#DealMonitor – IDnow sammelt 60 Millionen ein – Root Global bekommt 2,5 Millionen – Waku Robotics sammelt 1,5 Millionen ein


Im #DealMonitor für den 3. August werfen wir einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

IDnow
+++ BlackRock gewährt IDnow eine Kreditlinie in Höhe von 60 Millionen Euro. “Das Unternehmen wird das Kapital für eine Reihe strategischer Initiativen verwenden: Dazu zählen die Einführung neuer Lösungen zur Identitätsüberprüfung, die kontinuierliche geografische Expansion und mögliche Übernahmen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Die Münchner Jungfirma IDnow, 2014 von Felix Haas, Armin Bauer, Sebastian Baerhold und Dennis Ferenczy gegründet, positioniert sich als Anbieter von Identity Verification-as-a-Service Lösungen. Das Münchner FinTech übernahm zuletzt etwa das französische Unternehmen Ariadnext. Mehr über IDnow 

Root Global
+++ Project A Ventures, Nucleus Capital und Business Angels wie Mengting Gao, Andreas Berger, Max Viesmann, Markus Windisch, Michael Brinkmann und Mario Götze investieren 2,5 Millionen Euro in Root Global. Das Startup aus Berlin, 2022 von Maurice Hensl und Eric Oancea gegründet, kümmert sich um klimaneutrales Essen. “We help customers identify, collect, and centralise activity data across their supply chains, which we combine with the most up-to-date emission factor data sets to model each company’s and product’s environmental footprint”, heißt es in der Selbstbeschreibung.

Waku Robotics
+++ Schauenburg Ventures, Pi Labs, Franz Humer, Plug and Play, Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS), BITO Campus und Hans-Jürgen Cramer investieren 1,5 Millionen Euro in Waku Robotics. Das Berliner Startup, 2019 von Alexander Bresk, Sander Nijssen und Victor Splittgerber gegründet, entwickelt Logistik-Software. “Mit Waku Sense können Robot Operators effizient mit mobilen Robotern arbeiten”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Mit Lots Of Bots bietet das Unternehmen zudem eine Vergleichswebsite für mobile Industrieroboter an.

Strandbutler
+++ Business Angels wie Lucius Bunk investieren 1,2 Millionen Euro in Strandbutler. Das Startup aus Hamburg, das 2021 von Christian Henk, Bernhard Sourdeau und Jens Hinrichs gegründet wurde, vermittelt Strandkörbe an deutschen Küsten und auf Inseln. “Die Mittel sollen der Weiterentwicklung der Plattform, der Services und dem Ausbau des Teams dienen,” teilt das junge Unternehmen mit.

coapp
+++ Invest-Impuls und Plimo Venture investieren in coapp. “Mit dem Abschluss der Runde steigt die Finanzierung auf etwa eine Million Euro”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das Startup aus Hannover, 2021 von Jonas Lindemann, Magomed Arsaev und Hardy Seiler gegründet, setzt auf eine White-Label-Software, die Unternehmen als Community-Plattform oder für das Workspace-Management nutzen können.

InLine-Med
+++ Altinvestoren, Business Angels, bmp Ventures und Kristin und Ralf Lüdemann investieren in InLine-Med. Das MedTech aus Magdeburg, 2019 von Sebastián Sánchez López und Sinja Lagotzki gegründet, entwickelt “intuitive, sichere und effektive Werkzeuge und Softwarelösungen für die Planung und Navigation von bildgesteuerten Verfahren zur Krebsdiagnose und -therapie”.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

mementor
+++ Das US-Unternehmen Resmed, das Medizinprodukte anbietet, übernimmt das Leipziger Digital-Health-Unternehmen mementor. Die Jungfirma, die 2014 von Noah Lorenz, Alexander Rötger, Jan Kühni und Daniel Rotzetter in der Schweiz gegründet wurde, bietet die digitale Insomnie-Therapie somnio an. “mementor wird als eigener Geschäftsbereich in ResMed in Deutschland integriert und dient als Basis für zukünftige weitere Entwicklungen im Bereich Digital Health”, teilen die Unternehmen mit. Smart Infrastructure Ventures und mehrere Business Angels, darunter Michael Petersen., Gründer von smow, investierten in der Vergangenheit in mementor.

ICON Communication Centres
+++ Das Münchner Startup yoummday übernimmt ICON Communication Centres, ein “mehrsprachiges Contact-Center” mit Sitz in Prag. “ICON bietet internationalen Unternehmen Lösungen zum Outsourcing von Kunden-Services an. Neue Chancen für yoummday ergeben sich dabei sowohl aus dem multilingualen Ansatz, der globalen Reichweite und der B2B-Kundenerfahrungen des Unternehmens. yoummday, 2016 von telegate-Gründer Klaus Harisch und seinen Söhnen Pablo und Lion gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als “Plattform für 360 Grad-Kundenservices”. Zuletzt flossen 30 Millionen Euro in yoummday – unter anderem von Armira Growth.

Fashiola
+++ Das Berliner Unternehmen LionsHome, eine Produkt-Comparison-Plattform im Segment Home und Living, übernimmt die Produktvergleichsplattform Fashiola, die 2012 gegründet wurde “Die Übernahme bildet den Grundstein einer langfristig angelegten Buy-&-Build-Strategie zur Etablierung einer europaweit führenden Commerce-Content-Gruppe”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. LionsHome, 2014  von Michael Röcker und Christoph Königer gegründet wurde kürzlich von Waterland Private Equity übernommen.

Amazee
+++ Das amerikanische Unternehmen Mirantis, das Unternehmen dabei unterstützt, Code in Clouds bereitzustellen, übernimmt Amazee. Das Unternehmen aus Zürich, 2016 gegründet, positioniert sich als “ZeroOps Application Delivery Hub”. Mit dem Open-Source-Projekt Lagoon setzt die Jungfirma auf eine “Cloud-native Plattform für die Bereitstellung, das Management, die Sicherheit und den Betrieb von Anwendungen, die Entwickler hinsichtlich der Infrastruktur erheblich entlastet”.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #amazee, #berlin, #blackrock, #bmp-ventures, #climatetech, #coapp, #fashiola, #fintech, #hamburg, #hannover, #icon-communication-centres, #idnow, #inline-med, #invest-impuls, #leipzig, #lionshome, #magdeburg, #mario-gotze, #medtech, #mementor, #mirantis, #munchen, #nucleus-capital, #pi-labs, #plimo-venture, #project-a-ventures, #resmed, #root-global, #schauenburg-ventures, #strandbutler, #venture-capital, #waku-robotics, #yoummday

#DealMonitor – #EXKLUSIV Lakestar investiert in aware – GFC setzt auf Momo und cognote – FoodLabs investiert in eatDine


Im #DealMonitor für den 27. Juni werfen wir einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

aware
+++ Lakestar investiert nach unseren Informationen eine Millionensumme in aware. 
Das Berliner Startup, das 2021 von den EyeEm-Gründern Florian Meissner und Ramzi Rizk sowie Ferdinand Schmidt-Thomé gegründet wurde, kümmert sich um die “Entwicklung einer App zur Auswertung von Gesundheitsdaten und zur Erforschung chronischer Krankheiten”. Konkret geht es zunächst insbesondere um Bluttests im Abo-Modell. Cherry Ventures, der June Fund und Atlantic Labs investierten bereits in das Unternehmen. Mehr im Insider-Podcast #EXKLUSIV

Momo
+++ Element Ventures, Global Founders Capital (GFC) und einige Angel-Investoren investieren nach unseren Informationen in Momo. Das Berliner Startup Momo, das von Simplo-Gründer Marcel Meitza ins Leben gerufen wurde, positioniert sich als Kredit-Alternative zum “herkömmlichen Mietkautionskonto”.Mit Simplo wollten Meitza und Co. zuvor Handwerkern unter die Arme greifen. Mehr im Insider-Podcast #EXKLUSIV

cognote
+++ Global Founders Capital (GFC) investiert nach unseren Informationen in cognote. Das Münchner Startup, das von Nils Krüger, Oliver Rausch, Nils Blach und Anton Schäfer gegründet wurde, kümmert sich um die “Automatisierung der medizinischen Dokumentation”. “Wir entlasten Ärzt:innen in ihren täglichen Arbeitsabläufen durch automatisierte Dokumentation von Arzt-Patientengesprächen sowie Entscheidungs- und Behandlungsunterstützung”, teilt das Team mit.Mehr im Insider-Podcast #EXKLUSIV

eatDine
+++ Der Berliner Frühphasengeldgeber FoodLabs investiert nach unseren Informationen in eatDine. Das Berliner Startup, das von den mercavus-Machern Maximilian Fischer und Kai Winselmann sowie Michael Neuner gegründet wurde, “hilft unabhängigen Restaurants erfolgreicher im Liefergeschäft zu sein”. Konkret geht es um “ein Netzwerk von Küchen” Mehr im Insider-Podcast #EXKLUSIV

Razor Group
+++ BlackRock und Victory Park Capital stellen der Razor Group weitere 400 Millionen US-Dollar zur Verfügung – siehe Insider. “The company has secured an additional $400 million in debt, bringing its total debt raised to $800 million”, heißt es im Bericht. Die Razor Group, 2020 von Tushar Ahluwalia und Jonas Diezun gegründet, kauft – wie das große Vorbild Thrasio – profitable Amazon-Händler und führt deren Geschäfte weiter. Fortress Investment Group, 468 Capital, Victory Park Capital, Presight Capital, Blackrock, Jebsen Capital, Redalpine und Global Founders Capital (GFC) investierten zuletzt 125 Millionen Dollar in das Unicorn. Mehr über die Razor Group

Simpleclub
+++ 10x Founders. HV Capital und Angel-Investor:innen wie Christian Hülsewig (Schüttflix), David Nothacker, Julius Kurt Köhler und Nicolaus Schefenacker (Sennder) sowie Matti Niebelschütz (Coachhub) investieren 7,2 Millionen Euro in Simpleclub – siehe Gründerszene. Das Startup aus München, das 2015 von Alexander Giesecke und Nicolai Schork gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als Lern-App für Schüler.  Die Gründer haben schon 2011, als Elftklässler mit ihrem Projekt angefangen – mit Mathematik-Erklärvideos auf YouTube. HV Capital investierte im Oktober 2020 bereits 2 Millionen Euro in Simpleclub. Ende 2021 gab es weitere 1,25 Millionen. Mehr über Simpleclub

VENTURE CAPITAL

Verve Ventures
+++ Der Schweizer Investmentplattform Verve Ventures, seit 2010 unterwegs, legt ihren ersten Fonds auf. 45 Millionen Schweizer Franken sind bereits im Topf. Zielgröße sind 100 Millionen. “The fund will invest in 5-7 companies per year during an investment period of 3 years, followed by a 5-year harvesting period”, teilt der Investor mit. Mehr über Verve Ventures

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#10x-founders-hv-capital, #aktuell, #aware, #berlin, #blackrock, #cognote, #eatdine, #edtech, #element-ventures, #food, #foodlabs, #global-founders-capital, #lakestar, #momo, #munchen, #razor-group, #simpleclub, #venture-capital, #verve-ventures, #victory-park-capital

#DealMonitor – SumUp sammelt 590 Millionen ein – WorkMotion bekommt 50 Millionen – Enviria sammelt 22,5 Millionen


Im #DealMonitor für den 23. Juni werfen wir einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

SumUp
+++ Jetzt offiziell: Bain Capital, BlackRock, btov Partners, Centerbridge, Crestline, Fin Capital und Sentinel Dome Partners investieren 590 Millionen Euro (Fremd- und Eigenkapital) in SumUp. Die Bewertung steigt auf 8 Milliarden Euro (8,4 Milliarden US-Dollar). Das deutsch-britische FinTech, das 2012 von Daniel Klein, Marc-Alexander Christ, Stefan Jeschonnek und Jan Deepen gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als Mobile-Point-of-Sale-Zahlungsdienstleister. Zuletzt wurde das Unternehmen, das Kartenterminals, mit denen man mit Kreditkarte bezahlen kann, vertreibt, mit 4 bis 4,5 Milliarden Euro bewertet. 3.000 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für SumUp. Insgesamt flossen nun bereits 1,5 Milliarden Euro in das FinTech. Das frische Kapital soll in “die Weiterentwicklung von fairen Finanzdienstleistungen und -services für kleine Händler weltweit” fließen. Im Insider-Podcast hatten wir bereits Ende Mai von einer bevorstehenden großen Investmentrunde berichtet. Mehr über SumUp

