25 April 2022 – Deezer agrees $1.1bn reverse merger

Deezer agrees $1.1bn reverse merger 

Deezer, the France-headquartered online audio streaming service backed by multiple corporates agreed to go public through a $1.13bn reverse takeover.

Amazon produces $1bn industrial technology fund 

US-headquartered e-commerce and cloud services group Amazon announced a $1bn investment vehicle that will back customer fulfilment, logistics and supply chain technology developers.

Stripe commits to carbon removal 

US-based payment technology provider Stripe has committed financing to cleantech-focused venture capital fund Lowercarbon, which raised $350m.

Panasonic puts $200m more into Conductive Ventures 

Japan-headquartered consumer electronics manufacturer Panasonic provided $200m in capital for US-based venture capital partner Conductive Ventures’ third fund.

Chipotle serves up $50m venture fund 

Fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a $50m corporate venture capital vehicle.

Upside Foods feeds on $400m 

US-based cultivated meat producer Upside Foods completed a $400m series C round backed by multiple corporates at a valuation of over $1bn.

Tessera Therapeutics edits in $300m series C 

US-based genomic drug developer Tessera Therapeutics secured over $300m in series C funding from investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 .

Convoy carries through $260m 

US-based trucking services marketplace Convoy secured $260m in debt and series E equity financing  from investors including internet and technology group Alphabet’s growth equity arm, CapitalG.

Rapido zips to $180m series D 

India-based on-demand ride provider Rapido has received $180m in a series D round led by food delivery service Swiggy at a valuation of $800m.

Foodics fulfils $170m series C order 

Internet group Prosus co-led a $170m series C round for Foodics, the Saudi Arabia-based creator of a restaurant management and payment software platform.

Oyster onboards $150m in series C funding 

US-based human resources software provider Oyster received $150m in series C funding from investors including corporates Salesforce, Okta, Slack, PayPal and Indeed.com at a valuation of over $1bn.


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

11 April 2022 – AMD to pick up Pensando for $1.9bn

AMD to pick up Pensando for $1.9bn

Semiconductor producer AMD agreed to acquire US-based edge computing technology provider Pensando in a $1.9bn deal.

Bolt ties on $1.5bn Wyre purchase

Online checkout software provider Bolt agreed to buy US-based cryptocurrency payment technology developer Wyre in a $1.5bn transaction.

ACA to land majority of BitFlyer

Private equity firm ACA Group has agreed to buy a majority stake in Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer for up to $370m.

Fanatics sports $1.5bn in latest round

Sporting association the National Football League has invested $320m to lead a $1.5bn funding round for US-based online sports memorabilia retailer Fanatics.

Climeworks clasps $646m

Switzerland-headquartered carbon capture technology provider Climeworks revealed it has agreed to raise $646m of equity funding from investors including reinsurance firm Swiss Re.

Near Protocol nets $350m at $10bn valuation

Blockchain deployment platform developer Near Protocol has secured $350m from investors including cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s corporate venturing arm, FTX Ventures.

Grover to grow with $330m series C

Germany-based electronics rental service Grover received $330m in debt and series C equity financing from investors including insurance provider Assurant, media company ProSiebenSat.1 and electronics manufacturer LG.

Softbank helps send $300m to Remote

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $300m series C round for Remote, a provider of remote work management tools, at a valuation of $3bn.

Fetch Rewards retrieves $240m

US-based consumer loyalty platform provider Fetch Rewards secured $240m in equity and debt from investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, mass media company TelevisaUnivision and media data provider NielsenIQ.

Binance.US rakes in $200m

Binance.US, the US-based spinoff of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, secured $200m in seed funding from investors including digital payment platform developer Circle.

SoftBank to slow investment pace

SoftBank is reportedly set to cut down its rate of investment as share prices in tech companies continue to dwindle.


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

14 March 2022 – LanzaTech lands $2.2bn reverse takeover agreement

LanzaTech lands $2.2bn reverse takeover agreement

LanzaTech, a US-based carbon capture technology developer backed by corporates ArcelorMittal, Mitsui, Novo, Siemens and Petronas, agreed to a $2.2bn reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company AMCI Acquisition Corp II.

