Through Unicorns, Two Dinosaurs Pursue Fresh Markets

Morning Report: Two unicorns found exits today (kinda). It’s a notable moment, so let’s talk about each.

Today there are two transactions for us to cover: a huge strategic bet by one of the largest companies in the world, and a smaller deal for a company that you have heard of which is being purchased by a company that you have not.

Flipkart

Walmart will acquire a roughly 77 percent stake in Indian ecommerce player Flipkart for around $16 billion, a transaction that Amazon tried to break into. At least one former competitor also intends to use the proceeds from the deal to relaunch its own business in the country.

It’s complicated, in other words, but the enormous exit for most of Flipkart is simple in at least one way: it turns a huge amount of illiquid unicorn equity liquid.

According to Crunchbase, Flipkart raised a staggering $7.3 billion through its life. The firm was funded through a mix of venture capital (through Series H, at least), private equity, and debt. And, as with almost every company that SoftBank has touched, there was also some pre-exit secondary.

The company’s known valuation rose as high as $15 billion. It later fell to around $12 billion. Today’s deal—77 percent of Flipkart for around $16 billion—values the firm around $20.8 billion if our first-coffee-of-the-day math holds up.

So, for nearly all of Flipkart investors, the transaction likely means a good markup, if not a sharply higher exit.

Glassdoor

In a smaller deal, Glassdoor sold itself for $1.2 billion to Recruit Holdings. Recruit Holdings is a “Tokyo-based company that specializes in HR and recruitment services,” according to Crunchbase.

The company is on a bit of an acquisition spree. Recruit Holdings bought Workopolis earlier this year and TrustYou last year.

Glassdoor was worth $1.0 billion before its exit, giving it a modest 20 percent return since its last private valuation was set in 2016.

The scuttlebutt in and around Silicon Valley for some time was that Glassdoor was having a harder time monetizing than it had expected. If that bore out or not, the firm’s exit is an up deal, but only just. Still, it’s a unicorn exiting at a higher valuation than its last equity round. And that’s something.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Walmart buys most of Flipkart for $16B

Not everything can be had for a low price. Walmart has accepted this reality and is acquiring a 77 percent stake in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart for $16 billion, its largest purchase ever. Tencent, Tiger Global, Microsoft and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal will continue to hold stakes in the company under terms of the deal.

Glassdoor sells to Recruit for $1.2 billion

Another unicorn has sold to an acquirer. Job hunting service Glassdoorannounced that it will be acquired by Japanese HR firm Recruit for $1.2 billion in cash. Previously, ten-year-old Glassdoor had raised over $200 million in venture funding.

Xiaomi said to lower IPO target

Xiaomi, the China-based smartphone and Internet of things company, has reportedly lowered its valuation target ahead of its IPO from $100 billion to between $70 billion and $80 billion amid concerns about declines in the current global tech market.

Owlet Baby Care raises $24M

Owlet Baby Care, a Lehi, Utah-based startup best known for its Smart Sock baby monitor, has raised $24 million in a Series B round led by Trilogy Equity Partners. The financing is the latest in a booming investment period for baby tech.

Life House Raises $40M For Boutique Hotel Experience

Life House, a community-centered boutique hotel company, announced today that it has closed $40 million in funding so far and is launching its booking platform.

iStockPhoto / Oksana Raievska