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Capital Gains: Apple bets a billion against Uber, synthetic spider silk raises $50 million

Funding headlines from this past week in Silicon Valley.

capital gains Todd Bernard / Recode

Apple put $1 billion into the Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi this past week, and a synthetic fabric startup raised tens of millions and announced a partnership with a clothier that you probably know.

These headlines, and more, from the funding front in Silicon Valley:

  • Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company that is Uber's biggest global rival, announced that it had received a $1 billion investment from Apple, which doesn't typically publicize its deals. The investment could potentially help Apple mend fences with the Chinese government.
  • Bolt Threads, a startup that makes artificial spider silk to be used in high-end clothing, announced a $50 million funding round and a deal with Patagonia. The new Series C round was led by Formation 8, with participation from the Nan Fung Group, Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors, Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and others (Fortune).
  • Boston-based Dyn, a 15-year-old website performance management company, raised a $50 million Series B led by Pamplona Capital Management. CEO Jeremy Hitchcock is stepping down from the top job as part of what appears to be a private equity takeover (Xconomy).
  • Shopify competitor BigCommerce, which helps small businesses sell stuff online, raised $30 million in a new round led by GGV Capital. The Austin, Texas, company has raised more than $150 million over seven years.
  • Indian online lender Capital Float raised a $25 million Series B round led by Creation Investments, with additional cash from Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners and Aspada Ventures (Economic Times).
  • Enterprise software maker Rancher Labs, which helps customers develop and maintain software, raised a $20 million round led by GRC SinoGreen, with additional funding from Mayfield Fund and Nexus Venture Partners (eWeek).
  • Medical payments and billing startup Simplee raised $20 million from a group of investors led by Social Capital, that also included 83North, Heritage Group and American Express Ventures (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
  • Ed tech startup FreshGrade, which makes software for teachers, students and parents, raised $11.6 million of Series A funding from Relay Ventures (which led the round), Reach Capital, Accel Partners and Emerson Collective (VentureBeat).
  • Haven, whose software platform allows businesses to book and get quotes on ocean freight shipping, raised an $11 million Series A round led by Spark Capital, with additional funding from First Round Capital, Data Collective and others (VentureBeat).

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