J.P. Morgan Chase is reportedly buying Aumni, a data analytics firm for startup investors.
The deal is part of a larger effort by America’s biggest bank to forge deeper ties with the venture capital world in the midst of an ongoing banking crisis, CNBC reported Wednesday (March 22).
J.P. Morgan decided to purchase the company after leading its funding round in 2021, said J.P. Morgan Head of Investment Banking Michael Elanjian, per the report.
Founded in 2018, Aumni helps users analyze and understand their investment with a simple dashboard at a time when many VC firms still use products like Microsoft Excel, founder Tony Lewis told CNBC. That can make it tough to uncover insights into holdings.
“The moment you want to start performing any type of data science inquiries into your existing investment activity, it becomes a really large undertaking to track down that information accurately, put it into Excel and perform the work,” Lewis said, per the report. “This is a problem for anyone investing in any private alternative asset; it is based on a private contract, that’s where your economics and legal rights reside.”
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Lewis added that investors turned to his company following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. Because of concerns about uninsured deposits at mid-sized lenders, investors wanted to know where the companies in their portfolios were doing their banking.
As PYMNTS wrote last week, a string of recent markdowns of privately-held tech firms shows “that returns on investment are harder to come by,” which might end up “having a negative ripple effect on innovation and disruption (the good kind, not the run-on-the-bank kind) itself.”
That report was in response to the news that Tiger Global has “marked down” the value of investments in private firms in its VC funds, erasing $23 billion from those portfolios.
Among those holdings are the payments giant Stripe and ByteDance, which owns the social media phenomenon TikTok.
In the case of Stripe, the company said earlier this month it had raised $6.5 billion in a funding round that values the company at $50 billion, a substantial markdown from the $95 billion valuation the company enjoyed two years ago.
Tiger isn’t alone making markdowns. SoftBank Group’s privately-held valuations for its Vision Fund 2 were down 40% through the second half of the year.