October 02, 2020

Cyndx Insights is your daily window to the business world, focusing primarily 
on M&A activities, capital markets, and important technology trends.

Daily Insights reports and categorizes financial news from
U.S.Europe and Asia for full global insights.

U.S. & Canada

Goldman to Buy GM's Credit Card Unit for $2.5 Billion: WSJ

Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N is buying General Motors Co's GM.N credit card business for about $2.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street bank won the bidding for the deal over Barclays Plc BARC.L, according to the report.

Image: MaxxiGo /

Walmart Sells ASDA to EG-TDR Consortium for $8.8 Billion

Walmart Inc WMT.N has agreed to sell its British supermarket chain Asda to private equity group TDR Capital and the founders of petrol station operator EG Group for 6.8 billion pounds ($8.8 billion), it said on Friday.

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Image: Cineberg /

JPMorgan Teams with SAP to Enhance Morgan Money

JP. Morgan Asset Management’s Morgan Money liquidity management platform is now available to users of the software company SAP’s Treasury Management platform. Morgan Money is leveraging the SAP Cloud Platform, JPMorgan said Wednesday, noting SAP Treasury Management offers customers real-time cash visibility and allows them to improve liquidity and lower risk.

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Cisco Acquires PortShift to Raise its Game in DevOps and Kubernetes Security

Cisco  is making another acquisition to expand its reach in security solutions, this time specifically targeting DevOps and the world of container management. It is acquiring PortShift, an Israeli startup that has built a Kubernetes-native security platform.

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Image: Ken Wolter /

Uber Freight Raises $500M, Valuation Rises to $3.3 Billion

Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N said on Friday New York-based private equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group would invest $500 million in its logistics arm, Uber Freight, valuing the unit at $3.3 billion on a post-money basis.

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Image: Sundry Photography /

Yesterday we highlighted global capital raising volume for the year-to-date period ending September 30, 2020 which was down 7% vs 2019, to $179.5 billion, as reported by Cyndx.

In today's report we take a closer look at Q3-2020, which showed a 5% increase in capital investments, versus Q2, to $60.1 billion. Q3-2020 investments were just 3% shy of Q3-2019 investment volume of $62B.
Late stage funding drew the bulk of the capital, representing $35.9B in Q3, or 60% of capital deployed. This was up 24% versus the previous quarter, and up 13% versus the prior year.

Cyndx provides a comprehensive picture of where the capital is flowing and where key investments are being made, globally.
Request your Q3-2020 Trends Report

Tesla CEO Musk Suggests India Entry in 2021

Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk indicated on Friday that the U.S. electric carmaker will make a foray into India in 2021. “Next year for sure,” Musk said on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

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Image: Jag_cz

The Impact of AI on Healthcare

Healthcare is an obvious sector to deploy AI in. It generates tsunamis of data, vast amounts of money are spent on it, and there are plenty of opportunities to improve the quality of its products and services by making them more intelligent and intelligible.

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Canopy Growth, Acreage Plan U.S. Launch of Cannabis-Infused Beverages in 2021

Canadian pot firm Canopy Growth Corp and Acreage Holdings Inc plan to launch the former's cannabis-infused beverages in the United States next summer, the companies said on Thursday. Acreage expects to launch Canopy’s select, sessionable THC beverages in the summer of 2021 in legal adult-use markets in Illinois and California

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Roblox's User Generated Game Platform Could Go Public at $8 Billion Valuation

Roblox has seen its users go through the roof in recent years. CNBC said Roblox is working with investment banks to prepare for going public on the U.S. stock market a valuation that could hit $8 billion. The company most recently raised $150 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz.

Image: courtesy of Roblox

Why B2B Fintechs Are Ready for Prime Time

Until now, consumer fintech has been all the rage, but recent funding rounds and exits including Plaid’s US$5.3 billion sale to Visa, Social Finance (SoFi)’s US$1.2 billion acquisition of Galileo, and nCino’s initial public offering (IPO), might very well indicate that 2020 will be the year of B2B fintech, according to Patricia Kemp, co-founder and managing partner at venture growth equity fund Oak HC/FT.

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Why the Pandemic is a 'Black Swan' That Will Spur Payments M&A

The mergers and acquisitions, the deal-making, the funding and IPOs among payments players may be just getting started. In an interview with Karen Webster, Jim McCarthy, president at i2c, said that a great digital shift will spur tie-ups of all sorts — from partnerships to outright buyouts — as incumbents seek to move quickly to modernize their tech stacks.

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U.S. Funding & Capital Raising Round Up

The following capital raises were reported yesterday and this morning:

Pitstop, an automotive predictive maintenance platform, today announced a Series A round of funding led by Sensata Technologies. The amount of the Series A funding is undisclosed.
Macrometa, which enables web and cloud native developers to build and run applications across a network of global clouds and data centers, closed on a $7 million seed round of funding. The new round was led by DNX Ventures.
ScriptDrop, a Medication access startup which the largest prescription delivery platform in the U.S. closed on an oversubscribed $15 million round of Series A funding led by the Ohio Innovation Fund.
Pixie, which provides developers with tools to get observability into their Kubernetes-native applications, today announced that it has raised a $9.15 million Series A round led by Benchmark, with participation from GV.
Braintrust, a network for freelance technical and design talent that launched over the summer, is announcing it has raised $18 million in new funding, led by ACME and Blockchange, with participation from new investors Pantera, Multicoin and Variant.
Virdee, an Austin, Texas-based SaaS company serving the lodging and commercial real estate industries, closed a $2M seed funding round. The round was led by a group of strategic investors, including former La Quinta president, Rajiv Trivedi.
Altinity, the commercial company behind the open source ClickHouse data warehouse announced a $4 million seed round from Accel along with a new cloud service. Altinity.Cloud.
Jüsto, the Mexico City on-demand, online only grocery store has added another $5 million in early stage funding. The new money came from Bimbo Ventures and Sweet Capital,
Coiled, a San Francisco, CA-based solution for scaling data science, machine learning, and AI in Python, raised $5m in seed funding. The round was co-led by Costanoa Ventures and IA Ventures.
Macrometa, a Palo Alto-based that provides edge computing infrastructure for app developers, announced today it has closed a $7 million seed round. The funding was led by DNX Ventures.
Flame Biosciences, a NYC-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing antibodies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases, completed a $100m common stock financing. The round was led by Rock Springs Capital., a Cambridge, MA-based modern API infrastructure company delivering application networking from the edge to service mesh, raised $23m in Series B financing. The round was co-led by prior investors Redpoint Ventures and True Ventures.
Tend, a new dentistry startup hoping to reduce the fear of going to the dentist, announced that it raised a $37 million Series B round. GV led the round alongside investors Tiger Global and Good Friends.
Bullpen Capital, a now 10-year-old, venture fund in San Francisco that focuses on what it calls post-seed investing, just closed its fifth fund with $130 million in capital commitments.
Scener has raised $2.1 million for its co-watching virtual theater platform, which lets people watch movies together remotely.  SeaChange led the funding round.
Lucid Scientific, the biotechnology tools company that develops and manufactures RESIPHER, announced the completion of a $3 million Series Seed financing led by Dynamk Capital.
Olema Oncology, a San Francisco, CA-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted therapies for women’s cancers, closed an $85m Series C financing, led by Vivo Capital.
Alucent Biomedical, a medical technology company founded to transform the way vascular disease is treated, today closed its $35 million Series B round led by a large multinational strategic investor and joined by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures.
Payrix, a Frisco, Texas-based embedded fintech company, extended its Series A financing to over $50m. The round was led by Blue Star Innovation Partners and Providence Strategic Growth.
Eclypsium®, the enterprise device security company, announced today it has raised $13 million in new funding in an oversubscribed round, from new investors AV8 Ventures, TransLink Capital, Mindset Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and Ridgeline Partners.
Pacaso a company that creates a more accessible category of second home ownership. Chairman is Zillow co-founder and former CEO Spencer Rascoff, raised $17 million in Series A funding, with Maveron leading the round. It also secured $250 million in debt financing.
Dyad Medical, a groundbreaking medical image analysis platform delivering cloud-based artificial intelligence analysis, announced the closing of its oversubscribed Series Seed funding round of more than $3.5MM, led by The Unofficial Syndicate.
Dedrone, the global market and technology startup in airspace security which protects organizations from malicious drones announced it has secured $12.1m in funding. The company is backed by investors including Felicis Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and others.
GeoSpock, a Cambridge, UK-based data analysis company, raised $5.4m in funding. The round, which brought the total the company has raised to date to over $32m, was led by nChain and Cambridge Innovation Capital.

