22 November 2021 – Braze Breaches Public Markets in $520m IPO

Braze breaches public markets in $520m IPO

US-based customer engagement technology provider Braze floated on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in a $520m IPO, marking an exit for financial services firm Citi.

Expensify executes $302m initial public offering

Expensify, the US-based expense management software producer backed by cybersecurity services provider Barracuda Networks, closed its own IPO at $302m.

SoundHound sorts out $2.1bn reverse merger

SoundHound, a US-based voice intelligence software provider backed by corporates Tencent, Daimler, Hyundai, Midea Group, Orange, Sompo, Samsung, Nvidia and Recruit, agreed to list through a reverse takeover with Archimedes Tech SPAC Partners Co at a pro forma valuation of $2.1bn.

Gett hails reverse merger deal

Israel-based ride hailing service Gett, which counts carmaker Volkswagen and conglomerate Access Industries as backers, agreed to a $1bn reverse takeover with special purpose acquisition company Rosecliff Acquisition Corp I.

Lacework leans into $1.3bn

Cybersecurity software provider Lacework received $1.3bn in funding from investors including data software producer Snowflake and mass media group Liberty Global.

Gemini signs up for $400m round

Cryptocurrency trading and storage platform developer Gemini secured $400m in funding from investors including financial services firm Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with Morgan Creek Capital’s Morgan Creek Digital subsidiary leading the round at a $7.1bn valuation.

Forte blocks in $725m in funding

Blockchain gaming technology developer Forte, which provides blockchain technology that enables game developers to create internal economies for video games through NFTs, raised $750m in a series B round backed by multiple gaming and media corporates.

Expel gets series E $140m injection

Internet and technology group Alphabet’s growth-stage investment vehicle, CapitalG, co-led a series E round for US-based cybersecurity technology developer Expel sized at over $140m.

FBN harvests $300m in funding

Online farmer network platform Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) raised $300m in a series G round featuring food processing and commodities trading company ADM and internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet, which invested respectively through their ADM Ventures and GV units.

3one4 Capital takes Krafton-backed fund to $135m

India-based venture capital firm 3one4 Capital aims to roughly double the size of a third fund, backed by game developer Krafton, to approximately $202m.

Corporates bet on $100m Bits x Bites fund

China-based agriculture and food-focused venture capital firm Bits x Bites has closed its second fund at $100m with backing from corporates Esco Lifesciences, Syngenta, Adisseo and Wilbur Ellis.


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

15 November 2021 – Rivian Motors to $11.9bn IPO

Rivian motors to $11.9bn IPO

US-based electric truck developer Rivian went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in an $11.9bn IPO that marked the exits for corporates Amazon, Ford, Cox Enterprises, Sumitomo and Abdul Latif Jameel.

Paytm puts together $2.5bn IPO

One97 Communications, the owner of payments service Paytm, is set to raise $2.5bn in its IPO.

Nykaa nabs $721m in initial public offering

FSN E-Commerce Ventures, the corporate-backed operator of fashion e-commerce platform Nykaa – an online beauty, personal and pet care product marketplace that also offers its goods through more than 80 brick-and-mortar retail partners across India – secured more than $721m in its initial public offering.

PharmEasy fishes for $842m in IPO

API Holdings the corporate-backed owner of India-based digital drugstore operator PharmEasy, filed for an IPO equal to $842m on the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

DoorDash orders up $8.1bn Wolt acquisition

Online food ordering service DoorDash agreed to acquire Wolt, a Finland-based food and consumer delivery service that counts internet group Prosus as an investor, in a €7bn ($8.1bn) all-share deal.

GoTo gets $1.3bn in pre-IPO funding

GoTo Group, the Indonesia-based company formed by the merger of e-commerce marketplace Tokopedia and ride hailing service Gojek, reportedly secured over $1.3bn from investors including Google and Tencent as it prepares to go public at a valuation of up to $30bn.

Xiaohongshu sells corporates on $500m round

China-based social commerce app developer Xiaohongshu has reportedly raised $500m from investors including internet group Tencent and e-commerce firm Alibaba.

Lime scoots to $523m in financing

US-based urban mobility service Lime – which provides electric scooter and bicycle rental services in 120 cities worldwide – has raised $523m in convertible debt and term loan financing from investors including ride hailing service Uber.

