All of today's deal and deal-maker news.

By Dan Primack
August 19, 2015

Random Ramblings

A bunch of notes to kick us off…

• A couple of unannounced private equity departures to share with you: First, Timothy Clark has stepped down as a managing director with Gridiron Capital, which he joined nine years ago after having co-led the consumer group for Stifel Nicolaus. No word yet on his future plans. We’ve also learned that Alexandra DeLaite has left Thomas H. Lee Partners, where she had been a director. DeLaite joined THL back in 2007 from AEA Investors.

• In market: Aisling Capital, a New York-based private equity firm focused on life sciences, is in market with its fourth fund, per a document from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (which is committing $50m). The target is $400 million with a $500 million hard cap.

Net IRRs for its past funds through May 31, 2015 were: Fund 1 (2002), 20%; Fund II (2005), 5.9%; Fund III (2008), 25.3%). As has already been reflected on the Aisling website, firm founder Dennis Purcell has transitioned into a senior advisor role.

• Huge non-deal news: Regular readers know that I’m endlessly intrigued by Intarcia Therapeutics, the Boston-based biotech “unicorn” that has developed an implantable, matchstick-size osmotic pump for people suffering from Type II diabetes. The idea is to provide continuous and consistent drug therapy for upwards of a full year, thus replacing either daily injections or oral medications.

Late last night, Intarcia announced the results of a Phase 3 clinical trial that compared its lead candidate head-to-head with Merck’s Januvia, an oral medication that last year generated around $6 billion in gross sales. In short, Intarcia says that its drug not only was nearly twice as effective when it came to glucose reductions, but also around three times as effective when it came to weight loss (the company soon plans to investigate the obesity-specific applications).

I’ll write more about this later today — and Intarcia has not yet published its results in a medical journal (CEO Kurt Graves said he wanted to get the info out as soon as possible in the interest of transparency, and that the company is negotiating with a “prestigious” publication) — but this could be a big game-changer for biotech and the Boston startup scene. You know, so long as Intarcia gets FDA approval (which would not occur until the middle of 2017).

The results also trigger a $100 million payment to Intarcia, as part of a $300 million royalty deal announced earlier this year. As for Merck, the company says that it is “confident that physicians will continue to choose Januvia.”

• Mt. Money: Uber reportedly has raised new strategic funding from an affiliate of India-based Tata Capital, bringing its overall “venture” capitalization to more than $7 billion. We’re getting close to the point where this company can double as an index for the late-stage VC market.

• Clarification: Earlier this month I wrote about how bitcoin startup Coinbase had done right by its employees, joining Pinterest in extending the stock option exercise window for departing employees. What I neglected to mention, however, was that Pinterest wasn’t actually the first high-profile startup to make such a move. Question-and-answer site Quora instituted a similar change in April 2014, and actually created a 10-year window from the grant date. Apologies for the oversight.

• Get energized: Fortune has released the initial speaker lineup for our new Brainstorm E conference, which will discuss energy, environment and sustainability in Austin on Sept. 28-29. Included will be a venture investment session with Colleen Calhoun (GE Ventures), Cory Sterffek (Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures) and Steve Vassallo (Foundation Capital). Check out the agenda by going here.


THE BIG DEAL

• Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) is in “advanced talks” to acquire Airwave Solutions, a UK-based provider of communications services for emergency services and public safety agencies, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be worth around $1.6 billion.

Motorola Solutions recently secured a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake, while Airwave Solutions is controlled by Macquarie Group. Read more.


VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS

• WaVe Life Sciences, a Boston-based genetics startup focused on stereopure nucleic acid therapies for patients impacted by rare diseases, has raised $66 million in Series B funding. Foresite Capital led the round, and was joined by Fidelity, New Leaf Venture Partners, Redmile Group, Jennison Associates, Cormorant Asset Management, Clough Capital Partners and return backers RA Capital Management and Kagoshima Shinsangyo Sosei. Leerink Partners served as placement agent. The company previously raised $18 million. www.wavelifesciences.com

• AlienVault, a San Mateo, Calif.-based cybersecurity and crowd-sourced threat management platform, has raised $52 million in Series E funding. Institutional Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers GGV Capital, Trident Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Read more.

