Good day. Last week, we asked about how startup founders are
reacting to concerns about the economy losing steam amid rising
Allan Evans was previously the chief executive at venture-backed
startup Fat Shark, which developed headsets with drone
applications, and then became the chief operating officer of drone
startup holding company and investor Red Cat Holdings after it
acquired Fat Shark. Mr. Evans said startup founders are embracing
coronavirus-triggered changes to how work is done. "This includes
things like Zoom -- but also the adoption of new tools like drones
and remote piloting that save time/money/and reduce the need for
lots of people on site and in the same space," Mr. Evans wrote,
adding that founders are also reconsidering back to office and
Jeff Thompson, the founder and CEO of Red Cat, said that he is
advising startup founders to keep costs in line with their revenue
projections and to raise capital if they haven't already.
Mike Winn, founder and CEO of drone startup DroneDeploy, said
that founders typically respond more to indicators of their
business than planning for economic scenarios. "That said, startups
have been raising a lot of capital which will provide flexibility
in the event of change in the global economic outlook," Mr. Winn
This week's question: What's on your mind as the fourth quarter
approaches? What are the biggest challenges or opportunities in
Please email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now on to the news...
SPAC merger. Taiwan's Gogoro Inc. will go public in the U.S. via
a special-purpose acquisition vehicle merger with Poema Global
Holdings Corp. that values the battery-swapping pioneer at more
than $2.3 billion, The Wall Street Journal's Ben Otto reports. On
Thursday, the Taipei-based company said it plans to list on the
Nasdaq Stock Market through a merger with Poema, a SPAC, giving it
fresh funds as it moves to expand into China and India. Gogoro will
raise net proceeds of up to $550 million in the deal, stemming from
$345 million raised in Poema's offering earlier this year and $250
million from a so-called PIPE, or private investment in public
Founded in 2011, Gogoro makes electric scooters, batteries and
networks of vending machine-sized battery stations where drivers
can swap out depleted batteries for fresh ones.
Poema is affiliated with Princeville Capital, a climate- and
technology-focused growth-equity firm that counts actor Leonardo
DiCaprio among its advisers and investors.
Retail Business Loves 'Buy Now, Pay Later'
Installment plans are back in style, WSJ reports. PayPal
Holdings Inc. last week said it was buying Japanese installment
payment startup Paidy Inc., following Square Inc.'s $29 billion
deal for Afterpay Ltd. Macy's Inc. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
have added the option at checkout over the past year. Even
Amazon.com Inc. is doing it. One reason: shoppers who don't qualify
for credit cards. Buy-now-pay-later companies say they rely less on
-- and in some cases bypass altogether -- traditional credit scores
and reports. Doing so allows them to approve more consumers.
Shoppers gain the ability to buy things even without cash on hand
-- translating to higher sales for retailers.
Rising Shipping Costs Are Companies' Latest Inflation Riddle
Transportation costs -- typically a fraction of a finished
product's price -- are emerging as another supply-chain hurdle,
overwhelming some companies already paying more for raw materials
and labor, WSJ reports. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a
long-lasting surge in transportation costs, putting pressure on
many businesses already confronting higher wages and raw-material
prices. Some CEOs are saying they expect elevated freight costs
stretching into 2023.
Correction: The first name of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of
One97 Communications Ltd., was misspelled as Vikay in a Top News
item on Wednesday about Paytm's planned public offering.
Jump Capital closed its seventh fund with $350 million in
commitments. The new fund will continue to make early-stage
investments in the fintech, IT/data infrastructure, future of
commerce and media, and business-to-business SaaS sectors, with an
increased focus on crypto. The Chicago- and New York-based firm
recently participated in funding rounds for fintech startup Eventus
Systems Inc., automated driving system platform Foretellix and
digital asset exchange Zipmex.
Inspired Capital closed its oversubscribed second fund with $281
million in commitments to continue investing in
business-to-business and consumer fintech, health-tech, social
communities and the future of work. With nearly $500 million under
management, the New York-based firm's portfolio includes Habi,
Finix, Scythe and Canvas Medical, among others.
Early-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm Santé
Ventures closed its oversubscribed fourth fund with $260 million.
The new vehicle will build a portfolio of 15-25 investments,
typically leading or co-leading seed or Series A rounds. Santé
closed its third fund at $250 million in 2019.
Battery Ventures promoted Jordan Welu to partner. Before joining
Battery in 2014, he worked in software corporate development and
finance at companies including Rogue Wave Software and Webroot. The
firm also named Roland Anderson and Satoshi Harris-Koizumi to the
role of principal. Danel Dayan, Courtney Chow, Mike Hoeksema, Viraj
Parmar, Lauren Wedell and Lior Mallul were promoted to vice
NightDragon appointed John Cordo as principal. He was most
recently a vice president at ClearSky. The firm has offices in San
Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif., and recently raised a $750 million
fund to invest in late-stage and growth companies in the
cybersecurity, safety and privacy segments.
