The startup funding round: Prescriptions to your door, $16 million for e-bikes and a Kiwi regtech comes to Sydney

frank body funding

Frank Body co-founders Bree Johnson, Steve Rowley, Jess Hatziz and Alexander Boffa. Source: supplied.

It’s been a week of big headlines and huge dollar-figures in the startup funding world.

SafetyCulture became a unicorn twice over, with founder Luke Anear predicting much more growth to come.

Elsewhere, Main Sequence plugged $12 million into new space-tech startup Quasar Satellite Technology, launched in partnership with the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and various Aussie industry experts, and proved it is intending not only to back startups, but build whole new ones.

But there’s been plenty of other activity you may have missed. Here’s what else has been going on.

Zoomo

Aussie e-bike-for-rent startup Zoomo has secured another $16 million in funding, as businesses aim to cut carbon emissions on deliveries.

Initially created to provide modified-for-purpose rental bikes to food delivery drivers, the startup is now offering bikes and e-mopeds to enterprise customers looking to offer courier services with reduced emissions.

The round was led by AirTree Ventures, and also included follow-on support for existing backers including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Maniv Mobility and Contrarian ventures.

It follows a previous $16 million round, closed less than a year ago in August 2020.

Now the startup is ramping up development and production of new vehicle offerings to meet demand, as well as pressing on with a global expansion plan.

“Supported by regulatory and cultural tailwinds, Zoomo is accelerating the electrification of global transport, starting with last mile delivery,” AirTree principal Jackie Vullinghs said in a statement.

First AML

Kiwi regtech startup First AML has launched its Aussie operations, off the back of a $7.3 million Series A raise.

Founded in 2017, First AML provides outsourced customer due diligence and anti-money laundering compliance services for financial services providers, law firms, real estate agencies and accountants.

It’s also in use at several Aussie VC firms, including Blackbird.

Co-founder Bion Behdin is set to relocate to Sydney, where he will hire a team of 10.

“Regtech is usually aimed at the Big Four banks,” Behdin said in a statement.

“But if we want our economy to grow, we have to help the next layer of financiers become more efficient.”

Interest in Australia and the US is starting to ramp up as the industry faces new regulatory requirements, he added.

“This is a $184 billion global market. There’s massive opportunity out there.”

This latest funding round was led by US-based Bedrock Capital, and also included repeat investment from Icehouse Ventures and Pushpay founder Chris Heaslip.

Chemist2U

In another round led by AirTree, pharmacy startup Chemist2U has reportedly raised $3 million for its service offering delivery for prescription medication.

Launched in March last year, at the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the startup is the brainchild of Dr Matthew Cullen, who saw the opportunity while working as a medical student.

Cullen became aware of the challenge for vulnerable people getting to the pharmacy to pick up their medication, he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

COVID-19 only exacerbated that problem, and expanded Chemist2U’s potential customer base.

“People have become more and more aware of social distancing in a generic sense, people don’t actually want to go to a busy pharmacy and queue with lots of unhealthy people,” he said.

Frank Body

Aussie-founded beauty brand Frank Body has closed a private equity funding round led by Chinese firm EverYi Capital. While the value of the round has not been revealed, a release says it values the business at about $100 million.

Founded by five friends in a coffee shop and with a $5,000 investment back in 2013, Frank Body offers coffee scrubs and other pampering products for the skin and hair.

The funding and partnership with EverYi is pegged to fuel an expansion into China and the broader Asian market over the next three years.

In a statement, Frank Body co-founder and chief Steve Rowley said the investment represents “an important next step” in the brand’s growth plans, “enabling us to bring our accessible, affordable and effective clean beauty and personal care products to an important audience”.

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