VC Daily: Question: What makes decentralized finance attractive to investors?


Good day. Last week we asked how companies are approaching employee vaccine mandates.

Relevance Ventures general associate Dean Newton said his company does not require vaccinations but does require masks or a negative Covid test for anyone who is unvaccinated coming into the office. Everyone in the company received the vaccine voluntarily, Newton said. The companies in the company’s portfolio have different policies depending on local regulations. “I believe we have one holding company in New York that requires vaccines while another in Florida doesn’t,” Newton wrote.

Kent Swig, director of the Fulcrum Equities family office, which is an investor in venture capital funds, said his offices have fully implemented and supported a vaccination mandate and that unvaccinated people are “walking weapons against humanity “.

Victor Pascucci III, Managing Partner of Energy Capital Ventures, said: “We believe our employees can make their own health decisions based on what they think is best for them and their own research.

This week’s question: What makes decentralized finance attractive to investors and to what extent is the success of DeFi startups related to the adoption of cryptocurrencies?

Please email your responses to [email protected]

And now for the news …

Top news

Bet on tech startups. Founders of Forge Global Inc., an online marketplace for buying and selling shares of private companies, are launching new fund manager that invests in tech startups before they go public, reports Justin Baer for The Wall Street Journal.

The new company, D / XYZ, has raised $ 100 million for its first investment portfolio, Destiny Tech100, and aims to publicly list it as a closed-end exchange-traded fund, said Sohail Prasad, co- founder of the company.

Such a structure would open the fund up to everyone, not just professional investors, institutions and affluent families who typically buy startups before they go public.

Destiny Tech100 is accumulating positions in many of the tech industry’s best-known private companies, including Instacart’s parent company, Maplebear Inc. and Superhuman Labs Inc., Mr. Prasad said.


The approximate share of U.S. households that reported facing severe financial hardship in the last few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey. (WSJ)

Walgreens to invest $ 5.2 billion in VillageMD

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. will pay $ 5.2 billion to acquire a controlling stake in the VillageMD primary care network as the drugstore chain seeks to transform into a healthcare provider, reports Sharon Terlep of the WSJ. VillageMD operates more than 200 clinics where it has acquired or hired its own doctors and medical staff. Walgreens said the investment will allow it to open medical practices in 600 or more of its pharmacies by 2025, and 400 more by 2027. The pharmacy company already owns a stake in VillageMD after accepting the was last to pay $ 1 billion in equity and debt over three years in exchange for a 30% stake in the Chicago-based startup. As part of the deal announced Thursday, Walgreens will own a 63% stake in VillageMD.

Coinbase launches plan for special crypto regulator

America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange wants Congress to stop the Securities and Exchange Commission from overseeing the nascent industry and instead create a special regulator for digital assets, according to a master plan reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Coinbase Global Inc., which has been feuding with US regulators in recent months, plans to publicly release a document containing proposals for crypto regulation. He says crypto market participants face uncertainty about which federal agencies should oversee particular assets.

US SPAC Frenzy inspires reboot in Asia

PSPCs have lost their luster in America, but the Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges are betting the vehicles will increase their appeal to global investors and startups in the region. The two Asian financial centers continued their competing plans to allow the listing of specialist acquisition companies, which raise funds and go public before finding companies with which to merge. Singapore launched its SPAC rules in September, while Hong Kong is seeking public comment on its regulatory plans until the end of this month.

Industry News


DFJ Growth has raised nearly $ 1 billion for its fourth core growth fund, DFJ Growth IV LP. The Menlo Park, Calif., Based company closed its third core fund with $ 535 million in 2017 and raised $ 470 million for DFJ Growth 2013, its second core fund. DFJ Growth recently participated in major fundraisers for plant-based dairy and meat manufacturer NotCo and Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface company, Neuralink.

At One Ventures closed its inaugural fund with $ 150 million in pledges to support startups whose technology contributes to the health of our planet. To date, the San Francisco firm has invested in 21 startups including Iron Ox, Dendra, Gradient, Apis Cor, Alchemie Technology and Cruz Foam.

HubSpot Ventures has launched The CRM Platform Fund, a $ 100 million vehicle that will support start-up and growing technology companies focused on customer relationship management.