WorkMotion
+++ Der amerikanische Geldgeber Canaan, Heliad und GR Capital und sowie die Altinvestoren Activant Capital, XAnge, Picus Capital und Business Angels wie Hanno Renner investieren 50 Millionen Euro in WorkMotion. Das Berliner Startup, das 2020 von Carsten Lebtig, Karim Zaghlou und Felix Steffens gegründet wurde, unterstützt Unternehmen beim HR-Management von Auslandsmitarbeitern. Workmotion managt dabei Dinge wie Gehaltsabrechnung, Sozialleistungen und Steuern. Activant Capital XAnge investierten zuletzt bereits 24 Millionen US-Dollar in Workmotion. “Die Finanzierung soll künftig Lösungsangebote schaffen, um WorkMotion in seiner Position als strategischer HR-Partner für seinen hauptsächlich europäischen Kundenstamm voranzubringen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Rund 250 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für WorkMotion. Mehr über Workmotion

Enviria 
+++ Redalpine, Galileo Green Energy, BNP Paribas Développement und der Impact-Investor Alter Equity investieren 22,5 Millionen Euro in Enviria. Das GreenTech aus Frankfurt am Main, 2017 von Melchior Schulze Brock gegründet, bietet Unternehmen “Zugang zu skalierbaren Energy-as-a-Service-Lösungen und dem ganzen Ökosystem erneuerbarer Energien”. Das junge Unternehmen möchte das frische Kapital nutzen, um “seinen Wachstumskurs fortzusetzen, seine innovativen Solarkonzepte auszubauen und sich zu einem führenden Energieversorger für erneuerbare Energien, speziell für den Business-Sektor weiterzuentwickeln”.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

i-doit
+++ Der Private Equity-Geber Main Capital Partners übernimmt die Mehrheit an i-doit bzw. an der Betreiberfirma synetics. Das Düsseldorfer Unternehmen, 1996 gegründet, bietet CMDB-Software an, “die das Management der IT- sowie der Asset-Landschaft des Kunden unterstützt und das IT-Service-Management erleichtert”. 40 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für  i-doit.

sendhybrid
+++ Die Österreichische Post übernimmt sendhybrid vollständig. Das Grazer Startup, 2013 von Oliver Bernecker gegründet, unterstützt Unternehmen aller Branchen dabei, ihre Geschäfts- und Versandprozesse effizienter und papierlos zu gestalten. Die Österreichische Post übernahm bereits 2016 rund 26 % der Unternehmensanteile und 2018 51 % des Unternehmens. Gründer Bernecker verlässt das Unternehmen nun.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #alter-equity, #bain-capital, #berlin, #blackrock, #bnp-paribas-developpement, #btov-partners, #canaan, #centerbridge, #crestline, #dusseldorf, #enviria, #fin-capital, #fintech, #frankfurt-am-main, #galileo-green-energy, #gr-capital, #graz, #greentech, #heliad, #i-doit, #main-capital-partners, #redalpine, #sendhybrid, #sentinel-dome-partners, #sumup, #venture-capital, #workmotion

#DealMonitor – Razor Group steigt zum Unicorn auf – Helsing bekommt 100 Millionen – Clark übernimmt finanzen Group (und wird zum Einhorn)


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 9. November werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Razor Group
+++ Investoren wie Fortress Investment Group, 468 Capital, Victory Park Capital, Presight Capital, Blackrock, Jebsen Capital, Redalpine und Global Founders Capital (GFC) investieren 125 Millionen US-Dollar in die Berliner Razor Group. Im Zuge der Investmentunde erreicht das Unternehmen eine Bewertung von mehr als 1 Milliarde Dollar und somit Unicorn-Status – siehe TechCrunch. Die Razor Group, 2020 von Tushar Ahluwalia und Jonas Diezun gegründet, kauft – wie das große Vorbild Thrasio – profitable Amazon-Händler und führt deren Geschäfte weiter. BlackRock und Victory Park Capital (VPC) sowie die Altinvestoren investiert zuletzt en 400 Millionen US-Dollar – gemeint ist eine Fremd- und Eigenkapitalfinanzierung – in den Amazon-Shop-Aufkäufer Razor Group. “Which was $375 million of debt for acquisitions, and $25 million in equity”, heißt es im Artikel zur Investmentrunde. Zuvor flossen bereits 70 Millionen US-Dollar in die junge Razor Group, die derzeit rund 300 Mitarbeiter:innen beschäftigt. Mehr über die Razor Group

Helsing
+++ Spotify-Gründer Daniel Ek investiert via Prima Materia 100 Millionen US-Dollar in Helsing.   Das junge Münchner Unternehmen, das 2021 von Torsten Reil, Niklas Köhler und Gundbert Scherf gegründet wurde, setzt auf “Artificial Intelligence to serve our democracies”. Konkret soll das Unternehmen etwa Soldat:innen dabei zu helfen, Gefechtslagen einzuschätzen oder militärische Ziele auszuwählen – wie das Handelsblatt schreibt. Die Software soll etwa Muster hinter Daten aus Kameras, Wärmebildern, Radardaten und anderen Sensoren erkennen können. Die zalando Macher Robert Gentz und Rubin Ritter investieren gemeinsam mit Lansdowne Partners zuvor bereits in Helsing. “The new funding will be used to grow the team of over 70 (so far), and accelerate product and delivery. It also means Helsing is claiming a valuation north of €400 million”, berichtet TechCrunch zum Investment.

Comgy
+++ Swiss Life Asset Managers, Rivus Capital, Bonventure, SIGNA, EWE, Momeni und Verve Ventures investieren 25 Millionen Euro in Comgy, Das Berliner Startup positioniert sich als “Anbieter digitaler Messdienstlösungen für die Wohnungs- und Energiewirtschaft”.  “Dabei agiert das Unternehmen als eigener Full-Service Messdienst und bietet das Comgy OS als white-label SAAS Lösungen an. Letzteres ermöglicht Immobilienunternehmen und Energiewirtschaft, moderne Messdienstlösungen eigenständig anzubieten”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Comgy, 2017 von Ruben Haas (früher mbrace und Hitfox), Lukas Krauter und Simon Stürtz gegründet, beschäftigt derzeit 60 Mitarbeiter:innen. Mehr über Comgy

Fairsenden 
+++ Die Logistik-Kenner Navid Thielemann und Christian Flick investieren gemeinsam mit weiteren Investoren 4 Millionen Euro in Fairsenden. Das Logistik-Startup, das 2019 von Markus Schwarz gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als emissionsfreier Zustelldienst für die letzte Meile. “Kunden können in Online-Shops bei der Versandart mit Fairsenden die Zustellzeit direkt frei wählen und kriegen ihre Bestellung pünktlich und klimaneutral biszur Haustüre oder Ort ihrer Wahl geliefert”, heißt es zum Konzept.

doQtor 
+++ Rose Bikes-Geschäftsführer Marcus Diekmann und BabyOne-Gesellschafter Jan Weischer investieren in doQtor. Das Startup aus Köln, das 2020 von Benjamin Schwarz gegründet wurde, möchte die “psychische Gesund­heit von Angestellten fördern”. Nach einer digitalen Erstberatung “erfolgt ein Vermittlungsvorschlag für eine Begleitung und Behandlung vor Ort”. Das junge Unternehmen möchte so “nicht nur Mitarbeiter:innen entlasten und Unternehmen stärken, sondern auch auf gesellschaftlicher Ebene die Enttabuisierung von psychischen Belastungen vorantreiben”.

Trackbar
+++ Reflex Capital, AISI und aaia Vorstandsmitglied Gernot Singer investieren 450.000 Euro in Trackbar. Das junge Fitness-Startup, das von Stefan Schade, Lukas Butt und Stephan Glauninger gegründet wurde, analysiert und digitalisiert mit einem Sensor Kraftübungen – und zwar “vom Home-Workout bis zum Fitnessstudio”. Neben Kunden und Kundinnen sind dabei auch Trainer*innen und Fitnessstudios Zielgruppe der Jungfirma aus Wien.

Timly
+++ Mehrere Business Angels investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in Timly. Das Startup aus Zürich, das 2020 von Philipp Baumann und Fitim Mehmeti gegründet wurde, setzt auf eine Cloud-basierte Software, “die es Unternehmen erlaubt, ihr Inventar zentral und effizient zu verwalten”. Unternehmen wie Siemens, Sodastream und Westenergie setzen bereits auf Timly.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

finanzen Group
+++ Der 2015 gegründete Versicherungsmanager Clark übernimmt die finanzen Group, die mit finanzen einen Versicherungsvergleich, der seit 2014 am Start ist. “Clark erwirbt die finanzen Group über einen Anteilstausch mit Allianz X, die dadurch zum größten Minderheitsgesellschafter von Clark wird. Die Transaktion macht Clark gleichzeitig zum Unicorn und einem der größten Insurtechs der Welt.”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Eldridge and Kreos sowie Altinvestoren wie White Star Capital, Tencent und Yabeo “stellten das Kapital für den Kaufpreis, der zusätzlich zum Anteilstausch gezahlt wurde”. Details nennt das Unternehmen leider nicht. Clark sammelte in den vergangenen Jahren mehr als 100 Millionen Euro ein – unter anderem von Tencent, Finleap, White Star Capital und Yabeo. Bei der letzten Investmentrunde soll Clark mit 290 bis 400 Millionen US-Dollar bewertet worden sein – siehe FinanceFWD. Über  350 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für Clark. Im Frühjahr hatten wir Clark-Gründer Christopher Oster im Podcast zu Gast. Mehr über Clark

appful
+++ Das Content-Unternehmen Wakeup Media und die  Wiener Marketingagentur Wordsmattr übernehmen appful. Das Unternehmen, das 2015 von den damals 18-Jährigen Oskar Neumann und Jürgen Ulbrich gegründet wurde, hilft Content-Publishern und Unternehmen ihre Inhalte “in Form von einer modernen und schnellen mobilen App in den App Store zu bringen”. Zu den Kunden der jungen Firma gehörte in der Vergangenheit unter anderem auch der jetzige Käufer Wakeup Media. Der Kaufpreis ist nicht bekannt.

Outbank
+++ Das Unternehmen FP Finanzpartner, ein Finanzberatungsunternehmen, übernimmt die Banking-App Outbank. “Das gesamte Outbank-Team hat sich entschieden, geschlossen zur Outbank GmbH zu wechseln. Das Kernteam hat über 10 Jahre Outbank-Erfahrung und tiefe technische Entwicklungskompetenz in diesem spezifischen APP-Bereich”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Outbank rutschte Ende September 2017 in die Insolvenz. Outbank scheiterte zuvor mit dem Versuch, kostenpflichtige Abonnements zu verkaufen. Danach wanderte das Finanz-Startup unter das Dach von aboalarm bzw. Verivox.

Newsletter: Über neue Startups berichten wir zuerst in unserem Startup-Radar-Newsletter. Der Newsletter erscheint einmal pro Woche und stellt junge Startups vor, die noch nicht jeder kennt. Den Newsletter gibt es aber nur im kostenpflichtigen Abo. Jetzt 30 Tage kostenlos testen.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#468-capital, #aisi, #aktuell, #appful, #berlin, #blackrock, #bonventure, #clark, #comgy, #doqtor, #ewe, #fairsenden, #finanzen-group, #fintech, #fortress-investment-group, #fp-finanzpartner, #global-founders-capital, #helsing, #insurtech, #jebsen-capital, #koln, #logistik, #momeni, #munchen, #outbank, #presight-capital, #prima-materia, #razor-group, #redalpine, #reflex-capital, #rivus-capital, #signa, #swiss-life-asset-managers, #timly, #trackbar, #unicorn, #venture-capital, #verve-ventures, #victory-park-capital, #wakeup-media, #wien, #wordsmattr, #zurich

Women’s health tech brand, Elvie, tops up Series C to $97M

Elvie, the women’s health tech pioneer behind a connected breast pump and smart pelvic floor exerciser, has topped up a Series C which it announced earlier this summer (July) — adding a further £12.7m to bring the total raised to £70 million ($97m).

The 2013-founded, UK-based startup previously raised a $42M Series B in 2019, and a $6M Series A in 2017 — when femtech startups were a lot rarer than they are now. Products designed for (and often by) women have gained a lot of momentum over this period as female-led startups have blazed a trail and shown there’s a sizeable market for femtech — leading investors to slow clock on to the opportunity too.

