By Dan Primack
January 29, 2015
January 29, 2015

Random Ramblings

A bunch of notes to kick off your Thursday:

• Leak lawsuit: TPG Capital yesterday filed suit against Adam Levine (no, not that one), a former spokesman and public affairs exec who now stands accused of leaking confidential firm information to the media (along with various related breaches of fiduciary duty). The complaint, filed in Texas, alleges that Levine was upset about not getting a promotion, at which point he “made a series of ominous threats against [TPG],” and began secretly accessing from the Firm proprietary and confidential information which… he has begun to illegally disclose to third parties.”

Among those third parties is the NY Times, to which Levine allegedly leaked internal firm emails. The NYT reporter then is said to have forwarded one of those emails to TPG, which claims to have then done a forensic analysis.  No other media organization is explicitly named, although it’s no secret to Term Sheet readers that various TPG documents have been floating around over the past several months (to be clear, I have no comment on sourcing for any of those documents — if I have something to tell you on that, I’d be explicit).

I’ve been unable to get comment so far from Levine, but the WSJ reached his representative, who denied the charges, arguing that Levine “was dismissed because he had alerted TPG senior management to serious issues of noncompliance and defrauding its investors of millions of dollars in fees and expenses… This is a blatant and shameful attempt to discredit a whistleblower.”

You can read the full complaint by going here.

• New firm alert: Todd MacLean and Jeff Crison have quietly left Bain Capital Ventures, where they had been serving as Boston-based managing directors. Several sources say that the pair plans to launch a new venture capital firm with Jim Quagliaroli, who has stepped down as a managing director with Spectrum Equity. Expect it to focus on both tech and healthcare investments.

MacLean had rejoined BCV in 2012 after having spent two years in Silicon Valley helping to lead the growth equity program at Accel Partners. Crison had been with BCV since 2002 (mostly focused on healthcare), before which he was with Bain Capital. Quagliaroli had been with Spectrum for 14 years, and an MD since 2009. I reached out to each of the three principals, but did not hear back.

• Keeping tabs: During a private equity industry conference earlier this month, former Congressman Barney Frank was asked for his thoughts on the Dodd-Frank rules that require SEC registration for any private equity firm with $150 million or more in AUM. He said that he disagreed with certain GOP efforts (led by Rep. Robert Hurt) to completely eliminate the registration requirement, but also suggested that the SEC should have the “power to adjust [the threshold] upwards after a certain period of years” [per a story from peHUB].

The private equity industry’s leading trade group, the PEGCC, is still only talking about full repeal (even though Hurt still doesn’t have a Senate sponsor), but it’s very interesting to see Barney Frank (of all people) raising the prospect of moving the goalposts. The industry isn’t going to publicly negotiate against itself, but Frank’s comments may indicate where this issue is ultimately heading.

• Newsweek has a cover story on sexism in Silicon Valley (and a very controversial cover image). Worth reading, but here is part of its conclusion: “Frustrated, women in Silicon Valley seem to be segregating themselves in women-only venture funds or starting gender-gated funds.” Really? Yes, I’ve seen some of that, but I’d argue that the vast majority of female VCs continue to join/work with (officially) gender-agnostic firms. I’ll try to run some data soon.

• Good timing? I’m listening to The Blackstone Group’s quarterly earnings call, and should have a write-up for the website later this morning. Two quick notes from Blackstone president Tony James: “We had sold most of our oil exposure before prices began to fall.” He also said that the firm has been seeing strong interest for its new flagship private equity fund, which he expects will be larger than the $16 billion it raised for its current flagship PE fund.

• Seeing stars: TechStars Ventures has closed its third fund with $150 million in capital commitments. This is the firm previously known as Bullet Time Ventures, which was formed by TechStars founder David Cohen (and now includes several other partners, including Mark Solon). The goal is to back entrepreneurs within the TechStars ecosystem, which includes both recent graduates, alumni and mentors. The $150 million is a huge leap from the $28 million raised for Bullet Time Ventures II, which Cohen says is because the group was “leaving a lot of pro rata opportunities on the table.”

