Market Insights

IoT, Cybersecurity, and Challenger Banks, Oh My: Friday Dealbook for 3/27/2020

This week’s deals ran the gamut from fintech to cybersecurity and back. Douugh, a challenger bank, reached an agreement to be acquired by ZipTel through a reverse merger. Arkose Labs raised $22 million of Series B funding to further develop its platform, hire additional staff, and expand into new markets. Finally, UNL, a micro-location protocol, raised $2 million of seed funding to provide IoT-based addresses to those without physical addresses in Asia.

We’re keeping an eye on the impact of COVID-19 on venture capital fundraising. As the global economy continues to fluctuate, funding rounds are beginning to decline. Stay tuned each week as we observe how the pandemic and volatility continue to affect funding decisions.


The Top Deals Covered by OWI this Week


UNL \ \ Founded in 2018

Developer of a micro-location protocol designed to offer navigation and location-based services. The company’s solution can be plugged into any step of the supply chain, supporting the greater movement of goods and from supplier to vendor to end-user, providing clients with precise delivery and navigation within large buildings.

The company raised $2 million of seed funding in a deal led by HERE Global and on March 17, 2020. SGInnovate, SOSV, Venturerock, and The Mobile Only Accelerator also participated in the round. The funding raised will be used to develop the Internet of Places core infrastructure as well as further expand operations into key markets globally, starting with Asia.


Douugh \ \ Founded in 2016

Developer of a smart banking application intended to automate banking and provide financial guidance. The company’s application uses an AI virtual assistant to make payments and bills, make savings based on the income and expenses as well as provides financial advice, enabling users to better manage their money and achieve financial freedom.

The company reached a definitive agreement to acquire ZipTel (ASX: ZIP) through a reverse merger, resulting in the combined entity trading on the ASX Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DOU on March 20, 2020.


Arkose Labs \ \ Founded in 2013

Developer of a fraud prevention platform designed to solve fraud problems for targeted businesses with zero friction. The company’s platform uses a bilateral approach that combines global telemetry and a dynamic feedback loop which allows it to validate suspicious traffic and to train against serving enforcement to legitimate users, enabling businesses to eliminate the needless complexity of mitigation strategies and authenticate identities across all customer touchpoints with zero friction.

The company raised $22 million of Series B venture funding in a deal led by M12 on March 24, 2020. PayPal Ventures and US Venture Partners also participated in the round. The funds will be used for platform development, new hires, and global expansion.


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Investor Highlight


US Venture Partners \ \ Founded in 1981

Founded in 1981, US Venture Partners is a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California. The firm prefers to invest through early-stage investing in the enterprise software, information technology, security, consumer internet, mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, and information technology-enabled healthcare services sectors.

Active Portfolio – 60

Investments (TTM) – 21

Med. Round Amount – $11.00M 

Med. Valuation – $40.89M

Exits – 307


Deal History

In the past year, US Venture Partners has invested in the following 5 identity companies:

Arkose Labs


Kenna Security




*Source: PitchBook Data Inc. with proprietary keyword searches set by OWI Analysts