Analysts now project the femtech industry will become a $50 billion market by 2025.

Elvie says the Series C extension includes funds sponsored by the co-founders of Blume Equity – a PE firm that focuses on the food and health sectors – plus further capital from existing investors IPGL, Hiro Capital and Westerly Winds.

In July, when it announced the earlier ($80M) tranche of the raise, Elvie said the Series C was led by BGF and BlackRock alongside existing investors including Octopus Ventures.

The Series C will be used to drive for more growth through geographical expansion (including entering new markets) and diversifying its product portfolio to target other “key stages” in women’s lives, it said.

That means it’ll be splashing out on R&D to support product development — connected hardware that blends physical gadgetry with software still looks to be a strong focus — and also on strengthening its ops and infrastructure to prep for further scale.

Elvie sells four products at this stage: Its connected kegel trainer, and a wearable breast pump (plus two non-electric pumps).

Where the company goes next in terms of product will be an interesting one to watch.

Commenting in a statement, Tania Boler, CEO and founder, said: “Elvie is ready for the next phase of our growth. We have already revolutionized the categories we operate in, but we know that there is vast untapped potential to create better technology products and services for women in new areas.”

She added that Elvie’s goal is to create “the go-to destination for women’s health at all life stages” — selling “sophisticated, accurate and personalised solutions” to its target female consumer.

#blackrock, #elvie, #europe, #femtech, #fundings-exits, #gadgets, #health, #medical-technology, #octopus-ventures, #startup-company, #tania-boler, #united-kingdom, #wearables, #womens-health

Exo secures $200M toward commercializing ultrasound device

Exo, pronounced “echo,” raised a fresh cash infusion of $220 million in Series C financing aimed at commercializing its handheld ultrasound device and point-of-care workflow platform, Exo Works.

The round was led by RA Capital Management, while BlackRock, Sands Capital, Avidity Partners, Pura Vida Investments and prior investors joined in.

The new funding gives the Redwood City, California-based company over $320 million in total investments since the company was founded in 2015, Exo CEO Sandeep Akkaraju told TechCrunch. This includes a $40 million investment raised in 2020.

Ultrasound machines can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $250,000 for low-end technology and into the millions for high-end machines. Meanwhile, Exo’s device will be around the cost of a laptop.

“It is clear to us that ultrasound is the future — it is nonradiating and has no harmful side effects,” Akkaraju said. “We want to take the technology and put it in the palms of physicians. We also want to bring it down to the patient level. The beauty of having this window into the body is you can immediately see things.”

Using a combination of artificial intelligence, medical imaging and silicon technology, the device enables users to use it in a number of real-world medical environments like evaluating cardiology patients or scanning lungs of a COVID-19 patient. It can also be used by patients at home to provide real-time insight following a surgical procedure or to monitor a certain condition.

Exo then adds in its Exo Works, the workflow platform, that streamlines exam review, documentation and billing in under one minute.

Akkaraju said the immediate focus of the company is commercializing the device, which is where most of the new funding will go. He intends to also build out its informatics platform that is being piloted across the country and to ramp up both production and its sales force.

The global point-of-care ultrasound market is expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2025 and will grow 5% annually over that period. In addition to physicians, Akkaraju is hearing from other hospital workers that they, too, want to use the ultrasound device for some of their daily tasks like finding the right vein for an IV.

Once the company’s device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Exo will move forward with its plan to bring the handheld ultrasound device to market.

Zach Scheiner, principal with RA Capital Management, said he met the Exo team in 2020 and RA made its first investment in the Series B extension later that year.

He was “immediately compelled” by the technology and the opportunity to scale. Scheiner also got to know Akkaraju over the months as well as saw how Exo’s technology was improving.

“We are seeing an expanding opportunity in healthcare technology as it improves and costs go down,” he added. “The vision Sandeep has of democratizing the ultrasound is not a vision that was possible 15 or 20 years ago. We are seeing the market in its early stage, but we also recognize the potential. Every doctor should want one to see what they were not able to see before. As technology and biology improves, we are going to see this sector grow.”

 

#artificial-intelligence, #blackrock, #cloud, #exo, #funding, #health, #healthcare-technology, #medical-equipment, #medical-imaging, #recent-funding, #sands-capital, #tc, #ultrasound, #wearables

Satellite operator Planet to go public in $2.8B SPAC merger

Planet, which operates a network of around 200 satellites that provides Earth imaging, as well as analytics of the data derived from that observation, is going public in a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dMY Technology Group IV. The deal has a post-transaction equity value of $2.8 billion, and will provide Planet with $545 million in cash balance at close, including $345 million from dMY IV’s contribution, and a $200 million PIPE provided by BlackRock-managed funds, Koch Strategic Platforms, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures and Google.

After a bit of a lull, Planet is now the second significant private space company this week to take the SPAC route to public markets. Both are in the business of Earth observation, though Satellogic, which announced its own SPAC merger on Tuesday, operates on a much smaller scale at the moment. Planet, founded in 2010, has raised around $374 million to date, and operates the largest Earth imaging satellite constellation in operation.

The company’s mission has been to transform the way Earth imaging data is collected and provided to commercial interests here on Earth. Planet’s network can provide a complete scan of all of the Earth’s landmass on a daily basis, and it offers that to customers “via a Bloomer-like terminal for Earth data,” as Planet founder and CEO Wiill Marshall puts it. Access is provided on a subscription basis, and Planet says it generated over $100 million in revenue during its most recent fiscal year, which ended in January.

Planet intends to use the funds resulting from the merger in part to pay down its existing debt, and also to fund its existing operations and “support new and existing growth initiatives.” The aim to to complete the merger sometime later this year, at which point the combined entity will trade under the ticker “PL” on the NYSE.

#blackrock, #corporate-finance, #google, #marc-benioff, #private-equity, #satellite-constellation, #satellite-imagery, #satellogic, #spac, #space, #special-purpose-acquisition-company, #tc, #time-ventures

Merchant commerce Asian giant Pine Labs secures $600 million

Pine Labs said on Tuesday it has closed a $600 million financing round as the Asian merchant commerce platform sets the goal to explore the public markets within two years.

Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, Ishana, as well as a fund advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers, and IIFL and Kotak invested in the round, which values the startup at $3 billion. Pine Labs unveiled the new round, a name of which it hasn’t disclosed, earlier this year.

Pine Labs, which counts Sequoia Capital India, Temasek, PayPal and Mastercard among its early backers, offers hundreds of thousands of merchants payments terminals, invoicing tools and working capital.

Its payments terminal — also known as point-of-sale machines — are connected to the cloud, and offer a range of additional services such as working capital — to the merchants. Pine Labs’s payments terminal has integration with over two dozen banks and financial and technology partners.

This differentiates Pine Labs from the competition, whose terminals typically have integration with just one bank. Each time a rival firm strikes a new partnership with a bank, they need to deploy new machines into the market. This makes the whole deployment expensive for both the fintech and the bank. (This is why you also often see a restaurant has multiple terminals at the check out.) The startup says it processes tens of billions of payment transactions.

“Over the last year, Pine Labs has made significant progress in its offline-to-online strategy in India and the direct-to-consumer play in Southeast Asia. Our full-stack approach to payments and merchant commerce has allowed us to grow in-month merchant partnerships by nearly 100% over the last year,” said B. Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs.

“We are excited to bring on board a marquee set of new investors in this round and appreciate the confidence they have placed on the Pine Labs business model and our growth momentum,” said Amrish Rau, adding that he plans to take the startup public in 18 months.

In recent years, Pine Labs has made several acquisitions to broaden its business. In 2019, it acquired QwikCilver, which leads the market in gift cards category. Earlier this year, it acquired Southeast Asian startup Fave for $45 million as it broadened its consume side of the business.

Over 6 million consumers across over 40,000 merchant establishments now have access to the Fave app, the startup said.

“Through its acquisitions of QwikCilver and Fave, Pine Labs now has the market leading pre-paid platform in this region as well as the top consumer loyalty product in this market. With leadership across multiple categories, the company is very well positioned to help drive immense value to its merchant partners in India and across other SEA markets,” said Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital.

#apps, #asia, #blackrock, #fidelity, #finance, #funding, #india, #mastercard, #paypal, #pine-labs, #sequoia-capital-india, #temasek

SoftBank pours up to $150M into GBM, a Mexico City-based investment platform

Grupo Bursátil Mexicano (GBM) is a 35-year-old investment platform in the Mexican stock market. In its first three decades of life, GBM was focused on providing investment services to high net worth individuals and local and global institutions.

Over the past decade, the Mexico City-based brokerage has ramped up its digital efforts, and, in the past five years, has evolved its business model to offer services to all Mexicans with the same products and services it offers large estates.

Today, GBM is announcing it has received an investment of “up to” $150 million from SoftBank via the Japanese conglomerate’s Latin America Fund at a valuation of “over $1 billion.” The investment is being made through one of GBM’s subsidiaries and is not contingent on anything, according to the company.

Co-CEO Pedro de Garay Montero told TechCrunch that GBM has built an app, GBM+, that organizes and invests clients’ money through three different tools: Wealth Management, Trading and Smart Cash.

Last year was a “historic” one for the company, he said, and GBM went from having 38,000 investment accounts in January 2020 to more than 650,000 by year’s end. In the first quarter of 2021, that number had grown to over 1 million — representing more than 30x growth from the beginning of 2020.

For some context, according to the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), there were only 298,000 brokerage accounts in Mexico at the end of 2019, and that number climbed to 940,000 by the end of 2020 — with GBM holding a large share of them.

Most of GBM’s clients are retail clients, but the company also caters to “most of the largest investment managers worldwide,” as well as global companies such as Netflix, Google and BlackRock. Specifically, it services 40% of the largest public corporations in Mexico and a large base of ultra high net worth individuals.

The company is planning to use its new capital in part to invest “heavily” in customer acquisition.

Montero said that half of its team of 450 are tech professionals, and that the company plans to also continue hiring as it focuses on growth in its B2C and B2B offerings and expanding into new verticals.

“We are improving our already robust financial education offering,” he added, “so that Mexicans can take control of their finances. GBM’s mission is to transform Mexico into a country of investors.”

Because Mexico is such a huge market — with a population of over 120 million and a GDP of more than $1 trillion — GBM is laser-focused on growing its presence in the country.

“The financial services industry is dominated by big banks and is inefficient, expensive and provides a poor client experience. This has resulted in less than 1% of individuals having an investment account,” Montero told TechCrunch. “We will be targeting clients through our own platform and internal advisors, as well as growing our base of external advisors to reach as many people as possible with the best investment products and user experience.”

When it comes to institutional clients, he believes there is “enormous potential” in serving both the large corporations and the SMEs “who have received limited services from banks.”

Juan Franck, investment lead for SoftBank Latin America Fund in Mexico, believes the retail investment space in Mexico is at an inflection point.

“The investing culture in Mexico has historically been low compared to the rest of the world, even when specifically compared to other countries in Latin America, like Brazil,” he added. “However, the landscape is quickly changing as, through technology, Mexicans are being provided more education around investing and more investment alternatives.”

In the midst of this shift, SoftBank was impressed by GBM’s “clear vision and playbook,” Franck said.

So, despite being a decades-old company, SoftBank sees big potential in the strength of the digital platform that GBM has built out.

“GBM is the leading broker in Mexico in terms of trading activity and broker accounts,” he said. “The company combines decades of industry know-how with an entrepreneurial drive to revolutionize the wealth management space in the country.”

