23 September 2019 – We Company IPO Issues Ongoing + Telecoms Sector Webinar

Big Ones

We have a lot of IPO news for you this week but let’s talk about We Company for a moment, because no other company has had quite as tough a time of trying to go public (not even Uber’s failure to reach the IPO price for weeks after going public comes close). Really, We Co hasn’t found the path to its IPO very much fun but arguably even more eyes have been focused on its largest investor, SoftBank. The IPO may have been delayed until… sometime later this year after rumours that the offering could be cancelled altogether. Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that SoftBank is set to buy up $750m of shares in an IPO that will raise about $3bn when (if!) it eventually happens. The bigger shock has of course been news that We Company’s valuation is set to tumble from $47bn in January to between $15bn and $20bn when it floats.

The ongoing issues with the We Company IPO appear to be hitting SoftBank in other areas, too. The corporate is still in the process of finalising LP commitments for its second Vision Fund, but sovereign wealth funds PIF and Mubadala are reportedly pulling back their exposure having supplied a total of $60bn for the first fund. Taking big bets, as Masayoshi Son is prone to do, after all can also mean you might end up losing big.

Automattic is valued at just (just!) $3bn despite claiming to power around one third of the world’s websites, having received $300m in series D funding from Salesforce Ventures. The company is likely doing okay financially too, considering it last raised money five years ago, in a $160m series C round that valued it at $1bn pre-money and it’s fresh off a purchase of reportedly less than $3m acquisition of Tumblr, the blogging platform that Yahoo purchased for $1.1bn in 2013, before Yahoo was acquired by Verizon, Verizon banned any sexual content in December 2018 and user numbers crashed.

In a fascinating GCV-GUV crossover, robotic surgery technology developer CMR Surgical has secured $240m in series C funding at a reported valuation of about $1.2bn. The company, whose earlier backers include ABB Technology Ventures, raised the cash from investors including Cambridge Innovation Capital, LGT, Watrium, Zhejiang Silk Road Fund and Escala Capital.

Deals

GitLab has completed a $268m series E round co-led by Goldman Sachs that valued the software development and management platform at $2.75bn. The company, whose investors also include Alphabet unit GV, is aiming for a November 2020 IPO and will channel the series E proceeds into hiring and product development.

Online payment technology provider Stripe is now one of the few VC-backed private companies to have outdone that valuation, having secured $250m in funding at an eye watering $35bn pre-money valuation.

DataRobot is meanwhile also valued at $1.2bn, having confirmed a $206m series E round that included Intel Capital. Reports in July had suggested the enterprise AI technology provider was raising $200m, and the round boosted its overall funding to more than $430m.

Self-driving truck developer TuSimple has raised $120m from investors including Mando and UPS Ventures for a series D round that now totals $215m. The overall round is being led by another corporate, Sina, and the capital will go to expanding the range of TuSimple’s fleet and the further co-development of an autonomous truck for commercial use.

Funds

Data analysis software producer Splunk has been a relatively low-profile figure in the corporate venturing space but expect that to pick up following its formation of a unit called Splunk Ventures that will be equipped with $150m of capital.

On GUV, Italy-based venture capital firm Eureka! Venture has launched a €50m ($55m) fund with an initial close of $33m thanks to a commitment by investment platform ItaTech. The Eureka! Fund I – Technology Transfer will focus on the commercialisation of deeptech and has partnered a total of 19 universities and research institutes across the country, though only Polytechnic University of Turin and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia’s Technology Transfer office were named.

Exits

A lot of huge startups have gone public this year but it’s been a mixed bag in terms of outcomes. Airbnb is one of the few decacorns ($10bn+ valuations) still to make the jump in the US, but has now said it plans to list its shares publicly in 2020.

Cloud hosting services provider CloudFlare has secured $525m in its IPO, floating above a range that it had already increased last week. Its investors include Microsoft, Baidu, CapitalG and Qualcomm Ventures, and the company’s stock closed at $18.00 on its first day of trading on Friday.

Henlius, a developer of biosimilar treatments for cancer and autoimmune disorders, has priced its shares for an initial public offering that will net the company $410m when it floats in Hong Kong next week. Fosun Pharma is the largest investor in Henlius, which was valued at $3bn when it last raised funding, in July 2018.

