That seems to set Coinbase up to compete with OpenSea.
Her response: She sees the NFT world as large enough for multiple players to coexist—and believes that the new offering will be different enough from that of OpenSea.
“We love OpenSea. Coinbase Ventures was a very early investor in OpenSea and we want them to thrive and flourish,” she said. “I think any approach we take to NFTs will be different… and I think it’s so early in the space—it's going to be such a massive, massive space that there’s going to be different ways in which the players play. I think there’s going to be a lot more partnership than friction... even if those things aren't minted on Coinbase, you can imagine a world where we're super open on whatever those assets may be, as long as they are safe and secure for the user.”
For now at least, Coinbase is still light on the details for the new part of the company, though it does feature works tied to artist Pplpleasr1, DJ 3LAU, and NFT project Forgotten Runes. It also touts its soon-to-be "user-friendly interface." While games and collectibles are considered the most well-known use cases for NFTs, investors have also pointed to its potential in real estate and ticketing—ensuring that there is just a single version of a ticket or piece of artwork.
“We’re all playing in a very fast growing space. We still don’t know exactly what use cases are going to play out,” Choi says. She notes that Coinbase has historically invested in potential competitors in the past. Because “Hey, if they do a better job than we do, that’s awesome. We want the whole space to thrive, we want thousands of companies in the crypto ecosystem to blossom.”
The bottom line? It’s hard to imagine zero overlap between the two companies and there's a whole lot that sounds similar (as Coinbase VP of Product, Ecosystem, Sanchan Saxena notes in a blog post announcing the news Tuesday: "If you’ve tried to create or purchase an NFT, you’ve probably found the user experience lacking. We can help"). But Coinbase NFT launches this year, and as Choi notes, the cat still isn’t quite out of the bag yet—so we will wait and see exactly how the story plays out.
At any rate, we spoke about more, including regulation and Square’s Tidal acquisition. Stay tuned for more of our interview in a future version of this newsletter. But you can watch her discuss Coinbase's NFT vision in this video.
Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.
–Tata Motors’ EV business, based in India, will raise about $1 billion from TPG’s Rise Climate Fund and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ.
–Bolt, a San Francisco-based one-click checkout company, raised $393 million in Series D funding, valuing it at $6 billion. Investors include Untitled Investments, Willoughby Capital, and Soma Capital.
–Celsius Network, a Hoboken, N.J.-based cryptocurrency earning and borrowing startup, raised $400 million valuing it at $3 billion. WestCap led the round and was joined by investors including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
– TripActions, a Palo Alto-based travel book company, raised $275 million in Series F funding valuing it at $7.3 billion. Greenoaks led the round and was joined by investors including Elad Gil.
– CarDekho, an Indian auto marketplace, raised $200 million in Series E funding valuing it at $1.2 billion. LeapFrog Investments led the round and was joined by investors including Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Franklin Templeton, Harbor Spring Capital, Sequoia Capital India, and Sunley House.
– Hibob, a New York City and London-based HR software company, raised $150 million in Series C funding. General Atlantic led the round and was joined by investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Eight Roads, and Entrée Capital.
– Karat, a Seattle-based technical interviewing startup, raised $110 million in Series C funding valuing it at $1.1 billion. Tiger Global Management led the round.
– Weights & Biases, a machine learning operations company, raised $100 million in Series C funding valuing it around $1 billion. Felicis, Insight Partners, Bond and Coatue invested.
– Halo Investing, a Chicago-based financial tech company, raised over $100 million in Series C funding. Owl Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Allianz Life Ventures, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, William Blair, and Alumni Ventures Group.
– Lively, a San Francisco-based health savings account company, raised $80 million in Series C funding. B Capital Group led the round and was joined by investors including Telstra Ventures and Costanoa Ventures.
– Aware, a Columbus, Oh.-based collaboration governance analysis company, raised $60 million in Series C funding. The Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round and was joined by investors including Spring Mountain Capital, Blue Heron Capital, Allos Ventures, Ohio Innovation Fund, JobsOhio, and Rev1 Ventures.
– Alviere, a New York City-based company allowing other businesses to offer financial services, raised $70 million. That includes a $20 million Series A led by Viola Ventures and Viola Fintech; and a $50 million Series B by investors including Viola Ventures, Viola Fintech, and CommerzVentures.
– Beacon Platform, a New York City-based maker of trading and risk management apps, raised $56 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus led the round and was joined by investors including Centana Growth Partners, Global Atlantic Financial Group, and PIMCO.
– BRINC, a Las Vegas-based maker of drones in response to the mass shooting at The Mandalay Bay, raised $25 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Sam Altman, Tusk Venture Partners, Jeff Weiner’s Next Play Ventures, Dylan Field, Elad Gil, Patrick Spence, Alex Wang, and former Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan.
– Blank Street, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based coffee company, raised $25 million in Series A funding. General Catalyst and Tiger Global led the round.
