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Weekly News of 20th of June

Zendesk nears buyout deal with group of private equity firms  


Software company Zendesk which has a market value of over $7 billion is close to a deal with a group of buyout firms that includes Hellman & Friedman LLC and Permira, reports Reuters.

The San Francisco-based firm, which has been under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners, said earlier this month it would continue as an independent public company after completing a review of its business.

Jana had nominated four directors to the board of Zendesk, arguing the company must be rehabilitated after an unpopular attempt to buy Momentive, parent of web-survey firm SurveyMonkey.

Zendesk, a customer service software vendor, has seen a surge in business during the pandemic, as its enterprise customers accelerate digital transformation.


Chinese fashion tech firm LincTex Digital raises $100 million


LincTex Digital, a developer of virtual try-on technology for fashion e-commerce, raised $100 million in a fund-raising round led by Hillhouse Capital and CDH Investments, reports Reuters.

The money has been earmarked for international expansion and a further shift into the digital fashion realm.

The Hangzhou-based firm is most commonly known as Style3D, a software and hardware developer for the fashion industry and was founded in 2015.

From developing virtual try-on technologies and 3D body scanning in the beginning, Style3D has now broadened its offering to include digital services for fashion designers and manufacturers so they can use big data to design and produce fashion collections.

Most recently, it also pivoted to the metaverse, with digital fashion design and technology products. Its digitally simulated fabric is designed to look and move like clothing in the real world.

More global fashion brands are including digital products as part of their assortments, such as Gucci’s $17.99 digital sneakers, which quickly sold out.

Style3D is looking to integrate the design, manufacturing and online sales of physical clothing with the design and production of digital clothing items, founder and chief executive Liu Chen said in the statement.

It has also been expanding worldwide, opening offices in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, New York and Milan over the past year.


Payments firm SumUp raises 590 mln euros in latest funding round


London-based payments firm SumUp raised 590 million euros ($623 million) in its latest funding round, giving it an overall enterprise value of 8 billion euros, reports Reuters.

The latest round, which involved a combination of equity and debt, brings the total amount of capital raised to 1.5 billion euros.

BlackRock, Centerbridge and Crestline were among the participants in the funding round led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.


German startup Personio raises $200 mln at $8.5 bln valuation


German human resources software startup Personio has added $200 million to the initial financing at an increased valuation of $8.5 billion, reports Reuters.

The latest funding round was led by Greenoaks Capital, which was also the lead investor when Personio raised $270 million last year at a valuation of $6.3 billion.

A weaker market condition has pushed many startups to scramble for new funding, even at a lower valuation, delaying plans to go public and causing them to cut jobs and costs to find a path to profitability.

While grocery delivery firm Instacart has cut its valuation by nearly 40%, financial tech company Klarna is in talks to raise funds at a much lesser valuation than the one it got last year.

Personio, founded in 2015, is now Germany’s second-most valuable startup after Celonis, and has no plans to go public immediately.

The company achieved a valuation of $1.7 billion early last year, becoming the second German technology startup after freight tech firm Sennder to be valued at over $1 billion.