How VC can fight AI-based disinformation

Musk's Neuralink hits milestone for neurotechnology; our freshest fund performance data; Plex pockets $40M for media streaming
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The Daily Pitch: VC
January 31, 2024
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How VC can fight AI-generated disinformation
The information security industry is expanding to defend against disinformation ahead of the 2024 elections, according to our latest Emerging Tech Research. Despite a decline in VC funding for the sector since early 2022, opportunities still exist. Our analysts cover the key players and trends in the space.
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Neuralink implant marks milestone for $8B neurotechnology vertical
(SOPA Images/Getty Images)
Elon Musk's startup Neuralink has successfully implanted its first device in a human, a potential boon to the neurotechnology industry that has mostly focused on medical imaging and cochlear implants.

"It's not the first neurological implant in the world," PitchBook analyst Ali Javaheri said. "But it's likely that the announcement will fuel both deal activity and reignite ethical debates."
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2024 PitchBook Media Kit released
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M&A marks 2nd-worst year in a decade
(Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)
Total M&A deal value in 2023 was among its lowest since 2013. At an estimated $3 billion, it is second only to dealmaking during the lockdown-induced global slump of 2020. Sectors feeling the effects include B2C businesses, healthcare and financial services.
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Dividend recap volume spikes amid loan market revival
(Nadya So/Getty Images)
Leveraged loans backing dividends to PE firms have surged in 2024, giving sponsors a much-needed exit option amid a challenged M&A environment. The rise in dividend deals—where a PE shop levers-up a portfolio company, distributing proceeds to shareholders—comes as borrowing spreads in the finance markets are easing.
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PitchBook Benchmarks for PE, VC and more
PitchBook Benchmarks offer a window on the latest data for closed-end fund returns across strategies and vintage years. The new edition is now available, updated through Q2 2023 with preliminary data for Q3. It features downloadable XLS tables, data visualizations, and PDFs that slice the data by fund type and geography.
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How to fire a VC
(Mara Potter/PitchBook News)
VC firms are feeling bloated. Years of ballooning assets prompted investment firms to increase their headcount, and many now want to slim down.

When it comes to investment professionals, partners are rarely laid off directly. The exception is when a firm shuts down, as was the case with OpenView last month, when senior partners let go of most of the firm's employees.
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Since yesterday, the PitchBook Platform added:
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The Daily Benchmark:
2015 Vintage North American VC Funds
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Outlander 1 Archimedes
Anthos Capital III
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43 Funds in Benchmark »
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Blackstone has appointed Thomas Nides, the former US ambassador to Israel and ex-vice chair at Morgan Stanley, to be its vice chair for strategy and client relations.
VC Deals, a conversational and generative AI specialist based in Orlando, secured a $150 million investment led by FTV Capital.

Seoul-based AI chipmaker Rebellions raised a $124 million Series B. South Korean data center company KT led the round.

Maryland-based healthcare provider Accompany Health raised a $56 million Series A from investors including Venrock, Arch Venture Partners and IVP.

Media streaming company Plex raised $40 million from existing investors, TechCrunch reported.

Portal, the developer of a bitcoin-based exchange, raised a $34 million seed round from investors including Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Capital and Okx Ventures.

California's Doppel, an AI cybersecurity startup, raised a $14 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Tau Group, an Italian company that makes wires for electric motors, raised an additional €11 million for its Series B. CDP Venture Capital and Santander Alternative Investments led the extension.

Dallas-based, a roofing technology startup, raised $7.5 million in a seed round led by Mucker Capital.

Code automation startup Inngest, based in San Francisco, secured a $6.1 million investment led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Virginia-based game studio Loric Games secured a $4 million investment led by 1AM Gaming, according to reports.

Sony Innovation Fund, the VC arm of Sony Group, invested in South African game publisher Carry1st.
PE Deals  
Professional golf tour company PGA Tour is close to finalizing a $3 billion investment from Strategic Sports Group with an additional tranche from Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF, Bloomberg reported.

Canadian PE firm Walter Global Asset Management is acquiring a minority stake in healthcare innovation investor Madryn Asset Management.

Arsenal Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Canadian manufacturer Polycorp.

Canada-based MediaValet, which provides enterprise, creative and content management software, is being taken private by Symphony Technology Group for C$90 million (about $67 million).
Portfolio Companies  
Asset manager Fidelity has cut the value of its holding in India's Meesho by more than a third, giving the social commerce startup a valuation of $3.5 billion.
Exits & IPOs  
Mumbai-based Aadhar Housing Finance, a Blackstone-owned home loans provider, is targeting an IPO between $600 million and $650 million at a valuation of up to $3 billion, Reuters reported.

Brynwood Partners, which owns Pillsbury baking products maker Hometown Food Company, is exploring a sale of the company at an $800 million valuation.

Dublin-based betting and gaming giant Flutter, which started trading on the NYSE Monday, plans to move its primary listing from London to New York.

Mobile personal computer maker Raspberry Pi is preparing for a London IPO, Bloomberg reported.
PPM America's PE arm has announced the final close of PPM America Private Equity Fund VIII on $660 million.

The New York State Teachers' Retirement System has committed $430 million to PE vehicles from Hahn & Co., A&M Capital, and Cortec Group.

Future Energy Ventures has launched an energy transition fund with the backing of energy group E.ON and the European Investment Fund. The new vehicle, targeting €250 million, has already gathered €110 million.

Texas-based Blue Sage Capital has debuted its flagship vehicle, Alt Assets reported.
Spanish middle-market firm Alantra is expanding its European private debt platform with the backing of Spanish family office Ion Ion.
Chart of the Day  
Source: 2023 Annual European Venture Report
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