By Dan Primack
January 26, 2015

Random Ramblings

Sometimes the most interesting deals are the ones that don’t reach the finish line.

According to multiple sources, venture capital stalwart Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers recently ended efforts to “acquire” Social+Capital Partnership, a Palo Alto-based VC firm formed in 2011 by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya.

Under terms of the deal, Palihapitiya and fellow S23P general partners Ted Maidenberg and Mamoon Hamid would have become partners in KP’s venture capital practice, effectively creating its next generation of leadership (presumably alongside existing KP partner Mike Abbott). You might recall that KP basically bailed on its prior group of “next-gen” leaders, via a late 2013 house-cleaning that came shortly before a new fundraise.

It is unclear how the S23P partners would have been integrated into the new fund’s structure, or if some of the current 5-person management group would have stepped down to make way. Also unclear is how the financial transaction would have worked, vis-à-vis the intrinsic value of S23P and the various interests in the firm’s two existing funds (the most recent of which was capped at $275 million). We’ve seen these sorts of deals sometimes in the private equity space, but almost never in VC-land.

Perhaps all of those question marks were just a bit too much for either side to handle since, as I said in the lead, it appears that this deal is not going to happen. Too bad, because it would have been fascinating to watch as both a Sand Hill Rd. experiment and as a possible example to other legacy firms in need of fresh blood.

Moving forward, expect KP to continue recruiting new senior talent for its VC firm (via more traditional means) and for S23P to begin raising its third fund sometime this spring.

Neither firm agreed to comment on the negotiations.

• Publishing note: The timing of tomorrow’s Term Sheet may be dependent on the vitality of my backup generator and/or my ability to cross-country ski to the closest Dunkin’ Donuts (just a couple of miles). So please be forewarned that your morning missive may be a bit delayed, but never canceled…


THE BIG DEAL

• TransferWise, a London-based online currency exchange startup, has raised $58 million in Series C funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by return backers IA Ventures, Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, Seedcamp and Richard Branson. www.transferwise.com


VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS

• Saltside Technologies, operator of online classifieds platforms in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana, has raised $40 million in equity funding. Hillhouse Capital led the round, and was joined by Brummer & Partners and return backer Investment AB Kinnevik. www.saltside.se

• Everspin Technologies, a Chandler, Ariz.-based maker of magnetic RAM products, has raised $29 million in Series B funding. GlobalFoundries and Western Digital Capital were joined by return backers New Venture Partners, Lux Capital, Sigma Partners, Epic Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. www.everspin.com

• Iora Health, a Cambridge, Mass.-based primary care company, has raised $28 million in Series C funding. Foundation Medical Partners, Rice Management Co., GE Ventures and Khosla Ventures were joined by return backers .406 Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences and Polaris Partners.  www.iorahealth.com

• Money Dashboard, a UK-based personal finance app, has raised $3.7 million in new VC funding. Calculus Capital led the round, and was joined by Ariadne Capital, Par Equity and The Scottish Investment Bank. Read more.

• FilterEasy, a Raleigh, N.C.-based membership service that delivers home air filters, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Backers include Azure Capital and RTP Capital. www.filtereasy.com


PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

• KKR and CVC Capital Partners are considering offers to acquire a stake in Italy-based travel retailer World Duty Free, which is 50% owned by the Benetton family, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. Read more.

• Lund International Inc., a portfolio company of Highlander Partners, has acquired Bushwacker Inc., a Portland, Ore.–based maker of branded aesthetic and protective vehicle accessories. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bushwacker.com

• Schryver Medical Sales and Marketing, a Denver–based portfolio company of Revelstoke Capital Partners, has acquired Quality Mobile X-Ray Services Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of mobile diagnostic x‐ray services. No financial terms were disclosed. www.schryvermedical.com

• Stonebridge Partners has acquired a majority stake in Swiff-Train Co., a Corpus Christie, Texas-based provider of floor covering products. No financial terms were disclosed. www.swiff-train.com


IPOs

• Nine companies are expected to price U.S. IPOs this week, including Entellus Medical and Shake Shack. Read more.


EXITS

• Harman International (NYSE: HAR) has acquired Red Bend Software, an Israel-based provider of software management technology for connected devices. The deal was valued at $170 million, including around $71 million in cash and $99 million in stock. Red Bend had raised around $25 million in VC funding from Carmel Ventures, Coral Capital Management, Pitango Venture Capital, Greylock Partners and Infinity Venture Partners. www.redbend.com

• Harman International (NYSE: HAR) has agreed to acquire Symphony Teleca, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of enterprise software engineering and integration services, from Symphony Technology Group. The deal is valued at around $780 million, plus a possible cash earn-out. www.symphonyteleca.com

• Veronis Suhler Stevenson has sold Strata Decision Technology, a Champaign, Ill.-based provider of healthcare IT solutions, to Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP). No financial terms were disclosed. www.stratadecision.com

• Wanda Group has acquired a controlling stake in 99Bill Corp., a Shanghai–based provider of electronic payment services in China. No pricing terms of the all-cash deal were disclosed. 99Bill had raised over $25 million in VC funding from firms like DCM, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Peninsula Capital. www.99bill.com


OTHER DEALS

• AT&T (NYSE: T) has agreed to acquire Nextel Mexico’s wireless assets for $1.875 billion. Read more.

• Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) has agreed to buy rival travel booking site Travelocity from Sabre Corp. (Nasdaq: SABR) for $280 million in cash. Read more.

• PartnerRe (NYSE: PRE) and fellow Bermuda-based reinsurer Axis Capital Holdings (NYSE: AXS) have agreed to merge. The combined company would have a market cap of nearly $11 billion. Read more.

• Post Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POST) has agreed to acquire privately-held breakfast cereal maker MOM Brands Co. for around $1.15 billion in cash and stock. Read more.

• Rock-Tenn (NYSE: RKT) and MeadWestvaco (NYSE: MWV) have agreed to merge into a $16 billion packaging giant. Read more.


FIRMS & FUNDS

• The Blackstone Group has closed its second energy-focused private equity fund with $4.5 billion in capital commitments, according to the NY Times. Read more.

• Jafco Ventures has rebranded as Icon Ventures. It also announced that Michael Mullany, former CEO of Sencha, has joined the firm as a venture partner. www.iconventures.com

• Partech Ventures has raised $240 million for its first growth equity fund, which will support later-stage rounds for the French VC firm’s existing portfolio companies. www.partechventures.com

• The Raine Group, a merchant bank focused on the TMT sector, has closed its second growth equity fund with $850 million in capital commitments. www.raine.com


MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT

• Rehana Farrell has joined child-focused nonprofit organization Youth I.N.C. as executive director. She previously was chief operating officer of private equity firm Cain Hoy Enterprises and, before that, chief administrative officer of Guggenheim Investments. www.youthinc-usa.org

• Tom Freston, former CEO of Viacom, has joined The Raine Group as a senior advisor. Read more.

• Dale MacMaster has been named chief investment officer of the Alberta Investment Management Co. He previously was VP of public investments at the C$80 billion pension. Read more.

• Ivo Lurvink has agreed to join CVC Capital Partners as an Amsterdam-based partner, effective April 1. He most recently led group acquisitions and divestment at ING. www.cvc.com

• Jason Urband has joined Denver-based private equity firm Lariat Partners. He previously spent more than five years with Grey Mountain Partners, most recently as a vice president. www.lariatpartners.com

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