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.
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.
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.