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A glimpse into Keith Rabois and Atomic’s new Miami startup

March 25, 2021, 3:28 PM UTC

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Investor Keith Rabois has been a vocal proponent of moving to Miami. One of his latest moves after migrating to the city has been founding a new startup dubbed OpenStore. Little is known about the business aside that it plans to acquire small e-commerce players, according to Axios.

But on Wednesday, Rabois, who founded OpenStore alongside venture studio Atomic’s Jack Abraham, offered a glimpse into what the startup is trying to tackle.

“What I think is missing in e-commerce is serendipitous discovery,” Rabois told CNBC. “Amazon is a wonderful product with a wonderful experience…if you know what you want. The reason why [physical] retail is still the vast preponderance of transactions is that people discover things that they don’t necessarily think, from a utilitarian standpoint, that they needed.”

While Rabois was still scant on the details, as the startup is in stealth, he did hint at the strategy of the nascent business.

“What we’re hoping to do and aspiring to do is bring that experience online through not necessarily an IAC kind of rollup. I think we’re thinking of a unified consumer experience, stitching together a lot of small micro-merchants that are long-tail merchants today and giving them access to data, information, and capital they don’t have today.”

The term long-tail is of particular interest. While Rabois didn’t really elaborate on it, he does appear to point to a popular strategy that allows businesses to profit from selling niche offerings rather than massive blockbuster hits. And while there has been an explosion in companies seeking to acquire e-commerce businesses that list on Amazon, OpenStore for now seems to want to operate outside of the Amazon ecosystem.

“We have plans to scale massively in Miami and make OpenStore the largest company in the city’s history,” Jack Abraham, founder and managing partner at Atomic, told Term Sheet on Wednesday. The idea for OpenStore came together in December of 2020, he says, after both he and Rabois agreed there was a gap in the “non-Amazon part of the market.”

Openstore is one of three startups Atomic is currently working on out of Miami, where Abraham moved to from San Francisco in the summer. What was intended to be a short visit with friends became a month-and-a-half-long convalescence after Abraham contracted COVID, and inadvertently, he says, fell in love with what Miami had to offer. He found himself becoming more productive during his lengthened trip. The time difference gave him a three-hour head start to much of the startup world on the west coast. And as the pandemic worsened, Atomic decided to open up a shop in Miami. 

Access to talent was critical in its original decision to open up an office in New York, says Abraham. But then remote work meant talent could be accessed from anywhere. The venture studio, which both invests and creates its own startups, plans to have enough office capacity for 30 to 40 people to start. Atomic still plans to grow its San Francisco presence, he adds.

FANATICS: Sports merchandising company Fanatics has raised $320 million at a $12.8 billion valuation, over double its price tag less than a year ago. Investors included Silver Lake, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton, Neuberger Berman, Thrive Capital and Major League Baseball. Read more.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Byju’s, an India-based edtech, is in talks to raise over $600 million that could value it at $15 billion, per TechCrunch. Read more.

- Dream Sports, a Mumbai-based company behind fantasy sports app Dream11, raised $400 million in a secondary raise valuing the firm at $5 billion. TCV, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge led the round. Read more.

- Blockchain.com, a London-based cryptocurrency wallet and exchange operator, raised $300 million in Series C funding. Partners of DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and VY Capital led the round, valuing it at $5.2 billion.

- Brii Biosciences, a Durham, N.C. and Beijing-based company developing therapies for diseases including infectious diseases, liver diseases, and CNS diseases, raised $155 million in Series C funding. Invesco Developing Markets Fund led the round and was joined by investors including GIC and Lake Bleu Capital.

- Notarize, a Boston, Mass.-based notarization company, raised $130 million in Series D funding. Canapi Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including CapitalG, Citi Ventures, Wells Fargo, and True Bridge Partners.

- Pie Insurance, a Washington D.C.-based startup with workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses, raised $118 million in Series C funding. Allianz X and Acrew Capital led the round. Read more.

- PPRO, a London payments startup, raised an additional $90 million. JPMorgan Chase and Eldridge invested. Read more.

- Digital House, a Brazil-based edtech focused on developing tech talent through remote courses, raised $50 million. Investors included Mercado Libre, Globant, and Riverwood Capital.

