Deals That Matter

Top VC Deals: Walmart buys Cornershop, Nio makes its Wall Street debut, and Airbus backs Impossible Aerospace

Key Points
  • Walmart acquired grocery delivery service Cornershop for $225 million. The acquisition should help Walmart expand its e-commerce business in Latin America.
  • Nio, the Chinese electric vehicle company, went public on the New York Stock exchange and looks to challenge Tesla in China.
  • Airbus is among investors pouring $8.4 million into Impossible Aerospace, makers of a drone that can fly for two hours per charge.

Here's a roundup of the most important deals in venture capital from the last week.


A customer walks down an aisle displaying bottles of laundry detergent for sale at a Walmart Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Timothy Fadek | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart plans to acquire the grocery delivery start-up Cornershop for $225 million. The company, which operates in Latin America, had raised around $20 million in venture funding from Accel, Endeavor Global, Jackson Square Ventures and others. Like Instacart, customers can use Cornershop to send a personal shopper to the grocery to pick up, and then deliver the items they want to their homes.

Chinese electric car company Nio makes its Wall Street debut

Chinese electric car company Nio made its Wall Street debut on Wednesday. The company offers the only premium electric vehicle in China besides Tesla, including a seven-seat SUV that sells for a lower price than the comparable Tesla Model X.

Nio aims to use funds raised in its IPO to develop a Tesla Model 3 competitor, and to expand sales of its cars into Europe and the United States. The company raised about $1 billion in the IPO, pricing shares at $6 each, hitting the low end of its expected range. Shares rose throughout the week, and closed on Friday at $9.90.


Shift used cars
Source: Shift

Lithia Motors and BMW iVentures were among investors in a $71 million venture round for Shift, a digital marketplace for used cars that lets customers book a test-drive at home. A concierge brings them the car to try out, with no obligation to buy and no fees for the service. Shift also determines what a car's suggested real market value is before a seller lists it there.

The company competes with the likes of eBay, CarMax, and AutoTrader.

Twitch co-founder raises $65 million for legal start-up Atrium

A legal tech start-up called Atrium has raised $65 million in a series A funding round from investors, including General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. Atrium CEO Justin Kan, who previously founded Twitch, said he started the company to "improve the delivery of legal services and lower costs" using machine learning technology.

But, he added, "We're not trying to build AI that replaces lawyers." The company wants to enable lawyers to reduce "grinder" work, and focus on expert advising.

Brazil's bikeshare start-up, Yellow, is offering rental bikes and scooters across Latin America.
Courtesy: Yellow

A Brazilian scooter start-up called Yellow raised $63 million in a series A funding round from investors like GGV Capital, Monashees Capital, Grishin Robotics and others.

Yellow, which already operates bike and scooter-rental services in Brazil, intends to use the funding to expand its scooter and bike-sharing operations in Latin America. They also aim to build their own factory to manufacture their own electric scooters there.

Google's venture arm GV, Battery Ventures, Marc Benioff and programmer-model Karlie Kloss are among investors in a $44 million series B round for StockX, an online marketplace for selling used goods including sneakers and watches.

System1 raised $25 million for drug discovery that could lead to treatments for epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia. The series A funding round was led by CRV and Pfizer Ventures.

Travel tech start-up Beekeeper added $13 million in series A funding to its coffers. The company's software helps non-desk workers stay connected and coordinated across large organizations and departments. It counts Marriott and Heathrow Airport as clients.

This battery-powered drone flies for up to 2 hours. 
Impossible Aerospace

Airbus Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Eclipse Ventures have poured $9.4 million into Impossible Aerospace, makers of a battery-powered drone that can fly for two hours on one charge.

According to investor Seth Winterroth, a partner at Eclipse, "The US-1 takes a battery first approach to meeting the needs of a rapidly growing commercial drone industry desperate for higher performance and substantially longer flight times." Long-term, the investor said, Impossible could evolve its unique battery tech and aircraft designs to develop electric planes.

Funds and firms

Venture capitalist Mary Meeker, who is as well-known for her Internet Trends report as her deal-making, announced that she will be leaving Kleiner Perkins to start her own fund. Three other Kleiner investors, Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny, will join Meeker at her new firm, which has not yet settled on a name, the New York Times reported.