Archive

Readying an IPO, Postmates secures $225M led by private equity firm GPI Capital

Postmates, the popular food delivery service, has raised another $225 million at a valuation of $2.4 billion, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday, ahead of an imminent initial public offering.

Private equity firm GPI Capital has led the investment, first reported by Forbes, which brings Postmates’ total funding to nearly $1 billion. GPI takes non-controlling stakes — between 2% and 20% — in both late-stage private companies and publicly listed ventures.

After tapping JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to lead its float, Postmates filed privately with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO earlier this year. Sources familiar with the company’s exit plans say the business intends to publicly unveil its IPO prospectus this month.

To discuss the company’s journey to the public markets and the challenges ahead in the increasingly crowded food delivery space, Postmates co-founder and chief executive officer Bastian Lehmann will join us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt on Friday October 4th.

As Forbes noted, last-minute financings are critical for companies poised to run out of cash and in need of an infusion prior to hitting the public markets. The motives for Postmates’ last-minute financing are unclear; however, the company will certainly begin trading on the stock market at an interesting time. 2019 has proven to be the year of unicorn listings, and former Silicon Valley darlings like Uber and Lyft have struggled to stabilize since their multi-billion-dollar debuts, despite years of support and coddling from venture capitalists.

Meanwhile, activity in the food delivery space has distracted from Postmates’ prospects. DoorDash, for one, recently purchased another food delivery service, Caviar, from Square in a deal worth $410 million. Uber is said to have considered buying Caviar, which had been looking for a buyer at least since 2016, according to Bloomberg. Postmates, for its part, has long been the subject of M&A rumors.

On-demand food delivery, undeniably popular, has yet to prove its long-term viability as a money-making business. At the very least, a sizeable check from a private equity firm ensures Postmates has the capital it needs, for the time being, to accelerate growth and double down on its autonomous robotic delivery ambitions.

Founded in 2011, Postmates is also backed by Spark Capital, Founders Fund, Uncork Capital, Slow Ventures, Tiger Global, Blackrock and others.

Readying an IPO, Postmates secures $225M from private equity firm GPI Capital

Postmates, the popular food delivery service, has raised another $225 million at a valuation of $2.4 billion ahead of an imminent initial public offering, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday.

Private equity firm GPI Capital has led the investment, first reported by Forbes, which brings Postmates total funding to nearly $1 billion. GPI takes non-controlling stakes — between 2% and 20% — in both late-stage private companies and publicly-listed ventures.

After tapping JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to lead its float, Postmates filed privately with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO earlier this year. Sources familiar with the company’s exit plans say the business intends to publicly unveil its IPO prospectus this month.

To discuss the company’s journey to the public markets and the challenges ahead in the increasingly crowded food delivery space, Postmates co-founder and chief executive officer Bastian Lehmann will join us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt on Friday October 4th.

As Forbes noted, last-minute financings are critical for companies poised to run out of cash and in need of an infusion prior to hitting the public markets. The motives for Postmates last-minute financing are unclear, however, the company will certainly begin trading on the stock market at an interesting time. 2019 has proven to be the year of unicorn listings and former Silicon Valley darlings like Uber and Lyft have struggled to stabilize since their multi-billion-dollar debuts, despite years of support and coddling from venture capitalists.

Meanwhile, activity in the food delivery space has distracted from Postmates prospects. DoorDash, for one, recently purchased another food delivery service, Caviar, from Square in a deal worth $410 million. Uber is said to have considered buying Caviar, which had been looking for a buyer at least since 2016, according to Bloomberg. Postmates, for its part, has long been the subject of M&A rumors.

On-demand food delivery, undeniably popular, has yet to prove its long-term viability as a money-making business. At the very least, a sizeable check from a private equity firm ensures Postmates has the capital it needs, for the time being, to accelerate growth and double down on its autonomous robotic delivery ambitions.

Founded in 2011, Postmates is also backed by Spark Capital, Founders Fund, Uncork Capital, Slow Ventures, Tiger Global, Blackrock and others.

