Cyara Acquired CentraCX, KoBolt Metals Got Its Horn, and More SF Tech News

Here’s what you may have missed in San Francisco tech news.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Jun. 26, 2023
Cyara Acquired CentraCX, KoBolt Metals Got Its Horn, and More SF Tech News
Cyara CEO and co-founder Alok Kulkarni
Cyara CEO and co-founder Alok Kulkarni. | Image: Cyara

From DevOps, to lithium mining, to wastewater processing, the Bay Area companies that received funding last week certainly run the gamut. You can learn more about what they do — and how they plan to use their newly earned millions — here. This is the Built In SF Weekly Refresh.

KoBold Metals hit unicorn valuation. KoBold Metals uses artificial intelligence to locate and mine for valuable metals like lithium and copper, which are used in the production of batteries for a variety of industries, including electric vehicles and robotics. The company’s high-tech approach to mining has garnered the support of big-name investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures — all of whom participated in a $195 million funding round led by T. Rowe Price. Now, with a valuation of more than $1 billion, KoBold will use the funding to develop new copper reserves in Zambia, and will continue its dozens of exploration projects in North America, Africa and Australia. [Wall Street Journal]

Acryl Data raised $21M. Offering a variety of tools to help businesses organize, govern and manage their data, Acryl Data counts companies like Notion, Robinhood and BetterUp among its customer base. This latest Series A was led by 8VC, and brings the startup’s total funding raised to $30 million. Looking ahead, Acryl plans to include features that will help curate companies’ metadata and more thoroughly document data catalogs. It also plans to launch an AI-powered tool that will generate summaries that describe key characteristics of a given data catalog, like its reliability and usage. [TechCrunch]

SF Tech Quote of the Week

“Today, with rapidly changing technology and ever increasing customer expectations, delivering a great CX means continuously transforming. This requires the ability to both design a great CX and to deliver it with speed and quality.” — Alok Kulkarni, CEO and co-founder of Cyara

Cyara acquired CentraCX. Just months after acquiring communication testing company Spearline, customer experience (CX) tech startup Cyara has made yet another acquisition. This time, it’s CentraCX, a SaaS-based “voice of the customer” solution that will now be folded into Cyara’s platform so it can help organizations drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. This reportedly makes Cyara the first company of its kind to offer a combination of CX assurance and customer feedback, and is just one part of its strategy to innovate CX with automation, AI and data-driven insights. In light of this acquisition, Cyara now has an array of new capabilities, including enhanced conversational AI systems and network data monitoring. [Business Wire] 

Render got $50M. Four years after winning TechCrunch Startup Battlefield at TC Disrupt 2019, cloud platform startup Render has raised a $50 million Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors General Catalyst, South Park Common Fund and Addition also participated. Render helps developers, especially those in smaller companies that don’t have large DevOps teams, take advantage of modern approaches to the cloud — offering flexible, cheaper and simpler infrastructure. The fresh funding will be used to expand Render’s platform to better support the needs of larger engineering teams. [TechCrunch]

System Initiative secured $18M. System Initiative’s intelligent automation platform allows DevOps teams to build detailed, interactive simulations of their infrastructure, and use them to update their production environments. The platform is open source and community-driven, meaning it has been developed in collaboration with top experts in infrastructure engineering. This latest venture capital round includes $3 million in seed funding from Amplify Partners, Storm Ventures and Battery Ventures, as well as a $15 million Series A led by Scale Venture Partners. [Finsmes]

In more funding news: Weather and climate tech company Windborne Systems raised a $6 million seed round to improve weather forecasting with its data-gathering balloons. The round was led by Footwork, and will be used to scale the company’s data collection capabilities and grow its team. [Business Wire]

Hyfé, a startup that repurposes the nutrients in wastewater into clean water for feedstocks and biomanufacturing, closed on an oversubscribed $9 million seed round led by Synthesis Capital. This round brings the company’s total funding to $11 million, and will be used to expand its commercial partnerships, increase headcount and help it progress toward pilot scale technology demonstrations. [Business Wire]

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