- Ease, a San Francisco-based HR and benefits software solution for small business and insurance carriers, raised $41 million in Series C funding. Spectrum Equity led the round and was joined by investors including Centana Growth Partners, Propel Venture Partners, Freestyle Capital, Compound Ventures, and Upside Partnership.

- Scipher Medicine, a Waltham, Mass.-based precision immunology company, raised $82 million in Series C funding. aMoon and NorthPond led the round, and were joined by investors including Echo Health Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Alumni Ventures.

- Leyden Laboratories, an Amsterdam and Boston-based company targeting viruses, raised €40 Million ($47 million) in Series A funding. GV led the round and was joined by investors including F-Prime Capital, Casdin Capital, and Brook Byers.

- Public App, an Indian social network, raised $41 million. A91 Partners led the round. Read more.

- Baraja, a San Francisco-based maker of autonomous vehicle sensors, raised $31 million. Blackbird Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Hitachi Construction Machinery, Main Sequence Ventures, Regal Funds Management, Perennial Value Management, HESTA, and InterValley Ventures.

- Morphisec, an Israel and Boston-based provider of cloud-delivered endpoint and server security solutions, raised $31 million in funding. JVP led the round and was joined by investors including Orange and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners.

- Snapsheet, a Chicago-based claims management software maker , raised $30 million in Series E2 financing. Ping An Global Voyager Fund and Pivot Investment Partners led the round.

- Blacklane, a Berlin startup providing on-demand chauffeur services, raised €22 million ($26 million). Investors included Daimler, ALFAHIM Group, and btov Partners. Read more.

- Apnimed, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical-stage company focused on sleep apnea and related disorders, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Morningside Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Seligman Investments and Tao Capital Partners.

- Ketch, a San Francisco-based  data privacy and security company, raised $23 million in Series A funding from CRV, super{set}, Ridge Ventures, Acrew Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank.

- Chord, a New York-based commerce software company, raised $18 million in Series A funding. Eclipse Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Foundation Capital, Index Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, and WhiteStar Capital.

- Maxwell, a Denver-based digital mortgage and fulfilment platform for small to midsize mortgage lenders, raised $16.3 million in Series B funding. Fin VC and TTV Capital led the round.

- Middesk, a San Francisco-based provider of identity infrastructure tools, raised $16 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Accel and Y Combinator. 

- what3words, a London-based location tech company, raised £12 million ($16.4 million) from Ikea’s Ingka Investments.

- Feedback Loop, a New York-based testing and feedback platform, raised $14 million in additional Series A funding. Crosslink Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Spider Capital.

- Nourish Ingredients, an Australia-based maker of animal-free fats, raised an $11 million in seed funding. Horizons Ventures and Main Sequence Ventures led the round.

- LenderClose, a Des Moines, Ia.-based real estate and home equity lending tech company, raised $10 million in Series B funding. Investors included Next Level Ventures, Ardent Credit Union, Strata Credit Union, Tucson Federal Credit Union, Collins Community Credit Union, Financial Plus Credit Union, Serve Credit Union, and Ascentra Credit Union.

- Arbolus, a Barcelona-based machine learning startup, raised $6 million in funding. VC Fuel Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Plug and Play Ventures. Read more.

- Motosumo, a Danish indoor cycling company, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Magenta Partners led the round. Read more.

- CoScreen, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based remote collaboration platform, raised $4.6 million in seed funding.  Unusual Ventures led the round.

- Rupifi, an Indian embedded finance company offering a "Buy Now, Pay Flexibly" platform for MSMEs, raised $4.1 million in funding led by Quona Capital with participation from Ankur Capital and Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal.

- Better Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare company offering e-commerce experience to those with chronic conditions, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. 8VC led the round and was joined by investors including Caffeinated Capital and Anorak Ventures. 

- Demoflow, a Denver-based provider of a sales team platform, raised $2.4 million in a second seed funding round. RTP Seed led the round and was joined by investors including  Slack Fund, First Mile Ventures, Next Frontier Capital, and Heroic Ventures

- Ryu Games, a San Francisco-based mobile gaming platform, raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Investors included Velo Partners, Citta Ventures, MGV Capital, INP Capital, Side Door Ventures, and 500 Startups.

- BlockSpaces, a Tampa, Fla.-based startup for enterprise blockchain adoption, raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Leadout Capital led the round, and was joined by Brighter Capital and BlockFund Ventures

PRIVATE EQUITY

- BDT Capital Partners led a $3 billion investment in Acrisure, an insurance broker. A separate consortium added $454 million in the form of junior preferred stock.  

- asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, acquired Red and Red Autocentres, two automotive diagnostics companies the U.K.. Financial terms weren't disclosed.’

- Avista Capital Partners agreed to invest in eMolecules, a e-procurement platform for chemicals and bioreagents. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- BMG and KKR are partnering to pursue recorded music, music publishing and other music rights acquisitions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Encore Consumer Capital invested in Love Wellness, a New York City-based  women's health and wellness brand specializing in supplements, multivitamins, OTC suppositories, and feminine hygiene. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KnowFully Learning Group, backed by NexPhase Capital, acquired The Rx Consultant, a Pleasant Hill, Calif.-based provider of pharmaceutical news and education. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Flynn Restaurant Group, backed by Main Post Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board,  acquired 937 Pizza Hut and 194 Wendy’s locations throughout the U.S. from NPC International.  Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- MSD Partners agreed to invest in Woolpert, a Dayton, Oh.-based geospatial, architecture, engineering and services firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Cinven is looking to sell Eurovita, its Italian life insurance business, in a deal that could value it at as much as 600 million euros ($710 million), per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Quadient (FRA: QDT) acquired Beanworks, a Canadian accounts payable automation company, for about $85 million. FINTOP Capital and Rhino Ventures backed Beanworks.

- Apax Partners agreed to acquire Rodenstock Group, a Germany-based eyewear company, from Compass Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Battle Motors acquired Crane Carrier Company, a New Philadelphia, Oh.-based manufacturer, from Turnspire Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Everlywell acquired PWNHealth, a New York City-based diagnostics testing company. Spectrum Equity backs PWNHealth and will retain an ownership stake. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Grupo Carrefour Brasil agreed to acquire Grupo Big, a Brazilian food retailer, from Advent and Walmart. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- CBOE Global Markets will acquire Chi-X Asia Pacific Holdings, an operator of equity trading venues in Australia and Japan, from J.C. Flowers & Co. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board invested in Mitratech, an Austin-based provider of legal and compliance software. Hg will retain a minority interest while TA Associates will sell its minority stake. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Gamesys, a U.K.-based gambling operator, agreed to a possible $2.7 billion takeover offer by from Bally’s. Read more.

- Modern Times Group agreed to acquire Ninja Kiwi, a New Zealand-based mobile game developer, for about about 1.6 billion crowns ($186 million).  

- U.S. Sugar agreed to acquire Imperial Sugar, a rivaling sugar maker, from Louis Dreyfus Company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- ACV Auctions, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based auto marketplace, raised $414 million in an IPO of some 16.6 million shares priced at $25 apiece, above its range. Tribeca Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners back the firm. Read more.

- Leonardo DRS, an Arlington, Va-based maker of U.S. defense electronics systems, withdrew its IPO that sought to sell $670 million of existing shares. Read more.

SPAC

- Horizon Acquisition III, a SPAC led by the Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly, filed to raise $500 million.

- Hony Capital Acquisition, a SPAC backed by Hony Capital seeking a tech business in healthcare and consumer sectors in China, filed to raise $300 million.

- Khosla Ventures Acquisition III, a SPAC from Khosla Ventures targeting tech, raised $500 million.

- Khosla Ventures Acquisition II, a SPAC formed by Khosla Ventures targeting tech, raised $400 million.

- Decarbonization Plus Acquisition III, a SPAC formed by Riverstone targeting a business working on decarbonization, raised $350 million.

F+FS

- Twin Bridge Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, closed its fifth fund with $440 million in capital commitments. 

- Breega, a Paris-based venture capital firm, closed its third fund with $130 million (€110 million). Read more.

- MaC Venture Capital, a Los Angeles-based majority Black-led venture firm, raised $103 million for its first fund.

PEOPLE

- Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based private equity firm, announced that Matt Zames will step down as president. 

- ZX Ventures, the New York-baed investment group of AB InBev, named Daniel Obaseki and Elizabeth Cook as investment partners. Obaseki previously led his own firm, Elevation Food Partners. Cook was previously an advisory partner at AI Capital.

- Panoramic Ventures, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm, promoted Mark Flickinger (former COO of BIP Capital) to general partner and hired Chad Harris (former VP at Truist Securities) as a vice president.