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.
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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd (NYSE: PSTH.U) SPAC raised a humongous $4 billion in its IPO on Wednesday – the largest ever for a SPAC. The company sold 200 million units at $20 each, which closed the day’s trading at $21.30, up 6.50% on the IPO price. Ackman is committed to investing upto another $3 billion in the blank cheque company, bringing its investible warchest to $7 billion.
Corporate transportation service Gett is a cloud-based, SaaS solution that aggregates its customers’ ground travel needs by hooking various vendors on a single booking platform. Over 17,000 companies use its service across Europe and North America. A third of Fortune 500 companies are its clients. Gett announced Tuesday that it raised $100 million from several new and existing investors.
Insurtech startup Hippo, which specializes in digital insurance of homes and possessions, announced Tuesday its successful Series E funding of $150 million. The round valued Hippo at $1.5 billion post-money. Its aggregate funding since its launch in 2015 is $359 million.
Xpeng Motors, the Chinese startup making smart electric vehicles, finalized the expansion of its Series C raise by $500 million, it said Monday. Investors included Asian equity investment firm Aspex Management, US tech hedge fund Coatue Management, global private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, and Sequoia Capital China. The company had announced its Series C funding round of US$400 million in November 2019, in which it onboarded Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi as an investor.
Stray Dog Capital, which invests in innovative, early-stage companies across the food, beverage, and biotechnology sectors, announced it is leading the latest investment round of $2 million dollars in Barvecue. Barvecue is a meat alternative startup that is 100% plant-based. Its vegetarian barbecue products use no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweetener, nor any hydrogenated oils.
Qumulo, a startup based in Seattle that helps companies create and manage huge amounts of data, announced the successful raising of $125 million in a Series E round led by funds managed by Blackrock (NYSE: BLK). Other investors that participated were Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Kleiner Perkins, and new investor Amity Ventures.
Thrasio, one of the largest online sellers and acquirer of private label businesses on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), raised $260 million in a series C funding round led by Advent International. The funding achieved a pre-money valuation of $1 billion for Thrasio.
Flipkart, the Indian online ecommerce site in which Walmart (NYSE: WMT) acquired nearly 80% for $16 billion in 2018, announced Tuesday a new equity round. The new funding led by Walmart values Flipkart at $24.9 billion post-money. A group of existing shareholders will also participate in the round alongside Walmart.
TrueBridge Capital Partners, the venture capitalist firm based in Chapel Hill, N.C., announced the closure of its sixth venture capital fund-of-funds, TrueBridge Capital Partners Fund VI, L.P. after receiving commitments of $600 million.
Funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. led an investment round worth $2.5 billion in electric vehicle maker Rivian. Participants in this investment round include Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Baron Capital Group. Existing shareholders Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and funds managed by BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) also participated.
Sony (NYSE: SNE) announced Thursday its deal to buy a minority stake in Epic Games, the private company behind the battle-royale juggernaut of a game known as Fortnite. It is the world’s largest game with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Sony is paying $250 million for its 1.4% stake in Epic, which also develops Unreal Engine – the software used by game developers the world over and which powers the top games across the globe.
Perfect Day, a food-tech startup that makes dairy proteins (no cows needed), announced the expansion of its Series C Round up to $300 million. The Series C had previously closed in December 2019 at $140 million and was led by Temasek Holdings and Horizons Ventures. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) investment group Thematic Investing led this new tranche of $50 million. Aggregate funding at the Berkeley, California-based startup is now over $360 million.
Palantir Technologies, the highly secretive data analytics giant that works with governments, major banks, agencies such as the CIA and FBI, and the U.N.’s World Food Program, has confidentially submitted a registration statement for a proposed public listing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm made the fact public on Monday, July 6.
OwnBackup is a cloud-to-cloud backup and restore vendor that provides automated, daily backups of SaaS and PaaS data, as well as data compare and restore tools for disaster recovery. Its primary business is focused around clients needing to protect their Salesforce data. It raised $50 million in a follow-on round led by Insight Partners, with participation from Salesforce Ventures and Vertex Ventures.
Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) is acquiring food delivery start-up Postmates for $ 2.65 billion in an all-stock deal, according to reports by Bloomberg and the New York Times.
Uber and Postmates had discussed a merger on many occasions over the past four years. However, the current feeding frenzy in M&A deal-making in the food delivery sector probably spurred a closure this time around.
Evidation Health’s Achievement platform collects everyday health data for use in innovative research and health platforms. Giving due emphasis to user privacy and controlled, permissioned health data, the platform gathers health information on scale and with speed. The company just raised $45 million in a Series D round.
Investment firm Summit Partners announced Tuesday the first and final closings of two mega-funds, targeting startups in North America and Europe, and receiving commitments of $1 billion and €1.1 billion respectively. The firm also announced its appointment of Melanie Whelan, the former CEO of SoulCycle, as a managing director.
solarisBank raised €60 million ($67.5 million) in a series C round led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, and supported by founding investor yabeo. New investors coming on board are Vulcan Capital, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Storm Ventures. Existing investors who participated included BBVA, SBI Group, ABN AMRO Ventures, Global Brain, Hegus and Lakestar.
Nithin founded Zerodha in 2010 along with brother Nikhil Kamath to overcome the hurdles he faced during his decade long stint as a trader. Zerodha bootstrapped its way to becoming India’s biggest broker in terms of active retail clients and has just turned ten years old. It’s a suitable occasion to break out the champagne – because it also achieved unicorn status.
Direct-to-consumer health insurance provider Oscar announced Friday its raise of $225 million, bringing its total funding to $1.5 billion. Mario Schlosser and Joshua Kushner co-founded the company in 2012. New York-based Oscar focusses on simplifying health care and insurance through the use of technology.
Within a few days of filing an S-1 registration statement to raise $115 million via an IPO of its common stock, Poseida Therapeutics has switched tracks and opted to raise $110 million in a Series D round. Fidelity Management and Research Co. led the round with participation from Adage Capital Management and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, as well as several unnamed existing investors.
In the hands of DispatchHealth founders Mark Prather and Kevin Riddleberger, the rather “old-school” service of a doctor’s house call combines with mobile technology to provide high acuity, lower cost, in-home medical care. Venture capitalists continue to like the idea and have backed DispatchHealth with $135.8 million in the latest C round of funding.
An article by Itay Sagie, co-founder of VCforU.com, which helps over 17,000 startups, uses Crunchbase data for the period March 18-June 17, 2020, to assess how the pandemic changed the venture capital investment landscape in the U.S.
Cedar has just raised $77 million in Series C equity funding led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Other participants in the round included Kaiser Permanente and Concord Health Solutions, as well as existing investors, Kinnevik, Thrive Capital, Lakestar, and Founders Fund. Cedar raised an additional USD 25m in venture debt provided by JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM).