Why Silver Lake is investing in travel during a global lockdown

April 24, 2020, 1:36 PM UTC

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How are investors now betting on travel, given the uncertainty over when the lockdown ends? 

Since the pandemic hit stateside, Silver Lake and Sixth Street have shown up as equity and debt investors in coronavirus-hit Airbnb. Travel booking company Expedia yesterday raised $3.2 billion—including some $1.2 billion in equity from Apollo and Silver Lake.

The logic behind these bets, at least for Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban: Cash is king. He told Fortune that he is betting that in the long term, the nation will go back to normal and that “capitalism is not going to fail.” To manage the uncertainty of how long the coronavirus may keep the world in some kind of lockdown, Durban is betting on companies downtrodden by the coronavirus, but are cash-rich.

“In both the cases of [Expedia and Airbnb], we believe these companies are well-funded through whatever version of whatever restart and whatever healthcare solution is necessary,” said Durban in a virtual Fortune Brainstorm Tech conversation Thursday. “Though there may be a delay in realization of the internal rate of return.”

The coronavirus has depressed valuations across the board and given investors an opportunity to find more lucrative deals than before. The $1 billion debt-and-equity Airbnb deal in which Silver Lake invested came reportedly with an interest rate of over 10%.

But it’s still a bet that the economy will come back before the cash runs dry for the companies—a downright terrifying thing to try to predict given how little we know about the virus, and its apparent proclivity to re-emerge when everything seems under control. 

“We’re planning for a second wave outbreak, for equity markets to go down 20%, credit markets to tighten and get scary, banks to re-price their capital,” Durban said. “We’re planning for the worst across all of our portfolio.”

PPP part two: On Thursday, the House passed an additional $310 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding after the first round dried up in two weeks. 

The U.S. Treasury said publicly traded firms will now have a hard time proving that they need the funds—good news (kind of) for small businesses. The deal also sets aside a minimum of $30 billion for financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, and another $30 billion to those with assets of between $10 to $50 billion.


- AvidXchange, A Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of payment automation solutions, raised an additional $128 million in funding, bringing the round total to $388 million. Investors include Lone Pine Capital, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, Pivot Investment Partners, Mastercard, Sixth Street Partners and Neuberger Berman on behalf of clients.

- DMI Group, a New Delhi-based consumer lending company, raised $123 million in funding. Nexon led the round. Read more.

- Affinivax, a Lexington, Mass.-based vaccine platform, raised $120 million in Series B funding. Viking Global Investors led the round, and was joined by investors including Bain Capital and Ziff Capital. Read more.

- Bestow Inc., a Dallas-based  life insurance platform, raised $50 million in  Series B funding. Valar Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including NEA, Morpheus Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, and Sammons Financial.

- Miro, a San Francisco digital whiteboard maker, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Iconiq Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Accel. Read more.

- Modalku, an Indonesia-based P2P lender, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Existing backers include SoftBank Ventures Korea, Sequoia India, Alpha JWC Ventures, and Golden Gate Ventures. Read more.

- Digits, a San Francisco-based fintech startup, raised $22 million in Series B funding. GV led the round. Read more.

- Randori, a Waltham, Mass.-based cybersecurity startup, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Harmony Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including  Accomplice, .406 Ventures and Legion Capital. Read more.

- Gauzy, an Israeli light-adjusting windshields maker, raised $10 million in Series C funding. Hyundai led the round, and was joined by investors including Blue Red Partners VC and Avery Dennison. Read more.

- Igloo, a Singapore-based insurance tech startup, raised $8.2 million in extended Series A funding. InVent led the round, and was joined by investors including Openspace Ventures, and Linear Capital. Read more.

- SensorFlow, a Singapore-based proptech startup, raised $8.3 million in Series A+ funding led the round. Openspace Ventures and Gaw Capital Partners led the round. Read more.

- Nuvocargo, a New York-based digital freight forwarder and customs broker for U.S.-Mexico trade, raised $5.3 million in seed funding. NFX and ALLVP co-led the round, and were joined by One Way Ventures, Maya Capital, and Magma Partners.

- Opera Event, an Oakland, Calif.-based platform for influencers to get sponsorships,  raised $5 million in Series A funding. Antera led the round, and was joined by investors including Atlas Ventures, Everblue, and Konvoy Ventures.


- Providence Strategic Growth invested in Next Glass, a Wilmington, N.C.-based provider of software to the beverage alcohol industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- ShoreView invested in Victory Air and Equipment, a Victoria, Texas-based distributor of sandblasting equipment and paint. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Apax Partners acquired Coalfire, a Westminster, Colo.-based provider of cybersecurity advisory and assessment services.

- Paragon Partners acquired Castolin Eutectic, a Kriftel, Germany-based provider of welding, brazing and coating technologies, from the Messer Group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) is in advanced talks for bankruptcy funding, per the Wall Street Journal citing sources. Read more.

- Vonovia has tapped advisers to explore a second attempt at taking over Deutsche Wohnen, a Germany-based property developer. The deal would result in a $40 billion giant, per Bloomberg citing sources. Read more.

- Talks between iDreamSky Technology Holdings and CVC Capital Partners to jointly acquire Leyou Technologies, a Hong Kong-listed video games company, have stalled, per Bloomberg. The deal valued Leyou at $1.2 billion. Read more.

- Terminal acquired ROIKOI, an AI-powered employee referral software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Gojek acquired a Moka, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based mobile point-of-sale startup, for about $130 million, Bloomberg reports citing sources.

- Travelex, a British forex firm backed by Finablr (LSE: FIN), is up for sale. Read more.


- ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a South San Francisco-based Phase 1 biotech developing molecule therapies for cancer, raised $120 million in an upsized IPO of 7.5 million shares priced at $16 apiece. It has yet to post a revenue and posted losses of $27 million in 2019. The Column Group (22% pre-offering), Topspin Fund (16%), and OrbiMed (12%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ORIC.” Read more.

- CC Neuberger Principal I, a SPAC led by Chinh Chu and investment firm Neuberger Berman, raised $360 million, above a previously expected $300 million. 

- Allpark Empreendimentos, a Brazilian parking lot operator, is planning an initial public offering in May to raise up to 387.8 million reais ($71.30 million). Read more.

- Imagination Technologies, a U.K.-based chipmaker, plans to list the company in London, New York, or Hong Kong. Canyon Bridge backs the company. Read more.

- Yara, a Norwegian fertiliser maker , has called off plans to spin off its industrial nitrogens business through an IPO due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more.

- DraftKings, a fantasy sports games platform, will go public via a merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition, a SPAC. It will list on the Nasdaq as "DKNG."


- Vector Capital sold Saba Software, a Dublin, Calif.-based talent management software provider, to Cornerstone OnDemand for about $1.3 billion.


- Blackstone is seeking to raise $7 billion for its 4th GSO credit opportunities fund, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Cyprium Investment Partners closed its fifth fund with $445 million of committed capital.  


- Clearlake Capital Group named Fred Ebrahemi as Chief Operating Officer.

- York Private Equity added Harish Nataraj as a Managing Director.  Prior to joining York, he was a Partner and Managing Director at Angelo Gordon’s Private Equity Group.

- MetaProp hired Maureen Waters as a Partner. Waters was previously president of the real estate tech firm Ten-X,

- Mayfield Equity Partners promoted Paul Reading to Managing Director.

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