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An airline IPO comes back to life

March 9, 2021, 3:40 PM UTC

While consumers are still largely shying away from air travel, a budget airline is looking to convince investors that a rebound in the industry is near as vaccine rollouts continue.

Frontier Airlines, a Denver-based budget airline owned by Indigo Partners, filed for an IPO once again Tuesday. It previously filed to go public in 2017 but dropped those efforts last summer amid the worst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Now though—following a cash-burn heavy year—the company says it believes that vaccine rollouts will spur pent-up demand for travel, and that the first wave of travelers will largely prefer domestic over international routes, a trend that would benefit the company whose largest bases are in Denver, Orlando, and Las Vegas.

“We believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated demand recovery as vaccine distribution continues,” the company’s IPO prospectus read. “More broadly, after being restricted from travel, we believe many customers will take advantage of the opportunity to travel more in the coming years. We also believe new working patterns and the increasing growth of work from home will lead to increasing numbers of employees choosing to live remotely from their office location. We believe this trend will lead to an increased number of shorter leisure trips by Americans.”

By the numbers, the company had a difficult 2020 much like the rest of the industry: Revenue fell 50% to $1.3 billion while it slipped from a profit of $251 million in the year prior to a loss of $225 million. The company burned through an average of $2 million a day that year, according to the prospectus.

Frontier is not alone. Others are also counting on a rebound in travel after a dismal 2020: Sun Country Airlines Holdings, another domestically-focused airline, is looking to raise as much as $209 million in an IPO, per a filing from Monday.

Another budget airline, Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, has signaled that it is preparing for a rebound in travel: The company has announced plans to begin training new pilots this month.

IPO ALERT: It’s a red-hot week for buzzy tech companies. Watch out for the public market debuts of gaming firm Roblox and South Korean e-commerce company Coupang coming later this week. Roblox has opted for a direct listing, a method that currently raises no additional capital, likely scheduled for Wednesday while Coupang is expected to make its debut on Thursday.

Here’s the other major reason to keep watch at a time when every single tech IPO seems set on going vertical during their first day trading: This all comes as tech stocks have been under pressure as vaccines fan hopes of an end to pandemic lockdowns—and investors speculate that it could lead to potentially slower growth for many e-commerce and communications-focused businesses that have soared in the past year. On Monday alone, the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite down 2.4% on Monday. 

That said, investors have seen tech IPOs as a rare way to get into high-growth startups they previously could not access. And as of this morning, the IPO engine was still roaring: Coupang lifted its price range, saying it is now seeking to raise as much as $4.1 billion in a sale of 120 million shares (17% sold by existing shareholders) priced between $32 to $34 apiece. It previously sought to raise as much as $3.6 billion with shares priced between $27 to $30. 

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Starling, a U.K.-based challenger bank, raised £272 million ($376 million) in Series D funding, valuing it at £1.4 billion ($1.9 billion). Fidelity Management & Research Company led the round and was joined by investors including Qatar Investment Authority (QIA); RPMI Railpen, and Millennium Management. Read more.

- WorkFusion, a New York-based provider of automation software, raised $220 million in Series F funding. Georgian led the round.

- Cedar, a New York-based patient engagement and financial technology platform, raised $200 million in Series D funding. Tiger Global Management led the round, valuing the business at $3.2 billion.

- Amunix Pharmaceuticals, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on solid tumor cancers, raised $117 million in Series B funding. Viking Global Investors led the round and was joined by investors including Bain Capital Life Sciences, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, Janus Henderson Investors, ArrowMark Partners, and Avidity Partners.

- M1 Finance, a Chicago-based automated investing, borrowing, and banking products app, raised $75 million in Series D funding. Coatue led the round.

- MainStreet, a San Jose, Calif.-based firm for startups to claim government tax credits, raised $60 million. SignalFire led the round and was joined by investors including Gradient Ventures, Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures, Tusk Ventures, and Des Traynor (Intercom founder).

- Pipe, a San Francisco-based trading platform for recurring revenues, raised $50 million. Raptor Group and  Siemens Next47 led the round and was joined by investors including Shopify, Slack, HubSpot, Okta, Chamath Palihapitiya, Marc Benioff, Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, Republic, Alexis Ohanian, and Joe Lonsdale.

- Vendr, a Boston-based SaaS buying platform, raised $60 million in Series A funding. Tiger Global Management led the round and was joined by investors including Craft Ventures, Y Combinator, Sound Ventures, Garage Capital, and F-Prime Capital.

- Privacera, a Fremont, Calif.-based cloud data governance and security company, raised $50 million. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Sapphire Ventures, Battery Ventures, Accel, Cervin, and Point 72.

