Rep. McCarthy: Startups will be eligible for stimulus loans | Airbnb's internal valuation reportedly cut to $26B | Driver assistance startup Phantom AI raises $22M
April 3, 2020
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The Lead
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says adjustments will be made to the requirements on the small business loans offered as part of the coronavirus relief package to allow venture capital-backed startups to participate. McCarthy said he spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the issue "is going to be solved," McCarthy said.
Full Story: Axios (4/2),  Built In (4/2),  Institutional Investor online (4/2) 
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Capital Call
Airbnb has downgraded its internal valuation from $31 billion to $26 billion to reflect the drop in bookings it has experienced due to the coronavirus pandemic, sources say. The company has reportedly held talks with new and current investors about a possible late-stage funding round.
Full Story: Reuters (4/3),  Financial Times (subscription required) (4/2) 
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Phantom AI, a startup working on advanced driver assistance technology for cars and trucks, raised $22 million in a funding round that included strategic investments from Ford and Korean telephone company KT. The new capital will be used to further develop its software-based platform.
Full Story: VentureBeat (4/2) 
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Delivery and logistics startups such as AxleHire, Nuro and Dropoff are seeing a surge in demand as people stay home. AxleHire, for example, has seen an 800% to 900% increase in same-day delivery orders in less than a month, says CEO Daniel Sokolovsky.
Full Story: Crunchbase (4/1) 
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View from Abroad
Collibra, a Brussels-based data governance startup, raised $112.5 million in a funding round that gave it a $2.3 billion valuation. The new capital will fund expansion.
Full Story: VentureBeat (4/2) 
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WiMi Hologram Cloud, a Chinese augmented reality startup, raised $26 million in its initial public offering on Nasdaq. The company sold 4.8 million shares for $5.50 per share.
Full Story: PitchBook (4/3),  Financial Times (subscription required) (4/2) 
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Lunar, a Danish startup that launched as a personal finance app but went on to get a full banking license, raised $23.7 million in an extended Series B funding round. With the new capital it plans to roll out new financial services including loans, lines of credit and what it calls "sustainability driven" services.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (4/3) 
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Sector Spotlight: Life Sciences
Zentalis Pharmaceuticals raised $165 million in its initial public offering after increasing the size of the offering from 7.65 million shares to 9.18 million. The shares priced at $18, the top of their range.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (4/3),  Renaissance Capital (4/2) 
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Venture Capital Culture
Keep innovating during a downturn
Innovation doesn't have to come to a halt during an economic downturn, and it might be the right time to pursue new ideas, writes Scott Lenet. "Startups that over-react and trim the majority of their staff may find themselves unable to recover or resume momentum when the downturn eventually passes, becoming 'living dead' businesses with no prospect for success," he writes.
Full Story: Forbes (4/1) 
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Thought Leadership
The right way to market during a crisis
Offering information and being a thought leader can prevent startups from appearing out of touch to customers during the coronavirus crisis, while also helping generate leads for later, writes Charlie O'Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. Start by considering what customers want in this difficult time, he writes.
Full Story: This Is Going To Be Big blog (4/1) 
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NVCA is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is working diligently to address the VC industry's needs and provide resources that aim to help firms and portfolio companies during this challenging time. Stay up to date on the latest policy updates and resources on our new COVID-19 page.
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VC University, hosted by NVCA and Startup@BerkeleyLaw, is the definitive online certificate course in venture finance. The next VC University Online program will start on June 1, 2020, and NVCA is proud to announce that we've expanded the number of scholarships available to qualified applicants. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is April 17, and general registration for the program will open on April 27. For more details about the program and the scholarship, visit the VC University website.
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Joining NVCA is the best way to advance public policy that fosters a healthy environment for high-growth startups and to engage on the policy and industry issues that are important to VCs and your portfolio companies, including: immigration reform that welcomes qualified immigrant entrepreneurs; tax reform that promotes entrepreneurship and capital formation; making public markets work for small cap companies again; and smarter regulations for the startup economy. Become a member today.
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