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Forging ahead amid furor over the GameStop saga, stock trading app Robinhood filed confidentially for an IPO in the U.S., the company revealed Tuesday.
To be honest, there’s not a lot to add beyond that. A confidential filing is—well—confidential, offering no details in the ways of financials, unpublicized lawsuits, and potential risks. Sure, there’s some context to throw in: Robinhood decided to pause the buying of GameStop shares earlier this year after a band of traders coordinated a short squeeze on the stock, which resulted in a marshland of conspiracy theories about Robinhood working in tandem with hedge funds, political theater as Congress grilled an evasive Vlad Tenev over the move, and some actually thoughtful conversations around the flaws of Payment for Order Flow. But Robinhood has appeared to benefit from a growth in users due to the surge in stock-trading interest. The only thing that appears to be smarting is its brand.
Here’s what I’m mainly thinking about the IPO with the few details we have now: Robinhood’s brand has been about democratizing finance—which in part led to the massive outcry against the company when it paused retail trading of GamStop shares. The initial public offering process, meanwhile, has often been criticized for allocating shares to the underwriters’ favored clients. How Robinhood will structure its IPO (and whether it will allocate shares to its own base of customers, for example) will no doubt come under the spotlight.
And if customer dissatisfaction does become a big deal, retail traders will be able to express it through Robinhood’s public stock.
BEVY: It’s perhaps unsurprising that Bevy, a virtual events platform focused on enterprise customers, has raised additional funding at this moment.
But it is rare for a company to set such concrete goals on diversity. Roughly a year ago, Bevy had no Black employees among its 27 employees. But after the killing of George Floyd last year, the company set a goal to have Black and Latinx employees represent 20% of its workforce by Sept. 2021, says CEO Derek Anderson. With five months to go, Bevy is on track, with 14% of its now 100-large workforce representing those demographics as it seeks to hire another 150 employees total in the next year.
The roughly four-year-old business has also sought to reflect its diversity efforts in its investor base. On Wednesday, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup announced that it had raised $40 million in Series C funding, valuing it at $325 million. Investors in the round included Accel Partners, LinkedIn, Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith, and Upfront Ventures, as well as 25 Black individuals working in tech. With the new capital, 20% of the $61 million or so Bevy has raised to date is represented by a Black investor. (Bevy isn’t alone in this push: Finix last month allocated 10% of its latest funding round to Black and Latinx investors.)
“Our message is that people can do this. This is not rocket science,” says Kobie Fuller of Upfront Ventures, which led Bevy’s Series A funding round in 2018.
If everything goes well for the company, it could mean greater wealth creation for Black and Latinx employees and investors.
But the 20%-of-capital figure includes funding raised through Upfront—which brings up the question for me: What are the demographics of Upfront’s limited partners, who would also stand to gain at a liquidity event? That part of the venture capital chain remains opaque, and Fuller was light on the details as it pertained to Upfront.
That, says Fuller, detracts from the point, which is to effectively bring in more Black and Latinx investors who can in turn attract even more such founders, investors, and employees into the fold.
- goPuff, a Philadelphia-based delivery company for everyday necessities, raised $1.12 billion, valuing it at $8.9 billion. Investors included D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Baillie Gifford, Eldridge, Reinvent Capital, Luxor Capital, and SoftBank Vision Fund 1.
- Eat Just, a San Francisco-based food tech startup, raised $200 million in funding. Qatar Investment Authority led the round and was joined by investors including Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital.
- Feedzai, a cloud-based financial risk management platform, raised $200 million in Series D funding. KKR led the round and was joined by investors including Sapphire Ventures and Citi Ventures.
- Hopper, a Canadian travel booking company with risk mitigation products, raised $170 million in Series F funding. Capital One led the round and was joined by investors including GS Growth, Inovia Capital, WestCap Group, and Citi Ventures.
- Airwallex, an Australia-based cross-border payments company, raised another $100 million in additional Series D funding, valuing it at $2.6 billion. Greenoaks led the round and was joined by investors including Grok Ventures, Skip Capital, and ANZi Ventures.
- Rec Room, a SEattle-based gaming platform for user-generated content, raised $100 million, valuing it at $1.3 billion. Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures led the round and were joined by Madrona Venture Group.
- Ginger, a San Francisco-based mental health company, raised $100 million in Series E funding. Blackstone Growth led the round.
- ActionIQ, a New York-based customer data analysis company, raised $68 million in additional Series C funding for a total of $100 million in the round. Investors included March Capital.
- FourKites, a Chicago-based supply chain visibility platform, raised $100 million in Series D funding. Thomas H. Lee Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Qualcomm Ventures, Volvo Group Venture Capital AB, Zebra Technologies, August Capital, CEAS Investments, Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and Bain Capital Ventures.