MUFG to explore India with $300m vehicle

Japan-headquartered financial services firm MUFG formed a $300m India-focused investment vehicle called MUFG Ganesha Fund.

Forto ships in $250m

Germany-headquartered freight forwarding software producer Forto secured $250m in a series D round featuring internet and telecommunications group Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 and AP Moller Holding, owner of shipping firm AP Moller – Maersk.

Roofstock builds $240m series E

Property investment technology developer Roofstock has raised $240m in a series E round led by internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.

Axonius executes $200m series E

US-headquartered cybersecurity management software provider Axonius completed a $200m series E round featuring DTCP, the investment manager backed by telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom.

DNAnexus draws $200m in funding

DNAnexus, a provider of biomedical data analysis software, raised $200m in funding from investors including GV, a corporate venturing subsidiary of internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet.

Autobrains drives to $120m series C

Israel-based self-driving technology developer Autobrain, has closed its series C round at $120m, featuring investors including automotive producers BMW and VinFast as well as car parts producers Continental and Knorr-Bremse.

Cake DeFi launches $100m venture unit

Singapore-based decentralised finance services provider Cake DeFi launched a venture capital unit called Cake DeFi Ventures, which is capitalised to the tune of $100m.

Tencent helps Flash cash in

Brazil-based corporate benefits management service Flash has secured over $100m in series C funding from investors including internet group Tencent.

Colossal Biosciences engineers $60m series A

US-based genetic engineering technology developer Colossal Biosciences received $60m in series A funding from investors including gaming and blockchain technology developer Animoca Brands and game studio Untamed Planet.

Excelero accepts Nvidia acquisition

Semiconductor producer Nvidia acquired Excelero, a US-based flash storage technology developer backed by mobile chipmaker Qualcomm and data storage product manufacturer Western Digital, for an undisclosed sum.


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

07 March 2022 – CommerzVentures collects $335m for third fund

CommerzVentures collects $335m for third fund

CommerzVentures, the venture capital firm financed by Germany-based financial services firm Commerzbank, launched its $335m third fund.

SoftBank delivers $425m for Weee

Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $425m series E round for Weee, a US-based delivery service focusing on ethnic and geography-specific groceries.

Payhawk flies to $215m

UK-headquartered business payments and expense management platform developer Payhawk, extended its series B round to $215m.

Fabric threads in $140m series C

Fabric, a US-based e-commerce software provider, has received $140m in a series C round led by SoftBank at a valuation of about $1.5bn, lifting the company into unicorn status.

99 Minutos gets $82m series C delivery

Mexico-based last-mile delivery platform 99 Minutos secured $82m in series C funding from investors including Prosus Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of internet group Prosus.

Kin kindles series D round with $82m

US-based online home insurance provider Kin Insurance received $82m in series D funding from investors including insurance provider CSAA Insurance Group.

Balbix gets $70m in series C round

Balbix, a US-based provider of cybersecurity posture automation technology, received $70m in a series C round backed by Singtel Innov8, the corporate venturing arm of telecommunications company Singtel.

Pocket FM tunes in to $65m

Internet group Naver co-led India-based audio streaming platform developer Pocket FM’s $65m series C round as the popularity of podcasts and other non-music audio content grows.

Biomason bags $65m in series C round

US-headquartered biological construction material developer Biomason secured $65m in series C funding from investors including pharmaceutical firm Novo and building materials provider Martin Marietta.

Worldspark plays for $3m seed round

Blockchain-based gaming developer Worldspark Studios received $3m in a seed round co-led by gaming and blockchain technology developer Animoca Brands.


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

28 February 2022 – SoFi to take Technisys in $1.1bn deal

SoFi to take Technisys in $1.1bn deal

Online personal finance provider SoFi agreed to acquire US-based digital banking technology provider Technisys in a $1.1bn all-stock transaction.

ElasticRun procures $330m

Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 co-led a $330m funding round for ElasticRun, the India-based operator of a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform.

Scipher Medicine unlocks $110m

US-based precision immunology therapy developer Scipher Medicine closed a $110m funding round featuring electronics conglomerate Hitachi and healthcare services provider Optum.

