Key deals of the week (August 10 - 16)
Market activity is recovering. Startups, even from the affected industries, are seeing an increase in demand. For example, the Getaround car-sharing service, which fired 250 workers during the pandemic, saw a sharp rise in demand in May-June. The company's revenue in the United States (YTD) is 40% higher than a year ago. Sonder, a rental startup, fired or sent 417 employees on unpaid leave in March. Three months later, the company announced that it had resumed growth and would return 100 employees back to work. In June, Sonder raised $ 170 million (the target was $ 150 million) from Inovia Capital, Fidelity and others.
Many analysts expected that there would be a sharp decline in funding for technology companies. However, this did not happen. Of course, not all companies managed to attract financing. Companies from the tourism industry, entertainment, etc. have suffered the most. But overall, startups have continued to attract investment. Many funds have moved to remote closing of transactions. In Silicon Valley, panic began to subside in May, when staff reductions ceased to be as significant as they were in March-April. According to the website Layoffs.fyi, only 5% of technology companies that fired employees closed.
Startup costs have also started to rise. According to Brex, which produces credit cards for startups, spending on servers, software and advertising is a third more than in February.
Small deals (up to $ 15 million)
FoodTech • August 10, 2020. Foodtech project "Many salmon", developing a network of dark kitchen under the brands "Many salmon", "Rolly №1", "10 perfect pizzas" and "500 calories", attracted 100 million rubles from private investors. Among the investors are Alexander Sysoev (Sysoev FM project), as well as shareholders of the Brayne Fund. Investors in the round will receive a share of 14%.
Retail • August 10, 2020. The Russian software developer to automate the work of merchandisers and sales representatives InspectorCloud raised $ 500 million from the OKS Group fund. The company's software helps to control the quality of work of sales representatives and merchandisers. The neural network recognizes the goods on the shelves and their quantity, gives an analysis of the positioning of the brand in points and automatically on the basis of the received data calculates the salary of the employee who is responsible for merchandising. According to the company, the system analyzes more than 30 million images per month. Among the customers of Inspector Cloud - PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestle, Schwarzkopf, Henkel and ice cream distributor "Clean Line".
Cybersecurity • August 10, 2020. IronScales, a startup developing a II solution to detect phishing attacks, raised $ 8 million as part of Jump Capital's Round B. The IronScales platform integrates with Office 365, Exchange and G Suite. The startup product combines artificial intelligence and the manual work of cybersecurity specialists. The total amount of attracted investments of the company is $ 31 million.
Collaboration Tools • August 11, 2020. A company offering an intranet for companies, Simpple announced the attraction of $ 10 million from Norwest Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures. Simpplr is a state-of-the-art employee intranet that helps companies connect and engage staff across the enterprise. Simppl uses artificial intelligence to show employees the information they need. Among the clients of startups - Workday, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DocuSign, Eurostar and Columbia University. The total amount of Simppl's attracted investments is $ 29.1 million.
Environmental Engineering • August 12, 2020. The developer of the Klima application attracted $ 5.8 million to launch the beta version. Investors were e.ventures, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and others. In the app, users can measure their personal carbon footprint and offset emissions with a monthly subscription, which is usually less than $ 20. Users can choose which area their money will be used for, how it will be used and what will be achieved in the end. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, Climate helps people change habits, for example in the area of food and transport, and provides individual recommendations for reducing the negative impact on the climate.
HRTech • August 13, 2020. The Chinese company Moka, which develops software for automation of HR processes, attracted $ 14.3 million from unnamed investors. This is the second part of round B, the total amount of which reached $ 43.2 million. Moka's solution simplifies the daily work of HR managers: from finding new candidates to solving the problems of current employees. Moka now has 700 customers, including Xiaomi, Didi, Arm China, Shopee, Alibaba, Burger King and McDonald’s.
Analytics Tools • August 14, 2020. The developer of the platform for working with subscriptions in mobile applications Qonversion with Russian roots attracted $ 850 thousand from the investment company LVL1 and the AddVenture fund. Qonversion allows you to embed and manage subscriptions: retrieve subscription data from app stores and SDKs, aggregate, build schedules, and send information to other platforms (advertising, attribution, analytics).
Among the advertising tools with which the service works - Facebook, AppsFlyer, Adjust, branch, Amplitude and others. According to the company, the service has more than 200 client applications.
Medium trades (from $ 15 million to $ 75 million)
EdTech • August 10, 2020. The developer of the Skillshare educational platform raised $ 66 million from OMERS Growth Equity, Union Square Ventures, Amasia and others. The platform offers online courses in creative areas (interior design, photography, painting, graphic design, etc.). The platform has 12 million registered users, 8,000 teachers and 30,000 video lessons. The total amount of attracted investments of the startup is $ 108 million. InsurTech • August 10, 2020. Startup Buckle, offering a single insurance for taxi drivers, raised $ 31 million in Round A from HSCM Bermuda, Eos Venture Partners and others. According to Crunchbase, this is the first foreign investment for the company. Buckle sets the price of the insurance policy not on the basis of age or driving experience, but on the basis of the driver's rating in the taxi application. Buckle has partnered with Lyft Taxi.
