On deals and dealmakers.

By Erin Griffith
November 30, 2016

ET CETERA

Startups in India: Accel has raised $450 million for its fifth India fund, a sizable jump over its $305 million fourth fund that was announced just last year. The raise comes at an uncertain time for Indian startups, which don’t have the same government-supported “moat” against U.S. competitors that Chinese startups have historically had.

As I noted Monday, Ola, the “Uber of India,” is raising funding at a valuation that’s potentially 40% lower than its last one. Data service Tracxn Technologies counts 800 “fading or dead” startups in India. And third quarter venture funding in the country was down by 70% over the same period last year, according to ValuePenguin.

Shekhar Kirani, a partner at Accel, explained that, similar to U.S. startup investing, India is experiencing a hangover from the “excessive enthusiasm” of 2015. After a record year of funding announcements, most of the global hedge funds pulled back on their investing in Indian startups in 2016.

But Kirani pointed to strong macro factors, particularly the mass adoption of mobile technology by consumers, enterprises and small and medium enterprises, and the business-friendly government. “Categories that used to take five years to scale, are now doing it in significantly less time – two to three years,” he said. E-commerce, movie tickets, cab bookings, groceries, food deliveries, local services and marketplaces are all going online faster than before. “We tend not to focus on how, when and where others are investing,” he said. Accel portfolio companies in India include Flipkart and Freshdesk. (This item has been updated to fix incorrect information provided by Accel regarding the size and timing of the firm’s previous India fund.)

• Trumpland: The new Treasury Secretary is Steven Mnunchin. I don’t have to explain who he is to this audience, but I would, via Katie Benner, direct your attention to a Bloomberg profile from August, which notes that Mnunchin’s “bland demeanor and world-on-a-platter upbringing belie an intense competitiveness.” Also, the line, “You put the ‘douche’ in fiduciary.”

Meanwhile, as noted Monday, Trump’s Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross.

Basic Rights: A year after Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s fund invested $100 million into Lyft, he is speaking out about his country’s ban on women driving. In a statement, Prince Alwaleed made elaborate social, economic, financial, religious and political arguments in favor of giving women the right to drive. Progress! But he stopped short of advocating for full driving rights. He called for requiring them to carry smartphones, limiting their licenses to cars only, and banning them from driving outside city limits. Ultimately Prince Alwaleed isn’t the one to make these decisions – that’s up to the Saudi government, which five months ago invested $3.5 billion into another ride-sharing startup… Uber.

Gadget Merger: Yesterday’s Term Sheet included a deal item about a Encinitas, Calif.-based gadget startup called Antenna79. The company, which makes smartphone cases with built-in antennas, is backed by L Catterton Partners, Velos Partners, and Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Today I’ve learned a bit more about the deal: Antenna79 has merged with Invisible Gadget Guard Inc., a Utah-based maker of screen protectors. The combined enterprise value is $95 million.

Disrupting Antitrust: Vista Equity Partners closed its $1.65 billion deal for Cvent, a publicly traded provider of event and meeting management software. The firm has merged it with its portfolio company, Lanyon, the other big player in this category. It’s notable because shareholders haven’t exactly been optimistic this deal would happen.

The deal was announced in April, but in July, the Justice Department began to scrutinize it. Cvent and Lanyon are market leaders, and antitrust officials have been tough on those kinds of deals (see previously: Office Depot and Staples, Anthem and Cigna). Cvent stock has traded at a sizable discount to Vista’s offering price ever since.

That this deal got approved shows software companies may be capable of getting different antitrust treatment than other industries. Cvent argued in favor of the deal by pointing to Etouches, a Norwalk, Conn.-based startup with $56 million in venture backing. The point being Etouches isn’t a major competitor yet, but it could quickly become one. As software creeps into every sector of the economy, disruption might have an unexpected consequence: consolidation of the disrupted.

• Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference is underway in Laguna Nigel. Today’s agenda includes Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Sallie Krawcheck of Ellevest and and Rachel Holt of Uber. You can follow the livestream here.


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Against Facebook fact-checking. Goodbye, open internet. Gary Cohn and Bill Walton meet with Trump. Trump’s disastrous pledge to keep jobs in the U.S. Founders in the Valley are driving Ubers and Lyfts to network.


VENTURE DEALS

SonarSource, a Geneva-based provider of quality assurance tools for software code, raised $45 million in funding from Insight Venture Partners.

Nohla Therapeutics, a Seattle-based biotechnology company developing treatments for life threatening hematological disorders and cancers, raised $43.5 million in Series A funding. ARCH Venture Partners led the round, with participation from 5AM Ventures and the Jagen Group.

OxThera AB, a Stockholm-based biopharmaceutical company, raised €32 million ($34 million) in new funding. Life Sciences Partners, Ysios Capital, Sunstone Capital, and Flerie Invest co-led the round, with participation from existing investors Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Stiftelsen Industrifonden, and Brohuvudet.

Solarflare, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of networking software and hardware technology, raised $22.2 million in funding, according to an SEC filing.

Civis Analytics, a Chicago-based data science company founded by Dan Wagner, President Obama’s former data director, raised $22 million in Series A funding. Drive Capital led the round, and was joined by Verizon Ventures, WPP, and Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

Clue, a Berlin health app for tracking menstrual cycles, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Nokia Growth Partners, Nokia’s venture arm, led the round, and was joined by Union Square Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, Brigitte Mohn and Christophe Maire.

