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Uber pays $1.1 billion for Drizly

February 2, 2021, 3:45 PM UTC

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As its core ride-hailing business remains depressed by the pandemic, Uber is making yet another big bet that food delivery will stay as a big part of its business.

On Tuesday, the company announced plans to acquire Drizly, a Boston-based maker of an alcohol delivery app, for about $1.1 billion in cash and stock.

Uber plans to integrate Drizly into its system, allowing Drizly to reach Uber’s customers while Uber, well, lists more alcohol. It’s worth noting that alcohol sales have boomed in the pandemic.

Having raised some $85 million or so in its lifetime, per Pitchbook, Drizly is backed by investors including Avenir Growth Capital, Tiger Global Management, Polaris Partners, and Continental Partners.

There are also few other ways to look at this deal, beyond Uber’s own decision to double down on its lifeline in the pandemic, food delivery.

SoftBank has long been pursuing a last-mile delivery web with its investments—look no further than its bets in DoorDash in the U.S., Rappi in Latin America, and Didi in Asia, to name a few. Backed by the Japanese conglomerate, Uber’s acquisition is a deepening of that trend. The Uber news also won’t be the first time a SoftBank portfolio company has jumped into alcohol delivery: Daily-goods delivery company, GoPuff, acquired liquor store chain Bevmo! for about $350 million in December. The CEO of Philadelphia-based GoPuff framed the acquisition as a way for the company to enter California, Bevmo!’s home base.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, meanwhile, is known for his dealmaking to build out travel company Expedia, a strategy that seems to have carried over into his time at the ride-hailing company: Uber earlier this year acquired food delivery rival Postmates for about $2.7 billion. In 2019, it acquired a majority stake in grocery delivery startup Cornershop. 

ROBINHOOD RAISE: While Robinhood itself is dealing with a cocktail of conspiracy theories, consumer lawsuits, and congressional scrutiny in the GameStop saga,its investors are betting big that it will be a blip in its long-term story. The company raised another $2.4 billion, adding to the $1 billion previously reported upon. Ribbit Capital led the round and was joined by investors including ICONIQ Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Index Ventures, and NEA. 

Robinhood’s collateral requirements from clearinghouse rose dramatically amid the recent market volatility, leading the startup to restrict the trading of some shares, including in those of GameStop. But the reality is, despite the reputational hit the app is suffering, the impact of Reddit traders driving up shares of Gamestop seems to have been a boon to stock trading, and therefore, Robinhood itself. Among stock-trading apps, Robinhood’s app still led in downloads last week. Read more.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- UiPath, a New York-based process automation startup that has filed to go public, raised $750 million in Series F funding valuing it at $35 billion. Alkeon Capital and Coatue led the round and was joined by investors including Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer, IVP, Sequoia, Tiger Global, and T. Rowe Price Associates.

- Databricks, a San Francisco-based data analytics and A.I. company, raised $1 billion in Series G funding. Franklin Templeton led the round, valuing it at $28 billion. Other investors include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research, Whale Rock, Amazon Web Services, CapitalG, and Salesforce Ventures.

- Omnispace, a Tyson, Va.-based developer of a 5G network, raised $60 million. Fortress Investment Group led the round and was joined by investors including Columbia Capital, Greenspring Associates, TDF Ventures, and Telcom Ventures

- Capital Rx, a New York-based pharmacy benefit manager, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Transformational Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Edison Partners.

- Rescale, a San Francisco-based enterprise software maker, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Microsoft, Nvidia and Samsung led the round.

- Valon, a New York-based residential mortgage servicer, raised $50 million in Series A. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Jefferies Financial Group, New Residential Investment Corporation, Fortress Investment Group, and Adam Neumann’s 166 2nd.

- Enthera Pharmaceuticals, an Italy-based biotech, raised €35 million ($42 million). The Roche Venture Fund led the round.

- Wallbox, a Spain-based maker of charging solutions for electric vehicles, raised €33 million ($40 million) in funding. Cathay Innovation and Wind Ventures led the round and were joined by Iberdrola and Seaya Ventures

- Axoni, a New York-based blockchain startup, raised an additional $31 million. Investors included Deutsche Bank, Intel Capital, and UBS.

- FOLX Health, a Boston-based digital healthcare service provider designed for the medical LGBTQIA+ community, raised $25 million. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Define Ventures and Polaris. 

