Grata raises $25 million to help private equity firms find their next investment
It starts at the top: Find a business to acquire.
Directories. Lists. Connections at an investment bank or law firm. Word-of-mouth. Plain old research. They can all help an investor identify their next investment opportunity and develop an ongoing pipeline of leads. But closing the deal can still be a matter of getting there first, and at the right time, especially in today’s market, where capital seems ever-flowing.
That’s where big data is extending a hand: to help firms identify new opportunities—or help analyze an investment against the competition. Some firms are taking that in-house, building out internal research teams that know a thing or two about data scraping. Other firms are looking for third-party tools to find new leads.
Enter Grata, a New York-based search engine company for private market investors or M&A advisors. The company has been building out an exhaustive database of middle-market businesses since 2015 that pulls information from company websites, social media profiles, and other sources to help investors find businesses and pinpoint information like size and growth, funding and ownership, business model, customer base, and contact information.
Grata recently landed $25 million in Series A funding to keep building out its tech in a round led by Craft Ventures and joined by investors including Teamworthy Ventures, Altai Ventures, Eigen Ventures, Bling Capital, Accomplice, and Touchdown Ventures. (Grata declined to disclose its current valuation.)
It’s an interesting scenario where the lead investor, Craft Ventures, is setting up the Grata platform internally to help source its own investments and conduct better due diligence. “There is no Bloomberg for the middle market, and I think that’s really the big opportunity that Grata has here,” says Jeff Fluhr, general partner at Craft Ventures.
The middle market, which typically refers to companies generating somewhere between $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenue, “is so vast and kind of overlooked,” says Grata CEO Andrew Bocskocsky, who co-founded the company with COO Nevin Raj.
With capital flowing into venture capital and private equity firms at record rates—and COVID forcing some local business owners online for the first time—Grata has been able to scale its clientele and database. Since 2015, the startup has accumulated around 200 accounts (think private equity firms, investment banks, and corporations: “even hedge funds and family offices who invest in public companies are now looking at the middle market,” Raj says) and has just under 1,000 monthly active users. Clients can use its search engine, access Grata’s API for their own internal proprietary data systems, or get direct access to Grata’s data warehouse (meant “for people who are looking to do data science efforts and have more sophisticated in-house capabilities,” Bocskocsky says). Grata added a Chrome extension that loads information about a company when you open its site.
Raj and Bocskocsky hope to use the influx of capital to further build out their tech, expand their datasets to international companies, and extend partnerships with other data providers. More specifically, Grata plans to use $20 million of company revenue and the investment to build out its product and engineering teams, including to hire new data scientists and machine learning engineers.
“That’s the mechanism you need to be able to stay up-to-date and have the level of breadth and depth required to properly map and index the middle market,” Bocskocsky says.
Hedge funds start pulling back: Tiger Global Management, D1 Capital Partners, and Octahedron Capital are reportedly pulling back from later-stage growth investments, per The Information. Tiger Global reportedly told investors in a webinar that it was no longer focusing on late-stage startups and turning more attention to Series A and B rounds. We’ve seen that move before.
See you tomorrow,
Jackson Fordyce helped curate today’s deals section.
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- Clickatell, a Redwood City, Calif.-based chat commerce company, raised $91 million in Series C funding led by Arrowroot Capital and was joined by investors including Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, Endeavor Global, and Harvest.
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- Facilio, a New York-based property operations software platform, raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Dragoneer Investment Group and was joined by investors including Brookfield Growth, Accel India, and Tiger Global Management.
- Coast, a New York-based B2B card payment platform, raised $27.5 million in Series A financing led by Accel and Insight Partners.
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- Jambo, a Kinshasa, Congo-based Web3 financing and education app, raised $7.5 million in seed funding from investors including Delphi Digital, Coinbase Ventures, 3 Arrows Capital, Alameda Research, AllianceDAO, Tiger Global, DeFiance Capital, Hashed, Polygon Studios, UOB, Signum Capital, BH Digital, YGG, and others.
- NourishedRx, a Stamford, Conn.-based health care service provider, raised $6 million in seed funding led by S2G Ventures and was joined by investors including Route 66 Ventures, Connecticut Innovations, Primetime Partners, and other individual investors.
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- Freterium, a Casablanca, Morocco-based transport management software provider, raised $4 million in funding led by Partech and was joined by other investors including Y Combinator, Flexport, CDG Invest, Swiss Founders Fund, and Outlierz Ventures.
- Nabta Health, a Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based women’s healthcare platform, raised $1.5 million in funding led by Basim Anwer and was joined by investors including Priya Oberoi, Sarper Tanli, and Nadia Mannell.
- Standard General, backed by Cox Media Group and Apollo Global Management, agreed to acquire TEGNA, a Tysons, Va.-based media company and television network, for approximately $5.4 billion, including debt, and take it private. As part of the deal, TEGNA’s advertising division, Premion, will become a standalone company owned by Cox Media Group and Standard General.
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- London Stock Exchange Group, agreed to acquire TORA, a Burlingame, Calif.-based online trading platform for global markets, for $325 million.
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FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS
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- SKALE, a San Francisco-based Ethereum blockchain network, launched a $100 million fund focused on applications and projects on the SKALE Network.
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- Housatonic Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, hired Spencer Moss as vice president and promoted Lauren Edwards to principal and Ian Ardrey to senior associate. Formerly, Moss was with Olive Coast Partners.