Volta Trucks zaps in $260m

Volta Trucks, developer of commercial electric vehicles, secured $260m in series C funding from investors including logistics services provider Agility.

PrimaryBid stocks up with $190m

Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $190m series C round for UK-based online investment platform PrimaryBid.

Cheq marks off $150m series C

Cheq, the Israel-based developer of a cybersecurity software offering for marketing operations, secured $150m in series C funding from investors including insurance provider Phoenix Insurance Company.

Cargill helps Wildtype net $100m

US-headquartered cultivated salmon producer Wildtype closed a $100m series B round that included agribusiness Cargill.

Arcion rebrands with $13m series A

US-based data mobility software developer Blitzz has rebranded to Arcion as it raised $13m in a series A round featuring data analytics software provider Databricks.

Fifth Wall finds corporates for $159m European fund

US-headquartered, real estate-focused venture capital firm Fifth Wall has closed a $159m European fund with backing from several corporate limited partners.

Arkray arcs to Singaporean investment arm

Japan-headquartered healthcare device producer Arkray has announced an $86.8m corporate venture capital initiative in Singapore to invest in early-stage medical technology developers.


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

21 February 2022 – SoftBank pinpoints Spotter in $200m series D

SoftBank pinpoints Spotter in $200m series D

Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $200m series D round for US-based online content financier Spotter at a $1.7bn valuation.

Hy2gen generates $227m in funding

Hy2gen, a Germany-headquartered producer of green hydrogen-based fuels, raised $227m from investors including energy engineering firm Technip Energies, highlighting the increasing popularity of hydrogen in the new energy mix.

Neon glows with $300m from BBVA

Financial services firm BBVA agreed to invest $300m in Brazil-based digital bank Neon in return for a 21.7% stake.

OpenSea organises corporate venturing arm

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has launched a corporate venture capital vehicle called OpenSea Ventures to invest in developers of Web3 technology.

Tripledot secures Access to raise $116m

UK-based mobile game developer Tripledot Studios secured $116m from investors including Access Industries at a valuation of $1.4bn.

Homebound builds $75m round

US-based homebuilder Homebound secured $75m in a series C round featuring GV, a corporate venturing vehicle for internet technology conglomerate Alphabet.

HoTeam gets hold of $63m

China-based additive manufacturing technology developer Shandong HoTeam Software completed a $63m series C round led by Legend Capital, the venture capital firm sponsored by conglomerate Legend Holdings.

Sony signals first close for Innovation Fund 3

Consumer electronics and entertainment group Sony reached a first close of its fourth Sony Innovation Fund, which is targeting $217m for final close.

HV Capital launches $489m continuation fund

HV Capital, the Germany-based venture capital firm spun off by publisher Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, launched a $489m continuation fund to continue supporting portfolio companies in later-stage deals.

Animoca Brands unveils Japanese subsidiary and accelerator

Gaming and blockchain technology group Animoca Brands launched a Japan-based subsidiary with $10m in seed funding.

Fujifilm and Tokyu disclose funds

Japan-headquartered corporations Fujifilm and Tokyu Construction have each launched dedicated corporate venturing vehicles that will target startups operating in their respective strategic areas.


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

26 July 2021 – Swiggy Raises $1.25bn in Series J

The Big Ones

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Prosus co-led a $1.25bn series J round for India-based food delivery service provider Swiggy at a $5.5bn valuation. The round also featured sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority as well as Accel, Wellington Management, Falcon Edge Capital, Amansa Capital, Goldman Sachs, Think Capital and Carmignac. TechCrunch said the round includes an $800m tranche led by Prosus’ corporate venturing arm, Prosus Ventures, in April this year. SoftBank provided a reported $450m for that close, which included Falcon Edge, Goldman Sachs, Amansa Capital, Think Capital, Carmignac and Accel.

Aurora, a US-based self-driving technology developer, has agreed a reverse merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y. The combined company will have a $13bn pro forma implied market capitalisation and will take on Reinvent’s listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, which was secured through an $850m initial public offering in March this year. It is sponsored by investment firm Reinvent Capital. The transaction includes a $1bn PIPE financing featuring truck manufacturer Paccar, ride hailing service provider Uber and commercial vehicle producer Volvo Group, as well as Reinvent Capital, Baillie Gifford, XN, Primecap Management Company, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, funds and accounts managed by Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global unit and funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price.

Italy-based venture capital firm Panakès Partners has achieved a $180m first close for its second fund with a commitment from pharmaceutical firm Menarini. The Purple Fund was anchored by the European Investment Fund and FoF VenturItaly, a fund-of-funds managed by VC firm CDP Venture Capital. The vehicle is also backed by unnamed Italy-based banking foundations, pension funds, life science companies and the Cogliati, Colombo, Rovati, Petrone, Re and Bassani families.

University

Form Energy, a US-based grid-scale battery developer spun out of MIT, secured $200m in a series D round led by $25m from ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. As part of the deal, ArcelorMittal and Form Energy have signed a joint development agreement to further boost the latter’s iron battery production. The other participants in the round were not disclosed.

Deals

Cryptocurrency exchange operator FTX Trading completed a $900m series B round featuring SoftBank, Coinbase Ventures and Circle. The funding was raised at an $18bn valuation from a consortium of more than 60 investors including quantitative trading firm Hudson River, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, Thoma Bravo, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Bond, New Enterprise Associates, Third Point and Lightspeed Venture Partners, Willoughby Capital, 40North, Senator Investment Group, Sino Global Capital, Multicoin, VanEck, Altimeter, the Paul Tudor Jones family, and private investors Izzy Englander and Alan Howard.

Colombia-based on-demand delivery service Rappi has secured over $500m in series F funding from investors including SoftBank. T Rowe Price led the round, which also featured Baillie Gifford, Third Point, Octahedron Capital and GIC. The cash was reportedly raised at a $5.25bn valuation.

US-based crop nutrition technology developer Pivot Bio completed a $430m series D round that included Tekfen, Bunge and Continental Grain. Temasek and DCVC co-led the round with backing from Generation Investment Management, Rockefeller Capital Management, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), Prelude Ventures, Pavilion Capital and private investor Roger Underwood. Tekfen and Bunge were represented in the round by their respective corporate venturing units, Tekfen Ventures and Bunge Ventures. It reportedly valued the company at nearly $2bn.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $350m series C round for US-based alternative protein developer Nature’s Fynd. Danone’s corporate venturing arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures, also participated in the round, as did Archer Daniels Midland and SK. The participants were completed by Blackstone Strategic Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Hillhouse Capital, EDBI, Hongkou Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Generation Investment Management and 1955 Capital.

Lenskart, an India-based online eyewear retailer backed by SoftBank, has raised $220m of funding at a $2.5bn valuation. Temasek and Falcon Edge Capital co-led the round and were joined by Bay Capital and Chiratae Ventures. The company is planning to expand its operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Some of the cash from the round will be used to further develop its technology stack.

Cloudwise, a China-based developer of artificial intelligence-driven operational technology, secured $150m in a series E round featuring quantitative and technology trading firm Susquehanna International Group. Sequoia Capital China led the round, which included Albright Stonebridge Group, Boston Investment, CR Capital, FutureX Capital and Citic’s Private Equity Funds Management subsidiary.

SmartRecruiters, a US-based recruitment software developer backed by Salesforce, completed a $110m series E round led by Silver Lake Waterman. Insight Partners and Mayfield Fund also participated in the round, which valued the company at $1.5bn.

Funds

China-headquartered e-commerce group Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) is anchoring a HK$2bn ($258m) vehicle dubbed AEF Greater Bay Area (GBA) Fund. GBA Fund counts undisclosed conglomerates, financial institutions and family offices among its limited partners, and is scheduled to reach its final close in the first half of 2022. The fund will target developers of technologies in areas including deeptech and sustainability, healthcare, artificial intelligence and industry 4.0 technology. It is being managed by venture capital firm Gobi Partners.

Exits

Bukalapak, the Indonesia-based online marketplace, has priced its initial public offering at the top of its range and will raise $1.5bn. The share price values the company at about $6bn and Bukalapak is set to float on the Indonesia Stock Exchange next month. Founded in 2010, Bukalapak operates an e-commerce platform with 6.5 million online sellers and 100 million users, and also runs a business-to-business procurement platform as well as a digital financial services subsidiary called Buka Investasi Bersama. Emtek, Naver, Microsoft, Gree and Aucfan are all in line for an exit.

Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Star Market accepted the initial public offering application submitted by CloudWalk Technology, a China-based facial recognition system developer backed by corporates Bohai, Haier and PCI-Suntek. The company plans to raise RMB3.75bn ($574m) and filed the application in December 2020. It intends to issue up to 112 million shares, and China Securities (CSC Financial) has been appointed lead underwriter for the offering.

US-based lending software provider Blend Labs floated in a $360m initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, representing an exit for cloud computing giant Salesforce. The company priced 20 million class A shares at the upper end of the IPO’s $16 to $18 range. Blend has developed a cloud software platform which helps financial services providers streamline the loans process. Its net loss rose from $22.9m in the first three months of 2020 to $27.1m in the equivalent period this year, while revenue more than doubled to $31.9m. The company had raised at least $685m prior to the offering, Salesforce having provided an undisclosed amount likely to have been $14m through its Salesforce Ventures unit in May 2019.

VTex, a UK-headquartered e-commerce services provider backed by SoftBank, went public in a $361m initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO included nearly 13.9 million class A shares priced at $19 each, above the $15 to $17 range, while selling shareholders divested just over 5.1 million more shares for a total of approximately $97.3m. The shares opened at $25.10 a share on their first day of trading.

Caribou Biosciences, a US-based cell therapy developer spun out of UC Berkeley to commercialise research by Jennifer Doudna – one of the researchers that discovered Crispr-Cas9, has gone public in a $304m initial public offering representing an exit for corporate investors Corteva, AbbVie, Novartis and Heritage Medical Systems. The company increased the number of shares in the offering from 17 million to 19 million and priced them at the top of the IPO’s $14 to $16 range. It is floating on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the share price gives it a valuation of almost $910m.


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

05 July 2021 – CMR Surgical Raises $600m in Round Led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2

The Big Ones

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 co-led a $600m series D round for UK-based surgical robotics technology developer CMR Surgical with healthcare investment group Ally Bridge, while Cambridge Innovation Capital, the patient capital fund formed with the support of University of Cambridge, also participated. GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of power and industrial technology conglomerate General Electric, also took part in the round, which valued the company at $3bn, as did internet group Tencent. RPMI Railpen and Chimera filled out the consortium together with existing backers including LGT and its Lightrock affiliate, Watrium, and PFM Health Sciences.

BMW i Ventures, the US-based venture capital firm formed by Germany’s automotive manufacturer BMW, launched a $300m fund that will focus on sustainability. BMW i Ventures has accumulated a portfolio of some 50 companies including Chargepoint, the vehicle charging network set to list at a $2.4bn valuation, and manufacturing services marketplace Xometry, which floated in a $302m IPO this past week. The latest vehicle will operate alongside the unit’s $500m first fund and will target early and mid-stage companies concentrating on sustainability, transportation, manufacturing and supply chain technologies.

Didi Global, the China-based ride hailing service backed by SoftBank, Alibaba, China Life, Tencent, Apple, Booking Holdings, Ping An, eHi and Sina Weibo, went public in a $4.44bn initial public offering. The company increased the amount of shares in the offering from 288 million American Depositary Shares, with four ADSs equalling one class A share, to approximately 317 million. They were priced at the top of the IPO’s $13 to $14 range and it floated on the New York Stock Exchange.

Duolingo, the US-based language learning app developer spun out of Carnegie Mellon University, has filed for an initial public offering yesterday that would enable Alphabet to exit. The offering is slated to take place on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the company has set a $100m placeholder target. The company had raised a total of $183m as of November 2020, when it secured $35m from Durable Capital Partners and General Atlantic at $2.4bn valuation, with Union Square Ventures (USV) selling shares through the deal.

Deals

UK-based low earth orbit satellite technology developer OneWeb secured $500m from Bharti Enterprises, which exercised a call option from a shareholder’s agreement to increase its stake to 38.6%. OneWeb is developing a constellation of 650 low earth orbit satellites through which it intends to offer global broadband connectivity. The company had filed for bankruptcy in March 2020 after failing to secure new funding in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. Bharti and the UK government then bought OneWeb’s assets for $1bn in July that year. The UK government’s investment was reportedly motivated by a desire to build a competitor to the global positioning system Galileo, created by the EU and to which the country has lost access following its decision to abandon the union. OneWeb’s satellites would be in too low an orbit to enable such functionality, however.

