Unicorn Watch: Impossible Foods, Zipline, Away and more... May offers up a diverse crop of new mega-startups
It’s Spring, and this year’s generation of $1bn-plus valued companies is off to a strong start, with nine firms receiving enough funding to push them into coveted unicorn status. May’s unicorns are a diverse pack, ranging from vegan meat to delivery drones and fintech services. Here’s a quick look at the list according to CB Insights.
Palo Alto based tech startup Carta was founded in 2012 by Henry Ward and Manu Kumar. The company offers a suite of software solutions to help simplify the administrative process of startup funding rounds, employee stock compensation and related transactions. On May 6, Carta closed a $300mn Series E funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Carta is now valued at $1.7bn.
Real estate startup, VTS is headquartered in New York and operates a cloud-based asset management and leasing platform which provides real-time portfolio analytics to landlords and real estate agencies. On May 8, the company raised approximately $290mn in a Series D funding round. It is now valued at $1bn.
Based in Redwood City, Sumo Logic provides cloud native machine data analytics services across a platform designed for use by enterprise customers. The platform specializes in helping clients build, run and secure modern applications and cloud infrastructures. On May 8, Sumo Logic raised an estimated $110mn in a late stage funding round, also floating the possibility of an IPO later in 2019.
Dedicated to bringing vegan alternatives to the mass market, Impossible Foods is a Californian plant-based meat manufacturer. The company’s latest funding round followed the announcement of a joint venture with fast food chain Burger King to create the Impossible Whopper, an initiative which doubled the company’s footprint , according to the FInancial Times. Impossible Foods raised $300mn in its latest round, bringing total funding to more than $750mn, and garnering a valuation of $2bn.
In mid-May, travel fashion designer Away achieved unicorn status with a cash injection of $100mn from the Wellington Management Company. Following in the footsteps of fashion and makeup unicorns Rent the Runway and Glossier, Away is an all-female led startup. CEO Steph Korey and president and chief brand officer Jen Rubio launched the company in 2015. It is now valued at $1.4bn.
Robotics company Zipline International (formerly Romotive) was founded in 2011. The company operates primarily in Rwanda and Ghana, where its critical supply delivery drones bring medical supplies, including blood, rabies vaccines and antivenom, to thousands of hard-to-reach health clinics across the region. This month, Zipline raised an additional $190mn in venture capital, bringing its valuation to $1.2bn. This year, the company will also begin making autonomous air deliveries to hospitals in North Carolina.
Also joining the ever-expanding unicorn club this month were: cybersecurity authentication and authorization startup Auth0, open API payment card issuer Marqeta, and spend management fintech Ivalua.