A portfolio company of ClearVue Partners’ Ying is set to go public
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 10, 2021
Hasson and Spear’s FIGS files to go public
A medical apparel company founded by Heather Hasson and Trina Spear has filed to go public. FIGS, which Heather and Trina started in 2013, is seeking to raise $100 million and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FIGS.
Based in Santa Monica, Calif., FIGS was acquired in February 2018 for $65 million by Tulco, whose and founder and CEO is Thomas Tull. FIGS prior to that point had been backed by such investors as Mohr Davidow Ventures and Campfire Capital. FIGS reported $318 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2021. Heather and Trina served as co-CEOs.
A company co-founded by Dr. Belinda Tan is set to go public. Science 37, which provides “site-less” clinical trials using telemedicine, has agreed to merge with LifeSci Acquisition II, a special purpose acquisition company. Once the merger is complete, Science 37 will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol SNCE. The transaction values the Los Angeles company at $1.05 billion and will provide it with up to $250 million in capital.
Belinda founded Science 37 with Dr. Noah Craft. She served as chief medical officer until 2019. Belinda is now co-founder and co-CEO of People Science. A physician-scientist, she is board certified as both a dermatologist and a dermatopathologist.
Los Angeles-based Science 37 has sought to provide a means for biopharma and medical device companies to more quickly enroll people in clinical trials. Science 37 raised more than $140 million in venture funding from such firms as Lux Capital, Redmile Group, PPD, Sanofi, Novartis, LifeSci Venture Partners, GV, Amgen, Glenn Capital and Mubadala.
A portfolio company of ClearVue Partners’ Ying agrees to merge with a SPAC
In late March, ClearVue Partners’ Kathleen Ying led her firm into Plus, a provider of self-driving truck technology. Now the Cupertino, Calif. company is set to go public. Plus has agreed to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V. Once the deal is complete, Plus will receive approximately $500 million in gross proceeds and have a valuation of approximately $3.3 billion. It will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PLAYV. The company has raised more than $800 million from investors, including the $220 million round that ClearVue and FountainVest co-led earlier this year. Others who have invested in Plus include Sequoia Capital China, SAIC Capital, GSR Ventures, Manbang Group, Quanta Computer, Inc., Phi Zoyi Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, and Full Truck Alliance.
Plus is in the final stages of certifying its autonomous driving solution for commercial operation in China. Mass production of automated trucks jointly developed with FAW, the world’s largest heavy truck maker, is set to start this summer.
Kathleen, a partner with the private equity firm, has also invested in Ping An Good Doctor, Uxin, Changing Edu, Akasakatei, Intercos and Yao Wang. Kathleen joined ClearVue in 2013 from Far East Horizon.
Chapman named chief business officer of a SPAC that has filed to go public
Former venture capitalist Rowan Chapman is part of the leadership team of a special purpose acquisition company that has filed to go public. Dynamics Special Purpose Corp. is seeking to raise $200 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol DYNS. Once public, it would look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring that company public. The SPAC will focus on the biotech sector.
Rowan is serving as Dynamics Special Purpose’s chief business officer. She most recently was head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation for Western North American, Australia and New Zealand. She has also held various roles at General Electric Co., including head of health care investing at GE Ventures, the company’s venture arm. Rowan also spent more than 11 years as a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures.
The executive chair of the SPAC is Omid Farokhzad, who is the co-founder, chair and CEO of Seer, which went public last year. The CEO of Dynamics Special Purpose is Mostafsa Ronaghi, who previously served as CTO of Illumina and was a co-founder of GRAIL, which was acquired by Illumina in 2020.
A portfolio company of Domain Associates’ Kamdar and F-Prime’s Alston files to go public
Singular Genomics Systems, a portfolio company of Domain Associates’ Kim Kamdar and F-Prime’s Jessica Alston, files to go public. The La Jolla, Calif. company is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol OMIC.
Founded in 2016, Singular Genomics is developing next generation sequencing and multiomics technologies. It is looking to launch one of its integrated solutions by the end of this year.
Deerfield Management Co. is the largest shareholder with 11.7 percent prior to the offering. Domain owns 8.43 percent while F-Prime’s ownership stake was not disclosed.
Kim has served on Singular Genomics’ board since 2017. She is a partner with Domain, but also last year joined Adjuvant Capital as a partner. She serves on the boards of Epic Sciences; Truvian Sciences, Inc.; Alume Biosciences; Sera Prognostics; Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., which was co-founded by Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson; and two publicly traded companies, Evofem Biosciences and Obalon Therapeutics.
Jessica, a principal with F-Prime, helped lead the firm into Atalanta Therapeutics, which is developing new treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases. It was co-founded by Anastasia Khvorova and is led by Alicia Secor. Jessica’s portfolio also includes Beam Therapeutics, BioPalette, LunaDNA, Menlo Therapeutics, NFlection Therapeutics, Nocion Therapeutics, Tempest Therapeutics and Verve Therapeutics. She joined Prime in 2016 after being an engagement manager with McKinsey & Co.
F-Prime Capital has more than $2 billion under management and a portfolio of more than 200 companies. It is based in Cambridge, Mass., and has offices in London and San Francisco.
Zhang’s Soulgate files to go public
A Chinese gamified social networking app founded and led by Lu Zhang has filed to go public. Soulgate is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol SSR.
Based in Shanghai, Soulgate has created a virtual universe that enables users to create a new identity to share, explore and connect with other users. The company generated $104 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31.
Prior to founding Soulgate, Lu was CEO of Innext China. In addition to Lu, Soulgate’s board also includes Sabine Yu Wu, who is general manager of the strategy & development department at Tencent, and Lili Xu, who is chief financial officer of ClouDr.
A portfolio company of 11.2 Capital’s Zhuang is set to go public through a merger with a SPAC
For the second time this year, a portfolio company of 11.2 Capital’s founder, Shelley Zhuang, is poised to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company – this time it’s a company co-founded by Reshma Shetty. Ginkgo Bioworks has agreed to combine with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. in a deal that would value Ginkgo at $17.5 billion and provide it with $2.5 billion in proceeds.
A Boston-based developer of microorganisms, Ginkgo generated $150 million in revenue in 2020. It has raised nearly $2 billion in private funding from a group that includes Illumina, Cascade Investment, In-Q-Tel, DCVC, Baillie Gifford, Viking Global and General Atlantic, which was originally brought into the company by Dr. Michelle Dipp. Michelle left General Atlantic in 2019 and co-founded Biospring Partners.
Earlier this year, another of Shelley’s companies, Aeva Technologies, Inc., went public through a merger with InterPrivate Acquisition Corp. and is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shelley in 2020 had two other companies she backed acquired. White Ops was purchased by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in partnership with ClearSky Security and NightDragon, and CryptoNumerics, which was co-founded by Monica Holboke, was acquired by Snowflake.
Acrew Capital’s Singh Cassidy is CEO of a SPAC that has filed to go public
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, a venture partner with Acrew Capital’s Diversity Capital Fund, is CEO of a special purpose acquisition company that has filed to go public – a company whose board includes Acrew founder Theresia Gouw and Ulu Ventures’ Miriam Rivera. LTV Capital Partners is seeking to raise $215 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol LTVAU. Once public, the SPAC will look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring that company public. It will target businesses with high-growth, tech-enabled platforms.
Sukhinder’s background includes serving as president of StubHub, CEO of Joyus and holding executive and managerial roles at Google, Amazon, Polyvore, Inc., Accel Partners, Yodlee.com, News Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Similarweb goes public and trades on the New York Stock Exchange
Similarweb, whose board includes ION Crossover Partners’ Gili Iohan, goes public. An Israeli web analytics provider, Similarweb raised $176 million by offering 8 million shares at $22 a share. It is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SMWB.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Similarweb produces digital intelligence that enables customers to identify trends, competition and business opportunities. In 2020, it had sales of $93 million. ION is one of the company’s major shareholders along with Anglo-Peacock Nominees Limited, Viola Group and NNV Holdings.
Gili, a general partner with ION, has been on Similarweb’s board since October 2020. She recently joined the board of Aqua Security after ION led the cloud-native security company’s $135 million Series E round. Gili is also on the boards of Fiverr International, Ltd., which went public in 2019; and Varonis Systems, which is also publicly traded. She was CFO of Varonis prior to joining ION in 2018.
Apax Partners Israel’s Choen has a portfolio company go public
Zehavit Cohen, managing director of Apax Partners Israel, Ltd., has a portfolio company go public. Global E-Online raised $375 million by offering 15 million shares at $25 a share. It is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol GLBE.
Based in Petah, Tikva, Israel, Global E-Online has created a platform aimed at enabling and accelerating global direct-to-consumer cross-border e-commerce. The platform enables international shoppers to buy seamlessly online and for merchants to sell from and to, anywhere in the world. Global E-Online has more than 400 merchants on its platforms. It generated $136 million in revenue in 2020. Global E-Online, according to Crunchbase, raised a total of $100 million from a group which in addition to Apax Partners Israel includes Red Dot Capital Partners and Vitruvian Partners.
Zehavit has been a member of Global E-Online’s board since April 2018. She, however, stepped off the board after the offering. Zehavit has led Apax Partners Israel since 2006. She is on the boards of such firm portfolio companies as Attenti, Go Global Travel, Max Stock, Ltd., Ramet Trom, Ten and Zap Group, Ltd.
Aoukar’s Bracket Capital and Greycroft’s Settle have a portfolio company set to go public through a merger with a SPAC
Bracket Capital, which was co-founded by Yalda Aoukar, and Greycroft’s Dana Settle have a portfolio company that is prepared to fly onto the New York Stock Exchange. Bird Rides, Inc., an electric scooter provider, will go public through a merger with Switchback II Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. The deal values Bird at $2.3 billion and will provide it with $428 million of cash.
Based in Los Angeles, Bird features a fleet of shared electric scooters that can be accessed via smartphone. The company touts its service as a way for individuals to take short journeys but not add to traffic or pollution. Bird was founded by Travis VanderZanden, a former executive at Uber and Lyft.
Bird raised nearly $1 billion in venture funding. Other investors in the company include Sequoia Capital, Accel, B Capital, CRV, Sound Ventures, e.ventures, Craft Ventures, Index Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Goldcrest, Tusk Ventures and Upfront Ventures. All of the company’s existing investors will roll their capital into the new deal and own approximately 82 percent of Bird after it becomes public. Bracket recently joined Sequoia and Valor in leading Bird’s $208 million financing.
Earlier this year, Bracket raised a total of $450 million in new capital. Bracket focuses on growth and later-stage technology-enabled companies. It looks to invest in private companies through primary funding rounds and secondary market purchases from employees and early investors seeking liquidity. The firm’s inaugural funds invested approximately $200 million in such companies as SpaceX, Airbnb, Clover Health, Palantir, Coinbase, SoFi, eToro, Reddit, Impossible Foods, Clutter and Hive.
Dana brought Greycroft into Bird’s $300 million Series C round in 2018. Earlier this year, another of Dana’s portfolio companies, Bumble, went public. Whitney Wolfe Herd is the dating app’s founder and CEO. Additionally, a special purpose acquisition company that Dana chairs went public in 2020. Also this year, she backed Pacaso, which is democratizing second home ownership. Dana helped found Greycroft and heads its West Coast office. She has backed such other companies as Acorns, ANINE BING, Avaline, Goop, Happiest Baby, Merit, Prima, Scopely, Seed, Thrive Market, Versed and The RealReal, which is now publicly traded and is led by Julie Wainwright. Dana is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and spoke at this year’s Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit event. Greycroft announced in October that it closed two new funds totaling $678 million.