Friday Fundings: Plaid, Patreon, and ShareChat
Fintech Unicorn Raises $425M
Plaid, a fintech unicorn which connects consumers’ bank accounts to finance apps, raised $425 million in venture funding. The Series D round was led by Altimeter Capital and included participation from new investors Silver Lake Partners and Ribbit Capital. Plaid is now valued at about $13.4 billion. Earlier this year, Plaid was in talks with Visa (V) about a $5.3 billion acquisition deal, but the deal fell through in January and Plaid is back to raising its own capital.
Proceeds from the Series D round will be used to scale Plaid’s team and product offerings. The fintech also intends to be opportunistic with some of the capital. Plaid has seen growth the past 12 months due to consumer financial services going digital. Now it is looking for ways to diversify and stay relevant.
Creator Economy Startup Secures $155 Million
Patreon, a startup which helps artists connect with their fans, raised $155 million in venture funding. The company is now valued at $4 billion. New investor Tiger Global Management led the round, which also included participation from Woodline Partners, Wellington Management, Lone Pine Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Glade Brook Capital, and DFJ Growth. Last fall Patreon raised $90 million and was valued at $1.2 billion.
Patreon plans to use the proceeds to create new tools, pursue acquisitions, and expand its business internationally. Patreon gained attention both from artists and fans during the pandemic as concerts, art shows, readings, and other events could not take place. Patreon will now be looking for ways to fit into the creator economy even when more in-person interactions between artists and fans can take place.
Indian Social Media Network Raises $502 Million
ShareChat, an India-based social network, secured $502 million in venture funding, valuing the startup at more than $2 billion. ShareChat is the fifth Indian startup to become a unicorn this week. The Series E round was led by Tiger Global and included participation by Snap (SNAP), Twitter (TWTR), and LightSpeed Venture Partners. ShareChat had been fundraising for around ten months and had explored a sale to Twitter.
The Indian startup boasts a user base of more than 160 million. Its social media app supports 15 Indian languages and is mainly used by consumers in smaller Indian cities. Few startups have broken into this market, which makes ShareChat valuable to investors.
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