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The battle for your corporate cards heats up

April 27, 2021, 2:23 PM UTC

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Just as rival Ramp raised at a $1.6 billion valuation a few weeks earlier, credit card startup Brex confirmed that it too has bulked up its cash coffers.

On Monday, the company announced that it had raised some $425 million in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, valuing the business at $7.4 billion.

Brex laid off about 62 staff members at the start of the pandemic. But the worst of the recession never came, and while the company did not disclose its financial figures, CEO Henrique Dubugras says revenue grew by over 100% between March 2020 and March 2021.

Now the company is planning to expand quickly. Known for its focus on servicing startups, Brex has announced that it would serve any business in the U.S. 

It’s also added features that compete directly with Keith Rabois-backed Ramp. Ramp earlier on sought to set itself apart with a software suite that was “designed to help card holders save money”—for example, it could flag instances where a client has multiple subscriptions to the same product, founder Eric Glyman said previously to my former colleague Jen Wiezcner. Brex on Monday unveiled a “Premium” software suite that can also flag such redundant charges, says Dubugras. Brex is charging $49 a month for the product.

The goal for Brex, says Dubugras, is to “replace your Chase, Amex, Bill.com and Concur.”

And yes, as I must do these days, I did ask the founder if he had been approached by special purpose acquisition companies in recent months. Yes, Dubugras answered, unperturbed, as if I were asking whether the grass were green. After all, who hasn’t been?

Dubugras added that he has nothing against SPACs, but Brex at just four years old is simply not ready to go public yet. When the company is ready to seek an IPO however, Brex would consider all potential pathways, including direct listings and SPACs.

HONEST NEWS: The Honest Company, a Los Angeles-based seller of ethical home goods, now plans to raise $400 million in an offering of 25.8 million shares priced between $14 to $17. BlackRock would buy some $80 million in shares. The deal could value the company at over $1.5 billion, above its last known private round of funding and a smidgen below its peak price tag in 2015. L Catterton, IVP, and Lightspeed back the firm.

A significant amount of the capital raised (75% of the shares to be sold) will not go to the company itself, but to shareholders culling their stakes in the business. L Catterton, for instance, which owns about 37.1% of the company, will sell over half of its stake if the underwriters’ option is exercised in full. The stake being offered would be worth up to $328.4 million at the high end of the IPO’s price range. L Catterton acquired its stake in The Honest Company in 2018, investing $200 million.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Trendyol, a Turkish e-commerce company, is looking to raise over $1 billion, per Bloomberg. Alibaba Group backs the firm.

- Current, a New York-based financial technology company that focused on teens early on, raised $220 million in Series D funding, valuing it at $2.2 billion. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Tiger Global Management, TQ Ventures, Avenir, Sapphire Ventures, Foundation Capital, Wellington Management, and EXPA.

- Kry, a Swedish telehealth service, raised $312 million (€262 million) in Series D funding. CPP Investments (aka, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board) and Fidelity Management & Research led the round and were joined by investors including The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Index Ventures, Accel, Creandum, and Project A.

- Automox, a Boulder, Colo.-based endpoint management provider, raised $110 million in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Blackstone, Koch Disruptive Technologies, and TechOperators.

- Clio, a Canada-based legal tech company, raised $110 million in Series E funding valuing it at$1.6 billion. T. Rowe Price Associates led the round and was joined by investors including OMERS Growth Equity.

- Step, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based debit startup focused on families, raised $100 million in Series C funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by investors including Coatue, Stripe, Charli D’Amelio, The Chainsmokers, Will Smith, Franklin Templeton, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. 

- Guesty, a Los Angeles-based property management platform focused on short-term rental management, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Apax Digital Fund led the round and was joined by investors including AMI Opportunities Fund, Viola Growth, Flashpoint, Vertex Ventures, Kingfisher Investment Advisors, and La Maison Partners.

- Placer.ai, a Los Altos, Calif.-based foot traffic and location analytics startup, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Josh Buckley (CEO of Product Hunt) led the round and were joined by investors including Fifth Wall, Rahul Vohra, JBV Capital and Aleph VC.

- Higharc, a New York-based homebuilding platform for design, sales, and construction, raised $21 million in Series A funding. Spark Capital led the round and was joined by investors including MetaProp, Montage Ventures, Tectonic Capital, PlanGrid Co-Founder Ralph Gootee, Built Technologies Founder Chase Gilbert and Carta CTO Jerry Talton. 

- ZenGo, a Tel Aviv-based mobile and crypto wallet, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Distributed Global, Austin Rief Ventures, Benson Oak Ventures, Samsung Next, Elron, and Collider Ventures.

- Vivrelle, a New York-based membership club for shared designer handbags, jewelry, and diamonds, raised $26 million in Series A funding. Origin Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Chapford Capital Group. 

- Databook, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based enterprise customer intelligence company, raised $16 million in Series A funding. M12 and Salesforce Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Threshold Ventures, Haystack, and Firebolt

- Engage Technologies Group, a Boise, Id.-based video content platform focused on healthcare, raised $15 million in Series A funding from individual healthcare professionals.

