Remember last month when I wrote a Term Sheet column on how $100 million rounds were the new normal?
I picture Softbank’s Masayoshi Son reading it with his coffee, counting the billions in his Vision Fund, and laughing maniacally. (Yes, I imagine Masa to be a loyal Term Sheet reader.)
Little did I know what was to come. Just this week, SoftBank has invested hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) across three companies.
On Tuesday, the Japanese investment firm led a $1 billion investment in Indian hotel booking startup OYO Hotels. Today, it poured $400 million of fresh funding into online real estate marketplace Opendoor. No one (well, except Masa) knows what “the new normal” will be a year from now.
The Opendoor news comes just three months after the startup raised $325 million at a $2 billion valuation. So why raise more? Opendoor founder and CEO Eric Wu told Term Sheet that Softbank is “an ambitious partner that wants to transform entire industries,” so it made sense to accept money from the firm. Additionally, he plans to use the capital to build a two-sided platform for instant home buying, selling, and trading in, integrate title and mortgage services, and debut applications that reduce inefficiencies in the home buying/selling process.
Why did Softbank invest? For one, Wu said he had been having conversations with SoftBank managing partner Jeffrey Housenbold for a long time. Many of those conversations centered around the business and its rich data.
“They really like the fact we have built a large proprietary database of information about homes — both quantitative and qualitative,” Wu said. “They like that we had collected a lot of location data and how it affects pricing.”
As we’ve written before, Masa seems to be industry agnostic, betting on information and data instead. “Those who rule data will rule the entire world,” Masa has said. “That’s what people of the future will say.”
…. MORE $$$: Compass, the New York-based real estate tech startup, also raised $400 million in Series F funding, valuing the company at $4.4 billion. Softbank (surprise!) and the Qatar Investment Authority led the round, and were joined by investors including Wellington, IVP and Fidelity. This is likely the last round of funding before Compass goes public.
The company plans to use the capital to expand internationally, continue its growth across the U.S, and increase its investment in technology. Compass is on track to hit over $34 billion in sales volume this year, more than doubling its 2017 sales volume of $14.8 billion.
Justin Wilson, SoftBank Investment Adviser’s board representative, said in a release that the firm is excited to “support Compass as they further invest in their data and technology capabilities.” Key word: data.
… AND MORE $$$: Oh you thought that was it? (I did too…It’s not.) Butterfly Network, the maker of a $2,000 hand-held ultrasound device, raised $250 million from investors including Fidelity, Fosun Pharma, the Gates Foundation and Jamie Dinan. The fundraise values the company at $1.25 billion, according to media reports.
Payments startup Stripe raised $245 million in funding, better positioning the company to expand to new markets globally and attract bigger customers. Investors include Tiger Global Management, DST Global and Sequoia. The new funding values the company at $20 billion (pre-money), which is an eye-popping surge from its most recent $9.2 billion valuation in 2016.
The new valuation also makes Stripe the sixth most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S., as well as the top private fintech company in the world—worth the same as Palantir and WeWork and nearly as much as SpaceX.
My colleague Jen Wieczner spoke with Stripe’s COO Claire Hughes Johnson, who said the company has “no plans” to go public anytime soon. Read the full story here.
I’m rushing to send Term Sheet so that no other mega-rounds get announced in the next five minutes, but I’ll leave you with these words from Benchmark’s Sarah Tavel on whether capital itself can act as a differentiator.
“There’s a lot of strength and value to having a lot of capital, but as you know, there’s a lot of damage that having a lot of capital can do to a company. It can diffuse focus, it can cover up things that aren’t working inside it, and it can stop the leadership from understanding the mechanics of its own business. Raising a ton of capital is a double-edged sword, and by no means is it the only way to build an enduring company.”
• Darktrace, a U.K.-based AI company for cyber defense, raised $50 million in Series E funding at a valuation of $1.65 billion. Vitruvian Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including KKR and 1011 Ventures.
• pymetrics, a New York-based enterprise SaaS company that uses neuroscience and AI for the recruitment process, raised $40 million in Series B funding. General Atlantic led the round, and was joined by investors including Salesforce Ventures and Workday Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Jazz Venture Partners.
• Ceribell Inc, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of a system that diagnoses and treats patients at risk for seizures, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Optimas Capital Partners Fund and The Rise Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including UCB and LivaNova.
• iSpot.tv, a Bellevue, Wash.-based TV ad measurement company, raised $30 million in Series C funding. Insight Venture Partners and Madrona Venture Group led the round.
