Venture Capital (VC) investment in the U.S. continued performing at a high level during Q1 ’19 with $32.6 billion invested as the U.S. economy remained strong, and increased IPO activity set the stage for further investment at all points of the deal spectrum — from early stage to late stage, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q1′ 2019 report.
The largest deals in Q1’19 included a $5 billion raise by shared-space provider The We Company (formerly WeWork), and a $1 billion raise by freight logistics company Flexport – earning that company coveted unicorn status.
“In the past five years, the number of U.S. unicorns has more than doubled to over 160 as private capital is readily available allowing companies to stay private longer,” said Brian Hughes, National Co-leader, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “We finally saw some unicorns choosing to go public in late 2018, and this unicorn IPO trend is expected to continue well into this year, spurred by recent high profile offerings and the ongoing strength of the public markets.”
Lyft hosted a successful IPO on Nasdaq in late March, raising $2.3 billion to value the company at $24 billion. It is the first in a line of large IPO unicorns expected in 2019, with ride-hailing company Uber also expected to file publicly, amongst others. The good performance of these unicorn companies in the early part of 2019 will trigger more investor interest in mature unicorns later in the year, in addition to providing additional capital for early stage deals.
U.S. investors continued to invest in established verticals in Q1’19, including food-delivery, healthcare and transportation, while mega-funds gained a significant amount of attention, coupled with strong activity in smaller-size funds.
Growth and Innovation Occurring Beyond Silicon Valley
The report found a growing boom of VC investment outside of Silicon Valley and the West Coast. In 2018, while 39 percent of VC deals occurred on the West Coast, 20 percent occurred in the Mid-Atlantic region, 9 percent in New England, and 9 percent in the Great Lakes region. These numbers reflect the growing number of innovation hubs appearing in cities such as New York, Boston and others –a trend continuing this year.
In Q1’19, New York and New Jersey both attracted big deals, such as The We Company’s $5 billion raise, and Knock’s $400 million raise.
Among companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, there has been a shift toward scaling outside of the Valley in order to access or attract talent and better manage labor and space costs. Late in 2018, for example, Slack announced a new Denver Office, while other companies set up offices in Arizona, Salt Lake City and beyond. This trend is only expected to continue as companies look to balance a presence in the Valley with the need to scale and grow efficiently.
Digital Banking Heats Up
The digital banking space in the US continued to gain traction in Q1’19. Chime’s Q1’19 $200 million raise earned it unicorn status, with a number of non-U.S.-based banks voicing plans to raise capital to fund a U.S. expansion.
The U.S. is well positioned for growth
The maturing fintech sector is also expected to see more M&A activity as companies are looking for scale and consolidate market share. In Q1’19, FIS announced plans to acquire Worldplay in a $34 billion deal.
“The story in the U.S. continues to be very positive. The 2018 IPOs generally performed very well and the pre-public companies that have completed financings recently have been at high valuations,” said Conor Moore, National Co-Lead Partner, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “This should encourage greater investment at all points on the investment spectrum from seed to late stage.”
SOURCE KPMG LLP
VersaPay Announces Dream Office REIT as Newest CRE Client
VersaPay Corporation (TSXV: VPY) (“VersaPay”), a leading provider of cloud-based invoice-to-cash solutions including electronic invoice presentment and payment, automated accounts receivable, cash application and collections management, is pleased to announce that it has added Dream Office REIT (“Dream Office”) as its newest commercial real estate client.
“With our real estate portfolio expanding in Canada and the US, our objective is to enhance our tenants’ experience and provide them with a convenient web-based and mobile portal where they can access their account, retrieve invoices, communicate and make secure electronic payments,” stated Joanne Leitch, Vice President, Property and Operations Accounting at Dream Office. “We want to create efficiencies by eliminating manual processes, minimize errors and reduce the need for tenant account reconciliations. VersaPay offered the platform to make all of this possible.”
“Through our vendor selection process we searched for a company who could provide a platform with extensive functionality with whom we could partner to provide our tenants an improved experience. VersaPay provided what we were looking for in addition to a robust integration with our JD Edwards ERP to provide real-time AR and cash review,” stated Travis Vokey, Vice President and Head of Technology for Dream Office.
“We are so pleased to be working with Dream Office, a forward-thinking Commercial Real Estate company located right here in Toronto,” said Craig O’Neill, CEO of VersaPay. “Dream is a leader in its industry, offering high-quality central business district office properties to an impressive list of tenants. One of the keys to its success has been providing tenants with a market leading experience in all facets of the business, and we’re delighted to extend this to their tenants’ experience in billing and payments.”
SOURCE VersaPay Corporation
Xoom Rolls Out Domestic Money Transfer Services in the U.S.
Xoom, PayPal’s international money transfer service, today rolled out the ability for customers to send money to recipients in the U.S. for the first time. Through strategic alliances with Walmart and Ria, Americans can now use Xoom to send money fast for cash pick-up typically in minutes at nearly 5,000 locations across the country*.
