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A News Digest on IPO, Startups and Investments

  • 2-3 min read
  • March 01, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (3 votes)

Consumer DNA-testing company 23andMe to go public through a merger with VG Acquisition Corp., a SPAC founded by Richard Branson, at a valuation of $3.5B The agreement values the Silicon Valley company at $3.5 billion, with Chief Executive Officer Anne Wojcicki and Branson each investing $25 million into a $250 million private investment in a public equity offering. Bloomberg News reported news of a potential deal last week. Other investors include Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Altimeter Capital, Casdin Capital, and Foresite Capital. Current shareholders of 23andMe will own 81% of the combined company, with the deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. A merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, allows 23andMe to go public without the uncertainty or holding an initial public offering. Co-founded in 2006 by Wojcicki, 23andMe sells direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits. The company launched with the aim of using genetics to kick start a personalized health-care revolution, with a $1,000 test that could alert customers to potential health risks that quickly ran into regulatory issues that forced it to be pulled from the market. Wojcicki then pivoted to ancestry testing and later re-launched a health-care test after gaining Food and Drug Administration approval. But the once-booming genetic testing business has since slowed as early adopters have thinned out and consumers concerned over privacy have shied away. 23andMe cut jobs last year, as did rival Ancestry.com Inc. Ancestry also last month pulled its own health test from the market and cut more jobs. www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-04/23andme-to-go-public-as-3-5-billion-company-via-branson-merger
Ford Motor Company
The company will increase its investment in autonomous vehicles to ~$7B over 10 years through 2025, $5B of that from 2021 onward, as part of its Ford Mobility efforts. www.theverge.com/2021/2/4/22267195/ford-electric-autonomous-investment-29-billion?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4
Kuaishou’s $5 billion IPO: Everything you need to know about the TikTok rival Tiktok rival Kuaishou, the Chinese short video app company, surges 200% in $5.3 billion Hong Kong debut Ten cornerstone investors led by Capital Group and involving BlackRock and Fidelity invested in the IPO. www.cnbc.com/2021/02/05/kuaishou-ipo-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-tiktok-rival.html
Frontline Ventures
Frontline Ventures Closes New €70 Million Seed Fund For European B2B Startups Frontline, which is based in Dublin and London, backs B2B start-ups and Seed Fund III will invest in Europe-based start-ups with the imminent potential to launch in global markets. The firm has been a regular backer of European start-ups at the early stages, which has yielded some strong returns. Some of its previous exits in Seed Funds I and II include Pointy, which was acquired by Google, and Logentries, acquired by Rapid7. www.forbes.com/sites/jonathankeane/2021/02/05/frontline-ventures-closes-new-70-million-seed-fund-for-european-b2b-startups/?sh=334ca9f4423d
A global payment platform has announced it is going public through a merger with FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: FTOCU), a specialty acquisition firm, or SPAC. Payoneer noted that entering the stock market through a merger is an alternative to the lengthy and expensive IPO procedure. The cost is estimated at $ 3.3 billion. www.payoneer.com/about/media-center/payoneer-to-go-public/


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