Investment in Latin American tech continues to reach new highs. In the first quarter of 2018, more than $600 million was invested. That followed a record 2017, which was the first time VCs funneled more than $1 billion into the continent’s tech ecosystem during a 12-month period.
Embark Trucks has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital in its bid to be the first to develop and launch a commercially viable driverless truck.
General Motors today announced a large investment into its self-driving unit, Cruise. SoftBank’s Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings LLC and when the deal closes, GM will invest an additional $1.1 billion. The investments are expected to inject enough capital into Cruise for the unit to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019.
Scentbird, the subscription-based fragrance company, announced it has raised $18.6 M, one of largest Series A funding rounds secured by a direct-to-consumer brand led by a female CEO, taking the total investment to $24.4 M.
Soma invested in the seed round.
E-commerce remains among the biggest tech opportunities in India, one of the world’s most populated countries whose economy continues to rapidly evolve and now has over 500 million people connecting to the Internet. And today, a startup that is playing in this space — aiming to make it easier to take and make payments online — has announced a significant round of funding.
Alto is also pushing beyond the Bay Area for a nationwide rollout with the new capital. Most of its competitors have focused on certain cities and areas so it will be interesting to see how Alto fares with such a large expansion.
Soma invested in the seed round. Alto investors include Greenoaks Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, and Twitch co-founder, Justin Kan.
Business Insider confirmed that that the company had raised $50 million from leading venture firm Sequoia, beating out other investors interested in the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the raise. The company’s previous investors, including Greylock Partners, Aleph, and Comcast Ventures participated in the round. Houseparty’s CEO Ben Rubin didn’t return a request for comment.