– Oshi Health, a New York City-based virtual care company focused on gastrointestinal health, raised $23 million in Series A funding. Flare Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Frist Cressey Ventures co-led the round and were joined by investors including CVS Health Ventures and Takeda Digital Ventures.
– Mulberry, a New York City-based product protection platform, raised $22 million in Series B funding. Commerce Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Hudson Structured Capital Management, Ally Bank, and CreditEase.
– Black Kite, a Boston-based cyber risk ratings company, raised $22 million in Series B funding. Volition Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Moore Strategic Ventures, Glasswing Ventures, and Data Point Capital.
– Nelo, a Latin America-focused buy now pay later company, raised $20 million. Two Sigma Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Homebrew, Susa Ventures, Crossbeam, and Anthony Pompliano.
– Flowhub, a Denver-based cannabis retail point-of-sale company, raised $19 million, valuing it over $200 million. Headline and Poseidon led the round and were joined by investors including Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.
– Nexla, a San Mateo, Calif.-based data operations company, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Industry Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Liberty Global Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Engineering Capital, Storm Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.
– AmplifAI, a Plano, Tx.-based HR software company, raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. Greycroft led the round and was joined by investors including LiveOak Venture Partners, Dallas Venture Partners, and Capital Factory invested.
– FitOn, a Los Angeles-based digital fitness company, raised $18 million. Delta-v Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Accel, Telstra Ventures, Crosscut Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and Second Avenue Partners.
– Humn, a London-based motor insurtech, raised £10.1 million ($13.7 million) in Series A funding. BXR Group and Shell Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Hambro Perks Leaders Fund and Woodside Holdings.
– CAST AI, a Miami-based cost analysis company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Cota Capital with Samsung Next led the round.
– Cord, a London-based company automating annotation for computer vision data, raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. CRV led the round and was joined by investors including Y Combinator Continuity, Harpoon Ventures, and Crane Venture Partners.
– Lendflow, a Boston-based small and medium business lending company, raised $10.8 million in Series A funding. Underscore VC led the round.
– cloudtamer.io, a Fulton, Md.-based cloud management software company, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Blue Heron Capital and TDF Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Blu Venture Investors, Early Light Ventures, and Gaingels.
– Callia, Canadian direct-to-consumer floral delivery company, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Brightspark led the round and was joined by investors including Golden Ventures and Sandpiper Ventures .
– Humming Homes, a New York City-based home management software company, raised $5.6 million. Greycroft led the round and was joined by investors including AlleyCorp, Thrive Capital, Sound Ventures, New Valley Ventures, and Abby Miller Levy.
– LIT Videobooks, a New York City-based company turning books into videos, raised $5 million in seed funding. MaC Venture Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Founders Fund, Noemis Ventures, Bloom VP, Pipe founder and CEO Harry Hurst, Long Journey Ventures partner Cyan Banister, Candela Partners founder Larry Braitman, Coelius Capital managing partner Zach Coelius, film producer Terry Dougas, Carbon Health vice chairman Russ Fradin, and Homebrew VC partner Hunter Walk.
– OptoScale, a Norwegian farm monitoring startup, raised $4.1 million. SWEN Capital Partners led the round.
– Approach, a Kansas City, Mo.-based gym management software company, raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Crux Collective led the round.
– Blackstone will invest about $1 billion in partnership with Hipgnosis Song Fund, an advisory firm owned by music executive Merck Mercuriadis, to buy music rights and record songs.
– Investors including Advent International, CVC Capital Partners and KKR & Co. are among the private equity firms said to be interested in acquiring GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer unit, per Bloomberg. A deal could value the business at about $54 billion.
– Advent International and Viking Global Investors invested $300 million in Global Processing Services, a London-based API-based payments company.
– Point Break Capital Management led the round a $208 million investment in Trumid, a New York City-based bond investment financial technology company.
– StoicLane Principals led a $175 million investment in Interfirst Mortgage Company, a mortgage originator.
– Arcline Investment Management acquired Onboard Systems International, a Vancouver, Wash.-based cargo equipment company, from Liberty Hall Capital Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Carnegie Dartlet, a New Heritage Capital portfolio company, acquired mStoner, a web design company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Cerberus Capital Management invested in NetCentrics, a cybersecurity, enterprise information technology, and telecommunications business. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– RealDefense, backed by Corbel Capital Partners, ,acquired STOPzilla, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based antivirus company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Strand Equity and Beechwood Capital invested in iNNBeauty Project, a White Plains, N.Y.-based clean, and accessible skincare company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– TA Associates acquired a 25% stake in Foncia, a provider of residential property management services in Europe. Partners Group will continue to hold a majority stake. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Vroom agreed to acquire United Auto Credit, a Fort Worth, Tx.-based automotive financing company, for $300 million in cash. Pine Brook Partners, backs United Auto Credit.
– GTCR will acquire Lexipol, a provider of policy management, training and wellness software for police, from The Riverside Company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– PCI Pharma Services acquired LSNE, a Bedford, N.H.-based contract manufacturing organization for the pharmaceutical space, from Permira.