FTX, Solana and Lightspeed launch $100m fund

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX and US-headquartered public blockchain platform developer Solana’s corporate venturing unit, Solana Ventures, have launched a $100m gaming fund with venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Cadenza catches investors for $50m crypto fund

US-based venture capital firm Cadenza Ventures has raised $50m for an early-stage cryptocurrency-focused vehicle anchored by mutual fund manager VanEck Associates.

Emerson establishes $100m investment fund

Emerson, a US-headquartered producer of manufacturing automation technology, has launched a $100m corporate venturing vehicle called Emerson Ventures, with plans to deploy that capital over the next five years.


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

08 November 2021 – Terran Takes Off with $1.58bn Reverse Merger

Terran takes off with $1.58bn reverse merger

Terran Orbital Corporation, a US-based satellite services provided backed by aerospace and defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin, has agreed to a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp.

Nubank files for dual listing

Nubank, a digital bank operator backed by corporates Tencent and Berkshire Hathaway, filed for a dual initial public offering (IPO) yesterday in the United States and its home country of Brazil.

Delhivery to ship in $998m through IPO

Delhivery, a FedEx and SoftBank-backed logistics service provider based in India, filed for an initial public offering that will be sized at up to $998m.

Udemy completes route to IPO

US-based online education provider Udemy secured approximately $421m in an IPO the Nasdaq Global Select Market , providing exits for internet group Prosus and remote learning service Benesse.

Coca-Cola fortifies itself with Bodyarmor

Beverage producer Coca-Cola Company acquired portfolio company Bodyarmor, a US-headquartered sports drink brand, at a valuation of approximately $6.59bn.

Everlaw earns $202m in series D round

US-based developer of legal data software provider Everlaw raised $202m yesterday in a series D round that included CapitalG, the growth-stage investment arm of internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet.

Mythical Games gets $150m to play with

US-based blockchain game developer Mythical Games raised $150m in a series C round featuring cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and FTX, bringing its total funding to over $270m.

Sfermion hits close of $100m Fund II

Sfermion, a US-based non-fungible token (NFT) focused investment firm, has closed its second fund at $100m with backing from blockchain app developer Animoca Labs and trading firm Capital Markets Trading.

Fox starts $100m NFT fund

Fox, a US-based media group, has set up a $100m corporate venturing fund for digital creators as part of a new business unit, Blockchain Creative Labs.

Walden Catalyst Ventures tops $550m for first fund

Walden Catalyst Ventures, the US-based venture capital firm co-founded by ex-employees of South Korea-headquartered consumer electronics producer Samsung’s Catalyst Fund, closed its debut fund at over $550m.

Open Labs launches $100m fund

Indonesia-based brand aggregator Open Labs has launched a $100m fund to acquire direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands.


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

01 November 2021 – Rent the Runway Lands $357m in IPO

Rent the Runway lands $357m in IPO

US-based fashion rental service Rent the Runway – which operates an online platform that allows customers to rent high-fashion items through a subscription service – has gone public on the Nasdaq Select Market in a $357m IPO, which marks an exit for existing backers media group Advance Publications and payment services firm American Express.

Xilio Therapeutics tunes into $118m IPO

Xilio Therapeutics, a US-based cancer immunotherapy developer backed by pharmaceutical firms Takeda, Merck & Co, Ipsen and Merck Group, floated on Friday in an initial public offering sized at almost $118m.

Nubank looks to cash in IPO

Nu Holdings, the holding entity for Brazil-based digital bank operator Nubank, announced that it had confidentially filed a draft registration for an IPO. The IPO would mark an exit for internet and gaming group Tencent and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway,

Fluence flies on to Nasdaq in $868m IPO

Fluence, the Germany-based energy storage system provider launched by industrial equipment producer Siemens and electric utility AES, floated the Nasdaq Global Market in an $868m initial public offering.

Truepill swallows $142m in series D round

US-based patient engagement software provider Truepill, which is backed by healthcare provider Optum, closed its series D round at $142m, provided by Investment advisory firm TI Platform Management and Initialized Capital.

DNA Script prints $165m series C details

France-based synthetic DNA producer DNA Script secured $165m in a series C round featuring corporates Merck Group, Illumina, Danaher and Agilent Technologies.

