AMAZON VS. UBER
The food delivery wars are heating up in very interesting ways.
Amazon just led an investment in Deliveroo, a London-based online food delivery platform. The company will raise $575 million in funding, and other investors in the round include T Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks. In total, Deliveroo has raised $1.53 billion to date.
The funding news comes months after reports surfaced that Uber was in talks to acquire Deliveroo, but the deal ultimately fell through. Now, with Amazon behind its back, Deliveroo is set to become one of the biggest international rivals to UberEats, Uber’s food delivery business.
What’s Amazon doing in the food delivery space, you may wonder. It’s tried before, but it hasn’t been successful. The e-commerce giant launched a restaurant takeout service in 2014 and expanded to London in 2016. After failing to gain traction and compete with companies like Deliveroo, Amazon shuttered its London operations in 2018.
But it still wants a piece of the pie, so now, Amazon has become Deliveroo’s largest investor. Deliveroo will use the capital to expand to new geographies and acquire new customers. UberEats has been lauded as a bright spot inside the company’s money-losing operation, but winning the food delivery wars won’t be easy.
“It’s a very competitive space, very intense, when it comes to pricing and promotions,” Tom White, analyst at D.A. Davidson told Fortune recently. “So Uber’s sweating a lot of battles on a lot of fronts.”
…MEANWHILE, another fierce UberEats competitor, DoorDash, is raising funding that would value the company at as much as $12 billion, according to The Information. Yes, that’s just three months after DoorDash raised money a $7 billion post-money valuation.
My colleague Danielle Abril recently reported that when it comes to dollars spent, DoorDash owns 27.6% of the market followed by GrubHub (26.7%) and Uber Eats (25.2%). The growth for on-demand food delivery comes down to price, promotions and discounts, and the cost and retention of new customers. The challenge to Uber and its counterparts remains the same: Figure out how to make the numbers work.
NEW FUND ALERT: Introducing Leadout Capital, a new $27 million fund that focuses on investing in pre-seed and seed-stage startups whose founders come from, or cater to, underserved communities. Former Facebook executive Alison Rosenthal is the managing partner, and Leadout Capital counts Melinda Gates and TPG Capital co-CEO Jon Winkelried as limited partners. Read more.
WEEKEND READ: Fortune produced several longform stories as part of our Fortune 500 package. This one is a must-read:
Inside Google’s Civil War: There’s not a company in tech that isn’t grappling at some level with the ways bro-gramming culture has made tech a toxic space for women and employees of color. But nowhere has the furor been as loud, as public, and as insistent as it has been at Google.
With its “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. Larry Page and cofounder Sergey Brin intentionally created a culture that encouraged the questioning of authority and the status quo, famously writing in their 2004 IPO letter that Google was not a conventional company and did not intend to become one.
Now Google finds itself in the awkward position of trying to temper the radical culture that it spent the past 20 years stoking. My colleague Beth Kowitt dives deep into the civil war brewing at the tech giant. From her story:
Most challenging to Google is employees’ refusal to keep their discontent within the company’s walls, a strategy that’s been bolstered by activists’ sophisticated use of the media and the world’s fascination with the iconic company. The scene that played out at the walkout was, on one level, as familiar as a factory strike—a labor force flexing its collective power to send a message to The Man (in this case, CEO Pichai). But even as activists inside Google are relying on traditional labor organizing tactics, their demands are not just the typical wage or benefits ask. It’s about much more than a paycheck; employees, it’s clear, want a say in and control over the products they build.
• Zipline, a San Francisco-based drone delivery service, raised $190 million in funding at a valuation of more than $1.2 billion. Investors include The Rise Fund, Temasek, GV, Katalyst Ventures, Baillie Gifford, Bright Success Capital, Goldman Sachs, Oakhouse Partners, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the Design to Improve Life Fund.
• Pleo, a Denmark-based all-in-one business spending platform based around smart company cards, raised $56 million in Series B funding. Stripes led the round, and was joined by investors including Kinnevik, Creandum and Founders.
• Tealium, a San Diego, Calif.-based provider of real-time customer data orchestration, raised $55 million in Series F funding. Silver Lake Waterman led the round, and was joined by investors including ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund, Declaration Partners and Parkwood.
• YouTrip, a Singapore-based multi-currency travel wallet, raised $25.5 million in funding. Insignia Ventures Partners led the round.
• Connect Homes, a Los Angeles-based prefab housing provider, raised $10.8 million in Series A funding. Brick & Mortar Ventures and Virgo Investment Group led the round, and were joined by investors including MetaProp, Almubader Growth Fund and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital.
• The Small Exchange, a Chicago-based new futures exchange, raised $10 million in funding. Investors include Citadel Securities and Jump Capital.
• Retail Zipline, a San Francisco-based communication and execution platform for retailers, raised $9.6 million in Series A funding. Emergence led the round, and was joined by investors including Serena Ventures.
• JumpCrew, a Nashville, Tenn.-based demand generation platform, raised $7.2 million in Series B funding. Nashville Capital Network and Hinsdale Capital co-led the round.
• Tools4Patient SA, a Belgium-based developer of tools to optimize and accelerate drug development programs, raised $4.5 million in Series B funding. Investors inclue Innovation Fund, Sambrinvest, Jean-Pierre Delwart, former CEO of Eurogentec and Jean Stephenne, former president of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
• Core, a San Francisco-based meditation experience and personalized wellness company, raised $4 million in seed funding. Spero Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Bolt, Corigin Ventures and Stanford-StartX Fund.
• Wheelwell Inc, a San Francisco-based social-commerce company for the automotive market, raised $3 million in funding. James Currier of NFX Capital and Hans Tung of GGV Capital led the round.
• BioLumic, a New Zealand-based UV technology company, raised $6.7 million in funding. Investors include Canopy Rivers, Finistere Ventures, Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund and Radicle Growth acceleration fund.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• DNA Script, a Paris-based maker of synthetic nucleic acids, raised $38.5 million in Series B financing. Investors include LSP, BPIFrance, Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Illumina Ventures and M Ventures.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Remedy Health Media, which is backed by Topspin Partners, acquired Vertical Health, a Montclair, N.J.-based publisher serving patients and healthcare professionals in the diabetes, mental health, back pain, and pain management areas. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• LNC Partners made an investment in Terra Dotta, a Chapel Hill, Calif.-based provider of higher education travel risk management, study abroad and international programs management solutions. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Sumeru Equity Partners invested $56 million in Criteria Corp, a Los Angeles-based employment analytics platform.
• Climate Pros, a portfolio company of Saw Mill Capital, acquired Norfoxx Refrigeration and Tri-Temp Refrigeration, two Texas-based providers of refrigeration and HVAC services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Magic Leap acquired Mimesys, a developer of a spatial co-presence platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Avantor, a Radnor, Penn.-based provider of lab supplies and services, raised $2.9 billion in an IPO of 207 million shares priced at $14. 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.
• Luckin Coffee, a Xiamen, China-based coffee retailer with delivery, raised $561 million in an IPO of 33 million shares priced between $15 to $17. the firm posted $125 million in sales and $475 million in loss for the year ending 2018. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, CICC and Haitong International are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “LK.” Read more.
• Fastly Inc., a U.S. cloud services provider, raised $180 million in an IPO of 11.25 million shares priced at $16. The firm posted revenue of $144.5 million in 2018 and loss of $30.9 million. August Capital (20.2% pre-offering), Iconiq (12.8%), and AlphaTech Ventures (10.7%) back the firm. BofA, Citi, and Credit Suisse are underwriters. Read more.
• Fiverr International, a Tel Aviv-based online marketplace for freelancers, filed for an $100 million IPO. It posted $75.5 million in sales in 2018 and loss of $19.3 million. Bessemer, Accel, and Square Peg back the firm. J.P. Morgan, Citi, BofA Merrill Lynch, and UBS are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “FVRR.”
• KPS Capital Partners sold Genesis Attachments, a Superior, Wisc.-based manufacturer of excavator, skid steer, and material handling attachments, to NPK Construction Equipment, Inc. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Vertex Ventures, a venture capital firm backed by Singapore state investor Temasek, raised $230 million for its latest fund.