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The good times keep rolling for small, e-commerce business owners

November 17, 2021, 3:58 PM UTC

If you’re a smaller, e-commerce shop owner looking to sell your business, now looks to be a pretty darn good time to do so.

The money is, after all, still rolling in for venture capital and private equity-backed startups that have made it their job to snap up such sellers and tie them loosely into a mini conglomerate.

Over the course of the last day or so alone: E-commerce roll-up company Heyday announced it raised $555 million in a round led by The Raine Group and Premji Invest; India-based Mensa raised $135 million at a $1 billion valuation; Keith Rabois co-founded Openstore meanwhile raised $75 million. 

That all comes after Amazon aggregator Thrasio raised about $1 billion, with Silver Lake and Advent leading the round, even as the company faced some internal turmoil.

While private companies (like those above) rarely reveal their financial results, some public companies adjacently in the space do offer some clues as to why investors remain bullish. Despite a return to a semi-normal in the U.S.—raising concerns that online shopping too would face a dip—companies like Etsy and Shopify have continued to grow in recent quarters. Shopify, which helps businesses set up their own online stores, posted revenue that grew about 46% in the third quarter compared to the same period a year earlier. Though if you drill deeper beyond the companies enabling e-commerce, it’s worth noting that not all businesses that thrived in the pandemic are maintaining their growth.

Of course, there is also no shortage of doubters too as this sector of e-commerce rollups has surged seemingly overnight. For starters, it is growing competitive, as the multiple funding rounds above show. But one venture investor looking at the space also voiced an interesting uncertainty to me, saying he believed such companies would be likely to provide private-equity-like returns rather than venture-like ones.

Regardless of how this all plays out however, one thing is for sure: If you’re the creator of a small e-commerce shop and have now grown tired of running it all on your own, now is still a good time to sell your company. Heck, you might even get a Tesla while you’re at it.

THE DOJ SELLS CRYPTO: The U.S. Department of Justice is looking to sell some $56 million worth of cryptocurrency as part of the case against Bitconnect, the crypto lender that was accused of massive $2 billion fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Bitconnect of raising Bitcoin for operations, only for founder Satish Kumbhani to use some of the funds for himself, and to pay promoters of his scheme.

The other part of this story is that regulators have been eager to show that they have the tools and chops to keep up with the large crypto cases—so criminals beware.

“This liquidation is the largest single recovery of a cryptocurrency fraud by the United States to date,” the DOJ’s press release read.

HOUSEKEEPING: I’m out until Nov. 29. In the meantime, please send deals to Anne.Sraders@fortune.com.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Heyday, a San Francisco buyer of e-commerce businesses, raised $555 million in Series C funding. The Raine Group and Premji Invest co-led the round.

- Facily, a Brazil-based social commerce company, has raised over $366 million over four rounds: A $250 million Series D led by DX Ventures, Delivery Hero, and Citius valuing it at $850 million; a $63 million Series C led by Glade Brook; a $41 million Series B round led by Luxor; and a $12 million Series A led by Quona Capital and Monashees.

- Cloudwalk, a Brazilian payment tech company, raised $150 million in Series C funding. Coatue led the round valuing it at $2.2 billion.

- Mensa Brands, an India-based brand acquisition company, raised $135 million in Series B funding valuing it over $1 billion. Alpha Wave Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Prosus Ventures, Falcon Edge Capital, Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management. 

- Netlify, a San Francisco-based maker of a way to build, deploy, and scale web applications, raised $105 million in funding valuing it at $2 billion. Bessemer Venture Partners led the Series D round and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, BOND, EQT Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Mango Capital, and Menlo Ventures.

- PLACE, a Bellingham, Wash.-based tech maker for real estate agents, raised $100 million in Series A funding. Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round and was joined by investors including 3L Capital for a valuation of more than $1 billion.

- Gradiant, a Boston-based cleantech water treatment company, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus and Schlumberger New Energy led the round.

- Ultraleap, a London-based hand-tracking and sensor company, raised $82 million (£60 million) in Series D funding. Investors included Tencent, British Patient Capital’s ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’, and CMB International. 

- Cala Health, a Burlingame, Calif. -based bioelectronic medicine company, raised $77 million. Ascension Ventures led the round.

- OpenStore, a Miami-based startup that acquires Shopify businesses, raised $75 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by investors including Atomic, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures. 

- Overwolf, an Israel-based platform for creators to build in-game apps and mods, raised $75 million in Series D funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Griffin Gaming Partners, Insight Partners, Intel Capital, Liberty Technology Venture Capital, and Marker.

- AnyDesk, a German remote desktop software maker, raised €60 million ($70 million) in Series C funding. General Atlantic led the round and was joined by investors including Insight Partners, EQT Ventures, and Possible Ventures, valuing it at $660 million. 

- Monarch, a San Francisco Bay area-based autonomous tractor company, raised $61 million in Series B funding. Astanor Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including CNH Industrial, At One Ventures, and Trimble Ventures.

- Settle, a cashflow management startup, raised $60 million in Series B funding. Ribbit Capital led the round.

- aptihealth, a Boston-based behavioral health company, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Investors included Takeda Digital Ventures, Pivotal Life Sciences, Vista Credit Partners, Olive Tree Ventures, Claritas Capital, and What If Ventures

- StarkWare, an Israel-based Ethereum scaling solution provider, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, valuing it at $2 billion.

- PlanetScale, a San Francisco-based serverless database company, raised $50 million. Kleiner Perkins led the round and was joined by investors including a16z, SignalFire, and Insight Partners.

- Hightouch, a San Francisco-based customer data software company, raised $40 million in Series B funding valuing it at $450 million. ICONIQ Growth led the round and was joined by investors including Amplify, Bain, YC, and Afore.

- Laminar, an Israel-based public cloud security company, raised $32 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including SentinelOne (NYSE: S), TLV Partners, and Meron Capital. 

- Cymbio, an Israel-based marketplace and drop ship automation, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Corner Ventures led the round.

- GoKwik, an Indian e-commerce enablement company, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital India led the round and was joined by investors including Matrix Partners India and RTP Global.

- PayZen, a San Francisco-based fintech company tackling healthcare affordability, raised $15 million in Series A funding. SignalFire led the round and was joined by investors including Link Ventures and 7wireVentures.

- Sense Biodetection, a molecular diagnostics company, raised an additional $15 million in Series B funding. Koch Disruptive Technologies led the round.

- PreAct Technologies, a Portland-based vehicle sensing tech maker, raised $13 million in Series A funding. State Farm Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Elev8.VC, Gotham Partners, Traylor Capital, and Stargazer Ventures.

- Hydrosat, a Washington D.C.-based geospatial data and analytics company, raised $10 million in seed funding. OTB Ventures led the round.

- Mangrove Lithium, a Canada-based lithium refining company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Breakthrough Energy Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice.

- Noissue, a New Zealand-based sustainable packaging company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Felix Capital led the round.

- Circonus, a Malvern, Pa.-based infrastructure monitoring and analytics company, raised $10 million in Series B funding. Baird Capital led the round.

- Plastomics, a St. Louis-based developer of tech for higher-yielding crops, raised $7.1 million in Series A funding. Lewis & Clark AgriFood led the round.

- Brimstone Energy, an Oakland, Calif.-based company developing zero-carbon cement, raised $5.1 million. DCVC and Breakthrough Energy Ventures led the round.

- NFTfi, a South African company allowing users to post their NFTs as collateral, raised $5 million in seed funding. 1kx led the round and was joined by investors including Sound Ventures, Maven 11, Scalar Capital, and Kleiner Perkins.

- Centered, a San Francisco-based productivity app, raised $3.9 million. Uncork Capital and Yes.vc led the round.

- Moment Energy, a Canadian energy storage company for electric vehicles, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Version One Ventures led the round.

- Elude, a Los Angeles-based travel booking company, raised $3 million in seed funding. ATX Venture Partners led the round.

- Racket, a Los Angeles-based social audio app, raised $3 million in pre-seed funding. Investors include Greycroft, Foundation Capital, LightShed Ventures, Active Capital, Loup Ventures and Tribe Capital. 

- GOODLES , a mac and cheese brand, raised $6.4 million. Investors include Springdale Ventures, Willow Growth Partners, Third Craft, Gingerbread Capital, and Purple Arch Venture. 

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Cinven agreed to acquire a majority stake in BioAgilytix, a contract research organization, from Cobepa. Bloomberg reports a deal values BioAgilytix at $2.5 billion.

- Peakequity Partners led a $60 million investment in HighLevel, a Dallas-based sales and marketing tech maker.

- Accel-KKR made a significant investment in Enmark Systems, a maker of software for metal services centers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- CMS Nextech, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, acquired Arctic Services, a provider of HVAC services in the Greater Las Vegas area, and Patriot Mechanical, a provider of HVAC services in Ashland, Va. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KnowFully Learning Group, backed by NexPhase Capital, acquired Immediate Action Medicine, a a provider of online training and recertification for paramedics, EMTs, and nurses. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Pacur, backed by Gryphon Investors,  agreed to acquire CAROLE,a French polyethylene terephthalate glycol sheet extruder. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Sabrosura Foods, backed by Centre Partners, acquired Pancho's Mexican Foods, a maker of queso dips. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- TA Associates and True Wind Capital invested in e-Emphasys Technologies, a maker of software providers to dealers and rental companies in the equipment distribution industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXIT

- Partners Group agreed to acquire DiversiTech, a manufacturer and supplier of parts and accessories for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, from Permira. The deal values DiversiTech at about $2.2 billion.

- nCino (NASDAQ: NCNO) agreed to acquire SimpleNexus, a Lehi, Ut.-based financial services tech maker for the homeownership process, for $1.2 billion. Insight Partners and TVC Partners backed SimpleNexus. 

- Oportun (Nasdaq:OPRT) agreed to acquire Digit, a neobank providing automated savings, investing, and banking tools, for about $212.9 million ($98.5 million in equity and $114.4 million in cash). General Catalyst backed Digit.

- Medium acquired Knowable, a Los Angeles-based training company. Upfront Ventures backs Knowable. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Wealthfront, the Palo Alto, Calf.-based automated wealth manager, is weighing a sale that could value it at $1.5 billion, per Bloomberg.

- Blue Prism Group, a U.K.-based software, is weighing a bid from rival SS&C Technologies that would value it around 1.2 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), according to a statement Tuesday. Vista Equity Partners has offered 1.1 billion pounds for the business.

- SoundHound, a maker of A.I. voice tech, will go public via merger with Archimedes Tech SPAC Partner. The deal will value SoundHound at about $2.1 billion.

F+FS

- Balderton Capital raised $600 million for a fund focused on early-stage companies.

PEOPLE

- Finistere Ventures appointed Steve Goldberg as a partner. He was previously at Venrock.

- Andreessen Horowitz named Marc Andrusko as a partner focused on fintech.

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