Welcome to Ignition Lane's Weekly Wrap, where they break through the noise to bring you their favorite insights from the world of technology and startup.
Ignition Lane works with ambitious business leaders to apply the startup mindset to their technology, product and commercialization problems.
Warning: Invention & Deal Ascension
Unlucky-perfect invention. Nuratrue, the earbuds from Melbourne-based Nura, were named Time Magazine's Best Invention list of 2021. The headphones measure the sounds your cochlea makes in response to different sounds and then apply a custom hearing profile to everything you hear, creating a richer, more detailed experience. A feast for the ears.
Xeros Vertical Rise Xero continues its vertical integration strategy by acquiring LOCATE Inventory for $ 19 million (A $ 29 million – 20% cash and 80% stock) to meet inventory needs better serve small businesses and improve their e-commerce ability. This is the fourth major acquisition in the last year, alongside Tickstar (invoicing), Planday (staff scheduling) and Waddle (cash flow).
Xero reported a net loss of NZ $ 5.9 million for the six months ended September 30, 2021. This is a small deviation from last year's net income of NZD 34 million. However, Xero is investing in growth, and it shows – Annualized Monthly Recurring Revenue (AMRR) rose 29% to NZ $ 1.13 billion.
The European intent of Nitro. Document productivity software company Nitro is acquiring Connective, a Europe-based electronic signature provider, for € 70 million (A $ 110 million). Most of Connective's business is in Belgium and France, where it provides eSign solutions to more than 950 customers who need a high level of trust, security and regulatory compliance. Nitro raises $ 140 million to fund the acquisition and continue its growth plans.
Linktrees Shopping Extension. Linktree launched Shopify Stores with its first partner. With this free integration, Shopify's 2 million merchants can launch a Shopify storefront on their Linktree to showcase their products and services and thus generate more sales.
Pension dispute. Raiz Invest has $ 1 billion in assets under management in Australia. Raiz is aimed at newer investors who have limited funds to start their investment journey (the average balance is nearly $ 3,000). It is also active in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Live footage of the Raiz team lifting the roof on reaching the $ 1 billion milestone
Customer loyalty. Qantas Rewards is kicking off with two novel partnerships: Customers of the Brisbane-based Esignatur startup Annature and the stock trading platform Superhero can collect Qantas points on transactions.
The eSports dimension of Catapult. Sports analysis technology company Catapult is expanding beyond reality into the online world of eSports. It has secured a multi-year contract with Motorsport Games, which develops eSports game series such as NASCAR, Le Mans and Formula E.
The power of celebrity attention. Ashton Kutcher, Kate Hudson, Dr. Dre; More and more celebrities are pushing their way into the startup arena and using their star power to influence buyers and increase their wealth. Main Sequence Ventures believes that our local deep tech startups could benefit from working with influencers and has formed Voice Capital to help them do this. Head Chef Neil Perry (founder of the Rockpool Empire) is the first to sign, and Main Sequence says a "large group of people in Australia, Europe, the US and Asia" is in the pipeline.
Crypto Convention. Another example of celebrity support: Crypto.com launched a TV ad campaign in October starring Matt Damon. Now the crypto wallet fintech is launching in Australia and introducing a Visa card that consumers can use to spend their cryptocurrency in stores.
Metaverse prestressing. Sydney-based studio MYAMI created a digital clothing line with big plans to use an NFT "stingray" jacket (below) to spark a metaverse fashion house. The founder of MYAMI explains: "I think the thing about digital fashion and the NFT space from our point of view is that your digital identity is just as important as your real world."
If NFT discussions confuse you, do not be afraid. You are not alone:
It's like being a farmer trying to learn about marijuana as a future agricultural product from people who can only talk about how tall they are.
-muddletoes (@muddletoes) November 9, 2021
IPO roller coaster
Largest in the country. On Wednesday, Rivian, a Californian startup that manufactures electrical appliances, reached the world's largest IPO on the Nasdaq in 2021 – at over $ 11.9 billion and a market capitalization of nearly $ 70 billion.
Shares rose by up to 40% on the first day of trading. With a market cap of $ 109 billion, Rivian – which is 20% owned by Amazon – is now worth more than Ford ($ 77 billion) and GM ($ 92 billion). A tremendous rating considering the company only shipped 156 pickup trucks this year (almost all of them went to its employees) and the losses at the H1FY21 were nearly $ 1 billion. What can we say "Murrica loves driving huge pickup trucks around town, and the future is green.
GM is now building an electric prototype for the US military based on the Hummer EV.
140 millionaires. Also on the Nasdaq, the expense management platform Expensify IPO, brought in 70.2 million US dollars. The shares rose more than 50% on the first day of trading, bringing their valuation to nearly $ 4 billion. When it was listed, Expensify surprised 140 employees with an equity contribution of 10%, which turns almost all of them into paper millionaires if they work for the company over the long term. This is in stark contrast to Mailchimp, where the founders recently made billions selling to Intuit (after promising never to sell out) while the employees – most of whom have no equity – were left with starvation money.
Booked up. SiteMinder raised $ 627 million in its oversubscribed IPO on Monday and went public on the ASX. The A $ 5.07 IPO made the hotel commerce platform a unicorn with a market capitalization of A $ 1.36 billion. The shares rose more than 50% in the first two days of trading. CEO Sankar Narayan said he was "satisfied with the quality of the investors" who were instrumental in the success of the IPO.
SiteMinder's technology is used by more than 32,000 accommodation providers to manage and optimize availability through various booking channels (e.g. booking.com, Agoda, Airbnb). FY21 ARR was A $ 104.9 million.
Deal fatigue sets in. Compare Club and the booking platform for medical appointments HealthEngine completed their IPOs this week. Why? "Deal fatigue." There is only a limited amount of reserve money in the pockets of institutional investors, and with so many IPOs going on now, not every company is able to attract high quality corner investors. If these investors do not buy some of the stocks, companies run the risk of having too much liquidity in the market, which can result in a volatile stock price. Must make this FOMO.
More on the horizon. However, concerns about the fatigue of the deal don't stop everyone. UK-listed online retailer MySale has announced that it will raise A $ 60 million by Christmas and list it on the ASX. Melbourne-based reward and loyalty solutions provider My Rewards announced that it is raising A $ 5-7 million and plans to trade between A $ 39 million and A $ 41 million on December 17th with a market cap of between A $ 39 million and A $ 41 million.
There is a SPAC for this. Australia's first technology-driven SPAC (Integral 1), listed on Nasdaq last week for $ 115 million ($ 155 million). The team is now looking for a fast growing, high quality local tech company that will transform itself into a unicorn.
Increase the round
Brighte has issued a bond in the amount of 185 million US dollars to help households finance renewable energy hardware:
"This deal also finances the future and offers a platform for further expansion in the field of electrification with our soon to be launched energy offer for the home and the plans for electric vehicles"
Mod.io raised $ 26 million led by Tencent for its software that enables cross-platform user-generated content and creator communities in games.
Una Brands raised $ 20 million to expand its e-commerce branding empire. It has acquired more than 15 brands since its inception and now has a team of 90 in seven offices in Australia, Singapore, India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Assignar raised a $ 16.5 million secondary round led by Tiger Global and SecondQuarter Ventures to provide some liquidity to early investors and the team. Assignar's platform helps construction teams, crews and equipment to plan and improve quality, safety and productivity.
Edstart raised $ 10 million from HEAL Partners and NAB Ventures for its BNPL private school fee offering. Geelong Grammar School is the most expensive school in Australia at $ 42,500 per year for a 12th grade student.
Hindsite raised $ 3.25 million for its micro-training platform and valued the company at $ 18 million. Hindsite makes it easy for qualified people to record videos showing how they practice their craft (e.g. craft) so that the skills can be shared around the world.
Your Food Collective raised $ 1.4 million to expand its supply of fresh, ethical food across Australia.
Asendium raised $ 1.1 million to make life easier for financial planners.
CommBank led a US $ 100 million round in H2O.ai California, that provides a cloud platform to simplify the delivery of machine learning.
Possible Ventures (Chris Hitchen) raised $ 65 million after "identifying gaps in the pre-seed phase" and making many early bets. Potential investments include psychedelic medical research company Psylo, virtual soccer card trading company Sorare, NFT trading company Immutable, and biological experimentation software Mass Dynamics. Hitchen became an angel investor after selling his price comparison site GetPrice to News Corp in 2010.
OneVentures has received the mandate from Vic Gov to manage its $ 30 million Vic Venture Growth Fund from Sydney. Vic Gov also announced a new awards ceremony celebrating the contribution and achievements of Victoria's $ 10.5 billion startup sector. Get a nomination today.
Here is a handy map of fintech investors published by FinTech Australia.
McAfee goes public to private: Take 2. A consortium of six investment firms made an offer last Thursday to buy McAfee for $ 14 billion – a premium of 22.6% on the stock's closing price. The company sold its business to Symphony Technology Group earlier this year for $ 4 billion. McAfee may be decades old (it's 34), but its consumer safety business is still growing – revenue climbs 24% year-over-year to $ 491 million from over 20 million subscribers.
The company has a complex history and began selling firewall software in the 1980s. It eventually went public before being bought and re-privatized by Intel for $ 7.7 billion in 2010. In 2014, the company changed its name to Intel Security, before Intel sold a controlling stake to TPG for $ 4.2 billion in 2017 and changed the name back to McAfee.
Spotify is still planning to expand beyond music. Spotify's music gig just isn't that profitable, so the company has invested hundreds of millions in growing its podcast business over the past two years. Now it's moving to audiobooks and announcing plans to acquire Findaway at an undisclosed price. Founded in 2004, the audiobook service and distribution company connects writers with storytellers and could become a new and valuable source of income for Spotify. Spotify has 381 million monthly active users.
Elon "Market Man (twitter) ipulator" Musk. Elon Musk was back at his insidious tricks that bugged securities regulators this week. The story begins in September when he put in place an automatic plan to sell stocks, including 2012 options that converted with an exercise price of $ 6.24 per share (the price is currently well over $ 1,000). Then, just to have some fun over the weekend, he asked the tweeters to vote yes or no on whether to sell 10% of his Tesla stock to pay taxes. Twitter voted yes (57.9%). Tesla shares collapsed. The September trading plan kicked in and he subsequently sold approximately $ 5 billion worth of shares.
Tesla lost ~ $ 50 billion in market cap today (that's more than Twitter's total market cap) based on a Twitter survey.
– Tanay Jaipuria (@tanayj) November 8, 2021
On to this week's IPO topic: Happy IPO Bday Netflix. How far you've come.
Netflix went public in 2002.
A $ 2,000 investment in the IPO would be worth $ 1 million today. pic.twitter.com/rZYB6HsIAp
– Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) November 10, 2021
That's a wrap! We hope you enjoyed it.
Bex, Gavin and the team at Ignition Lane
View Gav on AusBiz on Monday at 2:00 pm!