Briefing Venture

The Briefing: SoFi To Go Public, Roblox Raises $520M Ahead Of Direct Listing, 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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SoFi to go public via SPAC

Online lender SoFi said Thursday it will enter the public markets through a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V, a special-purpose acquisition company led by billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya.

The deal, expected to close in the first quarter, gives San Francisco-based SoFi a post-money valuation of $8.65 billion and is expected to provide up to $2.4 billion in cash proceeds, the company said in a written statement.

SoFi has raised $2.5 billion in funding since it was founded in 2011, according to Crunchbase data. Its most recent venture capital round was a $500 million Series F in 2017 led by Silver Lake Partners. In 2019, it raised another half-billion-dollar round of private equity led by Qatar Investment Authority. At that time, the company was valued at $4.8 billion post-money.

The company said it posted more than $200 million in total net revenue in the third quarter of 2020 and estimates a net revenue of about $1 billion in 2021, representing 60 percent year-over-year growth.

Shares of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V are currently trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IPOE. Following the announcement Thursday, the share price rose 57 percent in late afternoon trading.

Roblox raises $520M in advance of direct listing

Roblox, the online game platform popular with kids and teens, announced that it has raised $520 million in new financing in advance of a planned public market debut.

Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group led the financing, which sets a valuation of $29.5 billion for the company.

San Mateo, California-based Roblox also announced that it plans to  go public via a direct listing of its common stock.

In a prior filing Roblox reported $588.7 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2020, up 68 percent from $349.9 million during the same period in 2019. Losses also widened, hitting $205.9 million in the first nine months of 2020, up from $46.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Funding rounds

  • Lacework lands $525M: Lacework, a provider of cloud security technology, announced that it has raised $525 million in a growth funding round led by Sutter Hill Ventures and Altimeter Capital. (Read more).
  • Resident bags $130M to expand brick-and-mortar retail: Direct-to-consumer home furnishings brand Resident, the parent company of the Nectar and DreamCloud mattress brands, said it closed a $130 million investment led by Ion Crossover Partners and Nexus Capital Management.
  • AbsoluteCARE inks $105M for primary care: AbsoluteCARE, a health care provider headquartered in Baltimore, received $105 million in funding from Kinderhook Industries.
  • Kira Pharmaceuticals brings in $53.5M for drug discovery program: Kira Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company headquartered in Massachusetts and China, announced the first closing of an oversubscribed $53.5 million Series B+ financing, co-led by RA Capital and Vivo Capital, that will go toward a drug discovery platform targeting immune-mediated therapies.
  • Carrum Health raises $40M for digital health marketplace: Carrum Health, a San Francisco-based digital health company connecting employers and employees to centers of excellence for planned health care procedures, said it closed $40 million in Series A funding led by Tiger Global Management.
  • Air Protein bites into $32M to launch alternative meat: Air Protein, a Pleasanton, California-based startup producing meat made from elements of the air, announced a $32 million Series A round of fundraising led by ADM Ventures, Barclays and GV.
  • Hello Ralphie brings in $1M for veterinary telemedicine: New York-based startup Hello Ralphie announced a $1 million seed round led by HearstLab and WPMC Fund to develop its platform connecting pet owners with licensed veterinarians through chat and video appointments.

M&A

  • Hopin buys StreamYard for $250 million: Virtual events platform Hopin announced that it has acquired StreamYard, a provider of software for creating professional live streams, in a deal reportedly valued at around $250 million.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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