– Outreach, backed by Premji Invest, acquired Canopy.io, a revenue analysis software company backed by IU Ventures. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– CGI Merchant Group is in talks to acquire the rights to a Washington, D.C.-based hotel from Donald Trump’s family company in a deal worth more than $370 million, per the Wall Street Journal.
– Bushel, backed by Cargill and CGC Ventures, acquired GrainBridge, an Omaha-based joint venture owned by ADM and Cargill that focuses on grain marketing. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
– Syngenta Group, a Swiss agriculture technology company, resumed its IPO in China after the Shanghai Stock Exchange had requested an update to its application, per Bloomberg. The firm plans to raise $10 billion in the offering—which could make it the largest IPO in the world this year. China National Chemical owns the firm.
– Fertiglobe, a fertilizer producer in the Middle East and North Africa, plans to raise up to $827 million in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters. An IPO would value the company at up to $6 billion. State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and fertilizer and chemical producer OCI NV own the firm.
– GitLab, a remote web-based development operations company, now plans to raise up to $718 million in an offering of 10.4 million shares (19% sold by insiders) priced between $66 and $69 per share. The company posted $152.2 million in revenue in the 12 months ending in Jan. 2021 and a net loss of $192.2 million. August Capital, Google Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, and Khosla Ventures back the firm.
– AvidXchange, a Charlotte, N.C.-based accounts payable software company, raised $660 million in an offering of 26.4 million shares priced at $25 per share—it had previously planned to offer 22 million shares. The company posted $186 million in revenue in 2020 and a net loss of $101.2 million. Mastercard, Bain Capital Ventures, CDPQ, Temasek Holdings, and Capital Group back the firm.
– Coolblue, a Dutch e-commerce company, halted its plans to IPO, according to Reuters. An offering would have valued the company at up to $4.6 billion. HAL Trust and Zwart back the firm.
– Portillo’s, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based Chicago street food restaurant chain company, plans to raise up to $404 million in an offering of 20.3 million shares priced between $17 and $20 per share. The company posted $455 million in revenue in 2020 and $12 million in net income. Berkshire Partners owns the firm.
– P10, a Dallas, Texas-based multi-asset class private market solutions provider, plans to raise up to $320 million in an offering of 20 million shares (43% sold by insiders) priced between $14 and $16 per share. The company reported $67 million in total revenue in 2020 and $24 million in net income.
– Enfusion, a Chicago-based investment management software company, plans to raise up to $319 million in an offering of 18.7 million shares (22% sold by insiders) priced between $15 and $17 per share. The company reported revenue of $79.6 million in 2020 and net income of $4.1 million. Hillhouse Capital, FTV Capital, and ICONIQ Capital back the firm.
– Manner Coffee, a Chinese coffee chain, is weighing an IPO in Hong Kong that could raise around $300 million, per Bloomberg. ByteDance and Meituan back the firm.
– The Vita Coco Company, a New York City-based coconut water company, plans to raise up to $242 million in an offering of 11.5 million shares (78% sold by insiders) priced between $18 and $21 per share. The company reported $311 million in net sales in 2020 and $33 million in net income. Verlinvest and Reignwood Group back the firm.
– Lulu’s Fashion Lounge Holdings, a Chico, Calif.-based digital fashion brand, filed for an IPO. The company posted $249 million in the 12 months ending Jan. 3, 2021, and reported a net loss of $19 million. Institutional Venture Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board back the firm.
– Real Good Foods, a Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based gluten-free frozen food company, filed for an IPO. The company posted $39 million in revenue in 2020 and reported a $16 million net loss. Fidelity Investments backs the firm.
– MiNK Therapeutics, a New York City-based cell therapy treatment company, plans to raise up to $56 million in an offering of 4 million shares priced between $12 and $14 per share. The company reported a net loss of $16.2 million in 2020 and didn’t post revenue. Biotechnology company Agenus backs the firm.
– Jupiter Neurosciences, a Jupiter, Fla.-based neuroinflammation treatment company, filed for an IPO. The company reported a net loss of $2 million in 2020 and has yet to post a revenue.
– Sisal, an Italian gaming company, filed for an IPO in Milan, per Reuters. CVC Capital Partners owns the firm.
– Blackstone, a New York City-based investor, is looking to raise $10 billion for a second fund targeting growth companies, per Bloomberg.
– DFJ, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture investor, raised nearly $1 billion for DFJ Growth IV.
– Munich Re Ventures, the San Francisco-based venture arm of Munich Re Group, closed its second fund with $500 million.
– HubSpot Ventures, a Cambridge, Mass.-based investor, allocated $100 million to its CRM Platform Fund.
– Apollo Global Management, a New York City-based private equity investor, hired William M. Lewis Jr. as a senior partner from Lazard.
– Blackstone Life Sciences, a Cambridge, Mass.-based investor, added Monika Vnuk and Matt Lane as managing directors.
– Kian Capital Partners, a middle-market focused private investment firm, added Ulrich Erasmus as a vice president in Charlotte.
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