IGM Biosciences has secured $175m in its own IPO, floating at the midpoint of its range before seeing its shares shoot up some 50% in their first day of trading yesterday. The company, which is developing antibodies to treat cancer, counts Haldor Topsøe as its largest shareholder, though the corporate’s stake was diluted from a majority share to 39% in the offering. IGM’s market cap is around the $700m mark at time of writing.

Pfizer spinoff SpringWorks Therapeutics has raised $162m after floating at the top of its range. The rare disease and cancer therapy developer had collected $228m in funding across two rounds, from investors that also included GlaxoSmithKline, and its shares are trading around 30% higher than its IPO price at the time of writing.

SoftBank has at least done very well out of the IPO of one of its portfolio companies. Cancer test developer Guardant Health’s shares were priced at $19 each when it floated last October but SoftBank has just sold 4.9 million shares at $77 a pop to raise a total of $377m. That’s a huge return but it also comes after Guardant’s shares fell from a peak of about $110 last month. SoftBank remains the company’s largest shareholder.


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

24 September 2018 – Uber in Talks to Acquire Rival Careem

Exits

Uber is already in talks to acquire Middle Eastern rival Careem and has now reportedly in negotiations to buy food delivery service Deliveroo. The price would need to be “considerably” higher than the $2bn valuation at which Deliveroo last raised money, but the transaction would give a nice exit to NGP Capital, the venture firm spun out of Nokia, which invested in Deliveroo at a reported $1bn post-money valuation.

Rocket Internet is in line for a series of IPO exits in the next few months. In addition to Westwing and Funding Circle, African e-commerce marketplace Jumia is looking to go public in a 2019 offering that could value it at about $1bn.

Eventbrite, the developer of an online ticketing platform it supplies to event promoters,has gone public in a $230m IPO. The company floated at the top of its range, which it increased on Tuesday, signifying some serious interest in advance of the offering.

Infosys sucks up Fluido in $76m acquisition

Equillium seeks $86m IPO balance

Airware comes crashing down

Allogene calls for $100m IPO

Qutoutiao reports news of $84m IPO

GlaxoSmithKline has chalked up an exit in a $106m initial public offering for oncology and immunology developer Principia Biopharma, which has floated at the top of its range.

Connected planning software provider Anaplan has filed for its own IPO and has set an initial target of $100m.

Funds

Insurance firm Aflac announced in March last year it planned to make up to $100m of investments through a newly formed corporate venturing vehicle, and while its investments have been secretive they’ve apparently interested the company enough to increase activity.

Ajao’s Base attracts $137m for first fund

Golden Gate closes third fund with $100m

Corporates nurture $70m Raise Ventures fund

Deals

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has agreed to invest some $1bn in Lucid Motors, the developer of a luxury plug-in electric sedan.

Tuhu, a Chinese provider of automotive after-sales services, has raised $450m in a series E round featuring Tencent, which invested in connection with a strategic partnership agreement.

Yi Jiupi E-Commerce, the operator of Chinese wine retail platform E Jiupi, has reportedly secured $200m in a series D round co-led by Meituan Dianping and Tencent that valued it at $1.1bn.

Electric bus producer Proterra has raised another $155m in a round that was co-led by Daimler, which will explore the use of Proterra’s battery and electric drivetrain technology in its school buses.

Galera Therapeutics has secured $150m in financing, $70m of which came in a series C equity portion backed by Nan Fung Life Sciences and existing investors Novo Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund.

UiPath continues to bring in big money six months after closing a $153m series B round by collecting $225m in series C funding from backers including CapitalG, which co-led the round with Sequoia Capital.

GitLab programs $100m series D

India-based social networking app developer ShareChat has added $99.2m to its coffersthanks to commitments from investors including Xiaomi, which previously led an $18.2m series B round in January this year.

Enigma has become the first portfolio company both of BB&T’s fintech-focused vehicle and MetLife’s co-investment fund MetLife Digital Ventures by attracting $95m in funding.

GUV

Immune-Onc books $33m series B


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