The Term Sheet: Startup funding for August 2022

Denver and Boulder firms raised most cash in August

Denver-based Guild Education, which works with major employers to offer education-based benefits for their employees, raised $264.7 million last month. (BusinessDen file photo)

Colorado startup funding is heating up at summer’s end.

According to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC, 40 startups around the state raised a total of $576 million last month, compared to July 2022’s $294 million and August 2021’s $68 million. (You can see our sortable spreadsheet here.)

BusinessDen defines a startup as a business that’s less than 10 years old and excludes publicly traded companies, real estate ventures and funds.

Denver startups raised the most with $344.2 million across 17 deals, followed by Boulder startups with $163 million among eight deals. Startups outside of Boulder and Denver raised $69 million.

Here are some highlights from August:

Guild Education (Denver): $264.7 million

The majority of Denver’s capital was raised by Denver-based Guild Education last month.

The startup, which was founded in 2015 and works with employers to offer education benefits for their employees, reported a $264.7 million raise to the SEC in August.

In June, Guild Education closed a $175 million funding round that brought its valuation to $4.4 billion, according to a news release. 

Guild customers include Walmart, Waste Management, Hilton, PepsiCo, Macy’s, UCHealth and Children’s Hospital Colorado, according to the company, which says 5 million employees have used its services over the last year.

This year’s raises follow a $150 million raise last year and another $157 million raise in 2019 that valued the company at $1 billion.

Term Sheet Meati Foods

Meati Foods uses mycelium, a mushroom root, to replicate whole cuts of meat, like chicken breasts, steak, jerky and pork tenderloin. (Photo courtesy of Meati Foods)

Meati Foods/Emergy Inc. (Boulder): $150.7 million

Boulder-based Meati Foods, founded as Emergy Inc., raised $150.7  million last month to fund its new production facility in Thornton.

Meati Foods, which makes plant-based alternative meats, launched its products in Sprouts grocery stores in the Denver-Boulder area in July. The startup uses mycelium, a mushroom root, to replicate whole cuts of meat, like chicken breasts, steak, jerky and pork tenderloin.

“By 2023, Meati plans to be in 10,000 doors across retailers and food service partners across the country, and it will continue to be available online,” CEO Tyler Huggins said in a statement to BusinessDen.

The 100,000-square-foot production facility in Thornton, dubbed “Mega Ranch,” will have the capacity to produce more than 45 million pounds of fungi-based meat annually, according to Huggins.

“Our plan was validated by the incredible demand and market signals we’ve received since launching online earlier this year,” Huggins wrote.

Meati has also used the funds for three new hires, including its new chief marketing officer Peter Giorgi, Equinox’s former CMO; senior vice president of sales Ed Madden, General Mills’ former customer VP; and CFO Jody Macedonio, Chobani and Dean Foods’ previous CFO.

Meati Foods’ funding round was led by Revolution Growth with participation from new and existing investors, including Grosvenor Food & AgTech, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Wellington Management and Cultivate Next, Chipotle’s new venture fund.

​The startup raised $50 million in July last year, and has raised a total of $237 million, according to SEC filings.

Term Sheet Plume

Plume Health focuses on virtual transgender health care. (Photo courtesy of Plume Health)

Plume Health (Denver): $24 million

Plume Health, a Denver-based startup focused on virtual care for transgender patients, raised $24 million last month.

The startup, founded in 2019, plans to use the funds to expand coverage nationwide and into virtual primary care, as well as ensure Plume is covered by insurance, according to a news release.

Plume users pay a flat monthly fee of $99 to be connected with physicians through the company’s service.

The round was led by Transformation Capital with participation from General Catalyst and Town Hall Ventures. Plume Health has raised a total of $40.7 million, according to SEC filings.

Term Sheet Kinspire

Kinspire is focused on occupational therapy for kids and provides parents with thousands of activities for kids. (Image courtesy of Kinspire)

Kinspire (Denver): $2.2 million 

Kinspire, a Denver-based occupational therapy app for kids and parents, raised $2.2 million from 16 investors, according to SEC filings.

The startup, founded in 2020, matches families with a licensed occupational therapist and provides customized treatment plans for developmental issues, like autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder.

Customers can get a base membership for $239 a month, which includes telehealth access to a dedicated occupational therapist, a personalized treatment plan with how-to videos and education, educational articles, and access to the app’s therapeutic activity library with over 1,000 activities created by licensed therapists.

Term Sheet Halfdays

Halfdays Apparel, a women’s ski brand, was founded in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Halfdays Apparel)

Halfdays Apparel (Denver): $1.1 million

Denver-based Halfdays Apparel raised $1.1 million last month as part of a larger funding round, according to co-founder Ariana Ferwerda.

The local female skiwear brand was co-founded in 2020 by CEO Ferwerda, Olympic skier Kiley McKinnon and Karelle Golda.

Halfdays offers items from beanies and water bottles, to bib snow pants and matching winter jackets in a variety of colors on its website. Prices range from $225 to $495. The startup is getting ready to launch its new 2022-2023 ski season collection.

The startup has raised a total of $2.2 million since launching, according to SEC filings.

Denver and Boulder firms raised most cash in August

Denver-based Guild Education, which works with major employers to offer education-based benefits for their employees, raised $264.7 million last month. (BusinessDen file photo)

Denver and Boulder firms raised the most cash, topped by $265 million for Guild Education and $151 million for Meati Foods.

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