The Funding Box provides information on venture capital/private equity and startup funding. Here’s a list of top startup funding stories.

First on this week’s story’s is the German insurance giant Allianz, who made a huge $96.6 million investment in BIMA, a micro-insurer that sell insurance through mobile devices in Asia, Africa, and South America.

According to Reuters, the fresh funding came from Allianz’s investment unit, which gave BIMA a whopping $290 million market valuation. The Allianz’s investment follows another big investment from SoftBank, which recently led a $120 million investment round for a mobile insurance player Lemonade.

Allianz Hamburg, Germany
Image Credit: Sylvia Soggia 

The US conglomerate giant Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is making another big tech play this year. The company’s investment units, GV (Google Ventures)  and Celgene, have participated in a recent $60 million Series C funding round in FLX Bio, a startup that specializes in small molecule drugs that trigger the immune system to fight cancer. Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, The Column Group, and Topspin partners are also made some participation in the funding round. The startup has already initiated a phase trial of its lead product FLX475.

In addition to FLX Bio, Alphabet’s investment arm Google Ventures (GV) has also led a $25 million funding round for the robotic digitization company Ripcord, which competes with likes of US-based Xerox and Kodak in digital imaging scanning market. Other investors include Telstra Ventures, Lux Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Icon Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.  This is not the first time the startup has received fresh capital from investors. Last summer, it raised $40 million funding in its Series B funding round.

Industrial workflow is another fast-growing area that getting more buzz these days. The latest financial activities involved giants include big investors like Intel Capital, GE Ventures, and Chevron Technology Ventures. The three are the latest companies that have participated in a $28 million Series C funding round for the industrial workflow optimization company Maana.

The Palo Alto-based Maana is a pioneering company in knowledge-centric technology.  Its core platform technology turns human expertise and data into digital knowledge to improve assets and operations of some companies. Maana currently competes with IBM and Palantir. Maana has recently made some partnership with IT consulting giant Accenture, involving oil and gas clients.

Finally, tech giant Salesforce is making a huge presence in the AI space with its latest investment. The company’s investment arm Salesforce Ventures has participated in a $14.75M Series A round with customer service AI startup DigitalGenius. Other investors include Pauna Ventures, Kairos Capital, MMC Ventures and Global Founders Capital.


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