Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Top News in the A.M.
Didi Chuxing has raised $4.5 billion in a round of funding that values it at close to $28 billion, according to Bloomberg, giving China’s leading ride-sharing company more firepower to battle Uber. More here.
Expect More M&A, Says Marc Andreessen
Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen spoke at the Bloomberg Technology conference yesterday afternoon, and he said he expects far more M&A than the tech industry has seen in recent years.
The conversation stemmed in large part from questions about LinkedIn’s announced acquisition by Microsoft, which disclosed Monday that it is paying$26.2 billion in cash for the business networking platform.
Asked his opinion about the deal, Andreessen — who was interrupted by the clang of a falling tray (“I hope that was not a symbolic sound effect,” he joked) — said the deal “eliminates the guesswork about how much [a company is] worth when someone pays $26 billion in cash ” for it.
But he also said that, on a higher level, it conveys something about the industry right now. “We see more M&A happening in the pipeline – meaning companies in consideration or negotiation — than in the last four years.”
There are a few reasons for it, he suggested, saying that in recent years, a lot of “public companies sat back and watched the drama play out in the Valley . . . and the constant drumbeat of ‘bubble, bubble, bubble.’” Now, with many private company valuations down from their peaks last year, along with public companies that “now have to go shopping to fill in gaps in their portfolio,” Andreessen said to expect a “run of M&A the rest of this year and next year.”
The buyers won’t necessarily be Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, he noted. “A lot more nontraditional buyers — Fortune 500 companies outside [of tech are] going shopping, [including] the car industry, other consumer products companies, clothing companies.” (Andreessen didn’t say so, but private equity firms also plainly see an opportunity to do some shopping right now.)
In fact, Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is trying to prep its portfolio companies for an exit by establishing what he described as an IPO preparedness team that’s working with founders on what’s required to go public, from accounting and legal, to building a governance team, to selecting the right CFO.
B2X, a nine-year-old, Munich, Germany-based startup behind a customer care platform for smartphones and IoT device makers, has raised €6 million ($6.7 million) from Harbert European Growth Capital. More here.
Fenqile, a three-year-old Shenzhen, China -based installment payment e-commerce platform targeting Chinese millennials, has raised $235 million in Series C funding from Huasheng Capital, the venture capital unit of local investment banking firm China Renaissance Partners; CoBuilder Partners; and an unnamed Chinese insurer. China Money Network has more here.
Huizuche, a two-year-old, Shanghai, China-based car rental startup that provides services for outbound Chinese tourists, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by the Asia-focused private equity firm H&Q Asia Pacific. DealStreetAsia has more here.
Loggly, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud-based log management company, has raised $11.5 million in new funding led by True Ventures, with participation from Matrix Partners, Cisco, Trinity Ventures, Harmony Partners and Data Collective. More here.
Lumus, a 16-year-old, Rehovot, Israel-based company that makes transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality and mixed reality, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from the investment firm Shanda Group and from Crystal-Optech, a Chinese optical imaging company. TechCrunch has more here.
Procured Health, a four-year-old, Chicago-based health IT business started with the goal of helping hospitals to reduce medical device purchasing costs, has raised $10 million in Series B funding from Heritage Group, a venture-capital firm backed by some of the nation’s leading healthcare companies, with participation from Health Insight Capital, a subsidiary of HCA. MedCity News has more here.
Qloo, a four-year-old, New York-based cultural recommendation engine, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding from actor Leonardo DiCaprio; Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht; Pierre Lagrange of GLG Partners; and Adriaan Ligtenberg’s AllMobile Fund, along with other individual angel investors. TechCrunch has more here. TechCrunch has more here.
Rgenix, a six-year-old, New York-based cancer therapeutics company developing drugs that target novel cancer pathways, has raised $33 million in Series B funding led by Novo A/S and Sofinnova Partners, with participation from earlier backers, including Partnership Fund for New York City, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Conegliano Ventures.
Saavn, a nine-year-old, New York-based digital music service that TechCrunch has likened to India’s Spotify, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Guy Oseary, a high-profile entertainment industry executive who manages U2, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears and other top music acts.More here.
Sapho, a two-year-old, San Bruno, Ca.-based startup that makes “micro apps” that send notifications to employees and execs whenever data is updated or projects are completed, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Alsop Louie Partners, with participation from SoftTech VC, Caffeinated Capital, Morado Ventures, AME Cloud and Bloomberg Beta. More here.
Smarter Micro, a four-year-old Chinese semiconductor company, has raised $14 million in Series C funding led by China’s Tsing Capital, with participation from earlier backers GSR Ventures and Vertex Ventures. China Money Network has more here.
SoundCloud, the nine-year-old, Berlin-based music service, is raising a $100 million round, according to Recode, and Twitter has invested around $70 million in the company as part of that financing. Twitter had reportedly wanted to acquire SoundCloud in 2014. Much more here.
Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-share juggernaut, is turning to the leveraged-loan market for the first time to raise as much as $2 billion, reports the WSJ. The outlet says Uber has hired Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to get a deal done. More here.
Philadelphia-based 1315 Capital, a two-year-old expansion and growth equity firm that invests in commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical, medical technology, and healthcare services companies, has announced the final closing of its $200 million inaugural fund. More here.
FirstMark Capital, an eight-year-old, New York-based investment firm, has raised $480 million across two new funds: one a $275 million early-stage fund (FirstMark’s fourth), and the other a $205 millionopportunity fund for FirstMark’s maturing investments (which is its second growth-stage fund). The firm now has $1.5 billion under management. TechCrunch has more here.
Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures has closed a new $60 million fund for Southeast Asia’s rapidly-growing startup ecosystem. The firm first announced its new fund last summer, when it closed on $35 million in capital commitments from investors including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Naver, the Korea-based owner of soon-to-go-public chat app Line. Its newest investors include Korea’s Hanwha Life Insurance, Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, and Germany’s Hubert Burda Media. TechCrunch has more here.
Bed Bath & Beyond has bought venture-backed One Kings Lane, a home-goods website that, at its peak, was valued at more than $900 million. Terms aren’t being disclosed. Bed Bath & Beyond, which generated $12 billion in net sales in its most recent fiscal year, said that the purchase price was “not material.” One Kings Lane had raised more than $225 million in venture capital from investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners. Business Insider has more here.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a live video Q&A on Facebook yesterday and Jerry Seinfeld showed up.
Capital One Ventures is looking for a manager (which is akin to an associate position). The job is in San Francisco.
Why Apple doesn’t have a venture capital arm.
China’s co-living boom puts hundreds of millennials under one roof. More here.
The Colombian hit man who became a YouTube star.
Ten extremely precise words for emotions you didn’t even know you had.
How to do visual comedy.
In what may tell you something about San Francisco’s ever-so-slightly cooling housing market, San Francisco’s second most expensive home was just marked down by $3 million. (You have to check out the views.)