Startups Venture

So Much For A Seasonal Slowdown, II

Morning Markets: We’re barrelling towards the end of the year but you wouldn’t know it looking at the pace of activity in the startup world. Here’s a bit of what’s happened in the last day or so.

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On Monday I tallied a number of startup market events that took place in quick succession, noting that the list felt uncharacteristically long for the time of year. Normally in mid-December investors turn on out-of-office messengers, startups plot holiday bashes, and journalists turn into bats and other flying vermin for our hibernal pilgrimage ad infernum.


This year, however, nothing is slowing down. So in the same vein as our work together from Monday, here’s some important stuff that happened since I last wrote to you:

  • Tencent Music goes public. After some speedbumps on the way to going public, Tencent Music raised $13 per share in its IPO, valuing itself at just over $21 billion and raising around $1.1 billion. Tencent Music is profitable and growing, making its final IPO pricing a bit odd. But still, the company raised a unicorn while going public. That’s pretty good.
  • Tokopedia raised $1.1 billion at a reported $7 billion valuation. Per TechCrunch’s Jon Russell, Tokopedia is an “Indonesia-based e-commerce firm. SoftBank and Alibaba led the transaction.
  • Luckin Coffee closes that $200 million round. We covered this round back before it happened, and now it has. Luckin is $200 million richer, and thus, I presume, now poised for more quick expansion and growth.
  • AtScale raised $50 million. Big data isn’t dead, it turns out. AtScale — which provides “data warehouse virtualization” according to itself — last raised in October 2017, making this new capital event a bit quick, and twice as large as its preceding $25 million Series C.
  • Nexthink raised $85 millionI have never heard of Nexthink before this morning, which is probably my own fault. The company is based in Switzerland, has raised over $156 million, and works to help companies “improve the[ir] employee IT experience,” according to the company.
  • Bowery picked up $90 million. We just wrote this, so let me catch us both up. Bowery, which focuses on indoor farming, is now $90 million richer from an outsized Series B. That’s a big darn Series B. The firm has raised over $117 million, according to the company.
  • Plaid landed $250 million. I am writing to you today from Plaid’s old office, which I believe it outgrew, making this update all the more fun. Plaid now has $250 million more, bringing its total funding to just under $310 million. That’s a lot of dollars powering a startup that helps others move dollars around.
  • The 2019 IPO landscape is hot. Forgive the self-link here, but 2019’s IPO crop is going to be bonkers and fun, provided that the market doesn’t collapse first.
  • Byju’s raised $400 million at a $4 billion valuation. Over in India, Byju’s is now incredibly well-capitalized. The company works in the edtech space and per LiveMint, “[t]he funds were raised from Canada’s CPP Investment Board, Naspers Ventures, General Atlantic and some existing investors.

Whew. And that’s leaving out every single normal-sized round and then some. There’s little sign of a slowdown in tech today.

I don’t dabble in predictions for anything other than recreation, but I do wonder if we’ll look back at this time as occurring in the middle of the party, or towards the end, right before reality resurfaces.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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