In honor of April Fools, we've been looking at CB Insights data through a slightly different lens today to answer some questions we don't typically cover. Thing like, is there a correlation between:
- Food tech funding and cannabis deal activity
- Trump's increasing popularity and VC deal activity in Canada
And a couple of others which are below.
But let's start with a stealth financing.
Recently, our technology (aka The Cruncher) has unearthed some off-the-radar financings. We identified stealthy Juno, an Uber competitor, which has been started by Talmon Marco (he founded Viber before selling it to Rakuten for $900M). We also identified Chamillionaire's financing for a new celebrity focused tech platform and something mysterious being worked on by Diplo (the dj).
Yesterday evening, we identified a new unicorn (my mom will be so proud) and it's from Israel — Jerusalem specifically.
Very few people recognize that Jerusalem has produced Israel’s largest-ever M&A exit (NDS by Cisco, $5B) and IPO (Mobileye, $9B market cap at IPO). Now, Jerusalem has quietly produced the first $1B from-inception startup.
And interestingly, it is agriculture focused, i.e. it's not a software company.
While details are still lacking, here's what our technology pieced together by crawling university research websites, Israel Securities Authority filings, and press releases. The company's product is a hybrid plant that resembles corn in appearance which can grow rapidly in any environment, with minimal sunlight or natural resources, and provide 100% of daily nutrition in one serving.
The product, UniCorn, was developed at the AgTech department of a major Israeli university in partnership with a large US conglomerate and part of the venture-building portfolio of Jerusalem-based VC Jumpspeed Ventures. The company has signed contracts and LOIs with major African and Asian governments and just received its initial funding of $100m at a $1B valuation from a major US private equity fund.
I asked Ben Wiener, Managing Partner of Jumpspeed Venture Partners, about the company. He didn't offer much on the stealth company except to say:
“At some point you’re looking at your fifteenth NLP SaaS-based AI business intelligence platform pitch, and you realize, you know what? The world doesn’t need this. UniCorn is a gamechanger addressing a massive market."
Ben has added a board relationship to his LinkedIn profile for the mysterious AgTech company and tweeted this out yesterday.
As we find out more, we'll update the company's profile on CB Insights.
Now back to our April Fool's inspired fun data correlations.
Food tech funding has climbed alongside cannabis deal activity. This is what investment bankers refer to as synergy.
In his pursuit to make America great again, has Donald Trump become the catalyst that the Canadian venture market required? It seems that way.
Funding and deals to artificial intelligence appear to have declined after the release of Ex Machina as investors saw what they might actually do to the world.
Funding to robotics has climbed in lock step with Steph Curry's points per season. Coincidence? Hardly.
All the data is real. The correlations? We'll let you decide.
P.S. We're picking 25 companies to present at The Future of Fintech Conference as part of our private company track. If you want to get in front of hundreds of influential buyers of and investors in fintech, apply by April 15th here.
The Week In Data
- 20%: Spotify raised $1B in a convertible note deal with extremely investor-favorable terms, including allowing them to convert equity at a 20% discount if the company IPOs within a year. With this round, the most well-funded unicorn in Europe has amassed $2.27B in total funding.
- 2/3: A Stack Overflow survey of 56,033 coders shows that two out of three coders are self taught. This week saw a great deal of debate on Twitter among tech entrepreneurs and investors about whether coding is truly an “open” and “inclusive” occupation, and what those terms mean (see Tweet of the week below).
$3.8B. Slack, the cloud enterprise messaging software company, raised $200M at a $3.8B valuation.
- 247: We’ve matched 247 companies in our database to look out for at the ASU GSV 2016 Summit 2016. The ed tech conference, being put on by Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley, is being held from April 18-20 in San Diego, California. Sign up to see the list, “ASU GSV Summit 2016.”
- $650K: The amount Whoopi Goldberg's new cannabis startup has raised to help women relieve period cramps and discomfort. This is the first time CB Insights data has been in an article featuring both cannabis and Whoopi Goldberg. #history
- 36: The years John Doerr (@johndoerr) has been at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He joined the firm in 1980 and is a legend of the VC game. Doerr has announced he will not participate as a general partner in future KPCB funds.
- $100M: Whistle, the “Fitbit for dogs,” was acquired for $100M this week by Mars Incorporated, the privately held consumer goods giant known for its chocolate candy bars, but which also sells pet food and soap. By the way, private consumer goods companies raised $3.3B in 2015.
- 2nd: Garena, an internet company offering mobile, e-commerce, and gaming services and apps, has become the first unicorn company in Singapore and the second in Southeast Asia (Thailand-based Lazada is the other). Here’s our full 156-member unicorn list.
- -$250M: The valuation hit taken by Bromium, a California-based cybersecurity company. Bromium’s Series D at a $242.3M valuation this week is the 58th entry in our Downround Tracker.
- 49%: A guest post on our blog from First Republic and Switch Ventures used data from CB Insights to study follow-on rates for seed-stage VCs. It found that in 2015 follow-on rates for seed syndicates involving both micro VCs and institutional VCs was 49%, more than double those for either of those investor types investing alone.
- 50.7%: As we go to press, that’s the ultra-slim majority in votes that Lowercase Capital is hanging on to in its face-off with Social Capital in round 2 of our Series A bracket. Voting ends Sunday.
Tweet of The Week
Here's what the team at CB Insights has been talking about.
Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) chimed in on the debate regarding the openness in software coding. This tweet generated 50+ replies, especially on the topic of gender divide.
|Mosaic Momentum Alerts
These startups saw the biggest uptick in their Mosaic momentum scores in the last week. To see the entire list of this week's biggest movers, login and run this search.
The CB Insights Mosaic algorithm is a National Science Foundation-backed score that tracks the health of private companies using public data.
1. Managed by Q, +280
Managed by Q provides office cleaning and other smart services involved in office operations.
2. Apptimize, +270
San Francisco-based Apptimize is a mobile application optimization company. Investors include Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
3. Carbon3D, +250
Carbon3D provides a new approach to 3D printing by going beyond basic protoyping.
4. Synack, +220
Synack offers technology that allows customers to engage a global, on-demand community of security researchers
5. IQMS, +200
Backed by investors including Banneker Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, IQMS designs and develops manufacturing software.
6. Moovweb, +170
Moovweb used a cloud-based platform and offer products and services that allow customers to take advantage of the mobile revolution.
Hightower is a web-based leasing management platform that helps commercial real estate brokers and owners more effectively manage their end-to-end leasing process.
8. Cigital, +160
Cigital is a software security services and solutions company. Investors include Blue Water Capital, LLR Partners, and New Vantage Group.
9. Electric Imp, +150
Electric Imp offers a platform that makes it simple to connect devices to the internet.
10. Raptr, +150
Raptr is a PC gaming service designed to optimize PC gaming performance while maintaining high quality and system efficiency.
|The Week's Top Deals
We tracked 417 financings and exits totaling $4.5B in the last week.
Here's the top 10. Run this search on CB Insights to see all 417.
1. Spotify raises $1B in Convertible Debt
The Sweden-based music streaming service raised from Dragoneer Investment Group and TPG Capital, padding the war chest as it takes on Apple Music.
2. Senvion raises $339M at IPO
The Germany-based wind turbine manufacturer went public at a valuation of $1.1B. Private equity group Centerbridge Partners acquired the company from Suzlon in January 2015.
3. Skydance Media raises $200M plus $500M Line of Credit
The Santa Monica, California-based film and TV production company raised from existing shareholders, with credit provided by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Skydance has notably co-produced film reboots including "Terminator Genisys" and "Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation."
4. Garena Online raises $170M Series D round
The Singapore-based internet and mobile gaming company raised at a $3.75B valuation. Investors included General Atlantic, Keytone Ventures, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan Board.
5. Ceridian raises $150M Private Equity round
The Canada-based HR services company raised from David Ossip, Fidelity National Financial, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
6. Expa raises $100M Series B round
The startup studio raised from ACE & Company, SV Angel, and a host of angel investors.
7. Xiaohongshu raises $100M Series C round
The China-based e-commerce company joined the unicorn club by raising at a valuation of $1B. Genesis Capital, Tencent, and Tiantu Capital participated in the financing.
8. Betterment raises $100M Series E round
The New York City-based robo-adviser startup raised at a $700M valuation, boasting $3.9 billion in assets under management and 150,000 customers. Anthemis Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Francisco Partners, Kinnevik, and Menlo Ventures participated in the round.
9. Katerra raises $75.57M Series A round
Focused on construction design, the company raised from Foxconn Technology Company at a $450M pre-money valuation.
10. Asana raises $50M Series C round at $600M valuation
Asana cofounders Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein personally invested, alongside VCs such as Founders Fund and an ensemble cast of angels that included Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan, Eric Ries, and Sam Altman, among others.