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Monthly Funding Recap October 2020: 14 New Unicorns Are Born And Funding Holds Steady

Global venture funding in October 2020, the first month of the final quarter of the year, held steady at $23 billion and followed a strong third quarter, according to Crunchbase data….

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Global venture funding in October 2020, the first month of the final quarter of the year, held steady at $23 billion and followed a strong third quarter, according to Crunchbase data. At the same time, 14 new unicorn companies were created last month—the second-highest monthly total so far this year—indicating that despite a raging pandemic and uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election, venture investors were continuing to deploy record amounts of cash.

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  • Global funding in October 2020 came in at $23 billion, up 3 percent from October 2019.
  • Fourteen new unicorns joined the board in October, the second-highest month for the year.
  • Exits held up, but weren’t as strong as the month of September for both IPOs and M&A.
  • In October, more than a dozen new unicorns joined Crunchbase’s list of startups valued at $1 billion or more. The most highly valued of those was San Francisco-based Uber Freight, a startup that connects shippers with trucking companies; MessageBird an Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform; New York-based Unqork, a no-code platform; and Silicon Valley-based Tipalti, a company payables automation platform.

    The majority of the new unicorns are U.S. based. Those headquartered outside of the U.S. include Netherlands-based MessageBird; ECARX, an intelligent network traffic assistant from China; Canada’s Wealthsimple, which provides tools to manage investments; and Razorpay, based in India, which helps businesses accept and disperse payments.

    Together, these new unicorns have raised $2.4 billion and added $21.8 billion in value to the unicorn board. Thus far in 2020, 96 new companies have joined the unicorn board.

    Between January and October, global venture funding totaled $242 billion. That was up 4 percent over the first 10 months of 2019, when investors spent $233 billion.

    Rounds of $100 million and more represented 54 percent of invested dollars in October 2020,—significantly higher than October 2019 at 38 percent—per Crunchbase data.

    We have noted in past reporting that private-equity and late-stage investment firms were particularly active through the pandemic. Overall, $100 million-plus rounds have accounted for a higher percentage of total funding this year, at 55 percent, than last year, when such megarounds represented 48 percent of funding.

    Two companies were valued in rounds at decacorn valuations in October.

    San Francisco-based delivery service Instacart raised $200 million at a $17.7 billion post-money valuation led by D1 Capital Partners and Valiant Peregrine Fund. The company has raised three rounds totaling $525 million this year to date. Its funding streak highlights a COVID-19-induced trend this year: Delivery companies around the globe have been raising capital at a higher pace due to increased demand from the pandemic. Another delivery company, Philadelphia-based goPuff raised $380 million this past month at a valuation of $3.9 billion in a round led by Accel and D1 Capital Partners.

    Beijing based Yuanfudao, a live tutoring platform, raised another billion dollars at a $15.5 billion valuation, the highest valuation for an edtech company. The round was led by DST Global, which also invested earlier this year in India’s BYJU’S, a K-12 learning app. Yuanfudao has raised $3.2 billion in total this year so far.

    October is 2020’s second-highest month after September for venture-backed IPOs, based on both counts and amounts raised at IPO.

    Shanghai-based fintech unicorn Lu.com went public in October, raising $2.4 billion—the largest amount for a venture-backed IPO last month. New Mexico-based solar tracking provider Array Technologies raised more than $1 billion in its public-market debut, and auto insurance company Root Insurance exited in an IPO that raised $724 million. Out of these listed companies, Array Technologies has gained the most, with its share price trading up almost 100 percent from its IPO price. (The IPO price refers to the valuation of the company after it prices shares but before its stock begins trading.)

    Venture-backed acquisitions totaled $13.5 billion in October. Twilio announced the pending acquisition of customer data infrastructure company Segment in the largest M&A deal this past month at $3.2 billion. Another notable deal is Nestlé’s plans to acquire ready-made meal company Freshly out of New York.

    Multistage and PE investors picked up the pace in October 2020. Sequoia Capital, Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners were the most active multistage investors with 14, 13 and 11 investments, respectively. Leading private equity and alternative investors included BlackRock, Tiger Global Management and Insight Partners.

