PitchBook News - SoftBank maps out Latin America

Battery specialist powers up on $200M; 6sense hits $5B+ valuation; Plaid picks up ID verification startup; Handshake grabs $200M
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The Daily Pitch: VC
January 21, 2022
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:
  • Factorial Energy is the latest solid-state battery maker to pull in funding from automakers, who remain divided on the future of EV battery tech.

  • How SoftBank takes a unique approach to investing in Latin America.

  • The Carlyle Group is looking to raise about $8.5 billion for what would be its biggest European fund yet.
Today's Top Stories
SoftBank's Latin America Funds map out a new frontier
(KTSDESIGN/Getty Images)
SoftBank's investments span the globe, but only in Latin America does the investor have region-specific funds, with $8 billion dedicated to backing tech companies in the area.

Like the Vision Funds, SoftBank's two standalone Latin America Funds have an outsized amount of capital relative to similarly focused vehicles—but, as our recent analyst note details, the investor has a distinct strategy in Latin America that's unlike its approach anywhere else.
read it now
 
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Factorial nabs $200M as automakers debate future of EV batteries
(Carlos Sanchez Pereyra/Getty Images)
The question of how to power the coming wave of electric vehicles continues to divide automakers, who have spread their bets ranging from low-cost lithium-ion batteries to yet-unproven solid-state technology.
  • Solid-state battery maker Factorial Energy has raised $200 million in Series D funding led by Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, which it will use in part to build a production facility in New England.

  • Other automakers betting on a solid-state future include BMW and Ford, which invested in Solid Power last year, as well as VW, which has backed QuantumScape. Shares of both QuantumScape and Solid Power have fallen significantly following SPAC mergers in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

  • Meanwhile, cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries now account for a majority of EV batteries in China, The Wall Street Journal reported. They will also soon be used in all of Tesla's standard-range cars.

  • EV battery tech attracted more than $6 billion, or about 41% of global VC investment in the electric transportation segment, in the first nine months of 2021, according to PitchBook data.
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Recommended Reads
Research funding is becoming one of the hottest spaces in Silicon Valley, as tech founders, crypto billionaires and star scientists aim to speed up scientific progress. [The Atlantic]

As the European Union seeks to green its economy, what does a gas country do without gas? [Bloomberg]

Most Americans have missed out on the asset-price boom created by the policy response to the pandemic. For Wall Street's biggest banks and financial firms, it's a different story. [The New Yorker]
Since yesterday, the PitchBook Platform added:
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Quick Takes
  The Daily Benchmark  
  2017 Vintage Global PE Funds with more than $1B  
  VC Deals  
  6sense hits $5.2B valuation  
  Handshake raises $200M Series F  
  NFT startup Autograph banks $170M  
  Pixis raises $100M in SoftBank-led round  
  Quantum computing startup secures $60M  
  Virtru lands $60M  
  Exits & IPOs  
  Plaid acquires identity verification startup Cognito  
 
 
The Daily Benchmark
2017 Vintage Global PE Funds with more than $1B
Median IRR
24.41%
Top Quartile IRR
35.66%
1.50x
Median TVPI
Select top performers
Blackstone Capital Partners Asia
Veritas Capital Fund VI
Great Hill Equity Partners VI
*IRR: net of fees
54 Funds in Benchmark »
Check out the latest version of PitchBook Benchmarks
VC Deals
6sense hits $5.2B valuation
6sense, which offers an AI-based account engagement platform for B2B companies, has raised a $200 million Series E. The round, co-led by Blue Owl Capital and MSD Private Capital, with participation from Insight Partners, Sapphire Ventures and others, propels the company's valuation to $5.2 billion. Based in San Francisco, 6sense raised $125 million at a $2.1 billion valuation in March.
Additional Investors:
B Capital Group, D1 Capital Partners, Franklin Templeton, Harmony Partners, SoftBank, Tiger Global
View round
 
View 101 competitors »
 
Handshake raises $200M Series F
Handshake has raised $200 million at a $3.5 billion valuation in a round co-led by Coatue and Valiant Peregrine Fund. The San Francisco-based company is the developer of a recruitment platform designed to connect college students and recent graduates with prospective employers. Handshake was valued at $1.6 billion in May, according to PitchBook data.
Select Additional Investors:
Base10 Partners, EQT, Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed, Reach Capital, Spark Capital, True Ventures
View round
 
View 27 competitors »
 
NFT startup Autograph banks $170M
Autograph has raised a $170 million Series B co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. Co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, the Los Angeles-based company operates an NFT platform that features collections from popular celebrities.
View round
 
View similar company »
 
Pixis raises $100M in SoftBank-led round
SoftBank has led a $100 million Series C for Pixis, a provider of codeless AI infrastructure designed to optimize marketing operations. The company raised a $17 million Series B last year.
Additional Investors:
Celesta Capital, Chiratae Ventures, General Atlantic, Premji Invest
View round
 
View similar company »
 
Quantum computing startup secures $60M
Atom Computing has raised a $60 million Series B led by Third Point Ventures, with support from Prime Movers Lab, Innovation Endeavors, Venrock and Prelude Ventures. The Berkeley, Calif.-based company is a developer of quantum computing systems made of nuclear-spin qubits.
View round
 
View 5 competitors »
 
Virtru lands $60M
Virtru has raised $60 million in a round co-led by Foundry Capital and Iconiq Capital. The Washington, DC-based company offers a data protection platform that helps organizations secure and manage sensitive information.
Additional Investors:
Bessemer Venture Partners, MC2, NEA, Tiger Global
View round
 
View 6 competitors »
 
Exits & IPOs
Plaid acquires identity verification startup Cognito
Financial software provider Plaid has acquired Cognito, the provider of an identity verification and compliance platform. Cognito's products are used by numerous digital finance companies including Affirm, Brex, Republic and Wyre. The company's previous investors include Battery Ventures and Lightspeed.
View details
 
View 2 competitors »
 
Chart of the Day
"During the past decade, the increase in late-stage VC activity has been fundamental to the maturation of the European VC ecosystem. In 2021, late-stage capital accounted for a record 70.0% of overall VC deal value— equivalent to €72.0 billion. COVID-19 has hastened growth rates and capital invested into the majority of late-stage VC-backed companies in Europe in 2021."

Source: PitchBook's 2021 Annual European Venture Report
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