U.S. & Canada
Deals of the 
Day: M&A and Strategic Investments

TopBuild (NYSE:BLDacquired Garland Insulating, locally owned and operated insulation companies in Texas and Colorado; Garland generated ~$60M in revenue for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2020.
Playboy Enterprises Inc said on Thursday it has agreed to go public by merging with blank-check acquisition company Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp MCAC.O in a deal that values the owner of Playboy magazine at $413 million, including debt.
Imperva, the Cybersecurity giant will acquire jSonar, a database security startup that recently landed $50 million from Goldman Sachs. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Actionstep, a cloud-based legal practice management system founded in New Zealand and with a significant presence in the U.S., announced an investment from Serent Capital.
Hims Inc, the online prescription drug company said on Thursday it had agreed to go public by merging with Oaktree Acquisition Corp OAC.N in a deal that values the start-up at $1.6 billion.
Phenom, an Ambler, Pa.-based global leader in Talent Experience Management (TXM), acquired My Ally, an AI-based HR technology company. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
CONX Corp, a blank-check company led by billionaire Charles Ergen, is looking to raise around $1 billion in an initial public offering, it said on Wednesday.
Netwrix, a cybersecurity vendor that makes data security easy, announced that TA Associates has completed a majority investment in the company.
Trian Fund Management LP, the Activist investment firm has taken a 9.9% stake each in asset management firms Invesco Ltd IVZ.N and Janus Henderson Group Plc JHG.N, totaling about $900 million.
Enhanced Healthcare Partners, a healthcare-focused private equity firm announced its investment in NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals, a provider of integrated healthcare for patients with acute psychiatric and neurological disorders.
ParaFi Capital, a San Francisco, CA-based decentralized finance and blockchain investor, received a strategic investment from an affiliate of Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. (TSX: GLXY). The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

CyndInternational News - Europe & Asia

SAP to Acquire Cloud-Based Marketing Company Emarsys

Business software group SAP said on Thursday it would acquire Emarsys, a cloud-based marketing platform, in a deal that will round out companies’ ability to tailor communication with customers across all online channels.

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Image: Cineberg /

Big Oil's $110 Billion Asset Sale Target Could Prove Big Ask

Leading energy companies are hoping to sell dozens of oil and gas fields and refineries worth more than $110 billion to curb both their ballooning debt and their carbon footprints. But with the outlook for oil and gas prices uncertain because of the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to cleaner energy, finding buyers and striking deals might prove tricky.

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Image: Krunja /

Europe Lags a Resurgent Global IPO Market

The amount raised by European companies listing on the stock market fell by a third in the first nine months of the year, in contrast with Asia and the United States where an abundance of technology companies benefitted from the COVID-19 crisis. Initial Public Offerings had raised $122 billion globally by the end of the third quarter, the most in two years, as central bank stimulus measures and low interest rates led to a generally hearty appetite for equities.

Image: AnotherPerfectDay /

Beyond Meat Partners with Supermarket Sainsbury to Boost UK Presence

Beyond Meat BYND.O said on Thursday it has rolled out its plant-based meat burger in 372 Sainsbury stores SBRY.L and 41 Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurants, in a move to boost its presence in the United Kingdom. Demand for plant-based meat has grown as customers turn increasingly health conscious and concerned about the environmental impact of industrial animal farming.

Image: Sundry Photography /

Amazon Pours Millions Into India Unit

Amazon recently injected $152 million into its Amazon Seller Services unit in India, according to regulatory filings cited by numerous new outlets in India including Live Mint. Amazon Seller Services is a part of the eCommerce giant that helps businesses use Amazon to sell goods. The cash infusion comes as the country prepares for its busy festival season.

Image: fotosunny /

Big Banks Invest in BioCatch

Barclays, Citi, HSBC and National Australia Bank have invested $20 million in Israeli behavioral biometrics company BioCatch, topping up a Series C funding round, alongside long-time investor American Express.

Image:Chris Dorney /

Europe & Asia Funds & Capital Raising Round Up

The following capital raises were reported yesterday and this morning:

