Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat maker, soared in its market debut on Thursday. Shares surged 163%, making it the best-performing public offering of a major company since 2000.
— Beyond Meat raised $241 million from the sale of 9.63 million shares on Wednesday, after increasing its marketing range for them to $23 to $25.
— The company’s investors include former McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which owns 16%and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams’s Obvious Ventures with 9%, according to its filings.
— Beyond Meat shrank its 2018 loss, while its revenue more than doubled for the second year in a row, according to filings. Last year, it lost $29.9 million on revenue of $87.9 million compared with a 2017 loss of $30.4 million on revenue of $32.6 million.
PS: I encourage you to read this excellent feature by Fortune’s Beth Kowitt called, “Silicon Valley and the Search for Meatless Meat.” It was published in 2017, but it provides great context for the market in which Beyond Meat & its competitors are playing.
….SPEAKING OF IPOS: Earlier this week, I wrote about SoftBank’s plans to raise a second Vision Fund, and today we learn that Masayoshi Son has an even more ambitious idea. SoftBank Group is considering taking its first $100 billion Vision Fund public after its been fully invested, according to The Wall Street Journal.
From the story:
A Vision Fund IPO is the most ambitious of the plans under consideration and would take place after the fund is fully invested, likely by this fall, according to people familiar with the matter. The hope is to create a smaller version of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — only loaded with young technology companies, many of which have yet to turn a profit, instead of a stable of well-established utilities, insurers and energy companies.
An offering like this is largely unprecedented. If successful, it would tap into a new pool of money—mom-and-pop investors—who typically can’t invest in venture-capital funds due to regulations meant to protect unsophisticated investors from risky assets.
DIRECT LISTINGS: My colleague Lucinda writes a great explainer on why messaging giant Slack’s upcoming direct listing may work for investors.
It’s a considerably cheaper method of going public, she notes, in which only existing shares are sold, no cash is raised for the company, and bank underwriters that help market the deal are cut out. But to have a chance at successfully executing a direct listing, companies have to clear a higher bar.
They must be willing to say that they don’t need more cash, don’t need to fine-tune marketing, and are still worth buying. And there aren’t many candidates that fit in that pool. “When you boil it down, the true population of companies that can manage a direct listing is really small—Maybe 10,” says Deloitte & Touche Partner, Barrett Daniels.
The direct listing deals come amid a surge in private funding that has kept some aging, cash-burning giants well capitalized—but kept their investors and early employees locked into their paper wealth. Now as markets breach new highs, some are seeking cash for stock.
• Indio Technologies, a San Francisco-based insurance technology company, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including 8VC.
• Atia Vision, a Campbell, Calif.-based medical device company, raised $20 million in Series D funding. Cormorant Asset Management led the round, and was joined by investors including The Capital Partnership, AMED Ventures and Shangbay Capital.
• CirrusMD, a Denver, Colo.-based chat-first virtual care solution, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Investors include Drive Capital and Colorado Impact Fund.
• Otrium, a Netherlands-based online fashion outlet, raised 7 million euros ($7.8 million) in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Danny Rimer.
• Confiant, a New York City-based advertising security firm, raised $4.1 million in Series A funding. River Bay Investments and Rubicon Venture Capital led the round.
• TransitScreen, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of real-time transportation information software, raised $3 million in funding. The investor was TIMIA Capital.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Cerberus and TCW made an investment in Frontier Spinning, a Sanford, N.C.-based producer of cotton and cotton/polyester blend yarns for the knitting and weaving industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Tex Tech Industries, which is backed by Arlington Capital Partners, acquired Highland Industries‘ coating business and defense-related operations. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Continental Batteries, a portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, acquired Metroplex Battery and Ellis Battery, distributors of aftermarket batteries for the automotive, commercial, golf and marine markets. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Midwest Industrial Rubber, a portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, acquired The Atlanta Belting Company, a specialty fabricator and distributor of lightweight conveyor belting and accessories. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Validity, which is backed by Silversmith Capital Partners, agreed to acquire Return Path, a New York-based company that analyzes email data. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• BBH Capital Partners recapitalized 700 Valve, a Stafford, Texas-based distributor of specialty industrial valves. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Platinum Equity acquired Livingston International, a Toronto and Chicago-based customs brokerage and trade services firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Insightsoftware, a TA Associates portfolio company, acquired Jet Global Data Technologies, a Portland-based provides reporting, analytics, and budgeting solutions for Microsoft Dynamics. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• One Rock Capital Partners acquired Process Solutions, a Greenville, S.C.-based manufacturer and material sciences company. The seller was Newell Brands. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Avantor, a Radnor, Penn.-based provider of lab supplies and services, plans to raise $3 billion in an offering of 154 million shares priced between #18 to $21. The firm posted sales of $4.4 billion and loss of $232 million in the nine months ending Sept. 2018. New Mountain Capital and Goldman Sachs back the firm. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are underwriters. Read more.
• SciPlay, a Las Vegas-based maker of casino-like social games firm, raised $352 million in an IPO of 22 million shares priced at $16, the high end of its range. The firm posted revenue of $416 million in 2018 and income of $39 million. Scientific Games backs the firm. BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Capital, and RBC Capital Markets are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SCPL.” Read more.
• So-Young International, a Beijing-based online plastic surgery marketplace, raised $179 million in an offering of 13 million ADSs priced at $13.80. The firm posted revenue of $89.8 million in 2018 and income of $8 million. Matrix Partners, Trustbridge Partners, Apax Partners, and Orchid Asia back the firm. Deutsche Bank and CICC are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SY.” Read more.
• Yunji, a Hangzhou, China e-commerce site using social platforms to promote its products, raised $121 million in an IPO 11 million shares priced at $11, the low end of its range. It posted revenue of $1.9 billion in 2018 and loss of $335.7 million. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and CICC are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “YJ.” Read more.
• Pluralsight Inc agreed to acquire GitPrime, a Durango, Colo.-based developer productivity platform, for $170 million. Gitprime raised approximately $12.5 million in venture funding from investors including Y Combinator, OpenView Venture Partners and Data Collective.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Enlightenment Capital, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based investment firm, raised $250 million for its third fund.
• HarbourVest Partners named Vinay Mendiratta as a managing director. Previously, he was head of wealth management sales at Adams Street Partners.