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Krispy Kreme returns to a very different public market

July 1, 2021, 2:55 PM UTC

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In some ways, it’s the dot-com era all over again for Krispy Kreme.

Founded in 1937, the confections seller previously went public in 2000 only a few months after Pets.com, eventually reaching its highest valuation ever of $2.9 billion in 2003 amid soaring sales. Fortune even dubbed the company the “hottest brand in America” that year as consumers lined up for its donuts and coffee in the same way customers today line up to buy clothing from Supreme.

But then in 2005, the company became embroiled in an accounting scandal, and sales flagged. And amid a turnaround effort that had the company growing once again—though not nearly at their peak in the 2000s— Keurig owner JAB scooped up Krispy Kreme for about $1.35 billion in 2016 and took it private.

Now finally, in 2021, the company is returning with echoes of that bygone era. Amid another boom in tech stocks, Krispy Kreme is once again going public with a valuation just a smidgen off its early 2000s high. Today, the maker of glazed donuts and coffee priced its initial public offering, valuing the business at about $2.7 billion. And the company’s sales have exceeded its past figures, posting an all-time high of $1.1 billion in the year ending Jan. 2021. 

But that’s where the modern reality comes in. In one sense, the company is going public at a time when the hype for sweet-treats has dipped to a low: There are signs that investors are not as excited about the company as they were two decades ago as a focus on healthy foods takes center stage. In its IPO Thursday, Krispy Kreme raised about $500 million in a sale of 29.5 million shares priced at $17, far below its previously expected range of $21 to $24 a piece. 

Beyond the larger trends reshaping the food industry, Krispy Kreme’s financials are also very different from its 2000s days. Losses grew faster than revenue in the year ending Jan. 2021, up 72% to $64.3 million compared to a period a year earlier while its top-line rose 17%. And while it previously had almost no debt in 2015, the company has about $1.2 billion of it now that its owners plan to pay down a part of it with the IPO.

We’ll see how the public markets react to Krispy Kreme—retail investors are after all a bit hard to predict. But for now at least, investors are controlling their sweet tooth.

ROBINHOOD: The retail trading startup was fined $70 million by FINRA, a financial industry regulator, for its outages earlier this year as a stock trading frenzy hit the mainstream. This comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Robinhood for misleading customers, and as the company is getting its ducks in order for an IPO likely coming later this year. But don’t be surprised if the company faces other legal issues. Among other lawsuits, the startup is battling the state of Massachusetts over accusations of putting its interests ahead of those of its customers.

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

Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO section of the newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Articulate Global, a provider of online training tools and e-learning authoring app, raised $1.5 billion in Series A funding. General Atlantic led the round and was joined by investors including Blackstone Growth and ICONIQ Growth. 

- ServiceTitan, a  Los Angeles-based provider of software for trade businesses, raised $200 million in Series G funding. Thoma Bravo led the round valuing it at $9.5 billion. It also agreed to acquire Aspire Software, a St. Louis, Mo.-based provider of software to landscaping businesses.

- Mercado Bitcoin, a Brazil-based cryptocurrency exchange, raised $200 million valuing it at $2.1 billion. The SoftBank Latin America Fund invested.

- SWORD Health, a New York City-based musculoskeletal care telehealth company, raised $85 million in Series C funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by investors including BOND, Highmark Ventures, BPEA, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Transformation Capital, and Green Innovations.

- Tomo, a Stamford, Conn.-based mortgage and home-purchasing platform, has raised $70 million in seed funding. Ribbit Capital led the round and was joined by investors including DST Global, NFX, and Zigg Capital. 

- Gilmour Space Technologies, an Australian rocket startup, raised AUD $61 million ($46 million USD) in Series C funding. Fine Structure Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Blackbird and Main Sequence.

- Codat, a London-based maker of software for small businesses to share business and financial data, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Tiger Global led the round and was joined by investors including Index Ventures and PayPal Ventures.

- Zoop, a Brazil-based payments fintech, raised $34 million. Movile was the investor.

- Singularity 6, a Los Angeles-based online game developer, raised $30 million in Series B funding. FunPlus Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including  Andreessen Horowitz and LVP.

- Kikoff, a San Francisco-based credit building startup, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Portage Venture led the round.

- Translated, a San Francisco- and Rome-based company using tech in translations, raised $25 million from Ardian.

- OpenExchange, a Boston-based video and virtual event company, raised $23 million in Series D funding. Kingfisher Investment Advisors and Stonebridge Ventures invested.

- Juno Journey, an Israel-based maker of career training courses, raised $19 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including VC Cerca and 10D Ventures.

- FloLive, a London-based maker of a way to create private 5G networks, raised $15.5 million. Intel Capital led the round.

- Pietra, a diamond-hocking startup turned creator economy company, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Founders Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, TQ Ventures, and Abstract Ventures

- Sevco Security, an Austin-based cybersecurity company, raised $15 million in Series A funding. SYN Ventures led the round.

- Nodes & Links, a London-based provider of engineering tools, raised $11 million in Series A funding. 2150 led the round and was joined by investors including Zigg Capital and Westerly Winds.

- TestGorilla, an Amsterdam-based HR tech company, raised $10 million in seed funding. Notion Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Partech and Next Play Ventures.

- Retina, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based customer acquisition company, raised $8 million in funding. Alpha Intelligence Capital and Vertical Venture Partners led the round.

- Dutch, a San Francisco-based pet telehealth company, raised $5 million in seed funding. Forerunner Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Bling Capital and Trust Ventures.

- Daylight, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based neobank for the LGBT+ community, raised $5 million in seed funding. Kapor Capital and Precursor Capital co-led the round and was joined by investors including Anthemis Group, Clocktower, Financial Venture Studio, and Citibank.

- JigSpace, an Australia-based maker of AR presentation software, raised $4.7 million in Series A funding. Rampersand led the round.

- Cake, a Los Angeles-based female wellness company selling sexual products, raised $4 million in seed funding. Lerer Hippeau led the round and was joined by investors including Sugar Capital, Brand Foundry Ventures, Selva Ventures, and Silas Capital.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Singapore's GIC agreed to invest around $1 billion in Biomat, the U.S.-based plasma collection company backed by Spain’s Grifols.

- Carlyle is investing €60 million in Inova, a France-based software platform. 

- Kennedy Lewis Investment Management invested $60 million in EchoNous, a Redmond, Wash.-based ultrasound tools and software maker. 

- Altas Partners invested in Pye-Barker Fire, a Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of fire protection services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- IRISNDT, a portfolio company of First Reserve, acquired Altura Wind Services, a Sweetwater, Texas-based provider of inspection, cleaning, and maintenance services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Oscar W. Larson Company, a portfolio company of Trive Capital,acquired WildcoPES,  a provider of equipment sales to gas stations on the east coast. Financial terms weren't disclosed.  

- Secretariat, owned by JLL Partners, acquired Washington, DC based Economists Inc, a Washington D.C.-based consultant. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Abry Partners invested in Socius Insurance Services, a Boston-based casualty and property  insurance wholesaler. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- The Planet Group, a portfolio company of Odyssey Investment Partners, agreed to acquire OmniPoint Staffing, a Sandy Springs, Ga.-based IT staffing company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- DP World is nearing a deal to acquire Syncreon Holdings, an Auburn Hills, Mich.-based logistics company, for about $1.2 billion, per Bloomberg. Investors in Syncreon include Centerbridge Partners.

- Centerfield agreed to acquire Datalot, a New York City-based marketing service, from Lightyear Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Skillsoft Corp. (NYSE: SKIL) acquired Pluma, a San Francisco-based professional development and executive coaching platform, for $22 million. 

- Swedencare (SECARE:FN Stockholm) acquired Vetio Animal Health, a  maker of veterinary pharmaceutical, supplement, and dermatology products, from Thompson Street Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is leading a consortium alongside the Jiangsu provincial government seeking to buy an additional stake in Suning.com, a Chinese appliances retailer valued at about $8 billion.  

IPOS

- TPG, the Texas-based private equity firm, is weighing an IPO or merger with a SPAC, per the Wall Street Journal.

- AbSci, a Vancouver, Wash.-based synthetic biology company, filed for an initial public offering. Phoenix Venture Partners and Casdin Capital back the firm.

- EverCommerce, a Denver-based service commerce platform, raised $325 million in an offering of 19.1 million shares priced at $17. Providence Strategic Growth and Silver Lake back the firm.

- Torrid Holdings, a California-based curvy apparel company, raised $231 million in an offering of 11 million shares (100% insider sold) priced at $21 per share—it had planned to raise $156 million in an IPO of 8 million shares priced between $18 to $21 per share. Sycamore Partners backs the firm.

- Acumen Pharmaceuticals, a Charlottesville, Va.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, raised $160 million in an IPO of 10 million shares priced at $16 per share—it had planned to raise up to $133.33 million in an offering of 8.3 million shares priced between $14 and $16. RA Capital and PBM Capital Group back the firm.

- LinkDoc, a Beijing-based oncology big data company, plans to raise up to $210.6 million in an offering in the U.S. of 10.8 million ADSs priced between $17.50 and $19.50 per ADS. Digital Medical Technology and New Enterprise Associates back the firm.

SPACS

- Chamath Palihapitiya’s four biotech SPACs raised a total of $880 million.

- Inspirato, a Denver-based luxury travel company, agreed to go public via merger with Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp. in a deal valuing the company at $1.1 billion. Inspirato is backed by investors including Kleiner Perkins and DAG Ventures.

F+FS

- Veritas Capital, a New York City-based private equity firm, is seeking to raise $10 billion, per Bloomberg.

- BMW i Ventures, the New York City-based venture arm of BMW Group, has a new $300 million fund.

- Parkway Venture Capital, a New York City-based technology venture capital firm, raised $60 million for its second venture capital fund.

PEOPLE

- Triple Tree Capital Partners named Ryan Schultz as a vice president.

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