13 September 2021 – PayPal Picks Up Paidy in $2.7bn Deal

The Big Ones

Digital payment processor PayPal agreed to acquire Japanese consumer finance service Paidy for about $2.7bn. Paidy provides a buy-now-pay-later service that allows customers to make instant credit purchases that can be paid back on a monthly basis. PayPal will use the acquisition to strengthen its capabilities and presence in the domestic payments market in Japan. Following the close of the deal in the fourth quarter of 2021, Paidy will continue to operate under the leadership of founder and executive chairman Russell Cummer and president and CEO Riku Sugie. The company had raised $585m of overall financing prior to the acquisition announcement, including $337m of equity funding.

Varo Bank, a US-based digital bank that counts automotive insurance provider Progressive as a backer, raised $510m in a round led by investment manager Lone Pine Capital.

Declaration Partners, Eldridge, Marshall Wace, Berkshire Partners’ Stockbridge unit and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock took part in the round, as did Gallatin Point Capital, HarbourVest Partners, TPG’s The Rise Fund and Warburg Pincus. It valued the company at $2.5bn, according to Reuters. Founded in 2015, Varo provides digital banking services without a minimum balance requirement or the overdraft fees associated with traditional banks. It also offers additional banking products including automatic saving schemes and short-term loans of up to $100m.

British cybersecurity technology developer Snyk collected $530m in a series F round at a valuation of $8.5bn. The injection consisted of $300m in new money and $230m in secondary funding. The round featured project management technology provider Atlassian, chemical and energy group Koch Industries and enterprise software provider Salesforce. Asset manager Sands Capital and investment firm Tiger Global Management co-led the round, which included Accel, Addition, Alkeon, Baillie Gifford, funds managed by BlackRock, Boldstart Ventures, Canaan Partners, Coatue, Franklin Templeton, Geodesic Capital, Lone Pine Capital, T Rowe Price, Temasek and Whale Rock Capital Management. Snyk has built a cloud-based IT security software tool, Developer Security Platform, which helps app developers create safer products. Some 1,200 organisations including Asurion, Google, Intuit, Revolut and Salesforce use the company’s platform and its total funding stands at $775m.

China-based semiconductor wafer manufacturer FerroTec received $511m in a series B round featuring communications equipment producer Yangtze Optical FC (YOFC). The round was co-led by State-owned investor Capital Operation and Sunic Capital. It also included Bocom International Holdings and CCB International, on behalf of financial services firms Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank. SDIC Chuangyi, a subsidiary of State Development & Investment Corp (SDIC), also took part in the round, as did FTZ Fund, China SME Development Fund, Orient Securities Capital Investment and China International Capital Corporation’s CICC Capital unit. FerroTec produces semiconductors, automotive electronics, medical devices and other industrial equipment and components. It plans to use the funding to reach a monthly production capacity of 200,000 12-inch silicon wafers by the end of 2022.

Crossover

Spiber, a Japanese synthetic biomaterial developer synthetic spun out of Keio University and backed by corporates Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Toyoshima, Ebara, Toyota Boshuko and Dai-Chi Life, raked in ¥34.4bn ($312m) in funding. Private equity firm Carlyle led the round through its Carlyle Japan Partners fund and was joined by investment and financial services group Fidelity, Cool Japan Fund and Baillie Gifford. The round valued the company at over $1.2bn post-money. Founded in 2007, Spiber produces synthetic silk and other materials using synthetic proteins with no need for the spiders and silkworms usually required. The company is looking to capitalise on a growing market for sustainable textiles and will put the proceeds of the round into accelerating its expansion and commercialisation plans.

Funds

Germany-headquartered automotive manufacturer Volkswagen intends to set up a €300m ($356m) corporate venture capital fund to invest in startups and decarbonisation initiatives. Another Germany-based automotive manufacturer, BMW, launched a $300m second fund for its BMW i Ventures subsidiary last Summer. A third, Daimler, spun off its 1886Ventures research hub into a separate entity in December 2020.

Baidu Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of China-based internet company Baidu, raised $400m for its third fund. The fundraising has increased the unit’s assets under management to over $700m. The fund will primarily be used to invest in early-stage technology startups in artificial intelligence (AI) technology-focused business sectors. Baidu Ventures has already tapped the fund to complete several investments including in Tsing Standard, a developer of electric vehicle testing technology, and cancer drug and diagnostics technology developer Gene+.


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

02 July 2018 – AT&T Agrees Acquisition of AppNexus

Exits

AT&T has agreed an acquisition of AppNexus reported to be priced around the $1.6bn mark, enabling WPP, Microsoft, News Corp and Deutsche Telekom to exit.

PayPal sinks $120m into Simility acquisition

University

TTTech sells stake to B&C

Xiaomi’s IPO has been a long, hard slog for the company. It had originally aimed to raise $10bn in a dual Hong Kong and Shanghai listing that would have valued it at about $100bn, but the Qualcomm-backed electronics producer has had to settle for a $4.7bn offering, solely in Hong Kong, which valued it at $54bn.

Chinese automotive e-commerce marketplace Cango has filed to raise up to $300m in a US-based initial public offering that will allow Tencent, Didi Chuxing and Taikang Life Insurance to exit.

A more recently thriving space involves livestreaming, and China-based Inke has set the terms for an initial public offering in Hong Kong that will net $167m if it floats at the top of the range.

