Greetings from the home office. Two entirely different things to kick off your Tuesday:
• March Madness Extravaganza: It’s time to compete again against your fellow Term Sheet readers, in our annual March Madnessextravaganza. Not only for bragging right, but for an actual prize: The opportunity to write this column for one morning, which could be anything from an essay to a plea for work to a giant advertisement for your firm.
We’re again using ESPN, because (I’m told) it allows an unlimited number of users per group (something that’s been an issue with Yahoo in the past). Here’s how you play:
1. Follow this link, or copy/paste the following into your browser: http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2016/en/group?groupID=1324342
2. If you already have an ESPN account, just log in. If not, please create one (only takes a moment, and you can also connect via your Facebook account).
3. Hit “Join Group,” enter our password (carriedinterest) and then create a bracket and then fill it out. While I love clever “team names,” I ask that you use your real name so that I can better figure out who is leading throughout the tourney: First name, last name (place of work). Thanks.
4. If for some reason you have troubles with the above link, just go to the main ESPN homepage and hit on its Tourney Challenge. Our group name is “Term Sheet 2016” and the password is “carriedinterest” (without the quote marks).
5. Good luck!
• Sand Hill shambles: Former Sequoia Capital partner Mike Goguen yesterday filed a counterclaim against Amber Baptiste, who last week had sued Goguen for breach of contract (although the actual complaint was more notable for its multiple claims of sexual assault and other alleged misdeeds). You can read his suit by going here.
In short, Goguen is calling Baptiste an infatuated ex-mistress who became vindictive upon realizing that Goguen would not leave his wife. As for the $40 million settlement, Goguen argues that it was the result of extortion, and that he stopped payments after Baptiste violated a condition that she not contact Goguen save for correspondence directly related to the settlement (he claims “thousands” of subsequent text messages). His counter-complaint also includes a few risque photos that he claims Baptiste sent over the course of their “relationship” ― something that smells a lot like vindictiveness.
As I wrote yesterday, it is too early to arrive at conclusions. To be sure, Sequoia had every justifiable reason to part ways with Goguen if, as it claims, the firm had no knowledge of his settlement with Baptiste. In small partnerships, that could reasonably be viewed as a breach of trust. And clearly Goguen has broader troubles with fidelity. Nonetheless, as my colleague Kristen Bellstrom writes, this can’t help but reflect negatively on Sequoia. And don’t be surprised if certain aspects of the firm’s finances wind up as part of the court record (assuming an actual trial).
Upon re-reading both suits, it is clear that there is a massive chasm between many of Baptiste’s claims and many of Goguen’s claims. This isn’t Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins, where the ultimate verdict was more about interpretation of facts than the facts themselves. In this case, one of them is outright lying about some of the most disturbing details. And we don’t yet know which one.
THE BIG DEAL
• Skyport Systems, a Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise security architecture company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Google Ventures led the round, and was joined by Cisco Investments, Thomvest Ventures, Northgate Capital, InstantScale and return backers Index Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Intel Capital. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Spirox Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of minimally-invasive devices for patients with nasal obstruction, has raised $45 million in Series C funding. KKR led the round, and was joined by HealthQuest Capital and return backers Aisling Capital, Aperture Venture Partners and Venrock. www.spiroxmed.com
• Outpost Medicine, a biopharma startup focused on the development of new treatments of urologic and gynecologic diseases and disorders, has raised $41 million in first-round funding. Frazier Healthcare Partners led the round, and was joined by Adams Street Partners, Novo A/S, and Vivo Capital. Outpost was recently formed by Frazier Healthcare Partners and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (Tokyo: 4502), with Takeda granting Outpost an exclusive license for the global development and commercialization rights to OP-233 (formerly TAK-233), a clinical-stage product candidate being studied for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. www.frazierhealthcare.com
• Couchbase Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of NoSQL database technology, has raised $30 million in Series F funding. Sorenson Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Accel, Sorenson Capital with current investors participating in the round, including Accel Partners, Adams Street Partners, Ignition Partners, Mayfield Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and West Summit. www.couchbase.com
• LendInvest, a UK-based online marketplace for property finance, has raised £17 million in Series B funding from Atomico. www.lendinvest.com
• Next Insurance, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based online platform for helping small businesses find and obtain insurance, has raised $13 million in seed funding from Zeev Ventures, TLV Partners and Ribbit Capital. www.next-insurance.com
• Arterys Inc., a San Francisco-based startup focused on “deep learning in medical imaging,” has raised over $12 million in Series A funding. Emergent Medical Partners led the round, and was joined by GE Ventures, the Stanford-StartX Fund, Norwich Ventures, Asset Management Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Morado Ventures. www.artesys.com
• Librestream, a Winnipeg-based mobile video collaboration platform for end markets like energy and field services, has raised C$11 million in new VC funding. Emerald Technology Ventures led the round, and was joined by BDC Capital. www.librestream.com
• Sight Sciences Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based ophthalmic medical device startup, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Hicks Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Scientific Health Development and Allegro Investment Fund. www.sightsciences.com
• Kurio, an Indonesia-based news-reading app, has raised $5 million from Gunosy (Tokyo: 6047). Read more.