Xoom’s services potentially benefit more than 44 million foreign-born people in the U.S.1 who send remittances to family and friends in their home countries. With the introduction of domestic money transfer services, Xoom will now serve even more customers, including more than half of Americans who make domestic person-to-person (P2P) payments2. Using Xoom’s mobile app or website, consumers will have the ability to send money quickly and securely for cash pick-up at any Walmart or Ria-owned store in the U.S.
“Many of our customers in the U.S. already send money to loved ones in the country, and they usually prefer that the money is available right away,” shared Julian King, Xoom’s Vice President and General Manager. “This rollout reinforces our commitment to make money transfers fast, easy and affordable for everyone, whether they are at home or on-the-go.”
“At Ria, we are delighted to further consolidate our relationship with Xoom and Walmart,” said Juan Bianchi, CEO of Euronet’s Money Transfer Segment. “Our continued partnership is a fine example of how Ria’s technology can serve as an enabler between platforms, offering consumers and partners an added layer of security and compliance screening, in turn facilitating value creation within the Fintech ecosystem.”
Many consumers in the U.S. face personal, institutional and policy-related barriers to access the financial system. These underbanked consumers rely heavily on fringe financial service providers to conduct routine financial transactions and pay high fees in the process. With Xoom’s introduction of domestic transfers, Americans can send money at affordable rates for cash pick-up quickly at 4,684 Walmart stores and 175 Ria locations across the United States. For more information on store locations and eligible banks, visit xoom.com.
A pioneer in digital remittances, Xoom is a fast way to securely send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones in over 160 countries globally. These remittances serve as a lifeline for many people around the world and are used to pay for every day needs like utility bills, healthcare, and education costs, as well as emergencies. The largely cash-based system of sending money across borders is full of paperwork, high fees, standing in line and an ever-present uncertainty of when, and if, the money will arrive when it’s needed. By providing fast and more secure payment options for customers to seamlessly and securely send money across borders by going online or using a mobile device, PayPal and Xoom are helping to expand and improve the financial health of millions of people worldwide.
*Fees and Limitations apply
SOURCE PayPal, Inc.
SpeakEasy Awarded Cultivation, Processing and Cannabis Sales Licence by Health Canada
SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd. (CSE: EASY) (Frankfurt: 39H) (“SpeakEasy” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce that it has received Health Canada’s coveted licence for cultivation, processing and medical sales. The Company, situated on 290 acres of fertile land in the Okanagan’s renowned Golden Mile, has demonstrated adherence to the industry’s rigorous compliance standards, and can now grow and provide its high quality, small-batch cannabis to the burgeoning recreational and medical markets.
With the receipt of the licences, the Company has immediately begun cultivation of cannabis in its 10,000-square-foot, purpose-built, state of the art facility. The Company has aquired an extensive library of unique genetics that will be used as starting material for the cultivation of cannabis at the facility.
SpeakEasy’s outdoor cultivation site has also been completed and stands ready to receive these genetics for the 2020 growing season. SpeakEasy plans to submit its evidence package for the outdoor field and amend its licence to allow outdoor cultivation on its 60 acre field. “Receiving our licence at long last, is a dream come true for all of us in the SpeakEasy family. The support we have received from shareholders, employees, family and friends has been overwhelming and I appreciate you all more than I can say,” says Marc Geen, founder of SpeakEasy. “When it comes to producing phenomenal craft cannabis, farms will always be superior to factories and culture will always speak louder than corporations. Real people recognize authenticity and SpeakEasy intends to lead by example, sharing the story of our people through the excellence of our product.” With the anticipation of receiving its outdoor licence, SpeakEasy is positioned to become one of the largest cannabis producers in Canada with extremely low cost per gram outdoor grown flower and extremely high quality small batch indoor flower.
SpeakEasy recently completed the transformation of a 60 acre orchard into a custom built outdoor cannabis cultivation environment. The fertile agricultural land is expected to enable the farm to produce up to approximately 70,000kg of cannabis flower and the Company plans to double the output to up to approximately 150,000kg, pending approval of its outdoor cultivation licence.
Construction commenced in the fall of 2017 on the 80,000-square-foot SpeakEasy campus in anticipation of demand for SpeakEasy’s craft cannabis flower and value added products. Buildings two and three were completed to lock-up in the second quarter of 2019 and building four, another 26,600-square-foot facility commenced in the spring of 2019 and is also at the lock-up stage of its development. The anticipated use of building four is the processing of sun grown outdoor flower and biomass for extraction. SpeakEasy has accumulated an impressive library of unique genetics from sources outside existing licence holders, empowering the Company to develop new strains, unique to SpeakEasy, for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
SpeakEasy founders and team members are long standing advocates for the value of community and harnessing the power of combined expertise through successful farming cooperatives. SpeakEasy now plans to apply the same values for cannabis farming. SpeakEasy’s innovative business model is designed to support industry-leading talent through shared knowledge, resources and passion, with a commitment to maintaining exceptional quality standards and developing unique cannabis strains. The Company empowers experienced growers and geneticists to operate independently with the freedom to develop each cultivar to perfection.
SOURCE Speakeasy Cannabis Club Ltd.
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