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VC Investment In The U.S. Remains Strong At $32.6 Billion In Q1′ 2019 With Unicorn IPOS Looming: KPMG Report

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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 YorkBoston 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 ArizonaSalt 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

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Supply Chain Management Association Becomes Supply Chain Canada

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At its AGM yesterday, the Supply Chain Management Association™ announced its name change to Supply Chain Canada™. The association also launched a new website as part of an overall rebranding initiative.

“The new name and look are part of a transformation that we have undertaken as the association enters its second century,” said Christian Buhagiar, President & CEO of Supply Chain Canada. “Today’s supply chains are dynamic and fast-paced. The association for Canada’s supply chain professionals must reflect that.”

Through the rebranding process, the association has also acquired a meaningful new logo and tagline, “Professionals advancing the future.”

The logo’s maple leaf design not only conveys our nationality; it also represents the connectedness of the supply chain, illustrating the networks and collaboration that are so essential to supply chain success, and the interconnectedness of the association’s federation, institutes and members. Its connected dots can be seen, as well, as the complex route of a global supply chain.

“Professionals advancing the future” succinctly communicates both the professional status of supply chain practitioners and their forward-looking perspective. It is intended to:

  1. Elevate the perception of supply chain practitioners as professionals, acknowledging the value they bring to their organizations and to the Canadian economy.
  2. Encompass the several ways that the association and its members “advance” – in their personal careers and knowledge, and for the profession, the country and the economy.
  3. Express the future focus of the association – with its emphasis on the development of skills and policies – and of the supply chain itself, now so focused on AI, blockchain, robotics, automation and so on.

The new website, now at www.supplychaincanada.com, is enhanced with a modern look and new functionality that enables location-based content for users across Canada.

These changes are not simply style enhancements. They are part of a larger plan to strengthen the association. Supply Chain Canada consolidates the organization’s brand across the country under a single name in every province and territory, removing any possible confusion from its federation structure. “The unity that this will ensure will help us improve recognition in the sector, and thereby provide stronger leadership to the Canadian supply chain community,” said Buhagiar.

The association’s transformation began in 2018 with a new vision and mission, as well as an ambitious three-year strategic plan. The new name and rebranding announced yesterday are part of a larger evolution that will continue over the next two years with the introduction of new and revised educational offerings, new initiatives to engage with industry, more value-added membership benefits and more.

 

SOURCE Supply Chain Canada

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Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™

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Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback™ rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.

Released in 2018, Cryptoback™ was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.

Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:

  • 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback™
  • 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback™
  • 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback™

Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback™ every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback™ can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.

Enhanced Cryptoback™ is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:

“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback™ is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”

 

SOURCE Wirex

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Export Portal to Address Best Practices in Sustainable Trade Facilitation at the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum

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Export Portal CEO Ally Spinu will be adding her take on the alignment of trade facilitation and sustainable development goals at a session at the 9th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) in New Delhi.

“The Asia-Pacific region is a wealth of unexplored opportunities which lay deep in the communities of local businessmen and women that just need support in bringing their amazing products to the world to see and buy,” Ms. Spinu said. “I am looking forward to this event and being a part of the change that will help local businesses from this part of the world sell their products globally. I deeply believe that shifting attention to developing SMEs is the major change international trade and local economies have been waiting for.”

This year’s APTFF will focus on how digital and sustainable trade facilitation measures and practices can bring prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum will investigate opportunities from trade digitalization for sustainable progress of the area and challenges ahead in materializing such opportunities. APTFF will feature panel discussions as well as interactive and informative sessions. These sessions will allow participants to share experiences and perspectives on different aspects of trade facilitation, including trade finance, cross-border eCommerce and paperless trade, transit, innovative application of emerging technologies, and more. APTFF will bring relevant regional initiatives and implementation cases to each session, making it a unique opportunity to share knowledge and practical lessons. The forum will also include many side-events providing a more in-depth exploration of the pertinent trade facilitation issues.

“Agricultural products are the fastest category and industry growing within Export Portal, and I can say that is just natural that SMEs around the world are actively looking for new ways for selling their products around the world,” Ms. Spinu said. “The role of innovative technologies such as Export Portal is crucial in helping these SMEs integrate within the world supply chain of food with ease and at optimal costs. I want to explain the current issues existing within SMEs’ integration in international trade due to the high cost involved and how technology slowly but surely changes this.”

Export Portal’s trade goals align directly with the purpose of this session, as its international B2B trade platform is an affordable and all-encompassing solution for SMEs all over the world. The features that are available and being developed on Export Portal, such as the panel of experts (EP+), the educational hub (EPU), and data flow insights (EPI), provide SMEs with the resources they need to trade effectively on an international scale safely, securely, and efficiently.

The Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation for Regional Prosperity session is co-organized by ADB, ESCAP, Ministry of Commerce, India and Confederation of Indian Industry and will be held on Wednesday, September 18, from 9:00 to 10:45 AM.

 

SOURCE Export Portal

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