- Quantifind, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of solutions for financial crimes investigations, raised $22 million. Investors included S&P Global, In-Q-Tel, and Snowflake Ventures.

- Narmi, a New York city-based digital banking tech maker, raised $20.4 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round.

- Oyster, a London-based HR platform for globally distributed companies, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Emergence Capital led the round. 

- Honeycomb, a San Francisco-based provider of a way to debug production systems, raised $20 million in Series B funding. e.ventures Growth led the round and was joined by investors including Industry Ventures.

- Vortexa, a London-based energy intelligence provider, raised $19 million in Series B funding. monashees led the round.

- Limitless, a London-based customer experience platform, raised $10 million in Series B funding. Redline Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Genesys, AlbionVC, and Unilever Ventures.

- Superb AI, a San Mateo, Calif.-based data training platform using A.I., raised $9.3 million in Series A funding. Antinum Investment led the round and was joined by investors including Premier Partners, Stonebridge Ventures, Murex Partners, KT Investments, and Duke University’s Angel Network.

- Anzu, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based maker of an advertising platform focused on gaming, raised $9 million. BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including WPP, Sony Innovation Fund, Alumni Ventures Group, and Gaingels.

- ELSA, a San Francisco-based maker of an app for improving English speaking skills and pronunciation, raised $15 million in Series B funding. VI (Vietnam Investments) Group and SIG led the round and were joined by investors including Gradient Ventures, SOSV, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and Globant Ventures.

- vFunction, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of a platform for changing Java applications into microservices, raised $12.2 million in seed funding. Shasta Ventures and Zeev Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Engineering Capital and Khosla Ventures. 

- AffyXell Therapeutics, a joint venture between Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Avacta Group focused on stem cell therapies, raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. Investors included Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Shinhan Venture Investment, Smilegate Investment, Shinhan Investment Corporation, Kolon Investment, Stonebridge Ventures, and Gyeongnam Venture Investment.

- TrustLayer, a San Francisco-based maker of an insurance verification platform, raised $6.6 million in seed funding. Abstract Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Propel Venture Partners, NFP Ventures, BoxGroup, and Precursor Ventures

- Mai, a New York-based video fashion shopping solution, raised $5 million in additional Series A funding. Arbor Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Partech Ventures, Tekton Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Bascom Ventures.

- Versus Game, a San Francisco-based consumer prediction and social wagering marketplace, raised $4 million in seed funding. Raised In Space and Plus Eight Equity Partners led the round.

- Routefusion, an Austin, Texas-based cross-border payments fintech for other businesses, raised $3.6 million in seed funding. Silverton Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Initialized Capital, NextWorld Capital, and William Hockey (co-founder of Plaid).

- NWO.ai, a New York-based predictive A.I. platform for identifying microtrends, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Investors included Hyperplane, Wavemaker, and Colle Capital, who were joined by Adit Ventures and SuperAngel.

- Poppy, a Washington D.C.-based wedding and event flower startup, raised $2.2 million in seed funding. IDEA Fund Partners led the round and was joined by investors including IrishAngels and Techstars.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Marston’s, the U.K.-based pub chain, rejected a 666 million pound ($910 million) bid from Platinum Equity Advisors. Read more.

- A consortium including BroadPeak Global, Asia Green Fund, and The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company agreed to acquire the Clean Technologies business of DuPont de Nemours (NYSE:DD) for $510 million in cash. 

- CVC Capital Partners invested an estimated $300 million in Volleyball World, a partnership with the International Volleyball Federation focused on the sport. Read more.

- Atos (PA: ATO) walked away from a deal to acquire DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC), a Tysons, Va.-based IT services company. Read more.

- Millbrook Healthcare, backed by Cairngorm Capital, acquired Ross Care, a U.K.-based provider of wheelchair services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Fecon, a portfolio company of LFM Capital, acquired Vermeer Forestry Mulching Products, a Pella, Ia.-based forestry mulcher product line. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Diversified Fall Protection, a portfolio company of North Branch Capital, acquired Fall Protection Systems, a Hazelwood, Mo.-basedprovider of engineered fall protection systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Service Express, backed by Harvest Partners, acquired Blue Chip, a U.K.-based provider of IT services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Blackstone agreed to acquire Interior Logic Group Holdings, an Irvine, Calif.-based interior finishing company, for about $1.6 billion. Littlejohn & Co. and Platinum Equity are among the sellers.

