Axios Pro Rata

A green watering can with a dollar sign painted on it.

June 09, 2021

Top of the Morning

Illustration of descending plane with a dollar sign vapor trail

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Greetings from 36,000 feet, as I return back to Boston from visiting Axios HQ for the first time in a very long time. Let's kick this off notes-style, because it's a bit bumpy and the guy next to me thinks his elbows paid for part of my seat:

Congressional map: The American Investment Council released its annual report on which Congressional districts receive the most private equity capital.

  • Each of the top five is represented by a Democrat: Colo.-2 (Joe Neguse), Mass.-8 (Stephen Lynch), N.Y.-12 (Carolyn Maloney), Calif.-12 (Nancy Pelosi) and Fla.-23 (Debbie Wasserman Schultz).

Let the race begin: Former Carlyle Group co-CEO Glenn Youngkin now has his rival for the Virginia governor's office, after former Gov. Terry McAuliffe won yesterday's Democratic Party primary.

Snapshot: Retro photo app Dispo has raised its $20 million after all, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports. In March we reported that lead investor Spark Capital had walked away over controversies involving startup co-founder and YouTube star David Dobrik. Unclear where all of the new $20 million came from.

PE diversity fail: McKinsey recently issued a report showing diminished gender and racial diversity at private equity firms as positions get more senior. It's something we all kind of know, but the tiny numbers remain jarring.

🎧 Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) about a new $247 billion spending bill that's designed to help the U.S. compete with China on technologies like AI and quantum computing. A Senate version passed overwhelmingly last night. Take a listen.

  • The Senate yesterday also passed a bill to increase antitrust fees charged on large mergers and acquisitions.

🖥️ You're invited: Axios today hosts a virtual event at 12:30pm ET on President Biden's infrastructure plans, which now could be heading toward reconciliation.

  • Guests include National Economic Council director Brian Deese, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. Register here.


Illustration of car with batteries on top

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Northvolt, a Swedish maker of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, raised $2.75 billion in new equity funding.

  • Why it's the BFD: It reflects the anticipated surge in electric vehicle car sales, which could more than quadruple in the next four years.
  • Investors: The round was co-led by OMERS Capital Markets and Swedish pension funds AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4. Other backers included Goldman Sachs, Volkswagen and insiders AMF, ATP, Baillie Gifford, Baron Capital Group, Bridford Investments, Compagnia di San Paolo, Cristina Stenbeck, Daniel Ek, IMAS Foundation, EIT InnoEnergy, Norrsken VC, PCS Holding, Scania and Stena Metall Finans.
  • The bottom line: "The company, founded by former executives from Tesla, currently leads European efforts to build a domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries in the region that has emerged as a key market for electric vehicles alongside China." — Niclas Rolander & Charles Daly, Bloomberg

Venture Capital Deals

BlockFi, a Jersey City, N.J.-based crypto-lending platform, is in talks to raise $500 million in Series E funding co-led by Third Point Management and Hedosophia, per The Information. Earlier this year it raised $350 million at a $3 billion valuation co-led by Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments and Tiger Global.

Solana Labs, a decentralized finance startup, raised $314 million via a token sale. Andreessen Horowitz led, and was joined by Polychain Capital.

Scalable Capital, a German neobroker, raised over $180 million in Series E funding at a $1.4 billion post-money valuation led by Tencent.

🚑 Monogram Health, a Nashville-based benefit management and care delivery company focused on chronic kidney and end-stage renal disease, raised $160 million in Series B funding. TPG Capital led, and was joined by Humana and insiders Frist Cressey Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.

Verbit, a New York-based transcription and captioning platform, raised $157 million in Series D funding at a valuation north of $1 billion. Sapphire Ventures led, and was joined by Third Point, More Capital, Omer Cygler, Azura, ICON and insiders Stripes, Vertex Ventures and Vertex Growth, HV Capital, Oryzn Capital, Viola Ventures and ClalTech.

Aura, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of digital security solutions for consumers, raised $150 million led by Warburg Pincus.

Brinqa, an Austin, Texas-based enterprise cybersecurity risk management platform, raised $110 million from Insight Partners.

Morning Consult, a Washington, D.C.-based research and polling firm, raised $60 million in Series B funding led at a valuation north of $1 billion. Advance Venture Partners led, and was joined by Susquehanna Growth Equity and Lupa Systems.

Pattern Brands, a New York-based portfolio of home-centric brands, raised $60 million from Victory Park Capital, HOF Capital, RSE Ventures and insiders Kleiner Perkins, RRE Ventures and Primary Venture Partners.

🚑 Strateos, a Menlo Park-based remote lab platform, raised $56 million in Series B funding. DCVC and Lux Capital co-led, and were joined by Eli Lilly.

Lenus, a Copenhagen-based coaching platform for health and fitness pros, raised €50 million in series A funding from EQT Ventures.

MaintainX, a San Francisco-based workflow management platform for industrial and frontline workers, raised $39 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led, and was joined by Amity Ventures, Vulcan Capital, August Capital, Ridge Ventures and OldSlip Group.

Gideon Brothers, a Croatian robotics startup, raised $31 million in Series A funding. Koch Disruptive Ventures led, and was joined by DB Schenker, Prologis Ventures and Rite-Hite.

Terraformation, a mass reforestation startup led by former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, raised $30 million led by Sam and Max Altman at Apollo Projects.

🚑 Alcyone Therapeutics, a Lowell, Mass.-based developer of CNS therapies, raised $23 million from RTW Investments.

🚑 Hawthorne Effect, a San Francisco-based clinical trial decentralization startup, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Northpond Ventures led, and was joined by SignalFire and P5 Health Ventures.

🥊 Liteboxer, a Hampton, N.H.-based connected boxing startup, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Nimble Ventures led, and was joined by B. Riley VC, Raptor Group and Will Ventures.

🚑 Rise Science, a Chicago-based sleep and energy management startup, raised $15.5 million in seed and Series A funding from Goodwater Capital, Freestyle Ventures, High Alpha and Jon Callaghan.

Refyne, an Indian earned wage access startup, raised $16 million in Series A funding from RTP Global and partners of DST Global.

Blooma, a San Diego-based digital underwriting platform for commercial real estate, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Canapi Ventures led, and was joined by Nyca Partners.

Pennylane, a French accounting platform, raised €15 million led by Sequoia Capital (in its first-ever France investment).

Kefane, a New York-based buy now pay later startup focused on subprime consumers, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Global Founders Capital and Third Prime Ventures co-led, and were joined by Valar Ventures,, Hermann Capital, Gaingels, Republic Labs, Uncorrelated Ventures and FJ Labs.

Lifted, a British social care platform, raised $6.2 million in Series A funding. Fuel Ventures led, and was joined by Novit Ventures, Perivoli Innovations and the J.B. Ugland family office.

Wagely, an Indonesian earned wage access startup, raised $5.6 million led by Integra Partners.

Guest House, a home staging and home furnishings marketplace, raised $3 million in seed funding led by Range Ventures., an auto complete startup, raised $2.1 million in seed funding led by Craft Ventures.

Mila, a San Francisco-based maker of air purifiers, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Vulcan Capital.

Private Equity Deals

🚑 Datavant, a San Francisco-based provider of data security solutions to healthcare organizations, agreed to a $7 billion merger with Ciox Health, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based clinical data exchange. New Mountain Capital will control the combined company, while Sixth Street Capital will be a minority investor.

HRB Brands, a portfolio company of Tengram Capital Partners, agreed to buy the personal care business of Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE) for $44.7 million.

Genstar Capital bought 2020 Technologies, a Canadian provider of CAD software for interior design, from Golden Gate Capital.

One Rock Capital Partners agreed to buy the tire additives business of Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN).

Pacific Equity Partners agreed to buy a group of 12 acute care hospitals in Australia from China’s Luye, beating out rivals Crescent Capital and Brookfield, per The Australian.

Public Offerings

Atour Lifestyle Holdings, a Chinese midscale hotel chain, filed for an IPO. It plans to list on the Nasdaq (ATAT) and reports $2 million of profit on $64 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2021. Backers include Legend Capital.

Dingdong, a Chinese grocery delivery company, filed for an IPO. It plans to list on the NYSE (DDL) and reports a $485 million net loss on $1.73 billion in revenue for 2020. The company raised over $400 million from such firms as General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital China, Starquest China, Qiming Venture Partners, Bertelsmann Asia Investments and General Atlantic.

Marqeta, an Oakland-based card issuing platform, raised $1.23 billion in its IPO. It priced at $27 per share, above its $20-$24 range, for a $14.3 billion market cap. The company will list on the Nasdaq (MQ) and had raised $525 million in VC funding, most recently at a $4.3 billion valuation, from Granite Ventures (11.2% pre-IPO stake), Iconiq (8.7%), 83North (8%), Discover Financial Services (5.4%), Coatue (5.3%), Visa, Goldman Sachs and Vitruvian Partners.

Missfresh, a Chinese grocery delivery company, filed for an IPO. It plans to list on the Nasdaq (MF) and reports a $252 million net loss on $956 million in revenue for 2020. The company raised over $2 billion from firms like Goldman Sachs, Tencent, CICC Capital, ICBC International Securities, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Tiger Global and a government fund of Suzhou City.

Zhangmen Education, a Chinese online afterschool tutoring platform, raised $42 million in its IPO. It priced at $11.50 per share (within $11-$13 range), for a $1.9 billion fully diluted market value. It will list on the NYSE (ZME), reports a $155 million net loss for 2020 on $277 million in revenue and raised over $900 million from firms like Warburg Pincus and Genesis Capital.

SPAC Stuff

Vista Global, a Dubai-based private aviation company backed by Rhone Capital, is in talks to go public via SPAC, per Bloomberg.

Wallbox, a Spanish provider of EV charging solutions, agreed to go public at an implied valuation via Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: KCAC). Wallbox raised over $70 million in VC funding from firms like Cathay Innovation, Seaya Ventures and Wind Ventures.

Foresight Acquisition II, a SPAC led by ex-Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson, filed for a $250 million IPO.

Nabors Energy Transition, a SPAC formed by Nabors Industries, filed for a $250 million IPO.

Liquidity Events

Sinch (STO: SINCH) agreed to buy MessageMedia, an Australian provider of mobile messaging solutions for SMBs, for US$1.1 billion from Mercury Capital.


Madison Dearborn, a Chicago-based buyout firm, raised $5 billion for its eighth fund, per Buyouts.

Shamrock Capital of Los Angeles raised $1 billion for its fifth growth equity fund focused on media, entertainment and communications.

It's Personnel

Oli Bevan joined Waterland Private Equity as a managing director and head of U.K. operations. He previously was a partner at Dunedin.

Michael Brown, a general partner at Battery Ventures, was named incoming chair of the National Venture Capital Association.

Jerilyn Castillo McAniff joined Oaktree Capital Management as head of diversity and inclusion. She previously was with JPMorgan.

Vineet Varma joined private equity firm Hanover Partners as a partner. He previously was with Alvarez & Marsal Capital.

Final Numbers

Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

🙏 Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends, colleagues and frequent fliers to sign up.