Victory Has a Thousand Fathers
This is Erin Griffith filling in for Dan while he’s on vacation.
When Dollar Shave Club sold to Unilever, investors came out of the woodwork to remind us of their role in the success. In theory you only get one of those per fund, so hey, why not, take that victory lap.
It’s much rarer for a venture firm to experience three billion-dollar exits in a matter of five months. That is, unless you’re AngelList. Through its various funds and syndicates, the crowdfunding platform can lay claim to Dollar Shave Club, Twilio, which went public in June, and Cruise, which sold to General Motors in March.
To be more specific, AngelList manages a few funds, including Maiden Lane, a $25 million fund operated by AngelList. That fund put money into Cruise and Authy, which sold to Twilio for stock in 2015. Meanwhile, in October last year, the venture arm of Chinese investment firm CSC Group launched a $400 million seed fund on AngelList called CSC Upshot. That fund invested in Cruise through a syndicate. In addition, two of AngelList’s additional “managed funds” invested in Cruise. And a group of AngelList investors (through a syndicate led by Mike Jones) backed Dollar Shave Club via a secondary stock sale in 2015.
To give AngelList full credit for backing the three of the most successful exits of the year, I had a few questions, which AngelList Partner Lee Jacobs answered, and I paraphrased:
Q: How many venture-backed companies raise at least some money via AngelList these days? If the answer is “most of them,” then the platform can hardly take credit for picking winners.
A: Only a small portion of the companies with AngelList profiles actually raise money on the platform. AngelList estimates 15% of investments in early stage startups happen on its platform. (CB Insights tracked 886 early stage deals in the first quarter. AngelList syndicates do 120-150 deals a quarter.) For context, AngelList has backed 965 startups, which have gone on to raise $2.2 billion in follow-on capital.
Q: How many people from the “crowd” in AngelList’s crowdfunding model actually get access to these companies? (In other words, are the investors that are getting rich from big exits the same investors that are plugged into Valley deal flow and would have invested regardless of AngelList?)
A: These three deals earned a return for approximately 170 individual investors. Jacobs says its reasonable to assume the investors in these syndicates would not have been able to access these investments otherwise, given their willingness to pay carried interest to the syndicates in order to access them.
Q: How big of a piece of these exits did AngelList actually get? If one person invested $5,000 in a startup that Twilio acquired for stock last year, sorry, but that’s hardly worth shouting about.
A: This one is trickier to suss out. The company doesn’t release return data, and it’s hard to know how diluted they may have been in their exits. AngelList promises to release some aggregate performance data in the coming months.
THE BIG DEAL
• Carvana, a Phoenix-based provider of car vending machines, has raised $160 million in venture backing from undisclosed investors. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Interactions, a Franklin, Mass.-based provider of artificial intelligence services for customer service, has raised $56 million from Revolution Growth with participation from NewSpring Capital and Comcast Ventures. www.interactions.com/
• Memebox, a San Francisco-based e-commerce platform that markets beauty products from South Korea, has raised $66 million. The Series C round was led by Formation Group and included Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures, according to TechCrunch. Read more.
• Iconic Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company aimed at retinal disease and cancer based in San Francisco, has closed a Series C round of financing at $48.5 million. www.iconictherapeutics.com
• Interactions, a provider of speech and natural language tech solutions based in Franklin, Mass., has raised $56 million in a round led by Revolution Growth, NewSpring Capital, and Comcast Ventures. www.interactions.com/
• FullContact, a Denver-based provider of address book management tools, has raised a $25 million investment round led by Foundry Group. www.fullcontact.com/
• Kepler Communications, a Toronto-based startup that aims to create a satellite machine-to-machine communication network, has raised $5 million in seed funding from investors including IA Ventures and Liquid 2 Ventures, TechCrunch reports. Read more.
