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Avocado Growers Go Public

Avocado Growers Go Public
September 24 2020

Agricultural is a big business. However, many of the industry giants and public companies are focused on commodity crops and have a highly industrial growing process. 

2020 has brought more attention to health for the consumer and supply chain issues to the producer. Some big players started to lose attractiveness with both the capital market and the consumer. 

Startups and independent farms have fared well in the pandemic. Consumer dispensable income increased due to the stimulus bills, yet outlets to spend that money decreased, which led to a growing allocation in food spending. Startups and independent farms were able to leverage existing relationships with distributors and consumers to avoid product shortage and price increases, protecting the brand equity and image. 

Based on the tailwind, it is not hard to see a rush of IPOs recently of agriculture startups and independent farms. 


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AgTech Startups that Recently IPO'ed or in the Pipeline:

Vital Farms is an ethical food company that is disrupting the U.S. food system. Now the largest pasture-raised egg brand in the U.S.—and one of the food industry’s most anticipated IPOs—Vital Farms delivered: Its shares soared 60%, closing at $35. Even before its public debut, it had to boost its opening stock price, initially planned between $15 to $17, to $22. 

Mission Produce is a world leader in sourcing, producing, and distributing fresh avocados. It serves retail, wholesale, and foodservice customers in over 25 countries. The company owns over 10,000 acres in Peru, of which over 8,300 acres are currently producing primarily avocados. The remaining are greenfields that the company intends to plant and harvest over the next few years. The company has long-standing client relationships, with a majority of its top 10 customers in FY19 have been customers for over 20 years.

Zespri International Limited is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit. Zespri was formed as a co-operative of kiwifruit growers in New Zealand in 1997. Its international headquarters are in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Zespri portfolio of kiwifruit varieties includes SunGold, Green, and Organic.

United Wholesale Mortgage to Go Public Via Merger With Gores SPAC
The biggest wholesale mortgage originator in the U.S. is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company in a deal that will take the lender public at a valuation north of $16 BN, the record for a type of deal that has become all the rage on Wall Street.
[Read more].
Amazon Offers $500 Prime Bike, Encroaching on Peloton’s Turf launched a “Prime Bike” this week, a bid to compete with an array of at-home exercise bikes that have become popular in the pandemic, such as those offered by Peloton Interactive Inc[Read more].
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
9080 Companies | 236 Funding Activities | 66 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

ApplyBoard, the online platform that empowers students around the world to access the best education, today announced it has raised C$70 MM (US$55MM) in Series C extension funding with participation from ETS, Index Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Harmonic Growth Partners, and additional investors. Adding to the C$100MM (US$72MM) in Series C funding closed in March 2020, this extension brings ApplyBoard’s total Series C funding to C$170MM (US$130MM).

Ready, a New Orleans-based on-demand healthcare service that brings medical care directly to patients in their homes, raised $54 MM in funding. Backers included GV, Deerfield Management Company, City Light Capital, Town Hall Ventures, Frist Cressey Ventures and others, who have invested over $100 MM across two funding rounds in less than a year.

Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on investing in market-leading companies, today announced that its affiliate has made an investment in Mancini’s Sleepworld, a mattress retailer serving the Northern California market. The terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Treez, a private company focused on retail automation for the cannabis industry supply chain, today announced the closing of a $13 MM Series B investment round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners. The new funding will be used to further accelerate expansion into legal state retailers for B2C and B2B commerce, as well as extend the company's reach through APIs into best-of-breed tech stacks (ERP, CRM, and other complementary systems).

PWNHealth, a New York, NY-based provider of healthcare diagnostic testing enablement solutions, received a growth investment of an undisclosed amount.

Deutsche Börse is acquiring a majority interest in Quantitative Brokers, a buy-side supplier of execution algorithms, and data-driven analytics for global futures, options, and interest rate markets.

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Zywave, Inc., the leading software-as-a-service ("SaaS") provider of front office insurance solutions, from Aurora Capital Partners. The Company will continue to be led by Jason Liu, Chief Executive Officer, and the current management team, who are investing alongside Clearlake in the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MetLife, Inc. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Versant Health from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and including FFL Partners for approximately $1.675 BN in an all-cash transaction. Versant Health owns the well-established marketplace brands Davis Vision and Superior Vision.

Imagine Impact, a Los Angeles, CA-based content accelerator and online marketplace startup founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, closed its Series A financing round.

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