Here’s a round-up of the most important deals in venture capital from the past week.
Spotify went public through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. One analyst at Stifel called the music streaming service one of the best value deals on the internet behind Amazon and Netflix. The streaming music service closed its opening week with shares trading at $147.92, a 12 percent drop from its opening share price of $165.90. It has a market capitalization of over $26 billion.
Meituan Dianping, an online provider of on-demand services in China, agreed to acquire bike-sharing service Mobike for $2.7 billion, Reuters reported. Both tech companies are funded by Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent. The deal could help Mobike compete against other bike-sharing services, especially Alibaba-backed Ofo.
Alibaba announced that it will acquire the rest of food delivery and services-booking platform Ele.me for about $5 billion. Ele.me, which roughly translates to “Hungry?” in English, is the top online food ordering platform in China. Ele.me’s early backers included by Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Pluralsight filed confidentially to go public. The company delivers online video training courses to software developers, IT administrators, and creative professionals who need to pick up or maintain tech skills for work.
Impossible Foods raised another $114 million to make a plant-based alternative to ground beef that tastes at least as good as a traditional burger. CEO Patrick O. Brown is a Stanford geneticist who previously started the nonprofit Public Library of Science. Investors in the new round included Sailing Capital and Temasek.
Sir Richard Branson and Tencent co-founder Alvin Liu are among investors in Atlanta-based Bitpay. The company has raised $40 million in a series B round of funding to make it easier to buy or sell things and conduct cross-border transactions using cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.
Founded by former Kiva execs, 6 River Systems raised $25 million in a series B round of funding led by Menlo Ventures, with Norwest Venture Partners, Eclipse Ventures and strategic backers iRobot also in the round. The company’s robot, the “Chuck,” works alongside humans in warehouses and fulfillment centers. It autonomously guides workers to any item they need to pick or pack, minimizing the time they spend searching and walking the aisles.
Siemens venture arm, Next47, is among investors in DeepScale, a developer of “perception software” for self-driving vehicles. DeepScale raised $15 million in a round of funding that also included AutoTech Ventures, Truck Ventures and Steve Cohen’s Point72.
A&E Networks and Google’s Gradient Ventures are among investors pouring $10.5 million into Ubiquity6, a computer vision and augmented reality start-up. Ubiquity6 was founded in 2017 by graduates of Stanford, Metamind, Facebook, Tesla, Twitter and Zynga. Index Ventures led the deal, which also included First Round Capital and Kleiner Perkins.
Dockless bike-sharing companies have attracted big rounds of venture funding in the U.S. and China. Now a Brazilian start-up, Yellow, has locked in a $9 million seed round. Monashees and Grishin Robotics led the investment.
Poly6, a company that makes plastics out of citrus peels, raised $6.5 million from investors including Varkain and Quake Capital. According to the company’s website, CEO Keith Hearon developed Citrene, the company’s bio-based polymer, as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT.
A venture capitalist best known for placing early bets on Hotmail, Tesla and SpaceX, Steve Jurvetson, is starting a new firm called Future Ventures, as Recode first reported. The move comes after Jurvetson was ousted from Silicon Valley firm DFJ in November 2017 amid misconduct allegations. (Jurvetson has vehemently denied those allegations.)