• Kik, a Canada-based messaging app, has raised $50 million in new funding from China’s Tencent at around a $1 billion valuation. Earlier this year, Kik hired Qatalyst Partners to explore strategic options, including a potential sale. It had previously raised over $70 million in VC funding from firms like Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, SV Angel and Union Square Ventures. Read more.

• Kahuna, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of mobile communication automation solutions, has raised $45 million in Series B funding. Tenaya Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers like Sequoia Capital and SoftTech VC. www.kahuna.com

• Ring, maker of a connected video doorbell, has raised $28 million in new VC funding. Investors include Richard Branson, Shea Ventures, American Family Insurance, True Ventures, Upfront Ventures and an undisclosed homebuilder. Read more.

• LaunchPoint, an Itasca, Ill.-based provider of payment integrity software and solutions for healthcare payers, has raised $22.5 million in private equity funding from Carrick Capital Partners. www.launchpointcorporation.com

• SpotHero, a Chicago-based provider of on-demand parking services, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Battery Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Chicago Ventures, Draper Associates, OCA Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and 500 Startups. Read more.

• Siklu Inc., a Fair Lawn, N.J.-based developer of millimeter-wave technology, has raised $18 million in Series D funding. Sercomm Corp. (TSEC: 5388) led the round, and was joined by return backers Argonaut Private Equity, Evergreen Venture Partners, DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, The Tamares Group and Amiti Ventures. www.siklu.com

• Kuros Biosurgery AG, a Swiss developer of biomaterials and bioactive-biomaterial combination products, has raised around $15.4 million in new VC funding. LifeCare Partners and LSP Life Sciences Partners co-led the round, and were joined by Omega Funds and undisclosed family offices in Germany and Switzerland. The company said this is a first close, with a second close expected to occur by year-end. www.kuros.ch

• Iconixx, an Austin, Texas-based provider of compensation management software, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Harbert Venture Partners and S3 Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Ballast Point Ventures. www.iconixx.com

• Owlet Baby Care, maker of a baby monitor that includes heart rate and oxygen level measurements, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Formation 8 led the round, and was joined by Carpe Diem VC and return backers Azimuth Ventures, ffvc, Eniac Ventures and Peak Capital. The company also secured a $1 million NIH grant. www.owletcare.com

• Kindara, a Boulder, Colo.-based maker of apps and devices to help women better understand and manage their reproductive health, has raised $5.3 million in seed funding (including conversion of $1.9m in convertible notes). Boston Seed Capital led the round, and was joined by SOS Ventures, Good Works Ventures, PV Ventures, MENA Venture Investments and 62 Mile Ventures. www.kindara.com

• TrackIf, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based provider of online tracking and alerting for future purchase intent, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Origin Ventures and Grotech Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by return backer Chicago Ventures. www.trackif.com

• IntelligenceNode, an India-based provider of big data analytics to retailers, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from New Enterprise Associates and Orios Venture Partners. www.intelligencenode.com

• Api.ai, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup that lets developers add AI and natural language technology to their apps, has raised $3 million in new VC funding led by SAIC Capital. Read more.

• Away, a New York-based direct-to-consumer luggage brand, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding co-led by Forerunner Ventures and Accel Partners. www.awayluggage.com

• Anpac Bio-Medical Science, a maker of medical devices for cancer detection, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Shanghai Zhangjiang Science &Technology Investment Corp. www.anpac.cn

• Uber has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from an affiliate of India-based Tata Capital. Read more.

• Vicarious, a Union City, Calif.-based artificial intelligence research company, has raised an undisclosed amount of new strategic funding from Samsung Electronics Co. and Wipro Ltd. The company previously raised funding from ABB Ltd., Good Ventures, Founders Fund, Open Field Capital, Jess Bezos, Marc Benioff, Mark Zuckerberg and Aaron Levie. Read more.


PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

• 9 Story Media Group, a Toronto-based portfolio company of ZM Capital, has acquired Brown Bag Films, a Dublin, Ireland-based animation studio. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.

• BelHealth Investment Partners has acquired Apothecary by Design, a Portland, Maine-based specialty pharmacy focused on women’s health, hepatitis C and autoimmune disorders. No financial terms were disclosed. www.apothecarybydesign.com

• CoBe Capital has acquired the Italian electronic security solutions unit of Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK), and renamed the business Techco Security. No financial terms were disclosed. www.cobecapital.com

• The Hilb Group, a Richmond, Va.-based portfolio company of ABRY Partners, has acquired JWB Insurance Group, a Wilmington, N.C.-based provider of specialty services in employee benefits and commercial insurance. No financial terms were disclosed. www.hilbgroup.com

• H.I.G. Capital has agreed to acquire HelpSystems LLC, an Eden Prairie, Minn.–based provider of IT management software, from Summit Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, although an earlier Reuters report suggested the purchase price could exceed $700 million (including debt). www.helpsystems.com

• MicroPact Inc., a Herndon, Va.-based provider of case management and business process management software, has merged with Iron Data Solutions, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of case management and regulatory software solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. The combined company will retain the name of MicroPact, which is a portfolio company of Enlightenment Capital. www.entellitrak.com

• Wellspring Capital Management has formed a new flexible packaging company via the merger of portfolio company Prolamina Corp. and newly-acquired Ampac Holdings. No financial terms were disclosed. www.prolamina.com

• Ximedica, a Providence, R.I.-based medical technologies development firm, has acquired Bridge Design, a San Francisco-based provider of design services for physical and digital products. No financial terms were disclosed. SV Life Sciences acquired a majority stake in Ximedica late last year. www.ximedica.com


IPOs

• Benitec Biopharma, an Australian developer of a therapeutic technology platform that combines gene silencing and gene therapy, raised $14 million in its IPO. The company priced 1.5 million shares at $9.21 per share (each share also included a 1/3 warrant to purchase a new share at a $5.50 exercise price). Benitec originally planned to offer 5 million shares, but cut back last week and added the warrants. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol BNTC, while BMO Capital Markets served as lead underwriter. The company also continues to trade on the ASX under ticker symbol BLT. www.benitec.com

• SunGard, a Wayne, Penn.-based provider of financial services software, has withdrawn registration for an IPO. This follows the company’s recent agreement to be acquired for approximately $9.2 billion by Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS). www.sungard.com


EXITS

• PayPal has acquired Chicago-based mobile commerce startup Modest for an undisclosed amount, in its first acquisition since spinning out of eBay last month. Modest had raised seed funding from Base Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Read more.


OTHER DEALS

• No other deals this morning…


FIRMS & FUNDS

• Sverica International, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, is raising upwards of $250 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.sverica.com

• Wasserstein & Co. is raising upwards of $750 million for its fourth mid-market private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.wasserco.com


MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT

• Aabar Investments, an Abu Dhabi state investment group, has named Mohamed al-Mehairi as CEO, replacing Mohamed Badawy al-Husseiny. Mehairi currently is director of investments at International Petroleum Investment Co., Aabar’s majority shareholder. Read more.

• Richard Lan, former chief customer officer of Maple Leaf Food Group, has joined The Riverside Company as a senior advisor focused on the food and beverage market. www.riversidecompany.com

• Charlie Riceman has joined Varagon Capital Partners, a New York based credit asset manager focused on direct lending to private equity owned middle-market companies, as a partner. He previously spent more than 11 years as a managing director with Golub Capital. http://www.varagon.com

 Amara Suebsaeng (Boston), Alex Melamud (Menlo Park) and Max Cancre (London) have rejoined TA Associates as vice presidents. Each had previously been with the firm before moving on to business school. TA also said that it has hired John DiCola, a former associate with Hellman & Friedman, as a Boston-based vice president. www.ta.com

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