Credit Suisse breaks with SoftBank, a psychedelics startup soars, and an instant cure for hiccups

June 18, 2021
Hope you have a great weekend, everyone. Happy Juneteenth! Also wishing many of you a most excellent Father's Day.:)
Top News
High hopes for Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine have fizzled in the U.S., owing to production problems, a brief pause and conspiracy theories embraced by millions of Americans who remain skeptical of vaccines. 
U.S. stocks fell today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its worst weekly loss since October, as traders worried the Federal Reserve could start raising rates sooner than expected.
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Massive Fundings
BharatPe, a three-year-old, India-based  company that has simplified accepting payments from 100-plus mobile apps on India’s UPI network, by offering businesses a single interoperable QR sticker, is reportedly in talks to raise $250 million in Series E funding led by Tiger Global Management, just four months after closing its Series D round. TechCrunch has more here.
Lenz Therapeutics, an eight-year-old, San Diego-based developer eye drops for improving near vision (the company was formerly known as Presbyopia Therapies), raised $47 million in fresh funding from Versant Ventures and RA Capital Management. FierceBiotech has more here.
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
Xeneta, a nine-year-old, Oslo, Norway-based ocean and air freight rate benchmarking platform and container shipping index, has raised $28.5 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of just more than $130 million valuation, it says. Lugard Road Capital led the round, joined by Creandum and Investinor. The company has now raised $49 million altogether, including from Smedvig Capital, Point Nine Capital and Alliance Venture. More here.
Smaller Fundings
Crediverso, a two-year-old, L.A.-based startup that's launching a platform this summer aimed a the growing Hispanic community and which plans to offer financial products and services in English and Spanish, has raised $3.1 million in seed funding. Backers in the round include Bessemer Venture Partners, Act One Ventures, Point 72 Ventures and Clocktower Ventures. Crunchbase News has more here.
Curate, a 5.5-year-old, St. Louis, MO-based startup that sells sales and operations software small businesses, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by OCA Ventures, with additional funding from Square cofounder Jim McKelvey, Cultivation Capital and Stout Street Capital. Crunchbase News has more here.
Markerr, a months-old, New York-based data and insights platform for commercial real estate, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. RET Ventures led the round, joined by Continental Realty Corp. and Twin Shores Capital. Founder and CEO Brian Lichtenberger sold his last company to Vista Equity Partners in 2018. More here.
New Funds
Commerce Ventures, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based venture firm focused largely on retail tech and fintech startups, says it has closed its fourth fund with more than $150 million in capital commitments, more than twice the size of its last fund. More here.
Going Public
Shares of three-year-old Atai Life Sciences B.V., backed by billionaire investors Peter Thiel and Steve Jurvetson, surged 40% in their U.S. stock market debut today, giving the German psychedelics startup a market capitalization of $3.19 billion. Investors Business Daily has more here.
Krafton, the South Korean company behind blockbuster video game "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds", said earlier this week that it's IPO on the Korea Stock Exchange will raise up to 5.6 trillion won ($5 billion) at the top of an indicative range, which would be a record for the country. Reuters has more here.
Goldman Sachs has begun trading bitcoin futures with Galaxy Digital, the crypto merchant bank founded by Mike Novogratz
The Winklevoss twins have started a band.
Europe’s tech sector has already attracted more venture capital investment so far this year than it did throughout the whole of 2020, according to data shared with CNBC. Start-ups in the continent have raised a whopping 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in the first six months of 2021, figures from Dealroom show, easily surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested in 2020. More here.
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Essential Reads
Credit Suisse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son recently dissolved a longstanding personal lending relationship and the bank clamped down on transactions with his company, according to to the WSJ. It reports the move followed the collapse of SoftBank-backed Greensill Capital in March plunged Credit Suisse into turmoil. More here.
Lobbyists representing large tech companies such as Facebook are facing a tough crowd in Congress and the White House.
An instant cure for hiccups?
“You were in a car accident,” they tell me again.
Dave Chapelle's freewheeling podcast.
15 Hours and 9 Waffles Later, a fantasy football punishment is complete.
Retail Therapy
The Happy Gilmore collection.
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