13 December 2021 – Arm Eyeing IPO Amid Nvidia Deal Uncertainty

Arm eyeing IPO amid Nvidia deal uncertainty

UK-based semiconductor technology producer Arm would look to have an initial public offering (IPO) as a backup plan if its planned acquisition by fellow chipmaker Nvidia were to fall through, a source told Global Corporate Venturing.

SenseTime sets $767m target for IPO

SenseTime, a China-headquartered artificial intelligence technology provider that counts corporates Alibaba, Qualcomm, SoftBank, Suning and Dalian Wanda as investors, is reportedly seeking up to $767m in its initial public offering.

Nubank nabs $2.6bn in IPO

Nu Holdings, the Brazil-based owner of neobank Nubank, which counts internet company Tencent and conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway as investors, secured $2.6bn in an IPO priced at $9 apiece – at the top of its range.

Tencent makes Tyme in $180m series B

Singapore-based digital banking network Tyme expanded its series B round to $180m with $70m in new funding from internet and gaming group Tencent and development finance institution CDC Group, highlighting the further international expansion of digital banking.

GV gees up Freenome’s $300m series D

Internet and technology group Alphabet’s GV subsidiary took part in a $300m series D round for US-based cancer detection technology developer Freenome, further expanding its life sciences portfolio.

Whydah wins $25m to push play-to-earn gaming

Vietnam-based blockchain game studio Whydah secured $25m from investors including gaming guild Good Guild Games, decentralised technology provider Mask Network and blockchain technology developer KardiaChain as the market for play-to-earn (P2E) gaming continues to intensify.

Binance and Animoca Brands form $200m fund

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s Smart Chain subsidiary launched a $200m blockchain gaming investment scheme with digital entertainment and blockchain technology developer Animoca Brands.

Genesys generates $580m in Zoom-backed round

UK-based customer engagement software provider Genesys secured $580m from investors including Zoom, forming part of a significantly expanded portfolio for the video conferencing platform developer in 2021.

Jokr plays series B card to raise $260m

On-demand grocery delivery startup Jokr secured $260m in series B funding from investors including HV Capital, the venture capital firm backed by publisher Holtzbrinck, at a $1.2bn valuation.


“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

23 March 2020 – Fox Agrees to Buy Tubi for $440m in Cash

The Big Ones

When SoftBank emerged with a $9.5bn rescue package for beleaguered workspace provider WeWork in October, $3bn of the amount had been earmarked for a tender that would have involved it buying shares from existing investors and shareholders – likely including hotel chain Jin Jiang International and Legend Capital. However, the company has sent a letter to the shareholders stating that it believes regulatory probes into the WeWork business frees it from that obligation. It’s an interesting approach, but considering SoftBank’s influence at the company even before its IPO attempt, one that may be hard to follow through with.

Speaking of everyone’s favourite corporate. SoftBank’s efforts to raise capital for a second Vision Fund have been largely unsuccessful so far, but it is reportedly seeking $10bn, including $5bn from external backers, to shore up portfolio companies in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and maybe acquire rivals struggling with the same issues. Some of the portfolio companies set to be affected include Uber, WeWork, Didi Chuxing and Oyo, though others such as Slack, Paytm and DoorDash could find their business models strengthened by the virus and related social distancing.

Fox has agreed to buy online streaming service Tubi for $440m in cash, allowing MGM and Lionsgate to exit. Both contributed to Tubi’s $6m series A round, part of the $31m in funding it had disclosed prior to the acquisition. Fox should still have a big chunk of the Disney money it got from the 21st Century Fox purchase so it won’t be a surprise to see some more big acquisitions from it coming up soon.

In crossover news, Circle Pharma, a US-based oncology therapeutics spinout of UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz, has secured $45m in a series B round backed by UC Berkeley’s investment vehicle, Berkeley Catalyst Fund. Healthcare-focused venture capital fund Column Group led the round, which also included pharmaceutical firm ShangPharma, Nextech Invest and LifeForce Capital. Circle began operations when pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and Mission Bay Capital supplied an undisclosed amount of seed funding in 2014. ShangPharma added an undisclosed sum to the round in mid-2016.

Deals

Despite recent reports it was set to merge with key competitor Grab, ride hailing platform Gojek has raised $1.2bn in funding, reportedly bringing its series F round to nearly $3bn. The round already included Tencent, JD.com, Google, AIA, Mitsubishi, Visa, Siam Commercial Bank and Astra International, but no word yet on the identities of the new investors.

AI and imaging technology provider SenseTime has reportedly dropped plans for a Hong Kong IPO and is instead pursuing between $500m and $1bn in new funding. Its existing investors include Alibaba, Qualcomm, Suning and Dalian Wanda, and reports last year suggested its valuation could have reached $7.5bn. In any case, it’s possible a by-product of the coronavirus could be another push back in the IPO space leading to more late-stage rounds.

Plant-based meat product supplier Impossible Foods has raised $500m in series F funding and, in a sign of things to come, told Forbes it will use the money to offset expected difficulties caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The GV-backed company has reportedly now secured about $1.25bn in funding altogether, and the latest round was led by Mirae Asset Global Investments.

Digital currency technology developer Bakkt has secured $300m as it prepares to expand its crypto wallet to a more diversified crypto services app. The series B funding came from Microsoft unit M12, Naspers subsidiary PayU, Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital and Intercontinental Exchange, the exchange operator that had spun off Bakkt in the first place.

Data streaming software provider Confluent is reportedly seeking $200m to $300m in a round that could double its valuation to $5bn. Its early investors include LinkedIn, which developed the open source Apache Kafka software on which the company relies. The funding would hypothetically be raised prior to an IPO taking place. Enterprise software has been one of the more resilient sectors of late, especially post-IPO, so that wouldn’t be a huge shock.

StackPath has secured $216m in a series B round co-led by corporates Juniper Networks and Cox Communications, following a $180m series A round revealed when it came out of stealth in 2016. Both leads took board seats at the edge computing technology developer, which plans to put the funding toward enhancing engineering and product development while commercialising its system.

Airwallex is meanwhile looking to raise $200m in a series D round set to be led by an as-yet unnamed financial services provider. The cross-border remittance service has so far secured just over $200m, with approximately half coming in a Tencent-led series C round a year ago that valued it at $1bn. The prospective round would be raised at a $1.5bn pre-money valuation.

Novo has participated in a $100m series G round for drug development software provider Tempus that valued it at $5bn post-money. The participants in the round had all previously contributed to the company’s last round, a $200m series F that closed in May 2019, the funding being raised at a $3.1bn valuation. It will use the series G proceeds to expand the range of conditions its technology serves.

Sigilon Therapeutics is developing bio-engineered cells to treat chronic illnesses without a patient’s immune system rejecting the treatment, and has completed an $80.3m series B round that lifted its overall funding to more than $195m. The round’s participants included Eli Lilly, already an equity investor as of a 2018 collaboration agreement that could potentially top $470m should all milestones be reached.

Engineered T cell therapy developer Eureka Therapeutics has bagged $45m in a series E round led by Lyell Immunopharma, which invested through a strategic partnership deal. Eureka has now raised approximately $134m altogether and will work with Lyell on solid tumour treatments, its own liver cancer candidate having entered phase 1/2 clinical trials.

Funds

Cryptocurrency exchange operator Binance has joined forces with its India-based subsidiary WazirX to launch a $50m fund that will invest in blockchain technology developers located in India. The Blockchain for India fund follows a decision by the country’s supreme court to allow financial services firms to take on blockchain companies as clients. As a result, cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are now also able to offer bank account transfers. Apart from providing funding, the vehicle will also look to incubate startups and support blockchain initiatives within universities.

Congruent Ventures, the venture capital firm anchored by University of California, is aiming to raise $125m for its second, sustainability-focused fund, according to a regulatory filing. The filing states Congruent Ventures II is still to raise capital. None of its potential limited partners have been identified. Founded in 2017, Congruent backs early-stage startups that advance sustainability objectives in areas such as urbanisation and mobility, clean energy, food and agriculture and industrial and supply chains. The first Congruent fund closed at $92m in 2018 with a $50m contribution from University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer in addition to Prelude Ventures and undisclosed additional investors.

Exits

These are a different kind of exit, but Vietnam-based conglomerate Vingroup has shut down its corporate venturing unit, Vingroup Ventures. Founded in Ukraine in 1993, Vingroup moved into Vietnam in 2000 and has concentrated its activities in the country since then. Its main areas of interest include technology, manufacturing and a range of services in sectors including education, health and real estate. Vingroup established its CVC unit in late 2018 and had targeted $100m of investments across the globe according to its LinkedIn page, though it has failed to disclose a single deal in which it had participated.

DuPont Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of chemicals producer DuPont, is set to close at the end of this month, according to a person familiar with the matter. Formed by DuPont in 2003, its investments have included deals for biofuel feedstock supplier NexSteppe, taste modification molecule developer Linguagen and ethernet services provider Actelis Networks. However, the unit has been relatively quiet of late, its last disclosed investment being its participation in a $75m round for Indiana University’s drone management software spinout PrecisionHawk in early 2018. DuPont Ventures’ closure comes as part of a restructuring that will involve the company’s larger corporate innovation activities being cut as part of a cost-saving process. The firm has not revealed whether it plans to divest the existing equity stakes held by its subsidiary.


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