Medable moves to next stage with $304m

Medable, a US-based developer of clinical trials management software – whose cloud-based software allows researchers to carry out decentralised trials complete with remote design, evaluation and management solutions – raised $304m in series D funding at a $2.1bn valuation.

Immunai imports $215m in series B funding

Koch Disruptive Technologies, a corporate venturing subsidiary of chemicals and energy conglomerate Koch Industries, led a $215m series B round for US-based cancer therapy database developer Immunai.

Swiss Re backs Paytm Insurtech

Reinsurance provider SwissRe has agreed to invest the equivalent of $123m in India-based digital financial services provider Paytm’s insurance arm, Paytm Insurtech.

Acko attracts $255m in series D funding

India-based online insurance platform Acko has raised $255m in a series D round featuring insurance providers Munich Re and Intact Financial at a valuation of $1.1bn

Exelon to escort diverse founders to $36m fund

US-based electric, gas and nuclear utility Exelon formed a $36m investment vehicle dubbed Racial Equity Capital Fund in a bid to back minority-owned companies.

SoftBank uncovers second China-focused fund

Telecommunications and internet conglomerate SoftBank’s SoftBank Ventures Asia arm has formed a second China-focused vehicle.

Investors serve Bread and Butter Ventures with $27m

US-based venture capital firm Bread and Butter Ventures launched a $27m third fund on Tuesday featuring limited partners including logistics group Atco, brewery Bernick’s and carmaker Toyota’s CVC Toyota Ventures.

Ecosia collates $405m World Fund

Germany-based ecologically-minded search engine operator Ecosia formed a venture capital vehicle dubbed World Fund, with a $405m targeted close, aimed at supporting entrepreneurs working to tackle climate change.


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

25 October 2021 – Gorillas Roars to $1bn Series C, Instacart Pulls Off $350m

Gorillas roars to $1bn series C

Germany-based on-demand grocery shopping platform Gorillas raised a series C round sized at almost $1bn, led by food delivery service provider Delivery Hero, which itself made a $235m contribution into the round.

Instacart pulls off $350m Caper AI purchase

Grocery delivery service Instacart is acquiring Caper AI, a US-based smart retail technology producer backed by supermarket chain Red Apple Group, for is $350m.

N26 deposits $900m of series E funding

N26, the Germany-based digital bank that is backed by Tencent and insurance provider Allianz, raised over $900m in series E funding at a post-money valuation in excess in $9bn.

FTX trades on $420m series B-1 round

FTX Trading, the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange backed by internet and communications group SoftBank, crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance and payment technology provider Circle raised over $460m in a series B-1 round

WBA expands presence in VillageMD in $5.2bn deal

Pharmacy operator Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has paid $5.2bn to increase its stake in US-based primary care provider VillageMD from 30% to 63%.

HT Aero lands $500m

China-headquartered electric vehicle (EV) producer XPeng agreed yesterday to co-lead a series A round for its air taxi developer affiliate, HT Aero, set to be sized at over $500m

Spin Master turns to corporate venturing

Canada-headquartered toy children’s entertainment producer Spin Master launched a strategic investment vehicle called Spin Master Ventures yesterday with $100m of capital.

Alaska Airlines announces $230m investment fund

US-headquartered air carrier Alaska Airlines unveiled a corporate venture capital subsidiary called Alaska Star Ventures yesterday that is equipped with $230m in capital

More corporates dock at Motion Ventures fund

Shipping groups Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), IMC Group and Signal Group have committed capital to a S$30m ($22.7m) fund run by Singapore-based venture capital firm Motion Ventures.


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

18 October 2021 – Celsius Network Warms Up with $400m in Funding

Celsius Network transacts $400m in funding

Celsius Network, the US-based cryptocurrency services platform developer backed by stablecoin issuer Tether International, received $400m in funding in a round valuing the company at over $3bn.

Trumid traps $208m in funding

US-based online bond trading platform Trumid closed on $208m in funding featuring trading exchange operator Singapore Exchange (SGX) at a reported valuation of $2.4bn.

Halo grabs series C funding

Allianz Life Ventures, a corporate venturing subsidiary of insurance provider Allianz, was among the investors putting $100m into a series C round for Halo Investing, a US-based developer of an online investment tools platform.

Open opts for $100m series C funding

Internet technology provider Google participated in a $100m series C round for India-based neobank Open Financial Technologies.

