THE UNICORN PARADE
Deals, deals, deals. Here are three to have on your radar today:
$200 MILLION: Grofers, an India-based online grocery startup, raised $200 million in funding from investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund, KTB, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital. Grofers works with more than 5,000 stores in 13 cities across India. The company’s valuation was not disclosed, but the news comes a week after India-based grocery rival BigBasket raised $150 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion.
The online grocery category is red hot right now. Digital food retailing is expected to reach $100 billion in consumer sales by 2022, according to a study by the Food Marketing Institute conducted by Nielsen. As exciting as the opportunity is, Grofers and its online grocery counterparts face the ever-looming threat of Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart, which are both quickly expanding into India.
$100 MILLION: Online luggage retailer Away raised $100 million in funding at a $1.4 billion valuation. Wellington Management led the round, and was joined by investors including Baillie Gifford, Lone Pine Capital and Global Founders Capital. Away, which said its 2018 sales totaled $150 million, is planning to use some of the new capital to expand into apparel, wellness and lifestyle accessories, according to the WSJ.
Away is the latest direct-to-consumer retail brand to strike a lucrative deal. Beauty company Glossier recently raised $100 million at a $1.2 billion valuation, and Edgewell Personal Care agreed to buy shaving product startup Harry’s for $1.37 billion.
IPO FILING: CrowdStrike, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based cybersecurity firm last valued at $3.3 billion, filed to go public. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “CRWD,” according to its prospectus.
The eight-year-old company has raised approximately $481 million in venture funding from investors including Warburg Pincus (30.3% pre-IPO stake), Accel (20.3%) and CapitalG (11.2%).
Like many of its unicorn peers who have recently made their public market debuts, CrowdStrike is not profitable (surprise!). Although the company has grown its annual revenue ($119 million in fiscal 2018 to $250 million in most recent fiscal year), its losses are also increasing. CrowdStrike posted a net loss of $140.1 million for its fiscal 2019, compared to a loss of $135.5 million the year before.
LONG-READ: This year, the amount of money in passive U.S. equity funds is expected to surpass active funds for the first time, with most new cash flowing into the most basic ETFs. In light of this, a new Bloomberg feature profiles Capital Group, the $1.9 trillion fund giant founded during the Great Depression. For almost 90 years, Capital Group has placed careful research at the center of its fund-management empire. But the big question remains — will people keep paying for it?
From the story:
Performance is the priority. Net of fees, most American Funds have beaten their benchmarks by an annual average of 1.5 percent over 3-, 5-, 10-, and 20-year periods, according to Armour. “People are too fixated on fees,” he says. “They should be fixated on their total return after all fees.”
That argument has gotten through to some people. Last year, Capital Group attracted $7.8 billion in net new client money. But Vanguard raked in $230 billion, fueled by fees as low as 4¢ per $100 under management—about one-tenth the cost of Capital Group’s cheapest funds. Fidelity Investments, with $2.4 trillion in assets, took the trend to the extreme in August by offering the industry’s first zero-fee indexed mutual funds.
• Trumid, a New York City-based electronic trading platform for corporate bonds, raised about $60 million in funding. Investors include Hillhouse Capital, SGXand Arbor Ventures.
• WekaIO, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of file storage for data-intensive applications, raised $31.7 million in Series C funding. Investors include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mellanox Technologies, NVIDIA, Seagate, Western Digital Capital, and Qualcomm.
• Karat, a Seattle-based company that conducts predictive technical interviews, raised $28 million in funding. Tiger Global Management led the round, and was joined by investors including Norwest Venture Partners, and 8VC.
• Hydrow, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of a live outdoor reality rower, expanded its Series A funding to $27 million. Investors include Rx3 Ventures, Wheelhouse, The Raptor Group and The Yard Ventures.
• Algorithmia, a Seattle-based open marketplace for algorithms, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Madrona, Gradient Ventures, Work-Bench, Osage University Partners and Rakuten Ventures.
