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Uber seeks to dominate the food delivery wars

May 13, 2020, 2:15 PM UTC

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Uber has an appetite for a mega acquisition. 

The ride-hailing giant approached food-delivery company Grubhub with a takeover offer, per multiple reports. Though the duo are apparently at odds over the exact pricing of the deal, an acquisition is expected to be in the billions (with Grubhub currently valued at about $5.5 billion in public markets).

If the two combined, Uber Eats and Grubhub would represent about 55% of the food delivery market, per estimates by Dan Ives over at Wedbush in an analyst note. This would overtake Doordash, which eclipses the two individually at 35% of the market as of the first quarter. It would be the first time since 2017 that a single player held over half of the red-hot market.

Pundits have been waiting for this. The food delivery industry has been ripe with rumors of takeovers recently, as the likes of Uber, Doordash, Caviar, and Postmates have undercut each other with lower fees and discounts in a fevered and unprofitable bid for dominance. Now, as ride-sharing takes a hit and food delivery becomes its bright spot in earnings, Uber appears to be making its move.

Antitrust concerns aside, the deal will undoubtedly strike fear in the hearts of competitors.

But it will be interesting to see how another Uber rival, Lyft, zigs and zags. Lyft made no concerted push into the food delivery market pre-coronavirus—but then it launched a on-demand delivery service earlier this month. While Lyft revealed a rise in revenue in the first quarter of the year, suggesting that the business was more resilient than thought against the coronavirus, it also laid off nearly 1,000 employees.

Golden hour for activist investors: Activist campaigns ticked up sharply in 2007 and 2008 amid falling asset prices. Will the same pattern repeat during the coronavirus pandemic? Per my colleague, Ryan Derousseau, on activists in 2020:

The pattern may well repeat itself amid the chaos wreaked by COVID-19. The price/earnings ratio of the S&P 500 has tumbled from 23.5 in January to 20.9 today—hardly rock-­bottom by historic standards, but cheap enough to bring out the market’s hammerheads and great whites. Dramatic moves in March by activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which elbowed its way onto Twitter’s board, and Carl Icahn, who put three allies on the board of Occidental Petroleum, were aided by the firms’ plummeting stock prices.

However, in the last few weeks, equity markets shot up rapidly in a V-shaped recovery, despite unemployment rates. So are some activist investors betting on a W-shaped recovery?

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

 - Dingdong Maicai, a Chinese fresh food delivery startup, raised $300 million in funding valuing it at $2 billion, per Reuters citing sources. General Atlantic led the round. Read more.

 - Kopi Kenangan, an Indonesian beverage retailer, raised $109 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including B Capital, Horizons Ventures, Verlinvest, Kunlun, Sofina, and Alpha JWC Ventures. Read more.

 -  Kriya Therapeutics, a gene therapy startup, raised $80.5 million in a Series A funding. QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures, Narya Capital, Amplo, Paul Manning, and Asia Alpha were the investors.

 - Members Exchange (MEMX), a  New York-based market operator, raised $65 million. BlackRock, Wells Fargo, Flow Traders, Manikay Partners, and Williams Trading were the investors.

 - SirionLabs,  a Seattle-based provider of vendor management software, raised $44 million in funding. Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital led the round. Read more.

 - Slice, a New York-based ordering and marketing tech platform for local pizzerias, raised $43 million in Series C funding. KKR led the round and was joined by investors including GGV Capital.

 - Morning Consult, a Washington D.C.-based political polling company, raised $31 million in  Series A funding. Lupa Systems and Advance Venture Partners led the round, valuing it at $306 million.

 - SiMa.ai, a San Jose, Calif.-based machine learning startup, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Dell Technologies Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Amplify Partners, Wing Venture Capital, and NanoDimension Capital also participated in the round

 - Zenjob, a Berlin, Germany-based digital recruitment company, raised €27.6 million ($30 million) in Series C funding. Forestay Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Redalpine, Acton Capital, Axa Venture Partners and Atlantic Labs. 

 - Pillar Biosciences, a cancer diagnostics maker, raised $29.7 million in Series C funding from ORI Healthcare Fund.

 - M17, a Taiwan-based live streaming entertainment startup, raised $26.5 million in Series D funding. Vertex Growth Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Stonebridge Korea Unicorn Venture Fund, Innoven Capital Singapore, Kaga Electronics, and ASE Global Group. Read more.

 - Sleeper, a San Francisco-based fantasy sports startup, raised $20 million in funding.  Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Kevin Durant, Baron Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Twitch CEO Kevin Lin. Read more.

 - MemVerge, a San Jose, Calif.-based in-memory computing company, raised $19 million in funding. Investors included Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, NetApp, and SK hynix.

 - Modulr, a London-based payments API platform, raised £18.9 million in funding. Highland Europe, a leading European Growth Capital led the round, and was joined by Frog Capital.

 - GreenLight Biosciences, a Boston-based maker of mRNA vaccines, raised $17 million in funding. Investors include Flu Lab, Xeraya Capital and Baird Capital. Read more.

 - ALTR, an Austin, Texas-based blockchain data security firm, raised $15 million in funding. John Stafford III (CEO of Ronin Capital) participated.

 - Vise, a San Francisco-based AI-based platform portfolio management platform for investment advisors, raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. Sequoia led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Fund and Ben Ling at Bling Capital.

 - VanMoof, a Dutch e-bike maker, raised €12.5 million ($13.6 million) in funding. Balderton Capital and SINBON were the investors.

 - Wallbox, a Barcelona-based smart EV charging company, raised $13 million (€12 million) in its second tranche of Series A funding. Seaya Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Endeavor Catalyst and Iberdrola.

