Hedge fund giant Tiger Global turned itself into the 800-pound gorilla of venture capital deals in 2021, becoming the most active investor in the space for the first half of the year.
In this record-breaking third quarter for venture capital, however, the Tiger was dethroned. Not by Andreessen Horowitz, which chased tightly after its tail in the second quarter, but by… drum roll…
Sequoia Capital China.
Yes, even in a quarter when the Chinese government was cracking down on the tech industry at large and creating ripples through its national economy, the China-based venture investor executed 96 deals, beating out Tiger Global’s 86, SoftBank’s 76, SOSV’s 75, and Insight Partners’ 73, per CBInsights’ State of Venture report, released Thursday.
That means Sequoia Capital China, the Chinese affiliate of Sequoia Capital on Sand Hill Road, executed an estimated 1.5 deals a day between July and September.
The investing firm, led by Neil Shen, invested across stages, including in a $46 million seed deal in Yundao Zhizao (a Chinese warehousing software company). The firm worked across geographies outside of China, too. Sequoia Capital China participated in a $400 million Series C funding round for Opay, a Nigerian mobile payments company.
Sequoia Capital China’s investments come in a red-hot quarter: Overall, an estimated $158.2 billion in funding went to 9,363 deals. If the dealmaking keeps up this pace for the next three months, global venture funding for 2021 could more than double that of the year prior, in which $284.2 billion was invested into the space globally. In short, it’s a crazy time in venture land.
MOVES LIKE PETER THIEL. Playbook, a seed-stage startup co-founded by venture studio Atomic, has raised $6 million in funding with one goal: Helping consumers pay lower taxes on investments. Right now, that means ensuring its users are taking full advantage of tax-free retirement accounts (like maxing out their 401(k) matches, contributing to the Roth IRA, or using a backdoor IRA if they earn over $140,000). But co-founder and CEO David Hegarty sees a future in which the company helps its users execute even more complex strategies like those famously employed by billionaire Peter Thiel, who reportedly turned $2,000 into $5 billion using the sleepy Roth IRA. Read more about Playbook here.
THE CREATOR ECONOMY: Once disdained and disparaged for being little more than glorified social media stars, influencers are now being chased down by corporate America for their reach and power. Investors too are becoming aware of the vast opportunity in building out products for these individuals and the broader set of creators—individuals that are making their own businesses around themselves and their ability to communicate on social media. In honor of this growing class, Fortune published its first creator economy package on Thursday, including a list of 25 Creators you should know (and at least one whose name has graced the pages of this newsletter before). Read more.
Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.
- Neumora Therapeutics, a Watertown, Mass.-based biotech focused on brain diseases, raised $500 million. Amgen invested $100 million, while Arch Venture Partners led the rest.
- Solo.io, a Cambridge, Mass.-based application networking company, raised $135 million in Series C funding, valuing it at $1 billion. Altimeter Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Redpoint Ventures and True Ventures.
- MindMaze, a Swiss maker of virtual reality software focused on the neurotherapeutics market, raised $125 million. AlbaCore Capital Group led the round.
- Modern Treasury, a San Francisco-based payments software provider, raised $85 million in Series C funding. Altimeter Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Benchmark and Quiet Capital. It values the company at about $2 billion.
- NeuroBlade, a Tel Aviv-based data processing company, raised $83 million in Series B funding. Corner Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Intel Capital, StageOne Ventures, Grove Ventures, and Marius Nacht.
- Till Payments, an Australian payments company, raised $80 million (AUD$100 million) in Series C funding. Investors included Avenir Growth, Woodson Capital, Akuna Capital, and Blue Sparrow Partners.
- Kentik, a San Francisco-based network analysis and security company, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Third Point Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including August Capital, Tahoma Ventures, DCVC, Engineering Capital, and Vistara Growth.
- Kyte, a San Francisco-based rental car delivery company, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Park West Asset Management and Sterling Road led the round.
- Brave Care, a Portland, Ore.-based pediatric healthcare and tech company, raised $25 million. Mednax led the round.
- Slope.io, a San Francisco-based clinical trial software company, raised $20 million in Series A funding. NEA led the round.
- Pluribus Networks, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based cloud and networking company, raised $20 million. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital led the round.
- TruckLabs, a Redwood City, Calif.-based trucking tech and hardware company, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Investors included Calibrate Ventures, Autotech Ventures, and Uncork Capital. To date, TruckLabs has raised $24 million in venture capital funding.
- Clarisights, a Berlin-based business insights company, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital India led the round and was joined by investors including OMERS Ventures and Signals Venture Capital.
- Mindee, a San Francisco-based document-processing API company, raised $14 million in Series A funding. GGV Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Alven, Serena Capital, and Bpifrance.
- CH4 Global, a Henderson, Nev..-based company using seaweed to reduce methane emissions, raised $13 million in Series A funding. DCVC and DCVC Bio led the round.
- BrightHire, a New York City-based hiring platform, raised $20.5 million in Series B funding. 01A led the round and was joined by investors including Index Ventures and Zoom Apps Fund.