BetterUp nets $300m in series E funding

US-based professional coaching services provider BetterUp recevied $300m in a series E round featuring enterprise software provider Salesforce’s corporate venturing unit, Salesforce Ventures, at a valuation of $4.7bn.

Hibob hits $150m in series C round

Hibob, a UK-based human resources software provider backed by online recruitment marketplace Seek and conglomerate Sumitomo, hauled in $150m in a series C round led by growth equity firm General Atlantic, hiking its total funding to $274m to date as a $1.65bn valuation.

Swile Benefits from $200m series D round

France-based developer of employee benefits management technology, Swile, raised $200m series D funding led by telecommunications and internet group SoftBank at a valuation of over $1bn.

Sense Photonics Detects $71m exit

Sense Photonics, a US-based developer of lidar technology that offers an ultra-wide field of view, agreed to a takeover deal lidar system producer Ouster, marking an exit to University of California-aligned Congruent Ventures, in an acquisiton worth nearly $71.3m.

BP lays out Blueprint Power acquisition

Another Congruent Ventures company, US-based energy distribution technology platform Blueprint Power, is being taken over by oil and gas company BP for an undisclosed sum.

Munich Re Ventures introduces $500m Fund II

Munich Re Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of Germany-headquartered reinsurance group Munich Re, closed its second fund at $500m.

Hubspot Ventures hatches $100m fund

US-headquartered provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software, HubSpot, launched a $100m investment vehicle through its corporate venture capital arm, HubSpot Ventures.

Thomson Reuters trumpets $100m fund

Canada-headquartered news and information tools provider Thomson Reuters launched a $100m corporate venturing fund aimed at supporting “future professionals”.

Docusign concocts corporate venturing vehicle

US-headquartered electronic signature technology provider DocuSign announced its own corporate venture capital vehicle called DocuSign Ventures.


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

11 October 2021 – Rivian Reveals IPO Filing

PTTOR organises corporate venturing unit

Orzon Ventures will receive $25m in initial capital from PTTOR, which has partnered 500 Global to seek out deals in the Thai and Southeast Asian venture ecosystems.

AFB attracts corporates for $102m Fund II

Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Pierre Fabre have made capital commitments to Advent France Biotechnology’s second fund.

Rivian reveals IPO filing

Amazon, Ford, Cox Enterprises and Abdul Latif Jameel each own stakes in the electric vehicle maker sized at 5% or higher, as it targets a reported $80bn valuation in the offering.

Exscientia expands IPO to over $350m

The cancer drug developer has closed an initial public offering which took place alongside a $160m SoftBank-led private placement.

Rigetti regulates $1.5bn reverse merger

The Bloomberg Beta-backed quantum chipmaker is joining forces with the publicly listed Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II.

Snyk increases series F funding to $605m

Salesforce Ventures and Atlassian Ventures topped up the cybersecurity software provider’s latest round with $75m in funding at an $8.6bn valuation.

Orca Security upgrades series C to $550m

SAIC and Splunk Capital helped add $340m to the cloud cybersecurity software provider’s latest round, following a GV-backed first close.

Honor hones $370m series E

Prosus Ventures has returned to back an equity and debt round for the homecare management platform developer secured at a $1.25bn valuation.

Byju’s befriends investors to raise $300m

IIFL has returned to invest in the Tencent, BCC and Naspers-backed online learning platform, which is now valued at $18bn and potentially on its way to a $21bn valuation.

Coinswitch Kuber consolidates with $260m

Coinbase Ventures was among the investors in a series C round valuing the digital currency exchange at just over $1.9bn.

Elemy elevates itself with $219m

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led autistic childcare platform developer Elemy’s latest round, which valued it at $1.15bn.

Lilac mines investors for $150m close

SK Materials, Presidio Ventures and BMW i Ventures were among the investors that helped the lithium mining process developer complete its series B round.


