Apr 16, 2020

Axios Pro Rata

📱 There's an app for that: Axios this morning launched launched its mobile app, which you can get for either your iPhone or Android device.

  • Be sure the follow the Pro Rata channel, which includes the daily newsletter, podcast, and updates from me throughout the day.
Top of the Morning

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Digital payments platform Stripe has raised $600 million in new funding and is now valued at nearly $36 billion, co-founder and president John Collison tells Axios.

Why it matters: Venture capitalists remain willing and able to invest big dollars in select companies, despite concerns that some limited partners could struggle to meet capital calls.

This is an extension to Stripe's Series G round, which closed last fall on $250 million, and came together in just the past few weeks. Most of the participants are existing investors.

  • Stripe was widely viewed as a 2019 IPO candidate. When that didn't happen, a 2020 IPO candidate. But Collison and his CEO brother Patrick have steadfastly refused to publicly comment on their timeline (except to say "not anytime soon").

Between the lines: Stripe also may be one of the few companies to be somewhat benefiting from lockdowns, given its focus on e-commerce enablement.

  • Existing clients include Instacart, DoorDash, Postmates, and Caviar. It also recently added Zoom.
  • Collison says that businesses that joined Stripe since March 1 have generated nearly $1 billion in revenue already.
  • "This is digital migration in a very compressed period of time, for both businesses and customers," Collison adds. "My mom recently asked me if I'd heard of 'this Instacart thing.' Yeah mom, I have."

The Paycheck Protection Program could be out of money by the time you eat lunch.

  • The Small Business Administration reported earlier this morning that over $338 billion of the available $349 billion is now spoken for. The average loan size is just over $200,000.
  • As of 11 pm last night, the approved loan amount was $329 billion. At 6 pm yesterday, it was $315 billion. At noon yesterday, it was $296 billion.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats and Republicans still have not settled their differences in order to replenish the pot.

  • Axios' Alayna Treene reports that House and Senate sources are confident that they'll reach an agreement soon — with fund depletion likely acting as a forcing mechanism.
  • She adds that some White House officials say they’d be open to adding more money for hospitals in order to get the $251 billion in added PPP funding that they've requested, thus satisfying one Democratic request.

🎧 Pro Rata Podcast digs into the Essential Worker Bill of Rights, a new proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

  • It covers everything from protective equipment to hazard pay to changing the status of independent contractors, and its sponsors hope major elements make it into the "phase 4" stimulus.
  • Khanna is my guest. Listen here.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

DraftKings yesterday received SEC approval to go public via a reverse merger with blank-check acquisition company Diamond Eagle, which also will include the roll-in of sports betting infrastructure platform SBTech.

  • Why it's the BFD: Because it persists unabated. So many other deals have died, or at least been slowed, in the coronavirus age. But not this one, even though its entire value proposition is derived from the existence of live sports. Even more remarkable may be that DraftKings hasn't yet laid anyone off.
  • Calendar: Diamond Eagle shareholders are scheduled to vote on April 23, with expectations that the deal will close before month's end.
  • The bottom line: "The deal is valued at $2.7 billion. Diamond Eagle will combine with DraftKings and SBTech to create what’s described as the only vertically integrated U.S. sports betting and online gaming company." — Dave McNary, Variety
Pro Rata for Kids

Today’s project is for your kids to make a food house. All you’ll need is some toothpicks, and then small, soft foods like grapes, berries, cherry tomatoes, or marshmallows. Bonus points for unusual foods. For examples, just click here.

  • Per usual, please send me pics. And then, of course, eat your house!

Yesterday I asked for toilet paper animals, which was very derivative of the tissue box challenge on Monday. One of our Boston readers sent us her son's creations:

Venture Capital Deals

Robinhood, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based no-fee online brokerage, is raising around $250 million at an $8 billion valuation led by Sequoia Capital, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/4ljL

Airwallex, an Australian cross-border payments business, raised US$160 million in Series D funding at a $1.8 billion post-money valuation. ANZi Ventures and Salesforce Ventures were joined by return backers DST Global, Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, and Horizons Ventures.

Vast Data, a New York-based universal storage startup, raised $100 million in Series C funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. Next47 led, and was joined by 83North, Commonfund Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greenfield Partners, Mellanox Capital, and Norwest Venture Partners. www.vastdata.com

ByHeart, a New York-based provider of infant and baby nutrition products, raised $70 million in Series A funding. Polaris Partners, D1 Capital Partners, and OCV Partners co-led, and were joined by Red Sea Ventures, Sean Parker, Bellco Capital, and Two River. http://axios.link/v9UV

Taxfix, a Germany-based mobile tax filing app, raised $65 million in Series C funding. Index Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Valar Ventures, Creandum, and Redalpine. http://axios.link/RFB8

Lucid, a South Jordan, Utah-based maker of visual workspace apps, raised $52 million. Iconiq Capital led, and was joined by Cross Creek and return backers Meritech Capital Partners and Spectrum Equity. www.lucid.co

Attentive, a New York-based personalized mobile messaging platform for brands, raised $40 million in new Series C funding from Sequoia Capital and Coatue Management. http://axios.link/2Faj

Gousto, a London-based meal-kit service, raised £33 million. Perwyn led, and was joined by BFG Ventures, MMC Ventures and Joe Wicks. http://axios.link/D3Ki

Coder, an Austin, Texas-based software development platform, raised $30 million in Series B funding. GGV Capital led, and was joined by Redpoint Ventures, Uncork Capital and In-Q-Tel. http://axios.link/duIw

NoBroker, an Indian apartment rental marketplace, raised $30 million in additional Series D funding from General Atlantic. http://axios.link/OcaS

Juganu, an Israeli provider of smart connectivity and lighting solutions for cities and retail, raised $18 million. Comcast Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Viola Growth and Amdocs. http://axios.link/dvqB

Alluxio, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of open-source cloud data orchestration software, raised $15.5 million in Series B funding co-led by Volcanics Ventures and return backer Andreessen Horowitz. www.alluxio.io

Nifty Games, a San Francisco-based mobile sports games publisher, raised over $12 million in Series A funding. March Capital Partners led, and was joined by Vulcan Capital, Courtside Ventures, Transcend Fund, Century Game, OneTeam Ventures, aXiomatic Gaming, and Defy Partners. http://axios.link/BNsZ

Previse, a London-based supplier payment platform, raised $11 million. Reefknot Investments and Mastercard co-led, and were joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Hambro Perks, and Augmentum Fintech. http://axios.link/BkVd

Kairos Aerospace, a Mountain View, Calif.-based aerial monitor of methane emissions, raised $9 million in Series C funding from OGCI Climate Investments, John Crane, and Energy Innovation Capital. http://axios.link/rxBz

Autofleet, an Israeli provider of fleet optimization and vehicle-as-a-service solutions, raised $7.5 million in seed and Series A funding from MizMaa Ventures, Maniv Mobility, Next Gear Ventures, and Liil Ventures. www.autofleet.io

Natterbox, a London-based provider of voice cloud services, raised £7.5 million from Octopus Investments. http://axios.link/0VqR

CleanSlate UV, a Toronto-based provider of chemical-free sanitizer for mobile devices, raised US$7 million led by Prolog Ventures. http://axios.link/LOLq

🚑 Yes Health, a San Francisco-based provider of digital health counseling related to Type 2 diabetes, raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures. http://axios.link/gHqC

Gembah, an Austin, Texas-based product development platform, raised $3.3 million in seed funding led by Silverton Partners. http://axios.link/aQgP

Count, a London-based data consolidation and analytics platform, raised $2.5 million from LocalGlobe and Global Founders Fund. www.count.co

Sprout.ai, a London-based insurance claims settlement startup, raised $2.5 million in new seed funding. Amadeus Capital Partners led, and was joined by Playfair Capital and Techstars. http://axios.link/73Iu

Private Equity Deals

Grain Management acquired a majority stake in Hunter Communications, a provider of bandwidth infrastructure in southern Oregon and northern California. www.hunterfiber.com

Montrose Environmental Group, an Irvine, Calif.-based portfolio company of Oaktree Capital Management, acquired CTEH, a Little Rock, Ark.-based scientific consulting firm focused on emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. www.cteh.com

Special Packaging Solutions Investment, a portfolio company of Investindustrial, offered to buy up to 20% of Italian bottle caps maker Guala Closures (BIT: GCL). http://axios.link/o9yO

TSG, a revenue management software company owned by Advent International, acquired PerfectMind, a Canadian provider of software to the parks and rec industry. www.transactionservices.global

Liquidity Events

Edison Partners sold Clearpool Group, a New York-based provider of electronic trading solutions, to BMO Financial Group.

More M&A

🚑 Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) has held discussions about acquiring a stake in Arcus Biosciences (NYSE: RCUS), a cancer therapeutics company with around a $716 million market cap, per Bloomberg. Arcus shareholders include Google Ventures (11% stake). http://axios.link/IpcL


Dragoneer Investment Group is raising its fifth opportunities fund, per an SEC filing. www.dragoneer.com

Mayfield raised $750 million for its sixteenth early-stage fund and its second overage fund. http://axios.link/lqwn

Final Numbers
Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
  • More jobs have now been lost in the last month than were gained since the Great Recession.
  • Axios' Courtenay Brown goes deeper.

🙏 Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends, colleagues, and bored sports betters to sign up.