Welcome to the investing wars

Welcome to the investing wars

Originally posted on Fortune.

Sequoia Capital may be a major investor in Robinhood, but it doesn’t think stock-picking will take over all of investing.

In a bet consumers won’t put all their investing dollars into robo-advisors and stock-picking apps, the venture capital firm is leading a $45 million Series B round in Vise, a startup seeking to automate time-consuming tasks for independent investment advisors while shaping individualized portfolios for their clients with the help of A.I. Since Vise’s revenue comes from the assets it helps advisors manage, it does appear to indirectly compete with companies like Robinhood for the same investing dollars.

But Sequoia Partner Ravi Gupta says he believes the pie is big enough that all these companies can co-exist together. “We don’t see Robinhood as a competitor—we think Robinhood is thriving and will continue to thrive,” says Gupta to Term Sheet, adding customers of investment advisors tend to skew older while Robinhood’s users tend to be millennials. As a result of the deal, Sequoia will hold two board seats within the company. That’s not to forget: The company was founded in 2016, when the duo were just teenagers. Read more.

Other investors also seem to think there is more space for even more direct competition too. As soaring stock markets and boredom have taken over the psyches of those locked in at home, would-be Robinhood challengers are also taking advantage of the times.

Public, a stock-trading app that is directly competing with Robinhood, has raised $65 million in Series C funding with Accel leading the round. Seeking to differentiate itself with a social element in which users can share their stock picks, the company has signed on prominent folks in media, including Scott Galloway, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and The Chainsmokers band member Alex Pall. That comes amid a story that Robinhood is losing traders to another platform, WeBull.

The question for Public: Will it have a place in a world dominated by Robinhood? In theory, the social element makes a lot of sense to me. Stock trading is an insanely social activity. Retail traders are aggressively loud on Twitter and Reddit where they both fight and discuss each other’s investments. And unlike on Venmo where few want to broadcast their dinner payments, investors like to broadcast when they win, and even sometimes when they lose. Social media is a great place for celebration and commiseration, and stock trading can be a massive cause for both.

But the reality is, Robinhood still stands far above its competitors and stock pickers are still gravitating to the existing social platforms to air their successes and grievances. If Public maintains its strategy for getting to the top, it won’t just be about acting like a TDAmeritrade or a better stock-picking app, but also as a better social-media platform too. Read more.

IPO LAND: We may not see the IPOs of Affirm or Roblox before year end, but do keep an eye out for Wish, the e-commerce platform that sells bargain goods primarily sourced from China. The company is set to price its IPO today, after indicating that it plans to raise about $1.1 billion.

VENTURE DEALS

– Zenoti, a Bellevue, Wash.-based management platform for the beauty and wellness industry, raised $160 million in Series D funding, valuing it at over $1 billion. Advent International led the round and was joined by investors including Tiger Global and Steadview Partners.

– Xsight Labs, an Israeli fabless semiconductor company, says it has raised $116 million to date from investors including Intel Capital, Microsoft M12, Xilinx, Battery Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, and Atreides Management and others.

– ClickUp, a San Diego-based project management software maker, raised $100 million in Series B funding. Georgian led the round and was joined by investors including Craft Ventures

– Locanabio, a San Diego, Calif.-based gene therapy company focused on severe neurodegenerative, neuromuscular, and retinal diseases, raised $100 million in Series B funding. Vida Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including RA Capital Management, Invus, Acuta Capital Partners, SVB LeerinkARCH Venture Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, UCB Ventures and GV.

– Uhnder, an Austin-based maker of a radar chip for vehicles, raised $45 million in Series C funding. Sensata Technologies led the round.

– Self Financialan Austin-based credit building startup, raised $40 million in Series D funding. Meritech Capital led the round.

– Well Dot, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based health guide company, raised $26 million in Series A funding. Investors included General Catalyst, John Doerr, Mosaic Health Solutions, and partners of Hellman & Friedman.

– Noname Security, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based enterprise API security company, raised $25 million in funding from Lightspeed, Insight Partners and Cyberstarts

– Arya, an India-based agritech startup focused on post-harvest services for farmers, raised $21M in Series B funding. Quona Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Omnivore and LGT Lightstone Aspada.

– Taxdoo, a Germany-based automated platform for financial compliance in e-commerce, raised $21 million (€17 million) in Series A funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including Visionaries Club, 20VC and existing investor HTGF. 

– Aware, a Columbus, Oh.-based compliance and governance monitoring company, raised $12 million in Series B funding. Spring Mountain Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Blue Heron Capital, Allos Venture,  Draper Triangle Ventures, Ohio Innovation Fund, JumpStart, Rev1 Ventures, and JobsOhio.

– Workit Health, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based virtual substance use disorder care provider, raised $12 million. FirstMark Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Lux Capital, GingerBread Capital, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Venture Partners as well as actor Rob Lowe. Read more.