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

04 October 2021 – Oyo Eyes $1.16bn Initial Public Offering

The Big Ones

Oyo, an India-based accommodation platform backed by corporates Airbnb, Didi Chuxing, Hero Enterprise, Huazhu Hotels Group, Microsoft and SoftBank, filed for a $1.16bn initial public offering. The company will issue up to $942m in new shares while the rest will come from secondary transactions involving existing investors. Telecommunications and internet group SoftBank plans to divest more than $175m of its stake. Founded in 2013, Oyo has built an online platform that helps users book short-term accommodation in locations including India, the US, the UK, Japan and other countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Warby Parker, a US-headquartered eyewear retailer backed by payment services firm American Express, went public in a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company set a reference price of $40.00 for its shares, which opened at $54.05 and closed at $54.49, equating to a market capitalisation just over $6.1bn. No new shares were issued and none of its largest shareholders have disclosed sales. Founded in 2010, Warby Parker sells eyewear both through its online platform and a network of brick-and-mortar outlets. The company increased revenue 53% year on year to just over $270m for the first six months of 2021 and cut its net loss from $10m to $7.3m in the process.

India-based online reselling platform Meesho amassed $570m in funding at a $4.9bn valuation from investors including social network operator Facebook, internet and telecommunications group SoftBank and internet group Prosus. Investment and financial services group Fidelity and investment firm B Capital Group co-led the round, which also featured Footpath Ventures and Trifecta Capital. SoftBank tapped its Vision Fund 2 to participate in the round while Prosus, which was formed by media and e-commerce group Naspers, was represented by its corporate venturing unit, Prosus Ventures. Founded in 2015, Meesho runs an online platform that lets small businesses and entrepreneurs sell products to consumers through social media.

Online food ordering service Delivery Hero led a $950m series C round for Germany-based grocery delivery service Gorillas. The round included internet group Tencent, investment management firm Coatue Management, investment firm DST Global and venture capital firm A-Star Partners, and reportedly valued the startup at $3bn. Founded in 2020, Gorillas offers groceries to customers in 57 cities across eight European countries for delivery within 10 minutes of an order, selling items at retail price.

Fanatics Trading Cards, a subsidiary of US-based digital sports memorabilia retailer Fanatics, closed a $350m series A round featuring talent agency Endeavor. Private equity firm Silver Lake and growth equity firm Insight Partners also participated in the round, which valued the company at $10.4bn, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fanatics Trading Cards provides a direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace that helps rightsholders and fans sell, resell or buy cards affiliated with professional sports leagues including Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Football League.

Crossover

Oxford Nanopore, the UK-based DNA sequencing technology developer backed by corporate investors Nikon, Tencent, Amgen and Illumina, went public in a $478m initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange. The company issued 82.4 million shares priced at £4.25 ($5.81) each, securing a valuation of $4.7bn, while shareholders including commercialisation firm IP Group offloaded $238m worth of stock. Software producer Oracle had already committed to being a cornerstone investor for the IPO, putting aside $205m. Oxford Nanopore’s shares soared 45% on the first day of trading. Founded in 2005, Oxford Nanopore provides DNA and RNA sequencing technology that has been applied to a wide range of products ranging from handheld devices to population-scale platforms.

Funds

Energize Ventures, a US-based venture capital offshoot of power producer Invenergy, closed a $330m second fund featuring a host of corporate investors as limited partners (LPs). Invenergy anchored the fund and was joined by backers including energy management technology producer Schneider Electric’s SE Ventures vehicle and industrial and power equipment maker General Electric’s GE Renewable Energy subsidiary. Energy utilities American Electric Power, Equinor (through its Equinor Ventures subsidiary) and Xcel Energy also committed capital, as did financial services firm Credit Suisse, pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and property investment trust Hannon Armstrong. Formed in 2016, Energize Ventures has over $700m under management and targets energy technology developers focusing on process automation, decentralisation, risk mitigation, electrification and asset optimisation.


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

27 September 2021 – Toast and Freshworks Make Strong Public Market Debuts

The Big Ones

US-based restaurant organisation technology provider Toast is floating on the New York Stock Exchange today in an $870m initial public offering representing an exit for internet and technology group Alphabet. Toast, a US-based restaurant management software provider backed by Alphabet’s subsidiary GV, floated on the New York Stock Exchange in an $870m IPO, pricing its shares at $40 each, with an implied market capitalisation of around $20bn. The shares closed at around $62, equating to a market capitalisation of approximately $31bn, which made Toast’s IPO one of the largest US listings of the year.

Freshworks, a customer relationship management (CRM) software developer, backed by internet and technology group Alphabet, raised $1.03bn in Nasdaq IPO. Its shares closed at almost $48, equating to a market capitalisation of $13.5bn. Freshworks produces a variety of software used by companies for improving customer experience and optimising IT service management processes.

