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Both hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb and Uber executives have been lobbying heavily in Washington, urging lawmakers to give contract workers financial relief.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the draft for the country’s $2 trillion emergency aid bill —which made room for benefits for gig economy workers. The House is expected to take a look Friday.
Airbnb hosts, for instance, would get access to small-business loans and unemployment insurance under the bill, while rideshare drivers and food-delivery workers could be eligible for unemployment benefits.
But in other areas, tech startups are on more uncertain ground. The language of the draft, according to the Wall Street Journal, may cut out “small technology companies” and venture-backed businesses when it comes to loans.
Will it be enough? To maintain the benefits of the network effect, the likes of Uber and Airbnb need to keep their “sellers” happy, as much as the customers. And unfortunately amid coronavirus, the pressure of playing middleman and moderator is heavy.
Airbnb made an exception in light of the global pandemic, deviating from existing policy and allowing for full refunds on cancellations through April 14. And while customers are thankful, hosts are bearing the economic burden.
Everybody hurts in this market: As the stock market has nosedived over coronavirus fears, mergers and acquisitions have also dried up—so any deal struck before the outbreak may look serendipitous. But don’t forget not all deals have closed.
Notably, tax planning company Intuit agreed to acquire fintech Credit Karma for a mix of cash and stock, for an estimated value of $7.1 billion in late February. Back then, the per-share price was fixed at $299.73 apiece. Since then, shares of Intuit have fallen 22% amid the market rout.
- OfferUp, a Bellevue, Wash.-based online classifieds business, raised $120 million in funding led by OLX Group. As part of the deal, OfferUp will acquire the classifieds business of letgo, which is majority owned by OLX Group and others. Existing OfferUp investors Andreessen Horowitz and Warburg Pincus also participated. OLX will hold a 40% stake in the ensuing company.
- Kallyope Inc., a New York-based biotech focused on therapies for the gut-brain axis, raised $112 million Series C funding. Existing investors Column Group, Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, Euclidean Capital, Two Sigma Ventures, Illumina Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Bill Gates invested. New investors include Casdin Capital, Greenspring Associates, and two unnamed leading institutional investors.
- Plastiq, a San Francisco-based credit card startup for SMBs, raised $75 million in Series D funding. B Capital Group led the round. Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Accomplice and Top Tier Capital Partners also participated.
- Dremio, a Santa Clara, Calif-based data lake engine company, closed on $70 million in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round, and was joined by existing investors Cisco Investments, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Redpoint Ventures.
- Castle Creek Biosciences, Inc., an Exton, Pa.-based late-stage gene therapy company, raised $55 million in funding. Paragon Biosciences led the round, and was joined by investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company and Valor Equity Partners. Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (Nasdaq:HRZN) provided a $20 million loan.
- Espressive, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based AI startup for enterprise service management, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Insight Partners led the round, and was joined by existing investors General Catalyst and Wing Venture Capital.
- Regenacy Pharmaceuticals, a Waltham, Mass.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company for treatments for diabetic and other peripheral neuropathies, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Cobro Ventures and Taiwania Capital Management Corporation led the round, and was joined by investors including 3E Bioventures Capital, Yonjin Capital, VIVA Biotech Holdings and TA YA VENTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED.
- SecondNature, a N.C.-based filtration subscription firm, raised $16.4 million in Series C funding. MANN+HUMMEL led the round, and was joined by investors including IDEA Fund Partners, Multiplier Capital, Lead Edge Capital, Arsenal Growth, One Better Ventures, Bonaventure Capital, NC State’s investor network WIN, and UNC’s investor network CAN. Read more.
- Humio, a San Francisco-based real-time log management platform, announced a $20 million Series B funding. Dell Technologies Capital led the round, and was joined by existing investor Accel.
- DataGuard, a Munich-based, cloud-based platform for privacy compliance, raised $20 million. One Peak was the investor. Read more.
- Fast, a San Francisco-based startup focused on speeding up the online login and checkout experience, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Stripe led the round, and was joined by investors including Index Ventures and Susa Ventures.
- Twaice, the Munich-based maker of analytics software for batteries in electric vehicles, has raised €11 million ($12 million) in Series A funding. Creandum led the round, and was joined by existing investors Cherry Ventures, UVC Partners and Speedinvest. Read more.
- Stellar Cyber, a Santa Clara-based cybersecurity platform, raised $7.1 million in additional funding in an expansion of its Series A round, for a total of $21.8 million. Susquehanna International Group invested alongside existing investors Valley Capital Partners, Big Basin Ventures, and Northern Light Venture Capital.
- Pathlight, a San Francisco-based team performance platform, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Kleiner Perkins led the round.
- Revuze, an Israel-based customer analysis software startup, raised $5.1 million in Series A funding. Maverick Ventures Israel led the round, and was joined by existing investor Prytek.
- Hyperproof, a Bellevue, Wash.-based continuous compliance SaaS platform, raised $3 million in funding from angel investors.
- Gainline Capital Partners acquired SourceHOV Tax, a Fort Worth, Texas-based firm focused on maximizing tax incentives, from Exela Technologies in a carve out transaction. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- TA Associates completed a strategic investment in Accion Labs, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based software product engineering company focused on emerging technologies, joining Basil Technology Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
- Refinitiv made a strategic investment in ModuleQ, a Cupertino, Calif.-based Microsoft partner for Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
- Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) completed the acquisition of Grazper Technologies ApS, a Copenhagen-based AI image analytics platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Quad-C Management sold its investment in VMG Health, a Dallas-based provider of valuation and advisory services for the healthcare industry, to Northlane Capital Partners.
- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Utilities Trust of Australia acquired The Infrastructure Fund’s stake in the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP), which supplies 15% of the city’s water needs. Ontario Teachers’ stake increased to 60% and UTA’s stake increased to 40%. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Deutsche Wohnen agreed to acquire the bulk of the operations of Isaria, a German property group, for 600 million euros ($649 million). Buyout group Lone Star, backs Isaria. Read more.
- Evanston Capital Management, an Evanston, Ill.-based alternative investment management firm with approximately $3 billion of assets under management, acquired a minority equity stake in itself from funds related to TA Associates. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Mayfield, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm, closed on its $475 million Mayfield XVI fund and $275 million for its Mayfield Select II fund.
- Fort Ross Ventures, a venture-capital firm focused on startups in the U.S., Israel, and Europe, closed its $235 million Fund II.
- Fort Ross Ventures named Sharin Fisher, former officer of Israel’s cyber-intelligence agency, Unit 8200, as a partner based in Tel Aviv.
- Genstar Capital promoted Rob Clark to Director and Scott Niehaus to Principal.