Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
A little more than a year ago, I posed the following question to you guys: “If you had $100,000, what private company would you invest in right now?”
A reader named Peter wrote in and said, “If I had $100k, I’d be investing in Monzo right now — one of the most exciting challenger banks in the U.K. I’ve listened to their CEO, Tom Blomfield, speak on a couple of occasions, and it’s impossible not to buy into what they are trying to do — and doing. They somehow manage to get everyday, regular, non-techie people excited about challenger banks. They’re positioning themselves to be the Google or Facebook of banking, and there’s no way I’d bet against them.”
At the time, I had never heard of Monzo, but I continued to see it pop up in the deals section in the coming months. Now, Peter looks like The Oracle of Term Sheet. Monzo, a London-based digital-only bank platform, is valued at approximately £1 billion ($1.27 billion) after only three years of existence.
The company announced today that it raised £85 million ($108 million) in Series E funding from investors including General Catalyst, Accel, Passion Capital, Thrive Capital, Orange Digital Ventures, and Stripe.
Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield told Yahoo Finance that Monzo has more than 1 million customers and it’s signing up 100,000 new customers a month. Approximately 30% of new sign-ups are in London and 55% of new customers are between the ages of 20 and 29, according to the report.
A few thoughts on the Monzo fundraise:
• When I saw that payments company Stripe was part of the roster of investors, I immediately thought: “Oh yeah, Monzo is probably an acquisition target.” But in my research, I found that before taking money from the Collison brothers in 2017, Blomfield was “very clear” on his stance around a takeover bid. “We have no plans to be acquired at all,” Blomfield said at the time. “I was very clear on this with John and Patrick at Stripe. Their ambition is to build a really, really huge company and ours is the same.” Let’s see what happens between the two companies from here.
• It appears more U.S. dollars are going to European tech companies — in particularly, tech companies based in the U.K. According to a new study, startups in the U.K. have attracted almost three times more venture capital investment than any other European country over the past two years. As Fred Destin tweeted this morning, more U.S. dollars are flowing into Europe due to “clear opportunity and less competition.” He added, “Venture = Global.”
• Monzo is taking advantage of the influx of capital in the market and raising a mega-round to hiring more people and expand operations. Blomfield said he doesn’t have any immediate plans to go public. “At some point we’ll look at it but all of our investors are pretty happy for the long run,” he said. There’s a lot of private capital at the moment and so we don’t have a ton of pressure to go public.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
• PropertyGuru Group, a Singapore-based property technology portal, raised S$200 million ($145 million) in Series D funding. KKR led the round, and was joined by investors including TPG, Emtek and Square Peg Capital.
• 98point6, a Seattle-based healthcare tech company, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Goldman Sachs led the round.
• Deliv, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based crowdsourced same-day delivery service, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Investors include Google, Clayton Venture Partners, UPS, General Catalyst Partners, The Macerich Company, PivotNorth Capital, RPM Ventures, and Upfront Ventures.
• Handshake, a San Francisco-based startup focused on job recruitment for college students, raised $40 million in Series C funding at a $275 million post-money valuation. EQT Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network, and Reach Capital. Read more at Fortune.
• Airobotics, an Israel-based automated drone startup, raised $30 million in Series D funding. Pavilion Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including BlueRun Ventures, Charles River Ventures and OurCrowd.
• Concord, a contract management platform, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Tenaya Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including CRV and Alven.
• Think Research, a Toronto-based digital healthcare platform provider, raised more than $25 million in funding. Investors include Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, Kayne Partners, Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. and National Bank of Canada.
• omni:us, a Berlin-based AI-powered insurtech startup, raised $22.5 million in total funding. Target Global led the round, and was joined by investors including MMC Ventures, Talis Capital, Unbound and Anthemis.
• Backstop Solutions, a Chicago-based cloud-based productivity suite provider for the institutional investment industry, raised $20 million in funding. Investors include Roger Kafker, Tao Huang, former COO of Morningstar, David Bradley, president of Huizenga Capital Management and Vistara Capital Partners.
