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Founders Fund signs up for a Miami office

February 8, 2021, 3:52 PM UTC

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A naive part of me hoped for a slow start to Monday. This was not 👏 my 👏 day 👏.

Let’s kick off the week with a highly debated topic: the move by some venture capitalists to Florida and Texas.

Founders Fund, the venture capital firm founded in part by Peter Thiel, has rented out space in Miami for a new office.

The firm, which has invested in the likes of Airbnb, signed a one-year lease at a space with 2,073 square feet in the city. Joining the outspoken number of investors frustrated by San Francisco’s government, Founders Fund General Partner Keith Rabois recently announced his move to the city in November and acquired a home in the area.

On Twitter, Rabois has been highly vocal about his bullishness towards the city: “It has been easier to recruit people to join our new startup in Miami than to persuade people to join PayPal, LinkedIn, Square or Opendoor,” he penned in late January, retweeting an interview between himself and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez a few days later.

But the new office space is an undeniable sign of the fund’s commitment to the city. Rabois will be based out of Miami full-time, while “several other investment team members have been spending time in Miami and are considering relocating,” spokesperson Erin Gleason Lane wrote via email early Monday. “Booked my first trip March 14-21, who should I meet while I’m there?,” tweeted Founders Fund Principal Delian Asparouhov following the news.

This comes as another venture investor, SoftBank, has dedicated $100 million to Miami-based startups.

To be clear, Founders Fund is not entirely moving to Miami. The new office will “serve as an addition to the San Francisco office,” Gleason Lane wrote. “We signed this one-year lease because we wanted to open a space ASAP while we work on our permanent space.”

So the question remains: How severe will the exodus from San Francisco be, and how much of this is about pressuring San Francisco’s government to change its policies and lower its tax rates rather than actually needing to move? 

I’m still not convinced this is the death of San Francisco. But here’s one thing I’m willing to stake my name on: More investments in cities outside of San Francisco, Boston, and New York will be a darn good thing.


THE RAPID FIRE ROUND: Tesla bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin as it seeks to accept the product as a form of payment in the “near future.” Bitcoin is, at time of writing, worth above $43,000 apiece. Ex-TPG Growth Managing Partner Bill McGlashan pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud in the high-profile college admissions scandal, in which he was accused of paying $50,000 to fix his son’s wrong answers on the ACT. Kuaishou Technology, the China-focused rival to TikTok maker ByteDance, is now valued at about $160 billion following its Hong Kong debut—nearly matching what ByteDance is hoping to attain in private markets ($180 billion), despite the latter being a significantly larger player. Oscar Health, an insurtech co-founded by Joshua Kushner and backed by Alphabet, Thrive Capital, and Founders Fund, is seeking an IPO.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Chengxin Youxuan, the Chinese group-buying delivery unit of Didi Chuxing, is considering raising $4 billion, with $1 billion from outside investors. Read more.

- Nexthink, a Boston-based digital employee experience management software maker, raised $180 million in Series D funding, valuing it at $1.1 billion. Permira led the round and was joined by investors including Highland Europe and Index Ventures.

- Kong, a San Francisco-based app making platform, raised $100 million in Series D funding. Tiger Global Management led the round and was joined by investors including Index Ventures, CRV, GGV Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz.

- Cuemath, an India-based online math learning company, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Lightstone Aspada and Alpha Wave Incubation led the round and were joined by Sequoia Capital India, CapitalG, and Manta Ray.

- Imperfect Foods, the San Francisco-based company delivering reject groceries, raised $15 million in additional Series D funding. Hamilton Lane (Nasdaq: HLNE) and Blisce led the round.

- Lyte, a San Francisco-based maker of ticketing tech for live events, raised an additional $5 million as part of its Series B. Investors included Uncorrelated, AllRise, Brian Distelburger, and Ed Roman

- Tickr, a U.K.-based investing app in the ESG space, £2.5 million ($3.4 million) in funding. Ada Ventures led the round. Read more.

- Ledn, Toronto-based digital asset savings and credit platform, raised $2.7 million. White Star’s Digital Asset Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Coinbase Ventures, Global Founders Capital, CMT Digital, Kingsway, and Darrow Holdings.

- Zeta, a San Francisco-based fintech focused on couples and families, raised a $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. Deciens Capital and Precursor led the round.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital (an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management), will acquire Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), a  San Diego, Calif.-based defense and transportation business, for about $2.8 billion.

- BV Investment Partners invested in SupportNinja, an Austin-based maker of customer and technical support and back-office solutions.

- Cinven made a “significant” investment in Drake Software, a Franklin, N.C.-based provider of software for tax preparers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Superior Technical Ceramics, a portfolio company of Artemis, acquired IJ Research, a Santa Anna, Calif.-based maker of ceramic to metal seals. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- HubSpot acquired The Hustle, a San Francisco-based producer of newsletters and podcasts. The Hustle was backed by angel investors including Lee Lindon and Scott Belsky. Read more.

OTHERS

- Renesas Electronics said it’s in talks to acquire Dialog Semiconductor, a British semiconductor company, in a deal that would value the latter at about $6 billion. Read more.

- French Connection (LON: FCCN), the U.K.-based apparel brand now worth some $30 million, has received potential takeover offers. One from Spotlight Brands in partnership with Gordon Brothers International, and another separately from Go Global Retail in partnership with HMJ International Services. Read more.

- WordPress VIP acquired Parse.ly, a content analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPOS

- Oatly, a Swedish maker of vegan foods and drinks, is working on an IPO in the U.S. that could value it around $10 billion, per Bloomberg. Its investors include Oprah and Blackstone. Read more.

- Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the Chinese music streaming services, is preparing for a second listing in Hong Kong that could raise as much as $5 billion, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Huuuge, a Polish maker of casino-style games online, raised 1.67 billion zloty ($445 million) in Warsaw, making it the largest float in the country. Read more.

- Duckhorn Wine, a St. Helena, Calif.-based vintner, is preparing for an IPO that could come this year, per Bloomberg. TSG Consumer Partners backs Duckhorn. Read more.

SPACS

- Matterport, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based maker of software for virtual walk-throughs of properties, is in talks to go public via merger with Gores Holdings VI, a SPAC, per Bloomberg. A deal would value the company at about $2 billion. Read more.

- Elliot Management, the hedge fund known for bets in companies including Twitter, is in talks about raising a potential $1 billion SPAC, per the Wall Street Journal. Read more.

- CC Neuberger Principal III, a SPAC from Neuberger Berman, raised $402.5 million. Read more.

- USHG Acquisition, a SPAC formed by Union Square Hospitality Group, filed to raise up to $250 million. Read more.

- Warburg Pincus, the New York-based private equity firm, is planning to launch two blank-check companies, one seeking to raise $500 million, while the other will seek $250 million, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- SVF Investment Corp. 2 and SVF Investment Corp. 3, two SPACs formed by SoftBank, filed to raise $200 million and $350 million respectively. Read more.

F+FS

- L Catterton, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm, hired Yock Siong Tee to oversee South East Asia in Singapore and Anjana Sasidharan in Mumbai to oversee earlier-stage investments in India and South East Asia.

- Stride.VC, the London-based venture capital co-founded by Harry Stebbings and Fred Destin, revealed Stebbings is stepping down. Read more.

PEOPLE

- Panoramic Ventures, an Atlanta-based firm formed by Paul Judge and BIP Capital, plan to raise $300 million.

- Frontline Ventures, a Dublin-based venture firm, raised €70 million ($83.8 million) for its third seed fund. Read more.