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A few years ago, local ride-hailing upstarts in countries including Southeast Asia and China defeated Uber on their home turf, and the U.S. giant retreated after a brutal battle.
Its strategy to dominate on its own ended in disappointment abroad.
But amid a raft of ride-hailing companies going public in the recent IPO rush, Uber’s exit strategy from those tough years in Asia may have set the company up for a windfall.
On Thursday, China’s largest ride hailing company, DiDi Chuxing, filed for an IPO in the U.S. While it’s unclear exactly how much the company is planning to raise, Bloomberg has reported that the company is looking for a valuation of between $70 billion to $100 billion. And yes, Uber is its second-largest shareholder, with about 12.8% of the company, trailing only the SoftBank Vision Fund’s 21.5%.
That holding was the result of a 2016 agreement in which DiDi acquired Uber China for about $7 billion (DiDi also invested $1 billion in Uber itself), per DiDi’s Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Uber had invested heavily in the country, burning an estimated $2 billion over the course of two years according to a CNBC report at the time. While it’s difficult to say exactly how much Uber’s stake will be worth post-IPO, reports on DiDi’s current private market valuation—$95 billion—would suggest a significant gain for the company currently led by CEO Dara Khosrowsahi (about $9 billion to $12.8 billion). Not bad for something that was looked at by some at the time as a painful setback.
The Didi deal was executed under the helm of founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. But Uber made a similar arrangement with Singapore-based ride hailing company Grab in 2018 with current chief Dara Khosrowshahi at the head of the table. Uber agreed to sell its Southeast Asia business to the rival in return for a 27.5% stake in Grab. Grab was shortly thereafter valued at $10 billion following new financing, and the company is now preparing to go public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company that would value it at about $40 billion in enterprise value.
Uber also has a stake in self-driving tech company Aurora, which is also said to be in talks to go public via SPAC; not to mention flying taxi business Joby Aviation (also SPAC-ing); and Indian food delivery company Zomato, which filed to go public earlier this year.
Even as entrepreneurs focus on the company’s innovations and even now, seek to be the “Uber of X,” it’s key to remember that deal engineering has been a key part of its DNA.
– Klarna, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later fintech, raised $639 million at a valuation of $45.6 billion. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led the round and was joined by investors including Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management, and WestCap Group.
– Ledger, a Paris-based crypto wallet company, raised $380 million in Series C funding. 10T Holdings led the round and was joined by investors including Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, Draper Dragon, DCG, Korelya Capital, Wicklow Capital, Tekne Capital, Uphold Ventures, Felix Capital, Inherent, Financière Agache (Groupe Arnault), and iAngels Technologies.
– AllyAlign Health, a Richmond, Va.-based insurance company focused on residents of senior housing communities, raised close to $300 million. New Enterprise Associates led the round and was joined by investors including Oak HC/FT, Town Hall Ventures, Heritage Group, and Ziegler.
– Flyhomes, a Seattle-based maker of tech for home buying, raised $150 million in Series C funding. Norwest Venture Partners and Battery Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Balyasny Asset Management, Fifth Wall, Trustbridge Partners, Camber Creek, Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, Andreessen Horowitz, and Canvas Ventures.
– Cerebral, a San Francisco, Calif.-based psychiatric and behavioral therapy services company, raised $127 million in Series B funding. Access Industries led the round and was joined by investors including WestCap, Silver Lake Waterman, Artis Ventures, Bill Ackman, Oak HC/FT, Chris Burch, and AirAngels.
– Synthekine, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based engineered cytokine therapeutics company, raised $107.5 million in Series B funding. Deerfield Management and Janus Henderson Investors led the round and was joined by investors including RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, Omega Funds, TCG X, Lilly Asia Ventures, The Column Group, Samsara BioCapital, Canaan Partners, and Emerson Collective.
– Fresha, a beauty and wellness software platform, raised $100 million in Series C funding. General Atlantic led the round and was joined by investors including Huda Kattan of HB Investments and the founder of Huda Beauty, as well as Michael Zeisser of FMZ Ventures, and Jonathan Green of Lugard Road Capital.
– nesto, a Canadian mortgage company, raised $62.8 million in Series B funding. Michael Rowell and Michael Paulus (Assurance IQ founders) led the round, and were joined by investors including Portage Ventures, Diagram Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Marc Alloul.
– Transcarent, a San Francisco-based health tech company for self-insured employers, raised $58 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst and 7wireVentures led the round and were joined by investors including Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Kleiner Perkins, Leaps by Bayer, GreatPoint Ventures, Threshold Ventures, Alta Partners, and Jove Equity Partners.
