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Coinbase takes to Reddit

March 18, 2021, 2:55 PM UTC

Reddit is the center of the memestock craze: Users on its infamous r/wallstreetbets subreddit drove up shares in stocks including GameStop in a show of buying power among retail traders.

Now, cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase is taking its roadshow to the social media site. On Thursday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong began an “ask me anything” session on Reddit ahead of the startup’s direct listing on the Nasdaq

“As some of you may know, we’re planning a public listing soon and as part of that process, we’ll be spending a lot of time educating large, institutional investors about Coinbase and crypto in general. This is the standard process, but it didn’t feel right to me,” he wrote. “We want a process where all investors, regardless of affiliation or size, have equal access to information and have the opportunity to engage with us.”

It’s no typical move, even in the fairly new realm of direct listings (a method of going public that currently raises no additional funding for the company, but leads to a fairer first-day trading price, according to proponents). Spotify and Slack, to my recollection, didn’t take to Reddit or another social media platform in their direct listings. Armstrong’s message is on brand for a movement focused on decentralizing power from the incumbent banking institutions—though Coinbase itself is actually considered a centralized exchange

The exchange says it was last valued at $68 billion this year—more than the valuation of the Nasdaq ($24 billion) and the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, the Intercontinental Exchange ($63 billion).

Coinbase closes the AMA at 7 P.M. PDT on Friday and has yet to answer questions, but its decision could certainly stand for a new way of going public. And we’ll see how fully the team responds: They can pick and choose which questions to answer, after all.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Yotpo, a New York-based marketing platform, raised $230 million in Series F funding. Bessemer Venture Partners and Tiger Global led the round. 

- SecurityScorecard, a New York-based security ratings company, raised $180 million in Series E funding. Investors included Silver Lake Waterman, T. Rowe Price Associates, Kayne Anderson Rudnick,Fitch Ventures, Evolution Equity Partners, Accomplice, Riverwood Capital, Intel Capital, NGP Capital, AXA Venture Partners, GV, and Boldstart Ventures

- Fireblocks, a New York-based crypto infrastructure company, raised $133 million in Series C funding. Coatue, Ribbit, and Stripes led the round and were joined by The Bank of New York Mellon and SVB.

- PayFit, a French payroll and HR software startup, raised $107 million in Series D funding (€90 million). Eurazeo Growth and Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund led the round. Read more.

- Policybazaar, an Indian insurance platform, raised $75 million. Falcon Edge Capital led the round. Read more.

- Aktis Oncology, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company treating solid tumor cancers, raised $72 million in Series A funding. MPM Capital led the round and was joined by investors including EcoR1 Capital and Vida Ventures.

- Viz.ai, a San Francisco-based maker of a tech platform for stroke and acute care, raised $71 million in Series C funding. Scale Venture Partners and Insight Partners led the round and were joined by Greenoaks, Kleiner Perkins, Threshold Ventures, CRV, Innovation Endeavors, and Susa Ventures

- Amphista Therapeutics, a Glasgow-based company focused on protein degradation approaches, raised $53 million (£38 million) in Series B funding. Forbion and Gilde Healthcare led the round and were joined by investors including Novartis Venture Fund and Eli Lilly and Company.

- Shelf Engine, a Seattle-based grocery automation company, raised $41 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by investors including GGV Capital and Foundation Capital.

- Republic, a New York City based investment platform, raised $36 million in Series A funding. Galaxy Interactive led the round and was joined by investors including Prosus Ventures, Tribe Capital, Motley Fool Ventures, and Broadhaven Ventures

- Cubyn, a London and Paris-based on-demand fulfillment startup, raised €35 million in funding. Eurazeo and Bpifrance Large Venture led the round and was joined by investors including

First Bridge Ventures and Fuse Venture Partners and was joined by investors including DN Capital, 360 Capital, Bpifrance Smart Cities fund and BNPP Developpement. 

- Flowspace, a Los Angeles-based e-commerce platform for companies store and ship their products, raised $31 million Series B funding. BuildGroup led the round.

- Clearsense, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based data management and analytics technology platform serving the healthcare industry, raised $30 million. Health Catalyst Capital led the round.

- Invstr, a New York-based maker of an investing app, raised $20 million in Series A via a convertible note offering. Investors included Ventura Capital, Finberg and Jari Ovaskainen.

- Riva Health, a Burlingame, Calif.-based mobile cardiology app provider, raised $15.5 million in funding. Menlo Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including  UCHealth and the University of Colorado Innovation Fund. 

- Whereby, a Norwegian video meeting company, raised $12 million from Point Nine and SaaStr fund.

- Seon, a Budapest-based fraud prevention company, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Creandum led the round and was joined by investors including  PortfoLion. Read more.

- Oso, a New York-based company for building authorization in applications, raised $8.2 million in Series A funding.  Sequoia led the round and was joined by investors including SV Angel, Company Ventures, and Highland Capital.

- Flytrex, a Tel Aviv-based drone delivery company for food and retail, raised $8 million. Benhamou Global Ventures and btov led the round.

- Edge Pathways, a New York-based education tech company focus edon STEM, raised $8 million in seed funding.  First Round Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Emerge Education and Rethink Education

- Pixxel, a Los Angeles and Bangalore-based earth-imaging technology startup, raised $7.3 million in seed funding. Investors included Omnivore VC, Techstars, Lightspeed Ventures, Blume, growX, and Ryan Johnson (former President at Planet Lab).

- Fetcher, a New York-based recruiting automation platform focused on diversity, raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. G20 Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including KFund, Accomplice, and Slow Ventures.

- ZwitterCo, a Boston-based fouling-resistant membrane technologies provider, raised $5.9 million in seed funding. Mann+Hummel Corporate Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including R-Cubed Capital Partners and Burnt Island Ventures.

- Diem, a London-based debit card startup, raised $5.5 million. Fasanara Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Chris Adelsbach (founder of Outrun Ventures). Read more

- Vega, a Gibraltar-based decentralized derivatives trading protocol, raised $5 million. Investors included Arrington Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and Cumberland DRW.

- Noon Energy, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of low-cost battery technology, raised  $3 million in seed funding. Prime Impact Fund led the round and was joined by investors including At One Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Xplorer Capital.

- FiVerity, a Boston-based provider of cyber fraud detection and threat intelligence, raised $2 million. Mendoza Ventures led the round.

- TactileAI, a San Francisco, Calif.-based consumer data analytics platform for the beauty care industry, raised $1 million in seed funding round. SpringCamp led the round.

- Happify Health, a New York-based software healthcare platform, raised $73 million in Series D and “related financing.” Deerfield Management Company led the round and was joined by investors including Omega Capital Partners, and ION Crossover Partners.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Oaktree Capital Management agreed to invest $350 million in Azorra, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based commercial aircraft lessor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Altamont Capital Partners acquired  assets of WAVE Electronics, a distributor of connected home, audio and video, and residential security products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Atar Capital acquired Universal Lighting Technologies and Douglas Lighting Controls, two lighting companies based in Nashville and Canada respectively. The two businesses will be combined. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Blue Point Capital Partners acquired Weaver Leather, a Mt. Hope, Oh.-based  equine, pet, leather crafting, arborist, livestock company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Cerberus is in final talks to acquire HSBC’s French retail banking business, per Reuters. Read more.

- Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and McKesson Ventures invested in M2GEN, a Tampa, Fla.-based cancer data and informatics platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Golden Gate Capital agreed to acquire Securly, a Silicon Valley-based student safety and device management platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Lovell Minnick Partners acquired a majority stake in UniversalCIS, a Philadelphia-based credit data and related origination solutions in the mortgage industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Pamlico Capital and Eir Partners have made an investment in Millennia Patient Services, a provider of patient payment and end-to-end patient financial engagement technologies for hospitals, health systems and medical groups.

- RoadRunner, backed by American Pacific Group, acquired JoJé Bars, an Encinitas, Calif.-based maker of energy bars. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Trustar Capital has invested in MedAlliance, a Swiss medical technology company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Vista Equity Partners made a majority investment in ARCOS, a Columbus-based utility and infrastructure resource-management solutions. Fintemr.

- Resurgens Technology Partners invested in EnergyCAP, a Pennsylvania-based software maker for  streamlining utility bill accounting and energy management. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Fluidra (BME: FDR) acquired Custom Molded Products, a Georgia-based manufacturer of pool and spa components, from Tenex Capital Management. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Lennar (NYSE: LEN), a Miami-based homebuilder, plans to become a pure-play homebuilder and financial services company by spinning off spin-off all or parts of its non-core businesses. A spinoff could represent $3 billion and $5 billion in assets. Read more.

IPO

- Baidu, the Chinese search company, raised $3.1 billion in its Hong Kong secondary listing. Read more.

- DoubleVerify, a New York-based maker of software to track digital media engagement, filed for an IPO. Providence Equity Partners and Tiger Global Management led the round. Read more.

- Blau Farmaceutica, a Brazil-based pharmaceutical business, could raise around 2.1 billion reais ($376 million), per Reuters. Read more.

- Olo, a New York-based provider of online ordering and delivery software for restaurants, raised $450 million in an initial public offering of 18 million shares priced at $25 apiece. Investors include the Raine Group, RRE Ventures, and Tiger Global Management. Read more.

- Shanghai Renyimen Technology, the Chinese company behind a social networking platform known as Soul, could raise about $300 million in a U.S. listing, per Bloomberg. Read more.

SPAC

- KKR Acquisition Holdings I, a SPAC backed by KKR, raised $1.2 billion in an upsized IPO.

- Accelerate Acquisition, led by former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli, raised $400 million.

- Vista Equity Partners talks to merge three of its companies—Solera, DealerSocket, and Omnitracs—with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital in a $15 billion deal have broken down, per Bloomberg. Read more.

F+FS

- Accelmed Partners, an Aventura, Fla.-based private equity firm, raised $400 million for Accelmed Fund II.

PEOPLE

- First Round Capital, a San Francisco-based seed-stage venture firm, named Meka Sonye as a Partner. Read more.

- JVP, a Jerusalem and New York-based venture firm, named Shai Schiller, Shimrit Kenig, Julia Kagan, and Alex Dikman as partners.