• Forge Inc., a San Francisco-based startup focused on capturing and sharing services for gameplay, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. True Ventures and Resolute Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by WME Ventures. www.forge.gg
• ChartIQ, a Charlottesville, Va.-based provider of HTML5 financial charting for capital markets, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. Illuminate Financial led the round, and was joined by ValueStream and Tribeca Angels. www.chartiq.com
• Crate Technology, a Berlin-based distributed SQL database for containerized architectures, has raised $4 million in new VC funding. Dawn Capital led the round, and was joined by Sunstone Capital, DFJ Esprit, Speedinvest and Solomon Hykes. www.crate.io
• NimbeLink, a Minneapolis-based solution integrator and system provider for the IoT market, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding from First Analysis. www.nimbelink.com
• PowerCore Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of digital activation and merchandise solutions for games, has raised $2 million in seed funding. Backers include 500 Startups, East Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, and Cherubic Ventures. www.powercore.io
• Noodle.ai, a new AI and data analysis startup for corporate customers, has been launched by Stephen Pratt (ex-IBM Watson) and TPG Growth. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Aurora Flight Sciences, a Manassas, Va.-based developer of drones and autonomous flight technologies for military and commercial customers, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Enlightenment Capital. www.aurora.aero
• Connecture Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXR), a Brookfield, Wis.-based provider of web-based information systems used to create health insurance marketplaces, has raised $52 million in PIPE funding led by Francisco Partners. www.connecture.com
• Dimont, a Dallas-based provider of specialty insurance and loan administration solutions to the residential and commercial financial services industries, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Renovo Capital. www.dimont.com
• Landesk, a South Jordan, Utah-based systems lifecycle management company owned by Thoma Bravo, has acquired AppSense, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of user environment management solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. AppSense had raised $70 million in 2010 from Goldman Sachs. www.appsense.com
• Pivot3, an Austin, Texas-based developer of storage-centric hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, has raised $55 million in private equity and debt financing from Argonaut Private Equity and S3 Ventures. www.pivot3.com
• Providence Equity Partners has agreed to aquire a 63% equity stake in Starman Group, a pan-Baltic cable TV and broadband provider, from East Capital Explorer AB. The deal is valued at €86 million, including up to a €5 million earn-out. www.provequity.com
• Trainline, a British online train ticket retailer owned by KKR, has acquired Paris-based rival Captain Train. No financial terms were disclosed, but TechCrunch reports that the deal is worth over €100 million in cash and stock. Sellers include Alven Capital, CM-CIC Capital and Index Ventures. Read more.
• Campari-Milano (BIT: CPR), an Italian distillery, has agreed to acquire France’s Grand Marnier Group for approximately $760 million. Read more.
• Société Générale has agreed to acquire the UK and Channel Islands wealth management units of Kleinwort Benson, and merge it with private bank Hambros. Read more.
• Sony Corp. has agreed to acquire the remaining 50% it doesn’t already own of music publishing business Sony/ATV from the estate of Michael Jackson for $750 million. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• HealthQuest Capital has closed its second VC fund with $225 million in capital commitments. www.hqcap.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Christian Hamilton has joined UK-based Tenzing Private Equity as a managing partner. He previously spent over 12 years with Inflexion Private Equity. www.tenzing.pe
• Lisa Kaufman has joined The Peakstone Group, a middle-market M&A advisory, as a managing director. She previously was a managing director with Levy Capital Partners and, before that, served as interim CEO of Tivoli Audio. www.peakstonegroup.com
• Claudia Fan Munce has been named to the board of Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY). She currently serves as a venture advisor to NEA, and before that led corporate venture capital for IBM. She will succeed the retiring Brad Anderson. www.bestybuy.com
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