Key deals of the week (September 21 - 27)
Despite the fact that the volume of air travel is growing, the companies still face a number of difficulties.
Heads of American Airlines, United Air, JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines and other major American airlines spoke this week at the Skift Global Forum, a virtual conference on the travel industry in the COVID-19 era.
“I went through 9/11, financial crisis, restructuring, merger with US Airways and Max Grounding,” said Maya Leibman, executive vice president of American Airlines. "And I can say with confidence that this crisis has surpassed all previous ones in scale."
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian agreed with Leibman and added that due to the pandemic, most people will give up business travel forever. United Air CEO Scott Kirby said the situation will not improve "until the vaccine is widely available."
JetBlue Airways President Joanna Geraty is more optimistic in her predictions and believes the industry could recover without a valid vaccine. According to her, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. T.H. Chan found that wearing a mask and HEPA filters reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 on an airplane by up to 1%.
Airline executives also shared how the pandemic has changed their business. According to Kirby, United Air is losing $ 25 million every day. To compensate for the shortfall, it is expanding its air cargo business and refusing flights to cities that are considered downtown. “We have restored 45% of flights, which is probably an indicator that will have to work over the next 15 months,” he added.
American Airlines is compensating for the cut in staff and lack of dining on board with technology. The airline's new features include QR codes for check-in at “boneless kiosks,” printing luggage tags by scanning a mobile boarding pass and a face recognition system that eliminates document checks.
Small deals (up to $ 15 million)
• September 21, 2020. Russian business streaming service Muzlab announced the purchase of Market Music, which specializes in audio marketing and Digital Signage systems (presentation of information from electronic media in public places). Market Music has a unified digital platform, Market Player, which uses artificial intelligence and data about visitors at the retail outlet to deliver targeted content. According to a source close to the deal, the deal will amount to $ 4 million.
Among the clients, according to the company's own data, are Mexx, Decathlon, KIA, TopShop, Calvin Klein and others. Services cost from 500 to 5,000 rubles per point, depending on the number of products that the client buys and on the scale of the client's business.
• July 21, 2020. Skrepka fintech service raised $ 1.5 million from the Swiss fund Fundwizer Holding AG and its chairman of the board, former first vice president of TNK Joseph Bakaleinik. The Skrepka service entered the market last year and offered to use cashback to reduce the credit burden of Russians.
According to the idea of the project, the borrower buys usual everyday goods in any store in Russia, scans the receipt in the mobile application, after which the manufacturer of the goods charges cashback, which is automatically sent in full to pay off the loan debt. The total amount of attracted startup investments is $ 7 million.
• September 23, 2020. Russian startup NtechLab raised $ 15 million from the Russian Direct Investment Fund and an unnamed partner in the Middle East. NtechLab has developed a face recognition system, which it supplies, among other things, to the Moscow authorities. The startup also has clients in Argentina, Brazil and Serbia. NtechLab was founded in 2015. In 2016, the company introduced the corporate product FindFace.Pro for organizers of public events and enterprises with a large number of people.
According to RDIF, NtechLab will invest in the development of new computer vision products. Among them is the recognition of cars and aggressive actions of people.
• September 23, 2020. Berlin-based developer of background sound generation service Endel has raised $ 5 million from Target Global, Impulse VC, True Ventures and others. E
ndel creates a personal background music for the user's mood or situation. The playlist is formed based on the ti
me of day, weather, user's heartbeat, etc. According to the founders, the generated musical environment can increase concentration by 6.3 times and reduce anxiety by 3.6 times. The subscription price is $ 49.99 per year. The total amount of attracted investments of Endel is $ 7.1 million.
• September 24, 2020. European B2B startup Finom raised $ 12 million (€ 10.3 million) from Target Global, Cogito Capital, Entree Capital and others. Finom was created in 2019 by the founders of Modulbank Andrey Petrov, Oleg Laguta and Yakov Novikov, as well as investor Konstantin Stiskin. The startup offers banks card, but do not have a credit history to prove it.
Large deals ($ 75 + million)
• September 21, 2020. Microsoft has agreed to purchase ZeniMax Media, which owns Bethesda, one of the largest video game developers and publishers in the world. The deal will amount to $ 7.5 billion and will be paid in full in cash. Bethesda's hits, including Doom, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, are coming to Microsoft's Game Pass subscription service. Eight development teams will come under control of the Xbox maker - their total number at Microsoft will increase from 15 to 23. In addition to publisher Bethesda Softworks, other ZeniMax Media studios will also be included in the deal.
• September 21, 2020. Playco, a developer of an instant games engine that allows you to play (including with friends), just by clicking on a web link, raised $ 100 million in Round A from Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Sozo Ventures , Dreamers VC (Will Smith Foundation) and others are valued at $ 1 billion. Playco will build its games, provide infrastructure and analytics, and distribute games across multiple instant gaming platforms (Google Play Instant, iOS App Clips, Facebook Instant Games, Snapchat Minis and others).
• September 22, 2020 - Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer WM Motor announced it has raised $ 1.47 billion in Round D from Tencent, Baidu and others. The startup partners are Qualcomm, Unisplendour, Sino IC Leasing and others. The cost of the car (EX5 SUV) is about $ 22,000. In July 2020, WM Motor delivered its 30,000th vehicle. WM Motor was founded in 2015. The total amount of attracted investments of the company is $ 3.1 billion.
• September 22, 2020 - Beyond Limits, an AI solutions company, raised $ 133 million in Round C from Group 42 and BP Ventures. Beyond Limits offers products for the energy, utilities and power generation industries. The company raised the previous round of investments in the amount of $ 20 million in 2017. The startup was founded in 2014. The total amount of attracted investments by Beyond Limits is $ 158.5 million.
• September 23, 2020. Salsify, developer of a reserve analysis platform, raised $ 155 million from Warburg Pincus and others. Salsify provides brands and businesses with a one-stop shop to track inventory and manage how they are sold through online and offline channels. Salsify also analyzes the data to understand what next steps need to be taken. Salsify's clients include Coca Cola, Rubbermaid and Mars. The total amount of attracted investments by Salsify is $ 252.6 million.
• September 23, 2020. Next Insurance, an online insurance company offering products for small businesses and entrepreneurs, has raised $ 250 million from CapitalG, Munich RE and FinTLV Ventures for an estimated $ 2 billion. Next Insurance has 100 thousand clients. The service is available in all 50 states in the United States. Next Insurance offers insurance policies for 1,300 different types of businesses. The total amount of attracted startup investments is $ 631 million.
• September 24, 2020. Within3, which develops a platform for communication between pharmaceutical companies, doctors, medical personnel, patients, and more, has raised $ 100 million from Insight Partners and Silversmith Capital Partners. The purpose of the platform is to stimulate meaningful discussions aimed at accelerating time-to-market, publication of clinical trials and obtaining expert opinions. According to Crunchbase data, Within3's previous investments were raised in 2012. The total amount of the company's investments received is $ 120 million.