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View, a maker of electrochromatic smart glass for buildings, has raised $200 million in new VC funding at what one source says is a post-money valuation north of $1 billion. BlackRock ($70m) and TIAA Investments ($50m) were joined by unspecified existing shareholders in the company, which previously raised over $500 million from firms like Khosla Ventures, Westley Group, Corning, Madrone Capital Partners and DBL Investors. The company's product is designed to save on lighting costs, and also can automatically tint so that office-workers can reduce glare without having to lose natural light.
- Why it's the BFD: View so far is a survivor of the corporate genocide that hit so many other cleantech startups founded in the aughts with big backing from venture capitalists. It was launched in 2006 as Soladigm, and was one of several cleantech companies of that vintage to open a manufacturing facility in Mississippi (thanks to state government incentives). Today it reports 25% y-o-y growth with 20 million square feet of installed windows in 350 buildings (including stadiums and airports).
- Bottom line: "Electrochromic windows can cost twice as much as a standard double-paned window. But the energy savings from keeping buildings cool by tinting the windows can be pretty substantial. Tinting can cut 20% of a building's heating and cooling costs and 20% of lighting costs. But most of View's customers are not buying solely for sustainability or cost-cutting. Many of them buy the windows because they're a cool tech product." — Katie Ferenbacher
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
🚑 Mersana Therapeutics Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of antibody drug conjugates, raised $75 million in its IPO. The company priced 5 million shares at $15 per share (middle of $14-$16 range), and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MRSN. J.P. Morgan was listed as left lead underwriter. The company had raised around $130 million in VC funding, from firms like NEA (41% pre-IPO stake), Pfizer (11.6%), F-Prime Capital (9.9%), Rho Ventures (7.6%), Rock Springs Capital (7.6%), Wellington Management (5.6%), Millennium Pharma (5.6%) and ProQuest Investments (5.5%). www.mersana.com
• TPG Pace Holdings, a TPG Capital-backed blank check company led by Hotwire.com founder Karl Peterson, raised $400 million in its IPO. The company priced 40 million shares at $10 per share, and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol TPGH.U. Deutsche Bank was listed as left lead underwriter. http://bit.ly/2shfG99
• Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) has agreed to invest nearly $1 billion to increase its stake in Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada from 51% to 83%. Sellers include Rocket Internet, while Temasek remains a minority shareholder. http://tcrn.ch/2s1872d