PitchBook News - Why fintech is shattering records

Forge to go public via SPAC; SpotOn snags $300M; Papaya hits $3.7B valuation; Walking Fish Therapeutics reels in $50M
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The Daily Pitch: VC
September 14, 2021
Like our newsletter? The data comes from the PitchBook Platform — our data software for VC, PE and M&A
In today's Daily Pitch, you'll find:
  • From exit value to fundraising, our latest Emerging Tech Research covers a record-breaking Q2 for the global fintech industry.

  • As startups stay private longer, the market for private shares and the companies that facilitate their trading are heating up, prompting online marketplaces like Forge to seek a public listing.
Today's Top Stories
Exits, funding soar to new heights in fintech's fantastic Q2
The fintech sector shattered records for VC activity last quarter, building on a year of pandemic-fueled growth to reach once-unimagined levels in both funding and exit value.

Our Q2 Emerging Tech Research on fintech breaks down the key trends behind Q2's growth and spotlights specific markets to watch as digitization continues to accelerate. Among the highlights:
  • Global fintech startups raised $31 billion in venture funding to surpass Q2 2018's record, which was driven largely by a single mega-round.

  • VC exits exploded, with over $134 billion in total value—more than the industry has recorded over the previous seven years combined.

  • The trend toward fully autonomous finance is ushering in new applications as fintech startups focus on three core corporate treasury functions.
read the preview
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Startup secondaries market heats up, prompting Forge to seek own listing
(wenmei Zhou/Getty Images)
Activity in secondary markets for VC-backed companies' shares has been growing as startups stay private for longer. This creates strong tailwinds for companies that facilitate trades between buyers and sellers of private shares.
  • Forge, an online marketplace for such deals, announced its plans to go public via a SPAC at a valuation of $2 billion.

  • Other significant players in this market are EquityZen, Carta and Nasdaq Private Market, which may also try to list via a SPAC in the future, according to one investor.

  • Since many startups are starting to offer liquidity options to their employees earlier in their life cycle, secondary markets for VC-backed company shares are likely to continue to grow.
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A message from Velocity Global
The booming tech M&A cycle shows no signs of stopping
Velocity Global
Midway through 2021, well over $360 billion in deal value and nearly 2,800 transactions have occurred in tech. Cross-border M&A volume has also been on the upswing, at nearly 1,000 deals closed for an aggregate of nearly $140 billion. In Velocity Global's latest report, the key trends defining general and cross-border dealmaking in tech are analyzed in-depth, producing findings such as:
  • Mature unicorns and PE funds are increasingly integral players.
  • Transaction multiples in cross-border dealmaking are edging up, indicating willingness to pay up.
  • Buyers are targeting companies earlier in their lifecycle, heading into the realm of venture-backed portfolios at a faster clip.
Read the full report
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On the podcast: Why a hedge fund joined VC's cybersecurity arms race
Hedge funds have increasingly crossed over into private market investments in recent years, including early-stage VC. Maverick Ventures managing director Matt Kinsella joins the show to share his perspectives after moving from the firm's public equity business in 2014 to help start Maverick Ventures. Topics include:
  • The mindset shift required to successfully vet and invest in early-stage companies.

  • How the influx of capital from hedge funds and other entrants into the venture space will impact entrepreneurs and the VC ecosystem.

  • Why he's bullish on cybersecurity, as the never-ending digital arms race continues to escalate.
listen now
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Recommended Reads
With $15 million in private funding, one company is on a mission to bring back the Woolly Mammoth. [The New York Times]

Shares in uranium mining companies are jumping as retail investors on Reddit rally around hope for a nuclear power future. [The Wall Street Journal]

A lecturer at Tufts University breaks down why even investors who are serious about ESG assets may not necessarily have a social or environmental impact. [Institutional Investor]
Since yesterday, the PitchBook Platform added:
VC valuations
See what our data software can do
Quick Takes
  The Daily Benchmark  
  2019 Vintage Global Real Estate Funds  
  VC Deals  
  SpotOn snags $300M Series E  
  Papaya hits $3.7B valuation with Insight-led round  
  Moody's invests $250M in BitSight  
  JumpCloud secures $159M Series F  
  Walking Fish Therapeutics reels in $50M  
  LevaData books $47M Series C  
The Daily Benchmark
2019 Vintage Global Real Estate Funds
Median IRR
Top Quartile IRR Hurdle Rate
Median TVPI
Select top performers
Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX
Longpoint Realty Fund I
TPG Real Estate Partners III
*IRR: net of fees
46 Funds in Benchmark »
Check out the latest version of PitchBook Benchmarks
VC Deals
SpotOn snags $300M Series E
SpotOn, a provider of software and payments solutions for restaurants and retailers, has raised a $300 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from new and existing backers including DST Global, Dragoneer Investment Group and Coatue. The startup is valued at $3.15 billion with the new funding, which will be used to purchase Appetize, an enterprise software provider for sports and entertainment venues, theme parks, college campuses and more. SpotOn's services include marketing, website development and online ordering.
Additional Investors:
01 Advisors, Doug Merritt, Franklin Templeton, Mubadala, Wellington Management
View round
View 41 competitors »
Papaya hits $3.7B valuation with Insight-led round
Papaya Global has raised a $250 million Series D led by Insight Partners, with support from Tiger Global, Greenoaks Capital, IVP, Scale Venture Partners and other backers. The startup is now valued at $3.7 billion, up from a valuation of more than $1 billion in March. Papaya's workforce management platform provides payroll, employee onboarding and other related services to users in over 140 countries.
Additional Investors:
Access Industries, Alkeon Capital Management, Bessemer Venture Partners, Group 11, Workday Ventures
View round
View 40 competitors »
Moody's invests $250M in BitSight
Boston-based BitSight has secured a $250 million investment from Moody's. Also backed by investors including Comcast Ventures and Flybridge Capital, the company helps more than 2,300 customers assess cyber-risk via security ratings and analytics tools.
View round
View 67 competitors »
JumpCloud secures $159M Series F
JumpCloud has raised $159 million at a $2.56 billion valuation in a round led by Sapphire Ventures. The Colorado-based business offers a platform to help companies such as Grab and ClassPass manage employee access and devices. JumpCloud raised a $100 million Series E this past January.
Select Additional Investors:
BlackRock, Endeavor Catalyst, General Atlantic, HIG Growth Partners, Owl Rock Capital, Sands Capital, Whale Rock Capital
View round
View 53 competitors »
Walking Fish Therapeutics reels in $50M
Walking Fish Therapeutics has raised a $50 million Series A from investors including Emerson Collective, Illumina Ventures and Quan Capital. The Bay Area-based company is developing therapeutics to treat autoimmune disorders and other diseases.
View round
View similar company »
LevaData books $47M Series C
LevaData has raised $47 million in a round led by Banneker Partners, with support from Tola Capital. The San Jose-based company is a developer of supply management software designed to help small and medium-sized businesses source materials and access market activity in real time.
View round
View 66 competitors »
Chart of the Day
"The early stage is still likely to record a deal count below the 4,000 deals that we recorded each year between 2016 and 2018, but the current trajectory is still encouraging."

Source: H1 2021 Greater China Venture Report
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