Mexico-based used car marketplace Kavak raised $700m in a series E round featuring telecommunications and internet group SoftBank and consumer internet company Sea, Reuters reported today. The round, which more than doubled the company’s valuation to $8.7bn, included General Catalyst, Founders Fund, Tiger Global Management, D1 Capital Partners, Ribbit Capital and Spruce House.

Telecommunications and internet group SoftBank led a $680m series B round for Sorare, the France-headquartered creator of a fantasy football game focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Atomico, Bessemer Ventures, D1 Capital, Eurazeo, IVP, Liontree, Benchmark, Accel and Partech also participated in the round along with private investors Alexis Ohanian, Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and César Azpilicueta.
Canada-based virtual trading card developer Dapper Labs received $250m from investors including GV, a corporate venturing arm of internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet. Investment manager Coatue Management led the round, which included Andreessen Horowitz, Bond, Version One Ventures and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC. The round reportedly valued the company at $7.6bn.

Crossover

US-based lithium mining technology producer Lilac Solutions raised $150m in a series B round featuring commodity trading firm Mercuria Energy Trading. Lowercarbon Capital co-led the round with funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price, while The Engine, Valor Equity Partners and Breakthrough Energy Ventures also participated. Lilac has created an ion exchange technology which makes the extraction of lithium from brine resources – naturally occurring sources of saltwater – more efficient than current methods.

Funds

Thailand-based financial services group Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and conglomerate Charoen Pokphan Group (CP Group) launched a venture capital fund with an $800m target. The vehicle, dubbed Global Disruptive Technology Venture Capital Fund, will focus on investments in emerging technology areas such as digital assets, the blockchain and general fintech.

France-based, biotech-focused private equity firm Jeito Capital has closed its Jeito I fund, which is backed by pharmaceutical company Sanofi and insurers Axa, Aviva, Pro BTP and CNP Assurances, at $632m. The latest batch of limited partners for the fund include pension fund Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), the Singaporean government owned Temasek and the multilateral European Investment Fund (EIF).

Japan-headquartered consumer electronics producer Sony has formed a $200m corporate venturing fund which will concentrate on India-based investments.

US-based venture capital firm Fifth Wall raised over $140m for its Climate Tech Fund which targets $500m, from investors including housing provider Invitation Homes and property manager Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Illumina Ventures, the venture capital firm sponsored by US-headquartered genomics technology producer Illumina, closed its second fund at $325m.

HSBC Group launched a $100m dollars US-based venture capital vehicle named HSBC Ventures which will back climate and net-zero emission technology developers. Its portfolio companies will have access to the parent firm’s resources, including its global network, commercial and investment banking offering and experience in supporting startups and public companies.


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

20 September 2021 – Investors help Canva paint $200m picture at $40bn valuation

The Big Ones

Canva, an Australia-based graphic design software provider backed by advertising agency VaynerMedia, raised $200m at a $40bn valuation. Investment manager T Rowe Price led the round, which included Franklin Templeton, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), Greenoaks Capital, Dragoneer Investments, Blackbird, Felicis Ventures and AirTree Ventures. Canva has built a visual visual communications software that helps users without a graphic design background create media assets including illustrations, presentations, posters and videos. The company provides free templates, stock photos, audio and video clips and fonts through its platform. Canva plans to use the fresh capital raised in this latest round to double its headcount, which reached 2,000 people this year, further boost its products’ development and possibly finance strategic acquisitions.

Discord, a US-based online messaging platform developer backed by corporates Tencent and WarnerMedia, has raised $500m in a funding round led by Dragoneer Investment Group. The round also featured investment and financial services group Fidelity, Baillie Gifford, Coatue Management, Franklin Templeton and unnamed existing investors, and it valued the company at approximately $15bn. Discord’s platform was launched for gamers to communicate with each other in real time but experienced an explosion in demand during the pandemic and has expanded its chat products to include events beyond gaming. The funding will be used to grow the company’s workforce and invest in new products. It had previously raised about $600m in funding, according to Bloomberg.