    With the U.S. election looming, we saw a slowdown in funding announcements in the first week of November. But, with investors raising ever-larger funds and liquidity up, we expect capital will still be deployed at a strong clip through the end of the year. From a liquidity perspective, October is the second-highest month for venture-backed IPOs for amounts raised on going public. On the acquisition front, October is the third-highest month for priced acquisitions.

    Pro tip: Crunchbase Pro allows users to easily query the dataset. Here are some useful queries used in this report. See the Crunchbase Pro list for October global funding. Pro users can save the list to their account, filter by location, and match it against target customers.

    View the full list of private unicorns here and the list of emerging unicorns here.

    Learn about companies that recently went public, and perform Pro searches for recent venture-backed acquisitions here.

    All 2020 unicorn IPOs are listed here.

    Funding rounds included in this report are seed, angel, venture, corporate venture and private-equity rounds in venture-backed companies.

    Please note that all funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

    Illustration: Dom Guzman

    Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/monthly-funding-recap-october/

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    C2i Genomics Secures $100M Note To Detect Tiny Traces of Cancer

    C2i’s cancer diagnostics service uses AI pattern recognition and whole-genome analysis to spot trace amounts of cancer much quicker.

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    Cancer intelligence company C2i Genomics is developing a platform that can perform a whole-genome sequencing using only 2 milliliters of blood, as well as provide 100x more sensitive cancer detection than competitors, according to company co-founder and CEO Asaf Zviran.

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    On Thursday, the New York-based company announced a $100 million convertible note to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of its platform. Behind the note is a group of investors including Casdin Capital, NFX, Duquesne Family Office, Section 32, iGlobe Partners and Driehaus Capital. Additional participation came from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, Silver Lake, Alexandria Real Estate, Gordon Asset Management and LionBird.

    How it works

    C2i’s cancer diagnostics service uses artificial intelligence pattern recognition and the whole-genome analysis to spot trace amounts of cancer much quicker, in about a week, to inform better treatment decisions and ultimately save lives. The company aims to help patients avoid unnecessary overtreatment with toxic chemotherapy or radiation, as well as to prevent them from going without treatment while cancer quietly grows and metastasizes.

    That’s important to Zviran who is a cancer survivor and has supported family members through their cancer diagnoses and treatments. Previously in the defense sector in Israel, he was diagnosed with cancer at 28 years old.

    “After I went through surgery, I spent most of my time talking to oncologists to understand how treatment optimization works and how they had a lack of tools to do that in an effective manner,” Zvrian said. “I went back to school and got my Ph.D. in genomics and focused on how to use blood samples to monitor cancer.”

    He developed the technology for the origins of C2i Genomics for three years before getting to the point where he felt he could create the company in late 2019.

    Investment

    With the note, the company has raised a total of $113.2 million in venture-backed capital, including a $12 million Series A round in 2020, according to Crunchbase data.

    “It was a quick fundraising that started in January,” Zvrian said. “We initially looked at equity, but decided with the rapid growth of the company, the market, and the commercialization potential, we thought it would be better to do a note to give us flexibility going into the next fundraising event. We received strong interest, but it was important to choose the right partners.”

    James Currier, general partner at NFX, feels the same way. He became acquainted with C2i Genomics through his colleague, NFX’s Head of Bio Omri Amirav-Drory. The seed investor came in for C2i’s seed in August 2019 and stayed for its Series A and the note.

    What C2i has been able to do is establish clinical trials with six institutions around the world and prove its technology with data, Currier said.

    “The technology, AI and software they built is more sensitive and accurate than others on the market,” he added. “It is time to ramp up the testing and approvals. They have six trials right now, but there are other institutions wanting to be seven, eight and nine. To staff up those CLIA labs, they’ll need cash.”

    Growth

    Meanwhile, with the note closed, Zvrian intends to move quickly from technology development and validation to scale-up commercialization. The funds will be used on R&D, adding staff and getting technology into the clinic. The company also aims to launch its diagnostic indication in the U.S. and Europe.

