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June 27, 2024 | Tom Ballard

VC News | The Engine Ventures raises a nearly $400 million fund

Several Tennessee-based companies have announced successful capital raises.

From Cambridge, MA:

The Engine Ventures, a venture firm that invests in early stage founders solving critical global challenges, announced it raised a $398 million Fund III, bringing the firm’s total assets under management to more than $1 billion. Formed in 2016 as The Engine built by MIT, the firm’s mission is to unlock commercialization in tough tech, a new asset class that translates breakthrough science and engineering from lab to market.

The investment fund, now branded as The Engine Ventures, has backed 56 transformational companies. With Fund III, firm is further scaling its investment model to help bridge the gap from discovery to commercialization for climate, human health, and advanced systems technology.

“We need tough tech founders’ vision and ability to devise creative solutions to the world’s biggest problems now more than ever,” said Katie Rae, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of The Engine Ventures. “Building a company that will result in real, societal impact and creating the industries of tomorrow is no easy feat, but already The Engine Ventures’ portfolio companies have achieved remarkable progress and contributed meaningfully to combating climate, improving human health, and developing advanced systems and infrastructure. These companies have the potential to yield massive returns. With Fund III, we have an incredible opportunity to scale our pioneering investment model and back more game-changing companies with our capital, operational knowledge, and academic expertise.”

From Across the Volunteer State:

Several Tennessee-based companies have announced successful capital raises.

  • Angel AI, a Nashville-based parent-designed artificial intelligence (AI) platform offering an age-appropriate internet experience for children aged 5 to 12, has secured $4.75 million in seed funding. The round was led by Cortical Ventures, with significant participation from Village Global and several prominent angel investors. The company will use the funding to accelerate its investments in hiring, product development, and marketing initiatives.
  • Youth Inc., another Nashville-based digital media network and commerce marketplace focused exclusively on youth sports, has raised a $4.5 million seed round. Co-founded by National Football League (NFL) alum and Fox Sports broadcaster Greg Olsen, the company is the first digital media network dedicated exclusively to youth sports content. Will Ventures led Youth Inc.’s $4.5M seed round with co-investments from Ryan Sports Ventures, Hello Sunshine Co-Founder Jim Toth, NFL quarterbacks Josh Allen and CJ Stroud, Ohio State Football Coach Ryan Day, and ISOS Ventures. Through its content arm, Youth Inc. will guide parents, coaches, and youth athletes through the opportunities and complexities presented by youth sports. The company will work with professional and college athletes, coaches, and thought leaders to create original material while aggregating content from third-party creators.
  • AnyCreek, a Memphis-based start-up simplifying access to guided experiences such as fishing and hunting, has announced the completion of a $1.8 million seed funding round. That brings AnyCreek’s total funding since its launch in 2022 to $3.3 million with continued participation from Starting Line and other notable angel investors and new participation from Bridge Investments, LaunchTN, and others. Since its launch, AnyCreek developed a guide-centric platform that has helped thousands of adventurers across 183 markets easily discover, book, and pay for fishing and hunting experiences with the top guides and outfitters in the industry, while also fostering a community of outdoor enthusiasts.

From Winter Park, FL:

Tim Tebow, the Florida Gators football legend and Heisman Trophy winner, is now a partner at GOVO Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Winter Park. The former National Football League player turned football analyst will use his expertise and relationships across the state to boost the firm, which recently launched its first venture fund (GOVO Fund I) focusing on early stage companies involved with government entities and government regulations.

GOVO, a fund that only accepts accredited investors, invests in companies that strive to solve societal problems, whether through environmental technologies or modernizing healthcare. It set a $50 million goal when it announced it first close in late January 2023.

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