Hey San Francisco: Let's Get Liquid!
I am pleased to announce that Term Sheet will be hosting its next Liquidity Event at Jillian’s in San Francisco, on Thursday, October 8. Tickets are now available by going to: http://GetLiquidSF.eventbrite.com.
No content, just cocktails and conversation with the Bay Area’s top deal-makers, deal-breakers, entrepreneurs and assorted hangers-on. Plus yours truly, an open bar, food and lots of pool tables (yeah, we rented those out too).
Tickets cost just $20. All ticket proceeds (minus the processing fee) will go to a local nonprofit focused on the education space, and you can vote for the “winner” when buying your ticket.
We’ve sold out every past Liquidity Event, and don’t expect this one to be any different. In other words, be sure to get your ticket today. I can’t wait to see you there…
• Adding to the Alphabet: Laurence “Lo” Toney has joined Google Ventures as a partner, per his LinkedIn profile. He previously spent a year helping to lead The Catalyst Fund, a Comcast Ventures affiliate that invests in seed-stage companies led by entrepreneurs of color. Before that, Toney was CEO of LearnStreet and spent two years as a studio GM for Zynga. Neither Toney nor Google Ventures has returned requests for comment.
• Small state, big fight: I have a new magazine piece up about Gina Raimondo, the former venture capitalist who last fall was elected governor of Rhode Island (the first Democrat to do so in nearly two decades). You can read it here.
Raimondo has gotten a lot of national attention (and, in some corners, grief) in her prior job as state treasurer for the way in which she reformed the state’s public pension system (a process that is now over, after the state settled a lawsuit brought by local employee unions). But, to me, the more important takeaway from her relatively-short political career is in how to best approach thorny problems — whether it be pensions or Medicare.
Here is what Raimondo told me in her office (only some of which made the final edit): “There is so much handwringing and talking in politics. My approach is to define the problem and, if we can all agree on that, then I’m willing to compromise a ton on ways to fix it. So much of government is bottom-up, like immediately saying we should increase the retirement age by two years for pension reform or saying that for Medicaid we should cut off single men. But that so often seems to come before we’ve figured out what we’re actually trying to do. It’s backward.”
• Change vs. experience: All economic eyes are on this week’s FOMC meeting, with prognosticators split over whether or not short-term interest rates will be increased. As we wait, here’s something to keep in mind: Of the 10 people with a vote, only two (Janet Yellen and Jeffrey Lacker) have ever voted to raise U.S. rates (one voted to do so in Israel) — and that was back in 2006. Another (Charles Evans) voted a few times to lower rates. But that means the majority of voters will need to fight more than just macro fears of what a rate hike would mean. They’ll have to fight their own inertia.
THE BIG DEAL
• AvidXchange, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of accounts payable and payment automation solutions, has raised $225 million in minority equity funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, and was joined by Foundry Group, NYCA Partners, KeyBank, Square 1 Bank, and TPG Special Situations Partners. www.avidxchange.com
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Ola, an India-based ride-hailing company, is raising more than $500 million in Series F funding ($225m committed so far) at around a $5 billion valuation, according to TechCrunch and DealStreetAsia. Falcon Edge Capital and JS Capital are new investors on the round, while return backers include Tiger Global Management, Softbank, Steadview Capital, ABG Capital and the FII LTR Focus Fund. Read more.