• Coffee Bowl: There is no friendly Super Bowl wager between Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts and Seattle-based Starbucks. Guess that’s the downside of local institutions going national. A Dunkin’ spokeswoman does tell me, however, that the chain will give away free hot coffees to New Englanders next Monday if the Patriots win. In related news, did you know that Kenny G. is from Seattle? Just saying…


THE BIG DEAL

• Datadog, a New York-based SaaS monitoring platform for cloud applications, has raised $31 million in Series C funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers RTP Ventures, OpenView Venture Partners and Amplify Partners. Read more.


VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS

• Tune, an enterprise platform for mobile marketing, has raised $27 million in Series B funding. Icon Ventures led the round, and was joined by Performance Equity Management and return backer Accel Partners. www.tune.com

• Business Insider, the online business information site founded by Henry Blodget, has raised $25 million in new VC funding led by Axel Springer Digital Ventures. The New York-based media company previously raised around $30 million from backers like Jeff Bezos, RRE Ventures, Pilot Group, Kohlberg Ventures, Marc Andreessen, Ken Lerer and Institutional Venture Partners. Re/Code reports that the new round values Business Insider at around $200 million. Read more.

• Deliveroo, a UK-based home and office delivery service for local restaurant meals, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Accel Partners led the round, and was joined by Index Ventures, Hoxton Ventures and Hummingbird Ventures. www.deliveroo.co.uk

• Meta, a maker of augmented reality devices, has raised $23 million in Series A funding. Backers include Horizons Ventures, Tim Draper, BOE Optoelectronics, Garry Tan, Alexis Ohanian, Danhua Capital, Commodore Partners and Vegas Tech Fund. Read more.

• Atlas Genetics Ltd., a UK-based “test and treat” molecular diagnostics company, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. RMI Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Novartis Venture Funds, Consort Medical, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LSP, BB Biotech Ventures and South West Ventures Fund. www.atlasgenetics.com

• Mashable, a tech news site, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. Time Warner Investments led the round, and was joined by return backers like Updata Partners. www.mashable.com

• Claritas Genomics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based genetic diagnostic testing company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. WuXi NextCODE Genomics led the round, and was joined by return backers Boston Children’s Hospital, Cerner Corp. and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. www.claritasgenomics.com

• Whistle, a San Francisco-based maker of dog activity monitors, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Nokia Growth Partners led the round, and was joined by Qualcomm Ventures, Melo7 Tech Partners, QueensBridge Venture Partners and return backers DCM and Slow Ventures. Whistle also announced that it has acquired fellow dog wearables startup Tagg for an undisclosed amount. Read more.

• Tripda, a New York-based long-distance carpooling startup, has raised $11 million in Series A funding from Rocket Internet and an unidentified New York-based VC firm. Read more. http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2015/01/29/tripda-on-a-drive-to-get-long-distance-carpooling-to-catch-on-in-the-u-s/

• Koru, a Seattle-based tech job marketplace and training program for recent college grads, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Maveron led the round, and was joined by City Light Capital, Trilogy Equity Partners and return backers Battery Ventures and First Round Capital. www.koru.com

• AutoBot, a Beijing-based developer of on-board diagnostic tools for automobiles, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from Gobi Partners and ABC Capital. Read more.

• Anews Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based international news aggregating platform, has raised $2.7 million in new VC funding. Backers include TMT Investments, Run Capital, and 101Startup. www.anews.com

• 99.co, a Singapore-based property rental and sales site, has raised S$2 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Read more.


PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

• AssuredPartners, a Lake Mary, Fla.-based insurance brokerage platform owned by GTCR, has acquired Chapple Insurance Group, a Wichita, Kansas-based property and casualty insurance agency. No financial terms were disclosed. www.assuredptr.com

• Capital Resource Partners has sponsored an equity recapitalization for Metal Finishing Technologies, a Bristol, Conn.–based provider of surface finishing services to aerospace and commercial clients. No financial terms were disclosed. www.crp.com

• Summit Research Labs Inc. (a.k.a. SummitReheis), a Huguenot, N.Y.-based maker of active ingredients for antiperspirants, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Brookside Mezzanine Partners. www.summitreheis.com

• WestView Capital Partners has acquired Mintz Group, a New York-based provider of due diligence and litigation investigation services. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Abacus Finance Group arranged senior secured debt financing. www.mintzgroup.com


IPOs

• Elis, a French provider of rental uniforms and linens to businesses, plans to raise around €700 million in its Paris IPO next month. The company is owned by Eurazeo. Read more.