- Pacaso, a San Francisco-based platform for listing and buying second-hand homes, raised $75 million. Dana Settle of Greycroft and Sarra Zayani of Global Founders Capital led the round and were joined by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Theresia Gouw of the Acrew Diversify Capital Fund.
- Lattice, a San Francisco-based human resources management platform, raised $60 million valuing it at $1 billion. Tiger Global led the round.
- Freetrade, a U.K.-based challenger stock trading app, raised $69 million in Series B funding. Left Lane Capital led the round and was joined by investors including L Catterton and Draper Esprit. Read more.
- Neighbor, a Lehi, Ut.-based self-storage marketplace, raised $53 million in Series B funding. Fifth Wall led the round and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz.
- Meatable, an Amsterdam-based cultivated meat startup, raised $47 million in Series A funding. Investors included Dr. Rick Klausner, Section 32, Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, and DSM Venturing.
- Vórtx, a Brazil-based tech provider for fund managers and corporate issuers, raised $35 million in Series B funding. FTV Capital led the round.
- Emalex Biosciences, a Chicago-based biopharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system movement disorders and fluency disorders, raised $35 million in Series C funding. Paragon Biosciences led the round and was joined by investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company and Valor Equity Partners.
- AppliedVR, a Los Angeles-based provider of therapeutic VR for pain management, raised $29 million in Series A funding. Investors included F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures, GSR Ventures, Magnetic Ventures, and Cedars-Sinai.
- Incode, a San Francisco-based identity verification and authentication platform, raised $25 million in Series A funding. DN Capital and 3L Capital led the round and were joined by Framework Ventures, Walter Ventures, FJ Labs, and DILA Capital.
- 1910 Genetics, a Cambridge, Mass.-basd biotechnology focused on drug development, raised $22 million in Series A funding. M12 and Playground Global led the round.
- Holberton, a San Francisco-based software engineering education company, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Redpoint eventures led the round and was joined by investors including Pearson Ventures, Daphni, Imaginable Futures, Reach Capital, and Trinity Ventures.
- nPlan, a London-based company using machine learning to forecast the duration and risks of construction projects, raised $18.5 million. GV (formerly Google Ventures) led the round.
- Roambee, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based supply chain visibility company, raised $18 million in Series B1 funding. Reefknot Investments led the round.
- Sakara Life, a New York City-based wellness and lifestyle program, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Investors included One Better Ventures and Silas Capital.
- iFoodDS, a Seattle-based provider food safety, traceability, and quality management solutions for the fresh food supply chain, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Insight Partner led the round.
- Lev, a New York-based commercial real estate financing transaction platform, raised $10 million in seed funding. Pete Flint from NFX led the round and was joined by investors including Canaan Partners and JLL Spark.
- AnyRoad, a San Francisco-based experience management platform, raised $10 million in Series A1 funding. Andreessen Horowitz and Runa Capital led the round.
- HiDef, a San Diego-based video game company, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Wick Capital Partners led the round.
- Pison Technology, a Boston-based applied nerve sensing and gesture control company, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Lavrock Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Bose Ventures, In-Q-Tel, and Decisive Point.
- Utilis, a London-based satellite-based infrastructure intelligence company, raised $6 million from Beringea.
- Leaf Trade, a Chicago-based cannabis wholesale marketplace, raised $5.5 million in Series A funding. Artemis Growth Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Future Shape 1.5 and Hyde Park Angels.
- Kubecost, a San Francisco-based cost monitoring platform, raised $5.5 million in seed funding. First Round Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Afore Capital.
- Frost Giant Studios, an Irvine, Calif.-based independent game development studio, raised $5 million from investors including Kona Venture Partners and Global Founders Capital.
- Blippar, a London-based augmented reality company, raised $5 million. Chroma Ventures and West Coast Capital led the round. Read more.
- Lolli, a New York-based maker of bitcoin rewards company that gives users free bitcoin when they shop, raised $5 million from Seven Seven Six, Night Media, and investors including Serena Ventures, Casey Neistat, Phil Defranco, Cody Ko, Noel Miller, Ian Borthwick, and Gabriel Leydon.
- Disco, a Toronto-based platform for creators to build virtual learning sessions, raised $4.8 million in funding. Investors included Quiet Capital, Golden Ventures, inovia, and GSV.
- Podsights, a Newark, N.J.-based podcast advertising analysis company, raised $4 million in additional seed funding. Newark Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Graham Holdings, Aglaé Ventures, Greycroft, Supernode Global, BDMI, and Betaworks.
- Adapttech, a Birmingham, U.K.-based biomedical company, raised £2 million ($2.4 million). Investors included MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, Bionova Capital, ACF Investors, Wealth Club, and Wren Capital.