#apps, #blackrock, #brazil, #broker, #finance, #financial-services, #funding, #fundings-exits, #google, #laser, #latin-america, #mexico, #mexico-city, #money, #netflix, #softbank, #softbank-group, #tc, #ubs, #venture-capital, #vodafone

#DealMonitor – Razor Group sammelt 400 Millionen ein – Berenberg investiert in Enpal – Acton Capital investiert in Metalshub


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 4. Mai werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Razor Group
+++ BlackRock und Victory Park Capital (VPC) sowie die Altinvestoren investieren 400 Millionen US-Dollar – gemeint ist eine Fremd- und Eigenkapitalfinanzierung – in den Amazon-Shop-Aufkäufer Razor Group. “Mit BlackRock und VPC erweitert Razor seinen Investorenkreis um zwei renommierte globale Investoren, die über eine umfangreiche Erfolgsbilanz verfügen, E-Commerce-Marktführer zu unterstützen. Razor ist überzeugt, dass das Unternehmen damit seine Führungsposition in Europa und darüber hinaus weiter festigen kann”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Zuvor flossen bereits 70 Millionen US-Dollar in die Razor Group – unter anderem von 468 Capital, Redalpine, Presight Capital, Global Founders Capital und Claret Capital Partners. Die Razor Group, 2020 von Tushar Ahluwalia und Jonas Diezun gegründet, kauft – wie das große Vorbild Thrasio – profitable Amazon-Händler und führt deren Geschäfte weiter. Über 100 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten bereits für die Jungfirma. In den vergangenen Monaten übernahm das junge Unternehmen unter anderem HappyPo. Mehr über die Razor Group

Enpal
+++ Die Privatbank Berenberg steht gemeinsam mit dem Münchner Geldgeber HV Capital vor einem Investment in Enpal. Das Berliner Unternehmen, das 2017 von Mario Kohle (Käuferportal-Gründer), Viktor Wingert und Jochen Ziervogel gegründet wurde, vermietet Solaranlagen. In der Vergangenheit investierten insbesondere Picus Capital, Spreadshirt-, Circ- und Delivery Hero-Gründer Lukasz Gadowski sowie der amerikanische Investmentfonds Princeville Climate Technology in das Unternehmen, das langfristig einen IPO plant. 2020 erwirtschaftete die Jungfirma 56 Millionen Euro Umsatz, 2019 gerade einmal 18 Millionen. Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. Mehr über Enpal #EXKLUSIV

Metalshub
+++ Der Münchner Kapitalgeber Acton Capital investiert rund 7,5 Millionen Euro (inklusive Convertible) in Metalshub. Das Unternehmen aus Düsseldorf digitalisiert seit 2016 den Metallhandel. Zu den Investoren von Metalshub gehören bisher die brasilianische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Chromo Invest, der Berliner Geldgeber Point Nine Capital und diverse Business Angels – darunter die Flixbus-Gründer. Chromo Invest hielt zuletzt bereits 12,8 % am Unternehmen. Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. Mehr über Metalshub #EXKLUSIV

Urbyo
+++ Der Berliner Kapitalgeber June, hinter dem unter anderem  Google-Vorstand Philipp Schindler steckt, investiert in Urbyo. Das Berliner Stealth-Startup kümmert sich “um den Betrieb von Internetportalen und Dienstleistungen für im Internet aktive Kunden”. Urbyo wird von Markus Fasselt sowie Philipp Schormann und Oliver Wulf vorangetrieben. Das Team baute zuvor bereits das Unternehmen Deutsche Auftragsagentur auf und verkaufte es an Bosch. Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. #EXKLUSIV

Labforward
+++Das Family Office der Familie Fielmann investiert gemeinsam mit dem Altinvestor IBB Ventures sowie “bestehenden und neue Business Angels” mehr als 3 Millionen Euro in die Berliner Laborsoftware-Firma Labforward. Das Unternehmen entstand 2019 durch die Fusion von labfolder und cubuslab. labfolder wurde 2013 von Simon Bungers und dem Biophysiker Florian Hauer gegründet. Zuletzt investierten die Laborgerätehersteller Tecan und 2mag sowie Altinvestor Peppermint Venture Partners mehr als 5 Millionen Euro in das Unternehmen. Mehr über Labforward

OptioPay
+++ Eos Venture Partners, Arab Bank Ventures und Seed X Liechtenstein investieren gemeinsam mit den Altinvestoren, darunter Avaloq Ventures und Main Incubator 5,75 Millionen Euro in OptioPay. Das Startup, das 2014 von Marcus Börner und Oliver Oster gegründet wurde, setzte zunächst auf ein Gutscheinsystem. Inzwischen positioniert sich das FinTech als Open Banking-Anbieter. OptioPay erstellt für seine Kunden “personalisierte und vorteilhafte Finanzkampagnen auf Basis von Bankdaten”. 65 Mitarbeiter:innen wirken bereits für OptioPay. Details gibt es auch im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. Mehr über OptioPay

sewts
+++ APEX Ventures, Bayern Kapital und der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in das Robotik-Startup sewts. Das Unternehmen aus München entwickelt eine Software, “mit deren Hilfe Industrieunternehmen Prozesse automatisieren können, in denen leicht verformbare Materialien verarbeitet werden, zum Beispiel Textilien oder Folien”. Zunächst soll die Technologie der Jungfirma, die 2019 gegründet wurde, in industriellen Wäschereistraßen zum Einsatz kommen.

Cineamo
+++ Eine “norddeutsche Beteiligungsgesellschaft” investiert 1,1 Millionen Euro in das Kino-Startup Cineamo. Das Startup aus Würzburg bietet eine App sowie eine SaaS-Lösung für Kinobetriebe, genannt Cineamo-Control an. Filmfans können mit der kostenlosen App in ihrem Lieblingskino Filmwünsche und andere Eventideen anfragen. Das Kino behält dabei die volle Kontrolle über sein Programm. Ziel des Jungunternehmens ist es, besucherschwache oder freie Terminslots mit Angeboten der Besucher besser auszulasten.

4Gene 
+++ Goldmann International und MBG Baden-Württemberg investieren gemeinsam mit den Gründungsgesellschaftern eine “hohe sechsstellige Summe” in 4Gene. Das Münchner Startup bietet programmierbare Aromastoffe für verschiedenste Anwendungen an. “Mit der Technologie können nahezu alle Aromen so aufbereitet werden, dass eine molekulare Bindung möglich ist. Für die Kosmetikindustrie bedeutet das eine Revolution”, verkündet das Startup.

sourc-e
+++ Die Digitalagentur nexum investiert in das Kölner Unternehmen sourc-e, einem cloudbasierten Startup für Druck- und Packagingerzeugnisse. “Mit der Investition erweitert nexum sein E-Commerce- und Marketing-Portfolio, um einen smarten Druckdienstleister im B2B-Bereich”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung.  sourc-e wurde 2016 von Lucas Scherer und Felix Severing gegründet.

Dörrwerk
+++ Zentis Ventures, der Investmentableger von Zentis, investiert in Dörrwerk. Das Berliner Startup verwertet für seine Produkte seine Snacks, Suppen und Erfrischungsgetränke  ausschließlich Obst und Gemüse, “das aufgrund ästhetischer Mängel ansonsten nicht im regulären Verkauf gelandet wäre”. Dörrwerk wurde 2015 von Zubin Farhani gegründet.

Laori
+++ Faraday Venture Partners investiert eine sechsstellige Summe in Laori, das in dieser Woche in der VOX-Show “Die Höhle der Löwen” kein Investment einsammeln konnte. Das Berliner Food-Startup, das 2019 von Stella-Oriana Strüfing und Christian Zimmermann gegründet wurde, bietet alkoholfreie Gin an. Mit dem frischen Kapital möchte das junge Unternehmen “seine Marktposition im deutschen Markt für alkoholfreie Alternativen weiter ausbauen”.

EXITS

proSenio
+++ Das Unternehmen Schülke & Mayr, das im Segment Infektionsprävention und Hygienelösungen unterwegs ist, übernimmt proSenio. Zur Jungfirma, die sich 2919 mit dem Pflegehilfsmittel CommitMed zusammengeschlossen hat, gehören Pflegebox, ein Versand von Pflegehilfsmitteln sowie Marken wie hoerhelfer aktivwelt und sehhelfer. schülke möchte mit dem “Zukauf sein Portfolio strategisch um die Bereiche Pflege und Sanitätsbedarf – einem Markt, der gerade vor dem Hintergrund einer stetig wachsenden älteren Bevölkerung stark wächst” erweitern. Der Wachstumsfinanzierer yabeo invesierte 2014 in CommitMed und dann mit proSenio fusioniert. “Dadurch entstand ein profitabler, technologiebasierter Mittelständler mit zuletzt mehr als 24 Millionen Euro Jahresumsatz und rund 150 Mitarbeitern”, teilt der Geldgeber mit.

DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN

Ndeyefoods
+++ In der siebten Folge der neunten Staffel investierte Familien-Löwin Dagmar Wöhrl 130.000 Euro in  Ndeyefoods und sicherte sich dabei 30 % am Unternehmen. Hinter Ndeyefoods  verbergen sich “Gourmetsaucen mit einer westafrikanischen Note”. Ursprünglich wollte Ndeyefoods-Gründerin N’deye Fall-Kuete 130.000 Euro für 25 % ihrer Firmenanteile einsammeln.

ajuma
+++ In der siebten Folge der neunten Staffel investierten Pharma-Löwe Nils Glagau und Sales-Löwe Carsten Maschmeyer 110.000 Euro in ajuma und sicherten sich dabei 25 % am Unternehmen. Das Startup bietet einen UV-Bodyguard an. Der Sensor, der an der Kleidung oder am Handgelenk getragen wird, misst die einfallende Sonneneinstrahlung und bezieht auch Satellitendaten wie Ozonwerte in die Berechnung mit ein. Ursprünglich wollte das ajuma-Team 110.000 Euro für 15 % einsammeln.

SmartQ
+++ In der siebten Folge der neunten Staffel investierte Regallöwe Ralf Dümmel 40.000 Euro in SmartQ und sicherte sich dabei 15 % am Unternehmen. Hinter SmartQ verbirgt sich eine ergonomische Tapezierbürste.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#4gene, #acton-capital, #ajuma, #aktuell, #apex-ventures, #bayern-kapital, #berenberg, #berlin, #blackrock, #cineamo, #commitmed, #dorrwerk, #dusseldorf, #enpal, #faraday-venture-partners, #fielmann, #fintech, #food, #goldmann-international, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #hv-capital, #june, #koln, #labforward, #laori, #mbg-baden-wurttemberg, #metalshub, #munchen, #ndeyefoods, #nexum, #optiopay, #pflegebox, #prosenio, #razor-group, #schulke-may, #sewts, #smartq, #sourc-e, #urbyo, #venture-capital, #victory-park-capital, #wurzburg, #zentis-ventures

Berlin’s Razor Group raises $400M to buy and scale Amazon Marketplace merchants

The market remains very hot for startups building e-commerce empires by consolidating independent third-party merchants that have gained traction on Amazon’s Marketplace, and in the latest development, Razor Group — a Berlin-based startup buying up promising Amazon sellers and scaling them into bigger, multi-channel businesses — has closed financing of $400 million to scale its own efforts in the space.

Around $25 million is coming in the form of equity to grow its business and $375 million is in debt to make acquisitions, with target businesses typically already pulling in between $1 million and $15 million in annual revenues.

Razor Group itself is not even a year old but has been building out its business at a fast pace. Founded in August 2020, in the last eight months, CEO Tushar Ahluwalia said the startup has grown to 107 employees across four offices and is currently on track to cross $120 million (€100 million) in sales from the 30 brands it has already amassed in its stable in categories like personal wellness, sports and home and living. Assuming the debt capital it’s now raised is put to use, Ahluwalia believes Razor Group will cross $480 million (€400 million) in sales in the next 12 to 15 months.

As a point of comparison, Thrasio, one of the older players in this current market, was founded in 2018 and has 100 brands in its stable.

Indeed, there are, as you might have seen, a lot of others in the market pursuing the “FBA rollup” model — consolidating businesses that have been built on the back of Fulfillment by Amazon, with the pitch being they can apply more sophisticated economies of scale, analytics and management to grow great cottage industries into high rises, so to speak. But Razor believes its point of differentiation is its focus on technology to improve its responsiveness to the market, both when it comes to identifying and buying brands, and then growing them.

It’s a big opportunity. By one estimate there are about 5 million third-party sellers on Amazon today, and their ranks are growing exponentially, with more than 1 million sellers joining the platform in 2020 alone. Thrasio has in the past estimated to me that there are probably 50,000 businesses selling on Amazon via FBA making $1 million or more per year in revenues.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to build an FBA-based business, but at some point you can move beyond that,” Ahluwalia said in an interview. “We want to transform what we see as the levers of business operations in this space. We don’t see ourselves as the next P&G, but a new version of it, building microchampions in micromarkets, identifying underpriced digital real estate. Just thinking about it as abritrage is not enough.”

The funding, a mixture of equity to invest in the startup itself and debt to use for acquisitions (and it is mostly debt), is being led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and Victory Park Capital (“VPC”) as well as its existing shareholders, a list that includes a number of individuals as well as VCs such as Redalpine, FJ Labs and Global Founders Capital, the VC firm co-founded by the Samwer Brothers, also behind the well-known Berlin e-commerce incubator Rocket Internet.

