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SoftBank settles with Neumann for $450M / Base10 donates 20% to HBCUs / Homeward raises $371M



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SoftBank paid former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann close to $450M in cash, stock awards, and fees to separate from the company. That figure does not include $578M worth of WeWork shares to SoftBank by a Neumann-controlled investment vehicle, We Holdings.


  • As WeWork prepares to stack a second stab at a public debut via a merger with SPAC BowX, Neumann stands to make up to an additional $250M.
    • The windfall would come as the result of a deal to sell Neumann’s profits interest units, which function similarly to stock. The money is contingent on the shares of BowX trading above $10 after the merger.
  • The settlement confirms that SoftBank paid Neumann $92.5M under a 2019 consulting agreement. That is in addition to the $105M paid by SoftBank, of which half will be used to cover Neumann’s legal fees.
  • SoftBank invested over $10B in WeWork in the run-up to its failed IPO in 2019, driving the company’s value to over $47B.
  • The co-working space provider was recently valued at $8B and reported a $2.1B loss in 2021 Q1.

Base10 Partners will invest 20% of the profits from its latest $250M fund in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU). That constitutes half of the carried interest that makes up the income of the firm. The funds will be used to support scholarships, particularly in tech or tech-adjacent areas.


  • Over $50M of the $250M in capital commitments came from the HBCUs themselves.
  • As HBCUs tend to have endowments half the size of other schools, Base10 made a point of accepting smaller checks from them and waiving LP fees.
  • In the year since George Floyd’s death, Black-founded companies represented 2.8% of the startups that received venture-capital dollars, accounting for 1.2% of the total funding.
  • Base10 is the largest Black-led venture firm in the country.
    • It is an early-stage investor and has made 50 investments through two previous funds . Excluding the latest fund, it had $387M under management.


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Today’s VC Industry Trends looks into funding for U.S.-based gaming startups.

All figures are based on Crunchbase data and all graphs are my own.

As evidenced by the Apple vs. Epic Games court battle , gaming companies are increasingly throwing their weight around. Gaming is clearly a new mainstay of everyday life.

That statement pans out when analyzing the consistent investor enthusiasm for gaming startups.

  • Since 2015, gaming startups in the U.S. have raised somewhere around 55 rounds, with only two major aberrations from that figure in early 2019 and early 2020.
  • Meanwhile, the average round for gaming companies has skyrocketed to almost $120M, whereas it stood at a mere $10M in mid-2017.

VC funding for gaming has shifted its focus from earlier-stage rounds to later-stage funding in the last few quarters.

  • Series A funding, for example, has brought in a similar dollar flow for the entire viewed period, with the exception of a major uptick in Q1’20.
  • In contrast, Series D+ funding expanded rapidly in the last two quarters to bring in over $1B per quarter.
  • Seed funding has continuously brought in similar sums, attesting to the ability of smaller studios to find investors willing to bet on untested companies.

While the total number of rounds has maintained a stable level, the distribution of the rounds has changed.

  • After being supplanted by pre-seed fundings, seed rounds began growing in frequency in the last two quarters.
  • The number of both Series C and Series D+ rounds has been boosted, while Series B rounds have become rare.
  • Angel rounds, while never prevalent, have also all but disappeared.

Series A funding rounds have doubled in their average size over the last eight years.

  • The average seed round has also doubled in the same time frame.

One of the biggest factors driving the growth in the aggregate average round is the increase in post-IPO funding.

  • Meanwhile, debt and private equity (not shown) make up a very small part of this funding landscape.

Did you enjoy checking out these graphs? Most of my exclusive VC Industry Trends features, which have looked into Southern U.S.-based fintech startups , Japanese startups , SV mobile startups , U.S. manufacturing , U.S. foodtech , global insurtech funding , Midwestern startups , and more, are reserved for premium subscribers. To get them all, upgrade to Inside VC Premium for either $10/month or $100 billed annually! For a limited time, we are offering a 14-day free trial of premium! Click here to sign up!


Today’s Funding 💸


  • Breinify (San Francisco, Calif.), data-based personalization for non-technical marketing strategies: $11M led by Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital, participation from Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Amino Capital, Startup Capital Ventures, et al.
  • Pyn (Australia), personalized in-house message platform: $8M Seed led by Andreessen Horowitz, participation from Accel, Ryan Sanders.


  • FarMart (India), micro-SaaS platform for food distribution: $2.4M A from Omidyar Network India, Avaana Capital.


