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Investors Fanatical About Fanatics; Avant Locks Down $250M

This is a weekly feature that runs down the week’s top 10 funding rounds in the U.S.

We’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but now we’re back to cover the top rounds of the week. Funding news in general seemed to pick up after the typical slowdown before Thanksgiving, but large rounds were hard to find, with only five rounds of more than $100 million.

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1. Fanatics, $700M, retail: Fanatics made this same list in March after The Wall Street Journal reported that the  Jacksonville, Florida-based company raised $1.5 billion in a new funding round. That valued the sports retail platform company at $27 billion. However, the sports merchandising giant wasn’t done. The Journal reported the company now has raised $700 million at a $31 billion valuation. Private-equity firm Clearlake Capital Group led the round, which will be used primarily for M&A activity. Earlier in the year, it acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million.

2. Avant, $250M, financial services: For some, securing credit can be difficult. Chicago-based Avant is a VC-backed fintech platform catering to that crowd — the non-prime consumer market. This week, Ares Management Alternative Credit decided Avant’s platform was attractive enough to pour a quarter-billion dollars into it. The $250 million raise was a mix of corporate debt and redeemable preferred equity. This year, Avant has surpassed $1 billion in the total amount of asset-backed debt financing commitments secured. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $2 billion, according to Crunchbase.

3. Drata, $200M, cybersecurity: Drata continues to go big and fast. The San Diego-based company locked up a $200 million Series C co-led by ICONIQ Growth and GGV Capital at a $2 billion valuation — doubling its valuation from its $100 million Series B in November 2021. Before that, the company raised a seed round in January 2021, then its Series A in June 2021. According to Crunchbase, Drata has now raised more than $328 million in less than two years. Drata’s automation platform helps companies with security compliance. That area has long garnered interest from investors as more regulations flood sectors such as finance and health care, which may explain the ability to fundraise.

3. (tied) First Mode, $200M, industrial engineering: Even with everyone striving for carbon reduction, there are some sectors that don’t seem to lend themselves to it. Heavy industry and mining is one of those. However, Seattle-based First Mode entered a deal with mining company Anglo American to try to accomplish just that. First Mode agreed to combine with Anglo American’s nuGen hauling solutions unit and supply those vehicles with its hybrid fuel cell battery powerplant. The newly combined business will be valued at $1.5 billion and includes a $200 million equity injection from Anglo American.

5. Apogee Therapeutics, $149M biotech: San Francisco-based Apogee Therapeutics closed a $149 million Series B co-led by Deep Track Capital and RTW Investments. The company is developing therapies for immunological and inflammatory disorders — like inflammatory bowel disease. Apogee is the first spinout company from Paragon Therapeutics. Founded in 2020, the company has raised $169 million, per Crunchbase.

6. Entact Bio, $81M, biotech: Watertown, Massachusetts-based Entact Bio, which is developing medicines that enhance the function of key proteins, raised an $81 million Series A co-led by Qiming Venture Partners USA and venBio Partners.

7. (tied) Sound Agriculture, $75M, agtech: Emeryville, California-based Sound Agriculture closed a $75 million Series D led by new investors BMO Impact Investment Fund and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Founded in 2013, the company — which creates climate resilient crops — has raised more than $170 million, according to Crunchbase.

7. (tied) Sonatus, $75M, automotive: Sunnyvale, California-based Sonatus, a developer of automotive software, raised a $75 million round led by Foxconn. Sonatus has now raised over $110 million, per the company.

9. SonoThera, $61M, biotech: South San Francisco-based SonoThera closed a $61 million Series A led by ARCH Venture Partners. The company will use the new proceeds to develop its ultrasound-guided, gene therapy platform and treatments.

10. ZincFive, $54M, battery: Portland-based ZincFive, a developer of nickel-zinc-based energy storage solutions, raised a $54 million Series D led by Helios Climate Ventures. ZincFive has now raised $139 million since its inception, according to the company.

Big global deals

No global round topped Fanatics this week, but two of the week’s top five rounds came from abroad.


We tracked the largest rounds in the Crunchbase database that were raised by U.S.-based companies for the seven-day period of Dec. 3 to 9. Although most announced rounds are represented in the database, there could be a small time lag as some rounds are reported late in the week.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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