Ahluwalia and Razor’s head of finance Christoph Gamon — who together co-founded Razor with CTO Shrestha Chowdury — are both Rocket Internet alums, and Ahluwalia and Chowdury also worked on a previous e-commerce business in India called StalkBuyLove (a clone of Wanelo — short for “Want Need Love” — for India, I think) that ran out of cash and shut down.

All of that speaks to both the inroads that the founders may have had into gaining some early financing from other Rocket alums and others, as well as their experiences, both good and bad, of what it takes to grow and scale e-commerce businesses.

Including the $25 million in this latest tranche, the funding brings the total raised in equity by Razor Group to about $40 million — with the previous money being used to get the ball rolling and “validate the model”, Ahluwalia said. It’s not disclosing its valuation today but he confirmed it’s also raising another, larger equity round when it will be speaking more about that.

Meanwhile, the huge injection of debt financing it is getting for acquisitions — doubled after its original plan to raise $200 million got a lot of interest — is a sign not just of what investors and Razor Group itself see as an opportunity, but also of the encroaching competition from other roll-up players that are also well capitalized also setting their sights on buying up the most promising independent businesses selling via Amazon and other marketplace providers.

That list of competitors is getting longer by the day. It includes Thrasio, one of the first startups to identify and build out this space, which has raised very large rounds in rapid succession totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in the last year, and is profitable; Branded; Heroes; SellerX; Perch; Berlin Brands Group (X2); Benitago; and Valoreo (with its backers including Razor’s CEO).

The opportunity is also breeding other e-commerce startups like Jungle Scout, which has also raised $110 million recently, providing tools to some of those third-party sellers to help them stay, in fact, independent (or at least grow more to be more valuable to acquirers)

Razor believes that its ability to stand out in this crowd will not just be based on how much money it has to spend, but on the technology that it is using to identify the best third-party sellers faster in order to roll them up first, and then to leverage that early move by giving those companies better tools to grow faster.

Chowdhury describes the platform that she has built as “M&A 2.0”, a system that performs “massive due dilligence” at machine scale by evaluating some 1 million companies each week as they perform on platforms like Amazon’s. “Technology runs through the whole business,” she said, started with the acquisitions, where Razor is identifying the most interesting companies faster than others, she said. “We look at thousands of data points,” building algorithms, she continued, “to flag what we want to acquire. It means that our acquisitions funnel is 99% sourced directly and we don’t rely on brokers.” Brokers, she said, are something of a unspoken part of this area, but bypassing them means less competition and better pricing.

Being early also means building better relationships with the owners of these businesses, with less time pressure.

“Dealmaking is something extremely personal,” Ahluwalia said. “A seller needs to like you. Our calculations have allowed us to be the first in these deal conversations”

Further along, that data will also help Razor build those businesses and figure out where else brands can be sold beyond Amazon and how to sell them better.

That is a plan that has yet to be proven out, given the age of the company, but investors — adding up the numbers and track record of these founders, and the tech they have built — are willing to bet on this one.

“We are excited to partner with Tushar, Chris, and the rest of the Razor Group team. The ability to identify, underwrite, integrate and ultimately create tangible value across a broad suite of eCommerce assets is a real competitive advantage in the marketplace,” said Tom Welch, partner at VPC, in a statement.

“We are pleased to make this investment in Razor Group to support the company’s strong growth momentum as it continues to diversify its portfolio of brands and expand into new markets,” added Dan Worrell, MD at BlackRock.

#amazon, #blackrock, #ecommerce, #europe, #fba, #fulfillment-by-amazon, #funding, #global-founders-capital, #razor-group, #roll-ups, #tc, #victory-park

Crusoe Energy is tackling energy use for cryptocurrencies and data centers and greenhouse gas emissions

The two founders of Crusoe Energy think they may have a solution to two of the largest problems facing the planet today — the increasing energy footprint of the tech industry and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the natural gas industry.

Crusoe, which uses excess natural gas from energy operations to power data centers and cryptocurrency mining operations, has just raised $128 million in new financing from some of the top names in the venture capital industry to build out its operations — and the timing couldn’t be better.

Methane emissions are emerging as a new area of focus for researchers and policymakers focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping global warming within the 1.5 degree targets set under the Paris Agreement. And those emissions are just what Crusoe Energy is capturing to power its data centers and bitcoin mining operations.

The reason why addressing methane emissions is so critical in the short term is because these greenhouse gases trap more heat than their carbon dioxide counterparts and also dissipate more quickly. So dramatic reductions in methane emissions can do more in the short term to alleviate the global warming pressures that human industry is putting on the environment.

And the biggest source of methane emissions is the oil and gas industry. In the U.S. alone roughly 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas is flared daily, said Chase Lochmiller, a co-founder of Crusoe Energy. About two thirds of that is flared in Texas with another 500 million cubic feet flared in North Dakota, where Crusoe has focused its operations to date.

For Lochmiller, a former quant trader at some of the top American financial services institutions, and Cully Cavmess, a third generation oil and gas scion, the ability to capture natural gas and harness it for computing operations is a natural combination of the two men’s interests in financial engineering and environmental preservation.

NEW TOWN, ND – AUGUST 13: View of three oil wells and flaring of natural gas on The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near New Town, ND on August 13, 2014. About 100 million dollars worth of natural gas burns off per month because a pipeline system isn’t in place yet to capture and safely transport it . The Three Affiliated Tribes on Fort Berthold represent Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations. It’s also at the epicenter of the fracking and oil boom that has brought oil royalties to a large number of native americans living there. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The two Denver natives met in prep-school and remained friends. When Lochmiller left for MIT and Cavness headed off to Middlebury they didn’t know that they’d eventually be launching a business together. But through Lochmiller’s exposure to large scale computing and the financial services industry, and Cavness assumption of the family business they came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way to address the massive waste associated with natural gas.

Conversation around Crusoe Energy began in 2018 when Lochmiller and Cavness went climbing in the Rockies to talk about Lochmiller’s trip to Mt. Everest.

When the two men started building their business, the initial focus was on finding an environmentally friendly way to deal with the energy footprint of bitcoin mining operations. It was this pitch that brought the company to the attention of investors at Polychain, the investment firm started by Olaf Carlson-Wee (and Lochmiller’s former employer), and investors like Bain Capital Ventures and new investor Valor Equity Partners.

(This was also the pitch that Lochmiller made to me to cover the company’s seed round. At the time I was skeptical of the company’s premise and was worried that the business would just be another way to prolong the use of hydrocarbons while propping up a cryptocurrency that had limited actual utility beyond a speculative hedge against governmental collapse. I was wrong on at least one of those assessments.)

“Regarding questions about sustainability, Crusoe has a clear standard of only pursuing projects that are net reducers of emissions. Generally the wells that Crusoe works with are already flaring and would continue to do so in the absence of Crusoe’s solution. The company has turned down numerous projects where they would be a buyer of low cost gas from a traditional pipeline because they explicitly do not want to be net adders of demand and emissions,” wrote a spokesman for Valor Equity in an email. “In addition, mining is increasingly moving to renewables and Crusoe’s approach to stranded energy can enable better economics for stranded or marginalized renewables, ultimately bringing more renewables into the mix. Mining can provide an interruptible base load demand that can be cut back when grid demand increases, so overall the effect to incentivize the addition of more renewable energy sources to the grid.”

Other investors have since piled on including: Lowercarbon Capital, DRW Ventures, Founders Fund, Coinbase Ventures, KCK Group, Upper90, Winklevoss Capital, Zigg Capital and Tesla co-founder JB Straubel.

The company now operate 40 modular data centers powered by otherwise wasted and flared natural gas throughout North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Next year that number should expand to 100 units as Crusoe enters new markets such as Texas and New Mexico. Since launching in 2018, Crusoe has emerged as a scalable solution to reduce flaring through energy intensive computing such as bitcoin mining, graphical rendering, artificial intelligence model training and even protein folding simulations for COVID-19 therapeutic research.

Crusoe boasts 99.9% combustion efficiency for its methane, and is also bringing additional benefits in the form of new networking buildout at its data center and mining sites. Eventually, this networking capacity could lead to increased connectivity for rural communities surrounding the Crusoe sites.

Currently, 80% of the company’s operations are being used for bitcoin mining, but there’s increasing demand for use in data center operations and some universities, including Lochmiller’s alma mater of MIT are looking at the company’s offerings for their own computing needs.

“That’s very much in an incubated phase right now,” said Lochmiller. “A private alpha where we have a few test customers… we’ll make that available for public use later this year.”

Crusoe Energy Systems should have the lowest data center operating costs in the world, according to Lochmiller and while the company will spend money to support the infrastructure buildout necessary to get the data to customers, those costs are negligible when compared to energy consumption, Lochmiller said.

The same holds true for bitcoin mining, where the company can offer an alternative to coal powered mining operations in China and the construction of new renewable capacity that wouldn’t be used to service the grid. As cryptocurrencies look for a way to blunt criticism about the energy usage involved in their creation and distribution, Crusoe becomes an elegant solution.

Institutional and regulatory tailwinds are also propelling the company forward. Recently New Mexico passed new laws limiting flaring and venting to no more than 2 percent of an operator’s production by April of next year and North Dakota is pushing for incentives to support on-site flare capture systems while Wyoming signed a law creating incentives for flare gas reduction applied to bitcoin mining. The world’s largest financial services firms are also taking a stand against flare gas with BlackRock calling for an end to routine flaring by 2025.

“Where we view our power consumption, we draw a very clear line in our project evaluation stage where we’re reducing emissions for an oil and gas projects,” Lochmiller said. 

#air-pollution, #alpha, #artificial-intelligence, #bain-capital-ventures, #bitcoin, #bitcoin-mining, #blackrock, #china, #co-founder, #coinbase-ventures, #colorado, #computing, #cryptocurrency, #cryptography, #denver, #energy, #energy-consumption, #energy-efficiency, #everest, #founders-fund, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #jb-straubel, #lowercarbon-capital, #methane, #mining, #mit, #montana, #natural-gas, #new-mexico, #north-dakota, #tc, #tesla, #texas, #trader, #united-states, #upper90, #valor-equity-partners, #winklevoss-capital, #world-bank, #wyoming

Astranis raises $250M at a $1.4B valuation for smaller, cheaper geostationary communications satellites

Space startup Astranis has raised a $250 million Series C round to provide it with a capital injection to help scale manufacturing of its unique MicroGEO satellites — geostationary communications satellites that are much smaller than the typical massive, expensive spacecraft used in that orbital band to provide communications and connectivity to specific points on Earth.

The Astranis Series C was led by BlackRock-managed funds, and includes participation from a host of new investors including Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, Koch Strategic Platforms and more. Existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, and more also chipped in, with the raise valuing the company at $1.4 billion post-money.

This brings the total funding raised by Astranis to over $350 million, including both equity and debt financing. Astranis got started only in 2016, and was part of the YC Winter 2016 cohort. While a lot of other companies are looking to build satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit to provide low-cost broadband on Earth, Astranis, led by co-founder and CEO John Gedmark, is focused on the GEO band, where the large legacy communications satellites currently operate, orbiting the Earth at a fixed position and providing connectivity to a set area on Earth.

Gedmark has told me previously that the company’s offering is very different from the LEO constellations being put up and operated by companies including SpaceX, because they’re essentially a much more targeted, nimble solution that works with existing ground infrastructure. Customers who have a specific regional need for connectivity can get Astranis to put one one up at a greatly reduced cost compared to a traditional GEO communications satellite, and do so to replace or upgrade aging existing satellite network infrastructure, for example.

It’s worth noting that BlackRock, which led this round, has also been a key participant in the PIPE components of high-profile space startup SPACs like launcher company Astra’s. Not saying that’s the exit plan this round is setting up, but definitely something to think about.

#aerospace, #andreessen-horowitz, #astranis, #blackrock, #funding, #outer-space, #satellite, #satellite-constellation, #satellite-constellations, #space, #spaceflight, #spacex, #startup-funding, #tc, #venrock

Temasek and BlackRock form Decarbonization Partners with $600 million to create a zero-emission economy

The $9 trillion financial management firm Blackrock is collaborating with the $313 billion Singapore investment firm Temasek to back companies developing technologies and services to help create a zero emission economy by 2050.

The two mega-investment firms will invest an initial $600 million to launch Decarbonization Partners, and look to raise money from investors committing to achieving a net zero world and long-term sustainable finacnial returns. The two partners have set themselves a goal to raise $1 billion for their first fund, including capital from Temasek and BlackRock.