– Yousign, a French e-signature startup, raised $36.6 million in Series A funding (€30 million). Lead Edge Capital led the round and was joined by investors including eFounders.
– ChartHop, a New York City-based people analytics company, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Elad Gil, Cowboy Ventures, and SemperVirens.
– Transcarent, a San Francisco-based maker of a healthcare platform, raised $58 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst and 7wire Ventures.
– Prefect Technologies, a Washington D.C.-based dataflow automation company, raised $32 million in Series B funding. Tiger Global led the round and was joined by investors including Bessemer Venture Partners and Positive Sum.
– Komodor, a Tel Aviv-based troubleshooting platform dedicated to Kubernetes, raised $21 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including Jason Warner (CTO of GitHub), Sri Viswanath (CTO of Atlassian), Danny Grander (Co-Founder of Snyk), and others.
– Osome, a Singapore-based accounting and compliance services app for small to medium-sized businesses, raised $16 million in Series A funding. Investors included Target Global, AltaIR Capital, Phystech Ventures, S16VC, and Peng T. Ong.
– Clair, a New York City-based on-demand pay solution, raised $15 million. Thrive Capital led the round.
– Kurome Therapeutics, a Cincinnati-based cancer treatment startup, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Medicxi and Affinity Asset Advisors led the round.
– Nexford University, a Washington D.C.-based online university aimed at educating workforces based on employer needs, raised $10.8 million in pre-Series A funding. VC Global Ventures led the round.
– TreasurySpring, the London-based fixed-term fund platform, raised $10 million. MMC Ventures and Anthemis Group led the round and was joined by investors including ETFS Capital.
– Time is, a productivity analytics firm, raised $5.6 million in seed funding. Mike Chalfen, of Chalfen Ventures, led the round and was joined by investors including Illuminate Financial Management and Accel.
– Punchbowl, a Framingham, Mass.-based online party planning company, raised $5 – million. SG Credit Partners led the round. Punchbowl also acquired VidHug.
– TestBox, a San Francisco-based way for companies to test software options, raised $2.7 million in seed funding. SignalFire and firstminute invested.
– The Mentor Method, an Austin-based mentorship company, raised $1.4 million of seed funding. Investors included Draper Associates, Alumni Ventures Group, Chris Pacitti from Elsewhere Partners, MATH Venture Partners, Sorenson Impact Fund, and Backstage Capital.
– HPE Growth created a €160 million ($194 million) continuation fund for PPRO, a London-based payments company. Coller Capital and Adams Street Partners co-led the transaction and were joined by Pomona Capital and W Capital Partners.
– K1 invested $120 million in ComplySci, an New York City-based employee compliance solution for financial services firms.
– Fruition Partners invested in The Track Family Fun Parks, a Branson, Mo.-based laser tag and park operator. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Modern Campus, backed by the Riverside Company, acquired DIGARC, a Polk County, Fla.-based provider of academic catalog and curriculum management. Serent Capital is investing in Modern Campus. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Procurement Partners, backed by Serent Capital, acquired On.Care, a New York City-based solution for assisted living facilities nationwide. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Upstack, backed by Berkshire Partners, acquired Cloudwirx, a San Francisco-based tech infrastructure company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Platinum Equity agreed to acquire a controlling stake in SVP-Singer Holdings, a sewing machine company. Ares Management backed SVP. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Course Hero acquired LitCharts, a New York City-based edtech company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– TaskUs, a New Braunfels, Tx.-based provider of outsourcing services, raised $303.6 million in a sale of 13.2 million shares priced at $23 apiece. Blackstone led the round.
– LifeStance Health Group, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based outpatient mental health services company, raised $720 million in an offering of 40 million shares (18% insider sold) priced at $18 apiece. Investors include TPG and Summit Partners.
– monday.com, a Tel Aviv and New York City-based collaboration platform, raised 3.7 million shares priced at $155 apiece. Insight Partners and Stripes back the firm.
– Zeta Global Holdings, a New York City-based marketing software firm co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, raised $215 million in an offering of 21.5 million shares (31% insider sold) priced at $10 apiece.
– EQUIAM, an San Francisco-based quantitative venture investor, raised $50 million for its second fund.
– Seven Seven Six, Alexis Ohanian’s venture firm, raised $150 million for its first core fund.
– Fuel Ventures, a U.K.-based investor, raised £45 million ($63.6 million) for an early-stage focused fund.
– SoftBank Investment Advisers, which manages the Vision Funds, named Priya Saiprasad as a partner focused on consumer and software investments. She was previously a partner at Mayfield.