 - accessiBe, a Tel Aviv-based AI web accessibility provider, raised $12 million in funding from K1 Investment Management.

 - Stellar Health, a New York-based health tech startup, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Point72 Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Primary Venture Partners.

 - Tock, a Chicago-based restaurant reservation site, raised $10 million in funding. Valor Siren Ventures, a fund backed by Starbucks, led the round. Read more.

 - Mos, a San Francisco-based startup focused on college aid, raised $13 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Stephen Curry, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, Emerson Collective, and Lux Capital.

 - Dyno Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based gene therapy startup, raised $9 million in Series A funding. Polaris Partners and CRV led the round. Read more.

 - GrowFlow, a Los Angeles-based Saas company for the cannabis and hemp industry, raised $8.4M in Series B funding. TVC Capital led the round.

 - Resilia, a New Orleans-based SaaS platform for deploying grants, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Mucker Capital and Callais Capital Management led the round, and was joined by investors including Cultivation Capital

 - Northspyre, a New York-based platform for real estate owners, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Tamarisc Ventures. 

 - Ziva Dynamics, a Vancouver-based maker of character simulation software, raised $7 million in seed funding. Grishin Robotics, Toyota AI Ventures, and Millennium Technology Value Partners invested.

Yardbird, a Minneapolis-based outdoor furniture brand, raised $4.4 million in funding. Read more.

 - Intricately, a San Francisco-based platform for cloud sales and marketing teams, raised $4 million in Series A funding. Counterpart Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Bloomberg Beta, Singtel Innov8, and Susa Ventures

 - Primer, a homeschooling education company, raised $3.7 million in seed funding. Keith Rabois at Founders Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Lachy Groom, Naval Ravikant, Jed York, Cyan Bannister and John Danner.

 - Intelliboard, a U.S.-based developer of a data visualization and analytics platform for educators, raised $3.4 million in Series A funding. Connecticut Innovations, Flashpoint VC, Smarthub VC, and LETA Capital were the investors.

 - Continuum Industries, an Edinburgh-based provider of AI tools for engineering professionals, raised £1.5 million in seed funding. Playfair Capital and Credo Ventures led the round, and were joined by investors including Techstart Ventures, Simon Blakey, Michael Blakey and others. Read more.

 - Emteria, an Aachen, Germany-based of an Android platform for industrial applications, raised €1.5 million in seed funding from Runa Capital and German High-Tech Gründerfonds.

 - RPA Labs, a San Jose, Calif.-based automation platform, raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding. Schematic Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including PSA unboXed, Global Etrade Services, and Supply Chain Ventures.

 - Wynd Technologies, a Redwood City, Calif.-based air purification and measurement startup, raised funding from the corporate venture arm of Green Generation, GreenGen Ventures. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - Intel Capital invested $132 million in 11 startups across AI, autonomous computing, and chip design. The companies are Anodot, Astera Labs, Axonne, Hypersonix, KFBIO, Lilt, MemVerge, ProPlus Electronics, Retrace, Spectrum Materials and Xsight Labs. Read more.

PRIVATE EQUITY

 - KKR will acquire a 55% stake in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's wealth management unit for A$1.7 billion ($1.1 billion).

 - Clearhaven Partners  invested in TimeTrade Systems, a Tewksbury, Mass.-based enterprise scheduling software maker. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - Francisco Partners will invest up to $225 million in Eventbrite (NYSE: EB), a  San Francisco-based global self-service ticketing website.

 - Parthenon Capital invested in RxSense, a Boston-based prescription savings solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - GTCR formed Dreamscape, a Salt Lake City, Ut.-based marketing technology business with Scott Knoll, David Hahn and Michael Iantosca.

 - Symphony Technology Group acquired a majority equity stake in Nomis Solutions, a Toronto-based provider of SaaS-based pricing and profitability management solutions for retail banks. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - M/C Partners invested in TowerCom, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based communications tower developer. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

 - SonarSource acquired RIPS Technology, a German application security firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - Indian metals tycoon Anil Agarwal launched a $2 billion bid to buy out minority shareholders in Vedanta, the oil-to-aluminium conglomerate. Read more.

 - Forge Global and SharesPost, two private securities marketplaces, agreed to merge. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 - Rakuten (TYO:4755) acquired Innoeye, a Herndon, Va.-based engineering company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPOS

- Dada Nexus, a Shanghai-based grocery delivery platform, filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. It posted revenue of $437.8 million in 2019 and a loss of $348.1 million. JD Group (51.4%), Sequoia Capital China (11.4%), and Walmart (10.8%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “DADA.” Read more.

BANKRUPTCIES AND BREAKUPS

 - Covea has walked away from a $9 billion purchase of PartnerRe, a Bermuda-based reinsurer owned by Exor. Read more.

EXITS

- Banca Farmafactoring (BIT: BFF) plans to acquire a 76% stake in DEPObank, an Italian depository bank, from Equinova, an investment vehicle owned of private equity firms Advent International, Bain Capital and Clessidra. Read more.

F+FS

- Hg raised $11 billion for three funds, Bloomberg reports citing sources. About $10 billion will be divided between its second large-cap fund, Saturn, and its ninth mid-cap fund, Genesis. Another $1.5 billion will go to its third small-cap fund, Mercury. Read more.

 - BDT Capital Partners raised $9.1 billion for its third fund, per an SEC filing. Read more.

 - Redstone is raising $217 million for its Future Industry Ventures Fund. Read more.

 - Thayer Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on travel and transportation, raised $30 million for its third fund.

PEOPLE

 - Shamrock Capital named Laura Held and Jason Sklar as Partners.  

 - Lytical Ventures hired Graham Carroll as a Principal,