The partnership, coming during Earth month, is one of several big multi-billion dollar initiatives that are underway to prevent global climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Indeed, BlackRock is somewhat tardy to the party. Temasek, for its part, has already made a number of high-profile bets in the alternative meat market — namely in companies like Impossible Foods — and in alternative energy technology developers including Eavor, a geothermal company, and a $500 million bet on a renewable power developer in India.

Meanwhile, a coalition of billionaires led by Bill Gates are already on their second billion dollar investment vehicle through Breakthrough Energy, a multi-stage, multi-strategy initiative that includes a venture capital arm as well as other types of financing on the way.

“The world cannot meet its net zero ambitions without transformational innovation,” said Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, in a statement. “For decarbonization solutions and technologies to transform our economy, they need to be scaled. To do that, they need patient, well-managed capital to support their vital goals. This partnership will help define climate solutions as a standalone asset class that is both essential to our collective mission and a historic investment opportunity created by the net zero transition.”

To get a sense of what Decarbonization Partners might back, companies should probably look to the Breakthrough Energy portfolio — the firms share similar interests in new sources of energy, technologies to distribute that energy, building and manufacturing technologies, and material science and process innovations.

It’s a big swing that the firms are taking, but the flood of capital coming into the sustainability sector is commensurate with both the size of the problem, and the potential opportunity in returns generated by solving it.

A report from Morgan Stanley estimated that solving climate change would be a $50 trillion problem, according to a 2019 report from Forbes.

“Bold, aggressive actions are needed to make the global net zero ambition a reality. Decarbonization Partners represents one of several steps we are taking to follow through on our commitment to halve the emissions from our portfolio by 2030, and ultimately move to net zero emissions by 2050,” said Dilhan Pillay, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek International. “Through collective efforts with like-minded partners, we will be able to create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders over the long term, and investors will have the opportunity to help deliver innovative solutions at scale to address climate challenges.”

#articles, #bill-gates, #blackrock, #chief-executive-officer, #energy, #forbes, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #impossible-foods, #india, #morgan-stanley, #singapore, #tc, #temasek, #temasek-holdings

Facebook gets a C – Startup rates the ‘ethics’ of social media platforms, targets asset managers

By now you’ve probably heard of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) ratings for companies, or ratings for their carbon footprint. Well, now a UK company has come up with a way of rating the ‘ethics’ social media companies. 
  
EthicsGrade is an ESG ratings agency, focusing on AI governance. Headed up Charles Radclyffe, the former head of AI at Fidelity, it uses AI-driven models to create a more complete picture of the ESG of organizations, harnessing Natural Language Processing to automate the analysis of huge data sets. This includes tracking controversial topics, and public statements.

Frustrated with the green-washing of some ‘environmental’ stocks, Radclyffe realized that the AI governance of social media companies was not being properly considered, despite presenting an enormous risk to investors in the wake of such scandals as the manipulation of Facebook by companies such as Cambridge Analytica during the US Election and the UK’s Brexit referendum.

EthicsGrade Industry Summary Scorecard – Social Media

The idea is that these ratings are used by companies to better see where they should improve. But the twist is that asset managers can also see where the risks of AI might lie.

Speaking to TechCrunch he said: “While at Fidelity I got a reputation within the firm for being the go-to person, for my colleagues in the investment team, who wanted to understand the risks within the technology firms that we were investing in. After being asked a number of times about some dodgy facial recognition company or a social media platform, I realized there was actually a massive absence of data around this stuff as opposed to anecdotal evidence.”

He says that when he left Fidelity he decided EthicsGrade would out to cover not just ESGs but also AI ethics for platforms that are driven by algorithms.

He told me: “We’ve built a model to analyze technology governance. We’ve covered 20 industries. So most of what we’ve published so far has been non-tech companies because these are risks that are inherent in many other industries, other than simply social media or big tech. But over the next couple of weeks, we’re going live with our data on things which are directly related to tech, starting with social media.”

Essentially, what they are doing is a big parallel with what is being done in the ESG space.

“The question we want to be able to answer is how does Tik Tok compare against Twitter or Wechat as against WhatsApp. And what we’ve essentially found is that things like GDPR have done a lot of good in terms of raising the bar on questions like data privacy and data governance. But in a lot of the other areas that we cover, such as ethical risk or a firm’s approach to public policy, are indeed technical questions about risk management,” says Radclyffe.

But, of course, they are effectively rating algorithms. Are the ratings they are giving the social platforms themselves derived from algorithms? EthicsGrade says they are training their own AI through NLP as they go so that they can automate what is currently very human analysts centric, just as ‘sustainalytics’ et al did years ago in the environmental arena.

So how are they coming up with these ratings? EthicsGrade says are evaluating “the extent to which organizations implement transparent and democratic values, ensure informed consent and risk management protocols, and establish a positive environment for error and improvement.” And this is all achieved, they say, all through publicly available data – policy, website, lobbying etc. In simple terms, they rate the governance of the AI not necessarily the algorithms themselves but what checks and balances are in place to ensure that the outcomes and inputs are ethical and managed.

“Our goal really is to target asset owners and asset managers,” says Radclyffe. “So if you look at any of these firms like, let’s say Twitter, 29% of Twitter is owned by five organizations: it’s Vanguard, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, State Street and ClearBridge. If you look at the ownership structure of Facebook or Microsoft, it’s the same firms: Fidelity, Vanguard and BlackRock. And so really we only need to win a couple of hearts and minds, we just need to convince the asset owners and the asset managers that questions like the ones journalists have been asking for years are pertinent and relevant to their portfolios and that’s really how we’re planning to make our impact.”

Asked if they look at content of things like Tweets, he said no: “We don’t look at content. What we concern ourselves is how they govern their technology, and where we can find evidence of that. So what we do is we write to each firm with our rating, with our assessment of them. We make it very clear that it’s based on publicly available data. And then we invite them to complete a survey. Essentially, that survey helps us validate data of these firms. Microsoft is the only one that’s completed the survey.”

Ideally, firms will “verify the information, that they’ve got a particular process in place to make sure that things are well-managed and their algorithms don’t become discriminatory.”

In an age increasingly driven by algorithms, it will be interesting to see if this idea of rating them for risk takes off, especially amongst asset managers.

#articles, #artificial-intelligence, #asset-management, #blackrock, #environmentalism, #esg, #europe, #facebook, #facial-recognition, #fidelity, #finance, #governance, #microsoft, #morgan-stanley, #natural-language-processing, #social-media, #tc, #technology, #twitter, #united-kingdom, #united-states

Real estate tech startup Offerpad to go public via SPAC merger in $3B deal

Offerpad is the latest proptech company to go public via a SPAC merger.

The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company announced Thursday its plans to go public by merging with Supernova Partners Acquisition Company in a deal valued at $3 billion.

The transaction is expected to close in the second, or early third, quarter of 2021. The combined company will be named Offerpad Solutions and trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “OPAD.”

Founded in 2015, Offerpad started out as primarily an iBuyer (meaning it bought homes from sellers who signed up online) and has since evolved its platform in an effort to be a one-stop shop for people looking to buy or sell a home. For example, it now also offers home improvement advances, as well as title and mortgage services. The company has raised $155 million in equity funding from investors such as LL Funds, in addition to hundreds of millions more in debt over the years.

Since its inception, Offerpad says it has completed 30,000 transactions and achieved nearly $7 billion in gross transaction volume. The company projects it will generate revenue of $1.4 billion this year, up from an estimated $1.1 billion in 2020. That compares to revenue of  $100 million in 2016. Offerpad also says it has had “positive per-home contribution margins” since 2016. 

The company has ambitious goals, projecting revenue of $2.4 billion in 2022 and $3.9 billion in 2023.

Supernova Partners, which spun up the SPAC for this deal, is led by Spencer Rascoff — a serial entrepreneur with plenty of prop tech experience who co-founded Hotwire, Zillow, dot.LA and Pacaso, and who led Zillow as CEO for nearly a decade.

PIPE investors include funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and Zimmer Partners, as well as national homebuilder Taylor Morrison Home Corp.

Offerpad says that by partnering with Supernova to become a public company, it expects it will be able “to accelerate its growth to capture more” of the market. The company currently operates in over 900 cities and towns across the country and plans to expand nationwide. 

Rascoff believes Offerpad “is incredibly well-positioned to grab a huge piece” of the online real estate market.

“iBuying has barely scratched the surface of real estate, one of the biggest addressable markets in the world,” he said in a written statement. “In general, real estate continues to be mostly analog, in contrast to other industries like grocery, autos and pharmaceuticals, but consumers demand online solutions. As they bring more transactions online, we believe online real estate as a whole is poised to grow rapidly in the coming years.”

Offerpad competes with companies such as Opendoor, Redfin and Zillow, among others.

As part of the transaction, existing Offerpad shareholders will roll 100% of their equity into the combined company and are expected to own approximately 75% of the combined entity at closing. Offerpad’s founder and CEO Brian Bair will receive high-vote stock that is expected to represent approximately 35% of the voting power of the combined company.

Earlier this month, real estate tech startup Doma, formerly known as States Title, announced it would go public through a merger with SPAC Capitol Investment Corp. V in a deal valued at $3 billion, including debt.

#arizona, #blackrock, #exit, #fundings-exits, #online-real-estate, #phoenix, #real-estate, #redfin, #spencer-rascoff, #startups, #tc

Jobandtalent takes $120M from Softbank to enter the US market

Spain’s Jobandtalent, a digital temp staffing agency startup which operates a dual-sided platform that matches temps with employers needing casual labor in sectors like ecommerce, warehousing, logistics and manufacturing, has grabbed €100 million (~$120M) in Series D funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.

Previous investors — including Atomico, Seek, DN Capital, InfraVia, Quadrille, Kibo and FJ Labs — also participated in the round.

The new raise fast-follows a $108M top up to Jobandtalent’s Series C round, which we reported on back in January. In total, the company has raised a total of €310M (just under $370M) since being founded back in 2009.

Today Jobandtalent is also announcing a ~$100M (€83M) in debt financing from BlackRock.

The startup tells us the mix of debt and equity will help it step on the gas and accelerate growth of its marketplace faster than if it took in less capital at this point, as well as enabling it to plough more resource into its product and tech development.

On the tech side its platform uses learning algorithms to match temps with jobs — speeding the hiring process up. It also offers a CRM for employers which bakes in analytics for tracking workforce performance in real time — which it says can help them monitor workplace satisfaction, reduce attrition and track metrics such as absences and late arrivals.

For temps there’s the promise of steadier and easy to obtain shift work — as Jobandtalent streamlines job application admin and payroll into a one-stop shop, and it suggests its marketplace/workforce-as-a-service model can provide temps with continuous employment (i.e. through consecutive temp roles).

Its marketing also talks in terms of offering these workers a level of job security and benefits typically associated with full time employment — such as pensions, sick and holiday pay, health insurance (in some markets) and training courses.

With the new Series D funds in the bank Jobandtalent is preparing to enter the U.S. market “in the next year”, per co-CEO and co-founder, Juan Urdiales — expanding out from the eight markets it’s currently operating in (namely: Spain, the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Mexico, Colombia, and Portugal).

He confirms it’s also now eyeing entering two more markets in Europe: Italy and the Netherlands.

“We are not yet seeing any competitor operating in the US at large scale and in multiple states in the verticals where we operate (e-commerce, logistics, etc). This is one of the reasons why we believe that we have a great opportunity there,” Urdiales tells TechCrunch.

“The U.S. can be a very difficult market to break into. However, we are starting to see more and more European companies going to the U.S. and being successful (Spotify, Klarna, Adyen, etc),” he adds.

“We believe that in our case, after having operated our model in Europe with high standards on labour rights and complex regulatory environments, we are in a great position to launch our platform in the US and offer a great value proposition to workers and employers there.”

Jobandtalent’s platform will offer temps equivalent perks and benefits in the U.S. as it offers elsewhere, per Urdiales.

“The perks and benefits offered into our marketplace meet the same principles everywhere, all of them aim to bring to the workers a similar status as a permanent worker, with the same type of benefits and perks,” he says, adding: “There are some adaptations in every country to do this, and it would be the same with the US.”

In the past year Jobandtalent says that more than 80,000 workers have used its marketplace to find temporary roles (its website says it has 10M+ registered users) — while more than 850 companies, including the likes of XPO, Ceva Logistics, eBay, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Bayer and Santander, have used its platform to locate temp workers.

