Venture

The Crunchbase News Briefing: Weds., Sept. 16

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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Portworx acquired by Pure Storage

Portworx, a Kubernetes data services platform based in Los Altos, California, agreed to be acquired by Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG) in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $370 million.

Mountain View, California-based Pure Storage, which provides storage as-a-service, said this was its largest acquisition to-date. The company acquired Compuverde in 2019 and StorReduce in 2018.

Since its inception in 2014, Portworx has raised a total of $55.5 million in venture-backed funding, according to Crunchbase data. Pure Storage will combine Portworx’s container data services with its suite of data services that can be deployed in-cloud, on bare metal, or on enterprise arrays.

Funding rounds

M&A

  • ChargePoint poised to go public in reverse merger: Reuters reported that electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint was close to going public through a reverse merger with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp. The deal would value Campbell, California-based ChargePoint at more than $2 billion. It’s still possible that the deal could dissolve, but sources told Reuters if not, the merger could be announced as early as next week. Switchback, based in Dallas, was created in 2019 as a special-purpose acquisition company, aka SPAC, and raised $300 million in its IPO, Reuters reported. In August, we reported on ChargePoint’s $127 million Series H extension round of funding that gave the company a total of $660 million in funds raised since its inception in 2007, according to Crunchbase data.
  • Kahoot acquiring Actimo: Oslo-based online education platform Kahoot announced it will acquire Danish startup Actimo ApS for up to $33 million in cash and stock. Founded in 2012, Actimo operates a mobile workspace for remote employees to improve the way organizations connect with and engage their teams.
  • SEMrush acquires Prowly: SEMrush, a Boston-based online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform, said it has acquired Warsaw-based public relations SaaS startup Prowly.com. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. SEMrush Chief Strategy Officer Eugene Levin said in a statement that the company “had Prowly on our radar for several years, and once we saw that they could generate international traction, we decided to make an offer.” SEMrush will add content marketing tools to Prowly.

IPOs:

• Unity raises IPO price targets: Video game software developer Unity Software on Wednesday morning raised the expected price range of its upcoming IPO to $44 to $48 per share, up from the previous estimate of $34 to $42 per share. In that range, Unity could raise up to $1.2 billion in its public market debut and be valued at up to about $12.6 billion. The San Francisco-based company raised its range after DevOps platform JFrog and cloud data warehousing company Snowflake each did as well. Snowflake begins trading publicly on Wednesday after its IPO priced above expectations in what will be the largest software IPO of all time. Unity is slated to price on Thursday and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the ticker symbol “U.”

Venture capital

• Wix.com creates new fund: Free website creation service Wix.com created a new venture capital initiative, Wix Capital, to invest in tech entrepreneurs focused on the future of the web and helping businesses operate in the digital landscape. Wix Capital will invest in seed and early-stage rounds, and has deployed more than $5.6 million into several companies including communication and workflow tool Spike, digital fintech company Oriente, dropshipping platform Modalyst, and RestAR, a 3D capturing and AI product visualization tool.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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