VC Deals Over the Last Week
A healthy environment surrounding venture capital deals continued over the last week, as the optimism surrounding big data and intelligence platforms drove investments. Week-on-week, VC investments continued to rise, with 67 deals taking place over March 3rd to the 7th and amounting to a total of $910 million. Investments have been fairly diverse and even across the various businesses, suggesting that VC firms are searching market opportunities across the entire spectrum of tech activities.
One deal has stood out however, with high-end online pawnshop Borro being the only one to see an inflow of funds over $100 million (at $112 million). The UK-based pawnbroker, which launched in 2008 and can claim to be the first web-based pawnshop in the world, drew interest from Victory Park Capital, a VC firm headquartered in Chicago. Borro has etched out a niche in the market, delivering a modern image of pawnbroking from what many perceived to be a public and somewhat embarrassing ritual to a discreet online service. The idea of transferring assets over the web as opposed to the high street has certainly appealed to Victory Park Capital, a company with solid experience of working with consumer lending and other finance platforms. The firm has formerly provided funding for Kabbage, ZestCash, AvantCredit and Think Finance. Borro founder Paul Aitken has a solid track record and forecasts a revenue of $30 million from the $100 million loan, as the US and UK lending markets continue to surge.
In other notable deals, Docusign, a fast-growing provider of electronic signature services, raised $85 million in public funds as well as from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm located in Silicon Valley. The company’s value increased significantly as it revealed a strategic partnership with Microsoft that opens it up to the US giant’s massive Microsoft Office user base. The service has already almost 100,000 companies signed up to services globally and demand is pushing growth further.
Another online lending winner this week was OnDeck Capital, which raised $75 million from a round of investment which attracted the likes of Institutional Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, Google Ventures, First Round Capital and SAP Ventures. The company focuses on the provision of large loans, ranging from $5,000 through to $250,000, which are repayable on short-term period of up to 24 months. OnDeck has attracted interest after it reported a doubling of revenue from last year which has it made profitable.
Finally, ServiceMax netted $71 million from a series E funding round, which attracted Meritech Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Cross Creek Advisors, QuestMark Partners and Sozo Ventures, among others. The company provides software solutions in the operational planning process across communications, technology, industrial equipment, medical device manufacturing and utilities industries. As more businesses automate their operations, the company that was established in 1999 has seen strong revenue expansion and an inflow of over 100 new customers over the past year.
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