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What a Porsche IPO would mean for Germany’s most powerful automobile family

February 23, 2022, 4:45 PM UTC

If you read this newsletter all the way through each day (of course you do), you will have been hard pressed to miss one of the few IPO line items in recent weeks: a potential Porsche listing.

An IPO for Porsche, the historic luxury car brand that generates around a quarter of Volkswagen’s operating profit, could be one of Germany’s most valuable listings in many years. It could also be the full-circle breakup story of two companies that dropped billions trying to unite over a decade ago.

First, to get a little technical: Volkswagen Group said yesterday that it was in “advanced discussions” with Porsche Automobil Holding to take Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG public. If that confuses anyone else, don’t be alarmed: Porsche Automobil Holding, backed by the Porsche-Piech family, is the holding company with a majority stake in Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automobile maker. Apart from its 53.3% stake in Volkswagen’s 12-brand portfolio of Bugatti, Audi, Volkswagen, and others, the holding company is also an investor in other auto-focused companies, including 3D printing company Markforged and sensor company AEVA. 

Volkswagen, in turn, is the parent of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, which is the multi-lettered name for the Porsche manufacturing business. 

The crossover between the two car companies dates back nearly a century. Volkswagen and Porsche share a lot of history: Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle for Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. His son later used Volkswagen parts to make Porsche’s first sports car, and Volkswagen would occasionally manufacture vehicles that fell under the Porsche brand. 

The companies were separate entities, though there was always quite a bit of overlap in terms of management (for one, Volkswagen’s chief executive responsible for its global expansion was Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson). It took some maneuvering for the Porsche-Piech family to finally unite the two—an effort that began in the 2000s, spawned a series of hedge fund lawsuits, and left Porsche with billions of debt on its balance sheet and on the cusp of bankruptcy. Volkswagen ultimately took over Porsche in 2012.

After all of that mess 10 years ago, it feels like a great time for the Porsche-Piech family to scrap all that and go back to square one: spinning off Porsche into its own company again.

Familial chaos and maneuvering aside, it is an interesting move. Porsche generated approximately 24% of Volkswagen Group’s operating profit in the first three quarters of 2021, and it could become more valuable as a standalone company. Should the IPO occur, Volkswagen would lose Porsche revenue on its income statement, but it would get a plethora of cash by listing about a quarter of Porsche shares and raising somewhere around $22.7 billion—money it could spend to keep building out its electric car fleet. 

Here’s the bottom line: The auto industry is transforming as carmakers turn their focus to electric. Families can also be rather indecisive.

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
Email: jessica.mathews@fortune.com
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Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

BlueVoyant, a New York-based cybersecurity services provider, raised $250 million in funding led by Liberty Strategic Capital.

Bloomreach, a Mountain View, Calif.-based commerce experience cloud company, raised $175 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs Asset Manager and was joined by investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Sixth Street Growth.

- ​​Wildtype, a San Francisco-based startup creating sushi-grade cultivated salmon, raised $100 million in Series B funding led by L Catterton and was joined by investors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Bezos Expeditions, Temasek, S2G Ventures Oceans, and Seafood Fund.

- Good Culture, an Irvine-Calif.-based cultured dairy products brand, raised $64 million in Series C funding led by Manna Tree and was joined by investors including SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and actress Kristen Bell.

- Federated Wireless, an Arlington, Va.-based shared spectrum technology company, raised $58 million in Series D funding led by Cerberus Capital Management with existing investors Allied Minds and GIC.

- Weavr, a London-based technology provider that enables businesses with Plug-and-Play financial solutions, raised $40 million in Series A funding led by Tiger Global

- Phosphorus Cybersecurity, a Nashville, Tenn.-based cybersecurity software provider for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, raised $38 million Series A funding led by SYN Ventures and MassMutual Ventures.

- anecdotes, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based cloud-based data management platform, raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Red Dot Capital Partners and was joined by investors including Vintage Investment Partners, Shasta Ventures, Glilot Capital Partners, and Aleph.

Minded, a New York-based online mental health medication prescriber, raised $25 million in seed funding from investors including Streamlined Ventures, Link Ventures, The Tiger Fund, Unicorn Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, Gaingels, SALT Fund, TheFund.

Vymo, a San Francisco-based intelligent sales engagement platform, raised $22 million in Series C funding led by Bertelsmann Investments and was joined by investors including Emergence Capital and Sequoia Capital.

- Zero Networks, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based cybersecurity company that specializes in multi-factor authentication, raised $20.3 million in Series A funding led by Venrock and was joined by other investors including F2 Venture Capital and PICO Venture Partners.

- Alloy, a San Francisco-based ecommerce automation platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

- Decodable, a San Francisco-based data engineering company, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Venrock and Bain Capital Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including DJ Patil (Board Member at Devoted Health), Data Dog CEO Olivier Pomel, Cockroach Labs CEO Spencer Kimball, and Redis president and CRO Jason Forget.

- Aviron, a Toronto-based interactive rowing machine company, raised $18.5 million in Series A, funding led by Stripes partner, Chris Carey and was joined by investors from Global Founders Capital, Formic Ventures, and 24-Hour Fitness founder, Mark Mastrov

V-Ensure, a Navi Mumbai, India-based specialty pharmaceuticals company, raised $17.5 million in funding led by Investcorp and was joined by other investors including Tanas Capital

- Valerann, a London-based intelligent transportation company that serves road operators, raised $17 million in Series A funding led by HG Ventures.

Groundfloor, an Atlanta-based online real estate crowdfunding platform, raised $13 million in funding from investors including Medipower and SeedInvest.

- Onego Bio, an Espoo, Finland-based biotech company that develops animal-free proteins, raised €10 million ($11.33 million) in seed funding from investors including Agronomics Ltd and Maki VC

- PerchPeek, a London-based employee relocation platform, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by AlbionVC and Stage 2 Capital

- Warp, a Los Angeles-based middle mile delivery solution for shippers, raised $2.4 million in seed funding led by Bee Partners and was joined by investors including Amplify.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Aurelius acquired Ceramic Tile Distributors, a Loughborough, U.K.-based manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tiles. Financial terms were not disclosed.

KKR acquired a majority stake in Refresco, a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based beverage solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

- L Catterton, acquired a minority stake in Pure & Natural, a Shanghai-based domestic pet food brand in China. Financial terms were not disclosed.

EXITS

MidOcean Partners, acquired Cloyes, a Fort Smith, Ark.-based auto aftermarket products platform, from Hidden Harbor Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

OTHER

- SoFi Technologies agreed to acquire Technisys, a Miami-based digital multi-product banking platform in a deal valued at approximately $1.1 billion.

- Yanmar acquired a majority stake in GetMyBoat, a San Francisco-based boat rental and water experience marketplace. As part of the deal, Yanmar invested $21 million in the company as part of its Series B round. 

- Capsa Healthcare acquired Humanscale Healthcare, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based manufacturer and distributor of mobile computing workstations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- PestCo Holdings, a portfolio company of Thompson Street Capital Partners, acquired Pointe Pest Control, a West Chicago, Ill.-based pest control services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- SentiLink acquired Upstream Logix, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based data intelligence company for alternative finance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Virtuous acquired VOMO, a Plano, Texas-based volunteer mobilization platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Vision Innovation Partners acquired SIEHT, a Fredericksburg, Va.-based eye and laser center. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS

- General Catalyst, a New York-based venture capital firm, raised $4.6 billion for an eleventh fund focused on early-stage companies.

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