VertoFX raises $2M for its African and EM currency trading platform

VertoFX, an Africa and emerging markets-focused currency trading and payment startup, has raised a $2.1 million seed round, led by Accelerated Digital Ventures. The London-based company, with a subsidiary in Lagos, Nigeria, has created a platform that allows businesses and banks to exchange and make payments in exotic foreign currencies that don’t often convert or […]

SoftBank’s Vision Fund invests $1.5B in Chinese second-hand car startup Chehaoduo

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is taking a bet on China’s auto market after it agreed to pour $1.5 billion into online car trading group Chehaoduo, which literally means “many cars” in Chinese. The Beijing-based company operates two main sites — peer-to-peer online marketplace Guazi for used vehicles, and Maodou, which retails new sedans through direct sales […]

Foot Locker invests $100 million in GOAT Group

Foot Locker, the mostly mall-bound retailer of mass market sneakers, has invested $100 million in the sneaker marketplace and retailer of primarily rare and exclusive high-end athletic and lifestyle shoes, GOAT Group. The companies said that the investment would eventually lead to Foot Locker and Goat Group combining their efforts across their digital and physical […]

Auto marketplace CarDekho grabs $110M to double down on insurance and financial services

CarDekho, an online marketplace for car sales in India, has pulled in a new $110 million Series C funding round from a clutch of existing investors to push deeper into financial services and insurance. Sequoia India, Hillhouse and Alphabet’s CapitalG led the round which also saw participation from Axis Bank, one of CarDekho’s financing partners. […]

Jennifer Garner’s baby food company Once Upon a Farm raises $20M Series B

CAVU Venture Partners has led the $20 million Series B for Once Upon a Farm, which sells organic, cold-pressed baby food in 8,500 grocery stores in the U.S. The Berkeley-based startup was originally founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz. Today, it lists actress Jennifer Garner and former General Mills president John […]

Understanding Renaud Laplanche’s next Upgraded act

Renaud Laplanche spent ten years building LendingClub. In the process, he created an industry from scratch. Circumventing conventional banking channels for consumer credit began in 1996 when Chris Larsen started E-LOAN, which ultimately led to Prosper Marketplace. But LendingClub, which Laplanche founded in 2007, was and remains the poster child for the business of marketplace […]