Axial Biotherapeutics, a Boston-based company using microbiome research to develop therapies for central nervous system and neurological disorders, raised $19.2 million in Series A funding. Longwood Fund and Domain Associates led the round, with participation from Kairos Ventures, Heritage Medical Systems and a group of angel investors.

TransPod, a Toronto-based company building a high speed transportation system based on Elon Musk’s “hyperloop,” raised $15 million in seed funding from Angelo Investments.

ServiceAide, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of IT and cloud services for small and medium businesses, raised $12 million in new funding. Arrowroot Capital led the round.

Phil, a San Francisco-based prescription medication delivery service, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Crosslink led the round, and was joined by Eniac Ventures.

LovePop, a Boston greeting card company, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Accomplice Ventures led the round, and was joined by angel investors including Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, Wayfair co-founder and CEO Niraj Shah, and Bob White of Bain Capital.

Vaadin, a Helsinki-based provider of web application development tools, raised €5 million ($5.3 million) in funding from private equity firm Verdane.

Tetra Discovery Partners, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based biotechnology company developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Apjohn Group and Grand Angels co-led the round, with participation from Dolby Family Ventures, and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, among others.

Mycare, an Auckland, New Zealand online marketplace for finding and managing home care services for the aged, disabled and injured, raised $3.5 million in new funding.

Sudden Coffee, a San Francisco instant coffee maker, raised $2.7 million in seed funding. CRV led the round, and was joined by Founder Collective, Lifeline Ventures, and several angel investors. Read more.

TicketSauce, a San Diego, Calif. event management software developer, raised $2.5 million in Series A funding. Draper Frontier Opp & Tech Fund led the round.

Worximity Technology, a Montreal producer of smart industrial technologies, raised $2 million in funding from W3 Investments, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and BDC Capital.

Zensurance, a Toronto online commercial insurance broker, raised $1 million in funding. Ferst Capital Partners led the round.

•  S2solutions, a Seattle provider of inventory management software for the cannabis industry, raised $1 million in seed funding from unnamed investors.

•  Alpha II, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based provider of healthcare software services including claims editing, billing accuracy, and quality reporting, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from WestView Capital Partners.

•  Ytel, a Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based provider of communications software for businesses, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Argentum and Marwit Capital.


PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

•  SintecMedia, a Francisco Partners portfolio company, has agreed to acquire Operative Media, a New York-based provider of digital advertising management software for online publishers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•  Access Holdco Management, an Atlanta insurance company backed by Altamont Capital Partners, has acquired insurance provider Occidental Fire & Casualty Company’s Massachusetts business from IAT Insurance Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•  Syncsort, a Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based big data company backed by Clearlake Capital Group, has agreed to acquire Trillium Software, a subsidiary of Harte Hanks, Inc. that develops data quality software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•  Vista Equity Partners has completed its previously announced acquisition of Cvent Inc., a Tysons Corner, Va.-based cloud-based enterprise event management company, for $1.65 billion in cash. Cvent has merged with Vista Equity Partners portfolio company Lanyon.


OTHER DEALS

•  Albertsons Companies, a Boise, Idaho-based supermarket chain, is in talks to acquire Price Chopper, a Schenectady, New York-based, family-owned grocery operator, for around $1 billion. Albertsons is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Read more at Fortune.

•  Praxair Inc. has moved to reopen merger negotiations with fellow industrial gas company Linde AG, according to the Wall Street Journal. The combination deal would create a $60 billion industrial gas giant, the biggest in the world. Read more.

Zayo Group Holdings has agreed to buy fellow telecom infrastructure provider Electric Lightwave for $1.42 billion in cash, according to Reuters. Read more.

•  VTS and Hightower, both New York City-based companies that help commercial real estate brokers and owners manage their businesses, have merged. VTS is backed by Blackstone Group and Open View, while Hightower investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Thrive Capital, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Aaron Levie. The new company, which is valued at about $300 million, will operate under the name VTS.


EXITS

GetInsured has acquired Array Health, a Seattle-based provider of group health insurance e-commerce technology, for an undisclosed amount. Array Health raised $13 million in funding from investors including Alliance of Angels, Noro-Moseley Partners, and Vocap Investment Partners.

 •  YFM Equity Partners and 3i Group have sold Go Outdoors, a U.K. outdoor apparel and equipment retailer, to JD Sports for £112 million ($119 million), according to the Guardian. Read more.

•  Wellspring Capital Management sold its stake in Great Lakes Caring Home Health and Hospice, a Jackson, Mich.-based provider of in-home post-acute services for people with serious illnesses, to Blue Wolf Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•  Tower Arch Capital has recapitalized Corbett Technology Solutions, a Chantilly, Va.-based provider of communication technology products for businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.


FIRMS + FUNDS

•  Accel, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm, raised $450 million for its fifth India fund.

•  Starburst Accelerator, a Singapore-based accelerator program for aviation and aerospace tech startups, has raised $200 million for a new fund, named Starburst Ventures.


NEW JOBS

•  Vanessa Colella has been promoted to head of Citi Ventures, a Citi division that invests in fintech startups. Previously, she was the U.S. bank’s global head of venture investing and strategic growth initiatives.

•  John Soden has joined Cain Brothers, a New York City investment bank focused on the medical services industry, as managing director. He was previously managing director and head of medical technologies at Houlihan Lokey.

•  Austin Santoro has joined Material Handling Services as director of M&A. Santoro was previously an associate at Trive Capital. (This item has been updated to correct a misspelling of Trive Capital.)


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