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Web3 & Tech VC Roundup: Hugging Face Hits $4.5B Valuation With $235M Raise

Boardroom’s latest roundup of Web3 and tech venture capital deals includes MoonPay, Genesis Therapeutics, Vessel Capital, and more.

Thirty Five Ventures-backed Hugging Face has reached a $4.5 billion valuation after closing a $235 million, Salesforce-led Series D funding round.

Hugging Face is based in Brooklyn and is a developer of AI and machine learning tools that can be described as GitHub for machine learning and other AI models, codes, and datasets. The AI company’s latest funding round also included investments from some heavy tech hitters, including Google, Amazon, Intel, IBM, Qualcomm, and Nvidia.

A lot of Hugging Face’s partnerships and work usually happens on the back end. The company announced a partnership with IBM earlier this year to bring some of its offerings to the tech corporation’s IBM watsonx platform.

Hugging Face will use its Series D funding to recruit talent for its 170-person team and expand its efforts in the research and enterprising departments.

Here’s a recap of more Web3 and Tech VC deals closed in recent weeks.

MoonPay Launches Early-Stage Venture Arm

Web3 fintech company MoonPay launched an early-stage venture capital arm to invest in Web3, gaming, and related fintech-focused startups. MoonPay Ventures will make investments ranging from $100,000 to $1 million per check at the seed to Series A levels. The crypto payments infrastructure builder has already invested in more than 25 companies, including Ledger and Mythical Games. An investment from MoonPay’s VC division will come with gaining experience in scaling revenue, developing product strategy, expanding distribution plans, and potential commercial opportunities.

Abhay Mavalankar, MoonPay’s VP of corporate development and investments, will lead MoonPay Ventures, which will become a part of the company’s corporate development department. As of now, there isn’t a full cap on the inaugural fund amount.

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Genesis Therapeutics: $200M For AI-Discovered Medicine

Genesis Therapeutics, a biotech startup developing medications and using AI for drug discovery, closed a $200 million Series B funding round co-led by Andreessen Horowitz’s bio and health VC division and an unnamed life sciences investor. Nvidia’s venture arm NVentures and BlackRock are some of the new investors that joined the round along with existing investors, T. Rowe Price Associates, Menlo Ventures, and others.

Founded in 2019, Genesis is based in Burlingame, California, with a lab in San Diego. Genesis plans to use its fresh Series B raise to move into the clinical phase of its business, expand its discovery efforts, and start developing an AI platform. Some of the funding will also go toward developing therapies for patients with severe medical needs.

“AI presents a potent opportunity to revolutionize the drug discovery process, which frequently struggles to produce viable drug candidates against targets that are biologically well-validated but considered undruggable due to highly challenging chemistry,” Genesis CEO Evan Feinberg, Ph.D, said in a press release. “This funding comes as Genesis is approaching an inflection point with the first of our AI-enabled drug candidates entering the clinic.”

Genesis has raised more than $280 million in venture capital since its inception, making this Series B its biggest raise to date.

More Notable Investments

  • Crypto exchange Coinbase took an equity stake in Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin.
  • Newly launched venture capital fund Vessel Capital raised $55 million to invest in Web3 infrastructure and apps.
  • Israel-based AI21 Labs closed a $155 million Series C funding round to continue developing its text-based generative AI services for enterprises.
  • Axiom Space, a space tech startup building commercial space stations, raised $350 million in Series C from a group of Saudi Arabian and South Korean investors.
  • Wand.app, an AI-powered creative tool for artists to manually customize their artwork, closed a $4.2 million seed round led by O’Shaughnessy Ventures.
  • Financial workflow automation tool developer Arkifi closed a $9 million seed round co-led by Khosla Ventures and Nyca Partners, with participation from Soma Capital, MVP Ventures, Valiant Capital Employee Fund, Correlation VC, and G&H Partners.
  • Healthtech AI startup Lyric raised $90.9 million to launch LyricIQ, a tool that leverages AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics to make healthcare payments more efficient.
  • Scrapbooking website Crate, a new platform described as the AI-powered version of Pinterest, launched with a $5 million raise by ex-Pinterest staffer Anna Bofa.
  • Crypto lender Maple Finance raised $5 million to expand in Asian markets.
  • Bain Capital led a $15 million Series A for Akkio, a no-code AI company building an AI platform equipped with chat-based data cleaning and preparation tools.

Read More:

Emerging Tech September 28, 2023

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.