SoftBank-backed Getaround is raising $200M at a $1.5B+ valuation

Getaround, a car-sharing platform and winner of TechCrunch Disrupt New York Battlefield 2011, will enter the unicorn club with a roughly $200 million equity financing.

The deal values Getaround, founded in 2009, at $1.7 billion, according to an estimate provided by PitchBook. Getaround declined to comment, citing internal policy on “funding speculation.”

“Getaround and our investors work closely together on our growth strategy, and we’ll definitely plan to share more when we’re ready,” a spokesperson said in response to TechCrunch’s inquiry Thursday morning.

The news follows the company’s $300 million acquisition of Drivy, a Paris-headquartered car-sharing startup that operates in 170 European cities.

Getaround closed a Series D funding of $300 million last year, a round led by SoftBank with participation from Toyota Motor Corporation. Existing investors in the business, which allows its some 200,000 members to rent and unlock vehicles from their mobile phones at $5 per hour, include Menlo Ventures and SOSV.

Assuming an upcoming $200 million infusion, Getaround has raised more than $600 million in equity funding to date.

Whether SoftBank has participated in Getaround’s latest financing is unknown. The business is an active investor in the carsharing market, with investments in Chinese ride-hailing business Didi Chuxing, Uber and autonomous driving company Cruise. SoftBank declined to comment.

In conversation with TechCrunch last year, Getaround co-founder Sam Zaid emphasized SoftBank’s capabilities as a mobility investor: “What we really liked about [SoftBank] was they take a really long view on things,” he said. “So they were very good about thinking about the future of mobility, and we have a common kind of vision of every car becoming a shared car.”

Getaround was expected to expand into international markets with its previous fundraise. Indeed, the company has moved into France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium and the U.K. where it operates under the brand “Drivy by Getaround,” and in Norway under the “Nabobil” brand.

The business initially launched its car-sharing service in 2011, relying on gig workers who can list their cars on the Getaround marketplace for $500 to $1,000 a month in payments, depending on how often their cars are rented.

Since Getaround entered the market, however, a number of competitors have entered the space with similar business models. Turo and Maven, for example, have both emerged to facilitate car rental with backing from top venture capital funds.

Andreessen Horowitz values camping business Hipcamp at $127M

Hipcamp uses technology to get people away from technology.

The San Francisco-based startup provides a “people-powered platform” that unlocks access to private land for camping, glamping or just a beautiful spot to park your RV, as described by Alyssa Ravasio, founder and chief executive officer. Amid explosive growth in emerging markets, including Florida and Texas, the company has attracted a $25 million Series B investment at a valuation of $127 million.

Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has led the round and will join Hipcamp’s board of directors as part of the deal. Caterina Fake of Yes VC, Sarah Tavel of Benchmark, August Capital and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings Hipcamp’s total funding to $41.8 million. We first covered Hipcamp in 2014, when the nascent startup raised a $2 million seed round led by AlphaTech.

A self-described internet nerd and avid camper, Ravasio loves the outdoors, as you might’ve guessed. She founded Hipcamp after becoming frustrated with the complex process that is identifying and booking campsites across the U.S.

“I couldn’t believe how difficult the whole process was,” Ravasio told TechCrunch. “I had one camping trip where I spent five hours doing research and almost gave up … I realized camping was broken and the internet could fix it.”

In 2013, Ravasio learned to code and built the first iteration of the Hipcamp platform, a comprehensive database of campsites that earns money by taking a commission made from each booking it facilitates. Today, the company has grown to 40 employees, with campsites in 300,000 sites across the U.S. and plans to expand internationally soon.

“We’re committed to getting people outside, and that’s really the guiding light of our expansion plans,” she said.

