Intel’s investment in Ohio | New VC firm in the Twin Cities

What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.

Intel’s investment in Ohio

OHIO—As part of its $20 billion investment in Ohio, Intel will be providing $100 million to establish semiconductor manufacturing education and research programs, at least half of which will go to Ohio higher-education institutions. Some of the money will go toward STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) development programs at the local, regional and national level, including a manufacturing technician certification effort.

Novel Capital lands $115M in funding

KANSAS CITY, KS—FinTech company Novel Capital announced $115 million in initial equity and debt funding from undisclosed backers. Novel Capital is an entrepreneur-centered revenue-based financing (RBF) venture firm for growing B2B software companies.

GM acquires equity ownership in Cruise

DETROIT, MI—General Motors is acquiring SoftBank Vision Fund 1’s equity ownership stake in Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company in San Francisco, for $2.1 billion. GM separately will make an additional $1.35 billion investment in Cruise.

Employee retention platform completes $12M funding round

CHATTANOOGA, TN—Employee feedback and retention platform WorkHound has completed a $12 million Series A fundraising round. The capital was funded wholly by Level Equity, a growth equity firm based in New York City. WorkHound plans to use the money to increase employee headcount, expand product offerings, and grow its presence in trucking and additional supply chain verticals.

$1.07M in funding for Renaissant

MILWAUKEE, WI—Logistics and business management software provider Renaissant has raised $1.07 million in funding. The company has completed a $770,000 private placement investment and closed a $300,000 technology development loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Renaissant intends to use the net proceeds of the private placement for working capital and general corporate purposes, including investments in strategic areas to support its growth strategy.

SaaS company VODIUM raises seven-figure round

NASHVILLE, TN—VODIUM, a SaaS software company that makes virtual teleprompter tech, has raised a seven-figure seed round. With this new round of funding, VODIUM intends to invest heavily in its platform, integrations, and growing its team.

VC firm to raise $10M for companies in the tech and health sectors

MINNEAPOLIS, MN–A new venture capital firm in the Twin Cities will invest in early-stage, underrepresented founders from diverse backgrounds. Tundra Ventures is raising a $10 million target fund that will help companies in the technology and health care sectors. The firm’s initial investments included We Sparkle, a Minneapolis-based SaaS company that helps minority entrepreneurs run their businesses with AI tools that help sell products and book meetings more easily.