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Is it the end for Quibi?

October 21, 2020, 2:58 PM UTC

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Quibi, the streaming service founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, did not have the debut it was hoping for. 

After raising some $1.75 billion from investors, the company launched in the middle of the pandemic with shows anchored by stars such as Liam Hemsworth and Chrissy Teigen. 

But the concept, operating in the crowded streaming market, didn’t take off. News of the launch eventually morphed into news of disappointing subscription figures, then into news of a potential sale, and now into speculation that Katzenberg may shutter the app altogether.

After trying and failing to sell Quibi’s content catalog to companies including NBCUniversal and Facebook, Katzenberg is floating the idea of closing the company’s doors, according to the Information. This comes following reports that the company had considered strategic options with the likes of Walt Disney and Warner Media on the other side of the table.

Quibi has not yet responded to a request for comment, though a spokesperson previously dubbed reports of sale talks as “speculation.”

Meanwhile, perhaps Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has also heard the rumors: Quibi CEO Meg Whitman is among the names under consideration for a cabinet position, according to Politico.

RVS REV UP: RVshare, a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, raised over $100 million in funding led by KKR. Existing investor Tritium Partners also participated, the companies announced Wednesday. Travellers are opting to explore nearby rather than far away—and sales of RVs have risen as well. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association said total shipments of new vehicles in August rose 17.3% compared to the year before. “Younger generations of travelers are discovering and embracing domestic travel,” Ben Pederson, Principal with KKR’s Technology Growth team, said in a statement.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Tekion, a San Ramon, Calif.-based provider of SaaS retail operating platform, raised $150 million in Series C funding valuing it at $1 billion. Advent International led the round and was joined by investors including Index Ventures, Exor, Airbus Ventures and FM Capital.

- Dingdang Medicine Express (Beijing) Technology Co., a Chinese medicine platform also known as Dingdang Kuaiyao, raised 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in additional Series B funding. Investors included Softbank China, China Merchants Bank’s investment arm CMB International, and Sinopharm-CICC Capital. Read more.

- Newfront Insurance, a San Francisco-based insurance brokerage, raised $100 million at a $500 million valuation. Founders Fund and Meritech Capital led the round.

- Perch, a Boston-based commerce company that acquires and operates Amazon third-party businesses, raised $123.5 million in funding. Spark Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Tectonic Ventures and Boston Seed

- Retool, a San Francisco-based company for building internal apps faster, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Sequoia led the round and was joined by investors including Nat Friedman, Patrick and John Collison, Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, and Paul Graham.

- Tarana Wireless, a Milpitas, Calif.-based maker of a broadband system, raisd $30 million. Prime Movers Lab led the round and was joined by investors including Liberty Latin America Ventures and Liberty Global Ventures.

- Anyscale, a Berkeley, Calif.-based maker of a tool to scale apps, raised $40 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital, and Foundation Capital.

- Syte, a Tel Aviv-based company behind a product discovery platform, raised $30 million in Series C funding. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including LG Tech Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures, Kreos Capital, Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures, and KDS Media Fund.

- Whitebox, a Baltimore, Md.-based commerce marketplace and fulfillment  company for direct-to-consumer brands, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Noro-Moseley Partners led the round and was joined by investors including TDF Ventures, TCP Venture Capital’s Propel Baltimore Fund, David Williams (global chairman of Merkle), and Chris Brandenburg (co-founder of Millennial Media).

- Sami, a Brazil-based healthtech startup, raised $15.4 million in Series A funding. Valor Capital Group and monashees led the round and were joined by Redpoint eventures and Canary

- Robust Intelligence, a San Francisco-based provider of A.I. security, raised $14 million in Seed and Series A funding. Sequoia Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Engineering Capital and Harpoon Ventures. Read more.

- Possible, a Seattle-based fintech tackling the short-term credit market, raised $11 million in funding. Union Square Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Canvas Ventures, Unlock Venture Partners, Columbia Pacific Advisors, Union Bay Partners, Tom Williams, and FJ Labs.

- Mine, a Tel Aviv-based company focused on personal data privacy risks, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund, led the round and was joined by investors including e.ventures, MassMutual Ventures, Battery Ventures and Saban Ventures. 

- Vectary, a Slovakia-based 3D and Augmented Reality design platform, raised $7.3 million. EQT Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including BlueYard.

- Welcome Homes, a New York-based online home building and purchasing platform, raised $5.4 million in seed funding. Global Founders Capital led the round and was joined by investors including 8VC, Adapt Ventures, Elefund, V1 VC, Kokopelli Capital, One Way Ventures, Founders First Capital Partners, AAVCF3, Arkin Holdings, Josh Buckley, Foundamental, Soma Capital, Gaingels, Fission Ventures and Tuesday Capital. 

- Kettle, a San Francisco-based reinsurance startup focused on climate change, raised $4.7 million in seed funding. True Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Acrew Capital, Homebrew Ventures, Anthemis, and Inspired Capital.

- Slintel, a Mountain View, Calif-based sales and marketing intelligence platform, raised $4.2 million in funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including  Sequoia Capital India and Stellaris Venture Partners.

- Vowel, a New York-based meeting platform for remote and distributed teams, raised $4.3 million in seed funding from Amity Ventures, BoxGroup, Company Ventures, and Kevin Lin (co-Founder of Twitch).

- Polymarket, a New York-based blockchain betting platform, raised $4 million in funding. Polychain Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Naval Ravikant and Balaji Srinivasan. Read more.

- Abodu, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup building backyard homes, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Initialized Capital led the round. Read more.

- Conducto a New York-based company seeking to simplify data science pipelines, raised $3 million in seed funding. Jump Capital led the round.

- Synthetaic, a Delafield, Wis.-based maker of data for training A.I., raised $1 million in pre-seed funding and a $3.5 million in seed round funding. Lupa Systems led the round and was joined by investors including Betaworks Ventures and TitletownTech.

- Blustream, a Worcester, Mass.-based after-sale customer engagement company, raised $3 million in funding. York IE led the round.

- Prompt, a New york, Delhi, and Singapore-based writing feedback platform, raised $1.9 million in seed funding. EduLab Capital Partners led the round.

- Vitable Health, a Woodlyn, Pa.-based, maker of health plans, raised $1.6 million in funding. SoftBank Group's Opportunity fund led the round.

- Manscaped, a maker of men’s grooming products, is exploring a potential sale or fundraise that could value it at over $500 million, per Bloomberg citing sources. Mark Cuban backs the firm. Read more.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Trilantic North America made a minority investment in SemaConnect, an electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Ardian invested in H2 Pharma, a French specialist in the development and production of generic drugs. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Polytek, backed by Arsenal Capital Partners, acquired Incredible Solutions, a Crystal River, Fla.-based provider of epoxy coating and casting systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- The Kleinfelder Group, backed by Wind Point Partners, acquired Gas Transmission Systems, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based  gas utilities and pipeline consulting firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- TZP Group invested in SA Company, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based outdoor lifestyle apparel business. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

RLDatix, backed by Five Arrows and TA Associates, acquired Verge Health, a Charleston, S.C.-based credentialing software provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Omers Private Equity is weighing the sale of Kenan Advantage Group, a North Canton, Oh.-based tank truck transporter, for about $2.5 billion or more including debt, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Turnitin acquired ExamSoft, a software-based assessment platform, from Spectrum Equity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Pioneer Natural Resources Co plans to acquire Parsley Energy Inc, a smaller U.S. shale producer, in a deal valued at about $4.5 billion. Read more.

IPO

- Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company, is weighing an IPO in Hong Kong instead of New York that could value it at over $60 billion. Read more.

- Root, a Columbus, Oh.-based auto insurer, plans to raise $568 million in an offering of 24.2 million shares priced between $22 to $25. It also plans to raise $500 million via a concurrent private placement from Dragoneer Investment Group and Silver Lake

- Datto Holding, a maker of backup software, raised $594 million in its IPO.

- Universal Music Group, backed by Vivendi, plans to go public in 2022. Read more.

SPAC

- Sarissa Capital Acquisition, a blank check company formed by Sarissa Capital seeking healthcare bets, raised $175 million.

- DPCM Capital, a tech-focused SPAC led by former Uber executive Emil Michael, raised $300 million.

F+FS

- Amplify Partners raised $375 million across two funds. It raised $275 million for Amplify Partners IV, its fourth flagship early-stage fund, and $100 million for Amplify Select Fund, a growth-stage fund for Amplify portfolio companies.