Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
The Wing, a network of work and community spaces designed for women, raised $75 million in fresh funding. The new round brings the company’s total funding to date to $117.5 million in just two years, which makes it one of the largest raised by a women-led company.
The Wing, founded by CEO Audrey Gelman and chief operating officer Lauren Kassan, now has 6,000 members to its $2,350-a-year physical spaces, which offer programming and community-building alongside their offerings as workspaces, and has moved into media with a magazine and podcast. The fresh infusion of capital will help it “scale to new heights both offline and online,” Gelman said in a statement.
Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Upfront Ventures and NEA. But two investors in the round caught my eye — WeWork and Airbnb. What are they doing in here?
Flush with venture capital dollars, co-working behemoth WeWork swooped in to lead The Wing’s $32 million Series B round back in November 2017. The investment came on the heels of WeWork’s acquisition of the Lord & Taylor flagship store and The Flatiron School, which caused many people to speculate that The Wing could be next.
At the time, WeWork COO Jen Berrent told Term Sheet: “We’re not doing this lightly. We are doing this to produce a long-term footprint, but at the same time, we’re not saying this has to end in an acquisition in order for it to be successful.”
Airbnb, though, is a new investor, and I’m not exactly sure what the play here is, but it looks like the home-sharing startup has been quietly dipping its toe in the world of venture investing. The Information reported yesterday that Airbnb is in talks to pour ~$75 million into Lyric, a startup that turns new apartment buildings into hotel-like properties for business travelers. Other than a statement to TechCrunch that said, he is “incredibly inspired” by The Wing and is “thrilled to support them,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky didn’t divulge much more. The Wing will open as many as 12 locations by the end of next year, including outposts in London, Paris, and Toronto, so I assume Airbnb could be helpful in its international expansion.
But international expansion isn’t the only thing on The Wing’s radar. In a previous Term Sheet, I asked how you can consider yourself an inclusive community when there are 8,000 women on a waitlist willing to pay thousands of dollars to join. That waitlist number has now grown to 35,000 women. According to a Bloomberg feature published today, one solution would be to expand beyond physical spaces into a digital platform with a wider potential reach. To scale the Wing into a billion-dollar business, it will have to take the “offline social network” online.
And this is what I think WeWork and Airbnb are most interested in — how to capitalize on physical communities in an increasingly digital world. If The Wing can move beyond its physical tight-knit network, successfully scale it digitally, and win where its industry counterparts have not, a billion-dollar status wouldn’t be at all surprising.
PEOPLE MOVES: Blythe Masters, the ex-JP Morgan Chase exec who has become one of the biggest names in blockchain, has stepped down from the CEO role of Digital Asset Holdings. Digital Asset, a blockchain startup that caters to banks and startups, announced that Masters is leaving for personal reasons, and that AG Gangadhar, who joined the company’s board of directors in April, will serve as the acting CEO. The unexpected departure is a setback to Digital Assets, writes my colleague Jeff John Roberts, because Masters is highly respected in the blockchain field, and one of the most high profile women in a male-dominated industry. Read the full story here.
….In other news, we’ve got four more mega-deals today (why is no one on vacation yet?):
• Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based mobile telematics and analytics provider, raised $500 million in funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund.
• Zwift, a Los Angeles-based multiplayer online training and racing platform for cyclists and runners, raised $120 million in Series B funding. Highland Europe led the round, and was joined by investors including Causeway Media and Novator.
eg• Waves Platform, a public blockchain network that has helped digital startups create tokens, raised $120 million in funding. Dolfin led the round.
• Dataiku Inc., a France-based enterprise data science and machine learning platforms, raised $101 million in Series C funding. Iconiq Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Alven Capital, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital, and FirstMark Capital.
• Bellhops, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based tech-enabled moving company, raised more than $31 million in Series C funding. Advance Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Canaan, Initialized Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Nashville Capital Network.
• Tagomi, an electronic brokerage for digital assets, raised $16 million in funding. Investors include Founders Fund, Collaborative Fund, SV Angel, Joe Lonsdale, Brainchild, Digital Currency Group, ZhenFund, Box Group, Elad Gil, and Charlie Noyes.
• Securly, a San Jose, Calif.-based startup that aims to promote online student safety, raised $16 million in Series B funding. Defy Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Owl Ventures.
• Kindur, a New York-based financial tech platform that supports Baby Boomers as they transition into retirement, raised $9 million in Series A funding. Investors include Anthemis, Point72 Ventures and Clocktower.
• Formant, a San Francisco-based provider of secure and flexible cloud infrastructure for companies who work with automated fleets, raised $6 million in seed funding from SignalFire.
• AvantStay, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based hospitality brand aimed at revolutionizing group travel, raised $5 million in funding. Bullpen Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including F-Prime Capital, Zeno Ventures, Convivialité Ventures, Abstract Ventures and Presidio Bay Ventures.
• Elementary Robotics, a robotics platform startup, raised $3.6 million in seed funding. Fika Ventures and Fathom Capital co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Toyota AI Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Riot.vc, Osage University Partners, and Stage Venture Partners.
• Nomics, a Minneapolis-based cryptocurrency data company that delivers cloud-based data products and APIs for institutional crypto investors, raised $3 million in Series A funding. Arthur Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including BitGo Co-Founder Ben Davenport, Coinbase Ventures, CoVenture Crypto and Digital Currency Group.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Edison Partners led a $5.4 million growth investment in ExecVision, the Arlington, Va.-based conversation intelligence platform provider,
• Freeman Spogli & Co. recapitalized CRH Healthcare, an Atlanta-based urgent care platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Civitas Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: CIVI) today agreed to be acquired by Centerbridge Partners, L.P. for approximately $1.4 billion.
• Charter Communications made an investment in Blade, a cloud-based platform for online gamers. Charter logo 16×9 Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Softbank Corp., the mobile unit of the telecom giant in Japan, dropped 15% in trading Thursday after raising $23.5 billion in an IPO in the country. Read more.
• General Electric, the industrial conglomerate, has filed confidentially for an IPO of its healthcare unit, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley are reportedly working on the deal slated for the spring. Read more.
• Futu Securities International, a Hong Kong-based brokerage firm, has filed confidentially for a $500 million U.S. IPO, Reuters reports citing sources. Tencent backs the firm. Read more.
• Shanghai Junshi Biosciences, the Chinese biotech, has reportedly raised about $394 million in a Hong Kong IPO priced at the lower end of its range, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.
• Tradeshift acquired Babelway, a Belgium-based innovator of cloud integration technology. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Babelway had raised approximately €630,000 ($718,102) in venture funding.
• Pamplona Capital Management acquired a controlling interest in Latham Pool Products, Inc, a Latham, N.Y.-based provider of in-ground residential swimming pools and components for homeowners, from Wynnchurch Capital. The deal values Latham at $375 million.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Adams Street Partners, a Chicago-based private markets investment management firm raised $824 million for its Adams Street 2018 Global Fund.
• Investcorp Technology Partners, a European lower middle market technology investor, raised $400 million for its new fund, Investcorp Technology Partners IV, L.P.