13 March 2017 – Airbnb Closes Series F, IPO for Snap and Much More

Deals

Airbnb has closed its series F round at just over $1bn, bringing its overall equity funding to $3.4bn.

Instacart, the company touted as ‘the Uber of grocery shopping’, has raised $400m at a $3.4bn valuation, with VC firm Sequoia leading the round with a reported $100m investment. Interestingly, none of Instacart’s corporate investors – Comcast Ventures, American Express Ventures and Whole Foods – were named as participants in the series D round.

Alibaba has spent around $250m in a secondary transaction to boost its stake in One97 Communications by an extra 4.3%, giving exits to Reliance Capital, Sapphire Ventures and Saama Capital in the process.

BBVA has led a $102m funding round for mobile banking app Atom Bank, investing just over $36m at a $320m valuation to maintain its 29.5% stake.

Baidu is said to be lining up a $100m investment in NextEV, the smart electric vehicle developer that unveiled what it claims is the world’s fastest electric supercar in November.

Liberty Global and Zain have joined existing backers including Sky and the CAA-backed Evolution Media Capital to invest $90m in iFlix, which has brought the Netflix template to Southeast Asia.

Ping An Overseas Holdings has led a series C round for livestreaming platform and communication services operator Bigo that valued it at $400m.

Spero Therapeutics, a biopharma working on treatments for superbugs, has completed an oversubscribed series C round, raising $51.7m.

Viva Republica, the Korean developer of mobile payment platform Toss, has picked up $48m in a series C round featuring PayPal which Forbes estimates values the company at roughly $250m.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical, a biopharmaceutical spinout of Yale University, yesterday closed an $80m series A round from investors that included spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners.

Funds

Joyme Capital, the CVC arm of online gaming community operator Joyme Group, has teamed with gaming services provider Kee Ever Bright Technology to launch a strategic investment fund that will back game developers, eSports companies and gaming ancillary service startups among others.

US-based microfinance non-profit organisation Accion has launched a $141m financial technology and services investment fund with contributions from limited partners including the World Bank’s private sector investment arm International Finance Corporation.

The Cradle Fund, an investment vehicle owned by the government of Malaysia, has announced DEQ800, an initiative that will offer early-stage equity to startups, Tech in Asia wrote on Monday.

Uniseed, the venture fund backed by four Australian universities and research institute CSIRO, has announced a A$20m ($15m) fund that will make follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies.

Exits

Snapchat owner Snap has formally closed an IPO that featured a $500m investment by NBCUniversal at $3.91bn, after its underwriters took up the option to buy an additional $410m in shares following a heady first two days of trading last week, with the company’s stock at one point up more than $12 from its flotation price.

Now that the dust is starting to clear from Snap’s flotation last week, onlookers are getting ready for the next big tech IPO, with MuleSoft setting terms for an offering that will net it $182m in proceeds and a $2bn+ valuation if it floats at the top of its range.

CA Technologies has agreed to buy cloud security platform Veracode in a $614m cash deal that will provide exits for backers including Telus, Tivo and Symantec, which spun the company out in 2006.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical has agreed to acquire ADHD treatment developer Neurovance in a deal that will give an exit to Novartis Venture Fund.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

06 March 2017 – British Business Bank’s $500m fund and Much More

Funds

Foxconn, the contract manufacturer that’s already backed the $100bn SoftBank Vision Fund, has now also dropped $600m on a majority stake in the telecoms group’s Asia-based tech-focused investment arm SoftBank Asia Capital.

Baloise has committed $50m to an investment vehicle operated by Anthemis to identify opportunities in insurance technology startups based in Europe and the US.

Symantec, which previously backed Appthority via its subsidiary Blue Coat Systems, has decided to join the corporate venturing world and launched Symantec Ventures.

MFEC sets aside $20m to invest in startups and will move some of its human resources staff to manage the new corporate venturing subsidiary.

Kore, which provides business management software for entertainment companies and sports franchises, has formed a strategic investment arm and closed its first deal.

The Mobile World Congress might be making headlines because Nokia’s iconic 3310 handset is being resurrected, but Facebook is certain to also draw attention with the launch of a $170m investment collaboration through its Telecoms Infrastructure Project that will target startups operating in that very telecoms sector.

