eBay acquires Cargigi; Spotify raises $1 billion in debt financing; LeSports raises $1.2 billion Series B
This week has seen Spotify raise $1 billion in convertible debt financing as it goes head to head with Apple Music and awaits the launch of Soundcloud’s streaming offering, while Chinese eco-sports company LeSports has raised a $1.2 billion Series B round. Closer to home, Carsales.com.au has acquired an 83 percent stake in Chileautos for US$15 million, Zookal has raised over $640,000 through equity crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd, and non-profit crowdfunding platform Chuffed.org has raised a $1.1 million seed round.
Australian automotive online classifieds company Carsales.com.au has announced its acquisition of a controlling stake in Chilean automotive classifieds platform Chileautos. The company’s 83 percent stake was acquired for US$15 million (approximately AUD$19.86 million) from existing cash reserves and debt facilities, with Carsales retaining an option to purchase the remaining 17 percent stake at any time over the next four years.
eBay is set to acquire advertising startup Cargigi as it looks to boost up its eBay motors offering. With Cargigi helping car dealers post listings on classifieds platforms, eBay said the startup’s technology will be used to help add dealers’ inventory onto eBay Motors, replacing its Dealer Center. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Quora has made its first acquisition, snapping up discussion platform Parlio to help expand its offering, for an undisclosed fee. Wrote cofounders Wael Ghonim and in a Quora post, “We’ve long admired Quora, as it’s one of the few online communities that has managed to both focus on quality and successfully appeal to a wide audience (over 100 million monthly users). The community is meritocratic but inclusive, the content is informative but fun, and the product is powerful but beautifully simple. We couldn’t have found a better fit.”
IBM has announced its intentions to acquire Bluewolf, one of Salesforce’s longest standing consulting partners, in order to extend IBM’s analytics, experience design and industry consulting leadership. Bluewolf will join the existing Interactive Experience practice of IBM Global Business Services.
Women-focused media company SheKnows has acquired women’s health brand HelloFlo, which provides care packages and content to “support women and girls through transitional moments.” The acquisition is set to close in April, but HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom officially joined SheKnows as senior vice president of integrated marketing this month.
Non-profit social enterprise crowdfunding platform Chuffed.org has announced the closing of a $1.1 million seed funding round led by Blackbird Ventures, Bevan Clark, and the Telstra Foundation. As part of the funding, Niki Scevak, cofounder of Blackbird Ventures and Startmate, will join the Chuffed board.
Equity crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd has announced the completion of a $643,000 equity crowdfunding raise for Australian tech education startup Zookal. The funding round for Zookal, which is based in Singapore, was oversubscribed, with current equity crowdfunding regulations meaning that the funds were raised from wholesale investors. The funds raised will allow Zookal to expand further across the Asia-Pacific and offer its digital education services to customers around the world.
Australian-founded customer service startup Cyara has raised $25 million in a Series A round led by PeakSpan Capital and Greenspring Associates. The funding will go towards scaling, with the startup planning to grow its global marketing, business development, sales, and engineering teams.
Launched in 2014, Chinese internet-based eco-sports company LeSports, an independently-funded subsidiary of tech brand LeEco, has raised $1.2 billion in a Series B round from over 30 investors, including HNA Group. The funding values the company at $3.3 billion.
As the music streaming space continues to heat up, Spotify has raised $1 billion in convertible debt financing. The round was led by TPG and Dragoneer Investment Group, with participation from clients of Goldman Sachs.
Singapore-based Garena, Southeast Asia’s largest internet and mobile platform, has raised a $170 million Series D round led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Malaysian government, with participation from existing investors including Keytone Ventures and General Atlantic. The round brings the total funding raised by the company to date to over $500 million.
New York-based robo-advisor startup Betterment has raised $100 million in a round led by new partner Kinnevik, with participation from existing investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Anthemis Group, and Menlo Ventures. The new round puts the company’s valuation at $700 million.
Project management and collaboration software startup Asana has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by Sam Altman, with participation from Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, 8VC, Tony Hsieh, and Founders Fund.
Biotech startup Zavante Therapeutics has raised $45 million in a Series A round, comprised of $35 million from new investors, and $10 million from the conversion of outstanding convertible notes. The round was led by Frazier Healthcare Partners, Longitude Capital, and Aisling Capital. As part of the financing, Patrick Heron, managing general partner of Frazier’s life sciences team, and David Hirsch, managing director and founder of Longitude Capital, will join the startup’s board of directors.
Japan talent search startup BizReach has raised $33 million in a funding round led by YJ Capital, the investment division of Yahoo Japan, with participation from investors including Salesforce Ventures, Rakuten, Link and Motivation, and East Ventures.
San Francisco-based drone startup Airware has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by Next World Capital, with participation from existing investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, and Cisco Systems executive chairman and former CEO John Chambers, who will also be joining Airware’s board.
Call intelligence company Invoca has raised $30 million in a Series D round led by Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, with participation from existing investors including Accel Partners, Upfront Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures. The round brings the total raised by the company to date to $60 million and will go towards extending leadership across sales, marketing, and product development teams.
New York-based open-database company CockroachDB has raised $20 million in a Series A1 round led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Benchmark, FirstMark Capital, and GV. It comes after the raising of a $6.25 million Series A round last year.
Digital publisher Mashable has raised $15 million in a Series C round led by Turner, with participation from investors including Time Warner Investments, Updata Partners, and others. As part of the funding, Mashable and Turner will partner to develop content and advertising opportunities.
Image: Spotify founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek.