Your dealmaking predictions for 2021

December 18, 2020, 3:37 PM UTC

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I asked you dear readers for your predictions for 2021, and OMG did y’all have predictions. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into—I was wrong. Now my inbox may need a digital retreat.

The tl;dr: Many of you believe the long-term impact of the pandemic won’t die off but that its effects have been overstated. While consumers are likely to have formed permanent habits that boost e-commerce, grocery delivery, and healthcare tech, you still expect our pre-pandemic behavior to return—to an extent. You also predict a greater focus on addressing the wealth gap.

What’s also telling is what you don’t say: For 2020, readers predicted a recession. That word hasn’t made an appearance this time around. Instead, many of you are expecting valuations for some of the software and productivity companies to come back down to a “healthy” point.

Here’s an excerpt of your predictions. You can read many more here.

It’s not the end of Silicon Valley: “Silicon Valley will continue to be at the top of the totem pole in terms of innovation, but we will also see a distribution of capital, talent and entrepreneurship in other cities as well, which is clearly a great thing. In the same way that Utah is a hub for SaaS companies, Seattle for travel and real estate, or New York for fintech, we will see micro communities emerge across the country.” –  Pete Flint, General Partner, NFX

Valuations come down: “As we return from the pandemic and there is rotation of dollars from tech to travel, hospitality and energy sectors hurt by the pandemic, we will see 2021 multiples return to normal yet healthy levels (20-25x forward revenues).” – Dharmesh Thakker, General Partner, Battery Ventures

Offices come back: “The death of office culture and the allure of remote working has been massively overstated. Sure, we want to hang onto some flexibility; but employees at companies of all sizes that have been remote this year are hungering for the connection of their peers and longing to feel the togetherness that’s borne from a shared mission.” – Nicole Johnson, partner, Forerunner Ventures

Some very specific deals could be made or fall through: “DoorDash falls below $100 by July.” – Jerry Chen

“Microsoft buys Akami.” – Bill Mahoney

“Google Cloud, Microsoft or Vmware will acquire Hashi in 2021. Another large acquisition would be Google Cloud acquires Confluent. There’s going to be a wave of acquisitions in the security space. Many tuck-in acquisitions by Crowdstrike, Palo Alto, Zscaler.” – Baris Aksoy

Read more.

And it will be another robust year for IPOs: So many of you predicted this, and that forecast is looking mighty promising. Cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase says it has filed confidentially for an IPO. As has buzzy software and automation startup UiPath. And the now profitable secondhand clothing marketplace Poshmark has also revealed its IPO prospectus.

HOUSEKEEPING: Due to the Gmail outage three days earlier, some Gmail-based readers may not have received Term Sheet in recent days. You can find those versions of the newsletter here

That said, we will be off until January 4. See you next year!

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda


- Didi Freight, Didi Chuxing’s on-demand trucking unit, is looking to raise $300 million to $400 million, per Bloomberg citing sources. Read more.

Creditas, a Brazilian fintech, raised $255 million, valuing it at $1.8 billion in Series E funding. Investors include LGT Lightstone, Tarsadia Capital,, and Advent International affiliate Sunley House Capital. Current investors SoftBank Vision Fund 1, SoftBank Latin America Fund, VEF, Kaszek Vemtires, and Amadeus Capital Partners also participated.

- Lyra Health,  a Burlingame, Calif.-based mental health company, filed to raise a $175 million in Series E valuing it around $2.3 billion. Read more.

- Spryker, a Berlin-based maker of an e-commerce system for companies, raised $130 million in Series C funding. TCV led the round and was joined by investors including One Peak and Project A Ventures.

- Discord, a San Francisco-based social media company with a gaming heavy community, raised $100 million. Greenoaks Capital led the round valuing the business at about $7 billion, per a source.

- GoCardless, a U.K.-based recurring payments company, raised $95 million in Series F funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round.

- Openly, a Boston-based homeowners insurance company, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Advance Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Gradient Ventures, Obvious Ventures, PJC, and Greenlight Re. 

- Octave Bioscience, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based maker of a care management platform for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases, raised $32 million in Series B funding. Northpond Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Deerfield Management and Casdin Capital. 

- CoachHub, a London-based online coaching marketplace, raised $30 million. Draper Esprit led the round and was joined by investors including , HV Capital, Partech, Speedinvest, Signals Venture Capital, and RTP Global

- Yoshi, a San Francisco-based on-demand fueling and car wash business, raised $23 million as a part of its Series B fundraise. GM Ventures led the round

- Rec Room, a Seattle-based maker of a social gaming platform, raised $20 million in Series C funding. Madrona Venture Group led the round and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, Index, and DAG. Read more.

- Passport, a San Francisco-based shipping carrier, raised $12 million in Series A funding. M13 led the round and was joined by investors including Resolute Ventures, Precursor, Kleiner Perkins, RiverPark, and Republic.

- PostHog, a San Francisco-based open source product analytics platform, raised $9 million in a Series A funding. GV led the round and was joined by investors including  YC's Continuity Fund, and Jason Warner (CTO of GitHub). 

- GeneMe, a Polish-based biotech with a rapid COVID test, raised €5.2 million ($6.4 million). Robin Tombs (Co-Founder of Yoti) led the round.

- Symbl, a Seattle-based maker of software for  real-time transcriptions, raised $4.7 million. Crosscut Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Alexa Fund, Jump Capital, Third Kind VC, Technexus Ventures, and Flying Fish.

- Whatnot, a Marina Del Rey, Fla.-based marketplace, raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors include Scribble Ventures, Wonder Ventures, Operator Partners, and Y Combinator.

- Avenue 8, a San Francisco-based residential real estate brokerage, raised $4 million in seed funding. Craft Ventures, Zigg Capital, and Good Friends invested.

- Tensil, a Burlingame, Calif.-based maker of video editing software, raised $3.9 million in seed funding. Freestyle VC led the round and was joined by investors including Precursor Ventures, Transmedia Capital, UpHonest VC, Rembrandt VC, and Kavyon Beykpour (CEO and Co-Founder of Persicope).

- Nubix, a San Francisco, Calif.-based company with a platform for deploying internet of thing applications, raised $2.7 million in seed funding.Tuscan Management led the round and was joined by investors including Chevron Technology Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures, Engage Ventures, and Bee Partners

- Umba, a Nairobi-based digital bank, raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors include Lachy Groom (ex Head of Issuing at Stripe), Ludlow Ventures, Frontline Ventures, and Act Venture Capital. 

- Perigee, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm, raised $1.5 million. Outsiders Fund's Austin McChord and Teddy Seem led the round and were joined by investors including Westport, Contour Venture Partners, BBG Ventures, Innospark Ventures, Ray Rothrock, and Corey Thomas


- Toscafund and Penta will take over TalkTalk, (LON: TALK) a British broadband provider, for about $1.5 billion.

- Silver Lake, Alphabet, and Temasek invested $700 million in Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences division.

- Blackstone made a “significant minority investment: in ISN, a Dallas-based contractor and supplier management software provider, valuing it at over $2 billion.

- AEGIS Hedging, backed by Trilantic North America, acquired Risked Revenue Energy Associates R^2, a commodity trading advisors focused on energy. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Arcline Investment Management acquired a controlling stake in Engineering by Design, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of medical device and manufacturing technologies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board partnered with AustralianSuper and UniSuper to acquire a 50% stake in Transurban Chesapeake, a toll-road operator in Australia for about $2 billion.

- Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild & Co., invested in  Texthelp, an Irish education and corporate technology company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Kyruus, backed by Francisco Partners, agreed to acquire HealthSparq, a Boston-based healthcare technology company for health plans. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Marlin Equity Partners agreed a majority stake in StarCompliance, a Rockville, Maryland-based provider of employee compliance and regulatory technology solutions to the financial services industry. Luminate Capital Partners will retain a minority stake. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- One Rock Capital Partners agreed to acquire BASF’s vegetable-oil-based raw material sterols and natural vitamin E, anionic surfactants, and esters businesses in Kankakee, Ill. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Novartis agreed to acquire Cadent, a Cambridge, Mass.-based neurosciences company, for up to $770 million. Cadent has raised from investors including Qiming Venture Partners and Atlas Ventures.

- Gryphon Investors acquired Physical Rehabilitation Network, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based outpatient physical therapy provider, from Silver Oak Services Partners. Silver Oak Services Partners will reinvest in the company.


- Alphabet’s Google has (finally) won antitrust approval in the E.U. to acquire FitBit, a maker of a smartwatch, for $2.1 billion, after agreeing to limit its usage of customers’ health data. Read more.

- Ferrero agreed to acquire Eat Natural, a British maker of cereal bars, muesli and granola. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Wahed agreed to acquire Niyah, a British company with a digital banking app designed for the Muslim community.


- 908 Devices, a Boston-based provider of mass spectrometry devices, raised $130 million after pricing at the high end of its range. Arch Venture Partners backs the firm. Read more.


- ScION Tech Growth I, a U.K.-based SPAC formed by ION Investment Group seeking a tech target, raised $500 million.

- Golden Falcon Acquisition, a SPAC seeking a tech, media, or fintech target in Europe, North America, or the Middle East, raised $300 million.


- CSC Upshot Ventures promoted Victor Yang to principal.

- Anthemis named Matthew Jones as managing director.

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