On deals and dealmakers.
Hello from New Orleans, where I’m in town for the Collision conference. Yesterday I interviewed two investors about the state of the green-eco-friendly-sustainability-clean tech market: David Mount of Kleiner Perkins’ Green Growth Fund, and Gabriel Kra, founder of Prelude Ventures. Two takeaways:
• Yes, there was a green tech bubble in the late aughts. But now, green tech is eating the world, they said. Put another way: Startups are increasingly developing “green” technologies for industrial uses that might be categorized as ag-tech, IoT, or auto-tech, but they’re also opportunities for green tech investors.
Companies from the 2008 greentech bubble “underestimated the amount it would cost to scale the technology, overestimated how eager consumers would be to pick up their products, and probably underestimated how fast the competition was moving,” Mount said.
But companies today “are ready to benefit from massive cost declines coming out of the digital world that are ready to make their impact on the industrial world, the energy and environmental sectors, manufacturing sector, transportation sector,” Mount said. So, expand your definition of “green” investing. “We are not opportunity limited,” Kra said.
• Has the election of coal-friendly President Trump changed their investing outlook? Nope! In the short term, Kra and Mount say they’re investing in companies that use green technology to generate savings for companies and make economic sense today. Maybe under a new President they could be accelerated. Mount noted that he’s thinking long term — breaking the historic linkage between carbon emissions and economic productivity will be a ten to 30 year process.
And about Kleiner Perkins’ Green Growth Fund: Mount and his team are in the process of spinning out from Kleiner Perkins. An SEC filing from last week confirms the name and the raise: A fund called G2VP I is raising capital with a target of $275 million. Mount is listed as a managing member, alongside Brook Porter, Benjamin Kortlang, and Daniel Oros. The firm has held a first close on the funds, Term Sheet has learned.
Mount wouldn’t comment on the move or raise, citing SEC regulations. A placeholder website for G2VP doesn’t add much in the way of context. Kleiner Perkins initially started investing in cleantech in 2006 with a $100 million seed fund. Two years later the firm dedicated $500 million to the Green Growth Fund. The Wall Street Journal, which reported on the split in February, noted that Green Growth has $1 billion under management.
Quotable: “Super” angel investor Chris Sacca spoke about his retirement from venture investing and Shark Tank, his plans for political activism, his TV role, and the tech sector’s role in the world’s problems. The most relevant bit for Term Sheet readers was his commentary – at length — on Uber:
• On Travis: Sacca said he recently reconnected with CEO Travis Kalanick after years of not speaking. He believes Kalanick “materially changing right now for the better.” He told a story of reconciliation: “Travis is in a very vulnerable and introspective state right now in a way I’ve never seen him. For the good. For the first time, maybe ever, he is acknowledging the places where he needs help and starting to take responsibility for his broader role in the consequences of the company and the culture, and that’s great. … I think that company is redeemable and that culture is fixable and I think Travis is waking up to why.”
• On how Uber got in this mess: “Silicon Valley has learned to tune out the anecdotal feedback and just look a the numbers.” He noted that Uber was still signing up new users amid the #DeleteUber campaign, “so the algorithm and the data and the spreadsheet reinforce that bad behavior.”
• On why he believes Uber will change: Job applications at Uber are down. “When it’s abundantly clear that a company has a culture issue, the best people in the world stop going to work there … and that is literally sucking the lifeblood out of the company. Even if you were Scrooge McDuck, you look at that, you’re like, ‘Oh sh**, we’re in real trouble we’re going to need to deal with this clusterf***.’”
Also quotable: Naveen Jain, founder of Moon Express, issued an impassioned call to the audience to chase their own personal moonshots. He also called Elon Musk an “underachiever” for not trying to send SpaceX to the moon. (Moon Express is planning a mission to the moon this year.) “Someday when they land on the moon they can come talk to me about it,” he said.
He noted that the government proved the underlying space travel technology works, and private companies like his are commercializing it. “If I could rephrase John F. Kennedy, it would sound like, ‘We chose to go to the moon, not because it’s easy, but because it’s a good business,’” he said.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• Government censorship in the age of Facebook.
• Google’s newest venture and the future of TV ads.
• The dangerous downside of the boycott that sunk Bill O’Reilly.
• Wall Street eyes Apple and Facebook to fuel a new leg of the tech rally.
• Follow along with our Brainstorm Health conference.
• Startup realities Hollywood gets wrong.
• Jay Clayton confirmed as SEC chair.
How ESPN became a conservative cause. About.com is now Dotdash. Jared Kushner didn’t disclose his startup investment. Facebook engineers claim gender bias. Alex Hardiman is the woman who will fight fake news on Facebook (yesterday’s Term Sheet misidentified her, apologies!). Why the phrase “late capitalism” is suddenly everywhere. The bland side of Goldman Sachs. Etsy ousts CEO amid activist shareholder pressure
• Next Insurance, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based digital insurance company for small to medium businesses, raised $29 million in a Series A funding. Munich Re/HSB Ventures led the round, and was joined by Markel and Nationwide.
