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Venture capital exit activity hits a record

July 14, 2021, 2:27 PM UTC

If it feels as if venture capitalists across the board are congratulating each other on the daily for an initial public offering or acquisition of a portfolio company, you’re not wrong. 

An estimated 883 exits valued at an aggregate of $372.2 billion were executed in the first half of 2021 alone, representing nearly five exits a day, per data from Pitchbook and NVCA’s Wednesday Venture Monitor on the U.S. market. With six months to go, it already represents a new annual record, with deal volume exceeding last year’s by 85%.

The data is also perhaps economic proof for why entrepreneurs prefer to go public rather than sell their company. While acquisitions made up the majority of exit strategies this year as in years prior (compared to a public listing or a buyout), the vast majority of exit value came from public listings—meaning on a per company basis, going public is correlated with higher valuations.

While public listings (SPAC mergers are also being included in the figure) represented about 17.6% of exits by deal count in the first half of the year so far, the category has driven “outsized… deal value.” 

Certainly the exits of giants like Coinbase ($85 billion at IPO), UiPath ($29 billion), and Marqeta ($14.3 billion), helped drive up the figures. 

SPAC FINES: The Securities and Exchange Commission has levied its first set of charges against a SPAC. The SEC charged a space startup that agreed to go public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company for allegedly misleading investors and glossing over national security concerns over its Russian founder, Mikhail Kokrich. The company, which had said it would go public via merger with Stable Road Acquisition, paid $7 million to settle the charges while Stable Road paid $1 million. When it had first sought to go public, the deal was valued at about $1.2 billion before the duo revised the figure to $700 million. Read more.

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

Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO section of the newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- M1 Finance, a Chicago-based borrowing and banking startup, raised $150 million in Series E funding. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led the round.

- Virsec, a San Jose, Calif.-based cybersecurity company, raised $100 million in Series C funding. BlueIO led the round and was joined by investors including Allen & Company, Arena Holdings, Intuitive Venture Partners, JC2 Ventures, Artiman Ventures, Quantum Valley Investments, and Marker Hill Capital.

- Amperity, a Seattle-based customer data company, raised $100 million in funding at a valuation of over $1 billion. HighSage Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, Madrona Venture Group, and Madera Technology Partners.

- Pantheon, a San Francisco-based platform for creating website, raised $100 million in Series E funding, valuing it over $1 billion. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 was the investor.

- Sourcegraph, a San Francisco-based search engine startup, raised $125 million in Series D funding at a $2.6 billion valuation. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Insight, Geodesic, Sequoia, Craft, and others.

- YuLife, a London-based insurance company, raised $70 million in Series B funding. Target Global led the round and was joined by investors including Eurazeo and Latitude.

- Ribon Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical stage biotech focused on cancer and inflammation, raised $65 million. Deerfield Management and U.S. Venture Partners led the round and were joined by investors including Avego BioScience Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Monashee Investment Management, and Peregrine Ventures.

- Meister, a Vienna, Austria-based workplace collaboration tool company, raised $52 million. Verdane led the round.

- Entos, a San Diego-based developer of small-molecule therapeutics, raised $53 million in Series A funding. Coatue led the round and was joined by investors including Catalio Capital Management.

- Castor, a Hoboken, N.J.-based clinical trial software, raised $45 million in Series B funding. Eight Roads Ventures and F-Prime Capital led the round and were joined by investors including Two Sigma Ventures and Inkef Capital.

- Cardless, a San Francisco-based maker of branded credit cards, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Activant Capital led the round and was joined by investors including owners and management of the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics as well as Accomplice and Pear VC.

- LinkSquares, a Boston-based contract management and analysis tool, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Sorenson Capital led the round and was joined by investors including  Catalyst Investors, Xerox, and Bottomline Technologies.

- Heart Aerospace, a Swedish electric aircraft company, raised $35 million in Series A funding. United Airline Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Mesa Airlines invested.

- Syfe, a Singapore-based digital wealth management company, raised SG$40 million ($30 million) in Series B funding. Valar Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Presight Capital and Unbound.

- Mytonomy, a Bethesda, Md.-based maker of software for video-based patient engagement, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Level Equity led the round.

- Morty, a New York City-based maker of a mortgage marketplace, raised $25 million in Series B funding. March Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Rethink Impact, Thrive Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Prudence Holdings, FJ Labs, and Metaprop.

- Comet Bio, a Canadian manufacturer of ingredients based on crop leftovers, raised $22 million in Series C funding. Open Prairie led the round.

- Mighty Buildings, an Oakland, Calif.-based 3D printing, robotics, and automation, raised $22 million in extended Series B funding. Investors include ArcTern Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Decacorn Capital, Gaingels, Khosla Ventures, Klaff Realty, MicroVentures, Modern Venture Partners, Polyvalent Capital, and Vibrato Capital.

- Nas Academy, a Singapore-based education platform, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including TechAviv Founder Partners, 500 Startups, Graph Ventures, FreshFund, Metapurse, Balaji Srinivasan, Emilie Choi (President and COO of Coinbase), Ritesh Agrawal (Founder and CEO of OYO), and Markian.

