September 2023 Top 10

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ESO Fund's top 10 events affecting the private markets for the month of September 2023.

September's Top Ten:

  1. The Klaviyo, Instacart, and Arm IPOs are of course, number 1 for the month of September (read more on this here).
  2. Who's got next? Rubrik and Turo have indicated interest in being the next two tech IPOs. Hopefully more companies will follow suit.
  3. Yeah… we’re talking about OpenAI again. The AI superstar is in talks with SoftBank to raise more than $1B in funding to build the “iPhone of artificial intelligence”.
  4. Cisco (CSCO) purchased Splunk (SPLK) for $28B (its largest acquisition ever).
  5. Shopify (SHOP) invested an undisclosed amount in Faire. The deal includes a partnership between the two ecommerce companies making Shopify the preferred POS provider for Faire users. Shopify also aims to make it “easy for Shopify merchants to find new wholesale buyers via Faire’s wholesale marketplace”.
  6. Not all partnerships are meant to last… Just 5 months into their partnership, SentinelOne (S) has ended things with Wiz. This cybersecurity break up comes on the heels of rumors that Wiz (valued at $10B in early 2023) was considering buying the $4B public Sentinel One. SentinelOne cited a “lack of execution” as a reason for ending the short-lived partnership.
  7. Anduril, the $8.5B defense unicorn, recently acquired unmanned fighter jet maker Blue Force Technologies to add portfolio of autonomous assets.
  8. Robinhood (HOOD) announced they would be buying roughly 55M shares for $600M+ from the US Gov’t. These shares were previously owned by the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and were seized by the US Gov’t earlier this year.
  9. The post 2021 SPAC reckoning continues as e-scooter company Bird is delisted from the NYSE after its market cap fell below $15M. Bird was once valued as much as $2.3B.
  10. Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is in talks to acquire Talon Cyber Security and Dig, two Israeli startups, for around $300M-$400M a piece.

BONUS $100M+ funding rounds we noticed! Here is non-exhaustive list of companies that raised 9 figure rounds in September:

AlphaSense ($125M Ser E), Harbinger ($140M Ser B), Alto Pharmacy ($120M), CMR Surgical ($165M), Cato Networks ($238M), Mapbox ($280M), Writer ($100M Ser B), Shield AI ($150M), Generate Biomedicines ($273M Ser C), VideoAmp ($150M Ser G), Lyten ($200M Ser B), Enfabrica ($125M Ser B), Getir ($500M), Perfios ($229M Ser D), Mariana Oncology ($175M Ser B), Apollo Therapeutics ($226M Ser C), Boston Metal ($262M Ser C), Inceptive ($100M), Ascend Elements ($460M Ser D), Nimbus Therapeutics ($210M), D-Matrix ($110M Ser B), and Beta Bionics ($100M Ser D). That’s $4.4B in funding amongst 22 companies.

Why this matters: Money is flowing to a degree. As mentioned last week we got our first tech IPO in more than a year. We’ve also seen funding tick up slightly from its early 2023 lull, and M&As are happening every week. As these tech IPOs continue to trade and are hopefully joined by others, private companies will benefit from more a robust set of pricing comps. This should lead to more fundraising and acquisitions as investors and companies are able to come to an agreement on pricing after seeing how these IPO pioneers fair on the public markets.

For more insights from ESO Fund check out our newsletter ESO's Monthly Start-Up which lands in your inbox the first Tuesday of every month.

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