Network operating system developer Arrcus Inc. named Shekar
Ayyar as chief executive and chairman. Mr. Ayyar joins the company
from VMware, where he was the executive vice president and general
manager of the Telco and Edge Cloud business. San Jose,
Calif.-based Arrcus is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners,
General Catalyst and Clear Ventures.
Life sciences company Repligen Corp. agreed to acquire
chromatography developer Avitide Inc. for about $150 million. The
purchase price consists of $75 million in cash plus $75 million in
Repligen common stock, in addition to performance-based earnout
payments over the next three years. Based in Lebanon, N.H., Avitide
is listed in the portfolios of Section 32, NeoMed Management and
Sales and marketing platform Clari Inc. acquired DealPoint, a
deal management and collaboration technology provider, for an
undisclosed amount. Earlier this year, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based
Clari raised a $150 million Series E round from Silver Lake,
Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Madrona
Ventures and others.
Mobile business communications platform Dialpad Inc. acquired
customer experience platform Kare Knowledgeware for an undisclosed
amount. San Francisco-based Dialpad is backed by investors
including Omers Growth Equity, Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Iconiq
Capital and Salesforce Ventures. Kare Knowledgeware is listed in
the portfolios of Hambro Perks and Sussex Place Ventures.
Keenon Robotics Co., a Shanghai-based service robotics startup,
raised $200 million in Series D funding. Lead investor Softbank
Vision Fund 2 was joined by CICC Alpha and Prosperity7 Ventures in
Spring Health Inc., a New York-based provider of behavioral
health benefits for employees, picked up $190 million in Series C
equity and debt funding led by Kinnevik, giving the company a
valuation of $2 billion. Additional new investor Guardian Life
Insurance Co. of America also joined in the round, alongside
existing backers including Tiger Global Management, Northzone, RRE
Ventures, Rethink Impact, Work-Bench, SemperVirens Venture Capital
and Able Partners. Kinnevik's Christian Scherrer will join the
Spring Health board.
Sendcloud, an ecommerce shipping platform based in The
Netherlands and Munich, completed a $177 million Series C round.
Softbank Vision Fund 2 led the investment, which included
additional support from L Catterton and HPE Growth. Neil
Cunha-Gomes and Monika Wilk, both investors at Softbank Investment
Advisers, will join the company's board alongside L Catterton's Ido
Matillion Ltd., a Denver and U.K.-based cloud data integration
platform, scored a $150 million Series E round at a valuation of
$1.5 billion. General Atlantic led the funding, which included
participation from Battery Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Scale
Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Persona, a San Francisco-based identity verification startup,
closed a $150 million Series C round led by Founders Fund, giving
the company a valuation of $1.5 billion. New investors Meritech
Capital Partners and BOND also participated in the funding, along
with existing backers Index Ventures and Coatue Management.
Whatnot Inc., a Los Angeles-based live stream shopping platform
and marketplace for collectors and enthusiasts, also secured $150
million in new funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion. Investors in
the Series C round included Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator
Continuity and CapitalG.
Rebellion Defense Inc., a provider of AI products for the
defense and security of the U.S., U.K. and allies, landed $150
million in Series B funding at a $1.15 billion valuation. Insight
Partners and Venrock led the round, which included contributions
from Innovation Endeavors, Lupa Systems and Declaration Partners.
Nick Sinai, senior advisor at Insight Partners, joined the
unifonic, a Riyadh-based customer engagement platform, grabbed a
$125 million Series B round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and
1047 Games, a gaming startup, added $100 million in new funding
at a pre-money valuation of $1.5 billion. Lightspeed Venture
Partners led the round, which saw participation from Insight
Partners, Anthos Capital, Galaxy Interactive, VGames, Human
Capital, Lakestar, DraperDragon and Draper University.
Arcadia, a climate crisis-fighting technology startup, fetched
$100 million in Series D financing led by Tiger Global Management
and Drawdown Fund. New investors Wellington Management, Reimagined
Ventures, Camber Creek and MCJ Collective also contributed to the
round, along with returning backers Energy Impact Partners, G2
Venture Partners, Inclusive Capital and BoxGroup.
EnerVenue Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based energy storage startup,
collected $100 million in Series A funding. Schlumberger New Energy
led the new investment, with additional support from Saudi Aramco
Energy Ventures and others.
Stord Inc., an Atlanta-based startup offering companies a
one-stop-shop platform to manage logistics, nabbed a $90 million
Series D investment, valuing the company at $1.1 billion. Kleiner
Perkins led the round, which included participation from Lux
Capital, D1 Capital, BOND, Dynamo Ventures, Founders Fund, Susa
Ventures and others. In addition to the new funding, Stord closed
its acquisition of fulfillment provider Fulfillment Works.
Facebook employees flag drug cartels and human traffickers. The
company's response is weak, documents show.
App Annie settlement signals closer scrutiny of data brokers
Match Group hopes for savings from looser app-store payment
GM plans to idle factories longer amid chip shortage
Walmart to test self-driving delivery service with Ford and Argo
Videogame makers get no home-field advantage
Close email, open Netflix. How TV replaced the commute as a
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 17, 2021 10:17 ET (14:17 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.