    C2i has a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) lab in Massachusetts and an R&D center in Israel. The CLIA lab was the result of C2i’s acquisition of QNA Dx in March, Zvrian said.

    “We are working at better detection,” he added. “We have almost 40 employees and plan to double that number by the end of the year. Our solution is still very new on the market, and with improvement in performance we can do clinical applications not done before. With a cloud environment, every clinical lab will be able to use this to do detection and monitoring.”

    Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

    Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

    C2i’s cancer diagnostics service uses artificial intelligence pattern recognition and the whole-genome analysis to spot trace amounts of cancer much quicker, in about a week, to inform better treatment decisions and ultimately save lives. The company aims to help patients avoid unnecessary overtreatment with toxic chemotherapy or radiation, as well as to prevent them from going without treatment while cancer quietly grows and metastasizes.

    Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/c2i-genomics-secures-100m-note-to-detect-tiny-traces-of-cancer/

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    The Briefing: Traveloka Eyes $5B SPAC Deal, SnackMagic Lands Series A, And More

    Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

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    Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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    Indonesia’s Traveloka said to eye $5B SPAC deal

    Indonesia-based online travel booking platform Traveloka is in advanced talks to go public through a merger with a blank-check acquirer, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources.

    The company is reportedly seeking to merge with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., a SPAC backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel. The deal could value the travel company at around $5 billion.

    Founded in 2012, Traveloka has raised at least $1.2 billion in known funding, per Crunchbase data.

    — Joanna Glasner

    Funding round

    SnackMagic picks up $15M: SnackMagic, a service for building your own snack box, has reportedly raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Craft Ventures. The company markets its offering as a potential work-from-home employee perk, a sales prospecting tool, or a gift.

    Abzu lands $6M for AI: Abzu, a Danish startup developing AI-based software for use cases including predictions and modeling, raised $6 million in a seed funding round led by Denmark’s Seed Capital and PreSeed Ventures, and Finland’s Inventure.

    — Joanna Glasner

    Illustration: Dom Guzman

    Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

    Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-4-9-21/

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    Here’s Who’s Gone Public in 2021 (So Far)

    Another year, another list.

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    Another year, another list.

    In past years, we’ve mostly covered venture-backed tech and tech-ish IPOs in this perennial list of startups going public. Occasionally, a direct listing here and there would make the list, but the vast majority of companies going public were doing so through a traditional IPO. This year looks like it will be a bit different, with the increasing popularity of SPACs and new rule changes making direct listings more favorable, now that companies can raise capital through that route.

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    So, we’ve adapted our ever-updated Here’s Who’s Gone Public list to fit more with the times, and are including both traditional IPOs and other methods of going public. So far this year, that means IPOs and SPACs.

    While SPACs are going public at a more frequent pace than traditional IPO companies, we’ve included only the ones that have completed a merger with a target company and begun trading as a combined company.

    This list will be updated regularly to keep up with the robust IPO and SPAC pipeline coming up this year, so be sure to check back.

    Most recently updated: April 8, 2021

    IPOsAffirm

    • IPO date: Jan. 13, 2021
    • IPO price: $49
    • IPO valuation: $11.9 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive

    In the first venture-backed tech-ish IPO of the year, Affirm saw its stock price jump 100 percent on its first day of trading before closing out at $97.24. Affirm is a big player in the increasingly-popular “buy now, pay later space,” which includes companies like AfterPay and Klarna. Since it went public in mid-January, the company’s stock has moved up and down, but overall its trajectory has been positive. Affirm’s stock closed at $105.55 on Feb. 18.

    Poshmark

    • IPO date: Jan. 14, 2021
    • IPO price: $42
    • IPO valuation: $3 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative

    Poshmark’s stock price doubled pretty much right out of the gate, and ended up closing out its first day of trading up 140 percent. The company, which operates a marketplace for new and second-hand clothing and accessories, reached a valuation of $3 billion with its IPO, one of the first of this year. But since Poshmark’s public market debut, its stock has fallen quite a bit. The company’s stock closed at $68.39 on Feb. 18.