• Compass, a New York-based real estate platform, has raised $50 million in new VC funding. Institutional Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, 406 Ventures, Advance Publications Inc., Ken Chenault and Marc Benioff. www.compass.com
• Emarsys, an Indianapolis-based provider of cloud marketing software for B2C companies, has raised $33 million in Series A funding from Vector Capital. This is the 15 year-old company’s first-ever round of outside funding. www.emarsys.com
• Field Nation, a Minneapolis-based marketplace platform for contingent and on-demand workforce management, has raised $30 million in equity funding led by Susquehanna Growth Equity. www.fieldnation.com
• Relex Solutions, a Finland-based provider of in-memory-based supply chain software, has raised €20 million in minority equity funding from Summit Partners. www.relexsolutions.com
• Onapsis, a Boston-based provider of enterprise cybersecurity solutions, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. Evolution Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by Arsenal Venture Partners and return backer .406 Ventures. www.onapsis.com
• You.i TV, an Ottawa-based developer of a “UI framework built on the principles of video-game engines,” has raised C$15 million in growth equity funding led by Kayne Partners. www.youi.tv
• Datos IO, a San Jose, Calif.-based recovery platform for scale-out databases, has raised $12.5 million in Seriers A funding from firms like Lightspeed Venture Partners and True Ventures. www.datos.io
• Cargo Chief, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of freight brokerage services to shippers, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Walden Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by Hunt Technology Ventures and the GrowthX Fund. www.cargochief.com
• Clear Labs, developer of a database that will index foods based on genetic analysis, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. Backers include Khosla Ventures, Felicis Capital, HBR Genomics and Passport Capital. Read more.
• HouseCall, a San Diego-based mobile platform for running home services companies, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. August Capital led the round, and was joined by return backer e.ventures. www.tryhousecall.com
• Compareit4me Group, an operator of comparison websites across the Middle East, has raised $3 million in VC funding. STC Ventures (corporate venture arm of Saudi Telecom) led the round, and was joined by Wamda Capital and the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. www.compareit4me.com
• uSens Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of 3D interactive solutions for virtual reality and augmented reality, has raised $5.5 million in “pre-Series A” funding. Backers include IDG Ventures, LEbox Capital, Maison Capital, Stone Capital, Fulcrum Capital, ChuanCheng Fund and Chalor Capital. www.usens.com
• MoEngage, a San Francisco-based user analytics and engagement platform for mobile apps in India, has raised $4.25 million in Series A funding. Helion Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Exfinity Ventures and individual angels. www.moengage.com
• PeerIQ, a New York-based provider of institutional investor tools for analyzing and managing risk in the P2P lending market, has raised $2.5 million in new seed funding. Victory Park Capital was joined by Fenway Summer Ventures and return backers Uprising and John Mack. The company previously raised $6 million in seed funding. www.peeriq.com
• Deepomatic, a France-based provider of product discovery technology that automatically monetizes images published by web and mobile media, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding led by Alven Capital. www.deepomatic.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Anchorage Capital Partners has increased its takeover bid for Australian childcare center Affinity Education (ASX: AFJ) from A$208 million to A$213 million. The deal is supported by G8 Education Group (ASX: GEM), an Affinity shareholder that earlier had its own takeover offer rejected. Read more.
• Crescent Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Australian engineering group Cardno (ASX: CDD) at an enterprise value of more than A$520 million (Crescent already holds a 19.9% stake in the business). Read more.
• MORSCO, a Fort Worth-based distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC equipment, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Murray Supply Co., a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based plumbing and HVAC supply company, from SCP Management. No financial terms were disclosed. MOSCO is a portfolio company of Advent International. www.morscousa.com
• Norfund and CDC Group have acquired the outstanding shares in Globeleq Africa, a power generation platform in Africa, from an affiliate of Actis. CDC already held a majority stake in Globeleq Africa, while Norfund paid $227 million for a 30% position. www.act.is
• Tricast Inc., a Milwaukee-based pharmacy benefit data monitoring and analytics company, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Blue Heron Capital and Brook Venture Partners. www.tricast.com
• TVV Capital has acquired Ian-Conrad Bergan LLC, a Pensacola, Fla.-based provider of sensors, electronics and software for monitoring and gauging marine storage tanks. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bergan-blue.com