SoftBank led a $415m series C round for Kitopi, the United Arab Emirates-headquartered provider of a cloud kitchen software platform, through its Vision Fund 2. Diversified conglomerate Dogus Group also took part in the round, along with B Riley Financial, Chimera Investment, DisruptAD, Next Play Capital and Nordstar. The cash was secured at a valuation above $1bn.

Olive, a US-based healthcare management software producer backed by internet and technology group Alphabet, completed a $400m funding round yesterday valuing it at $4bn. The round was led by Vista Equity Partners and also featured Base10 Partners’ Advancement Initiative. It took the overall funding raised by the company to $902m.

Zipline, a US-based medical consumables logistics service backed by Alphabet, secured $250m from investors including Fidelity, Baillie Gifford, Emerging Capital Partners, Intercorp, Katalyst Ventures, Reinvent Capital and Temasek. The cash was secured at a $2.75bn valuation.

US-based corporate wellbeing services provider Gympass raised $220m from investors including SoftBank today at a $2.2bn valuation. General Atlantic, Kaszek, Moore Strategic Ventures and Valor Capital Group also participated in the round. Founded in Brazil, Gympass operates wellness programmes on behalf of corporate clients, offering access to gyms, personal trainers, meditation classes and therapists, and said it had signed up more than 1,000 new corporate customers during the pandemic.

Goat Group, a US-based streetwear marketplace operator backed by Foot Locker, has secured $195m in a series F round that valued it at $3.7bn. Hedge fund manager Park West Asset Management led the round, which included Ulysses Management, Franklin Templeton and Adage Capital Management, and funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price Associates.

Funds

US-based enterprise software supplier Infragistics has formed a $50m corporate venture capital vehicle dubbed Infragistics Innovation Fund and Lab. The fund will target intrapreneurs from within the organisation who are developing innovation technologies related to Infragistics’ user interface and user experience (UX) design software products.

Exits

SentinelOne, a US-based cybersecurity technology producer backed by Qualcomm and Samsung, has raised more than $1.22bn today in an upsized initial public offering. The IPO consists of 35 million shares issued on the New York Stock Exchange, increased from an initial allocation of 32 million, priced at $35.00 each, above its $31 to $32 range. Existing SentinelOne investors Tiger Global Management, Insight Partners, Third Point Ventures and Sequoia Capital agreed to acquire $50m more shares through a concurrent private placement. The IPO price values it at approximately $8.92bn.

US-based security screening technology producer Clear Secure went public in a $409m initial public offering representing exits for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Union Square Hospitality Group and Liberty Media. The company issued 13.2 million class A shares on the New York Stock Exchange priced at $31.00 each, above the IPO’s $27 to $30 range. The shares closed at $40 on their first day of trading.

InnoVid, a US-based video marketing technology provider backed by Cisco and Deutsche Telekom, has agreed a reverse takeover at an implied valuation of roughly $1.3bn. The company is joining forces with SPAC Ion Acquisition Corp 2, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in a $253m initial public offering in January 2021. Phoenix Insurance and Fidelity Management and Research are co-leading a $150m PIPE financing in connection with the deal that includes Baron Capital Group, Vintage and funds affiliated with Ion.

MissFresh, a China-based online grocery retailer backed by Lenovo and Tencent, raised $273m in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The company priced 21 million American depositary shares, each representing three ordinary shares, at $13 each, at the low end of the $13-$16 range it had set last week. They opened at $10.65 and closed at $9.66 at the end of its first day of trading, giving it a market capitalisation of roughly $2.5bn.

US-based online trading platform developer Robinhood filed for an initial public offering that would score exits for Alphabet and Roc Nation. Founded in 2013, Robinhood runs Robinhood Financial, an online platform where users can buy and sell stocks without a minimum investment level, in addition to Robinhood Crypto, which allows them to do the same with cryptocurrencies. The company has set a $100m placeholder target for the offering, and sources familiar with its plans told the Financial Times it is targeting a $40bn valuation.