- Standigm, a Seoul-based drug discovery A.I. company, raised $44.5 million in a pre-IPO funding round. SKS PE and Daishin Private Equity led the round and were joined by investors including InterVest, KDB Bank, and Asset One.

- Neeva, a Mountainview, Calif.-based maker of an ad free search engine, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital and Greylock led the round and was joined by investors including Inovia Capital.

- Ibex Medical Analytics, a Tel Aviv-based A.I.-powered cancer diagnostics firm, raised $38 million in Series B funding. Octopus Ventures and 83North led the round and were joined by aMoon, Planven Entrepreneur Ventures, and Dell Technologies Capital.

- Visus Therapeutic, a Seattle-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on a presbyopia-correcting eye drop, raised $36 million in Series A funding. Investors included Johnson & Johnson Innovation, RTW Investments, and Wille.

- Preply, a San Francisco-based edtech marketplace for tutor-based foreign language learning, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Owl Ventures and Full In Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Point Nine Capital, Hoxton Ventures, as well as EduCapital, All Iron, Diligent Capital and Evli Growth Partners. 

- Cosi Group, a Berlin-based startup offering an alternative to boutique hotels, raised €20 million. Soravia led the round and was joined by investors including Cherry Ventures, e.ventures, Kreos Capital, and Bremke.

- H2Pro, an Israel-based green hydrogen production company, raised $22 Million in Series A2 funding. Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe, and IN Venture led the round. Investors also included iAngels, TPY Capital, Contrarian Ventures, Bazan, Horizons Ventures, New Fortress Energy, and OurCrowd.

- Planted, a Zurich-based startup making a vegetarian chicken alternative, raised $18 million (CHF 17 million) in Series A funding. Vorwerk Ventures and Blue Horizon Ventures led the round. Read more.

- Songclip, a New York-based technology solution for integrating popular licensed music as a feature in social apps, raised $11 million. Gregg Smith of Evolution VC Partners led the round and was joined by investors including The Kraft Group, Michael Rubin, Raised in Space, Gaingels, and Forefront Venture Partners.

- Allganize, a San Francisco, Calif.-based provider of technology that allows enterprises to automate answering questions, raised $10 million in funding. Atinum Investment led the round and was joined by investors including Stonebridge Ventures and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

- Refraction AI, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based delivery robot startup, raised $4.2 million in seed funding.  Pillar VC led the round and was joined by investors including eLab Ventures, Osage Venture Partners, Trucks Venture Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Chad Laurans, and Invest Michigan. Read more.

- AeroPay, a Chicago-based digital payments platform powering bank transfer payments for businesses, raised about $5 million. Chicago Ventures led the round.

- Elucidate, a Berlin-based crime risk scoring platform,  raised €2.5 million in a pre-Series A funding. Frontline Ventures led the round.

- InterPrice Technologies, a New York-based capital markets fintech firm, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Bowery Capital led, and was joined by Operator Partners, Chaos Ventures and Dash Fund. 

- Omeda Studios, a London-based indie game developer, raised $2.2 million in seed funding. GFR Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Inventure, Progression Fund, 1Up Ventures, Aream & Co. and Ride Ventures.

- KetoNatural Pet Foods, a Salt Lake City-based pet food startup, raised $2 million in seed funding. Corazon Capital led the round.

- Mentorcam, a Los Angeles-based video messaging platform, raised $1.4 million in pre-seed funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by investors including Studio VC, Kosinski Ventures, and Realize Tech Fund.

- Marché Health, a New York-based digital health company, raised $1 million in seed funding from Pandion Optimization Alliance.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Apollo Global Management acquired the stake it does not already own in Athene Holding, a Des Moines, Ia.-based retirement services company, for about $11 billion in stock.

- A consortium led by Symphony Technology Group plans to acquire cybersecurity company McAfee’s enterprise business for about $4 billion.

- Vista Equity Partners increased its all-cash offer to acquire Pluralsight, a U.S. learning software company, valuing the business at about $3.8 billion. Read more.

- Temasek took a minority stake in LeapFrog Investments, a London-based investing firm focused on Asia and Africa. Temasek has also committed $500 million largely to LeapFrog’s future funds.

- Charlesbank Capital Partners invested in Ivanti, a automation platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- JMI Equity invested in Canto, a San Francisco-based digital asset management software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Levine Leichtman Capital Partners acquired Creditinfo Group, a Reykjavík, Iceland-based provider of credit information and risk management solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- RoadSafe Traffic Systems, backed by ORIX Capital Partners, acquired Innovative Marking Systems, a Bluffdale, Ut.-based supplier of roadway striping and removal, epoxy and waterborne paint pavement markings. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- PCX Aerosystems, backed by RFE Investment Partners, agreed to acquire Senior Aerospace Connecticut, an Enfield, Conn.-based provider of rotorhead and transmission component offerings. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Questa Capital invested in Claritas Rx, a San Francisco-based provider of data and analytics solutions covering specialty and rare disease patients. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Sunland Asphalt & Construction, backed by Huron Capital Partners, acquired ACE Asphalt, a Phoenix-based provider of parking lot maintenance and repair. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Vista Equity Partners invested in iN2L, a provider of digital engagement solutions for the senior living market. Hughes & Company and Chicago Pacific Founders will continue as minority investors in the company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Wind Point Partners acquired FoodScience, a Vermont-based formulator, manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplements for humans and pets. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- DuPont agreed to acquire Laird Performance Materials, a Shanghai-based electromagnetic shielding and thermal management company, from Advent International for $2.3 billion.

- ICONIQ Growth, Alkeon Capital, DTCP, and Harmony Partners acquired a stake in Axonius, a New York-based cybersecurity asset management company, from YL Ventures for about $270 million. 

- Snap-on acquired Dealer-FX, a Canadian customer experience and process automation software for automotive retailers, from HGGC. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- PayPal agreed to acquire Curv, a New York-based digital asset security platform. Investors including Team8 back the firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Nordic Capital agreed to acquire Sortera, a Swedish environmental service provider, from Summa Private Equity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-  West Street Capital Partners VIII, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Oikos Group, a Germany-based provider of prefabricated houses, from Equistone Partners Europe. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- II-VI  (Nasdaq: IIVI) offered a revised deal to acquire Coherent (Nasdaq: COHR), a laser company, for about $6.5 billion in cash and stock. Coherent previously agreed to a $5.7 billion deal with Lumentum.

- Panasonic (TYO: 6752) will acquire Blue Yonder, a U.S. supply-chain software firm, for 700 billion yen ($6.5 billion). Read more.

- Diageo acquired Far West Spirits, a Texas-based business behind Lone River Ranch Water. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Zapier acquired Makerpad, a U.K.-based no-code e-learning community. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- Deliveroo, a U.K.-based food delivery company, announced plans to go public in London. Read more.

- Olo, a New York-based provider of online ordering and delivery software for restaurants, says it plans to raise $306 million in an offering of 18 million shares price between $16 to $18 apiece. Investors include the Raine Group, RRE Ventures, and Tiger Global Management. Read more.

- Global-E Online, an Israel-based provider of a tech platform for cross-border e-commerce, filed to raise $100 million. Investors including Red Dot Capital Partners back the firm. Read more.

- Trustpilot, a Denmark-based online platform for consumer reviews, is seeking to raise $50 million in an IPO in London, valuing the business at as much as $1.4 billion. Read more.

SPAC

- TPG Pace Tech Opportunities II, TPG Pace Beneficial II, and TPG Pace SolutionsThree SPACs from TPG—filed to raise $450 million, $350 million and $250 million, respectively.

- FTAC Zeus Acquisition, a SPAC from the management team at The Bancorp seeking a fintech business, filed to raise up to $440 million. 

- Corsair Partnering, a SPAC from Corsair Capital seeking a target in the financial and business services sectors, filed to raise $350 million.

- Angel Pond Holdings, a SPAC focused on China, filed to raise $300 million. It is led by CEO Theodore Wang, founder of Puissance Capital Management. Read more.

- Baring Private Equity Asia is considering merging Citiustech Healthcare Technology, a Princeton, N.J.-based healthcare tech company,  with a SPAC in the U.S., per Bloomberg. A deal could value it around $1 billion. Read more.

- Plus, a self-driving truck startup, is in talks to go public via merger with a SPAC, per Bloomberg. Sequoia Capital backs the firm. Read more.

F+FS

- VMG Partners, a San Francisco, Calif.-based private equity firm, raised $850 million for VMG Partners V.

- Luminate Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, raised about $890 million for its third fund. Read more.

PEOPLE

- Atomic.vc, a San Francisco-based incubator and accelerator venture firm, promoted Jordan Kong to principal. 

- Defy Partners, a Woodside, Calif.-based early stage venture capital firm, hired Kamil Saeid as a partner and creation lead. It also promoted Madison McIIwain to partner in seed stage investing, and Purvi Shah to partner.- Obvious Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture firm, promoted Meera Clark to principal.