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Like many businesses with a heavy real-estate presence, WeWork struggled as the pandemic pushed employees out of offices and into homes. It started another round of layoffs in late April, and investor SoftBank valued the company at $2.9 billion in May, a significant downtick from $47 billion a year ago.
But in its second quarter earnings report last week, WeWork surprisingly said revenue rose, adding that SoftBank committed another $1.1 billion, in the form of senior secured notes, to the business.
In a memo to staff, WeWork chief financial officer Kimberly Ross said revenue in the quarter rose 9% year-over-year to $882 million. While that figure is down roughly 20% ($1.1 billion) from the quarter earlier, “Covid-19 has had an impact on our business,” Ross wrote in the memo first viewed by Bloomberg.
The company is still burning quite a lot of cash. In the last quarter alone, WeWork posted “free cash outflows,” a rarely used euphemism for cash burn, of $671 million, a higher rate from the first quarter.
SoftBank’s fresh debt funding also comes after the telecom giant backed out of plans to buy $3 billion in WeWork shares from existing shareholders, including Adam Neumann. WeWork is now facing a lawsuit from the founder, as well as a committee made up of investor Benchmark and board member Lew Frankfort, over the issue. A $1.1 billion financing commitment was originally tied to that tender offer, but went up in the air after the deal was scrapped.
The thing is, SoftBank has already sunk over $10 billion into WeWork. So for SoftBank, a direct investment into the company makes more sense than spending $3 billion on equity that won’t directly feed into such a large investment’s coffers. Though, it’s perhaps not much of a consolation for investors that were on the verge of cashing out.
- Impossible Foods, an alternative protein company, raised $200 million. Coatue led the round and was joined by investors including XN.
- Wildlife, a San Francisco-based mobile gaming companies, raised $120 million in funding led by Vulcan Capital and was joined by investors including Human Capital.
- PayActiv, Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based employer-sponsored earned wage access and financial wellness platform, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Eldridge led the round and was joined by investors including Generation Partners and the Ziegler Link•Age Fund II.
- Mission Bio, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based developer of single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, raised $70m in Series C funding. Novo Growth led the round and was joined by investors including Soleus Capital, Mayfield, Cota, and Agilent.
- Thirty Madison, a startup that offers online health portals for treatment of hair loss, migraines, and acid reflux, raised $47 million. Polaris Partners led the round and was joined by Johnson & Johnson, Maveron, and Northzone. Read more.
- Cecelia Health, a New York-based diabetes and other chronic disease management company, raised $13 million in Series B funding. Rittenhouse Ventures and Endo Investors led the round and were joined by investors including Boston Millennia Partners, SustainVC, and G100 Capital.
- Stream, a Boulder-based maker of enterprise-grade activity feed and chat APIs, raised $15 million in Series A funding. GGV Capital led the round and was joined by investors including 01 Advisors, Knight, and Arthur Ventures.
- Root AI, a Boston-based startup building produce-picking robots, raised $7.2 million in seed funding. Rob May of PJC led the round and was joined by investors including First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman, Jason Calacanis, and Austin McChord of Outsiders Fund. Read more.
- Cube, a New York-based financial planning and analysis software maker, raised $5 million in seed funding. Bonfire Ventures‘ Brett Queener led the round and was joined by investors including Operator Collective, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and Techstars. Read more.
- Mighty Labs, a Salt Lake City, Ut.-based platform for remote and cross-functional teams, raised $4.3 million in seed funding. Investors include Slack Fund, GSV Ventures, Origin Ventures, Album VC, Acadian Ventures, and Village Global.
- Joblist, a San Francisco-based jobs listing platform, raised $4 million in funding from Wilbur Labs.
- Palladin Consumer Retail Partners invested in DECOWRAPS, a Miami, Fla.-based floral packaging company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Apollo Global Management invested in US Wind Inc., an offshore wind energy development company. Apollo Funds committed to invest up to $265 million of convertible debt and equity for a stake in US Wind and to fund development and construction costs for an wind energy project off the coast of Maryland.
- Alco Manufacturing Corporation, a portfolio company of MiddleGround Capital, has acquired Manth-Brownell, a Kirkville, New York-based maker of precision machined components. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Capsa Healthcare, backed by Levine Leichtman, acquired NewRobo Development, a Waalwijk, Netherlands-based maker of pharmacy automation solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Manna Pro, backed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, agreed to acquire Doggie Dailies, a Vero Beach, Fla.-based online pet brand. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- A consortium that includes BlackRock is the sole bidder for a section of the “Mayan Train,” a track project that aims to link tourist hot spots in Mexico. The consortium is seeking “section 5,” which runs from Cancun to Tulum in Quintana Roo state, Per Reuters. Read more.
BREAKUPS AND BANKRUPTCIES
- Glostation USA Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Sandbox VR, filed for bankruptcy protection. Backers of Sandbox VR include Craft Ventures, a16z, and Floodgate Fund. Read more.
- Warner Music will acquire IMGN Media, a Tel Aviv and New York-based startup that helps make viral social media content. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Japanese government officials tried to link Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. for merger talks earlier this year, per the Financial Times, but were unsuccessful. Read more.
- Duck Creek Technologies, a Boston-based provider of software for insurers, raised $405 million in an offering of 15 million shares priced at $27.
- CureVac, a German biotech developing a Covid vaccine, raised $213 million in an offering of 13.3 million shares priced at $16, the high end of the range its range.
- Initialized Capital raised $230 million for its fifth core seed fund. Read more.
- Patient Square Capital, a health care investment firm, launched today founded by Jim Momtazee. Momtazee was previously at KKR.
- GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm, promoted Stephen J. Jeschke to managing director.
- Hg and other investors are considering selling stakes in Visma, a Norwegian software company, that could value it at over $10 billion, per Bloomberg. Read more.