Good day. In its recent corporate venture report, Silicon Valley
Bank sought to dispel what it called several myths about corporate
venture, including that companies "don't lead deals and don't have
The report notes that half of corporate venture firms surveyed
lead 30% of the deals they do, and a similar proportion take board
seats. "This suggests CVCs have far greater influence on boards
than typically expected," the report says.
That influence comes as companies continue to increase the
amount of capital they're collectively investing into startups. In
the first half of 2021, businesses committed $79 billion in venture
deals, surpassing the full-year record set last year of $74
billion, according to the SVB report.
CVCs' board influence could likely increase. The report
estimates that companies will participate in a record 26% of all
U.S. venture deals by the end of the year. Last year, companies
participated in 25% of deals.
And now on to the news...
Rewards for renters. Watson Living Inc. is joining a bevy of
startups that are helping landlords give people rewards for
essentially being good tenants. The startup's founders see Watson
-- which recently raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Ulu
Ventures, with participation by Trail Mix Ventures, FJ Labs and
Gaingels -- as part of a wave of integrating financial technology
into real estate and other industries, WSJ Pro's Yuliya Chernova
The company has built a digital banking app with an associated
debit card that landlords fund each time a renter pays rent on
time, signs a renewal lease early, or refers others to rent in the
Other startups in this sector include Bilt Technologies Inc.,
launched in June, which offers credit-card points for rent
payments. Piñata Global Inc., meanwhile, launched a rent-rewards
app last year and raised more than $5 million since last year from
investors including Moderne Ventures, according to Lily Liu, the
startup's co-founder and chief executive.
These startups are gaining traction partly because the rental
market is large and rents are rising, stressing tenants. But
building a big business around a transaction that's made only a
dozen times a year will be challenging, according to Dave
Eisenberg, managing partner at Zigg Capital, a real-estate-tech
venture firm. Mr. Eisenberg said he has passed on some deals in the
sector so far.
Number of global active corporate venture firms this year,
according to a Silicon Valley Bank report.
SEC Panel Backs Letting Ordinary Investors Into Private
An advisory group for the Securities and Exchange Commission
voted Monday to recommend making it easier for less-wealthy people
to invest in private funds, a change long sought by asset managers,
WSJ Pro's Chris Cumming reports. The SEC's Asset Management
Advisory Committee unanimously approved a report recommending that
the regulator increase ordinary investors' access to
private-equity, private-debt and real-estate vehicles. The report,
prepared by a subcommittee on private investments, said investors
could benefit from the performance of these funds, which it said
has generally been in line with or better than comparable
public-markets offerings. However, the report also said regulators
should balance greater access with investor protections.
Education-Technology Startup Multiverse Raises $130 Million
Multiverse, an educational technology firm founded by the oldest
son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has raised $130
million in a push to build an alternative entry to well-paying jobs
through professional apprenticeships, focusing on "durable skills"
and diversity, equity and inclusion. The latest round -- led by D1
Capital Partners and Bond -- brings the company's valuation to
about $875 million, about four times the company's estimated value
in January, Maria Armental reports for WSJ Pro. "Education should
not just be delivered in an esoteric, classroom-led academic
environment," said Euan Blair, the co-founder and chief executive
of Multiverse, which operates in the U.K. and U.S.
Emurgo, the commercial arm of the Cardano blockchain, launched a
$100 million Cardano ecosystem investment vehicle to back early-
and growth-stage companies focused on building socially impactful
solutions powered by Cardano. This new initiative will consist of
two separate entities: Emurgo Africa and Emurgo Ventures.
SeventySix Capital has held the initial closing of its second
fund to invest in sports betting, esports and sports tech
companies. So far this year, the Conshohocken, Pa.-based firm has
exited portfolio companies VSiN, Vigtory and Team Whistle to buyers
DraftKings, FuboTV and Eleven Sports, respectively.
Northzone said Kilian Pender is joining the firm's London office
as a partner. He was previously at Blackstone and Centerbridge
Jedox Inc., a Germany-based enterprise performance-management
software provider, named Kevin Alansky as chief marketing officer,
Jonathan Wood as chief revenue officer and Vladislav Maličević as
chief technology officer. Jedox said it raised $100 million in
January from Insight Partners, Iris Capital, eCapital and Wecken
Miach Orthopaedics Inc. appointed Christopher Joyce to the post
of vice president and chief financial officer, and named Kevin
Sidow to the board. For the past two years, Mr. Joyce served as a
consulting CFO for several biotech and medical device startups, and
prior to that, was with FRX Polymers, Elemé Medical and Percardia.
Mr. Sidow previously held positions at Moximed Inc., St. Francis
Medical Technologies Inc. and DePuy Inc. Westborough, Mass.-based
Miach Orthopaedics is backed by investors including Amzak Health,
DSM Venturing and The NFL Players Association.
Octopus Energy Group, a London-based renewable energy company,
said Generation Investment Management will invest $300 million now
in the company and $300 million more by June 2022 via a strategic
partnership, valuing the company at up to $4.6 billion
Aspire, a financial operating system for Southeast Asian
businesses, landed $158 million in Series B funding from investors
including DST Global, Fasanara Capital, Hummingbird Ventures,
MassMutual Ventures and Picus Capital.
DICE, a London-based music discovery and events ticketing
platform, raised up to $122 million in Series C financing. SoftBank
Vision Fund 2 led the round, which included contributions from
Future Shape, Blisce, Mirabaud Private Equity and others. Tony
Fadell will join the company's board.
Gem, a San Francisco-based recruiting platform, nabbed $100
million in Series C funding led by Iconiq Capital at a $1.2 billion
valuation. New investors Sapphire Ventures and Meritech Capital
also contributed to the round, alongside existing backers Greylock
ZOLA Electric, a renewable energy technology provider to
emerging markets, completed a $90 million funding round, half in
equity and half in debt. The equity portion was led by investors
including TotalEnergies Ventures, DBL Partners, Helios Investment
Partners and Vulcan Capital. Debt was provided by lenders including
FMO and Sunfunder.
Optimove Inc., a Tel Aviv-based CRM marketing startup, secured a
$75 million investment. Summit Partners led the round, with Han
Sikkens and Steffan Peyer joining the company's board.
Delix Therapeutics, a Boston-based preclinical neuroscience
startup, closed a $70 million Series A round led by Artis Ventures,
RA Capital Management and OMX Ventures.
CAKE, a Stockholm-based manufacturer of lightweight electric
performance motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, closed a $60 million
funding round, including $14 million in convertible notes, from
investors including Swedish pension fund AMF, Creandum and
Astera Labs Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based fabless
semiconductor company, grabbed a $50 million Series C investment.
Fidelity Management & Research Co. led the funding, which saw
participation from Atreides Management, Valor Equity Partners,
GlobalLink1 Capital, Intel Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and
Frontify, a brand management platform with offices in
Switzerland and New York, snagged $50 million in Series C
financing. Revaia led the round, which included support from
HighSage Ventures and others.
Isotropic Systems, a U.K.-based provider of satellite antenna
technology for mobile and high-throughput satellite applications,
added more than $37 million in Series B funding. Seraphim Space
Investment Trust led the round, with James Bruegger joining the
board. Promus Ventures also participated in the new funding.
Civis Analytics, whose technology powers data-driven audience
campaigns, fetched a $30.7 million Series B round from investors
including Alumni Ventures, Drive Capital, Verizon Ventures and
Silicon Valley Bank.
New Age Meats, a Berkeley, Calif.-based cultivated meat startup,
secured $25 million in Series A financing. Led by Hanwha Solutions,
the round included support from SOSV, TechU Ventures, ff Venture
Capital and Siddhi Capital.
Facebook to halt Instagram kids project amid pressure from
lawmakers, parents groups
TikTok tops 1 billion monthly users
Google pushes to overturn EU's $5 billion antitrust decision on
After early investors flee SPAC deals, day traders rush in
Cryptocurrency exchanges curb trading from China after Beijing's
U.N. members seek new cyber discussions amid rising ransomware
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 28, 2021 10:48 ET (14:48 GMT)
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