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February 26, 2021

Happy Friday, readers.

Airbnb posted its first earnings ever as a public company late Thursday. And even though its valuation has soared far beyond its pre-pandemic numbers, its fourth-quarter financials made it clear that the pandemic has remained an issue.

The company reported revenue of $859 million for the three months ending December 2020—down some 22% compared to the year prior. It also lost about $3.9 billion in the quarter, with much of the losses associated with costs from its compensation tied to its IPO as well as loans it took out during the worst of the pandemic. Shares of Airbnb fell 9% after the announcement.

Still, investors already appear to be seeing Airbnb through post-pandemic glasses. Despite the recent selloff, Airbnb is valued at over $100 billion—no small number for a company valued at $18 billion at the beginning of the pandemic. And the company is enjoying the large valuation despite pointing to “limited visibility for growth trends in 2021 given the difficulty in determining the pace of vaccine roll-outs and the related impact on willingness to travel.”

The bullishness doesn’t come without its rationale: Losses before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (a metric that controls one-time costs such as IPO-related compensation) fell to $21 million in the fourth quarter compared to $253 million in the same period the year prior. Airbnb has also fared generally better than another travel company, Expedia, where revenue dipped 67% in the fourth quarter.

And in his interview with CNBC, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky framed the pandemic as a positive for skinnying the company’s spending.

“What the pandemic showed is that we can take marketing down to zero and still have 95% of the same traffic as the year before,” he said on CNBC’s Mad Money. “We’re not going to forget that lesson.”

Bottom line: Airbnb has managed to turn investors onto a story of resilience and sustained future profitability (the company has historically been able to turn a profit in the third quarter of the year). But uncertainty still sits around the pace of vaccine rollouts and when governments will lift restrictions on cross-border travel—an area that, in 2019, encompassed 49% of Airbnb’s total nights booked.

AN AMAZON LIEUTENANT JOINS THE VC WORLD: Jeff Blackburn, an Amazon executive and long-time advisor to Jeff Bezos, is joining startup land. 

Late Thursday, Bessemer Venture Partners, an early stage-focused shop known for its bets on companies including Twitch (which sold to Amazon), announced that it raised $3.3 billion across two funds and had added Blackburn as a new partner.

Having spent some 22 years at Amazon, the former SVP of business and corporate development at the e-commerce giant worked on a number of notable projects, including Prime Video, Amazon Studios, and Amazon Music. In the past, his name had been floated as a potential successor to Bezos. 

Blackburn’s move comes as Bezos is preparing to step down and make way for Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jass.

Bessemer also promoted Mary D’Onofrio, Mike Droesch, Tess Hatch, and Andrew Hedin to partners.

HOUSEKEEPING: My colleague Anne Sraders will be taking over Term Sheet until Wednesday. Please send her any deals.

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

Anne Sraders helped curate today’s Term Sheet.




-Kraken, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, is in talks to raise funding at a $10 billion valuation, per Bloomberg. Discussion include Fidelity, Tribe Capital, and General Atlantic. Read more.

-Cellarity, a Cambridge, Mass.-based life sciences company, raised $123 million in Series B funding. Investors included BlackRock, The Baupost Group, Banque Pictet, and Flagship Pioneering.

-Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based healthcare tech company, raised $105 million, valuing it at $1.3 billion post-money. Tiger Global Management led the round and was joined by investors including Steadview Capital, Dragoneer, B Capital Group, Mubadala Capital, M12, and OMERS Growth Equity.

-Newsela, a New York-based K-12 platform for teaching, raised $100 million in Series D funding. Franklin Templeton led the round and was joined by investors including Owl Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Waycross Ventures.

-Terminus, an Atlanta-based maker of a marketing platform, raised $90 million in Series C funding. Great Hill Partners led the round and was joined by investors including  Atlanta Ventures, Edison Partners, and Hallett Capital.

-Anchorage, a San Francisco-based digital asset platform, raised $80 million in Series C funding. SIngapore’s GIC led the round and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico.

-Fi, a New York-based maker of a smart dog collar, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Longview Asset Management led the round and was joined by investors including Advance Venture Partners, Gokul Rajaram, RRE Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, and Freestyle.

-Lexer, a Los Angeles-based customer data platform for brands and retailers, raised $25.5 million in Series B funding. Blackbird Ventures and King River Capital led the round and were joined by January Capital.

-Torch, a San Francisco-based coaching platform, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Obvious Ventures led the round.

-Mantle, a San Francisco-based 3D printing tech firm, raised $13 million. Investors included Foundation Capital, Hypertherm Ventures, Future Shape, 11.2 capital, Plug and Play Ventures, and Corazon Capital. 

-memmo.me, a Swedish platform for celebrities to post messages to fans and businesses, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Left Lane Capital led the round.

-Outcast Foods, a Canada-based company focusing on food waste and reducing the carbon footprint of food supply chains, raised $10 million in a financing round from District Ventures Capital and BDC Capital.

-Raena, a Singapore-based beauty products social commerce platform, raised $9 million in Series A funding. Alpha Wave Incubation and Alpha JWC Ventures led the round, and were joined by investors including AC Ventures, Beenext, Beenos and Strive. Read more

-Levitate, a Raleigh, N.C.-based marketing platform, raised $8 million in Series B funding. Investors included Tippet Venture Partners, Peter Gassner, and Bull City Venture Partners.

-DataJoy, a San Mateo, Calif.-based analytics company, raised $6 million in seed funding. Foundation Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Quarry VC, Partech Partners, IGSB, Bow Capital, and SVB.

-First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank focused on Black America, raised raised $5 million in seed funding. Investors included Barclays and Anthemis.

-GiveSignup, a Moorestown, N.J.-based platform for nonprofits, raised $3.2 million in Series A funding. Payroc led the round.


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-Ardian and Quadriga Capital acquired a majority stake in GBA Group, a Hamburg, Germany-based testing and certification company for laboratory services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-AsTech, backed by Kinderhook Industries, acquired adasThink, a Toronto-based car calibration software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-RFE recapitalized Congruity HR, a Kernsville, N.C.-based provider of HR outsourcing solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-TA Associates invested in Fairstone Group, a U.K.-based financial services firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-Transactions Services Group and Clearent, two portfolio companies of Advent International, merged to form  Xplor Technologies, a payments and business management software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

-L Catterton agreed to acquire BIRKENSTOCK Group, the German footwear brand. The acquisition would value the brand at roughly €4 billion ($4.9 billion), Bloomberg reported. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


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-Cigna acquired MDLive, a Miramar, Fla.-based telehealth provider. MDLive investors include Sixth Street. Financial Terms weren’t disclosed.


-Merck & Co agreed to acquire Pandion Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PAND), a Watertown, Mass.-based developer of drugs targeting autoimmune diseases, for $1.9 billion in cash. Read more.

-Cision agreed to acquire Brandwatch, a U.K.-based consumer intelligence social media and content marketing analytics platform, for $450 million. 

-Atlassian (NASDAQ: TEAM) acquired Chartio, a San Francisco and Blacksburg, Va.-based cloud-based analytics platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. 


-Score Media and Gaming, a Canadian sports betting company, raised $162 million. Read more.

-DigitalOcean, a New York-based operator of cloud for developers, filed to raise $100 million. Investors include Access Industries, Andreessen Horowitz, and IA Venture Partners. Read more.

-Stevanato Group, an Italian maker of glass vials for COVID-19 vaccines, is preparing for an IPO that could value it between $4 billion to $5 billion, per Reuters citing sources. Read more


-YieldStreet, a New York-based startup allowing consumers to invest in alternative assets, is weighing creating its own SPAC, per Bloomberg. Read more.

-Austerlitz Acquisition II, Bill Foley’s sixth SPAC, raised $1.2 billion by offering 120 million shares, more than anticipated. Read more

-Austerlitz Acquisition I, Bill Foley’s fifth SPAC, raised $600 million by offering 60 million shares, more than anticipated. Read more

-Fusion Acquisition II, the second SPAC from BetaSmartz CEO John James, Avenue Capital’s Jeffrey Gary, and State Street’s James Ross, raised $435 million by offering 43.5 million shares. Read more.

-Freedom Acquisition I, a SPAC by the former Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, raised $300 million by offering 30 million shares, more than anticipated.  Read more.

-Twelve Seas Investment II, a SPAC from former Lion Capital founding partner Neil Richardson and Twelve Seas Limited founding partner Dimitri Elkin, raised $300 million by offering 30 million shares, more than anticipated. Read more

-SilverBox Engaged Merger I, a SPAC from SilverBox Capital and Engaged Capital, raised $300 million. Read more

-MCAP Acquisition, a SPAC by Monroe Capital CEO Theodore Koenig, raised $275 million by offering 27.5 million shares, more than anticipated. Read more

-Jaws Wildcat Acquisition, a SPAC by Starwood Capital founder Barry Sternlicht, filed to raise $250 million. Read more.

-Jaws Hurricane Acquisition, another SPAC from Starwood Capital founder Barry Sternlicht, filed to raise $250 million. Read more.

-Warrior Technologies Acquisition, a SPAC by Warrior Technologies’ H.H. “Tripp” Wommack III,  raised $240 million by offering 24 million shares, more than anticipated. Read more

-AF Acquisition, a SPAC from Scharf Brothers’ Andrew Scharf and AF Ventures’ Jordan Gaspar, filed to raise up to $200 million. Read more 

-Kensington Capital Acquisition II, the second SPAC led by Kensington Capital founder Justin Mirro, raised $200 million. Read more

-ARYA Sciences Acquisition IV, the fourth SPAC from executives at Perceptive Advisors, raised $130 million. Read more


-Bessemer Venture Partners, a Redwood City, Calif.-based early stage venture firm, raised $3.3 billion for two funds, BVP XI and BVP Century II. 

-JMI Equity, a Baltimore and San Diego-based growth equity firm, is seeking to raise $1.7 billion for its newest fund, per the Wall Street Journal. Read more.

-Foresite Capital, a San Francisco, Calif.-based healthcare and life sciences investment firm, raised $969 million for Foresite Capital Fund V and Foresite Capital Opportunity Fund V.

-CORE Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, raised $465 million for its second fund. 

-Prelude Growth Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, raised $250 million for its second fund.



-Newark Venture Partners, a Newark, N.J.-based seed-stage venture firm, added Vaughn Crowe as a managing partner.  

-Bessemer Venture Partners, a Redwood City, Calif.-based venture firm, added Jeff Blackburn as a partner. Blackburn was previously the senior vice president at Amazon.

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