- GTCR acquired Surgical Specialties Corporation, a Westwood, Mass.-based surgical goods maker, for about $800 million including debt, per Reuters. ZQ Capital was the seller. Read more.

- JD Sports agreed to acquire DTLR Villa, a Baltimore-based sportswear company, from investors including BRS. The deal is valued at $495 million.

- Sangoma Technologies acquired StarBlue, an Atlanta, Ga.-based telephone voice and data communication services provider for about $437 million in cash and stock. StarBlue is backed by NewSpring Capital.

- Sony Music Entertainment Inc. agreed to acquire Kobalt Music Group’s  recorded-music operations, including AWAL, and Kobalt Neighboring Rights for about $430 million.

- Manzanita Capital is weighing a sale of Eve Lom, a London-based skincare brand, per Bloomberg. A deal could value it at around $200 million. Read more.

- Alstom (PA: ALO) acquired Bombardier’s rail transportation business from Bombardier and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

- Charlesbank Capital Partners acquired MB2 Dental, a Dallas-based dental partnership organization, from Sentinel Capital Partner. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- Horizon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HZNP) agreed to acquire Viela Bio (NASDAQ: VIE), a Gaithersburg, Md.-based maker of a drug to treat a rare neuroinflammatory disease, for about $3.1 billion billion. 

- Eaton (NYSE: ETN) agreed to buy Cobham Mission Systems, a Davenport, Ia.-based mid-air refueling equipment maker, for $2.8 billion.

- ASOS acquired the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from Arcadia Group, the U.K.-based fashion retailer, for 265 million pounds ($364 million). Read more.

BANKRUPTCIES

- Knotel, an office sharing company, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware and will be acquired by Newmark Group. It has been valued at over $1 billion by investors including Wafra

 

IPOS

- Viant Technology, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of advertising software, plans to raise $150 million in an offering of 7.5 million shares priced between $19 to $21. Read more.

- Lucira Health, an Emeryville, Calif.-based maker of tests for infectious diseases, plans to raise $125 million in an offering of 7.8 million shares priced between $15 to $17. EPIQ Capital and Eclipse Ventures back the firm. Read more.

- Bolt Biotherapeutics, a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of therapies for solid tumors, plans to raise $150 million in an offering of 8.8 million shares priced between $16 to $18. Backers include Novo Holdings, Vivo Capital, and Sofinnova Venture Partners. Read more.

- Pharvaris, a Netherlands-based biotech focused on rare diseases, filed to raise $125 million in an offering of 7 million shares priced between $17 to $19. Foresite Capital and Bain Capital back the firm. Read more.

SPACS

- Fertitta Entertainment,  a Houston-based entertainment company, plans to go public via merger with FAST Acquisition, a SPAC. The deal values the entity at around $6.6 billion.

- Otonomo, an Israeli automotive data company, plans to go public via merger with Software Acquisition Group Inc II, a blank-check company. A deal values the company at $1.4 billion.

- PLAYSTUDIOS, a Burlingame, Calif.-based maker of casual games for mobile and social platforms, plans to go public via merger with Acies Acquisition, a SPAC, valuing it at $1.1 billion.

- Advanced Merger Partners, a SPAC by Houlihan Lokey and Saddle Point Management, filed to raise $250 million. Read more.

- Twelve Seas Investment II, a SPAC seeking a target outside the U.S. led in part by Neil Richardson (chairman of North Sea Capital), filed to raise $250 million. Read more.

- New Vista Acquisition, a SPAC backed by former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, filed to raise $200 million. It plans to focus on the aviation, defense, and logistics industries. Read more.

F+FS

- Activant Capital, a Greenwich, Conn.-based growth equity firm, is seeking to raise $400 million for its fourth fund, per the WSJ. Read more.

- Blue Sea Capital, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based private equity firm, closed its second fund at $430 million.

- New Harbor Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm, is seeking to raise $350 million for its third fund. Read more.

- Refactor Capital, a Burlingame, Calif.-based venture firm, is seeking to raise $50 million for its third fund. Read more.

 

PEOPLE

- Energize Ventures, a Chicago-based venture firm, hired Kevin Stevens as a principal from Intelis Capital.

- Tekfen Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm, named Eyal Fisher as a director and promoted Yaniv Lusana to principal.

- NFX, a San Francisco-based seed-stage venture firm named Omri Amirav Drory as a venture partner and head of NFX Bio.