Revolut gets Tiger and SoftBank
This feels like a meme of 2021.
On Thursday, U.K.-based fintech Revolut announced that it raised $800 million in Series E funding, catapulting the company into the position of Europe’s second most valuable startup with a valuation of $33 billion.
Beyond just the numbers and the fact that fintech is red-hot, the deal is also the surprising coming together of two investors very much in the headlines. Take a gander. Do you have the names in your mind (Hint: They’ve been deploying capital like it’s nobody’s business)? Yes, SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management are apparently leading the mega round in the company.
It is uncommon to see both investors on a deal together, much less leading one as partners. As then outsider SoftBank roiled the venture ecosystem with mega investments in 2019, Tiger Global has become the name on everybody’s lips in 2021. The press-avoidant hedge fund was the most active investor globally in the space during the second quarter of the year alone. And following a string of successful IPOs of portfolio companies like Korean e-commerce company Coupang, SoftBank has also regained investor confidence since its WeWork-induced snafus roughly two years ago and is also now writing hefty checks out of its $30 billion fund. There are key differences in their strategies—while Tiger is known for taking a backseat and letting its dollars do the talking, SoftBank is known to still take an operational role in its portfolio companies.
In short, the two investors have been competitors—but it also wouldn’t be the first time the two have worked hand-in-hand. As Protocol’s Biz Carson notes, Tiger narrowly beat out SoftBank for the spot of lead investor in Redis Labs, an open-source database startup. The latter though still made an investment.
Also of note about Revolut itself: The trading and banking startup has faced no shortage of controversy in its pre-pandemic days. Reports alleged the company put aggressive performance targets in early 2019 on employees. Then CFO Peter O’Higgins also exited that year amid concerns of regulatory issues. Investors though didn’t seem too worried, pouring $500 million into the startup in February of 2020.
INITIALIZED IS GOING BIG: As its portfolio companies, including crypto exchange Coinbase, go public, bringing the firm big exits, Initialized Capital is bulking up. The firm has hired its seventh investing partner, Parul Singh, and is preparing to hire an eighth—making the bench the largest the firm has had since its founding in 2012. Venture capital is getting bigger, says Managing Partner Garry Tan. So Initialized plans to grow with it. Read the story here.
Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC section of the newsletter.
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