Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Monday, August 12, 2019.

Bayer acquires BlueRock Therapeutics, for EV of USD$1 billion. Bayer AG acquired Cambridge, Massachusetts-based cell therapy company BlueRock Therapeutics. Following a 2016 joint venture with Versant Ventures to establish the company with a USD$225M Series A Financing as part of the Leaps by Bayer unit, Bayer will acquire the remaining stake for approximately USD$240m in cash to be paid upfront at closing and an additional USD$360m payable upon achievement of pre-defined development milestones. With Bayer currently holding 40.8% stake, the investment corresponds to a total company value of BlueRock Therapeutics of approximately USD$1 billion. The closing of the transaction is expected during the third quarter of 2019.

Herbivore secures $15 million in Series A funding to expand its manufacturing capabilities and increase brand awareness. Herbivore, a tech startup and prestige skincare brand that offers offers an assortment of non-toxic, therapeutic products crafted with its iconic minimalist aesthetic, has raised $15 million Series A investment to expand its manufacturing capabilities and increase brand awareness through digital and in-store marketing. The round was led by Silas Capital, a venture and growth equity firm with unique experience in accelerating growth for the next generation of consumer brands, with participation from S1 Fund, a newly formed consumer focused venture capital firm with a heritage in providing financial solutions for investor backed brands.

Fintech startup Joust raises $2.6 million seed round for the nation’s first banking platform for freelancers, entrepreneurs and the self-employed workers. U.S.-based neobank Joust Labs, the first and the only bank platform serving the independent professional, the freelancer, and the small business founder, announced today that it has closed a $2.6 million seed round of funding for its financial services platform designed for freelancers and entrepreneurs, many of whom face challenges managing their finances due to the irregularity of working with multiple clients or partners. Founded in 2017 by Lamine Zarrad and George Kurtyka, Joust is the nation’s first all-inclusive banking platform for independent professionals. It serves freelancers, contractors, and self-employed workers in all 50 states. Joust helps its users handle invoices and payments and provides protection against late or missed payments.

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Elysium Venture Capital Comes Out of Stealth With $100M in AUM. Elysium Venture Capital, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm, has come out of stealth. With $100m in assets under management, Elysium specializes in bringing together global tech leaders to share their experience and pass the success recipe to next generation tech leaders. Led by Peter Xu and Nikolai Oreshkin, the fund invests in AI, financial, and consumer technologies that have the potential to transform society at scale. Some of Elysium’s portfolio companies include Flo, a women’s healthcare app, Telegram Open Network, a large messaging and financial payment network that and AI companies such as Prisma, Node, Knack, Alpaca, Acquired.io and Capture Technologies.




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