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Palantir’s direct listing snafu

October 1, 2020, 2:28 PM UTC

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Asana and Palantir walked into the spotlight Wednesday by going public through the fairly green process of a direct listing—on the same day, no less.

While shares of both companies ended the day above their private market values, some early Palantir investors may have had trouble cashing out due to tech issues, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A main premise of direct listings is that existing shareholders are able to cash out on their shares even while the company itself doesn’t raise funding. 

But according to the WSJ, current and former employees struggled to sell their shares after the data-mining decacorn began trading at $10 a share at 1:40 p.m. ET. The problem, attributed to “technical difficulties” around Morgan Stanley’s equity management platform Shareworks, eased up over time and was resolved entirely about two hours later. But some still had trouble trading through the market’s close at 4:00 p.m. ET, when shares of Palantir had fallen to $9.50 apiece—missing out on the chance to cash out on the day’s high of $11.42.

A Shareworks spokesperson told the Journal that the system had experienced slowness, though call centers were still available to complete trades at the time. “We will work through any issue that is brought to our attention and ensure that no employee will be disadvantaged,” they said, with another source suggesting that those who sold shares at a lower price would somehow have them made whole.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham was asked if she thought the distant cousin of the direct listing process, the special purpose acquisition company, had staying power, given that the process boomed in ‘07 amid frothy markets and then faded. Her take? “The SPACs of yesteryear are nothing like the SPACs that are listing today,” she said to Fortune’s Jen Wiezcner.

COINBASE: After CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a controversial note saying the company would minimize any social activism work, the company is now apparently offering a severance package to those who don’t feel comfortable working with the company. Read more.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Cazoo, a U.K.-based online used car buying platform, raised £240 million ($310 million) of funding. General Catalyst and D1 Capital Partners led the round and were joined by Fidelity Management & Research Company and Blackrock.

- Sendinblue, a French marketing campaign startup for small businesses, raised $160 million in funding. Investors include Bridgepoint, Bpifrance, Blackrock, and Partech.

- SOPHiA GENETICS, a Switzerland-based clinical insights platform, raied $110 million in series F funding. aMoon led the round and was joined by investors including HItachi Ventures.

- Carmot Therapeutics, a Berkeley, Calif.-based biotech company focused on metabolic diseases, raised $47 million in series C funding. Investors include Amgen, The Column Group and Horizons Ventures.

- Papaya Global, an Israel-based payroll management platform,raised $40 million in funding. Scale Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Workday Ventures, Access Industries, Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Ventures Partners, New Era Ventures, Group 11, and Dynamic Loop. 

- Inshorts, an India-based popular news aggregation app, raised $35 million. Addition led the round. Read more.

- Facet Wealth, a Baltimore, Md.-based fintech company, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Warburg Pincus led the round.

- Coralogix, a San Francisco-based log analytics firm, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Red Dot Capital Partners and O.G. Tech Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Aleph VC, StageOne Ventures, Janvest Capital Partners, and 2B Angels

- Pacaso, a San Francisco-based company for second home ownership launched by Zillow co-founder and former CEO Spencer Rascoff, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Maveron led the round and was joined by investors including Crosscut and Global Founders Capital.

- Bloomscape, a Detroit-based shipper of live plants, raised $15 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round.

- Einride, a Swedish technology company that develops and provides freight transport solutions based on electric and autonomous vehicles, raised $10 million in new funding from investors including Norrsken VC, EQT Ventures, Nordic Ninja VC, and Ericsson Ventures.

- Bamboo Systems, a Cambridge U.K. and California, U.S.-based firm seeking to speed up computing, raised $7 million in funding. Seraphim Capital and Opea Holding  led the round and were joined by investors including Future Fund.

- R-Zero, a San Francisco-based biosafety company that aims to reduce the spread of infectious disease, raised $15 million in Series A funding. DBL Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Bedrock Capital.

- Bykea, a Karachi, Pakistan-based on-demand transport and logistics platform, raised 13 million in Series B funding. Prosus Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Middle East Venture Partners and Sarmayacar.

- Retirable, a New York-based company seeking to personalize the retirement investing process, raised $4.7 million. Vestigo Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Diagram Ventures and Primetime Partners.

- Yotta, a New York-based maker of a prize-linked savings account which rewards customers saving money by entering them into weekly drawings, raised a $3.3 million in seed funding from Slow Ventures, FundersClub, TwentyTwo VC, Chapter One, and CapitalX.

- Sora, an Atlanta-based virtual high school platform, raised $2.7 million in seed funding Union Square Ventures led the round.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Mubadala Investment Co. acquired a less than 5% in Silver Lake as the private equity firm develops a new strategy with a 25 year time horizon. Read more.

- Silver Lake co-investors plan to invest an additional 18.75 billion rupees ($260 million) into Reliance Retail Ventures, the retail arm of Reliance Industries. Read more.

- Argand acquired Cherry, a German-based designer and manufacturer of high precision keyboard switch technology. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Digital Fuel Capital acquired Seattle Coffee Gear, an omnichannel specialty retailer of coffee equipment and coffee beans. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Serent Capital invested in Actionstep, a New Zealand-founded provider of cloud-based legal practice management systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-  LFM Capital invested in Diamabrush, a Madison Heights, Mich.-based manufacturer of diamond abrasive brushes and replacement blades. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- TA Associates completed a majority investment in Netwrix, an Irvine, Calif.-based cybersecurity vendor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- G4S, a British cybersecurity firm, rejected a $3.8 billion acquisition offer from smaller Canadian rival GardaWorld. Read more.

EXITS

- SAP plans to acquire Emarsys, a Vienna, Austria cloud-based marketing platform backed by Vector Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPOs

- Datto, a Norwalk, Conn.-based provider of cloud-based data backup, filed for a $100 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $458.8 million and a loss of $31.2 million in 2019. Vista backs the firm. Read more.

- Mission Produce, a California-based seller of avocados, raised $96 million in an offering of 8 million shares (22% insider sold) priced at $12 apiece. Read more.

- fuboTV, a New York-based sports streaming platform, plans to raise $150 million in an offering of 15 million shares priced between $9 to $11. Read more.

SPACS

- Hims, the online prescription drug startup, plans to go public via merger with Oaktree Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, in a deal that values the firm $1.6 billion. Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, McKesson Ventures, and CPPBIB back Hims Read more.

- Playboy Enterprises, the company behind Playboy, plans to go public via merger with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp., a SPAC. The deal values the firm at $381 million.

- AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., a blank check company targeting an ESG businesses, raised $400 million.

- Altimeter Growth Corp., a blank check company from Altimeter Capital seeking a tech  business, raised $450 million.