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The startup behind a COVID-19 vaccine gears up for an IPO

March 17, 2021, 3:16 PM UTC

The pandemic has turned lesser-known biopharmaceutical startups into household names, including vaccine developers Moderna and BioNTech.

Now the company behind the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Vaccitech, has raised $125 million in Series B funding in addition to $43 million in convertible notes. M&G Investment Management led the funding of the University of Oxford spinoff, with backing from investors such as Tencent, Gilead Sciences, Monaco Constitutional Reserve Fund, and Future Planet Capital.

The additional cash will be used to finance three infectious disease and immuno-oncology programs that seek to treat chronic hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus, and prostate cancer. The same technology used to develop treatments for those diseases was applied in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccitech is gearing up for an IPO potentially in New York this year that could value it around $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. But it’s not been a straightforward path, with tensions flaring between Oxford and Vaccitech over the deal with AstraZeneca to distribute and produce the doses. Meanwhile, public confidence in the same shot has suffered amid mixed messaging over its efficacy by European leaders. 

Something else is also riding on the success of an IPO, at least for Oxford. The storied university’s name pops up in many a venture capital deal. But its reputation as a tech and biotech investor still lags behind that of its U.S. peers in higher education. A successful Vaccitech IPO could be the bellwether Oxford needs to prove its own startup creation and funding process.

FROM STRIPE TO RAMP: Coin Kennedy, previously Stripe’s global head of partnerships, has left the company in favor of a younger fintech. Kennedy is joining corporate card Ramp as its chief business officer. Keep in mind that Stripe has just hit a $95 billion valuation.My colleague Robert Hackett has the full story here.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Squarespace, a New York-based website building and e-commerce platform, raised $300 million valuing it at $10 billion. Investors included Dragoneer, Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, T. Rowe Price Associates, Spruce House, Accel, and General Atlantic. 

- PatSnap, a London-based IP and R&D insights company, raised $300 million in Series E funding. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Tencent Investment led the round and was joined by investors including CPE Industrial Fund, Sequoia China, Shun Wei Capital, and Vertex Ventures.

- Dataminr, a New York-based artificial-intelligence platform, is in talks to raise funding at a valuation of over $3.6 billion, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Weee!, a Fremont, Calif.-based online grocer specializing in Hispanic and Asian foods, raised over $300 million, valuing it at $2.8 billion, per Bloomberg. DST Global led the round and was joined by investors including  Blackstone Growth, Arena Holdings, and Tiger Global. Read more.

- Coalition, a San Francisco-based cyber insurance and security company, raised $175 million valuing the business at nearly $1.8 billion. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including General Atlantic. 

- Bitpanda, an Austria-based digital brokerage for assets including digital assets and stocks, raised $170 million in Series B funding, valuing it at $1.2 billion. Valar Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including partners of DST Global. Read more.

- Incredibuild, a Tel Aviv-based software development platform, raised $140 million. Insight Partners was the investor.

- Clarify Health, a San Francisco-based enterprise analytics company for healthcare organizations, raised $115 million in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Spark Capital, Concord Health Partners, HWVP, KKR, Rivas Capital, and Sigmas Group. 

- Inflammatix, a Burlingame, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics company, raised $102 million in Series D funding. D1 Capital Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Northpond Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Think.Health, and OSF Healthcare Ventures.

- Socure, a New York-based digital identity trust company, raised $100 million in Series D funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including Commerce Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Flint Capital, Citi Ventures, WellsFargo Strategic Capital, Synchrony, Sorenson, and Two Sigma Ventures.

- StrideBio, a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based developer of gene therapies, raised $81.5 million in Series B funding. Northpond Ventures and Novo Holdings led the round and were joined by investors including Pontifax, Octagon Capital, Sarepta Therapeutics, CaaS Capital, and UF Innovate Ventures.

- Overwolf, a Tel Aviv-based platform for creators to build, distribute, and monetize in-game apps, raised $52.5 million in Series C funding. Griffin Gaming Partners and Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Ubisoft, Warner Music Group, Meg Whitman, and Kevin Chou (Gen.G Co-Founder).

- SafeGraph, a Denver-based geospatial data company, raised $45 million in Series B funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round.

- Torch.AI, a Kansas City-based machine learning firm focused on data processing, raised $30 million in Series A funding. WestCap Group led the round.

- Glooko, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of remote patient monitoring, raised $30 million in Series D funding. Health Catalyst Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Canaan Partners, Georgian, Novo Nordisk, Insulet, and Mayo Clinic

- OctoML, a Seattle-based machine learning deployment company, raised $28 million in Series B funding. Addition Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Madrona Venture Group and Amplify Partners. 

- Docker, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based cloud native container company, raised $23 million in Series B funding. Tribe Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Benchmark and Insight Partners. Read more.

- Vulcan Cyber, a Tel Aviv-based application and cloud security company, raised $21 million in Series B funding. Dawn Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Wipro Ventures, YL Ventures, and Ten Eleven Ventures.

- Mediar Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company seeking treatments for fibrosis, raised $20 million. Investors include Pfizer Ventures and Ono Venture Investment.

- Fridge No More, a New York-based instant grocery delivery service, raised $15.4 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Altair Capital.

- Noogata, a Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence data analytics company, raised $12 million in seed funding. Team8 led the round and was joined by investors including Skylake Capital

- Unagi Scooters, an Oakland, Calif-based-based electric scooter manufacturer, raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. The Ecosystem Integrity Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Menlo Ventures, Broadway Angels, and Gaingels

- Harmonize Health, a San Francisco-based remote monitoring and care platform, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Launchpad Digital Health led the round and was joined by investors including Stanford University, Gaingels, Trinity Ventures, and Liquid 2 Ventures

- SchooLinks, an Austin-based startup with college planning resources, raised an $8.3 million in Series A funding. LiveOak Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including SJF Ventures and Juvo Ventures

- Cymbio, a Tel Aviv-based platform for connecting brands to retailers, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Vertex Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Yuval Tal (founder of Payoneer), Udian Investments, and Ron Zuckerman. 