- LiquiGlide, a Cambridge, Mass.-based producer of products that eliminate friction between solids and liquids, raised $13.5 million funding. Investors include Structure Capital and Scientia Ventures, as well as Marc Shore (former President of Multi-Packaging Solutions).

- Veryfi, a San Mateo, Calif.-based AI-based data accounting automation platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding. NewView Capital led the round and was joined by investors including TI Platform Management and Act One Ventures.

- n8n, a Berlin-based workflow automation tool, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Felicis Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital, firstminute Capital, and Harpoon Ventures.

- Safehub, a San Francisco-based builder of sensors and analytics software, raised $9 million in Series A funding. A/O PropTech led the round.

- Adventus.io, a New York-based college student recruitment platform, raised $8.5 million to close its $17.5 million Series A round. Our Innovation Fund led the round.

- Materials Zone, a Tel Aviv-based materials discovery platform, raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Insight Partners with participation from OurCrowd.

- Toucan, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based language learning browser extension, raised $4.5 million in additional seed funding. LightShed Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Next Play Ventures, Concrete Rose Capital, GingerBread Capital, Form Capital, Goodwater Capital, Hampton VC, Spacecadet Ventures, GTMfund, Baron Davis Enterprises, and Human Ventures.

- Impact Biosystems, a Boston-based provider of hardware and software services in the sports recovery space, raised $4.5 million. Will Ventures and NextView Ventures led the round.

- Weav, a maker of an API for commerce platforms, raised $4.3 million. Foundation Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Y Combinator, Abstract Ventures, Box Group, LocalGlobe, Operator Partners, Commerce Ventures, and SV Angel. 

- Zirtue, a Dallas-based relationship-based lending app, bumped its total seed round up to $4 million. Investors include Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Capital Fund.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Blackstone Group offered about 82.6 billion rupees ($1.1 billion) to acquire an additional 26% stake in Mphasis, an Indian IT outsourcing services provider. 

- Diversis Capital Partners acquired Performance Designed Products,  a San Diego-based developer of video game accessories and peripherals. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Greenbriar Equity Group acquired PCX Aerosystems, an Enfield, Conn.-based aerospace company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Harkness Capital Partners invested in Homestyle Direct, a Twin Falls, Id.-based provider of home delivered meals to Medicaid recipients. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- VSS Capital Partners invested in Ambulatory Management Solutions, a Chicago-based provider of outpatient anesthesia, surgical and administrative services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Warburg Pincus and LMCA launched Full Sail IP Partners, a brand acquisition firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Levine Leichtman Capital Partners invested in Prime Global Medical Communications, a U.K.-based global medical communications and market. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

EXITS

- Naxicap Partners acquired Lagarrigue Group, a Toulouse-based specialist in external orthopedic devices, from Ardian. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Toyota acquired Lyft’s self-driving car unit for about $550 million in cash.

- Jobvite, backed by Catalyst Investors, acquired JazzHR, a Waltham, Mass.-based recruiting software provider for small and medium-sized businesses, and NXTThing RPO, a recruitment outsourcing company. JazzHR has been backed by investors including Volition Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Standard Industries Holdings agreed to acquire W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE: GRA), a Columbia, Md.-based chemicals company, in a sweetened $4.63 billion deal.

- Grupo de Moda Soma is in talks to acquire Cia Hering, a Brazilian clothing company, for about 5.3 billion reais ($967 million).

- Unilever agreed to acquire Onnit, an Austin-based maker of health supplements. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Concord Music Group is acquiring over 145,000 music copyrights from Downtown Music Holdings, including songs form Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin, per Bloomberg. 

IPOS

- Darktrace, a London-based cybersecurity firm, is seeking a valuation of as high as 1.9 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) in the city.

- SK IE Technology Co, a South Korean battery materials maker, raised $2 billion in an IPO.

- Vaccitech, the U.K.-based company behind a coronavirus vaccine, is seeking to raise $111 million in an offering of 6.5 million ADSs priced between $16 to $18. Investors include Oxford Sciences Innovation, Prudential, and Google Ventures.

- Zeta Global Holdings, a New York-based marketing software firm co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, filed for an IPO.

- Werewolf Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company developing therapies for cancer, now plans to raise $100 million in an offering of 6.3 million shares priced between $15 to $17. MPM Capital, UBS Oncology Impact Fund, and RA Capital back the firm.

- Paycor HCM, a Cincinnati-based provider of HR software, filed to raise $100 million. Apax backs the firm.

- Five Star Bancorp, a Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based bank chain, now plans to raise $100 million in an offering of 5.3 million shares priced between $18 to $20.

F+FS

- Carlyle Group, the New York-based private equity firm, is looking to raise $22 billion for its eighth flagship buyout fund, per Bloomberg.

- Main Sequence, an Australia-based venture firm, raised A$250 million ($194.3 million) for its second fund.

PEOPLE

- GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, named Dan Lynch as an executive venture partner.

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