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.
Industry Ventures has successfully raised over $1.7 billion in two new funds aimed at assisting venture capital investors in achieving liquidity. The first fund, Industry Ventures Secondary X, has attracted over $1.45 billion in new commitments. The second, Industry Ventures Tech Buyout II, secured over $260 million in new capital commitments.
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venBio Partners LLC is a life sciences firm that partners with industry leaders to build highly innovative medicines and technologies. It focuses on novel therapeutics for unmet medical needs.
venBio announced the closure of its venBio Global Strategic Fund III, a third life sciences venture capital fund. The fund exceeded its target and raised approximately $394 million in capital commitments.
Yapily, a fintech startup that offers an open banking API, raised $13 million in a Series A round despite swirling panic around the coronavirus. The round was led by Lakestar, which also funded Revolut, Skype, Spotify, Airbnb and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
The Save Our Startups (SOS) campaign launched in the UK on Sunday. It aims to mobilize financial support for the 30,000 startups and high-growth businesses in the country, many of whom may not be covered by the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). (Sifted)
The CBILS will provide financial support to small and medium-sized business firms (SMBs) during the pandemic. However, a large number of startups may not qualify as they have not yet reached the stage of profitability.
A large number of prominent tech personalities vouched for the campaign.
Flagship Pioneering Raises $1.1B; Arch Venture Partners Gets $1.46B. While Flagship Pioneering will use the money for sustainability and biotech, Arch Venture will invest in early-stage biotech companies.
Hundreds of small businesses that have received venture capital finance may be excluded from the relief offered in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a part of the $2 trillion CARES Act coronavirus stimulus package. They would be denied even if the number of their employees is less than the qualifying limit of 500. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Cal.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to correct this anomaly.
Dial-a-shared-shuttle startup Via raised $400 million in a Series E funding round led by Exor (BIT: EXO) at a valuation of $2.25 billion. Exor is a holding company of the billionaire Italian Agnelli family and owns chunks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (BIT: FCA) and Ferrari NV (BIT: RACE). Exor coughed up half, or $200 million, of the total funding round.
Transit startup Via raised $200 million in a new round of funding. The new deal brings its valuation to $2.25 billion.
Exor NV (EXXRF), Giovanni Agnelli’s European holding company led the Series E round. Agnelli is a co-founder of Fiat (NASDAQ: FCAU).
Undeterred by the coronavirus health crisis and its grim impact on the economy, investors have plowed $2.3 billion into General Capital (GC) to deploy across three new funds. But the virus has certainly affected GC’s investing thesis. Suddenly, technology is again front-and-center, with its potential to improve lives in a world scarred by fear and loss from the disease.
A startup may have as few as 20 employees but still not qualify for stimulus relief by way of SBA loans.
The devil is surely in the details, as VC-backed startups with less than 500 employees will tell you. They may not qualify for SBA relief loans because their employees may be classified as “affiliates” of the VC firm that financed them.
HighByte, an industrial software company based in Portland, Maine, closed on its pre-seed round funded by angel investors and early-stage venture capitalists. Investors included Maine Venture Fund and Momenta Ventures. HighByte raised a total of $ 875,000 comprising $ 625,000 in convertible debt and a long-term, low-interest loan of $250,000 from Maine Technology Institute (MTI).
An email DCVC sent out on March 24 to its investors has landed the VC base in some controversy. It apparently offered to “expedite delivery of a test kit” through a “unique relationship with one of our portfolio companies.” One recipient of the mail – tech entrepreneur Michael Arrington – vented his outrage at the preferential treatment in a tweet the next day.
The coronavirus has delivered unexpected benefits for some businesses. Social distancing norms and country-wide lockdowns have given a boost to remote working. Companies in the health tech sector such as telemedicine and online pharmacies are seeing new interest and rapid growth. Not surprisingly, private investors are on the prowl, looking to get in on these Asian gems at bargain-basement valuations.
The coronavirus has disrupted networking, the lifeblood of the VC industry, or has it?
You get a somewhat mixed response to that question. Meeting an entrepreneur in person – that sine qua non of the venture industry – is usually not possible now that lockdowns and social distancing are so pervasive. Here’s a look at what VC investors and founders think.
Venture Capital: (Coronavirus) New Service Matches Cash-Hungry Startups With Still-in-the-Game Investors
Laurent Grill has over a decade of experience in the Los Angeles venture finance industry. He is an investor at Luma Launch, the corporate venture arm of the film studio Luma Pictures. Realizing the current uncertainties startups are facing with their funding, Grill decided to put his not inconsiderable network to use.
Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA) snapped up direct-to-consumer streaming startup Tubi for $440 million in cash. Simultaneously, Fox disposed of its 5% stake in streaming platform Roku, using the cash for the new acquisition. Tubi, a start-up based in San Francisco, is an ad supported streaming service providing content from over 250 partners, including Paramount and Lions Gate.
The stock markets have been hammered by panicked investors fearing the worst from the coronavirus epidemic. Roiled by fear, the CBOE VIX index is currently ruling at a high 75.91, after closing Monday at an all-time high of 82.69. Its previous closing high was 80.86 in 2008 at the time of the global financial crisis. The index is also known as the “fear gauge.” Surely, this is not the best of times to float an IPO, as Keros Therapeutics proposes to do.
Penta is a Berlin-based business banking startup bank focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises. Also operating in Italy, Penta was acquired in 2019 by Finleap, the co-founder of solarisBank. In the same year, Penta acquired Beesy, an Italian micro-business banking startup, and started operating an office in Milan. It raised €18.5 million in a funding round.
According to Edward Ongweso Jr and Jason Koebler, writing in Vice/Motherboard, gig economy companies are a public health risk. The business models of companies such as Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) depend upon workers characterized as independent contractors (not employees). This practice flies under the regulatory radar, and as a result, these hapless workers are generally uninsured, or at best underinsured. They work long hours, regardless of the risk from the coronavirus pandemic – to themselves, or their ride-hailers.
Caroline Hughes was recently crowned a “Standout 35 Star” by Innovate Finance and included in its annual Women in Fintech Powerlist. Her Lifeties startup is raising £250,001 on crowdfunding platform Seedrs through issue of 5.88% equity at a pre-money valuation of £3,999,888. The startup has already raised a sum of £179,889.
On Saturday, passersby in New York’s Times Square may have been bemused to see a billboard saying “Staying home means saving lives,” with the hashtag “#FlattenTheCurve” at the bottom. Said billboard was purchased by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to slow down the spread of the virus.
Denmark-based Blue Ocean Robotics, led by Claus Risager, is selling hundreds of hospital robots to China to aid in the country’s battle against the coronavirus. At €60,000 each (US$67,000), the UVD robots glide around hospitals and healthcare facilities beaming UV light to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Nissan Motor Company is reportedly exiting a venture capital fund it operates with several auto alliance partners. Reports indicate that the Japanese auto maker is looking to cut costs and preserve cash. The fund’s other partners are Mitsubishi Motors and Renault.
Venture Capital: New Enterprise Associates (NEA) Raises $3.6 Billion For Its Latest, And Biggest Fund
New Enterprise Associates Inc (NEA) closed on $3.6 billion in its largest fund so far. As in the past, the fund will invest most of the money in early-stage companies at various levels of growth. The 42-year old VC firm said the funding had brought its committed capital to nearly $24 billion.
Venture capital group Life Science Partners (LSP) just closed its sixth investment fund targeting European life science companies. The $600 million (€529 million) raising is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe. Certainly, it is large enough to be 80% of the combined size of LSP’s five previous funds.