    Playtika

    • IPO date: Jan. 15, 2021
    • IPO price: $27
    • IPO valuation: $11 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive

    Gaming is all the rage as people look to stay entertained at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market response to Playtika reflects that. Playtika’s stock price since its mid-January debut has been mostly positive. The company’s stock closed at $32.56 on Feb. 18, still above its first day of trading close of $31.62.

    Qualtrics

    • IPO date: Jan. 28, 2021
    • IPO price: $30
    • IPO valuation: $15 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive

    Qualtrics’ IPO was significant for a couple different reasons. It wasn’t a traditional venture-backed tech company going public, but one that had already been acquired. After SAP acquired the company in 2018 before Qualtrics’ planned IPO, SAP ended up spinning it out in 2021. The IPO was also significant because it ended up being the largest IPO of a Utah-based company. Qualtrics’ public debut valued the company at $15 billion, and its stock price arc has been positive since. Qualtrics’ stock closed at $44.63 on Feb.18.

    Bumble

    • IPO date: Feb. 11, 2021
    • IPO price: $43
    • IPO valuation: $8.2 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive

    Bumble’s IPO made founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd a billionaire and the youngest woman to take a company public. It was also a big deal for Texas’ tech scene, as the dating app is a homegrown Austin company. The company raised $2.15 billion through its IPO and its stock closed 64 percent above its IPO price on its first day of trading. Overall, its post-IPO arc since then has been positive, and its stock closed at $74 on Feb. 18.

    Oscar Health

    • IPO date: March 3, 2021
    • IPO price: $39
    • IPO valuation: $7.9 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative

    As of this writing, Oscar Health has been a public company for less than three days. So, its negative post-IPO arc should be taken with a grain of salt — especially because the market in general dipped at the end of its first week of trading. That said, Oscar’s public market debut wasn’t like many of the venture-backed IPOs we’ve seen recently where the stock surges right out of the gate. The company initially set a price range of between $32 and $34 before increasing it to between $36 and $38, and pricing at $39. The company closed its first day of trading at $34.80, and its stock closed at $31 on Friday, March 5.

    Coupang

    • IPO date: March 11, 2021
    • IPO price: $35
    • IPO valuation: $60 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative.

    While Coupang’s stock popped around 40 percent on its first day of trading, it has trended mostly down since the company went public nearly a month ago. When the company went public in March, it made Coupang the largest IPO of the year so far, according to CNBC. The South Korean e-commerce company’s stock closed at $45.58 on Thursday, April 8.

    DigitalOcean

    • IPO date: March 23, 2021
    • IPO price: $47
    • IPO valuation: $5 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative.

    DigitalOcean didn’t exactly start its time trading on the public markets on a high note. The company opened and closed its first day of trading below its IPO price, and its stock has pretty much gone down since then. Since DigitalOcean has been a public company, its stock hasn’t reached the IPO price of $47 that the company had set. The company closed its first day of trading at $42.50, and closed at $40.25 on Thursday, April 8.

    VIZIO

    • IPO date: March 25, 2021
    • IPO price: $21
    • IPO valuation: $3.9 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive.

    VIZIO finally made it public this year after filing for an IPO for a second time (it first filed in 2015). The company had a less-than-stellar debut when it began trading at the end of March, with its stock opening nearly 17 percent below its IPO price of $21. Since then, the company’s stock price has increased, reaching a high of $24.72 on March 30. VIZIO’s stock price has tapered off a bit since then, closing at $21.95 on Thursday, April 8.

    ThredUp

    • IPO date: March 26, 2021
    • IPO price: $14
    • IPO valuation: $1.3 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative.

    While ThredUp saw its stock close around 43 percent above its IPO price of $14 on its first day of trading, its stock has trended down since it went public at the end of March. ThredUp closed at $18.39 on Thursday, April 8. The company is one of a handful of clothing and accessories resale companies to go public in recent years, including Poshmark and The RealReal.

    Coursera

    • IPO date: March 31, 2021
    • IPO price: $33
    • IPO valuation: $4.3 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Positive.

