Didi files to go public, Klarna's karma, and a Miami superspreader?

June 10, 2021
 
Hello.:)
Top News
As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, along with their staff and family members, one of whom was a minor. It also secured a gag order on Apple, so lawmakers didn't know they were being investigated until just last month. The step is a "nearly unheard-of move outside of corruption investigations," reports the New York Times.
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Massive Fundings

Eightfold AI, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based startup that says it uses deep learning and AI to help companies find, recruit and retain workers, has raised $220 million in extended Series E funding at at $2.1 billion valuation, double where the company was valued when it last raised its Series E round initially in October. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the new tranche, joined by earlier investors General Catalyst, Capital One Ventures, Foundation Capital, IVP and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has now raised $410 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Flyhomes, a six-year-old, Seattle-based real estate startup that offers guarantees to buyers in overheated markets, making their bids effectively as good as cash (is the idea), has raised $150 million in Series C funding. Norwest Venture Partners and Battery Ventures co-led the round, joined by Fifth Wall, Camber Creek, Balyasny Asset Management, Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff and earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz and Canvas Partners. The company has now raised $310 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here
 
Klarna, the 16-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based European fintech giant, has raised another $639 million at a staggering post-money valuation of $45.6 billion -- almost 50% higher than where it was valued during its last funding round just three months ago. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led the latest round, joined by earlier backers Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group. According to Crunchbase data, Klarna has now raised roughly $3.7 billion to date. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Ledger, a seven-year-old, Paris, France-based French startup whose primary product is a hardware wallet to manage one's crypto assets, has raised $380 million in Series C funding led by 10T Holdings at a post-money valuation of $1.5 billion. Other investors in the funding round include earlier investors Cathay Innovation, Draper Associates, and 10 other outfits. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
 
Claire, a two-year-old, New York-based company that promises instant and interest-free earned wage advances to workers by integrating into existing HR technology platforms, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital. Just a few months ago, Clair had announced a $4.5 million seed round led by Upfront Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Electric Gamebox, a four-year-old, London-based company that makes immersive, interactive digital smart rooms that allow two to six players to play games in retail spaces, has raised $11 million in funding led by Philian, with participation from Brookfield Asset Management, Index Ventures, and ActivumSG. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Komodor, a year-old, Tel Aviv-based startup focused on automating Kubernetes troubleshooting in order to facilitate faster code updates, has raised $21 million in funding. Accel led the round, joined by individuals who'd earlier backed the company, including GitHub CTO Jason Warner and Sri Viswanath. The company has now raised $25 million altogether, says VentureBeat. More here.
 
Prefect, a three-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based data automation startup, has raised $32 million in Series B funding led by Tiger Global Management. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Slintel, a 3.5-year-old, Bay Area-based company whose software helps sellers understand who is most likely to buy their product, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by GGV, with participation from Accel, Sequoia Capital and Stellaris. The investment brings the amount it has raised to more than $24 million, including a $4.2 million seed round from last November. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Smaller Fundings
 
TestBox, an 11-month-old, Boulder, Co.-based startup that invites users to test and compare software before buying it, has raised $2.7 million seed round from SignalFire and Firstminute Capital, along with several other investors and industry angels. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Time is, a four-year-old, Prague-based productivity analytics platform, has raised $5.6 million in funding round led by Mike Chalfen of London-based Chalfen Ventures, with participation from Illuminate Financial Management and earlier investor Accel. TechCrunch has more here.
 
TreasurySpring, a five-year-old, London-based startup that says its platform delivers new digital pipelines to connect cash rich firms to institutional borrowers, has raised $10 million Series A investment round co-led by MMC Ventures and Anthemis Group. Earlier investors, including ETFS Capital, participated, taking the company's total funding to date to $15 million. TechCrunch has more here.
New Funds
 
Seven Seven Six, the year-old fund of Alexis Ohanian, who previously cofounded both Reddit and Initialized Capital, has closed its first fund with $150 million in capital commitments. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Balderton, the 20-year-old, London-based venture firm,  has launched a $680 million “early growth” fund to invest in high-potential tech companies across a wide range of sectors, and it's targeting around 15 companies into which it plans to invest between $25 million and $50 million through both primary and secondary investments. The fund will be lead by Bernard Liautaud, David Thévenon and Rana Yared. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Fuel Ventures, a six-year-old, London-based pre-seed and early-stage venture outfit, has closed a new fund with  £45 million ($63.6 million) in commitments in order to back 60 U.K.-based tech startup over the next 12 months, it tells TechCrunch. The firm now has  £80 million in assets under management. More here.
 
