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Top of the Morning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.

  • GIMBHI reports that mental and behavioral health deals more than doubled between 2019 and 2020, and in Q1 2021, it accounted for 19% of all digital health funding.

Driver No. 1: Soaring customer demand, much of which has been driven by the pandemic, without adequate provider supply (particularly in non-urban areas). Not just among adults, but also for kids and teens.

  • Google searches for both therapists and psychiatrists soared over the past 18 months, while most any corporate HR rep can tell you that employee burnout has become one of their most pressing issues.

Driver No. 2: Greater acceptance of telehealth, partially enabled by improved video chat technologies. This is true of patients, providers and insurers — helping encourage some "tech" entrepreneurs and investors to enter the space.

Driver No. 3: Last year's Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes it harder for insurance companies to deny care.

Driver No. 4: Valuation momentum for early VC-backed companies like Lyra Health (now worth $4.6 billion). Nothing attracts venture capitalists like when other venture capitalists pay high prices.

The bottom line: COVID-19 exposed many of America's health system gaps, and we're seeing money rush in to fill them.

The BFD

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood, the no-fee trading app and meme stock enablement tool, raised $1.89 billion in its IPO. The company priced at the low end of its $38-$42 range, for a fully diluted value of nearly $32 billion, and will list under ticker symbol "HOOD."

  • Why it's the BFD: Robinhood is a star-crossed proxy for young retail investors, and reserved up to 35% of its IPO shares for its own customers.
  • Big number: The "Risk Factors" section of Robinhood's IPO filing is 75 pages.
  • ROI: Robinhood had raised over $5.5 billion in private funding since being founded in 2013, including $3.4 billion via a convertible note investment in the aftermath of the GameStop fiasco. Backers include Index Ventures (13.1% pre-IPO stake of Class A shares), NEA (11.5%), Ribbit Capital (9.8%) and DST Global (9%).
  • Bottom line: 2021 has been the year of the retail investor. Soon we'll know Wall Street's feeling on that.
Venture Capital Deals

🚑 Exo, a Redwood City, Calif.-based handheld ultrasound system, raised $220 million in Series C funding. RA Capital led, and was joined by BlackRock, Sands Capital, Avidity Partners and Pura Vida Investments. http://axios.link/O5ac

Contentful, a provider of headless content management systems, raised $175 million in Series F funding at a valuation north of $3 billion. Tiger Global led, and was joined by Base10 and Tidemark. http://axios.link/VPzb

Mercury, a startup banking platform, raised $120 million in Series B funding at a 1.6 billion valuation. Coatue led, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, and Sapphire Ventures. www.mercury.com

🚑 Ring Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based commensal virome platform for gene therapy, raised $117 million in Series B funding from Invus, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Partners Investment, UPMC Enterprises, T. Rowe Price and founding investor Flagship Pioneering. http://axios.link/gMT5

🚑 Bota Bio, a Chinese industrial biotech, raised $100 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital China led, and was joined by insiders Matrix Partners China, Source Code Capital, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and 5Y Capital. http://axios.link/4sn2

Culture Amp, a San Francisco-based employee engagement platform, raised $100 million in Series F funding at a $1.5 billion valuation co-led by insiders Sequoia Capital India and TDM Growth Partners. http://axios.link/pvdM

Homebase, a San Francisco-based provider of employee management software, raised $70 million in Series C funding. GGV Capital led, and was joined by insiders Bain Capital Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Bedrock, Cowboy Ventures and Khosla Ventures. http://axios.link/LrXl

Prime Trust, a Las Vegas-based provider of financial infrastructure for fintech and digital asset firms, raised $64 million in Series A funding. Mercato Partners led, and was joined by Samsung Next, Nationwide, Commerce Ventures, Ayon Capital, Kraken Ventures, STCAP, s20 Capital, Seven Peaks Ventures, Diverse Angels, University Growth Fund and Nevcaut Ventures. http://axios.link/Kg2J

Lithic, a New York-based card issuing platform for developers, raised $60 million in Series C funding. Stripes led, and was joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Exor, Rainfall, Tusk Venture Partners and Commerce Ventures. www.lithic.com

💈 Squire, a New York-based provider of barbershop management software, raised $60 million in Series C funding at a $750 million valuation led by Tiger Global. http://axios.link/qmfR

SODA (dba SNKRDUNK), a Tokyo-based sneaker reselling marketplace, raised $56.4 million in Series C funding and acquired rival Monokabu. SoftBank Ventures Asia led, and was joined by KREAM, Altos Ventures and JAFCO. http://axios.link/cqyM

Coralogix, a San Francisco-based log analytics platform, raised $55 million in Series C funding. Greenfield Partners led, and was joined by Red Dot Capital Partners, StageOne Ventures, O.G. Tech, Janvest Capital Partners, Maor ventures and 2B Angels. http://axios.link/JMbX

Brain Technologies, a San Mateo, Calif.-based natural language search engine, raised $50 million from Emerson Collective, Goodwater Capital, Scott Cook and WTT Investment. http://axios.link/Qn1N

Suzy, a New York-based market research software platform, raised $50 million in Series D funding. H.I.G. Growth Partners led, and was joined by insiders Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group and Triangle Peak Partners. www.suzy.com

🚑 MedRhythms, a Portland, Maine-based digital therapy platform for those with neurologic injuries, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Morningside Ventures and Advantage Capital co-led, and were joined by Werth Family Investment Associates. http://axios.link/PI4m

Orum, a “smart calling” app for automating outbound sales workflows, raised $25 million from Craft Ventures, Unusual Ventures and Neo. http://axios.link/oRAc

Niron Magnetics, a developer of rare-earth free magnet technology, raised $21.3 million from firms like Volvo Cars Tech Fund and Volta Ventures. www.nironmagnetics.com

QuotaPath, an Austin and Philadelphia-based provider of commission tracking software, raised $21.3 million in Series A funding. Insight Partners led, and was joined by ATX Ventures, Integr8d Capital, Stage 2 Capital and HubSpot Ventures. http://axios.link/xwrv

SolCyber, a Dallas-based managed security services provider, raised $20 million in Series A funding from ForgePoint Capital. www.solcyber.com

OneDay, a Dallas-based enterprise video storytelling startup, raised $19 million in Series B funding. Volition Capital led, and was joined by insider Silverton Partners. www.oneday.com

Flock, a connected car insurance startup, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Social Capital led, and was joined by insiders Anthemis and Dig Ventures. http://axios.link/OsDJ

Noetic Cyber, a Waltham, Mass.-based cyber asset management and controls platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Energy Impact Partners. http://axios.link/vx6d

ConverseNow, a developer of AI ordering assistants for quick-serve restaurants, raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Craft Ventures. http://axios.link/J4tc

Silofit, a Canadian provider of on-demand fitness spaces, raised US$10.25 million in Series A funding. Whitecap Venture Partners led, and was joined by Courtside Ventures and Alate Partners. http://axios.link/v4rH

Algramo, a Chilean developer of reusable containers and distribution points, raised $8.5 million led by Dalus Capital. http://axios.link/RMmC

INKR, a Singapore-based digital comics platform, raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. http://axios.link/tgBU

Spot, an Austin, Texas-based provider of accidental injury insurance, raised $15 million in equity seed funding and $2.5 million of debt. GreatPoint Ventures led, and was joined by Montage Ventures, Mutual of Omaha, MS&AD and Silverton Partners. http://axios.link/CS1d

Relief, a fintech that negotiates on behalf of users with credit card debt, raised $2 million in seed funding led by Collaborative Fund. http://axios.link/JXET

Private Equity Deals

Drips, an Akron, Ohio-based conversational AI platform, raised money from Accel-KKR. www.drips.com

Great Hill Partners acquired Labor First, a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based provider of group retiree Medicare benefit management solutions. www.laborfirst.com

Iress (ASX: IRE), an Australian financial services software provider, rejected two takeover bids from EQT, the second of which valued the company at A$2.96 billion. http://axios.link/UJaQ

🚑 OMERS Infrastructure is in pole position to buy German lab group Amedes from Antin, per Reuters. http://axios.link/C0YV

Summit Partners invested €180 million in Odoo, a Belgian provider of all-in-one business software. Sellers include Sofinnova Partners and XAnge. www.odoo.com

TowerBrook Capital Partners agreed to buy a majority stake in French office furniture maker Bruneau from Equistone. http://axios.link/0ZW0

TSG Consumer Partners bought Rough Country, a Dyersburg, Tenn.-based provider of truck and Keep accessories, from Gridiron Capital. www.roughcountry.com

Wynnchurch Capital acquired Trimlite, a Renton, Wash.-based maker of residential doors. www.trimlite.com

Public Offerings

Clarios International, a Milwaukee-based maker of low-voltage vehicle batteries, postponed an IPO that had been set raise around $1.7 billion. The company was acquired in 2019 for $13.2 billion by Brookfield Asset Management and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. http://axios.link/Cjfu

European Wax Center, a Plano, Texas-based franchisor and operator of hair removal salons, set IPO terms to 10.6 million shares at $15-$18. It would have a $1.1 billion fully diluted value, were it to price in the middle, plans to list on the Nasdaq (EWCZ) and is backed by General Atlantic. http://axios.link/KL3o

🚑 Icosavax, a Seattle-based developer of a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, raised $182 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced in the middle of its $14-$16 range, will list on the Nasdaq (ICVX) and had raised $155 million from Qiming Venture Partners (13% pre-IPO stake), Adams Street Partners (12.9%), RA Capital (12.3%), Aventis (12.2%) and NanoDimension (10.8%). http://axios.link/QB6k

🚑 Rallybio, a New Haven, Conn.-based rare disease biotech founded by ex-Alexion execs, raised $81 million in its IPO. It priced at the low end of its $13-$15 range, will list on the Nasdaq (RLYB) and had raised $213 million from firms like 5AM Ventures, Viking Global, Rise fund, F-Prime Capital Partners, Tekla Capital Management, Canaan Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners and Connecticut Innovations. http://axios.link/ee6W

Riskified, an Israeli provider of e-commerce fraud protection for enterprises, raised $368 million in its IPO. It priced at $21 ($18-$20 range), for a $3.3 billion market value. It will list on the NYSE (RSKD) and had raised over $225 million from firms like Genesis Capital, Pitango, Fidelity and General Atlantic. http://axios.link/uQzk

🚑 Nuvalent, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech focused on kinase targets in cancer, raised $166 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced in the middle of its $16-$18 range, will to list on the Nasdaq (NUVL) and had raised $187 million from Deerfield Management (60% pre-IPO stake), Bain Capital Life Sciences (8.4%), Fidelity (7%), Wellington Management, Viking Global, Janus Henderson, Avoro Capital Advisors, Boxer Capital, Venrock, Fairmount Funds, Driehaus Capital Management and Logos Capital. http://axios.link/wBcJ

MeridianLink, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based credit reporting and lending platform owned by Thoma Bravo, raised $343 million in its IPO. It priced 13.2 million shares at $26, versus plans to offer 12 million at $24-$26, and listed on the NYSE (MLNK). http://axios.link/k1Ws

🥩 Traeger, a Salt Laker City-based maker of wood pellet grills, raised $424 million in its IPO. It priced at the high end of its $16-$18 range, will list on the NYSE (COOK) and is backed by AEA Investors, Ontario Teachers’ and Trilantic Capital Management. http://axios.link/uM7N

SPAC Stuff

Nanosys, a Milpitas, Calif.-based developer of quantum-dot tech for electronic displays, is in talks to go public at around a $1 billion valuation via GigInternational1, a SPAC led by semiconductor vet Avi Katz, per Bloomberg. Nanosys had raised over $200 million (plus got a PPP loan) from firms like Samsung Ventures and Applied Ventures. http://axios.link/vUxd

Vacasa, a Portland, Ore.-based vacation rental management platform, agreed to go public at an implied $4.5 billion valuation via TPG Pace Solutions (NYSE: TPGS). It had raised over $600 million from firms like Silver Lake, NewSpring Capital, Riverwood Capital and Level Equity. http://axios.link/x5h2

Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition, a minority-owned business SPAC, filed for a $100 million IPO. http://axios.link/69y3

WODA Corp., a fashion sustainability SPAC, filed for a $100 million IPO. http://axios.link/sEWR

Liquidity Events

🚑 Lee Equity and FFL Partners are seeking a buyer for Summit BHC, a Franklin, Tenn.-based network of mental health and addiction treatment centers, per PE Hub. http://axios.link/EBNW

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) acquired Suplari, a Seattle-based provider of supplier spend intelligence software that had raised over $18 million (plus got a PPP loan) from firms like Madrona Venture Group and Shasta Ventures, Amplify Partners, Two Sigma Ventures and Workday Venture. http://axios.link/3qc3

• SoftBank Vision Fund plans to sell 45 million of its 184 million shares in Uber (NYSE: UBER), to help offset losses on its investment in Didi Chuxing (NYSE: DIDI).

  • There also are reports that Didi is considering going private, just over a month after its IPO, in order to appease Chinese regulators.
More M&A

🚑 Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API) rejected an A$680 million takeover offer from retailer Wesfarmers (ASX: WES). http://axios.link/LB7z

FLSmidth of Denmark agreed to pay €325 million for Thyssenkrupp’s mining equipment unit. http://axios.link/iG10

🚑 Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC), a Chicago-based medical equipment maker, rejected a $9.6 billion takeover offer from Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Dt6W

Volkswagen agreed to buy a majority stake in Paris-listed car rental company Europcar at a €2.9 billion valuation. http://axios.link/bSdV

Fundraising

Tribe Capital raised $333 million for its second VC fund. http://axios.link/tx7i

It's Personnel

Michelle Gonzalez was named global head of M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm. She previously was managing partner for Area 120, Google’s internal incubator, and an EIR with Comcast Ventures. www.m12.vc

Donald Tucker joined DocuSign to work on corp dev and venture investments, per his LinkedIn. He previously was with Cisco. http://axios.link/eba1

Final Numbers
Source: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized 6.5% rate in Q2 2021. It's a tick higher than Q1 GDP, but well below the 8.4% rate that economists expected. Go deeper.

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