    Coursera closed its first day of trading at $45, about 36 percent above its IPO price. Since then, the company’s stock price has gone up, closing at $56 on Thursday, April 8. It makes sense given what a big year the edtech space has had. Coursera marks the first major edtech IPO of the year, though it’s possible it won’t be the last. Other edtech companies rumored to be 2021 IPO candidates include Duolingo and Udemy.

    Compass

    • IPO date: April 1, 2021
    • IPO price: $18
    • IPO valuation: $8 billion
    • Initial post-IPO arc: Negative.

    Compass’ IPO comes after a busy year for the residential real estate market. The company, which operates like a brokerage but gives agents a suite of digital tools to better market themselves, raised about $450 million through its IPO. However, in the week that Compass has been public, its stock price has fallen slightly, closing at $21.90 on Thursday, April 8, below its IPO price. The company priced its shares at $18, the low end of its IPO range, after lowering its price range from between $23 and $26 to between $18 and 19.

    Direct Listings

    Roblox

    • First day of trading: March 10, 2021
    • Reference price: $45
    • Valuation: $30 billion
    • Initial arc: Positive.

    Roblox marks both the first major direct listing of the year (in terms of tech companies) and one of the most-anticipated public debuts for gaming companies. The company’s stock surged 43 percent above its reference price and has had a generally positive trend since then, though of course there have been dips here and there. Roblox’s stock closed at $70.76 on Thursday, April 8.

    SPACs Clover Health

    • First day of trading: Jan. 8, 2021
    • SPAC proceeds: Up to $1.2 billion
    • SPAC valuation: $7 billion, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal
    • Initial stock price arc: Negative

    Clover Health was the first VC-backed company to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, with Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC, Social Capital Hedosophia V, acquiring the company. The company’s stock since the merger was completed in early January has trended negatively since it started trading, though, with its stock closing at $10.83 on Feb.18.

    Billtrust

    • First day of trading: Jan. 13, 2021
    • SPAC valuation: $1.3 billion
    • Initial stock price arc: Positive.

    Payment cycle management platform Billtrust went public in mid-January after merging with South Mountain Merger Corp. The company raised $115 million in funding while private and announced plans to go public via a SPAC in the fall. Since the company’s stock started trading, its initial arc has been positive. Billtrust’s stock closed at $18.80 on Feb. 18.

    Hims and Hers Health

    • First day of trading: Jan. 21, 2021
    • SPAC proceeds: $280 million
    • SPAC valuation: $1.6 billion, according to Forbes
    • Initial stock price arc: Positive

    Hims and Hers Health, which initially started out as a company aimed toward men’s health issues, went public after merging with special purpose acquisition company Oaktree Acquisitions Corp. The deal was among the first major VC-backed SPAC mergers to be completed in 2021, and raised proceeds of about $280 million. Since the combined company’s stock started trading, its stock price has been trending up and closed at $19.01 on Feb. 18.

    ChargePoint Holdings

    • First day of trading: Feb. 26, 2021
    • SPAC proceeds: $450 million, according to Inside EVs.
    • Initial stock price arc: Negative

    Companies in the electric vehicle space are evidently popular targets for SPACs, and ChargePoint is among them. The company, which is based in Campbell, California, went public by merging with special purpose acquisition company Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp. Since the company completed the merger on Feb. 26 and began trading (closing at $30.83 last week), its stock has fallen a bit, closing at $26.13 on Friday, March 5.

    Metromile

    • First day of trading: Feb. 9, 2021
    • SPAC proceeds: Unclear
    • Initial stock price arc: Negative

    Digital insurance platform Metromile went public by merging with blank-check company INSU Acquisition Corp. II. The company, which is backed by investors including Index Ventures and Future Fund, follows other insurtech companies like Lemonade and Root to the public market, though through a SPAC rather than a traditional IPO. The company’s stock has mostly trended down since then, closing at $10.45 on Friday, March 5.

    Illustration: Dom Guzman

    Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

    So, we’ve adapted our ever-updated Here’s Who’s Gone Public list to fit more with the times, and are including both traditional IPOs and other methods of going public. So far this year, that means IPOs and SPACs.

    Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/heres-whos-gone-public-in-2021-so-far/

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