  • binx health (Boston, Mass.), healthcare technology and diagnostics: $104M E led by OrbiMed, participation from Arrowmark Partners, Hildred Capital Management, et al.
  • Ada Health (Berlin, Germany), symptom assessment tech: $90M B led by Leaps by Bayer.
  • GenapSys (Redwood City, Calif.), scalable electronic sequencing platform: $90M D from Farallon Capital Management, et al.
  • August Bioservices (Nashville, Tenn.), contract development and manufacturing organization for drug discovery: $23.6M A led by Polaris Partners, participation from Oak HC/FT.
  • Octave (San Francisco, Calif.), behavioral health platform: $20M B led by Health Velocity Capital.
  • Pack4U (Mountain View, Calif.), personalized medication delivery and monitoring: $20M from undisclosed sources.
  • Overture Life (Madrid, Spain), embryo testing methodologies for IVF process automation startup: $15M B led by Octopus Ventures, participation from GV, Khosla Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Marc Benioff.
  • Oisin Biotechnologies (Seattle, Wash.), mitigation for the effects of age-related diseases: $5M Seed led by Althea Group.
  • CorrActions (Israel), noninvasive neuroscience platform to evaluate cognitive states due to drowsiness, alcohol, fatigue: $2.7M Seed from VentureIsrael, Operator Partners, Israeli Innovation Authority.


  • Fold (San Francisco, Calif.), bitcoin rewards app: $13M A led by Craft Ventures, participation from M13, Slow Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Infinite Objects (New York, N.Y.), NFT art and collectibles platform: $6M from Serena Ventures, Betaworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, GFR Fund, Kevin Durant & Rich Kleiman, Genies, et al.


  • The Pro’s Closet (Boulder, Colo.), marketplace for certified pre-owned bikes, e-bikes, and components: $40M B led by The Chernin Group.
  • Poparazzi (Marina Del Rey, Calif.), photo-sharing app: $20M A led by Benchmark.
  • Greg (U.S.), AI-based home plant care app: $5.4M led by First Round Capital.


  • Sam Seamless Networks (Israel), network and IoT device security: $20M B led by BlackBerry, Verizon Ventures, participation from Blumberg Capital, Intel Capital, ADT, NightDragon.


  • RevenueCat (San Francisco, Calif.), tools for developers of subscription-based apps: $40M B led by Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, participation from Index Ventures, SaaStr, Oakhouse, Adjacent, FundersClub, et al.


  • 7shifts (Saskatoon, Canada), a labor management platform for restaurants: $21.5M B led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments.
  • (Boston, Mass.), engineering and developer-focused hiring service: $7M from Silicon Valley Data Capital, AI Fund.
  • Vev (Oslo, Norway), interactive website visual editor for professional developers, designers, and other creatives: $6M led by EQT Ventures, participation from Sagene Tech Ventures, Skyfall Ventures.
  • Orbiit (San Francisco, Calif.), online interaction automation platform: $2.7M Seed led by Bread and Butter Ventures, participation from High Alpha Capital, LAUNCHub Ventures, Company Ventures.
  • Linq (Birmingham, Ala.), networking tech: $2.5M Seed led by Mucker Capital, participation from the Alabama Futures Fund, et al.



  • Arta (New York, N.Y.), logistics software and fulfillment services for high-value, goods and collectibles: $4.5M from Corazon Capital, Gaingels Ventures, Flight.VC.


  • Homeward (Austin, Texas), home buying platform: $371M B led by Norwest Venture Partners.
  • QuintoAndar (Brazil), real estate marketplace focused on rentals and sales: $300M E led by Ribbit Capital, participation from SoftBank’s LatAm-focused Innovation Fund, LTS, Maverik, Alta Park.


Did you enjoy reading about all of today’s funding in one place? The funding roundup is only available to free users on Tuesdays and Fridays. Upgrade to Inside VC Premium for either $10/month, or $100 billed annually, to receive the full list in every issue! For a limited time, we are offering a 14-day free trial. Click here to sign up!


Quick Hits

  • You could have finished that project by now. Get used to getting to the finish line faster with expert freelancers by your side.*
  • Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly seeking $2B for its third fund to invest in crypto. That would be double analysts’ previous expectations.
  • Swedish buy-now-pay-later platform Klarna is close to raising fresh funding from SoftBank and multiple other investors at a $40B valuation . The round size is supposed to be less than the $1B the firm raised in March.
  • Spanish VC fund Ysios Capital raised $260M (€216M) for its third fund to invest in biotech. Investments will typically be $24M (€20M).
  • First Move Capital closed its third fund to invest in automotive and mobility startups at $150M . It will invest $5M-$10M per round.
  • Frazier Healthcare Partners closed its tenth fund for biotech at $1.4B .
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Inside VC’s writer/curator Stephen currently lives in Berlin and is pursuing a Master’s degree in philosophy. He otherwise spends his time trying his hand at recipes from India and Southeast Asia, escaping it all at the kickboxing gym, and offending aural sensibilities with his band.


Sheena Vasani is a professional tech writer, creator, and UC Berkeley, Dev Bootcamp, and Thinkful alumna who writes Inside Dev and Inside NoCode . She recently launched Affordable Mental Help , a directory listing free and low-cost mental health resources. You can contact her at sheenavasani1[at] .

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