Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer business loan platform founded in the U.K., has secured $150 million in venture financing to the tune of over a $1 billion valuation. Digital Sky Technologies Global led the round, where it was joined by Baillie Gifford, BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures, and Temasek. Having launched in 2010, Funding Circle currently has 40,000 investors and has extended over £600 in loans in the UK alone. It hopes to follow the success of American-based P2P lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper.
Over 15 investors, including Major League Baseball Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, and the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, are coming together to finance a $3 million seed round for Chariot, a transportation start-up. Chariot operates a fleet of vans in San Francisco that make morning and evening commutes Monday through Friday based on the route recommendations of its Monthly Pass users. The company is a graduate of Y Combinator.
Craftsvilla, an Indian e-commerce site specializing in the sale of ethnic craft products, has raised $18 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital, with additional participation coming from Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Global Founders Capital. Craftsvilla was founded by Manoj Gupta, who as a VC at Nexus invested in the wildly successful Indian e-commerce service Snapdeal. The site currently has around 2 million items for sale, from over 12,000 merchants.
Chef, a software platform that enables the automation of enterprise systems infrastructure, has raised $32 million to bring total funding to $97 million. The Series E was led by Scale Venture Partners, with additional participation coming from Citi Ventures, Amplify Partners, and returning investors Battery Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurveston, and Ignition Partners. Chef was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA.