Venture

The Briefing: Checkout.com Raises $450M, Walmart Launches Fintech Startup, And More

The Briefing

Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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Checkout.com raises $450M

Checkout.com has announced the close of a $450 million Series C  round that values the company at $15 billion.

The company, which was founded in London and currently maintains offices across the globe, aims to offer a sort of one-stop shop for all things related to payments, such as accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud.

New and existing investors backed the round, including new investors Tiger Global Management and Greenoaks Capital.

Despite what seemed like a flurry of investment activity, for e-commerce technology startups—those with a focus on “e-commerce platforms” and “retail technology”—deals and dollars fell both globally and in the U.S. in 2020, according to Crunchbase data. Investments totaled $2.4 billion in the U.S. in 2020, compared with $2.5 billion in 2019. Globally, it was $4 billion in 2020, compared with $5.1 billion the year prior. Overall, investors have infused $21.1 billion into global e-commerce companies since 2016 and $9.4 billion into U.S. companies during the same period of time.

Walmart creates fintech startup

Walmart announced that it has created a new fintech startup as part of a strategic partnership with fintech investment firm Ribbit Capital.

The company will be majority-owned by Walmart. Its announcement offered few details about the new venture, beyond that it is “designed to develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions.”

The partnership marks an interesting new step for Ribbit, a 9-year-old firm with past investments that include zero-fee stock trading platform Robinhood, free credit score provider Credit Karma and point-of-sale loan provider Affirm.

Bakkt to go public via SPAC

Bakkt, a financial services company that focuses on digital currency that specializes in concurrency, rewards and loyalty points, said it is going public via a merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, in a deal valued at $2.1 billion.

The combined company will be renamed Bakkt Holdings Inc. and will list on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Bakkt, headquartered in Atlanta, was founded in 2018 by Intercontinental Exchange and has raised $482.5 million in venture-backed funding, according to Crunchbase data. That includes a $300 million Series B investment last March led by a group including CMT Digital Ventures LLC.

Proterra to go public via SPAC

Proterra, which makes electric buses, said Tuesday that it will go public by merging with the SPAC ArcLight Clean Transition Corp. The special purpose acquisition company’s ticker will become PTRA once the merger closes, and Proterra will have an enterprise value of $1.6 billion, according to a statement from the company. Proterra has raised more than $680 million in funding from investors including Daimler and Tao Capital Partners, according to Crunchbase.

Funding rounds

  • Workato inks $110M for enterprise workflow: Automation-led integration platform Workato announced a $110 million Series D funding round led by Altimeter Capital alongside Insight Partners, bringing the company’s new valuation to $1.7 billion and total amount of funding raised to-date to $221 million.
  • Curve banks $95M for smart cards: Curve, the London-based fintech that combines multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, secured $95 million in a Series C round led by IDC Ventures, Fuel Venture Capital and Vulcan Capital.
  • CLARK raises EUR 69M for digital insurance: Frankfurt-based CLARK, a digital insurance startup, said this week that it had raised 69 million euros (approximately $84 million) in a Series C funding round led by Tencent. Existing investors, including Portag3 Ventures, White Star Capital and Yabeo, joined the round. 
  • Jobber raises $60M for home professionals: Jobber, a Canadian startup that helps small home service businesses organize their operations, raised $60 million in a funding round led by Summit Partners.
  • Open Farm lands $65M for pet food: Toronto-based Open Farm, a pet food brand, raised $65 million in funding, led by leading global growth-equity firm General Atlantic.
  • Earli inks $40M for cancer detection: Bioengineering firm Earli, headquartered in South San Francisco, raised $40 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures. The company developed a new platform technology enabling clinicians to accurately locate early cancers so they can be quickly treated.
  • Modern Treasury raises $38M to power bank transactions: Modern Treasury, a San Francisco-based payment operations software provider, announced a $38 million Series B funding round led by Altimeter Capital.
  • Jumpcode Genomics raises $21M for disease discovery: San Diego-based Jumpcode Genomics, a genome technology company focused on improving the understanding of human disease, raised $21 million in a Series B round of funding co-led by Baird Capital and Arboretum Ventures.
  • VComply raises $6M for risk-management platform: Palo Alto-based VComply, a corporate governance, risk and compliance management platform, said it had closed a $6 million Series A funding round from Counterpart Ventures and Accel.
  • Vesica Technologies closes $2.1M for financial data accessibility: Vesica Technologies, headquartered in Topanga, California, announced a $2.1 million seed round by a group of investors including Mercury Digital Assets and Miami International Holdings. The financial technology company developed the SHIFT platform, which makes financial data more accessible to individuals.

M&A

  • Itamar buys Spry Health: Israeli medical device company Itamar Medical Ltd. has agreed to acquire the technology and assets of Spry Health, a Palo Alto, California-based health monitoring startup, for an undisclosed cash amount. Spry had raised $8.5 million in funding, per Crunchbase data.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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