News and Deals
On GlobalCorporateVenturing.com, the week’s biggest news was the downfall of Zenefits, a US-based HR software provider that closed a $500m series C round backed by Comcast in May 2015. Not only has the company struggled to deliver on the predicted revenue, but it’s also run into serious regulatory issues.
Zenefits might not be in quite as bad a shape as Theranos, the biotech company whose technology was uncovered to be scientifically unworkable by Wall Street Journal several weeks ago, but I doubt that is of much comfort to any of the investors or the management.
Crispr Technologies has extended its series B round to $140m following a $38m investment.
Thrive Market, an organic produce subscription service, secured $110m in capital to boost its marketing efforts and expand the own-brand product range.
Modern Meadow’s $40m series B round could be a game-changer for a very big industry: the company, now backed by Singaporean government investment firm Temasek, is creating leather in the lab using the building blocks of skin.
Allecra Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company has attracted $24m in a series B round featuring EMBL Ventures, the investment vehicle of research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
Corporate and Government
Partech Ventures has closed its growth-stage fund at $440m with limited partners including BPIfrance, the public investment bank of France, as well as Renault, Carrefour, Ingenico, AG2R La Mondiale and CNP Assurances.
Siemens, which already operates a corporate venturing subsidiary and has popped up on our radar regularly, now has launched another unit, named Next47
Tsinghua Holdings, an investment firm solely backed by Tsinghua University, has revealed that it plans on providing $7.6bn to research efforts over the next five years.
Line, the Naver-owned messaging service, has set its IPO range between $26.50 and $31.50 and could potentially raise $1.1bn at a $6.6bn valuation.
Syros Pharmaceuticals floated below its range and brought in $50m.
Sungevity, which has attracted more than $210m in funding in about a decade, and is now merging with listed special purpose vehicle Easterly Acquisition Corporation. The deal gives an exit to GE, Lowe’s and Solon.
Intel Capital is still seeing a lot of change following Wendell Brooks taking over leadership. Ameet Bhansali, Anthony Lin, Trina Van Pelt and Bob Nunn have all been promoted to managing director positions, and are joined by Marcin Hejka, Ken Elefant and Ramamurthy Sivakumar who will also take crucial roles.
Comcast Ventures has lost Gavin Teo to B Capital, the VC affiliate of Boston Consulting Group. Teo had joined Comcast Ventures in 2012.
NTT Docomo Ventures has brought on board Takayuki Inagawa as a replacement for Nobuyuki Akimoto. Inagawa took over as head of the unit on Friday.
Paul Harvey, head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Europe, Middle East and Africa technology investment banking unit, has moved on to Octo Telematics to establish a corporate venturing division. Harvey will serve as executive chairman.