• Cynora, a Germany-based OLED materials company, raised $25 million in Series C funding. Investors include SRF Partners Group LLC, DBOLED LLC, SBI Cross-Border Advantage Fund, MIG Funds and Wecken & Cie.
• Volans-i, Inc., a San Francisco-based on-demand aerial delivery business, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Y Combinator.
• Icometrix, a Belgium-based provider of brain imaging artificial intelligence solutions, raised $18 million in funding. Forestay Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Optum Ventures and Capricorn Venture Partners.
• Quadric.io, a Burlingame, Calif.-based maker of a supercomputer for edge devices, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Investors include DENSO Group Company and Leawood VC.
• Webscale, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of converged software for hyperscale cloud automation, raised $14 million in Series B funding. Mohr Davidow Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Benhamou Global Ventures and Grotech Ventures.
• Aleph Farms Ltd, an Israel-based meat startup, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Investors include VisVires New Protein , Cargill Protein, Strauss Group, Peregrine Ventures, CPT Capital, Jesselson investments, New Crop Capital and Technion Investment Opportunity Fund.
• Feather, a New York-based furniture subscription service, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Spark Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, PJC, Fuel Capital and Scott Belsky.
• Seekout.io, a Bellevue, Wash.-based AI powered solution to recruiting engineering and diverse talent, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Madrona Venture Group led the round, and was joined by investors including Mayfield Fund.
• Connect Homes, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based prefab housing provider, raised $10.8 million in Series A funding. Brick & Mortar Ventures and Virgo Investments co-led the round, and were joined by investors including MetaProp, Almubader Growth Fund, and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital.
• Glofox, a Dublin, Ireland-based management platform tailored to the needs of boutique fitness studio owners, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Octopus Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Partech, Notion Capital and Tribal VC.
• MainStreaming, an Italy-based technology provider for broadcasters, media and enterprise companies to deliver streaming experiences, raised $6 million in funding. Indaco Venture Partners SGR led the round, and was joined by investors including Sony Innovation Fund and United Ventures.
• Skylark Travel, a New York City-based luxury travel company, raised $4 million in funding. 25Madison led the round.
• Storr, a San Francisco-based online retail marketplace that enables anyone to buy and sell new, brand-name products, raised $3 million in funding, from Spark Capital.
• 86 Repairs, a Chicago-based subscription service that manages repairs and maintenance for restaurant groups, raised $1.5 million funding. Tamarind Hill led the round, and was joined by investors including Detroit Ventures, Relish Works, Network Ventures, MATH Venture Partners and M25.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• CinCor Pharma, a Cincinatti, Ohio-based biopharmaceutical company, raised $50 million in Series A funding. Sofinnova Investments led the round.
• IsoPlexis, a Branford, Conn.-based biotechnology company, raised $25 million in Series C funding. Northpond Ventures led the round.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Kian Capital Partners acquired The Eastwood Company, a Pottstown, Penn.-based e-commerce provider of aftermarket automotive tools and equipment. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Graycliff Partners LP acquired Sweeteners Plus, a Lakeville, N.Y.-based maker of essential liquid and dry sweeteners for quick service restaurant, specialty beverage, bakery, confectionery and pharmaceutical customers. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Polytek Development Corp, which is backed by Arsenal Capital Partners, acquired Environmental Technology Inc, a Fields Landing, Calif.-based provider of coating, casting and molding products for the professional artist, crafter and hobbyist. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) agreed to acquire Artesyn Embedded Power, a provider of application-specific power supplies for demanding applications, for approximately $400 million.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Hull Street Energy, a Bethesda, Md.-based private equity firm, raised more than $500 million for its first institutional fund.
• The Ecosystem Integrity Fund, a San Francisco-based investment firm, raised $100 million for its third fund.
• Brian Rothenberg joined Defy as a partner.
• Hyde Park Venture Partners promoted Jackie DiMonte to vice president and Greg Barnes to partner.