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Class of 2020 Unicorns

Class of 2020 Unicorns
June 26, 2020

The public market has rebounded since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. Exuberant sentiment is slowly coming back as central banks and governments take measures to cushion the blow and save the economy. The MSCI World index is down only 9% since Wuhan entered into lockdown on January 23rd, 2020.

The high valuations in the public market are also spilling over into the private market, with 2020 already minting many new unicorns. The high valuations have also revived a type of financial engineering called SPACs. A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company (aka a “blank-check company” or a "corporate shell)", sponsored by a well-known investor, that goes public and raises money from investors with a plan to find a private company into which to merge. The merger effectively takes the target company public, without an initial public offering; the SPAC effectively transforms into the target company. Investors who buy into the SPAC in its initial public offering are effectively buying the target company’s IPO in advance, without knowing what the target company is, or what the ultimate price will be. (If they don’t like the target, though, they can get their money back before the merger closes.)

Recently, the SPAC structure has caught the attention of high profile activist investor Bill Ackman. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP filed a prospectus for its own SPAC, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., explicitly designed to find a big tech unicorn.

With SPAC vehicles providing a valuation floor for high growth companies in need of capital, many see an uptick in unicorns joining the class of 2020.


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Class of 2020 Unicorns:

Vast Data, a company developing large-scale flash storage solutions, announced in April that it raised $100M at a $1.2B valuation (up three times since February 2019). It has high profile customers like the National Institutes of Health, Squarepoint, Ginkgo Bioworks, General Dynamics, Zebra Medical Vision, Square Point, Harvard Medical School, and “Oscar-winning content creators” across four continents. They’re using Vast’s technology to bolster AI and machine learning workloads, as well as to conduct life sciences and quantitative trading research.

Netskope is an American software company providing a computer-security platform. The platform offers cloud-native solutions to businesses for data protection and defense against threats in cloud applications, cloud infrastructure, and the web. Netskope’s Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) product has been recognized by Gartner as a leader in its field. As of February 2020, the company is valued at almost $3B – a tripling of its valuation over a period of 15 months. Overall, Netskope has experienced an average of 80% year-over-year growth in the number of customers, which include 25% of Fortune 100 companies.

HighRadius is a fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that leverages AI-based autonomous systems to help companies automate accounts receivable and Treasury processes. The HighRadius® Integrated Receivables platform reduces cycle times in your order-to-cash process through automation of receivables and payments processes across credit, electronic billing and payment processing, cash application, deductions, and collections. In January 2002, it achieved a $1B valuation.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Israeli sports broadcasting startup Pixellot announces that it raised $16M in a Series C investment. The round was led by Shamrock Capital with the participation of Altshuler Shaham, as well as existing investors the Erkin family, and Grupo Globo.

Boston-based Openly, a platform that sells upmarket homeowners insurance through independent agents, says it has closed a $15M Series A investment.

Sonder appears to have broken out of the hospitality slump. As COVID-19 has pushed traditional hotel occupancy rates below 20%, shrunk airline demand by 95%, and all-but obliterated business travel, the short-term apartment rental company has closed a $170M Series E round., a Houston, TX-based cybersecurity software company for organizations to become leaders and experts at managing cyber risk in OT/ICS environments, raises a Series A funding round of undisclosed amount.

Landed, a San Francisco, CA-based residential real estate company, raises $10.5M in a Series A extension funding round.

As COVID-19 cases spread across the globe, Librestream popped up to keep medical professionals safe with its Onsight remote streaming software and Onsight Cube thermal camera that can be added to wearables for remote patient temperature screening. Today, the company announces a $24M funding round to expand Onsight’s footprint while using AI to improve its capabilities.

Austin-based OJO Labs closes on a $62.5M round of funding led by Wafra, the company said Wednesday in a release. OJO Labs, founded in 2015, combines human and machine intelligence to provide personalized property recommendations and insights.

Data set analytics startup SQream Technologies announces it has raised $39.4M. The bulk of the new funds will go toward talent recruitment, product R&D, and enhancing the company’s customer delivery platforms, according to a spokesperson. SQream aims to lower the barrier to big data optimization with better performance, a reduced footprint, and cost savings over its competitors.

Maxar Technologies, a trusted partner and innovator in earth intelligence and space infrastructure, announces its intent to exercise its call option to take full ownership of 3D data and analytics firm Vricon, Inc., for approximately $140M, or approximately $115M net of estimated cash at closing. To fund the transaction, Maxar intends to issue $150M in aggregate principal amount of new senior secured notes. Maxar has also agreed to repurchase $150M in aggregate principal amount of existing notes using the proceeds of the recent sale of its MDA business.

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, announces an agreement to acquire Paladion, a US-based global provider of Managed Security Services, to strengthen its global cybersecurity services. This acquisition will bring Managed Detection & Response (MDR) capabilities to the Atos portfolio and create the next generation of Atos’ Prescriptive Security Operations Center offering.

Allocator, an investment data and technology company, secures a significant amount of growth capital from the leading provider of independent investment research, Morningstar, in exchange for a minority stake in the company.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
4,632 Profiles Updates | 150 M&A Deals166 Funding Activities
    Revenues, EV, EBITDA, and Valuations
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