University Corner

University venturing: the view from Cornell – an interview with Alice Li

Virginia Tech and Carilion launch $15m fund

Government Department

Big deal: British Business Bank launches $500m fund

Mercia is allocated Northern Powerhouse money

Vanedge points at $122m fund

Hatteras to manage $60m NC fund

Exits

Snap’s long-awaited initial public offering is upon us today, as the company priced 200 million shares at $17 a piece last night, resulting in a $3.4bn windfall.

As the news flow shows no intention of slowing down, today’s lead story is an initial public offering by Alteryx, a data analytics provider that counts Thomson Reuters and Sapphire Ventures among its shareholders. The company, which last raised $85m in a series C round in 2015, is targeting $75m in proceeds with a flotation on the New York Stock Exchange but is yet to decide on a price range for its shares.

In Finland, Next Games stands to be the country’s first games developer to complete an initial public offering if it goes ahead with plans to list on the Nasdaq First North Finland.

Another IPO: the week stays busy with Ecovacs Robotics, a China-based vacuum and household robotics producer, filing for a flotation on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Mozilla acquires Pocket and provides an exit to shareholders including Axel Springer, Digital Garage and Alphabet.

Yelp has acquired its portfolio company Nowait, a restaurant booking app that it backed last August.

Deals

Our lead story last Monday is a Big Deal piece by reporter Kaloyan Andonov, in which he looks at what Ant Financial’s decision to provide $200m to Kakao Pay the previous week means.

Satellite operator OneWeb is making headlines with a $13bn all-stock merger with its peer Intelsat to produce a new entity that is set to attract $1.7bn in funding from SoftBank, the same investor that previously led a $1.2bn round with a $1bn cash injection in late December.

Oyo Rooms books up to $500m

Ola moves forward with $330m

Back in January, Grail, the oncology diagnostics company spun out of Illumina, was reported to be seeking $1bn for its series B round. Fast-forward to today and the startup has revealed that it has secured $900m – which may seem like it’s missed its target, but in fact that’s a first tranche and Grail is seeking up to an additional $900m to take the round all the way to $1.8bn.

Ride sharing might be in the news for all the wrong reasons these days as Uber is faced with scandal after scandal, but Didi Chuxing, the China-based ride hailing service that swallowed up Uber China, remains in good spirits: the company just backed a $450m series D round for Ofo, a bike sharing app provider.

A month ago, we reported on Paytm E-Commerce reportedly seeking a round of $180m to $200m and it appears the company has now secured the upper amount, getting $177m from Alibaba and another $23m from Saif Partners.

CloudMinds, an AI technology developer that previously obtained a stunning $31m in angel and seed capital from investors such as SoftBank, has received a similarly impressive $100m series A round from unnamed backers.

Delhivery coordinates $100m round

ChargePoint, which operates a network of independently managed charging stations for electric vehicles, has added $82m to its coffers thanks to a funding round led by Daimler.

University Corner

PMV diagnoses $74m series B

Urjanet raises $20m series C

Government Department:

Omeicos is treated to $8.7m


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

20 February 2017 – Ford Invests in Argo AI, Enterprise Ireland backs 4 Funds and Much More

Deals

SoftBank has agreed to pay $3.3bn to acquire Fortress Investment Group, an investment manager with some $70bn of assets under management.

Jera, the joint venture formed by Japanese energy utilities Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, has invested $200m in India-based solar and wind energy producer ReNew Power, taking a 10% stake.

Lytro, the developer of a light field camera and imaging platform it claims can film the highest quality and resolution VR content on the market, has raised $60m in a round that took its overall funding to $200m.

Vietnamese e-commerce platform Tiki, which like Amazon started out selling books before branching out into other consumer products, is reportedly in the process of raising between $50m and $60m in a series D round expected to close by the end of this year.

Rhythm, a biopharmaceutical company developing peptide therapeutics to treat rare genetic deficiencies, has raised $41m in a mezzanine round backed by Ipsen and Pfizer Venture Investments.

Baidu Ventures has made its first investment, contributing to a $27m series B round for 8i, the developer of an app that allows users to record and project photorealistic holograms.

Logsitics company DB Schenker has led a $25m series D round for freight shipping marketplace uShip, doubling the company’s total funding in the process.

General Motors has led a funding round for advanced metal products developer NanoSteel that, according to a regulatory filing, is sized at $15m.