As for long-term plans, an Airbnb acquisition wouldn’t make sense, Ravasio explained: “I think going public and making Hipcamp a company that anyone can buy and own part of is exciting to me”

Yandex-Uber JV MLU acquires regional rival Vezet for shares and $71.5M in cash

On-demand transportation giant Uber made its name in part by aggressively entering new markets on a path of organic growth, but in recent times, it has shown itself more amenable to the concept of expansion through acquisition. Today, MLU, Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery JV with Yandex (by way of Yandex .taxi) covering cities in Russia and surrounding regions, announced that it is buying Vezet, a smaller rival that operates in 123 markets in the same region, for a price that’s estimated to be in the region of $204 million.

Alongside that, MLU said that it would be investing a further 8 billion rubles ($127 million) in the Russian regions over the next three years, with half toward safety and security — including driver training — and half for “supporting regional drivers and taxi fleet companies.” (The latter could be in the form of special incentives to continue encouraging them to drive with MLU over others, and other loyalty programs.)

Current shareholders of Vezet “will receive new shares in MLU, representing up to 3.6% of the issued share capital of the company at closing, together with up to $71.5 million in cash,” based on Vezet meeting certain performance and integration targets, the companies said. Part of that integration will involve moving all of Vezet onto a single platform with MLU.

To be clear, the companies did not disclose the approximate valuation of the deal based on these percentages, but as a marker, when Uber last valued MLU ahead of its public listing, it put the figure at $3.68 billion. That would put shares of 3.6% at just under $132.5 million, valuing the Vezet transaction in total at around $204 million. (This is assuming that the valuation of MLU, prior to this acquisition, has not changed in the last three months.)

That is, if it goes ahead. After this article went to publication, a spokesperson for Mail.ru — which had issued a convertible loan in June to Vezet — got in touch to say that the announcement was “premature.” Mail.ru hadn’t formally approved the deal, and under the conditions of that loan, it has a right to veto any sale. Meanwhile, Vezet said in response that it’s abiding by the terms of the loan: Mail.ru has not converted the loan into shares at this point, so it can be repaid, and this is what Vezet said it intends to do. (It’s not clear how big the loan was.)

If completed, the deal will slightly reduce Uber’s stake in the JV: MLU notes that following the completion of the acquisition, Yandex NV will own 56.2% of MLU and Uber will own 35.0%, with 5.3% held by employees (part of the equity incentive plan).

The move speaks to the inevitable consolidation that has happened, and will continue to happen, in the ridesharing market. Vezet (which has a nice double-meaning in Russian: “driving” and “lucky” — or maybe more accurately “things are going your way”) itself is a combination of some smaller businesses, and today operates services under four brands: Vezet, Taxi Saturn, Fasten and Red Taxi.

It will also help MLU potentially remain in markets where it has faced some issues in the past. In Kazan, for example, some had called on the government to ban MLU (specifically Yandex.taxi). That hadn’t come to pass, although the prospect of such legal actions might be diffused if acquires a local operator that’s had a more harmonious rise in the market.

Vezet’s business model is built around providing a platform for individuals and existing fleets, which can use it to get routed to passengers looking for a ride from A to B.

Like Uber and the many others in this business area, Vezet uses an app-based interface, but given its footprint and how it covers markets where smartphone penetration and usage are not as extensive as in mature markets, it also allows people to order rides through call centers. This deal will include all of Vezet’s assets.

While Uber originally forged an empire by entering markets on its own steam and building businesses from scratch (using tens of billions of dollars in VC funds to do it), in more recent years it’s formed regional joint ventures, including merging its operations in China with Didi and Southeast Asia with Grab alongside its Russia move with Yandex. It has also started to acquire businesses to move into new markets, such as its recent deal to buy Careem for more than $3 billion to make a big splash in the Middle East.

The acquisition, if completed, is expected to close at the end of the year, the companies said.

Close

CONTACT US

Complete the form below and we will get back to you shortly.

    • Subscribe error, please review your email address.

      Close

      You are now subscribed, thank you!

      Close

      There was a problem with your submission. Please check the field(s) with red label below.

      Close

      Your message has been sent. We will get back to you soon!

      Close