Venture

The Crunchbase News Briefing: Weds., Sept. 2

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 informed.

Bumble eyes $6B+ IPO

Bumble, the dating app geared for women to make the first move, is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering that could come early next year.

Bloomberg reports that the Austin-based company may seek a valuation of between $6 billion and $8 billion, citing unnamed sources. Talks about a potential  IPO are said to be still in the early stages and may not come to fruition.

Founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of Tinder, Bumble has since grown to become one of the most popular dating apps. The company sold a majority stake last year to private equity firm Blackstone Group.

Skillz to go public in SPAC merger

Mobile game developer Skillz is the latest startup that plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or blank-check company. It will go public at a $3.5 billion pre-money valuation via a merger with a SPAC called Flying Eagle Acquisition. VentureBeat first reported the news. Read more about Skillz’ plans here.

Funding rounds:

  • Neon Pagamentos raises $300 million: The Brazilian fintech startup raised $300 million in a Series C round led by General Atlantic. The new funding will be used to expand the team and grow the company’s user base, according to a statement from Neon.
  • Unacademy raises $150M at $1.45B valuation: Bengaluru-based online education provider Unacademy raised $150 million in a new financing round that sets a post-money valuation of $1.45 billion. SoftBank led the financing for the company, which focuses on preparing students for competitive exams.
  • Patreon raises $90M to pay artists: Patreon, operator of an online platform that lets artists get paid directly by fans for content subscriptions, has raised $90 million in new funding at a valuation of $1.2 billion. New Enterprise Associates and Wellington Management led the financing.
  • Mosaic lands $14.3M Series A, $100M home-building contract: Construction technology company Mosaic raised $14.25 million in a Series A financing round led by a16z, with participation from Founders Fund, Thrive Capital, Greylock Partners, Slow Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, SV Angel, 8VC, Building Ventures and angel investors. This brings the Phoenix-based company’s total funding, to date, to $24.75 million. In addition to the funding, Mosaic said it secured a $100 million strategic agreement with Mandalay Homes, under which the two companies will build 400 homes in the next two years in northern Arizona.
  • Reachdesk poised for expansion with $6M Series A: Reachdesk, a New York-based direct mail and corporate gifting software platform for B2B companies, announced on Wednesday a $6 million Series A round of funding. Led by Five Elms Capital, the funding will be used for further expansion throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • Insurance tech startup ProNavigator raises CAD $5.6M: ProNavigator, an Ontario, Canada-based startup with an AI knowledge platform for the insurance industry, said Wednesday that it had closed a CAD $5.6 million financing round. Co-led by new investor ​Luge Capital​ and existing investors ​GreenSky Capital​ and ​MaRS IAF​, with participation from ​iNovia Capital​, ​BDC​ and ​CIBC Innovation Banking, the latest round brings ProNavigator’s total funding raised to date to CAD $7.8 million.
  • Conversica lands $20M Series D: Conversica, a Foster City, California-based company creating intelligent virtual assistants to serve as virtual team members, raised a $20 million Series D funding round led by Hollyport Capital with participation from existing investors Providence Strategic Growth, Toba Capital and Savano Capital Partners.
  • bitBiome brings in $6.6M Series B: Japan-based microbiome analysis company bitBiome raised approximately $6.6 million in Series B financing from existing and new investors including The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners and Universal Materials Incubator. This new funding will support the company’s launch of a large-scale study on patient stool and saliva samples for more than 20 diseases, including cancer, intestinal diseases, autoimmune diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders.

M&A:

Regent to acquire Deep Longevity

Regent Pacific Group, a Hong Kong-based specialist health care, wellness and life sciences investment group, has agreed to acquire 1-month-old biotech startup Deep Longevity for $3.79 million, the company announced Wednesday. Following the transaction, DLI, which is researching AI-discovered biomarkers of aging, will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Regent. The acquisition will create an integrated global platform for longevity biotechnology and aging research.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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