- Fy!, a London-based home living and lifestyle retail platform, raised £5 million ($7 million). Hoxton Ventures led the round.

- 3DLOOK, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of online shopping technology for fit and size recommendations, raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. Almaz Capital led the round.

- Capdesk, a London-based provider of an equity management platform, raised £5 million ($7 million) in Series A extension funding. Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and MiddleGame Ventures led the round.

- Cohere, an Irvine, Calif.-based productivity company, raised $3.1 million in seed funding. Initialized Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Y Combinator, Soma Capital, BoxGroup, Shrug Capital, and Chapter One.

- ZenSports, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based mobile sports betting app, raised $2.4 million in Series A funding. Investors included Gaingels, MicroVentures, Calm Ventures, Twenty Five Ventures, and Allied Ventures Partners.

- Jiffy, a London-based grocery delivery company, raised £2.6 million ($3.6 million) in seed funding. LVL1 Group led the round and was joined by investors including AddVenture, TA Ventures, and Vladimir Kholiaznikov. Read more.

- Meallogix, a San Diego-based maker of software for meal prep company owners, raised $1.7 million in Pre-Series A funding. Tech Coast Angels led the round and was joined by investors including Spark Growth Ventures.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- TA Associates invested $100 million in Appfire, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of productivity apps.

- Accel-KKR invested in Kimble Applications, a Boston-based provider of cloud-based professional services automation solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Clearlake Capital Group invested in RSA Security, a Bedford, Mass.-based provider of cybersecurity, and governance risk and compliance management software solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- DartPoints, backed by Astra Capital Management, agreed to acquire Immedion, a Greenville, S.C.-based provider of colocation, cloud and managed services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Endicott Growth Equity Partners invested in GovSpend, a  Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based provider of government spend analysis solutions to government vendors and agencies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-  Imaweb, backed by PSG, acquired Stampyt, a French provider of remarketing software and other digital solutions for the second-hand vehicle market. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- ICV Partners made a majority investment in Cherry Tree Dental, a Wisconsin-based dentistry practice. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Emburse, backed by K1,  acquired Data Visualization Intelligence, a U.S.-based corporate-spending analytics company, and Roadmap, a Dutch mobile travel startup. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Arsenal Capital Partners acquired Applied Adhesives, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based manufacturer of adhesive products and thermal product solutions, from Goldner Hawn. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- THI Investments agreed to acquire Oxford International Education Group, a London-based international education provider. Bowmark Capital exited.

- Snap-on Incorporated agreed to acquire Dealer-FX, a provider of customer experience and process automation software for automotive retailers, from HGGC. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Apax agreed to acquire Lutech SpA, a Milan-based IT system integration and digital services business, from One Equity Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Peloton Capital Management acquired Glass Lewis, a provider of independent global governance solutions, from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Alberta Investment Management Corporation. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Lookout, backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, acquired CipherCloud, a San Jose, Calif.-based cloud-native security company, also backed by investors including a16z. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- A majority of G4S shareholders have accepted a £3.8 billion ($5.28 billion) takeover offer from U.S. rival Allied Universal. U.K.-based G4S is a security services company. 

- LeBron James is now a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox after joining Fenway Sports Group as a partner, per the Boston Globe. Read more.

- GrubMarket acquired RJ Produce, a produce wholesaler in Texas. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- Diversey Holdings, a Fort Mill, S.C.-based provider of cleaning and hygiene products, now says it is planning to raise as much as $970 million in an IPO of 46.2 million shares priced between $18 and $21 apiece. Bain Capital backs the firm. Read more.

- Trustpilot Group, a Denmark-based consumer review site, is set to raise as much as 434 million ($600 million), in its London listing. Read more.

- Cricut, a South Jordan, Ut.-based maker of design apps and crafting machines, now plans to raise $322 million in an offering of 15.3 million shares (13% insider sold) priced between $20 to $22. Read more.

- Vizio, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of low-cost electronics, says it now plans to raise $333 million in an offering of 15.1 million shares (50% insider sold) priced between $21 to $23. Foxconn backs the firm. Read more.

- SEMrush Holdings, a Boston-based maker of software for digital marketing, says it plans to raise $252 million in an offering of 16.8 million shares (11% insider sold) priced between $14 to $16. Greycroft backs the firm. Read more.

- Chime, a San Francisco-based fintech, has held early talks about an IPO in the country that could value it at over $30 billion, per Reuters. Read more.

SPAC

- EIP Acquisition I, a SPAC formed by Energy Impact Partners focused on the energy space, filed to raise $300 million.

- Reverence Acquisition, a SPAC by Reverence Capital Partners targeting fintech and financial services, filed to raise $300 million.

- Waldencast Acquisition, a SPAC formed by Waldencast Ventures and a former CFO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, raised $300 million.

F+FS

- Triton Partners, a London-based private equity firm, raised €815 million for its Smaller Mid-Cap Fund II.

- Revelation Partners, a San Francisco-based secondary investor in healthcare, closed Revelation Healthcare Fund III with $350 million. 

- Inovia Capital, a Canada-based venture firm, closed its second growth fund with $450 million in committed capital. Read more.

PEOPLE

- 500 Startups, an early-stage venture capital firm, promoted Clayton Bryan to partner.

- M12, Microsoft’s venture arm, added Irad Dor as a partner from Eight Roads Ventures.