– LogicGate, a Chicago-based provider of cloud software solutions for automating governance, risk, and compliance, raised $8.8 million in funding. Investors included Greenspring Associates and Silicon Valley Bank. 

– Metaphor Data, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based search platform for data scientists, raised $5.3 million in seed funding. Amplify Partners and Andreessen Horowitz led the round.

– Tonic, a San Francisco-based maker of synthetic data for testing, raised $8 million in Series A funding. GGV Capital led the round and was joined by Bloomberg Beta, Xfund, Heavybit, and Silicon Valley CISO Investments.

– The Routing Company, a Boston-based startup building routing and vehicle management solutions for transit providers,raised $5 million in a seed round led by The Engine.

– Whirli, a London-based toy subscription service, raised a £4 million ($5.3 million) in seed funding. Octopus Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including MMC Ventures.

– Mozper, a Mexico-based maker of a debit card and app for children, raised $3.6 million in seed funding. Hetz Ventures led the round and was joined by F-Prime Capital, Foundation Capital, Secocha VenturesDux Capital, and John FarrellRead more.

– Sesh, a San Francisco-based mental health company, raised $3 million in seed funding. Polaris Partners led the round.

– Joro, an Oakland, Calif.-based maker of an app for tracking climate impact, has raised $2.5 million in Seed funding. Sequoia Capital led the round. Read more

– Hashnode, a London-based blogging platform, raised $2.1 million in funding. Sequoia Capital India’s Surge led the round and was joined by investors including Naval Ravikant, Ritesh Arora and Nakul Aggarwal (founders of BrowserStack) as well as Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur (founders at Razorpay).

– Recycleye, a U.K.-based startup seeking to automate waste sorting, raised £1.2 million in seed funding. MMC Ventures and Playfair Capital led the round.

PRIVATE EQUITY

– EQT has agreed to acquire Recipharm, a Swedish pharmaceuticals company, for $2.1 billion.

– Apollo Global Management and Hudson Executive Capital agreed to acquire Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM), a Houston-based ATM owner and operator, valuing the company at $2.3 billion, including net debt.

– Artlist, backed by KKR and Elephant Partners, acquired Motion Array, a Decatur, Ga.-based marketplace for stock media and videos, for $65 million. 

– Ebb Therapeutics, backed by KKR, will merge with Kryo, the parent company of sleep technology brand ChiliSleep. KKR will also lead a $37 million investment in the business.

– A group including Apollo Global Management  and Blackstone Group are in talks to acquire Wells Fargo’s student loan portfolio, per Bloomberg citing sources. Read more.

– FORM.com, backed by Diversis Capital, acquired GoSpotCheck, a Denver, Colo.-based provider of image recognition software. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Kingswood Capital Management agreed to acquire Cost Plus World Market, an Alameda, Calif.-based home goods retailer, from Bed Bath & Beyond. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Genius Sports Group, backed by Apax, agreed to acquire Sportzcast, a Winter Springs, Fla.-based maker of sports scoreboard data distribution systems. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Phone2Action, backed by Frontier Capital, acquired KnowWho, a Lorton, Va.-based directory of public officials and influencers. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– TA Associates invested in The Benecon Group, a Pennsylvania-based developer and manager of self-funded medical benefit programs. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Thompson Street Capital Partners invested in WeVideo, a Mountainview, Calif.-based collaborative video creation platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

EXITS

– Groupe Bruxelles Lambert agreed to acquire a majority stake in Canyon Bicycles GmbH, a bike maker, from TSG Consumer Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Reddit agreed to acquire Dubsmash, a New York-based short form video startup backed by investors including Index Ventures. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

– Reddit agreed to acquire Dubsmash, a New York-based short form video startup backed by investors including Index Ventures. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

OTHER

– Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) agreed to acquire TCF Financial Corp (Nasdaq: TCF), a Detroit-based regional bank, for $6 billion in stock.

– Murphy USA plans to acquire QuickChek, a convenience stores operator in New York and New Jersey, for $645 million in cash. Read more.

IPO

– 908 Devices, a Boston-based provider of mass spectrometry devices, plans to raise $100 million in an offering of 6.3 million shares priced between $15 to $17. Arch Venture Partners backs the firm. Read more.

SPAC

– Marquee Raine Acquisition, a SPAC formed by the Raine Group and the Chicago Cubs’ owner, raised $325 million.

– Blade, a New York-based helicopter taxing company, agreed to merge with Experience Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: EXPC), a SPAC sponsored by KSL Capital Partners. Investors in the PIPE include affiliates of KSL Capital Partners, Hedosophia, HG Vora Capital Management, and David Geffen. The deal values Blade at about $825 million.

F+FS

– Imaginary Ventures raised $160 million for its second fund.