QUIN, an investment advisory service, has raised €1 million in seed funding to provide a non-custodian platform empowering people to invest safely and rationally. The round was led by sino AG.
Capify, an online lender to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK and Australia, has scored $10 million in equity funding and secured continued support from Goldman Sachs for its existing credit facilities.
SOPHiA GENETICS, the startup that’s combining machine learning tools for medical imaging and genetic sequencing to come up with a more holistic view of diseases for better patient care, has raised $110 million in new funding. The Series F round for the company was led by aMoon an Israeli healthcare and life sciences investment fund, and HItachi Ventures.
Wise Srl, an Italian medical device company developing next-generation implantable leads for neuromonitoring, neuromodulation and brain-machine interfacing, closed a €15m Series C financing round. New investors, led by CDP Venture Capital SGR, and including Indaco Ventures I Fund and EUREKA! Venture SGR joined existing investors.
Iceye, a Helsinki, Finland-based SAR data provider, closed an $87M Series C funding. The round was led by True Ventures, with a substantial investment from OTB Ventures, Luxembourg Future Fund, Finnish Industry Investment, Draper Esprit, DNX, Draper Associates, Seraphim Space, Promus Ventures and Space Angels.
Ilias Biologics Inc. (previously Cellex Life Sciences, Inc.), a Daejeon, South Korea-based exosome-based therapeutics company, completed a Series B financing round of $20.6m. The initial investors from the Series A round, HB Investment, Timefolio Asset Management, and Daedeok Venture Partners joined this round.
Paired, a new app for couples to support “happier and healthier” relationships, is launching today and disclosing $1 million in funding. Backing the startup, is Taavet Hinrikus of TransferWise, the co-founders of Runtastic, Ed Cooke of Memrise and Bernhard Niesner of Busuu.
Synklino ApS, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based biotech company developing breakthrough treatment to eliminate cytomegalovirus infections in the transplant setting, closed a seed financing round of undisclosed amount. The round was led by Eir Ventures and Vaekstfonden.
Shiok Meats, a Singapore-based cell-based crustacean meat company, raised $12.6M in Series A funding. The round was led by Aqua-Spark.

Europe & Asia
Deals of the 
Day: M&A and Strategic Investments

Castles Technology, one of the top global payment solutions providers, today announced completion of the acquisition of the business and assets of Spire Payments, the European based EFTPOS terminal solutions provider.
Vinci SGEF.PA,France's engineering and infrastructure operator,  made a non-binding offer to Spanish rival ACS ACS.MC for its industrial unit that values the unit at 5.2 billion euros ($6.10 billion), the Spanish firm said on Friday. 
Viridor, the British waste management business owned by U.S. private equity firm KKR, has hired investment bank UBS to sell its waste and recycling subsidiary, two sources told Reuters.
Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Ltd on Friday said it is in "exclusive discussions" regarding a potential transaction involving US investment company Bain Capital.
Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE is drawing up plans to carve out Lamborghini and has sounded out bankers and potential investors about listing the Italian sports car maker on the stock market, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Via today announced that it acquired Fleetonomy for an undisclosed sum. Via says it plans to apply Fleetonomy’s expertise in demand prediction and fleet utilization to support fully integrated, digitally powered logistics solutions.
Korian, the French nursing homes operator said on Thursday it was in exclusive talks to buy psychiatric care firm Inicea from investment company Antin Infrastructure Partners and expand in the mental health sector. A non-binding deal reached values Inicea at 360 million euros ($423 million).
Clipper Logistics Plc is attracting interest from buyout firms as the British company benefits from the rise in online shopping. Cinven is among private equity firms that have been evaluating the Leeds-based company, along with CVC Capital Partners have also in the past looked at the firm.
DCM Holdings 3050.T, a Japanese operator of home supplies centres, said on Friday it was aiming to buy furniture retailer Shimachu Co 8184.Tfor around 164 billion yen ($1.6 billion).
ABB (NYSE:ABB) has acquired Netherlands based Codian Robotics B.V., a provider of delta robots, which are used primarily for high-precision pick and place applications.
Credit Agricole is exploring a possible deal to buy Italy’s third biggest bank, Banco BPM, as a way to scale up its presence in the euro zone’s third biggest economy and take advantage of a consolidating landscape, sources said.

Making the News

The following stories have made financial news:

A wave of risk aversion swept markets on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19 and will isolate, weeks ahead of the elections..
Controversy over the UK’s new Internal Market Bill has thrown the tortuous Brexit process into a fresh crisis while disagreements over corporate subsidies, fisheries and ways to solve disputes are overshadowing parallel trade negotiations.
Virgin Media has launched a new entertainment platform which it claims is its most advanced and innovative TV service ever. Virgin TV 360 includes features such as voice search and control, a new user interface and third party video apps like Netflix and YouTube.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced the formal return of his son, Brett, to Icahn Enterprises IEP.O on Thursday, laying the groundwork for a handover of control at one of the world's most successful activist investment firms.

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