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Capital Gains: Uber Raised $1.5 Billion More, Accel Makes a Big Drones Bet and More

Zenefits, Pinterest and Altschool all raised more money.

Todd Bernard

Mark Zuckerberg, Uber, Chinese-made drones, Max Levchin, Pinterest and a whole bunch of other big names were attached to significant funding moves this week. Here’s what happened:

  • Ride-hailing service Uber is reportedly in talks to raise another $1.5 billion at a $50 billion valuation, which (according to publicly available data) would make it the most valuable privately-funded startup in the world right now (New York Times).
  • Zenefits, the cloud software maker that helps businesses manage things like employee benefits and payroll, raised $500 million in a Series C round that puts the company’s value at $4.5 billion. The investment was led by Fidelity Management and TPG, and gives the company $581 in total funding.
  • The marketing software company Gravity4 made a $350 million bid for the publicly-traded programmatic ad company Rocket Fuel. Rocket Fuel’s market capitalization is currently $330 million.
  • PayPal co-founder Max Levchin raised $275 million for his new moneylending startup Affirm, with plans to go after the near- and sub-prime borrower market. Affirm’s backers — Spark Capital Growth, Jefferies, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners — are putting up the money that will get lent out, rather than a more conventional equity stake in Affirm.
  • Pinterest raised an additional $186 million to close out its Series G, giving it a total of $553 million for the round. The round included investment from Wellington Management Company, Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, Valiant Capital Management and Fidelity Investments.
  • Altschool, a San Francisco-based, technology-focused private school network led by ex-Google exec Max Ventilla, raised $100 million in new funding from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Learn Capital and First Round Capital, alongside Mark Zuckerberg’s donor-advised fund for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the education investment group, the Emerson Collective (New York Times).
  • DJI landed a $75 million investment from Accel Partners, which values the fast-growing Chinese drone maker at $8 billion. The companies are also partnering on a special investment fund for drone technology.
  • Robinhood, an online stock brokerage targeted at first-time investors, raised $50 million in a funding round led by New Enterprise Associates. Vaizra Investments, Index Ventures, Social Leverage and Ribbit Capital also participated (Wall Street Journal).
  • The Israeli security startup Cybereason raised $25 million in a round led by Spark Capital, featuring investment from CRV and Lockheed Martin (Forbes).
  • The marketing software company Signpost raised $20.5 million in new money from Georgian Partners, Spark Capital, OpenView Venture Partners, Scout Ventures and Jason Calacanis (Forbes).
  • The Web analytics company Chartbeat raised $15.5 million in a funding round that included Index Ventures, Jason Calacanis, Harmony Partners, DFJ and others (VentureBeat).
  • Kano makes a $149 computer designed to teach kids how to code which will go on sale this month. This week, the company raised $15 million in new funding. The company previously raised $1.5 million from a 2013 Kickstarter (Fortune).
  • Wrike, a startup that makes enterprise software to help workers manage tasks, raised $15 million in a round led by Scale Venture Partners with additional investment from Bain Capital Ventures and DCM (VentureBeat).

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