soona Secures $3.5 Million Seed 2, Points Lens at Austin Expansion

by Alex Skjong

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soona co-founders Hayley Anderson and Elizabeth Giorgi.

Say cheese! And by cheese, we mean the green kind — money.

Minneapolis-based photography and video studio soona has closed a $3.5 million Seed 2 led by Matchstick Ventures and Starting Line. The oversubscribed round comes less than nine months after the company’s initial seed.

“Our team has proven there is a clear need for a content creation player who can produce beautiful visuals at scale” Elizabeth Giorgi, soona co-founder and CEO, said in a release. “We believe soona has the best product, the best technology and the best customer experience and we can’t wait to bring it to more markets.”

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Launch Minnesota: Cultivating Capital, Talent, and Culture in 2020

by Valerie Lockhart

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Launch Minnesota Coffee and Conversation event December 2019

This week, Launch Minnesota hosted a “Coffee and Conversation” event at its new space in Osborn370 in downtown St. Paul. We caught up with Neela Mollgaard, executive director, for an update on how the first quarter has gone and what’s coming up for Launch Minnesota in 2020.

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Arthur Ventures Raises $155 Million For Continued Investments Outside of Silicon Valley

by Alex Skjong

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Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage B2B software companies outside of Silicon Valley, has raised $155 million between two new funds, the company announced today. A core fund consisting of $125 million, will allow the company to continue its strategy of early-growth capital investments while an opportunity fund of $30 million will focus on supporting existing partner companies through new stages of growth.

The firm said in a statement that the funds were raised in just five months due to the, “terrific performance of the entrepreneurs that we have had the privilege to partner with over the last seven years.” This news is sure to perk up early-stage companies across the state looking to partner with the firm just as several Minneapolis-based businesses have including Drip, Flipgrid, Nomics, phData, Total Expert, When I Work, and Zipnosis.

Clinician Nexus Raises $1.5 Million in Seed Round

by Alex Skjong

Twin Cities-based startup Clinician Nexus has announced that it raised $1.5 million in a seed round of fundraising, bringing the company’s total investments to $2.3 million. The round was led by Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners with additional contributions by the non-profit hospital Cedars-Sinai as well as Minneapolis-based firms Sofia Fund and Great North Labs. The company also participated in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program last summer.

“Great North Labs invests in teams that meet a critical need and engage deeply with customers,” Pradip Madan, managing partner at Great North Labs, said in a statement. “Clinician Nexus meets both criteria.”

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Bright Health Announces $635 Million in Series D Funding

by Alex Skjong

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Let’s review the funding ABCs according to Bright Health.

Series A — as in, “A lot of money” — $80 million.

Series B — as in, “Bring on the money” — $160 million.

Series C — as in, “Cool, even more money!” — $200 million.

Today, the Minneapolis healthcare company announced its Series D funding.

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HabitAware Awarded Small Business Innovation Research Grant

by Alex Skjong

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Good money for good causes is something we can certainly get behind, and the latest news from HabitAware definitely fits the bill. The St. Louis Park-based company announced in a blog post that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,795 by the National Science Foundation. This marks the second grant the company has received; it was awarded a $300,000 federal research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health in 2018.

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Minnesota-based Starting 11 Scores $5M Investment

by Valerie Lockhart

Starting Eleven IndiaGlobal is the name of the game for local startup, Starting 11. Since they were founded in 2016, they have been on an upward trajectory, which has just landed them a $5M investment from international company, Brand Capital. In a twist of fate, Starting 11 was given an opportunity through Forge North to attend the 2019 Collision conference in Toronto. There, founders Amanda Heyman and Teague Orgeman had a conversation with a rep from Brand Capital International. As Orgeman said, “The Collision experience was an amazing opportunity at critical time for our company.” Today, that conversation has paid off and Starting 11 is well on their way to becoming a major player in the fantasy-sports market in India, which is the fastest growing in the world.

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Total Expert Announces $52 Million in Series C Funding

sourced

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Via News Release

Total Expert, the leading marketing and customer engagement technology platform for banks, lenders and financial services, today announced it has raised $52 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Georgian Partners with participation from Emergence and Rally Ventures, bringing Total Expert’s total funding to $86 million.

 

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