Babytree, a China-based online platform that combines baby and child products, development advice and social networking for parents, has filed for an IPO in its home country.

Outside of China, life sciences companies are driving the US IPO surge, much as they did three three or four years ago. Some half dozen healthcare companies floated the previous week including Magenta Therapeutics, which secured $100m when it floated.

Cancer drug developer Constellation Pharmaceuticals has filed to raise up to $86.3m in an offering that will follow almost $230m in equity funding.

Translate Bio, a developer of messenger RNA drugs for diseases caused by gene or protein dysfunction, has raised over $121m in its own IPO, in the US.

Neon shows way to $100m IPO

Kezar kicks into public markets

Xeris reformulates path to IPO

ElectroCore enters public markets with $78m offering

Allakos aligns itself with $75m IPO

Deals

Transport services provider Go-Jek closed a $1.5bn round earlier this year at a $4.8bn valuation, and is now in talks to raise the same amount in a new round, according to The Information.

Evergrande Health Industry, part of property developer China Evergrande, has taken a 45% stake in smart electric vehicle developer Faraday Future, paying $860m for Season Smart, the investment entity that held a 45% stake in the company.

Showing once again that ride hailing continues to be a vibrant destination for venture funding, Lyft has raised $600m in a Fidelity-led round that valued it at more than $15bn post-money.

PolicyBazaar signs up SoftBank for $238m round

Helix has closed a series B round backed by Illumina and Mayo Clinic at $200m, and will use the funding to expand its personal genomics product marketplace.

Precision BioSciences has closed a $110m series B round backed by Amgen Ventures, Brace Pharma Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments, and will use the proceeds to expand the portfolio of products centred on its genome editing platform.

Advanced battery developer QuantumScape has largely operated in stealth since it was founded in 2010 but has received $100m from Volkswagen as part of a deal that will involve the companies forming a joint venture to bring solid-state batteries to the industrial-scale manufacturing stage by 2025.

AISpeech aces latest round

Cibus harvests $70m in series C funding

B-Stock beats its way to $65m

TouchBistro completes $54m series D order

Carisma charms investors in $53m series A

AIpark finds space for Nio in series B

University

Pennsylvania lines up $50m

Irish spinout generation slides in 2017

Funds

Dementia Discovery Fund delivers $350m close

Charles University spawns TTO


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

21 May 2018 – NewTV Raises $800m in Funding

Deals

Last week’s Big Deal on Global Corporate Venturing looked at a reported $800m in funding raised by NewTV, a stealthy video content producer formed by entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg that has secured corporates such as 21st Century Fox and Warner Bros as investors.

Reports earlier this year suggested Chinese smart car developer Byton was looking to raise $300m to $400m for its series B round at a $1.2bn valuation.

JD Logistics, the logistics provider spun off by Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com, has invested $306m in ESR Cayman as part of a strategic partnership agreement.

Tanium, an enterprise cybersecurity software provider backed by Citi Ventures, has received $175m from TPG Growth at a valuation of about $5bn, up from the $3.75bn at which it last raised funding a year ago.

Cryptofinance company Circle has secured $110m in a series E round led by new strategic investor Bitmain, at a reported valuation near to $3bn. Bitmain invested as part of an agreement that will involve it supporting USDC, a stablecoin currency Circle is releasing.

Unisound, a Chinese company developing AI technology for use in internet-of-things products, has raised $100m in a round led by China Electronics Health Fund, a corporate venturing subsidiary of telecoms equipment maker China Electronics Corporation Data.

Carousell, the Asia Pacific-focused owner of an e-commerce app for second-hand items, has received $85m in a series C round co-led by Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, the investment arm of state-owned Singapore Economic Development Board. Rakuten has been an investor in Carousell since its 2013 seed round, and also led its $35m series B.

Ansun Biopharma has also secured $85m, in a series A round co-led by corporate venturing units Sinopharm Healthcare Fund and Lilly Asia Ventures, both of which are also taking board seats.

FogPharma, which is developing miniprotein treatments for diseases including cancer, has closed a $66m series B round that included Nan Fung Group, GV and WuXi AppTec Corporate Ventures.

Funds

SoftBank still hasn’t officially closed its first Vision Fund, but is reportedly already in discussions with potential investors for a second Vision Fund that would also be sized at about $100bn, and which would source capital from a wider range of investors.

Southeast Asia has been a notable growth area in terms of VC funding over the past year or two, but it isn’t just foreign investors taking part. Siam Commercial Bank has doubled the size of Digital Ventures, the corporate venturing fund it set up in 2016, to $100m, making it the largest VC fund in Thailand according to the bank. It will also move away from its core fund-of-funds strategy toward more direct investments in startups.

Exits

Japanese e-commerce app Mercari has had a circuitous route to the public markets, but it’s finally succeeded in filing for a $1.1bn IPO in its home country, at a projected valuation of $3.3bn.

M17 Entertainment, formed by the merger or Paktor and 17 Media almost 18 months ago, has filed for its own IPO in the US.

Home furnishings e-commerce platform Home24 has filed for an offering in Frankfurt that is set to raise up to $235m.

Enough about IPOs though – despite the recent boom, the public markets aren’t the only exit route for investors. Case in point: PayPal has agreed to acquire mobile payment technology provider iZettle for $2.2bn in cash, days after Glassdoor was also bought for a billion-dollar sum.


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