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

Leadership Series: Gen Tsuchikawa (Sony)

Our Leadership Series interview where we talk to Gen Tsuchikawa of Sony about their investment funds and COVID-19.


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

08 July 2019 – India-based ReNew Power Exploring IPO

The Big Ones

Chinese social commerce platform Xiaohongshu was valued at more than $3bn when it last raised money a year ago, and has reportedly now entered talks with prospective investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund for a series E round with a $500m target.

E.ventures has been one of Germany’s most successful venture capital investors of late, celebrating a series of high-profile exits in the past year. It has also received backing from a slate of corporates for two new funds: a $225m US fund and a $175m entity that will focus on Europe.

The We Company’s funding may have reached stratospheric heights but that doesn’t mean it’s having things all its way internationally. Ucommune is probably its biggest competitor in the shared workplace sector in China, and it is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering in the US in which it would look to raise $200m.

Deals

Indian renewable power producer ReNew Power was said last year to be exploring an initial public offering, and though it is yet to float it has no trouble raising money.

Indian ride hailing platform Ola established a spinoff called Ola Electric Mobility around Easter this year, with $56m of series A funding from external investors. Ola Electric, which was launched to promote electric vehicle infrastructure, isn’t sitting on its laurels either.

Century Therapeutics has also raised $250m, in a series A round announced as it emerged from stealth yesterday. Bayer’s open innovation arm, Leaps by Bayer, invested $215m to lead the round, which also featured FujiFilm subsidiary and Century strategic partner Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, and founding investor Versant Ventures.

Vision Fund also led a $200m series C round for data centre technology provider Fungible that included Norwest Venture Partners. The round took Fungible’s overall funding to $300m, its earlier investors including Juniper Networks and Samsung Catalyst Fund, and the proceeds will go to product development, sales and marketing.

Times Internet paid $140m for a majority stake in mobile video player MX Player before converting it into an online media streaming platform. It now looks like other corporate investors are primed to come on board, with news that Tencent and Paytm are in talks to provide between $100m and $125m for the company, which has more than 30 million registered users.

Japan-based Tier IV, a developer of open-source autonomous driving software, has raised one of the year’s biggest series A rounds, taking $105m in a round led by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa.

The solar energy technology sector may be a fair distance off its heights near the turn of the decade, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. Oxford PV, which is developing perovskite-equipped solar cells based on research at University of Oxford, has closed its series D round at $81.8m, adding a second tranche that included the investment made by Meyer Burger in March that gave it an 18% stake.

Tencent has led a $36.3m series C round for Synyi, a Chinese company that utilises technologies like natural language processing, machine learning and data mining to extract raw data from medical texts.

Electric scooter rental platform Dott has sealed a $33.9m series A round that was co-led by Naspers Ventures, and which included Axel Springer Digital Ventures.

Funds

Ahren Innovation Capital, a UK-based investment firm co-founded by eight scientists from the Cambridge, UK ecosystem, has closed its inaugural vehicle at more than £200m ($250m) with LPs including Unilever, Sky, Aviva as well as the eight co-founders.

UK-based charity Cancer Research UK has announced a $250m commercialisation fund in partnership with venture capital firm SV Health Investors to accelerate the translation of cancer research.

Sony has joined a subsidiary of brokerage Daiwa Securities to launch an investment fund with a $185m target for its final close. Innovation Growth Ventures, which will function as an extension of Sony’s existing Innovation Fund, has already reached the first close of the fund, and its LPs include Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank.

Exits

Health Catalyst has filed to raise up to $100m in an initial public offering that would provide exits for UPMC Enterprises, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, MultiCare Health System, OSF Healthcare, Partners HealthCare and CHV Capital.

US-based integrin drug developer Morphic Holding, which emerged out of research at Harvard University’s Medical School, has closed its initial public offering at approximately $104m.

Codiak Biosciences, a US-based exosome therapeutics developer backed by life science real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities, meanwhile withdrew its plans for an $86.3m initial public offering.


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