Citi Ventures, the venture capital arm of financial services firm Citi, joined Israel-based identity authentication software developer Transmit Security’s $543m series A round.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs’ Asset Management subsidiary has also come onboard. The round was disclosed in June this year and was co-led by Insight Partners and General Atlantic and backed by Cyberstarts, Geodesic, Syn Ventures, Vintage Investment Partners and Artisanal Ventures. Transmit Security has developed authentication software which eschews passwords in favour of biometrics. The round values it at $2.2bn pre-money and the company said it had previously been bootstrapped after being founded in 2014.

US-based cybersecurity ratings company BitSight received a $250m capital injection from credit rating provider Moody’s yesterday through a strategic partnership agreement, valuing it at $2.4bn. BitSight provides companies with ratings of between 250 and 900 to assess their cybersecurity risk, a service likely to rise in demand amid the backdrop of escalating cyber threats such as ransomware attacks, which have cost both public and private organisations hundred of billions of dollars. Moody’s supplied the funding through an agreement which will support the development of a software platform which will assess cyber risk. BitSight will also form a Risk Solutions Division. Parallel to the investment, BitSight has agreed to buy VisibleRisk, a joint venture between Moody’s and venture group Team8 that rates cyber risk. It had received $25m from the two in May this year.

Funds

Japanese telecommunications group SoftBank has allocated $3bn to a second Latin America-focused fund, which will invest in technology-enabled companies across various industries at every stage of their development. The Latin America-dedicated unit, which is headed by chief operating officer Marcelo Claure, has also appointed two new managing partners Rodrigo Baer and Marco Camhaji. The firm said that the new fund’s initial commitment of $3bn might be increase, and that is exploring options to raise additional capital. Softbank launched its first Latin America-dedicated fund, a $5bn vehicle previously known as the Innovation Fund, in March 2019. The fund has invested around $3.5bn so far, across 48 companies, with an aggregate fair value of around $6.9bn. According to the firm, the fund has generated an 85% net IRR. SoftBank has invested in several unicorns with its first fund, including on-demand delivery service Rappi, online real estate portal QuintoAndar, digital currency exchange Mercado Bitcoin, wellness programmer operator Gympass and online furniture retailer MadeiraMadeira.

Chinese venture capital firm Fibonacci VC has closed its latest fund at $202m, with commitments from state-backed conglomerate Xiamen C&D and property developer China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Development Group. Other limited partners (LPs) committing to Fund II include funds-of-funds CICC Genesis Fund and Oriza FOFs Investment Management in addition to Guangzhou Finance Holdings and Haining Semiconductor Industry Investment Fund. Fibonacci’s management team also backed the fund with their own capital. Nearly half of the fund’s commitments were supplied by existing LPs, while 85% were institutional investors. It is Fibonacci’s second renminbi-denominated fund. Fibonacci will use the fund to invest in the industrial internet sector, in areas including the industrial internet-of-things, industrial intelligence and smart manufacturing. It typically participates in series A and B rounds.

Netherlands-based venture capital firm Finch Capital is looking to set up a fund in partnership with Indonesia-headquartered financial services firm Bank Central Asia (BCA)’s strategic investment arm, Central Capital Ventura. The vehicle is understood to be targeting $200m and is pursuing investments in financial services providers and financial technology developers, participating in series A rounds and later. Central Capital Ventura and Finch Capital are reportedly in the process of applying for fund management licences in Singapore.

LinkedIn, the US-based professional network operator owned by software producer Microsoft, has unveiled a $25m creator fund and a creator accelerator programme.
The programme, which will last 10 weeks, will welcome up to 100 US-based content creators to participate in a creator network, undergo coaching and receive a $15,000 grant each. It will also provide opportunities to be featured on LinkedIn’s brand, marketing and editorial channels as well as access to LinkedIn tools.

Crossover

AgBiome, a US-based agricultural technology spinout from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill backed by corporates Bayer Crop Science, Novozymes and Syngenta, collected $116m in series D funding. The round was co-led by venture capital firm Novalis LifeSciences and investment firm Blue Horizon, while undisclosed new and existing investors also contributed to the financing. Founded in 2013, AgBiome has developed the Genesis platform, which is able to identify the gene sequences and strains of microbial life that could potentially protect agricultural crops from pests and disease. The spinout has also created a fungicide that can protect against more than 300 combinations of crop disease. It plans to use the series D capital to expand its product portfolio and grow its scientific and commercial activities.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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