CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet

Blockchain.com is seeking an ambitious $20 billion valuation

December 13, 2021, 4:14 PM UTC

Happy Monday, Term Sheeters.

Here’s a little something from cryptoland: Blockchain.com is seeking a whopping $18 to $20 billion valuation as part of a new funding round. The company is aiming to raise $400 million in Series D equity from investors, according to someone involved in the—very early—discussions. 

“That’s what’s being discussed,” says the person, who spoke with me on condition of anonymity. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

For context, Blockchain.com is involved in a handful of businesses: It’s a crypto exchange, an institutional lender, a digital wallet provider, and an analytics platform. It recently launched the beta version of a new NFT marketplace. The person who spoke with me said the company’s revenues will have grown ten-fold by the end of the year compared to 2020 (Blockchain told Fortune two months ago it had posted $1.5 billion to-date).

But let’s unpack these numbers for a moment: $18 billion? I’m skeptical.

The London-based company only recently closed a $300 million Series C funding round at the end of March, in which it was valued at $5.2 billion. Now the company is attempting to nearly quadruple that valuation.

The question here is whether that could pan out. Sure, a company can aim for whatever valuation it wants. But only a handful of blockchain-focused companies are actually securing valuations that high: Coinbase has a market cap of $54.8 billion, as of this morning; FTX was valued at $25 billion in October. Crypto companies may be luring the eyes of venture capitalists right now, but double-digit valuations are a stretch for nearly anyone. Crypto exchange and custodian Gemini was valued at $7.1 billion last month. Kraken was valued at $10.3 billion back in April. OpenSea, the largest peer-to-peer marketplace, had a $1.5 billion valuation in July.

Blockchain.com is a small peer in the exchange world, with only about $32.8 million in daily volume compared to Binance ($15.5 billion) or Gemini ($146.6 million), according to CoinMarketCap data. Even if it’s leaning more into its institutional lending business (it says it has processed $3.7 billion in loans), I’d be skeptical that those numbers could warrant such a hefty valuation.

That being said, valuations are hyper-inflated at the moment. “That’s the world we live in,” says Bradley Tusk, CEO of Tusk Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that has invested in Coinbase and Circle. On the one hand, “a lot of valuations feel totally out of control,” he says. The other end of that: “There are other times when we realize that this is where the market has gone to—this is where it is.”

In the case of Blockchain.com, he says, they very well may not land the valuation they’re after, unless it’s stemming from an offer already on the table.

Back to Montana: A private equity firm is buying up distressed land out in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, then cleaning it up. But in this market, ranches can be hard to come by, writes Jennifer Alsever for Fortune.

All eyes on Europe: Venture capital is having a good year in general, but the numbers are particularly plump In Europe. There are 70 startups that became unicorns thus far in 2021 within Europe and Israel—up from only 19 in 2020. There’s more data here from Pitchbook.

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
Email: jessica.mathews@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

- Flink, a Berlin-based grocery delivery service company, raised $750 million in Series B funding led by DoorDash and was joined by Mubadala Capital.

- SnapLogic, a San Mateo, Calif.-based unified data and application integration platform, raised $165 million in funding led by Sixth Street Growth.

- Exai Bio, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based liquid biopsy company, raised $67.5 million in Series A funding led by Section 32 and Casdin Capital and was joined by Two Sigma Ventures.

- HealthCare.com, a Miami, Fla.-based insurance comparison services company, raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Oaktree Capital Management funds.

- KlearNow, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based Logistics as a Service (LaaS) provider and company, raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Kayne Partners Fund and was joined by investors including GreatPoint Ventures, Argean Capital, Autotech Ventures, and Activate Capital.

- Cassini Systems, a London-based pre- and post-trade margin and collateral analytics platform for derivatives market participants, raised $20.5 million in funding led by Ten Coves Capital and was joined by Mosaik Partners

- Nuvocargo, a New York-based cross-border freight services platform, raised $20.5 million in funding led by Tiger Global and was joined by investors including The Flexport Fund.

- Mightier, a Boston-based bioresponsive video games developer, raised $17 million in Series B funding led by DigiTx Partners and was joined by investors including the Sony Innovation Fund and Boston-based PBJ Capital.

- PetPlate, a New York-based pet food company, raised $19 million in Series B funding led by Pendulum and was joined by investors including D.F. Enterprises, 301 INC, Conversion Venture Capital, Marco Polo, Fernbrook Capital Management, and Amity Supply

- Bumper, a London-based vehicle finance platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Autotech Ventures and was joined by investors including Porsche Ventures and InMotion Ventures.

- Wonder Dynamics, a Los Angeles-based production tool development company for indie-budget content creation, raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Horizons Ventures and was joined by investors including Epic Games, Samsung Next, Founders Fund, and MaC Venture Capital.

- Sympl, an Egyptian buy now, pay later platform, raised $6 million in seed funding led by Beco Capital and was joined by investors including A15, and Global Ventures.

- thirdweb, a web3 app development platform raised $5 million in funding for its launch from investors including entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, AppLovin co-founder Adam Foroughi, and others.

- Starchive, a Charlottseville, Va.-based digital media management company for content creators, raised $4 million in funding led by The Felton Group.

- Tractiv, a Chicago-based data sharing and tracing software company for financial services firms and fintech companies, raised $2.25 million in seed funding led by Nyca Partners

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Lone Star Funds agreed to acquire SPX Flow, a Charlotte, N.C.-based food and beverage engineering and processing solution company, for $3.8 billion in cash.

- Aquamar Holdings, backed by Huron Capital Partners, acquired Shining Ocean, a Sumner, Wash.-based surimi seafood product distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Ascensus Specialties, owned by New Mountain Capital, acquired Wychem, a U.K.-based fine chemical manufacturer for pharmaceutical and specialty applications. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

- Copley Equity Partners acquired Perkins Biomedical Services, a Bow, N.H.-based histology and pathology equipment service and repair company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- GrowthCurve Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in Mistplay, a Montreal-based gaming loyalty platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Polyventive, backed by Arsenal Capital Partners, acquired Tri-Tex, a Canadian surfactant, dye, pigment, and water-based polymer manufacturer, from SK Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

EXITS

 - Iron Mountain agreed to acquire ITRenew, a Newark, Calif.-based asset disposition and recovery company, from ZMC for $925 million.

- The Hain Celestial Group agreed to acquire Proven Brands, a Montclair, N.J.-based baked snacks manufacturer, from Clearlake Capital Group for approximately $259 million.  

OTHER

- Pfizer agreed to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based clinical stage immuno-inflammatory disease therapy development company, for $6.7 billion. 

- Ramsay Health Care agreed to acquire Elysium Healthcare, a U.K.-based mental health services company, for $1 billion.

- POSCO International agreed to acquire Senex Energy, a Brisbane, Australia-based oil and gas exploration company, for $610 million.

- Vivid Seats acquired Betcha Sports, a New York-based live sports social and gaming app, for around $65 million in cash and equity.

- CIFC Asset Management agreed to acquire LBC Credit Partners, a Philadelphia-based middle market direct lending platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Harry’s agreed to acquire Lumē, a Salt Lake City-based deodorant company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Olsam Group acquired Flywheel Commerce, a Baltimore, Md.-based e-commerce aggregator. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- SVB Financial Group acquired MoffettNathanson, a New York-based independent sell-side research firm that covers the media, communications, and technology sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IPOS 

- SenseTime Group, a Chinese artificial intelligence and facial recognition company, is issuing refunds to investors and plans to publish a supplemental prospectus that includes U.S. sanctions for its Hong Kong IPO, per Bloomberg. SoftBank backs the firm.

- EuroChem, a Russian fertilizer company, plans to raise more than $1 billion in a 2022 IPO in the country, according to Reuters.

- More Retail, an Amazon-backed Indian grocery chain, is weighing an IPO that could raise around $500 million, per Bloomberg. A public offering could value the company at around $5 billion. 

- The Dubai government plans to list Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp., a joint venture between a Dubai Holding unit and state-owned utility, according to Bloomberg.

SPAC

- Fertitta Entertainment, a Houston, Tex.-based hospitality and gaming company, terminated plans to go public via a merger with FAST Acquisition Corp. A deal had been valued at $8.6 billion.

- Symbotic, a supply chain technology platform, agreed to go public via a merger with SVF Investment Corp. 3, a SPAC backed by SoftBank. A deal values the company at $5.5 billion. Walmart backs the firm.

- LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle division, agreed to go public via a merger with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., a SPAC. A deal values the division at $1.8 billion.

- Azerion Holding, a Dutch digital entertainment company, agreed to go public via a merger with European Fintech IPO Company BV, a SPAC backed by former Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing. A deal values the firm at around $1.6 billion.

- Biote Holdings, an Irving, Tex.-based hormone-replacement therapy company, plans to go public via a merger with Haymaker Acquisition Corp. III, a SPAC, according to Bloomberg. A deal values the firm at about $740 million.

F+Fs

- Breakout Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, raised $112.5M for its second fund.

- Chimera Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based alternative asset manager, raised $75 million for its first venture fund.

This is the web version of Term Sheet, a daily newsletter on the biggest deals and dealmakers. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.