 million following a Series A funding round. It attracted investors such as Bill Gates, Gigafund, and many other high-profile names and funds.
The vast majority of the $105 million is designed to foster the “superhuman” capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). Marcus Gomez, co-founder and CEO of Luminous Computing, insisted that AI software had the potential to solve real-world puzzles that humans simply cannot even “begin to solve”. However, it lacked the “hardware that can run those [kinds of] algorithms”.
Subsequently, Luminous aims to use this Series A funding round to develop the world’s most powerful AI-based “supercomputer”. The firm is on a mission to produce “useful, usable, safe AI” to power “radical improvements in technology”.
Dallas-based startup Island, which founded the Enterprise Browser, landed $115 million in Series B funding earlier this year. The funding was achieved following a pre-funding valuation of $1.3 billion. Previous Series A investors Sequoia Capital and Stripes opted to invest further too, building on their recent successes.
Island’s Enterprise Browser was its first proof of being able to redefine workplace environments through “secure-by-design” techniques. Its Enterprise Browser enabled “new levels” of IT security and employee productivity as the so-called “desktop of the future”.
Island’s CEO, Michael Fey, believes the latest funding round demonstrates the “enthusiasm and extraordinary uptake” for its products, which have a string of built-in security features such as exploit prevention, web filtering, zero-trust access, and much more to keep cyber threats at bay.
Montreal-based Lithion Recycling closed its recent Series A funding round with an impressive CA$125 million from a group of outside investors, led primarily by IMM Investment Global. The new capital will enable the company to forge ahead with its industrialization plan, aimed at launching a lithium-ion battery recycling plant, as well as a technology development center for lithium-ion battery innovation.
With battery storage likely to be an increasingly hot topic in the drive for renewables in the coming years, Lithion Recycling appears well-placed to take advantage. Lithion’s technologies make it possible to recycle over 95% of all metals involved in the batteries housed within electric vehicles, turning end-of-life products into recoverable battery components.
It’s going to be exciting to see the progress and impact these companies make with the capital raised from their impressive funding rounds.