It’s been 50 years since Venrock established itself to expose investors to venture capital opportunities. Today, the global venture capital industry tracks just south of $200 billion and continues to grow as new entrepreneurs, engineers, financiers, and thought leaders create the economy of tomorrow. The DailyAlts VC channel tracks the trends, opportunities, key thought leaders, and next-generation industries that will generate billions in returns.
Electric vehicle maker Rivian announced Friday (July 23, 2021) its close of a $2.5 billion funding round led by Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Also investing were Third Point, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Coatue.
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Index Ventures, the transatlantic venture firm that backed startups such as Confluent (NASDAQ: CFLT) and Roblox (NYSE: RBLX), has raised a massive $3.1 billion across three funds. The new funds are early-stage fund Index Ventures XI ($900 million ), growth fund Index Ventures Growth VI ($2 billion), and the previously announced seed fund Index Origin ($200 million). The funds would together help entrepreneurs to build and scale startups from seed-stage to IPO.
According to a Crunchbase report, Black startup founders raised a record $1.8 billion of capital in the first six months of this year. That’s more than 4X the amount of $400 million of funding they landed in the same period in 2020. Again, compare that to the full-year tally of $1 billion and $1.4 billion for 2020 and 2019, respectively.
FTX, the crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried in May 2019, has written up the history books with its Series B raise of $900 million at a valuation of $18 billion. A clutch of top-notch investors participated in the funding, reflecting the demand for promising opportunities in the crypto space, despite recent volatility in the price of bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency.
Alternative Investments: ‘Nasdaq Private Market’ To Be Spun Out As New Venue For Private Company Stocks
Issuers, brokers, shareholders and prospective investors of private company stock will soon be able to deal on a new platform to be set up as a partnership between Nasdaq (NASDAQ: NDAQ), SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB), Citi (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). Nasdaq’s existing “Nasdaq Private Market,” which was launched in 2014, will be spun off and contributed to this new JV between Nasdaq and the Wall Street financial giants.
NFTs are digital assets residing on a blockchain such as digital art, music, videos, games, even code. The blockchain certifies to the asset’s uniqueness and its ownership. Founded in 2017, OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace that benefited handsomely from the explosion in interest in NFTs this year. Evidently, non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) are not a digital flash in the pan, judging from OpenSea’s latest valuation.
Animal Alternative Technologies (AAT), a spin-off from the University of Cambridge, is focused on developing a scalable platform for cell-based meat services, including bioreactors, optimisation software, tissue engineering and analytics. AAT has come out of stealth and its Renaissance Farm platform enables large-scale cultured meat production commercially viable for food manufacturers, restaurant chains, retailers and governments. And its not just mince or bites – it is structured meat (read: steaks) synthesised directly from animal cells.
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX), has invested an amount of $100 million in Delhivery, an Indian logistics and supply chain startup, following a long-term commercial collaboration and investment agreement between the two companies. Don Colleran, President and CEO of FedEx Express will join the Delhivery Board of Directors pursuant to the deal.
Serena Williams has invested an undisclosed amount through her venture capital arm in Esusu, a fintech that automates credit building by reporting a person’s rent payments to credit bureaus, “boosting credit scores one rent payment at a time.”
A Reuters report said Paytm, a leading Indian digital payments processor, has filed for a $2.23 billion IPO.
The proposed IPO would value Paytm at about $25 billion, with the pandemic having fuelled a surge in digital payments in the country. It would potentially mark a lucrative payday for Paytm’s investors, which include the Ant Group (HK: 6688), Softbank (TYO: 9984), and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A).
Cybersecurity provider Cybereason, a US-Israeli startup, raised $275 million in a Series F funding that, according to media reports valued it at $3.1 billion. The financing was led by Liberty Strategic Capital, a venture fund launched by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which put in $200 million, its maiden investment. Irving Investors, certain funds advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers, and Softbank Vision Fund 2 invested the balance of $75 million.
Bloomberg reports that German fintech and digital bank N26 is in talks to raise funds, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars, at a tentative valuation of about $10 billion. Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter; however, N26 declined to comment.
Revolut, the Uk-based challenger bank and fintech, raised $800 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management, both new investors. The funding came in at a valuation of $33 billion, about six times Revolut’s valuation in a previous round in 2020.
M1 Finance, which helps its users to invest, borrow, and spend on one Super App platform, announced today its raise of $150 million in a Series E round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Existing investors also participated in the funding.
Mighty Buildings , which aims for sustainable buildings construction that address the housing shortage, has raised an additional $22 million in its Series B funding round. Taken with the previous raise of $40 million in February this year, Mighty now has $100 million of capital under its belt since its founding in 2017.
Ola, the Indian ride-hailing startup, said today (July 9, 2021) that private equity firms Temasek and Plum Wood Investment Ltd, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, are partnering with founder Bhavish Aggarwal in a $500 million investment in anticipation of Ola’s planned initial public offering (IPO).
That model is clearly working because Clearco has so far paid out $2.4 billion to 5,500 founders in the e-commerce, mobile app, and enterprise software segments. Today (July 8, 2021) the company said it raised $215 million in an equity funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2.
Utah-based Entrata, the fastest-growing software company in real estate and a provider of property management software to more than 20,000 apartment communities across the United States, announced today (July 7, 2021) its first institutional fundraise of $507 million. This is the startup’s first institutional funding since its founding in 2003.
ManoMano, the French startup that operates an e-commerce platform for home improvement products, has raised $355 million at a $2.6 billion valuation to further its growth ambitions in Europe and double its workforce. It also intends to develop its range of products for construction and renovation professionals.
ClearScore, the UK-based fintech that provides free credit scores to everybody (forever) announced it had received an investment of $200 million, at a valuation of $700 million, from Invus Opportunities, the global equity investor. Existing investors QED, Blenheim Chalcot and LeadEdge, together with management, retained the majority of their positions in ClearScore, but allowed Invus Opportunities to take a significant minority position in the company.
Online marketplace for outdoor travel and recreational vehicles (RVs) Outdoorsy announced Thursday an equity and debt financing aggregating $120 million. The company said it was continuing to experience strong growth in its core business as well as its Roamly insurtech business.
Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture giant that took a trail-blazing bet on Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and had already raised $815 million in two earlier funds, is scaling up its commitment to crypto and blockchain. It announced today a new $2.2 billion “Crypto Fund III” in the face of the dramatic volatility in bitcoin’s price, its increasingly sullied climatic image, and the role of crypto in criminal activities such ransom attacks.
Fast-growing Dutch payment service provider Mollie announced Tuesday its closing of a US$800 million in a Series C funding round led by Blackstone Growth. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round along with EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital.