With North Korea in the news, we thought it’d be interesting to see if we had any North Korean companies in our database. The answer is no, 🙁
But that may change. It seems the supreme leader Kim Jong-un has caught the Silicon Valley bug just like everyone else. Kim wants to crush it and turn Pyongyang into the next Palo Alto. Though it seems they don’t quite get the whole 0 to 1 thing over there yet:
But enough about enemies. We’ve also recently looked at how Masayoshi Son, the Trump amigo and CEO of the Japanese tech giant SoftBank, has already been investing in US startups. In a meeting with the President in December, Son pledged to invest $50B in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs.
$15.3B: This week, Intel announced its acquisition of publicly-traded Mobileye — maker of driver assistance tech — for a reported $15.3B. The Israeli company had its IPO in 2014, with previous investors including Fidelity Investments, Sailing Capital, and Wellington Management. Earlier this year, Intel invested in two other automotive technology startups Xevo and Peloton — the latter ranks as receiving one of the top deals in auto tech since 2016. This past January, Intel also took a corporate minority stake in location and mapping platform HERE Maps.
65%: Cybersecurity unicorn Okta filed to go public this past Monday and is looking to raise $100M in the offering. The company disclosed its 65% increase in revenue, from $41M in 2015 to $85.9M in fiscal 2016. Along with this growth, Okta revealed it incurred net losses of $59.1M in 2015 and $76.3M in 2016. Okta is one of the most well-funded and highest-valued cybersecurity companies in the private market.
1.5 million: The number of Nintendo Switch consoles Nintendo has sold worldwide during the first week of sale. 500,000 consoles were sold in the US, 360,000 in Japan, and 85,000 in the UK, according to this report. This compares to 915,000 Playstation VR headsets sold by Sony roughly four months after it went on sale.
$50M to $75M: Jet.com, owned by Walmart, acquired online fashion retailer ModCloth for a price between $50M and $75M. That was a down exit and not a great outcome for the company and its backers, since ModCloth had raised $75M in financing from VCs and other investors. One of 40+ venture-backed fashion startups we identified, Modcloth had previously raised a downround in June 2015. Jet.com’s acquisition of the e-commerce company comes less than a year after Jet.com was acquired by Walmart for $3.3B, one of the fastest $1B+ exits for a VC-backed company.
48M: Roblox, an online gaming platform for kids, says that a majority of its 48 million monthly active users are between the ages of 6 and 16. The company raised $92M in Series C funding from Index Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners. Roblox caters to a younger audience and is less complex than game engine unicorn Unity Technologies, seen on our Unicorn Tracker.
$1.6M: Baker, a customer engagement and marketing automation platform for cannabis dispensaries, raised a second $1.6M tranche of seed funding. Investors in the round included Base Ventures, XG Ventures, and Poseidon Asset Management. Baker joins a host of other companies on our market map of cannabis startups.
10-15: This week, Brazil-based online sporting goods retailer Netshoesfiled to go public and is looking to raise up to $100M in the offering. This move comes after a three-year drought in which there were only three IPOs total in Brazil. But the country might be seeing an uptick in activity; car rental service Movida went public in February along with airline company Azul, and financial services firm XP Investimentos plans to go public in July. Global head of investment banking at Itaú BBA Roderick Greenlees estimates that 10 to 15 IPOs could be held in Brazil this year, despite uncertainty over the country’s economy.