The startup’s revenue run rate has grown from €5M in 2016 to €500M in 2020 — which it says has resulted in a positive EBITDA. It also touts a growth rate of over 100% year on year.

Commenting in a statement, Yanni Pipilis, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “Jobandtalent is addressing a crucial challenge facing the modern workforce — how to balance flexibility with high quality, reliable job opportunities. The company has developed a data-driven platform that has a track record of providing high fulfilment and low attrition staffing for businesses with temporary roles to fill, while securing income stability and benefits for workers. We are incredibly excited to partner with Juan, Felipe and the team on the next phase of the company’s growth.”

Asked about its decision to take funding from SoftBank for the Series D — and whether it was largely about the scale the investor could offer or whether Jobandtalent also sees potential synergies with other SoftBank portfolio companies (in sectors like logistics) — Urdiales also tells us: “We believe the Vision Fund team can add a lot of value to the company in this new stage of our growth as they have a lot of experience with companies of our size. We can learn a lot from the companies and management teams that they have invested in over the past few years. They have an entrepreneurial mindset and a clear vision on how technology and AI is going to disrupt many industries, and we share the same vision around our category.”

 

#blackrock, #europe, #fundings-exits, #hiring, #job-marketplace, #jobandtalent, #logistics, #softbank-vision-fund-2, #tc

#DealMonitor – Volocopter sammelt 200 Millionen ein – IDnow übernimmt Wettbewerber – 123fahrschule bekommt 5 Millionen


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 3. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Volocopter
+++ Der Vermögensverwalter BlackRock, Avala Capital, Atlantia, Continental, Jericho Capital, der Investmentableger von NTT, und Tokyo Century sowie alle Alt-Investoren – darunter Geely, Daimler, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, btov Partners, Team Europe (Lukasz Gadowski) und Klocke Holding – investieren beachtliche 200 Millionen Euro in das Flugtaxi-Startup Volocopter, das 2011 von Stephan Wolf und Alexander Zosel gegründet wurde. Insgesamt flossen nun schon 322 Millionen in Volocopter. Zuletzt investiert die Deutsche Bahn über ihre Logistik-Tochter Schenker in das Flugtaxi-Startup. Das Unternehmen entwickelt elektrisch angetriebenen senkrecht startenden Flugtaxis, um Passagiere zu transportieren. Das viele Geld möchte das Unternehmen für den “Endspurt in Richtung Zertifizierung und Markteinführung in den nächsten zwei Jahren” nutzen. Volocopter beschäftigt derzeit in Bruchsal, München und Singapur über 300 Mitarbeiter.

Helvengo
+++ Das Unternehmen Hypoport, Seed X aus Lichtenstein, Cornelius Boersch (Conny & Co) und weitere Business Angels investieren in das Schweizer InsurTech Helvengo, einen KMU-Versicherer aus Zürich. “Die Kapitalerhöhung wird genutzt um das Produkt in der Schweiz weiter zu entwickeln und um den Markteintritt nach Deutschland und Österreich vorzubereiten”, teilt die Jungfirma mit. Helvengo wurde von Benedikt Andreas, Felix Huemer und Vedran Pranjic gegründet.

EXITS

identity Trust Management
+++  Münchner FinTech IDnow, ein Anbieter von Identity Verification-as-a-Service Lösungen, übernimmt den Düsseldorfer Wettbewerber identity Trust Management. “Der Zusammenschluss wird das Portfolio an Verifikationsmethoden, die über die IDnow-Plattform angeboten werden, weiter ausbauen und das kombinierte Produktportfolio wird eines der umfangreichsten Angebote an Identitätsüberprüfungsmethoden im europäischen Markt werden”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. IDnow übernahm zuletzt auch die Wirecard-Tochter Wirecard Communication Services.

STOCK MARKET

123fahrschule
+++ Die digitale Kölner Fahrschule 123fahrschule sammelt über eine Kapitalerhöhung weitere 5 Millionen Euro ein. “Die Erlöse sollen vornehmlich für das weitere Wachstum der 123fahrschule SE durch den Erwerb weiterer Fahrschulen eingesetzt werden”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. 123fahrschule hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, das Fahrschulwesen zu digitalisieren. Das Unternehmen wurde 2016 von Boris Polenske und Daniel Radziwon (nicht mehr im Unternehmen tätig) gegründet.

Anzeige
+++ In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#123fahrschule, #aktuell, #atlantia, #avala-capital, #blackrock, #conny-co, #continental, #dusseldorf, #fintech, #helvengo, #hypoport, #identity-trust-management, #idnow, #jericho-capital, #koln, #munchen, #seed-x, #venture-capital, #volocopter, #zurich

Satellite constellation operator Spire Global to go public via $1.6 billion SPAC

Monday brings with it not one, but two space SPACS – there’s Rocket Lab, and there’s Spire Global, a satellite operator that bills itself primarily as a SaaS company focused on delivering data and analytics made possible by its 100-plus spacecraft constellation. SPACs have essentially proven a pressure-release valve for the space startup market, which has been waiting on high-profile exits to basically prove out the math of its venture-backability.

Spire Global debuted in 2012, and has raised over $220 million to date. It will merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called NavSight Holdings, in order to make a debut on the NYSE under the ticker ‘SPIR.’ The combined company will have a pro forma enterprise value of $1.6 billion upon transaction close, which is targeted for this summer.

The deal will provide $475 in funds for the company, including via a PIPE that includes Tiger Global, BlackRock and Hedosophia. Existing Spire stockholders will wind up with around 67% of the company after the businesses combine.

Spire’s network of satellites is designed to provide customers with a ‘space-as-a-service’ model, allowing them to operate their own payloads, and access data collected via an API their developers can integrate into their own software. The model is subscription-based, and is designed to get customers up and running with their own space-based data feed in less than a year from deal designs and commitment.

Existing investors in Spire Global include RRE Ventures, Promus Ventures, Seraphim Capital, Mitsui Global Investment and more, with its most recent round being a raised of debt financing. The company has launched satellites via Rocket Lab, its companion in the Monday SPAC news rush. The satellites it operates are small cube satellites, and it has launches on a wide range of launch vehicles, including SpaceX’s Falcon 9, the Russian Soyuz, ISRO’s PSLV, Japan’s H-2B, ULA rockets, Northrop Grumman’s Antares and even the International Space Station.

Spire got its start from very humble origins indeed – tracing all the way back to a Kickstarter campaign that was successful with just over $100,000 raised from backers.

#aerospace, #api, #blackrock, #corporate-finance, #falcon, #international-space-station, #japan, #kickstarter, #mitsui, #northrop-grumman, #outer-space, #private-equity, #promus-ventures, #rocket-lab, #rre-ventures, #satellite, #seraphim-capital, #spac, #space, #spaceflight, #spacex, #special-purpose-acquisition-company, #spire-global, #tc, #tiger-global, #transport

Rocket Lab to go public via SPAC at valuation of $4.1 billion

The SPAC run is on for space startups, which have been relatively slow in their overall exit pace before the current special purpose acquisitions company merger craze got underway. Rocket Lab is the latest, and likely the most notable to jump on the trend, with a deal that will see it combine with a SPAC called Vector and subsequently list on the NASDAQ under the ticker RKLB, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Rocket Lab, which got its start in New Zealand, and which still launches rockets there with its HQ now shifted to LA, will have a pro forma enterprise value of $4.1 billion via the transaction, with a total cash balance of $750 million once the deal goes through thanks to a PIPE of $470 million with funds invested via Vector, BlackRock and others. At close, existing Rocket Lab shareholders will retain 82% of the total equity in the combined company.

The launch company was founded in 2006, and is led by founder Peter Beck. In 2013, it opened its California headquarters, and it has already completed its first U.S. launch facility at Wallops Island, Virginia. The company’s Electron launch vehicle can carry small payloads to orbit, and is designed to cater to the growing small satellite market, with a focus on responsive and flexible launch options.

Rocket Lab has performed launches on behalf of the U.S. government, including national security payloads, and that’s a key revenue opportunity for it gown forward. Currently, it says it has a backlog of customers, with a projection that it will be ‘EBITDA positive’ in 2023 after adjustments, and fully cash-flow positive by 2024, with a projected run rate of over $1 billion in revenue by 2026.

The company has focused on increasing its ability to launch more frequently in a number of ways. It’s been steadily improving its production capacity, with a focus on its large automated carbon fiber production capabilities. It has also established its U.S. launch site, as mentioned, and will soon open its second launch pad at its existing New Zealand launch site, which is fully privately-owned by Rocket Lab itself. It’s also working on making its Electron vehicle partially reusable, which founder Beck says will help it turn around launches more quickly.

Finally, it has just announced a new heavier-lift launch vehicle called Neutron, with a launch payload capacity of 8 tons – around 16,000 lbs.

#aerospace, #artemis-program, #blackrock, #california, #electron, #louisiana, #new-zealand, #outer-space, #peter-beck, #public, #rocket-lab, #spac, #space, #spaceflight, #spaceport, #tc, #u-s-government, #united-states, #virginia

Rocket startup Astra is going public vis SPAC

Rocket launch company Astra, which just reached space this past December with a test launch from Alaska, will be going public on the NASDAQ via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Holicity. The recent SPAC craze has already extended to the New Space sector, and Virgin Galactic was among the in this wave of a new path to public listing, so there is precedent for space launch in particular, but Astra will be the first to list on the NASDAQ.

The terms of the deal will result in an anticipated $500 million in cash for Astra, from a combined $300 million held by Holicity in trust and a $300 million injection via a PIPE (private investment in public equity) from funds under management by BlackRock. The arrangement sets a pro forma enterprise valuation of Astra at around $2.1 billion – that valuation of the company minus the $500 million in cash the SPAC merger brings in. Astra expects it to complete by the second quarter of this year, after which the company will trade under the ticker ‘ASTR.’

Astra manufactures its own rockets, which are designed to carry small orbital payloads, at a facility in Alameda, California. Thus far, it has then shipped its launch vehicles to Kodiak, Alaska for flight – requiring just a handful of people on the ground at the actual spaceport to mount and launch the rocket, with the majority of the team overseeing the flight operating remotely out of a mission control facility back in California. The company’s model focuses on high output production of relatively inexpensive rockets, which can be responsively shipped and launched virtually anywhere depending on needs.

With its successful test in December, Astra achieved a pay-off of years of quiet work building and iterating its launch model. The startup was originally pursuing a DARPA-funded competition to achieve rapid response launch capabilities, but that contest expired with the prize unclaimed. The successful test in December still proved out the viability of Astra’s model – though it fell slightly short of achieving orbital velocity for actual payload delivery. The company said that this was a relatively easy remaining issue to fix, wholly manageable via software tweaks, and it intends to deliver its first commercial satellites beginning this summer.

Ultimately, Astra aims to be launching payloads on a daily cadency by 2025, and in a blog post accompanying the SPAC news, Astra founder and CEO Chris Kemp said that it’s also intent on “building a platform of space services” that implies ambitions beyond its work today on rockets.

#aerospace, #alaska, #astra, #blackrock, #california, #cars, #ceo, #chris-kemp, #kodiak, #nasdaq, #spac, #space, #space-launch, #special-purpose-acquisition-company, #tc, #transportation, #virgin-galactic

Battery companies are the latest SPAC target as EVs get a huge regulatory boost

Batteries are the latest landing pad for investors.

In the past week alone, two companies have announced plans to become publicly traded companies by merging with special purpose acquisition companies. European battery manufacturer FREYR said Friday it would become a publicly traded company through a special purpose acquisition vehicle with a valuation at $1.4 billion. Houston area startup Microvast announced Monday its own SPAC, at a $3 billion valuation.

A $4.4 billion combined valuation for two companies with a little over $100 million in revenue (FREYR has yet to manufacture a battery) would seem absurd were it not for the incredible demand for batteries that’s coming.

Legacy automakers like GM and Ford have committed billions of dollars to shifting their portfolios to electric models. GM said last year it will spend $27 billion over the next five years on the development of electric vehicles and automated technology. Meanwhile, a number of newer entrants are either preparing to begin production of their electric vehicles or scaling up. Rivian, for instance, will begin delivering its electric pickup truck this summer. The company has also been tapped by Amazon to build thousands of electric vans.