- Droplet, a Lehi, Ut.-based digital process automation company, raised $2 million. Pelion Venture Partners led the round joined by the CEOs of Qualtrics, Vivint, and Domo.
- Clearbrief, a Seattle-based legal tech startup for checking citations, raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Investors included Sequoia, Madrona Venture Group, Mark Britton (Founder, Avvo), and Bryan Garner (Author, Black’s Law Dictionary).
- Bluff Point Associates acquired True North Networks, a Swanzey, N.H.-based private cloud hosting and security services provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Direct Healthcare Group, backed by ArchiMed, acquired United Care BV , a U.K.-based medical devices company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire END, a U.K.-based luxury, streetwear and sportswear retailer. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- An investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management became majority shareholders in American Achievement, an Austin-based provider of school recognition products and commencement photography. Prudential Capital Partners and Onex Falcon Investment Advisors will retain minority stakes. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Long Arc Capital made a majority investment in Concertiv, a New York-based data analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Full Spectrum Group, a portfolio company of Pfingsten Partners, acquired Cascade Thermal Solutions, an El Cajon, Calif.-based provider of repair and maintenance services for refrigeration, sterilization, incubation and thermal laboratory equipment. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Osceola Capital formed Revelation Pharma and acquired Everwell Specialty Pharmacy, Pensacola, Fla.-based pharmacy provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Serent Capital invested in BQE Software, a Torrance, Calif.-based business management software platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Susquehanna Private Capital invested in Premium Service Brands, a Charlottesville, Va.-based franchisor of multi-brand home services with a specialty in home improvement brands. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Shamrock Capital invested in Learn on Demand Systems, a New Port Richey, Fla.-based provider of virtual labs. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Twitter acquired Reshuffle, a Sunnyvale, Fla.-based developer platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- LeanIX acquired Cleanshelf, a San Francisco-based enterprise software company. Cleanshelf has raised from investors including Dawn Capital and LAUNCHub Ventures. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Snow Phipps Group acquired AI Fire, a Long Beach, Calif.-based provider of fire protection services, from Audax Private Equity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Wabtec (NYSE: WAB) agreed to acquire Nordco, an Oak Creek, Wis.-based supplier of way equipment for mobile railcar movers and ultrasonic rail flaw detection technologies, from Greenbriar Equity Group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- UiPath acquired Cloud Elements, a Denver-based API integration platform backed by investors including Mercato Partners and American Express Ventures. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) agreed to sell its corporate trust business to Computershare (ASE:CPU) for $750 million. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- DigitalOcean, a New York-based cloud infrastructure company, raised over $775 million in an IPO of 16.5 million shares priced at $47 apiece, the high-end of its range. Len Blavatnik and Andreessen Horowitz back the firm. Read more.
- Compass, a New York-based real estate brokerage, is now seeking to raise as much as $936 million in an IPO of 36 million shares priced between $23 to $26 apiece. SoftBank backs the firm. Read more.
- Frontier Group, a Denver-based budget airline company, plans to raise $600 million in an IPO of 30 million shares (50% insider sold) priced between $19 to $21 apiece. Read more.
- Kaltura, a New York-based provider of video solutions, plans to raise $353 million in an offering of 23.5 million shares (26% insider sold), priced between $14 to $16. Point 406 Ventures and Nexus India Capital back the firm. Read more.
- TuSimple, a San Diego-based self-driving technology company, filed for an IPO. Navistar backs the firm. Read more.
- Zymergen, an Emeryville, Calif.-based maker of films for use in smart devices, filed for an IPO. Data Collective and SoftBank back the firm. Read more.
- AvidXchange, a Charlotte, N.C.-basd payments company, is preparing for an IPO that could value it at over $7 billion, per Reuters. Its backers include Mastercard and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Read more.
- Velo3D, a 3D technology company, will go public via merger with JAWS Spitfire Acquisition, a SPAC backed by Barry Sternlicht. A deal values the combined business at $1.6 billion.
- Gateway Strategic Acquisition, a SPAC formed by Gaw Capital focused on the tech industry, filed to raise $300 million. Read more.
- Capital Dynamics, a Switzerland-based capital management firm, closed Capital Dynamics Global Secondaries V with about $786 million.
- Fulcrum Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based growth equity firm investing in healthcare services, raised $275 million for Fulcrum Growth Fund IV.
- Orangewood Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, investment firm, closed Orangewood Fund II with $200 million in equity commitments as well as approximately $100 million in equity across other vehicles.
- BBG Ventures, a New York-based early-stage fund focused on consumer tech startups with female founders, raised $50 million for its third fund.