Briefing Venture

The Briefing: WeWork Eyes Public Market, Robinhood Pulls In Quick $1B, And More

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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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WeWork Eyes Public Market (Again)

Co-working and office leasing provider WeWork is reportedly in talks about going public through a merger with a blank-check acquirer, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The talks come more than a year after the New York-headquartered company pulled its first planned IPO, after failing to garner sufficient investor support at its target valuation.

This time around, WeWork is reportedly weighing offers from a SPAC affiliated with Bow Capital and at least one other unidentified acquisition vehicle. The deal could value WeWork at around $10 billion.

Other news

  • Robinhood raises $1B: Zero-fee stock trading platform Robinhood raised a $1 billion funding infusion from prior investors including Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital as it faces an extraordinarily high volume of trading this week as individual investors pile into GameStop and other stocks.
  • Plaid unveils direct deposit product: Fintech company Plaid announced in a blog post that it has launched its Deposit Switch product. Currently in beta, the tool automates direct deposit account funding so that users can more easily establish or change the destination of their paychecks. The news comes two weeks after Plaid and credit card network Visa pulled the plug on their proposed merger.
  • Former Mastercard exec starts venture firm: Javier Perez, former president of Mastercard Europe, announced that he has created Global PayTech Ventures, which is being touted as “the first venture capital firm focused exclusively on payment technology.” The firm focuses on early-stage paytech companies and will invest in seed, Series A and Series B rounds.
  • Nerdy to go public via SPAC: Edtech startup Nerdy said Friday it plans to become a publicly traded company by merging with special purpose acquisition company TPG Pace Tech Opportunities. The transaction values Nerdy, which most notably owns Varsity Tutors, at $1.7 billion, according to the company.

Funding rounds

  • Rockley Photonics lands $65M: Rockley Photonics, a U.K.-based startup focused on integrated silicon photonic chips, raised $65 million in a growth capital round from backers including Morningside Ventures.
  • Physna raises $20M: Physna, a geometric deep-learning and 3D search company headquartered in Cincinnati, said it secured $20 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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