• CareSkore, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of health management technology, has raised $4.3 million in funding from Cota Capital, Storm Ventures, Rising Tide Fund and Liquid 2 Ventures. www.careskore.com/
• TVSquared, a UK-based provider of measurement and optimization for TV advertisers, raised $3 million in funding from investors including West Coast Capital. www.tvsquared.com/
• Viridis Learning, a New York-based data analytics firm that matches college students with employers, has raised $3.2 million. The Series A round was led by Thayer Ventures and included University Ventures, Lumina Foundation, and NVC Investments. www.viridislearning.com/
• Alafair Biosciences, an Austin, Texas-based medical device company, raised $2 million in Series A funding led by ATP Fund with participation from UT Horizon Fund. www.alafairbiosciences.com/
• Baker, a Denver-based customer engagement software firm for marijuana dispensaries, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from investors including Buddy Media, Base Ventures, XG Ventures, Poseidon Asset Management, and Michael Lazerow. www.trybaker.com
• Anomali, a provider of network threat detection services, based in Redwood City, Calif., has received an investment of undisclosed size from In-Q-Tel. www.anomali.com/
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• BlueGrace Logistics, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of third-party logistics and transportation management, has secured a $255 million investment from Warburg Pincus. www.mybluegrace.com
• Vestar Capital has acquired Mobile Tech, a designer and distributor of loss prevention and merchandising solutions for mobile product retailers based in Hillsboro, Ore., from Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company. http://mobiletechinc.com/
• EQT is acquiring Press Ganey Holdings (NYSE:PGND), a healthcare performance improvement company based in South Bend, Ind., for about $2.35 billion. www.pressganey.com/
• Salt Creek Capital is acquiring Griplock Systems, a designer and provider of cable suspension hardware used in architectural lighting based in Carpinteria, Calif. www.griplocksystems.com/
• May River Capital has acquired MECA & Technology Machine, a Green Bay, Wisc.-based manufacturer of tight tolerance sleeves and machined components used in the packaging and web converting sectors. www.mecagb.com/
• North Castle Partners has invested in JTL Enterprises, the Clearwater, Fla.-based maker of equipment brand HydroMassage. www.hydromassage.com/
• North Castle Partners has invested in SLT Group, the New York City-based operator of Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone boutique fitness studios. www.sltnyc.com/#home
• Tailwater Capital has invested $80 million in Goodnight Midstream, a Dallas-based provider of water handling and salt water disposal services to the oil and gas industry. www.goodnightmidstream.com/
• Pharos Capital Group acquired FasPsych, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based telepsychiatry services provider, alongside management. www.faspsych.com/
• Confluent Medical Technologies, a manufacturer of catheter medical devices based in Fremont, Calif., has acquired ETE Medical, a provider of end-to-end solutions for medical devices based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The deal is sponsored by Ampersand Capital Partners. Terms were not disclosed. www.etemedical.com
• Samsung BioLogics, the drug manufacturing unit of Samsung Group, plans to go public later this year, raising as much as $2.5 billion with a market cap around $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read More.
• Intel is acquiring Nervana Systems, a San Diego-based startup that develops machine learning technology, for more than $400 million. Nervana is backed by DFJ and Data Collective. Read more.
• Redwood Capital has acquired Premier Trailer Leasing, a provider of trailer leasing and rental assets based in Lewisville, Texas, from Garrison Investment Group. www.premiertrailerleasing.com
• Disney will pay $1 billion for a 33% stake in BAMTech, the video streaming platform created by Major League Baseball. Read more.
• General Assembly, a New York-based education company, has acquired Bitmaker, a Canadian leading tech and design accelerator based in Toronto, for an undisclosed amount. Bitmaker was backed by Russell Square Partners. bitmaker.co/
FIRMS & FUNDS
• J.C. Flowers Asset Management is partnering with Credit Suisse Asset Management to raise a fund directed at the mezzanine and equity tranches of U.S. and European Collateralized Loan Obligations, Reuters reports. Read more.
• CoVenture has raised $8 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. The target is $20 million.
• North Castle Partners, has held a final closing on its sixth fund, North Castle Partners VI, L.P. with $300 million in committed capital. www.northcastlepartners.com/
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Sandor Hau and Matthew Jacobson have joined Charlesbank to lead investments in credit markets. www.charlesbank.com
• The Watermill Group has promoted Principal Julia Karol to president and COO, Principal Michael Fuller to CFO, and director of transactions Matthias Bergin to principal. www.watermill.com
• Will Henderson and Duke Punhong have been promoted to managing directors at Graycliff Partners. www.graycliffpartners.com
• Travis Skelly has joined Citi Ventures as a senior vice president. Previously he worked at Fintech Collective. www.citi.com/ventures/
• Steven A. Levy has joined Cowen and Company’s investment banking team as managing director, head of financial sponsors. Previously he ws at Stifel. www.cowen.com/
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