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Wirecard’s disappearing $2.1 billion

June 19, 2020, 2:18 PM UTC

Happy Friday.

Though it’s most certainly an uneasy one for Wirecard, a high-flying German financial technology group once valued at €24 billion ($27 billion) and hailed as the country’s next great tech star. Already parrying allegations around its accounting, the company revealed that auditors were unable to find some €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash.

The disappearing cash, which was the equivalent of Wirecard’s profits since 2012, was supposedly held by two Asian banks. But the two banks, BDO Unibank and the Bank of the Philippine Islands, say Wirecard was not a client. The CEO of BDO Nestor Tan added that a “rogue employee” falsified documents mimicking BDO’s officers.

Now Wirecard is trading at a valuation of roughly €4.9 billion ($5.5 billion). CEO Markus Braun has resigned amid ongoing investigations into allegations that profits at key subsidiaries had been fraudulently inflated, and the company is facing a potential liquidity crunch. 

A stunning part of the story: The Financial Times first published a report alleging the use of forged contracts in Singapore to inflate revenues in January of last year. Yet sell-side analysts maintained their bullishness and early on, BaFin, Germany’s financial watchdog, accused the Financial Times of potential market manipulation alongside short sellers rather than taking aim at Wirecard. BaFin later concluded that there was no collusion, according to the FT.

It’s Juneteenth—155 years ago today, the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas learned that they had been freed over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation formally returned those rights to them (news travelled slow, back in the day). Many businesses have made splashy announcements about Juneteenth company holidays, but the way they treat their black employees when they return on Monday matters just as much, if not more. Fortune has compiled stories from black employees across industries that reveal what their experiences in corporate America are like. It’s clear: No matter what companies are doing to take a stand against racial inequality right now, there is much more work to be done. Read more.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda


If you were to assemble the people who could help you truly understand health care and how it’s affected businesses today, who would you pick? Here’s a few on Fortune’s list: 

  • The CEOs and presidents of healthcare giants Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novartis, Aetna
  • co-discoverer of CRISPR-Cas9 Dr. Jennifer Doudna
  • Dean of Stanford Medicine Dr. Lloyd Minor
  • chief medical officers from IBM, Verily, Google Health
  • healthcare venture capitalists like Sue Siegel
  • Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington
  • CEO of REFORM Alliance Van Jones
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Hear from them and more at FORTUNE Brainstorm Health, our virtual health-care conference on July 7-8. As a newsletter subscriber, you’re invited to use this code—BSH20HALF—and get half off.


- Palantir Technologies, the big data company, raised 54 billion yen ($500 million) from Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings. Read more.

- DoorDash, the food delivery company, raised $400 million in a Series H funding. Durable Capital Partners and Fidelity Management co-led the round, and were joined by investors including  funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. The round values the firm at $16 billion.

- Payfone, a New York-based identify verification platform using mobile phone data, raised $100 million led by Apax Digital. Read more.

- Big Health, a San Francisco, Calif.-based digital therapeutics company focused on mental health, raised $39 million in Series B funding. Gilde Healthcare and Morningside Ventures co-led the round and were joined by investors including Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Octopus Ventures; and Samsung NEXT

- Kaia Health, a New York-based digital therapeutics company, raised $26 million in Series B funding. Optum Ventures, Idinvest and capital300 led the round and were joined by investors including Balderton Capital, Heartcore Capital, and Symphony Ventures

-  Wise Systems, a Cambridge, Mass.-based-based maker of dispatch and routing software, raised $15 million in funding. Valo Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Gradient Ventures, Prologis Ventures, and E14 Fund.

- UNest, a North Hollywood, Calif.-based mobile app for college savings, raised $9 million in funding. Anthos Capital led the round and was joined by investors including NBA All-star Baron Davis, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon, and Unlock Ventures. 

- Acquire, a San Francisco-based customer engagement platform, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Base10 Partners led the round and was joined by investors including S28 Capital and Fathom Capital

- Mabl, a Boston-based test automation company,  raised $6 million in funding. Amplify Partners led the round.

- Outer, a Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand, raised $4.3 million in funding. Mucker Capital led the round.

- Apolicy, a San Francisco-based cloud-native policy orchestration platform, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. StageOne Ventures led the round.

- Plume, a Denver-based selling hormone replacement therapy to the trans-community, raised $2.9 million in funding. General Catalyst and Slow Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Springbank Collective. Read more.

- HASH Inc., a New York-based maker of a browser-based tool for creating multi-agent simulations, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Root Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners led the round.

- PreVu3D, a Montreal-based maker 3D capture technology, raised  $2.5 million in seed funding. Brightspark Ventures led the round.

- Shipper, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based logistics platform, raised an undisclosed sum in Series A funding. Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) led the round.


- Blackstone, Bain Capital and Taisho Pharmaceutical are among the final bidders for Takeda Pharmaceutical’s consumer drug business. The deal could be worth 400 billion yen ($3.7 billion), per Reuters citing sources. Read more.

- Athene Holding, backed by Apollo Global, acquired a stake in Jackson, a U.S. annuity provider. Prudential was the seller. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.

- LightBay Capital invested in Barry’s Bootcamp, a Los Angeles-based fitness chain. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.

- Caring Brands International, a portfolio company of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, acquired the Bluebird Care Master Franchise, a Ireland-based homecare company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- L Catterton invested in Petlove, an online pet retail brand in Brazil. SoftBank, Tarpon, and Monashees also back Petlove. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Brook and Whittle, a portfolio company of Snow Phipps Group, acquired Label Impressions, an Orange County, Calif.-based provider of printed label solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Crest Rock Partners invested in investment in Unbounce Marketing Solution, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based provider of technology for marketers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Full Spectrum Group, a portfolio company of Pfingsten, acquired the assets of the Third Party Field Service Division of Pion, a Benson, N.C.-based provider of repair, maintenance, validation, and qualification services for laboratory instrumentation. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- IG4 agreed to acquire CLI, a Brazilian company that owns one of the largest grain terminals in the country, from CGG Trading and its creditors. Read more.


- Albertsons Companies, a Boise, Id.-based grocery chain, plans to raise as much as $1.32 billion in an IPO of 65.8 million shares (100% insider sold) priced between $18 to $20 per share. It posted $60.5 million in revenue and income of $131 million in 2018. Cerebus (44.3% pre-offering) and Bessemer (14.9%) backs the firm. It plans to list on the NYSE as “ACI.” Read more.

- GVS SpA, a maker of biohazard masks, raised €497 million ($558 million) in an IPO in Milan. Read more.

- Sri Trang Gloves, a Thailand-based rubber glove maker,  plans to raise as much as 15 billion baht ($484 million) in an IPO in the country. Read more.


- Facebook acquired Mapillary, a Swedish mapping technology company. Sequoia Capital, NFX, BMW i Ventures, and Atomico are among its investors. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Ares Management has raised $2.9 billion so far for Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund VI. Read more.

- Bullpen Capital is seeking to raise $150 million for its fifth fund. Read more.

- Grishin Robotics, an early-stage venture capital firm, raised $100 million for Fund II.