• Entellus Medical Inc., a Plymouth, Minn.-based developer of “balloon” devices for dilation of chronic sinusitis, raised $78 million in its IPO. The company priced 4.6 million shares at $17 per share, compared to plans to offer nearly 4.4 million shares at between $15 and $17 each. The company has an initial market cap of around $296 million, and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ENTL. BofA Merrill Lynch and Piper Jaffray served as lead underwriters. Shareholders include Esses Woodlands Health Ventures (26% pre-IPO stake), SV Life Sciences (23.9%), Split Rock Partners (21.1%) and Covidien Ventures (7.2%). www.entellusmedical.com

• Flex Pharma Inc., a Boston-based developer of treatments for neuromuscular disorders, raised $86 million in  its IPO. The company priced 5.4 million shares at $16 per share, compared to plans to offer 4.6 million shares at between $12 and $14 each. Flex Pharma’s initial market cap is approximately $272 million, and it will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol FLKS. Jefferies and Piper Jaffray served as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Longwood Fund (19.23% pre-IPO stake), Bessemer Venture Partners (9.82%), EcoRq Capital, Jennison Associates, Lightstone Ventures, Alexandria Equities, CD-Venture, Bindley Capital Partners, City Hill Ventures, Kraft Group, Todd Dagres, Peter Lynch and Steve Pagliuca. www.flex-pharma.com

• Kolltan Pharmaceuticals Inc., a New Haven, Conn.-based developer of antibody-based drugs targeting receptor tyrosine kinases, has withdrawn registration for an $86.25 million IPO that has originally been filed last September. No explanation was provided. Leerink Partners and Stifel were serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders include Fidelity Investments (14.76% stake) and Gilead Sciences (10.19%). www.kolltan.com


EXITS

• Abraaj Group and ACE & Co. have sold Tunisian baked goods provider Moulin d’Or to Supreme Group. No financial terms were disclosed.  www.moulindor.net

• Esker, a listed French software company, has acquired TermSync Inc., a Fitchburg, Wis.-based provider of an accounts receivable automation platform. No financial terms were disclosed, except that the deal includes a two-year earnout. Sellers include Venture Management LLC, Wing Capital Group and Wisconsin Investment Partners. www.termsync.com

• Performant Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: PFMT) has agreed to acquire Premier Healthcare Exchange Inc., a Bedminster, N.J.-based provider of healthcare cost management solutions for commercial health plans and third party administrators, for $130 million (including $108m in cash).  Sellers include Edison Partners. www.phx-online.com


OTHER DEALS

• Bats Global Markets has agreed to acquire foreign exchange trading platform Hotspot FX from KCG Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KCG) for $365 million in cash. Read more.

• CommScope (Nasdaq: COMM) has agreed to acquire TE Connectivity’s (NYSE: TEL) telecom, enterprise and wireless business for approximately $3 billion in cash. Read more.

• Zomato, an India-based restaurant search and discovery service, has acquired Mekanist, a similar sort of company focused on the Turkish market. No pricing terms of the all-cash deal were disclosed. Zomato recently raised $60 million in VC funding at a $600 million pre-money valuation, from firms like Vy Capital, Info Edge and Sequoia Capital. Read more.


FIRMS & FUNDS

 Sun Life Financial has agreed to acquire Ryan Labs Asset Management, a New York-based investment firm with $5.1 billion in assets under management. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.


MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT

• Ryan Waddington has joined Florida-based Arsenal Venture Partners as a partner, where he will lead Midwestern investment activities. He previously was a co-founding partner of Michigan-based Huron River Ventures. Arsenal also said that it has promoted Jennifer Dunham to partner. She leads the firm’s Florida investment efforts. www.arsenalvp.com

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