• Unu, a Berlin-based scooter startup, raised $12 million in Series B funding. Ponooc led the round with participation from other investors such as Capnamic Ventures, IRIS Capital, Michael Baum and NRW.BANK.
• Lively, Inc, the developer of a health savings account, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Costanoa Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Y Combinator, Point Judith Capital, and Transmedia Capital.
• Freebird, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of a mobile travel rebooking tool, raised $8 million in Series A funding. American Express Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Citi Ventures, PAR Capital Ventures, General Catalyst and Accomplice.
• Micropsi Industries, a Germany-based robotics software company, raised $6.08 million in Series A funding. Project A led the round, and was joined by investors including Coparion and Vito Ventures.
• ZypMedia, a San Francisco-based creator of a programmatic advertising platform built specifically for media companies, raised $5.6 million in Series C funding. Archer Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including U.S. Venture Partners and Sinclair Broadcast Group.
• Kinetic, a New York-based provider of a wearable device that aims to reduce workplace injuries for industrial workers, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Crosslink Capital and Primary Venture Partners.
• Easyship, a New York-based shipping platform for small businesses to simplify and automate logistics, raised $4 million in Series A funding. Maximilian Bittner led the round, and was joined by investors including Richard Lepeu, Lamivoie Capital Partners, Rubicon Venture Capital, One Way Ventures, Kima Ventures and Picus Capital.
• Aura, a San Francisco-based app for emotional well-being, raised $2.7 million in seed funding. Cowboy Ventures and Reach Capital co-led the round.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Intabio Inc, a Portola Valley, Calif.-based provider of an analytical platform for the development of biotherapeutic drugs, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Northpond Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Genoa Ventures and Vertical Venture Partners.
• Visla Labs, a San Francisco-based AI medical diagnostics platform for radiology, raised $3 million in seed funding. Lux Capital led the round.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Newell Brands Inc is nearing a deal to sell Jostens, a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of memorabilia such as class rings and yearbooks, to Platinum Equity LLC for approximately $1.3 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Line, a Japan-based messaging app company, raised 125 billion KRW ($110 million) in funding from Anchor Equity Partners.
• Nexien BioPharma, Inc. (OTC QB: NXEN) acquired CRx Bio Holdings, a Princeton, N.J.-based developer of advanced cannabinoid therapeutic formulations. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Hg is weighing the sale of Foundry, the special effects company that has worked on movies including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, according to the Wall Street Journal. the Wall Street Journal reported. The 400 million ($510 million) pound auction of Foundry is expected to kick off next year. Read more.
• Revolution Dancewear, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, acquired International Dance Supplies, a UK-based provider of supplier of dance costumes, practice dancewear, shoes and accessories. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Aliph Brands acquired Kiss My Face, a New York-based pure-play brands in the natural personal care category. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• The Credit Junction, a New York-based data-driven, asset-based lender for small and mid-sized businesses, raised $23 million in funding from Century Equity Partners.
• MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKSI) agreed to acquire Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESIO) for $30 per share. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $1 billion.
• Orchard Therapeutics, a London-based gene therapies maker, raised $200 million in an IPO of $14.3 million ADSs priced at $14 apiece, an upsized IPO at the low end of its $14 to $16 range. It has yet to post a revenue. F-Prime Partners and GlaxoSmithKline back the firm. J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Cowen are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ORTX.” Read more.
• Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, won’t IPO anytime soon according to COO Asiff Hirji. Read more.
• WH Smith agreed to acquire InMotion Entertainment Group LLC, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based airport-based digital accessories retailer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. InMotion is backed by BRS & Co. and Palladin Consumer Retail Partners LLC.
• Even Financial acquired Birch Finance, a San Jose, Calif.-based platform focused on reward-based credit cards. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Birch Finance had raised approximately $1 million of funding from investors including H2 Ventures and Miami Angels.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Aspect Ventures appointed Vishal Lugani to principal.