Roblox’s $45B IPO, Forward Raised $225M, and More Bay Area Tech News

With no shortage of new activity on the Bay Area tech scene, learn about which startups are securing new funding, making acquisitions and more. This is the Built In SF weekly refresh.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Mar. 15, 2021
Roblox’s $45B IPO, Forward Raised $225M, and More Bay Area Tech News
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PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

With no shortage of new activity on the Bay Area tech scene, learn about which startups are securing new funding, making acquisitions and more. This is the Built In SF weekly refresh.

Roblox went publicAfter raising its valuation up to $29.5 billion in January, the gaming platform went public in a direct listing on the NYSE last week. As of market close last Wednesday, shares in the company were going for $69.50 and its valuation grew to a massive $45 billion. Roblox customers can use the platform to develop their own games and make virtual sales. In 2020, according to CNBC, it paid developers $328.7 million, growing by 200 percent. It’s looking to further this growth by encouraging creators to build more high-quality content. [CNBC + ArsTechnica]

Forward pulled in $225MWith a fresh installment of Series D funding, Forward is looking to open new healthcare facilities and grow its team. The company uses biometric and behavioral data monitoring to keep members updated on their health. Forward’s latest raise came from investors including Marc Benioff and musician The Weeknd. [Built In SF]

SF Tech Quote of the Week

“We have seen tremendous growth in demand for alternative protein products and we expect that, beyond just more consumer-facing companies and brands starting up, we expect there to be a lot of growth in ingredients and equipment manufacturing and production and processing capacity.” —Amy Huang, university innovation specialist at the Good Food Institute

Alternative meat is taking the Bay Area by stormAs more consumers have been making more health-conscious decisions during the pandemic, plenty of plant-based food producers in the Bay Area have raised fresh rounds of capital in order to keep up with growing demand. With the added sustainability of relying on meat- and dairy-less foods, these companies are hoping to attract even more investor attention as the world continues to undergo environmental changes. [Built In SF]

SF tech companies made Forbes’ best startup employers listBased on factors like employer reputation, employee satisfaction and growth, Forbes compiled a list of startups that could make ideal workplaces. Five San Francisco companies ranked high on the list, including Forward, Hover, Rippling, Human Interest and Curology. [Built In SF]

Hinge Health acquired EnsoThe company, which provides a digital musculoskeletal clinic solution, purchased Enso, creator of an adhesive pain-relieving pad. After users activate the pad with Enso’s app, it delivers high-frequency impulse therapy to relieve pain over time. The acquisition will allow Hinge to include the device alongside its employer product offering. [MobiHealthNews]

Alt raised $31MWith a focus on trading physical sports cards, San Francisco-based Alt is aiming to make acquiring alternative assets easy and increase transparency and liquidity in the space. The startup has raised its funding to date from investors including Seven Seven Six, Kevin Durant, BoxGroup and more. [TechCrunch]

Songclip secured $11MTo protect artists against copyright infringement when people use their music on social media, Songclip’s API product allows companies to integrate popular licensed music into their platforms. The startup’s latest round of funding will enable it to invest in product development and deploying its API. [Built In SF]

In other VC funding news: Privacera pulled in $50 million led by Insight Partners for its data governance and security solution, and it’s looking to expand its market internationally. [Crunchbase News]

Warehouse automation startup Nimble Robotics secured a hefty $50 million Series A led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures to double its headcount. [TechCrunch]

FalconX, a startup that offers customers financial services for cryptocurrency, closed on a $50 million raise led by Tiger Global and B Capital Group to grow its team and support growth into new markets. [FinSMEs]

Based out of San Mateo, Belong Home received a total of $55 million in funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, GGV and Battery Ventures to help it along its mission of changing the rental industry. [Belong Home]

DataGrail raised $30 million from investors including Felicis Ventures. The privacy management platform offers its enterprise customers a data foundation to help build a scalable, automated privacy program. [PR Newswire]

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