Good day. Shared electric-scooter rental startups took a huge
hit when the pandemic all but froze their critical commuter and
But scooter startup Lime's Chief Executive Wayne Ting said in an
interview for The Wall Street Journal's Tech Live conference on
Monday that his company's 2021 third-quarter revenue is close to
pre-pandemic 2019 revenue.
Mr. Ting said that San Francisco-based Lime, which is
incorporated as Neutron Holdings Inc., was profitable in the third
quarter on an adjusted Ebitda basis.
The acronym stands for earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization, and strips out various capital costs
such as scooter depreciation, which has been one of the central
hurdles for Lime's and other scooter companies' efforts to become
profitable. These companies largely earn revenue on a per-ride
basis and increasing the longevity of their scooters allows them to
maximize the unit economics of each scooter.
Mr. Ting attributed the company's growth in part to more rides
being taken for errands, social visits and entertainment, and to
cities incorporating more bike lanes onto streets, making riders
"The trend is 100% a tailwind for us," Mr. Ting said about
cities' investments in creating bike lanes.
And now on to the news...
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai spoke at WSJ Tech Live.
Call for government action. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of
Google and parent company Alphabet Inc., said the U.S. government
should take a more active role in policing cyberattacks and
encouraging innovation with policies and investments. In the wake
of recent cybersecurity breaches attributed to Chinese and Russian
hackers, Mr. Pichai said the time had come to draft the equivalent
of a Geneva Convention for technology to outline international
legal standards for an increasingly connected world. "Governments
on a multilateral basis...need to put it up higher on the agenda,"
Mr. Pichai said in a recorded interview for The Wall Street
Journal's Tech Live conference on Monday. "If not, you're going to
see more of it because countries would resort to those things."
More Video From WSJ Tech Live:
Ohanian Says Regulators Must Catch Up to Changing Technology
VC Backs Founders 'Paying That Transparency Tax Up Front'
Carmelo Anthony's Investment Advice: Personal Values Are Key
Information technology budgets, which are expected to increase
2% this year, are forecast to grow 3.6% in 2022, according to
research by Gartner Inc. (WSJ)
Rent the Runway Targets Valuation of Up to $1.5 Billion in
Rent the Runway Inc. is seeking a valuation of as much as $1.5
billion in its initial public offering next week, in what would cap
a comeback for the clothing-rental business, The Wall Street
Journal's Corrie Driebusch reports. The New York company is aiming
to sell shares at between $18 and $21 apiece for a fully diluted
valuation of $1.24 billion to $1.46 billion, it said in a
securities filing Monday. The roadshow for company management and
their underwriters to pitch the shares to potential investors
begins Tuesday and the shares are to start trading on the Nasdaq
Stock Market next Wednesday.
German Fintech N26, Newly Valued at $9 Billion, Again Draws
N26 Bank GmbH, a Berlin-based digital bank that is now as
valuable as the country's second-largest lender, said Germany's
financial regulator had temporarily capped the number of new
customers it can sign up, the third regulatory action in six months
aimed at improving controls at the startup, Patricia Kowsmann
reports for the Journal. N26 on Monday said the regulator, BaFin,
had ordered it to limit new European customers to 70,000 a month. A
spokeswoman declined to disclose its monthly sign-up numbers,
though N26 said it has added more than 2 million customers in the
Also on Monday, N26 said it raised $900 million in new funding
that valued it at $9 billion, close to the market capitalization of
Germany's second-largest bank, Commerzbank AG. Investors in the
latest round include Third Point Ventures and Coatue Management, as
well as Dragoneer Investment Group.
UP.Partners closed its inaugural early-stage venture capital
fund with $230 million in commitments to back transportation and
logistics companies. Investors in the fund included Alaska Air
Group Inc., Woven Capital, Standard Industries and OSM Maritime.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based UP.Partners has invested in ten
companies to date, including flight autonomy company Skydio,
manufacturing quality assurance provider UnitX and electric
vertical aircraft developer Beta Technologies.
Separately, Alaska Air Group Inc. launched Alaska Star Ventures,
a new investment arm focused on sustainable technologies that will
help the company's efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. The new
firm partnered with UP.Partners for its inaugural investment.
Children's entertainment company Spin Master provided an initial
allocation of $100 million toward Spin Master Ventures, which will
make strategic minority investments focusing on toys, entertainment
and digital games. In connection with the fund launch, the new
vehicle has made investments in Stockholm-based game developer
Nørdlight and Canadian online tutoring service Hoot Reading.
Dell Technologies Capital, the venture capital arm of Dell
Technologies, appointed Radhika Malik as a principal investor; Dan
Fitzpatrick as principal, business development and executive
programs; and Ronda Scott as head of marketing and communications.
Ms. Malik joins DTC from Samsung Catalyst Fund. Mr. Fitzpatrick
previously worked at Gartner Research Board and at Forrester
Research. Ms. Scott most recently led marketing for General
Identity management startup Strata Identity named Drew Prante as
chief revenue officer. He joins the company from OneLogin. Earlier
this year, Strata raised $11 million in Series A funding led by
Mobile gaming company Scopely Inc. agreed to acquire GSN Games
from Sony Pictures Entertainment. The purchase price is
approximately $1 billion, half of which will be paid in cash and
the remainder in preferred equity, giving SPE a minority interest
in Scopely. Last year, Scopely raised a $340 million Series E round
from investors including Wellington Management, NewView Capital,
Battery Ventures, Greycroft and Highland Capital Partners, at a
post-money valuation of $3.3 billion.
CallMiner Inc., a developer of speech-analytics software powered
by artificial intelligence, acquired OrecX, an audio and screen
capture provider for recording, analytics and machine-based
learning. Terms weren't disclosed. Waltham, Mass.-based CallMiner
has raised funding from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s GS Growth,
NewSpring Capital and Sigma Prime Ventures.
Behavioral health marketplace SonderMind Inc. purchased
predictive analytics platform Qntfy for an undisclosed sum.
Denver-based SonderMind recently raised funding from Drive Capital,
Premji Invest, General Catalyst, Partners Group, Smash Ventures,
Kickstart Fund and F-Prime Capital.
Deel, a San Francisco-based payroll and compliance software
provider for international teams, secured $425 million in Series D
financing, valuing the company at $5.5 billion. Coatue Management
led the round, which included contributions from Altimeter Capital,
Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator Continuity, Spark Capital and
Zopa, a London-based peer-to-peer loan provider, landed $300
million in pre-IPO funding led by Softbank Vision Fund 2.
Aura, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of digital security to
consumers, raised $200 million in Series F funding, valuing the
company at $2.5 billion. Madrone Capital Partners led the round,
which included participation from TenEleven Ventures, General
Catalyst, WndrCo, Warburg Pincus and Accel. Earlier this month,
Aura appointed Kelly Merryman as president and chief operating
Saildrone Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based autonomous-sailboat
company that collects oceanic data, completed a $100 million Series
C round led by BOND. New investors XN, Standard Investments,
Emerson Collective and Crowley Maritime Corp. also contributed to
the round, along with previous backers Lux Capital, Social Capital
and Tribe Capital. Noah Knauf, general partner at BOND, will join
GO, a Philadelphia-based car subscription startup, picked up a
$41 million investment led by Synterra Capital Management.
H3 Dynamics, a Singapore-based aerial mobility startup, closed a
$26 million Series B round. Sparx Asset Management's Mirai Creation
fund led the investment, which included additional support from the
venture arm of Singapore's Economic Development Board, Capital
Management Group, Grosvenor Group, Audacy Ventures, Ascent Hydrogen
Fund and ATEQ.
vFunction, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup whose technology
accelerates application and cloud modernization efforts, grabbed a
$26 million Series A round. Zeev Ventures and Hewlett Packard
Pathfinder led the funding, which saw participation from
Engineering Capital, Primera Capital and Shasta Ventures.
TripleBlind, a Kansas City-based startup offering proprietary
cryptographically-enforced data privacy technology, raised $24
million in an oversubscribed Series A round. General Catalyst and
Mayo Clinic led the funding, which saw participation from Basecamp
Fund, Accenture Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Dolby
Family Ventures, Flyover Capital, KCRise Fund, NextGen Venture
Partners and Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health.
Scribe, a San Francisco-based startup that generates
step-by-step guides for any task, landed $22 million in Series A
funding, along with a previously unannounced $8 million seed round.
The Series A portion was led by Tiger Global Management, with
additional participation from Amplify Partners, Haystack Ventures,
XYZ Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures and Sweat Equity
Ventures. Mike Dauber, general partner at Amplify Partners, will
join Scribe's board.
Hofy, a London-based platform that enables companies to provide
and manage physical equipment for remote employees, launched out of
stealth with $15.2 million in funding from Stride.VC, Kindred
Capital, TrueSight Ventures, Day One Ventures and others.
Navina, an AI-powered clinical platform for primary care,
fetched $15 million in Series A funding led by Vertex Ventures
Builder.io, a San Francisco-based no-code e-commerce platform,
snagged a $14 million investment from Greylock Partners, Imaginary
Ventures and others.
'CoComelon' owner Moonbug weighs sale, IPO
Zillow says it can't buy any more homes this year
Foxconn unveils first electric-vehicle prototypes
Apple unveils redesigned MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max
chips, plus new AirPods
Around the Web
Space tourism had a big week last week (Emerging Tech Brew)
Facebook's ad-tracking loss is startups' gain (The
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 19, 2021 09:22 ET (13:22 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.