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

12 April 2021 – Food Delivery Service Swiggy Raises $800m

The Big Ones

India-based food delivery service Swiggy has raised $800m from Prosus Ventures, Falcon Edge, Goldman Sachs, Amansa Capital, Think Capital, Carmignac and Accel. The round is said to have boosted the company’s post-money valuation to $5bn. Swiggy runs an app where users can order food for delivery from local restaurants, and is one of two large players in the Indian market, along with Zomato, which raised $250m at a $5.4bn valuation in February this year. Swiggy had raised a total of $1.62bn as of a series I round featuring Prosus Ventures, Tencent, Samsung and Meituan Dianping in April 2020. Swiggy’s earlier backers include Naspers,Tencent, Meituan Dianping and Wellington Management as well as DST Global, Coatue Management, Hillhouse Capital, Accel, Harmony Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, RB Investments and SAIF Partners.

Japan-listed spark plug producer NGK has partnered US-based venture capital firm Pegasus Tech Ventures to form a $100m corporate venture capital fund. The vehicle will target developers of smart health, decentralised utility and mobility technologies in the United States, Europe, Israel and Asia. NGK has also entered into a strategic agreement with Pegasus in areas including business creation and mergers and acquisitions. Pegasus already has multiple investment initiatives in place with 35 corporations including Aisin, Sega Sammy, Sojitz, SunnyHealth, CAC Holdings, Teijin, Infocom and Innotech from Japan, as well as Taiwan-headquartered Asus and Acer.

Sarcos Robotics, a US-based industrial robotics technology manufacturer backed by Microsoft, Caterpillar, Delta and Schlumberger, agreed to list through a reverse merger with SPAC Rotor Acquisition Corp in a transaction that will value them at a combined $1.3bn. Sarcos produces robotic exoskeletons that help users lift heavy objects while preventing injuries. The merged business, Sarcos Technology, will take the spot on the New York Stock Exchange secured by Rotor in a $240m initial public offering in January. Caterpillar Venture Capital, Schlumberger and Palantir are backing a $220m PIPE financing for the deal with Millennium Management, Jaws Estates Capital, Michael Price and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

Crossover

Icosavax, a US-based vaccine developer exploiting research from University of Washington (UW) completed a $100m series B round led by RA Capital Management. Sanofi’s strategic investment arm, Sanofi Ventures, also took part, as did Janus Henderson Investors, Perceptive Advisors, Viking Global Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, Omega Funds, Open Philanthropy and Surveyor Capital. Qiming Venture Partners USA, Adams Street Partners and ND Capital (formerly known as NanoDimension) filled out the round, having joined Sanofi Ventures in the company’s $51m series A round in 2019. Icosavax will put the series B funds towards advancing vaccines for bivalent respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus through their first clinical studies. The capital will also support ongoing evaluation of a potential vaccine for covid-19 and the growth of a pipeline of vaccine candidates utilising its computationally designed virus-like particle technology, which stems from research conducted at UW’s Institute for Protein Design.

Deals

Dingdong Maicai, a China-based online grocer backed by Red Star Macalline and Bertelsmann, has raised $700m in series D funding co-led by DST Global and Coatue, while Sequoia Capital China, Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, CMC Capital, Ocean Link, Capital Today and Hony Capital participated as existing backers. The round was filled out by new investors Aspex Management, 3W Fund Management, APlus Partners, Mass Ave Global and Cygnus Equity. No word on a current valuation, but Dingdong Macai was reportedly worth $2bn following its previous round in May 2020.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 has co-led a $640m series E round for Singapore-headquartered intelligent retail technology provider Trax with BlackRock. The round included Sony Innovation Fund by IGV2, a corporate venture capital vehicle for consumer electronics producer Sony, in addition to pension fund manager Omers, and it valued the company at $2bn, according to Globes. Trax provides computer vision and artificial intelligence-equipped technology that tracks in-store conditions and stock levels to help grocery retailers and consumer packaged goods producers make more effective decisions in real time. It has now raised $975m in total.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $210m second tranche for US-based security and governance software provider OneTrust that took its series C round to $510m. Franklin Templeton also took part in the second close, which followed a $300m tranche featuring TCV and existing investors including Insight Partners and Coatue in December 2020. The final close came at a $5.3bn post-money valuation. The round’s close increased the company’s overall funding to $920m, including $200m raised in a series A round led by Insight Partners at a $1.3bn post-money valuation. Coatue and Insight Partners then co-led a $210m series B round in February 2020 valuing it at $2.7bn.

