And Now, For Something Different

Morning Markets: A quick change-up from our regular fare. Let’s look at some other neat stuff that’s happening.

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During the latest IPO run this column has become monomaniacal in its coverage of late-stage firms and their impending liquidity events. After years of a disappointing IPO market, watching a crush of debuts has been exciting as heck.

There is more, however, to the world of tech and money than just big companies trying to defend private valuations with public investors.

In that vein, a few things caught my eye this week that I wanted to bring to you, so today we’re picking at the different fare. Let’s go!

Scaleworks Goes Shopping

Scaleworks has an interesting model. In fact, we covered its most recent fundraise earlier this year when the group put together a fresh $80 million. Scaleworks buys SaaS companies with $1 million to $4 million ARR, grows them, and then exits them. (It also makes venture loans, which are a good way for some SaaS companies to raise against revenue, saving them from selling equity to raise capital).

Anyway, Scaleworks is in the news for buying a new company in a transaction that it described in an email as its first leap into the ecommerce space. The group it snapped up is SearchSpring, a firm that Crunchbase data indicates was Colorado-based and born in 2007. It sells search tools to ecommerce players.

No price was disclosed, but I wanted to tag this deal as one presumably from the new, larger Scaleworks fund. That means we can track how well it does, and begin to get a feel for how the Scaleworks model functions over the next few years.

Sonarworks Raises

We’re working to better cover the global venture market here at Crunchbase News. The good news is that there’s lots of venture activity all around the world. The bad news is that because there is so much activity, it’s nigh-impossible to cover even a fraction of the flow.

So, consider this an attempt to beat back our U.S.-focus: Sonarworks, a Latvia-based company, raised 5 million Euros this week in a Series A transaction that was put together by a host of regional funds. Here’s how Sonarworks described the capital event:

The financing was co-led by Karma Ventures (Estonia) and Practica Capital (Lithuania), with participation from Revo Capital (Turkey), SuperAngel (Estonia), ProksCapital and Imprimatur (Latvia). [Links added]

That’s an amazingly cool list of investors for two reasons. One, their names are great. And two, because I had heard of an embarrassingly slim number of them. Sonarworks, for the curious, works in audio tech, specifically in “sound calibration software.”

A Crypto Boomlet

I know that you’ve forgotten about crypto, but the crypto market has kept chugging along while the rest of the world did anything else. The good tidings recently are that — despite the U.S. government going after Tether and Bitfinex for financial skulduggery — the price of Bitcoin is back up over $7,500 and Ether is over $200. Smaller coins and tokens rose alongside them.

What this means for our purposes is that trading revenues at firms like Coinbase are likely up. That could mean more rounds for the big dogs, and likely a bit more angel interest for the smaller players. Crypto: Still a thing.

How To Read An S-1

We did a post last year about how to read an S-1. Since then we’ve started a few drafts of how to analyze an S-1.

You haven’t read those because I can’t figure out how to write something that isn’t both 5,000 words and useless. That’s not a joke, I have a monster draft buried somewhere around here next to several shorter, more abortive attempts.

Happily for you, if unhappily for me, an investor has managed to scratch into the sand a lot of reasonable points regarding how to analyze an IPO filing. So, here’s Fred Wilson’s post. Enjoy.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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