Vize Capital has acquired Bevo Media, a San Diego-based ad tracking platform and ad exchange operator. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bevomedia.com
• Adesto Technologies Corp., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of non-volatile memory products for Internet of Things apps, has filed for a $50 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol IOTS, with Needham & Co. and Oppenheimer & Co. serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $4 million net loss on around $20 million in revenue for the first half of 2015. Adesto has raised over $50 million in VC funding from firms like ARCH Venture Partners (19.4% pre-IPO stake), Harris & Harris Group (16.2%), Applied Ventures (15.6%), ATA Ventures (11.2%), Adams Street Partners (10.1%) and Altera Corp. (8%). www.adestotech.com
• Fuling Global Inc., a Chinese maker of disposable plastic food service products for the fast-food market, has set its IPO terms to 5 million shares being offered at between $5 and $7 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol FORK, with Burnham Securities serving as sole underwriter. It reports $4.3 million in net income on $46 million in revenue for the first half of 2015. www.fulingplastics.com.cn
• SRA Companies, a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of IT services to the federal government, has withdrawn registration for a $100 million IPO. The move comes after SRA owner Providence Equity Partners announced plans to merge SRA with the government services unit of CSC (NYSE: CSC), in order to form a single IT provider to the U.S. government that would have projected 2015 revenue of around $5.5 billion. CSC, which is structuring the deal as a tax-free spin-off, says that its shareholders will hold 84.68% of the combined company, while Providence and other SRA backers would hold 15.32% and receive $390 million in cash. www.provequity.com
• The Carlyle Group has agreed to sell Primatics Financial Holdings Inc., a McLean, Va.-based provider of risk and finance software for financial institutions, to SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: SSNC) for $122 million. www.primaticsfinancial.com
• Goode Partners has sold Dave’s Killer Bread, a Milwaukie, Ore.-based organic bread brand, to Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO) for approximately $275 million in cash. www.daveskillerbread.com
• Nautic Partners has sold Theorem Clinical Research Inc., a King of Prussia, Penn.-based contract research organization for pharma, biotech and medical device and diagnostic customers, to UK-based Chiltern International Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. www.theoremclinical.com
• Silverfleet Capital is in talks to sell British shoe retailer Office to South Africa-based Truworths. Read more.
• CMST Development Co. Ltd. (SHSE:600787) of China has agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Henry Bath & Son Ltd., a 200 year-old British metal warehousing firm, from Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. for $60 million. Read more.
• Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. has acquired Ethix SRI Advisors AB, a Sweden-based provider of investment research and advisory solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.issgovernance.com
• Soothe, a Los Angeles-based on-demand massage company, has acquired San Francisco-based rival Unwind.me for an undisclosed amount. Soothe recently raised $10.6 million in funding from The Riverside Company. www.soothe.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Blackbird Ventures, an Australian venture capital firm, has closed its second fund with A$200 million in capital commitments. www.blackbird.vc
• Everstone Capital, a Singapore-based private equity and real estate firm focused on Southeast Asia, has closed its third fund with $730 million in capital commitments (including a $30m GP commit). Read more.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Patrick Connelly has joined energy-focused private equity firm Intervale Capital as a partner. He previously was a managing director with SCF Partners. In other Intervale Capital news, the firm has promoted Jason Turowsky to partner. www.intervalecapital.com
• Mark Lee has joined PENSCO, a San Francisco-based alternative asset custodian for self-directed IRA investors, as chief financial officer. He previously was CFO and managing director of the Stanford Management Company, which manages $24 billion in investment and endowment assets for Stanford University. Before that, he was CFO and senior VP for Schwab Institutional and Asset Management. www.pensco.com
• Ben Narasin has joined Canvas Venture Fund as its fifth general partner. He previously was president of TriplePoint Ventures. Read more.
• Jean De La Rochebrochard is joining France-based VC firm Kima Ventures as a partner. He previously was with French startup accelerator TheFamily. In other Kima news, the firm has promoted London-based Vincent Jacobs to partner. Read more.
• Saban Capital Group has promoted Richard Yen to managing director of private equity. He joined the firm in 2008, and will continue to lead its digital media and consumer Internet investment practice. www.saban.com
• Sanjay Palakshappa has joined private equity firm Luminate Capital Partners as a San Francisco-based principal. He previously was with Thoma Bravo. www.luminatecapital.com
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