- Toch.ai, an India-based maker of video editing software, raised $11.8 million in Series A funding. Moneta Ventures, Baring Private Equity India, Binny Bansal, Saikiran Krishnamurthy, Ventureast, Huashan Capital, 9 Unicorns, Anthill Ventures, Cathexis Ventures, SOSV, Artesian, and Innoven Capital invested.
- InvestNext, a Detroit-based maker of tech for real estate investment firms to raise and manage capital, raised $4.3 million in seed funding. Hyde Park Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Detroit Venture Partners, Whitecap Venture Partners, Grand Ventures, and ID Ventures.
- Praisidio, an employee attrition and HR platform, raised $4 million. SignalFire led the round and was joined by investors including SemperVirens and 1 Flourish.
- Wardrobe, a New York City-based platform that lets influencers rent out their clothes, raised $4.1 million in seed funding. Slow Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Foundation Capital and Casper co-founder Neil Parikh.
- Medley, a New York City-based coaching and membership company, raised $3.7 million in funding. Connie Chan and Anne Lee Skates of Andreessen Horowitz led the round and were joined by investors including Aglaé Ventures, Foundation Capital, artist Ciara, Peloton CMO Dara Treseder, and Away CEO and Co-Founder Jen Rubio.
- Senso, a Canada-based home financing tech maker, raised $3 million. Investors included Mendoza Ventures and Breakaway Growth.
- Better Brand, a New York City-based maker of a protein-heavy bagel snack, raised $2.5 million. Seven Seven Six led the round.
- Phonic.ai, a voice and video survey company, raised $2.2 million in seed funding. Investors included YC, Tola, Supernode, and Remus.
- Redi.Health, a Columbus, Ohio-based health management tech company, raised $1.3 million. Mutual Capital Partners led the round.
- ProPharma Group, a portfolio company of Odyssey Investment Partners, acquired Pharmica Consulting, an Oak Ridge, N.J.-based life science consulting company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Blackstone, will acquire a majority stake in VFS Global, a Switzerland and UAE-based visa outsourcing services business backed by EQT and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation. KHF will remain a minority shareholder. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Bp acquired Blueprint Power, a New York City-based power network company. Congruent Ventures backed Blueprint. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- IAC’s Dotdash (NASDAQ: IAC) will acquire Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP), a Des Moines, Ia.-based magazine publisher behind brands like People, Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, and Southern Living. The deal values Meredith at $2.7 billion. (FYI, Meredith did at one point own Fortune).
- Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) will acquire Baylis Medical, a maker of surgical products, for $1.8 billion.
- Applovin will acquire MoPub, an advertising platform, from Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), for $1.1 billion in cash. Twitter acquired MoPub for $350 million in 2013.
- Databricks acquired 8080 Labs, a German data-science company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR) acquired CreativeLive, a Seattle-based entrepreneurial education platform. REV Venture Partners and Social Capital backed the company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Life Time Group Holdings, a Chanhassen, Minn.-based fitness health club chain, raised $702 million in an offering of 39 million shares priced at $18 per share. The company posted $930 million in revenue in 2020 and reported a net loss of $360.2 million
- Theseus Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cancer treatment company, plans to raised $160 million in an offering of 10 million shares priced at $16 per share. The company reported a net loss of $12 million in 2020 and has yet to post revenue. OrbiMed Advisors, Foresite Capital, and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals back the firm.
- Pyxis Oncology, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cancer treatment company, now plans to raise up to $152 million in an offering of 9.5 million shares priced between $14 and $16 per share. The company reported a loss of $12.8 million in 2020 and has yet to post revenue. Pfizer Ventures, BVF Partners, Perceptive Advisors, and RTW Investments back the firm.
- Lucid Diagnostics, a New York City-based chronic heartburn diagnostics company, plans to raise up to $80 million in an offering of 5 million shares priced between $14 and $16 per share. The company reported a net loss of $8 million in 2020 and has yet to post significant revenue. Medical device company PAVmed and Case Western Reserve University back the firm.
- Kidpik, a New York City-based subscription-based e-commerce company, filed for an IPO. The company posted $17 million in net sales in 2020 and reported a net loss of $4 million.
- Nuvectis Pharma, a Fort Lee, New Jersey-based precision medicine development company, filed for an initial public offering. The company reported a net loss of $6 million in 2020 and has yet to post revenue.
- Rigetti, a quantum computer maker, plans to go public via a merger with Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II Ltd., a SPAC backed by Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, per Reuters. A deal could raise $458 million for the company.
- RA Capital Management, a Boston-based investor, closed its third venture fund, RA Capital Nexus Fund III, with $880 million.
- Chamaeleon, a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm, hired Ashish Aggarwal as an associate partner.
- Initialized Capital, a San Francisco-based venture firm, hired Kat Steinmetz, Scott Moss, and Andrew Sather as its first three principals.
- Canvas Ventures, a Portola Valley, Calif.-based venture firm, promoted Grace Isford to principal.
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