Video Streaming • August 10, 2020. Startup Mux, which offers an API for video streaming, attracted $ 43 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and Cobalt. Mux's first product was a video analytics system. Mux then developed an API that allows companies to easily launch both live and on-demand video. Among Mux's clients are Robinhood, Equinox and VSCO. The total amount of attracted Mux investments is $ 68.9 million.
Collaboration Tools • August 11, 2020. The creator of the platform for interaction with employees who work outside offices, Parsable announced the attraction of $ 60 million in investments from Activate Capital, Glade Brook Capital, Cisco Investments, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Honeywell, Saudi Aramco and others. The main product of Parsable is a platform (Connected Worker Platform), which allows companies to conduct interactive training, communicate with employees (video, audio, text, image exchange), analyze the work of employees, etc. Parsable's clients include Georgia-Pacific, Shell and Henkel. Connected Worker Platform is used in 100+ countries and is available in 14 languages.
E-Commerce • August 11, 2020. Pattern, which helps brands improve online sales, has attracted $ 52 million in round A investments from Ainge Advisory, KSV Global and others. The company was founded in 2013. This is the first round of funding for Pattern. The company's solution gives brands detailed information about competitors' prices, advertising metrics, etc. According to the company, sales of brands grow by an average of 40% in the first year of use of Pattern. Pattern's projected revenue in 2020 is $ 500 million.
VR • August 12, 2020. The Finnish company Varjo, which produces professional VR and XR sets, attracted $ 54 million from a group of investors - including Volvo, Atomico venture funds, EQT Ventures and others. Varjo produces equipment for business, its feature is the high definition of images, comparable to ordinary human vision. It is necessary for high-quality operation of industrial applications, for example, flight simulators, in which sometimes you need to read the inscriptions on the display. Varjo VR headsets sell for € 5,000 and € 6,000, respectively ($ 5,900 and $ 7,000, respectively), and the mixed-reality helmet for developers costs € 10,000 ($ 13,000). The XR helmet allows you to "place" digital objects in a real environment, as well as include virtual, mixed and ordinary reality modes. Among the customers of the Finnish company is Boeing, which wants to use headsets to train astronauts for the Starliner space mission, as well as Volvo, Audi and Siemens, which use the Varjo platform to design cars and develop new products.
Gaming • August 14, 2020. Roman Abramovich's investment company Norma Investments, GEM Capital and film producer Sergei Kornikhin planned to invest $ 20 million in the gaming company 110 Industries. The company does not create games, but is engaged in pre-production: invents the story, script, characters, and then hires a third-party studio to develop. The startup has not released any games yet. In 2022, 110 Industries plans to release Wanted: dead, which is produced by a Japanese game studio.
Large deals ($ 75 + million)
• August 11, 2020. Google, Nokia and Qualcomm participated in a round of investments of $ 230 million in the Finnish mobile device manufacturer HMD Global. Since 2016, HMD has owned an exclusive license for the Nokia brand for smartphones. Nokia and HMD have always had a close relationship. The company was founded by former Nokia executives to license its mobile brand. In 2013, Microsoft bought Nokia smartphones for $ 7.2 billion, but in 2016, the corporation sold HMD rights to use the Nokia brand, phone software, services and contracts.
File Sharing • August 11, 2020. SlideShare presentation service was purchased by Scribd on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, the management of the company will take over Scribd on September 24. LinkedIn acquired SlideShare in 2012 for $ 119 million. As part of the Scribd transaction, there will be no hiring of new employees, SlideShare will be managed by an existing team. SlideShare has 40 million presentations and 100 million unique visitors per month.
E-Commerce • August 12, 2020. The developer of the Gong sales process analysis platform raised $ 200 million from Coatue, Index Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Thrive Capital, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital and others at an estimated $ 2.2 billion. Gong's estimate in December 2019 was $ 750 million. Gong's solution can analyze information from calls (audio, video) to customers, emails, etc. Based on this data, Gong gives recommendations to sales managers on how to improve their work. Gong integrates with various internal client systems. The startup has 1,300 customers, including Autodesk, Hubspot, LinkedIn, MuleSoft, Outreach, PayPal, Shopify, Slack, Twilio, Zillow, and Zoominfo. The total amount of attracted Gong investments is $ 333 million.
TravelTech • August 12, 2020. According to Bloomberg, Airbnb plans to apply for an IPO to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the next few weeks. According to the publication, Airbnb may start trading shares on the stock exchange in the fourth quarter and complete the listing by the end of 2020. Sources said Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were involved in the process. Due to travel bans and quarantine restrictions, the number of bookings fell by 90%, and Airbnb lost $ 1 billion. The company had to cut 25% of employees. By May 2020, the situation began to improve. The number of bookings in the United States increased by 20%, and Airbnb again announced plans to go public. At the same time, the valuation of the service decreased from $ 31 billion to $ 18 billion.
FoodTech • August 14, 2020. The meat-based meat company Impossible Foods raised $ 200 million. According to the PrimeUnicorn Index, the business is valued at $ 4 billion. The round was led by hedge funds Coatue and XN. Impossible Foods will invest in research, development of new products such as pork, steaks and plant-based milk, as well as capacity building.
Gaming • August 14, 2020. Brazilian game developer Wildlife Studios raised $ 120 million from Vulcan Capital and Human Capital at an estimated $ 2 billion. Popular studio games include Zooba, Tennis Clash and Castle Crush. Wildlife Studios has a total of 2 billion downloads and 100 million active users per month.