• Instana, a Chicago and Germany-based provider of application performance management solutions for containerized microservice applications, raised $30 million in Series C funding. Meritech Capital led the round
• Cargo, a New York-based in-car commerce provider to the rideshare economy, raised $22 million Series A funding. Founders Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Coatue Management, and Aquiline Technology Growth.
• Capella Space, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based satellite radar imaging company, raised $19 million in Series B funding. Spark Capital and Data Collective co-led the round.
• TapClicks, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of marketing analytics, reporting and workflow, raised $10 million in funding from Boathouse Capital.
• Rally Rd., a New York-based technology platform that lets people invest directly in rare alternative assets, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Upfront Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Anthemis Group, Social Leverage, and WndrCo.
• Teraki, a Germany-based technology company focused on AI and edge processing, raised $3 million in seed funding and government grants. Investors include Paladin Capital Group, GPS Ventures GmbH, and hub:raum.
• The Lobby, a company that gives job hunters access to insiders at investment banks, raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Investors include Y Combinator, Ataria Ventures, and 37 Angels.
• Attribytes, a Chandler, Ariz.-based cloud-based software company that connects food service companies to clean and share data, raised Series A funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Canal Partners and Tallwave Capital.
• Excelfore, a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of cloud platform and connectivity applications for intelligent transportation, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Molexa and Hella Ventures.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• ACT Genomics Holdings Company Limited, a Taiwan-based DNA sequencing-based cancer solution provider, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include CLSA Capital Partners.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Offen Petroleum, which is backed by Lariat Partners, acquired Overland Petroleum, a St. George, Utah-based fuel distributor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Angeles Equity Partners and Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. acquired Meek’s Lumber Company, a Sacramento, Calif.-based operator of showrooms that sell building materials and home improvement merchandise. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
• Lightyear Capital LLC acquired a controlling sake in Augeo FI, a Naperville, Ill.-based loyalty program provider for banks and credit unions, for $140 million. The seller was Augeo Affinity Marketing Inc.
• Bitmain, the crypto mining equipment maker, filed for an IPO in Hong Kong. The firm posted revenue of $2.8 billion in the first half of 2018, and profit of $742.7 million. Read more.
• LAIX, the Shanghai-based operator of AI-powered English language learning platform Liulishuo, raised $72 million in an IPO of 5.75 million ADSs priced at $12.50. The firm posted revenue of $25.5 million in 2017 and loss of $37.3 million. IDG Capital (13.4% pre-offering) and GGV (11.7%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “LAIX.” Read more.
• Ra Medical Systems, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based excimer lamser maker, raised $66 million in an IPO of 3.9 million shares priced at $17, above its range. The company posted revenue of $5.9 million in 2017. It plans to list on the NYSE as “RMED.” Piper Jaffray and Cantor Fitzgerald bookrunners in the deal. Read more.
• Urovant Sciences, a London-based urological diseases firm, raised $140 million in an IPO of 10 million shares priced at $14, the low end of its range. The firm has yet to post a revenue. Viking Global backs the firm. J.P. Morgan, Jefferies, and Cowen bookrunners in the deal. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “UROV.” Read more.
• Arvinas, a New Haven, Conn.-based maker of protein therapies for metastatic cancer, raised $120 million in an IPO of 7.5 million shares priced at $16, the high end of its range. The firm posted revenue of $7.6 million in 2017 and loss of $28.6 million. Canaan Partners (18.5% pre-offering) and 5AM Partners (18.5%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, Citi, and Piper Jaffray are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ARVN.” Read more.
• Sutro Biopharma, a San Francisco-based biotech developing immunotherapies for multiple myeloma, raised $85 million in an IPO of 5.67 million shares priced at $15, an upsized IPO in the middle of its $14 to $16 range. It posted revenue of $51.7 million in 2017 and loss of $19.7 million. Merck (12.5% pre-offering), Alta Partners (11.9%), and Skyline Venture Partners (11.9%) back the firm. Cowen and Piper Jaffray are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “STRO.” Read more.
• Arco Platform, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based education firm, raised $194 million in an IPO of 11.1 million shares priced at $17.50, the high end of its $15.50 to $17.50 range. It booked revenue of $63.4 million in 2017 and earnings of $11.5 million. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Itau BBA, and BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ARCE.” Read more.
• KKR & Co. agreed to sell a majority stake in United Group BV, a Netherlands-based telecom operator, to BC Partners LLP. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but media reports peg the deal at €2.60 billion ($3.04 billion), including debt. Read more.
• Jason Shuman joined Primary Venture Partners as a principal.