India-based multilingual social networking service ShareChat secured $502m in series E funding from investors including social media operator Snap and microblogging platform Twitter. Tiger Global Management led the round, which included venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners and undisclosed additional backers. It valued the company at $2.1bn and increased its funding to $765m since it was founded in 2015.

Kavak, a Mexico-based used car marketplace platform backed by SoftBank, has raised $485m of series D funding at a $4bn valuation. D1 Capital Partners led the round, which also featured Founders Fund, Ribbit Capital and Bond. Kavak has built an online platform that lets users buy and sell used cars in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. It also offers financing through subsidiary Kavak Capital and carries out reconditioning and vehicle delivery. The round increased the company’s total funding to $900m and followed a round of undisclosed size co-led by SoftBank, DST Global and Greenoaks Capital in September 2020 at a $1.15bn valuation.

Prosus Ventures, the investment arm of Prosus, is co-leading a $350m funding round for India-based online pharmacy PharmEasy. The round consists of primary and secondary funding and is being co-led by TPG Growth. It included Eight Roads Ventures – part of investment and financial services group Fidelity – as well as Temasek, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, LGT Lightrock and Think Investments. The latest round reportedly valued API Holdings, the holding company for PharmEasy, at $1.5bn post-money. It said it has closed $323m of the capital, with the remaining $27m set to be closed soon.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 has led a $300m funding round for India-based online reselling platform developer Meesho at a $2.1bn valuation. Facebook and Prosus Ventures also took part, as did Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment. Meesho operates an online platform through which users can connect and sell to customers on social media. Its core group of sellers are female small business owners, and it manages payment, order management and logistics on their behalf. The round took Meesho’s total funding to $490m.

CloudMinds, a China-based robotic technology developer backed by SoftBank and Foxconn, has raised over $153m in series B-plus funding co-led by Shanghai Chengtou Group and Guosheng Group, investment vehicles for the city of Shanghai’s municipal government. CloudMinds filed for a $500m initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in July 2019, but the SEC ruled in February this year that it be declared abandoned after the company failed to respond to requests for clarification on its status.

Funds

Egypt-headquartered venture capital firm Algebra Ventures launched its $90m second fund on Tuesday with backing from limited partners including Cisco. The European Commission, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and International Finance Corporation are also among the LPs, as are undisclosed private family offices. Algebra Ventures has not disclosed how much it has so far raised for the fund but it expects to reach a first close in the third quarter of 2021. It closed its first fund at $54m.

Exits

Compass, the US-based real estate software provider backed by SoftBank and Advance Publications, has gone public in a $450m initial public offering on the NYSE. The offering consisted of 25 million shares priced at $18 each, at the foot of an $18 to $19 range cut from $23 to $26 at the same time the size of the offering was reduced from 36 million shares. As of the time of recording, on Friday afternoon UK time, shares are down by more than 17.5% and trading at $16.60. Compass has built an online platform that provides extensive listings of homes for sales. It made a $270m net loss in 2020 from $3.72bn in revenue. It had raised about $1.5bn in funding and was reportedly valued at $6.4bn as of a series G in January 2020.

Krafton, a South Korea-based video game publisher backed by Tencent, has filed for an IPO. The company was valued at $18bn in off-exchange trading yesterday, while the IPO is set to be one of the largest in the country this year, unnamed local sources told Reuters. Founded by computer game studio Bluehole as a holding group in 2018, Krafton owns multiple brands including Bluehole Studio, PUBG Studio and Striking Distance Studios. Its lead product, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has about 55 million daily users in countries outside China and has sold 70 million copies. Tencent invested $61.5m in Bluehole in 2017 and later returned to make a $468m secondary investment the following year to increase its stake in the company to a reported 11.5%.


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