- Phantom, a San Francisco-based crypto wallet and browser extension, raised $9 million in Series A funding. A16z led the round and was joined by investors including Variant Fund, Jump Capital, DeFi Alliance, and Solana Foundation

- Acelab, a Brooklyn-based marketplace connecting architects and manufacturers of building products, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Pillar VC led the round and was joined by investors including Alpaca (formerly Corigin), Draper Associates, Transcend Partners, MIT MET Fund, and Erik Jarnryd.

- Climate X, a London-based climate analytics startup, raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. Pale Blue Dot led the round and was joined by investors including Blue Wire Capital, A100x, and Possibilian.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Apollo Global Management is in talks to acquire the consumer operations of Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMU) in some states for about $5 billion, per Bloomberg.

- BC Partners will invest in Valtech, a digital services company. The deal values Valtech around $1.4 billion.

- CenterOak Partners made a majority recapitalization of HK Solutions Group, a provider of infrastructure maintenance services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Cohere Capital invested in Promevo, a Burlington, Ky.-based IT services company focused on Google. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- First United Bank invested in Exencial Wealth Advisors, an Oklahoma City, Ok.-based investment advisor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Company, acquired New York Leak Detection, a Jamesville, N.Y.-based provider of utility locating and leak detection services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- HealthEdge Investment Partners and Synergistic Capital Partners invested in Today's Dental Network, a dental practice network. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- HOPCo, backed by Audax Private Equity, acquired Tahoe Fracture, a Carson City, N.V.-based orthopedic care physician network. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Houlihan Lokey acquired Baylor Klein, a U.K.-based boutique advisory firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Incline Equity Partners acquired Edko, a Bossier City, La.-based provider of herbicides. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KPS Capital Partners acquired Metra Holding and Metra, a European manufacturer of extruded aluminum. KPS will combine the business with Profile Custom Extrusions, a U.S. manufacturer of extruded aluminum acquired from Highlander Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- NMS Capital recapitalized DirectMed Parts & Service, a San Diego, Calif.-based maker of parts for MRI and CT machines. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- PSG invested in SchoolStatus, a Ridgeland, Ms.-based provider of education technology. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Lone Star Funds agreed to acquire AOC, a Dutch chemicals business, from CVC Capital Partners. The deal values the company around €2 billion  ($2.4 billion), per Bloomberg.

- Mediaocean, backed by Vista, agreed to acquire Flashtalking, a Chicago-based advertising tech company, from TA Associates for $500 million.

- Quad-C Management acquired Apps Associates, an Acton, Mass.-based enterprise application services provider, from BV Investment Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Webhelp acquired OneLink, a Colombia-based business process outsourcing company, from One Equity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- Alibaba Group is among those weighing a bid for Unisplendour, a Chinese computing infrastructure firm, in a deal that could value the business at as much as $7.7 billion.

- Discord acquired Sentropy, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company focused on fighting abuse and harassment online. Investors in Sentropy have included Initialized Capital and Playground Global. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- Core & Main, a St. Louis-based infrastructure maintenance company, plans to raise up to $802.3 million in an offering of 34.9 million shares priced between $20 and $23 per share. The company generated $3.6 billion in revenue in the year ending Jan. 31. and net income of $44.5 million. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice backs the firm.

- Zenvia, a São Paulo, Brazil-based customer service software company, now plans to raise up to $173.1 million in an offering of 11.5 million shares priced between $13 and $15 per share—it previously sought to raise $225.8 million in an offering of 12.9 million shares priced between $15.50 and $17.50. Oria Gestão de Recursos backs the firm.

- Sight Sciences, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based eye disease medical device company, now plans to raise up to $240 million in an offering of 10 million shares priced between $23 and $24 per share. It previously sought to raise $160.5 million. The firm posted $27.6 million in revenue in 2020 and ran at a net loss of $34.7 million.

- European Wax Center, a Plano, Texas-based hair removal salon chain, filed for an initial public offering. The company generated $103.4 million in 2020 revenue and ran at a net loss of $21.5 million. General Atlantic backs the firm.

- Jianzhi Education Technology Group, a Beijing-based Chinese learning platform, filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. The company generated $62 million in net revenue in 2020 and $12.6 million in income. Beijing Rongde Information Technology and Dongxing Securities back the firm.

- Ocean Biomedical, a Providence, Rhode Island-based biomedical research company, plans to raise up to $54.8 million in an offering of 3.2 million shares priced between $14 and $17 per share. The company posted a net loss of $1.7 million in 2020 and has yet to post a revenue.

- Car House Holding, a Chinese car product manufacturer and supplier, withdrew its U.S. IPO. 

SPAC

- SES Holdings, a Woburn, Mass.-based electric-vehicle battery maker, plans to go public via merger with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition, a SPAC, valuing the combined company at $3.6 billion.

- Policygenius, a New York City-based online insurance marketplace, is in talks to go public via merger with PWP Forward Acquisition I, a SPAC, per Bloomberg.

F+FS

- Josh Harris, the co-founder of Apollo Global Management who was passed over for the top position, is in the process of building his own fund, per Bloomberg. He could seek to raise $5 billion for a private equity fund.

- Untitled Ventures, a London-based venture firm, raised €100 million for its second fund.

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