The U.S. government could end up driving some of that demand.  President Biden announced last week that the U.S. government would replace the entire federal fleet of cars, trucks and SUVs with electric vehicles manufactured in the U.S. That’s 645,047 vehicles. That’s going to mean a lot of new batteries need to be made to supply GM and Ford, but also U.S.-based upstarts like Fisker, Canoo, Rivian, Proterra, Lion Electric and Tesla.

Meanwhile, some of the largest cities in the world are planning their own electrification initiatives. Shanghai is hoping to have electric vehicles represent roughly half of all new vehicle purchases by 2025 and all public buses, taxis, delivery trucks, and government vehicles will be zero-emission by the same period, according to research from the Royal Bank of Canada.

The Chinese market for electric vehicles is one of the world’s largest and one where policy is significantly ahead of the rest of the world.

A potential windfall from China’s EV market is likely one reason for the significant investment into Microvast by investors including the Oshkosh Corp., a 100 year-old industrial vehicles manufacturer; the $8.67 trillion money management firm, BlackRock; Koch Strategic Platforms; and InterPrivate, a private equity fund manager. That’s because Microvast’s previous backers include CDH Investments and CITIC Securities, two of the most well-connected private equity and financial services firms in China.

So is the company’s focus on commercial and industrial vehicles. Microvast believes that the market for commercial electric vehicles could be $30 billion in the near term. Currently, commercial EV sales represent just 1.5% of the market, but that penetration is supposed to climb to 9% by 2025, according to the company.

“In 2008, we set out to power a mobility revolution by building disruptive battery technologies that would allow electric vehicles to compete with internal combustion engine vehicles,” said Microvast chief executive Yang Wu, in a statement. “Since that time we have launched three generations of battery technologies that have provided our customers with battery performance far superior to our competitors and that successfully satisfy, over many years of operation, the stringent requirements of commercial vehicle operators.”

Roughly 30,000 vehicles are using Microvast’s batteries and the investment in Microvast includes about $822 million in cash that will finance the expansion of its manufacturing capacity to hit 9 gigawatt hours by 2022. The money should help Microvast meet its contractual obligations which account for about $1.5 billion in total value, according to the company.

If Chinese investors stand to win big in the upcoming Microvast public offering, a clutch of American investors and one giant Japanese corporation are waiting expectantly for FREYR’s public offering. Northbridge Venture Partners, CRV, and Itochu Corp. are all going to see gains from FREYR’s exit — even if they’re not backers of the European company.

Those three firms, along with the International Finance Corp. are investors in 24m, the Boston-based startup licensing its technology to FREYR to make its batteries.

FREYR’s public offering will also be another win for Yet-Ming Chiang, a serial entrepreneur and professor who has a long and storied history of developing innovations in the battery and materials science industry.

The MIT professor has been working on sustainable technologies for the last two decades, first at the now-defunct battery startup A123 Systems and then with a slew of startups like the 3D printing company Desktop Metal; lithium-ion battery technology developer, 24m; the energy storage system designer, Form Energy; and Baseload Renewables, another early-stage energy storage startup.

Desktop Metal went public last year after it was acquired by a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, and now 24m is getting a potential boost from a big cash infusion into one of its European manufacturing partners, FREYR.

The Norwegian company, which has plans to build five modular battery manufacturing facilities around a site in its home country intends to develop up to 43 gigawatt hours of clean batteries over the next four years.

For FREYR chief executive Tom Jensen there were two main draws for the 24m technology. “It’s the production process itself,” said Jensen. “What they basically do is they mix the electrolyte with the active material, which allows them to make thicker electrodes and reduce the inactive materials in the battery. Beyond that, when you actually do that you remove the need fo a number of traditional production steps… Compared to conventional lithium battery production it reduces production from 15 steps to 5 steps.”

Those process efficiencies combined with the higher volumes of energy bearing material in the cell leads to a fundamental disruption in the battery production process.

Jensen said the company would need $2.5 billion to fully realize its plans, but that the float should get FREYR there. The company is merging with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp. in a SPAC backed by investors including Koch Strategic Platforms, Glencore, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Franklin Templeton, Sylebra Capital and Van Eck Associates.

All of these investments are necessary if the world is to meet targets for vehicle electrification on the timelines that have been established.

As the Royal Bank of Canada noted in a December report on the electric vehicle industry. “We estimate that globally, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will represent ~3% of 2020 global demand, while plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) will represent another ~1.3%,” according to RBC’s figures. “But we see robust growth off these low figures. By 2025, when growth is still primarily regulatory driven, we see ~11% BEV global penetration of new demand representing a ~40% CAGR from 2020’s levels and ~5% PHEV penetration representing a ~35% CAGR. By 2025, we see BEV penetration in Western Europe at ~20%, China at ~17.5%, and the US at 7%. Comparatively, we expect internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to grow (cyclically) at a 2% CAGR through 2025. On a pure unit basis, we see “peak ICE” in 2024.”

#3d-printing, #amazon, #automotive-industry, #biden, #blackrock, #boston, #cdh-investments, #china, #crv, #desktop-metal, #electric-vehicle, #electric-vehicles, #energy, #energy-storage, #ford, #franklin-templeton, #gm, #houston, #itochu-corp, #lithium-ion-battery, #mit, #northbridge-venture-partners, #plug-in-hybrid, #president, #proterra, #rivian, #royal-bank-of-canada, #shanghai, #sylebra-capital, #tc, #tesla, #u-s-government, #united-states

Renewable investment wave continues as solar lending company Loanpal raises $800 million

Days after the billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya announced his involvement in the $1.3 billion acquisition of the solar and home improvement lending business Sunlight Financial, a collection of investors announced a nearly $1 billion cash infusion into Loanpal, another renewable energy and home improvement lender.

The $800 million commitment to Loanpal arrives alongside a flurry of climate commitments from some of the world’s largest investors.

Yesterday, Blackrock chief Larry Fink, released the $9 trillion investment manager’s annual letter calling for more stringent accounting and reporting of climate data, and Bank of America joined 60 other companies in committing to a new reporting standard for climate and sustainability endorsed by the International Business Council and the World Economic Forum. Fink endorses a separate reporting scheme called the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures that has the backing of some of the biggest financial investors in the world.

These new standards will drive more investment dollars into businesses that are reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. And lending programs incentivizing the switch to more energy efficient appliances and renewable installations are probably the lowest of low hanging fruit for the financial services industry.

That’s one reason why investors like NEA, the WestCap Group, Brookfield Asset Management, and the giant private equity energy investment fund Riverstone Holdings are backing Loanpal.

The deal, which was a secondary transaction to give strategic investors a stake in the business actually wrapped up last year. As a result Scott Sandell, the managing general partner at NEA and a longtime investor in pr and Laurence Tosi, Managing Partner of WestCap Group, have joined the company’s board of directors.

“We invited a number of players into the company,” said Loanpal’s founder, chairman and chief executive Hayes Barnard. The former chief revenue officer for SolarCity before its acquisition by Tesla, Barnard has a long history with solar energy development. At Loanpal he also had the balance sheet to take his pick among would-be investors. “We’re a multi-billion dollar company,” said Barnard.

Loanpal founder chairman and chief executive, Hayes Barnard. Image Credit: Loanpal

“This was us inviting strategic investors into the company and being thoughtful about where they could help and how they could help,” Barnard said.

Loanpal is profitable, has zero debt and throws off monthly dividends to its financial backers. “Today we finance $400 million a month for roughly 15,000 solar systems that are combined with battery systems,” says Barnard. In all, the company has arranged $5.9 billion in consumer finance loans since its launch in 2018. Loanpal also counts around 85% of the top solar firms as vendors and has a staff of around 12,000 sales professionals.

Those numbers allowed the company to bring in board members like Tosi, the former chief financial officer of the multi-billion dollar financial services firm, Blackstone. “He really understands how to bring in capital markets at scale,” said Barnard. 

If anything, the attention from Blackrock, Blackstone, Riverstone and all the financial services firms without references to stones or rocks in their name shows that this is a problem of capital at scale. Decarbonizing the global economy is a $10 trillion business, according to the World Economic Forum (or, for the retail investment crowd, the equivalent of roughly 66.7 billion Gamestops at yesterday’s share price).

The near term market that we’re going to penetrate now is sustainable home solutions that’s a $100 billion market,” Barnard said. 

A significant chunk of that $10 trillion is going to come from the development and integration of new consumer facing appliances and hardware to reduce the consumption of energy. “We believe the battery storage market, the smart thermostat market and the solar market are all intertwined and combined,” said Barnard. “Overall the most important thing is that this is just technology that is better. It was going to scale regardless of who was in the White House. These pieces of technology are better, they save homeowners money.. It’s kind of an IQ test if homeowners want to do it.”

#bank-of-america, #blackrock, #blackstone, #chamath-palihapitiya, #chief-financial-officer, #economy, #energy, #finance, #general-partner, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #laurence-tosi, #managing-partner, #money, #nea, #officer, #private-equity, #renewable-energy, #riverstone-holdings, #scott-sandell, #solarcity, #tc, #tesla, #white-house, #world-economic-forum

Rivian raises $2.65B as it pushes towards production of its electric pickup

Rivian has raised $2.65 billion as it prepares to begin production this summer of its all-electric pickup truck.

The round, which was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., also included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners as well as several other existing and new investors.

Rivian is now valued at $27.6 billion, according to a person familiar with the investment round.

The capital comes at a critical time for Rivian, which is undertaking the design, development, production and delivery of two consumer vehicles — the R1T pickup truck the R1S SUV — build out of its electric vehicle charging network as well as fulfilling an order for 100,000 commercial delivery vans for Amazon.

“The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focused on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth,” Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.

This latest round follows two years of heavy investment activity that began in earnest after the company unveiled its electric SUV and pickup truck at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

Just months after that reveal, Rivian announced a $700 million funding round led by Amazon. More deals and investments would follow, including a $500 million investment from Ford — along with a promise to collaborate on a future EV program — and a $350 million investment by Cox Automotive in September 2019. The company closed the year with an announcement that it had raised a $1.3 billion round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. with additional participation from Amazon, Ford Motor Company and funds managed by BlackRock.

The stream of capital didn’t stop in 2020. Rivian announced in July it had raised $2.5 billion in a round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. New investors Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company and Baron Capital Group along with existing shareholders Amazon and BlackRock joined the round.

To date, Rivian has raised $8 billion since the start of 2019.

Rivian factor Normal Illinois

Rivian’s factory in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian hasn’t held back on spending that capital. The company has put more than $1 billion into its factory in Normal, Illinois. The factory, which once produced the Mitsubishi Eclipse through a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler Corporation, has been completely updated and expanded.

The overhaul of the 3 million-square-foot is on schedule, but not yet complete, according to the company. A pilot line is operational and is producing validation prototypes of its R1T pickup truck daily.

 

#amazon, #automotive, #blackrock, #ford, #rivian, #t-rowe-price, #transportation

What’s behind this year’s boom in climate tech SPACs?

There’s no denying that 2020 has been the year of the special purpose acquisition company.

Since the beginning of the year, 219 SPACs have raised $73 billion, according to widely reported market research from Goldman Sachs. That’s a 462% jump from 2019 and more than traditional public offerings raised by about $6 billion. By some counts, roughly one quarter of the SPACs that have been announced will target climate-related businesses.

Since the beginning of the year, 219 SPACs have raised $73 billion.

Already, of the 78 deals that have either completed or announced a merger since 2018, just over one-third have been climate-related, as tallied by Climate Tech VC. And these SPACs have outperformed the broader technology market, with the 10 climate tech companies that have completed mergers averaging a 131% return on investment versus the 50% return of the total SPAC market (assuming average offering prices of $10 per share).

Clearly this has been a banner year for companies that are tackling the climate crisis across a number of verticals, but can it last?

There are a few reasons to think that it can — led chiefly by the demand for these kinds of public offerings from institutional investors, including the pension funds, mutual funds and asset managers handling trillions of investment dollars.

“[The] current wave [of SPACs] is because over the past 24 months the institutional investor universe has come fully into believing that climate solutions are going to be a major growth area in the 2020s and beyond, but they weren’t seeing options available to them for investing into,” wrote longtime clean technology investor, Rob Day, in a DM.

“The available publicly traded ‘green’ companies were already getting really bought up, and the private equity options were underwhelming as well (smallish in the case of VC, low returns in the case of large-format projects). Throw in a Robinhood market of retail investors with a lot of enthusiasm for EVs and such, and you have a nice recipe for this to happen.”

#blackrock, #canada-pension-plan, #chargepoint, #greentech, #special-purpose-acquisition-company, #tc