Thomson Reuters Launches $ 100 Million Venture Capital Fund to Make Primarily Series A and Series B Investments in Legal, Tax & Accounting, Risk, Fraud, Compliance, Information and the media.


True Ventures said Gus Coldebella has joined the firm as a partner, where he will focus on global public policy and regulation, with a focus on digital assets and other emerging technologies. Prior to joining True Ventures, Mr. Coldebella was general counsel at two crypto companies.

Community banking investor BankTech Ventures has appointed Carey Ransom as Managing Director. He was most recently co-founder and chairman of Operate, a venture capital studio. BankTech Ventures is targeting $ 150-200 million for its first fund and expects an initial close at the end of this month.

Shoreline Biosciences Inc., which creates cellular immunotherapies for cancer and inflammatory diseases, has appointed Scott Forrest as Chief Commercial Officer. He was previously CFO at Autobahn Therapeutics. In April, San Diego-based Shoreline Biosciences said it had raised $ 43 million in funding from Boxer Capital, Commodore Capital, Stork Capital and others.


Women’s health company Hologic Inc. has agreed to buy Bolder Surgical, a supplier of minimally invasive surgery instruments, for around $ 160 million. Bolder Surgical, based in Louisville, Colorado, has raised funds from River Cities Capital, Providence Ventures and Westwood Management.

Data intelligence startup Alation Inc. has acquired Lyngo Analytics, an artificial intelligence provider based in Los Altos, Calif., For an undisclosed amount. In June, Redwood City, Calif., Based Alation said it had raised $ 110 million in Series D at a valuation of $ 1.2 billion from Riverwood Capital, Costanoa Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Icon Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Sapphire Ventures.

Brightcove Inc., a provider of video technology to businesses, will acquire HapYak technology from the K-12 Newsela educational content platform for an undisclosed amount. Earlier this year, Newsela raised a $ 100 million Series D funding round from Franklin Templeton, TCV, Owl Ventures and others.

New money

Vuori, a sportswear brand based in Encinitas, Calif., Has secured a $ 400 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 for a valuation of $ 4 billion. Norwest Venture Partners invested in the company in 2019.

Bolt Financial Inc., a San Francisco-based ecommerce cashier startup, has raised $ 333 million in Series D funding and $ 60 million in follow-on capital. New investors, Untitled Investments, Willoughby Capital and Soma Capital have joined existing funders including General Atlantic, Tribe Capital and Activant Capital.

Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon-based technology provider for cannabis dispensaries, landed a $ 350 million Series D funding round led by D1 Capital Partners at a valuation of $ 3.75 billion. Existing backers Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group, DFJ Growth, Thrive Capital, Gron Ventures and Casa Verde Capital also supported the funding, alongside new investors Willoughby Capital, Glynn Capital and Park West Asset Management.

TradingView Inc., a London-based platform and social network for traders and investors, landed a $ 298 million investment led by Tiger Global Management, bringing the company’s valuation to $ 3 billion.

CarDekho, an Indian car research platform, raised $ 200 million in Series E equity as well as $ 50 million in debt, giving the company a valuation of $ 1.2 billion. Leapfrog Investments led the round, which included participation from Sequoia Capital India and others.

Dexterity, a provider of intelligent robotic systems based in Redwood City, Calif., For logistics, warehouses and supply chain, added $ 140 million in equity and Series B debt for a valuation of 1.4 billion dollars. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins led the round, which included Obvious Ventures, B37 Ventures and Presidio Ventures.

GRIN, a Sacramento, Calif.-based designer management platform for direct-to-consumer brands, completed a $ 110 million Series B cycle, giving the company a valuation of $ 910 million . Lone Pine Capital led the investment, which included contributions from BOND, The Chainsmokers, Imaginary Ventures and others.

Outschool Inc., a San Francisco-based K-12 education market provider, has secured $ 110 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $ 3 billion. Tiger Global Management led the new round, which included participation from BOND, Lightspeed Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Reach Capital, Coatue Management, FundersClub and SV Angel.

(MORE FOLLOWING) Dow Jones Newswires

October 15, 2021 09:51 ET (13:51 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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