Threat intelligence company Recorded Future (we just talked with its cofounder and CEO Christopher Ahlberg for StrictlyVC Download) is launching a $20 million fund for early-stage startups developing novel data intelligence tools. The Intelligence Fund will provide seed and Series A funding to startups that already have venture capital funding, Recorded Future says. TechCrunch has more here.
 
United Airlines has started a corporate venture-capital fund that will invest in emerging companies related to travel. The company said today that United Airlines Ventures will focus on sustainability concepts that support the company’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as tech that's  expected to "create value for customers" and United itself. The airline didn't disclose how much money it intends to invest in these ventures, but it is relying on an insider to run the outfit: its current VP of corporate development and investor relations, Michael Leskinen, will oversee the venture arm, in addition to his current responsibilities. More here.
Going Public
 
After years of speculation, Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-sharing behemoth, finally unveiled its IPO filing in the U.S., giving a glimpse into its money-losing history. Didi didn’t disclose the size of its raise, though Reuters has reported the company could raise around $10 billion at a valuation of close to $100 billion. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Nautilus Biotechnology is Seattle’s newest publicly traded company, after completing its merger with the blank-check company Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp III. The five-year-old, Seattle-based company began trading publicly today under the ticker NAUT and saw its shares dip slightly from their opening. As a private company, Nautilus -- which is developing a new way to analyze the proteome, the set of proteins in a biological sample -- had raised funding from Bezos Expeditions, Vulcan Capital, Madrona Venture Group, and Defy Partners, among others. More here.
People
 
Next month, Jeff Bezos plans to join the small band of tourists who have flown in space, but for now, they aren’t protected by the federal safety regulations that govern commercial air travel.
 
Viky Bohra, a 37-year-old Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 26 months in prison for securities fraud for using inside information he obtained from his wife, a former Amazon finance employee, to place stock trades that led to profits of more than $1,428,264 over a two-year period. More here.
 
Prominent Harvard drug researcher Aaron Kesselheim today became the third member of an FDA advisory committee to resign over the agency’s decision to approve a drug for Alzheimer’s made by Biogen. The WSJ has more here.
 
Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz, the co-founder and former CEO of electric vehicle company Canoo, to help with the development of the Apple Car. Bloomberg has the story here.
 
Some of the 12,000 attendees who flew into Miami last weekend for the biggest bitcoin event in history have started testing positive for Covid.
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SPACs have been grabbing headlines and facing scrutiny from regulators with the unprecedented volume of companies going public via SPAC in the past 12 months. But how should SPACs approach risk management and insurance in 2021? And what do late-stage companies need to consider if going public via SPAC vs IPO? Find out in Founder Shield’s SPAC Risk Management Guide. Download your free copy here.
Essential Reads
 
TikTok is exploring gaming.
 
Clubhouse could be trying to become less of a free-for-all and more of a formal programming destination, suggests The Information. More here.
 
Newsletters are coming to a Twitter profile near you. 
 
The dark, democratizing power of the social media stock market.
Detours
 
Are natural deodorants really better for you? 
 
 
The Hamptons are back🏖️
Retail Therapy
 
Van life gets the Airstream treatment
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Shareworks by Morgan Stanley. Looking for effective cap table management? Join us for our Startup Equity 101 event on June, 10 at 1:00 p.m. EST to hear from industry leaders on their experiences with fundraising, managing the cap table and building a culture of ownership in your company . Visit the ‘Events’ page in the ‘Resources’ section of Shareworks by Morgan Stanley website to learn more and register.  
 
Shareworks by Morgan Stanley services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley. CRC 3591771 05/2021
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