Soundtrack Your Brand, a Sweden-based business-to-business music streaming platform, raised $22m today from a consortium co-led by Industrifonden, the investment arm of Sweden’s government.

Exactuals, the US-based developer of a software platform that organises entertainment payments, has secured $10m in a series A round that featured featured Stanford University’s StartX Fund.

Funds

Nasdaq is reportedly setting up a corporate venturing arm in order to fund startups with technology beneficial to its own offerings.

Tedco, the state-owned Technology Development Corporation of Maryland, has partnered financial services Harbor Bank to launch a fund aimed at black entrepreneurs.

Mubadala Development and International Petroleum Investment (IPIC), two sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, are set to be merged into a single vehicle named Mubadala Investment Co.

The Netherlands’ ministries for Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation jointly announced a €2.5bn ($2.1bn) government venturing fund called Invest-NL.

The government of India has approved a Rs68.31bn ($1.02bn) fund of funds aimed at the electronics and IT sectors, with an initial capital commitment of Rs6.81bn.

The government of Romania has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an investment arm called Sovereign Development and Investment Fund.

Exits

Snap has set the terms for an IPO that will give exits to Alibaba, Tencent and Yahoo, and which will raise $3.2bn if the company floats at the top of its range.

Visterra, which is developing antibody-based therapeutics for diseases such as influenza and dengue fever, has withdrawn its IPO, more than a year after initially filing.

Grab, the ride hailing platform that serves as Uber’s main competition in Southeast Asia, is reportedly set to make the first deal out of the $700m Indonesian investment drive it announced last week, acquiring mobile payment platform Kudo for more than $100m.

Supply chain management firm E2open has acquired Steelwedge, a business planning software producer that counts property developer JF Shea as an investor, in an all-share deal.

Beepi, the operator of an online marketplace for used cars, is winding down after raising almost $150m in funding, including $70m in a 2015 round led by automotive manufacturer SAIC that valued Beepi at $500m.

O-Flexx Technologies, a Germany-based thermoelectrics technology developer, has been acquired by automotive parts manufacturer Mahle for an undisclosed amount, providing an exit to NRW Bank, the state-owned economic development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

10 October 2016 – Possible Snap IPO, Exit for Time Warner Investments, Investment News and Much More

Feature

GV’s new leader’s steady hand

People

Microsoft continues rapid hiring and investment pace

Leeney leaves Telefonica

Funds

Spanish VC firm Kibo Ventures has raised $79m for the first close of its second fund, which it aims to expand to roughly $110m for its final close.

Ideo designs investment firm

University Corner

KU Leuven researches $67.5m fund

Government Department

Europe sets up venture markets

Exits

Time Warner Investments had made a decent-sized exit from marketing data management software company Krux, which has been acquired for about $700m by Salesforce.

Continental picks up Daimler-backed Zonar

Snap, which rebranded from Snapchat a few weeks ago, is said to be preparing for an IPO that could take place as soon as March 2017, and which could value it at $25bn, a steep jump from the $18bn post-money valuation at which it last raised funding, in May.

Obalon Therapeutics, developer of a gastric balloon to aid weight loss, has meanwhile raised $75m in an IPO that could potentially rise to more than $86m.

Investments

Payoneer to break new ground in $180m round

Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company adds investment to Stripe

Connected device network developer Sigfox is also looking to boost its coffers and is looking to raise $100m to $200m in a round that will feature an as yet unnamed Chinese strategic backer, and which will value it at $600m, a 50% jump from its last round in early 2015.

NTT drives Druva’s $51m series E

Rover, the dogsitting marketplace backed by Petco, was rumoured last month to be raising $40m in series E capital from Foundry Group, Menlo Ventures and Madrona Venture Group. Today, the company confirmed the deal, though it didn’t say whether the estimated valuation of $300m was also correct.

Remitly, a mobile remittance services provider that focuses primarily on foreign workers in the US hoping to send money back to family, has added a combined $38m in equity and debt from Silicon Valley Bank and International Finance Corporation to its coffers.

Welltok knocks out $33.7m round

Clearpath reaches corporates for $30m

Online video publishing platform Tout has secured $26m in a series C round backed by sports entertainment provider and partner WWE, after closing a $13.4m round in 2012 that featured a $5m investment from WWE.

Grana targets $10m in Alibaba-backed round


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0