Briefing Venture

Briefing: Toast Said To Prep IPO, Oscar Health Sets IPO Price Range, 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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Restaurant software unicorn Toast eyes IPO this year

Boston-based Toast, a provider of software for restaurant management, is in talks with underwriters about a potential IPO later this year, according a report in The Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources.

Founded in 2011, Toast has raised $902 million in venture funding to date, per Crunchbase data, including a $400 million Series F round closed a year ago.

Toast is reportedly seeking a valuation of around $20 billion for its public offering, and has tapped Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan as potential underwriters. In its last funding round a year ago, the company secured a valuation of nearly $5 billion.

— Joanna Glasner

Oscar Health sets IPO price range

Health insurance company Oscar Health intends to offer 31 million shares, priced between $32 and $34 each, to raise as much as $1.05 billion in its initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

Oscar filed its S-1 registration document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 5. The company reported more than $488 million in revenue in 2019, up by around 5 percent from about $463 million in 2018.

Its losses also shrunk in that period, from nearly $406 million in 2018 to around $261 million in 2019. The company has approximately 529,000 members across 18 states.

Oscar’s health insurance model includes free virtual care appointments and a program for Medicare-eligible adults.

The company, which was co-founded by Josh Kushner, founder of Thrive Capital, raised more than $1.6 billion in funding from investors including Founders Fund, Thrive Capital, CapitalG and Fidelity.

It is estimated that Oscar’s fully diluted valuation will be approximately $8 billion, Reuters reported.

— Christine Hall

Parallel to public via SPAC

Multi-state cannabis operator Parallel announced Monday it is going public via a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation Ceres Acquisition Corp., backed by entertainment entrepreneur Scott “Scooter” Braun, in a deal that values Atlanta-based Parallel at $1.884 billion.

SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, raise money in an initial public offering and then have two years to acquire a business or businesses.

The Parallel/Ceres transaction is expected to close in the summer, according to the company. At that time, Parallel’s chairman and CEO William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. will remain in the role.

The new company will have pro forma cash on hand of $430 million at close and is expected to generate $447 million in revenue in 2021. It intends to expand its cultivation and production in the U.S.

Since being founded in 2014, Parallel has raised a total of $355.7 million in known venture-backed funding, according to Crunchbase data. It most recently raised $100 million in Series D funding in 2019, led by Edward Brown.

— Christine Hall

Funding rounds

Ageras raises $73M for accounting tools: Copenhagen-based Ageras, an online platform for businesses to find accounting services, raised $73 million in fresh financing from Lugard Road Capital. Founded in 2012, Ageras sold a majority stake to Investcorp in 2017.

— Joanna Glasner

Orka lands $40.7M for shift worker platform: Manchester, U.K.-based Orka Technology Group, a provider of online tools to help with onboarding of hourly shift workers, including an option to withdraw money just after it is earned, raised  £29 million ($40.7 million) in a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding from the British Business Bank and other backers.

— Joanna Glasner


EquityBee banks $20M: EquityBee, which helps startup employees get capital to exercise their stock options before they expire by linking them to investors, raised a $20 million Series A financing round, led by existing investor Group 11,  to make additional hires across all departments and expand product offerings. The round brings the Palo Alto-based company’s total funding to more than $28 million, which includes a $6.6 million seed round in 2020, also led by Group 11. In addition to the stock options, EquityBee posts a quarterly pre-IPO “wish list” of companies its investors want to see have a liquidity event soon.

— Christine Hall


Nanit inks $25M Series C: Nanit, developing smart baby monitor and sleep tracker devices, closed a $25 million Series C funding round led by new investor GV. The new round brings the New York-based company’s total capital raised to $75 million. Nanit last raised a $21 million Series B in 2020, according to Crunchbase data. Nanit’s proprietary line of Breathing Wear apparel integrates with the Nanit camera to enable parents to safely monitor their baby’s breathing motion without sensors or wires. In 2020, the company doubled its user base and yielded year over year revenue growth of more than 130 percent, the company said. Years ago, babytech was considered a niche market that few investors understood or wanted to get into. Today, anyone considering adding to their family can find technology for everything from fertility to potty training and beyond. Though the market is big, experts say there is still not enough investment in startups focused on the space. Forbes estimated in 2019 that the U.S. babytech market size was about $46 billion, and reported that investors had pumped some $500 million in funding into companies within the sector since 2013. One of the success stories is baby health monitor Owlet Baby Care, which announced on Feb. 16 its plans to merge with Sandbridge Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company backed by Sandbridge Capital and PIMCO private funds. Owlet raised a total of $48 million in known venture capital investments since the company was founded in 2013, according to Crunchbase data.

— Christine Hall

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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