• Bonsai, a Berkeley, Calif.-based AI enterprise development startup, raised $7.6 million in funding. Microsoft Ventures and NEA co-led the round. Investors Samsung, Siemens, and ABB Technology Ventures participated.
• Wavedash Games, an Oakland, Calif.-based game publisher, raised $6 million in Series A funding. March Capital Partners led the round. Investors Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital, CourtsideVC, Machine Shop Ventures, Luma Labs, and Cherrytree VC participated.
• Yieldify, a London-based site conversion optimisation platform, raised $6 million funding. Binomial Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors John Giuliani and Tom Singh.
• Inked Brands, a Bowling Green, Ky.-based influencer commerce company, raised $4 million in Series A funding. BIP Capital led the round.
• Agolo, a New York-based summarization software startup raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Microsoft Ventures and CRV co-led the round. Investors Point72 Ventures and Franklin Templeton participated.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Radiology Partners, a El Segundo, Calif.-based radiology practice, raised $200 million in growth equity funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by Future Fund. [This item has been updated to reflect the correct headquarters city.]
• WuXi NextCODE, a Cina-based genomics company, raised $75 million in Series B funding. Yunfeng Capital and Temasek co-led the round, and were joined by Amgen Ventures and 3W Partners.
• Cerevance, a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug discovery company, raised $5 million in funding from The Dementia Discovery Fund.
• Lantern Pharma, a Dallas, Texas-based biotechnology company, raised $3.7 million in Series A funding company. Bios Partners and GPG Ventures led the round.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• The Hilb Group, which is backed by ABRY Partners, acquired Keough Kirby Associates, a Woonsocket, R.I.-based independent insurance agency. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• H.I.G. Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in CONET Technologies AG, a Germany-based IT consulting and software development company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Francisco Partners acquired a majority stake in SmartBear Software, a Beverly, Mass.-based software tool provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Thoma Bravo agreed to acquire the enterprise software business of Lexmark International, a Lexington, Ky.-based printing and imaging manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DB:DBAN) will divest three quarters of its shares in Romaco Group, a Germany-based mechanical engineering company, to the Truking Group. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Trescal acquired Acucal, a Manassas, Va.-based calibration services provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• ACG Materials, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, acquired North Florida Rock, a Marianna, Fla.-based limestone product processor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Thoma Bravo are among the bidders for Citrix Systems (Nasdaq:CTXS), a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based secure app and data delivery platform, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Airbnb acquired the team behind Deco Software, a San Francisco-based integrated development environment developer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group (SEHK:564) has teamed up with China Renaissance Capital Investment to buy Robert Bosch’s starters and generators business SG Holding for 545 million euros ($595 million), according to Reuters. Read more.
• Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO), Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) and Centerbridge Partners are among potential who could bid for Home Capital Group (TSX:HCG), a Canada-based alternative mortgage lender according to Reuters. Read more.
• WIRB-Copernicus Group acquired ThreeWire, an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based patient recruitment, enrollment, and retention firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Clio Holdings acquired Premier Surfaces, the Alpharetta, Ga.-based countertop manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Wieland acquired the copper and steel tube business of Wolverine Tube, a Decatur, Ala.-based thermal management product developer, according to Reuters. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Read more.
• Actility acquired Abeeway, a France-based geolocation system solutions provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Denver Gardner, a Milwaukee, Wisc.-based industrial equipment maker set a range for its IPO Wednesday, saying it expects to offer some 41.3 million shares priced between $23 to $26 a piece. Private equity giant KKR currently holds a 99% stake in the company, which plans to list under ticker symbol “GDI” with lead underwriters Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
• Liberty Oilfield Services, a Denver, Colo.-based fracking company re-priced its IPO range to $12 to $13 a share, saying it plans to offer just 20 million shares—3% of which is being sold by existing shareholders. Previously, the company said it planned to offer 22.9 million shares at $16 to $19, raising $250 million at the range’s midpoint. Now, Liberty also says it expects to raise 38% less in proceeds on ticker symbol BDFC. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo are acting as lead underwriters in the deal. R/C Energy IV Direct Partnership currently holds roughly 14.7% of the company, entities related to Riverstone own 34% of the company, while others related to the Oakmont Corporation hold 15%.
• Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, a Yorktown, Texas-based oil and gas equipment maker, set terms for its initial public offering. It expects to raise some $175 million during an initial public offering of some 10.6 million shares. Each share is expected to sell at a range of $15 to $18 under the ticker SOI on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2016, the company booked income of $2.8 million on revenue of $18.2 million, up from a loss of $1.4 million and revenue of $8.3 million a year earlier. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are lead underwriters for the deal.
• Nine Energy Service, a Houston, Texas-based oil and gas equipment company, filed for an IPO with the SEC late Tuesday. The company, which plans to debut on the NYSE under ticker symbol “NINE” has retained J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo as lead underwriters for a deal that Nine says, at least for now, will raise $100 million. The company is backed by L.E. Simmons, chairman of SCF Partners, which owns at least 5%. Pricing terms have yet to be disclosed.
• Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) has agreed to acquire Yummly, a Redwood City, Calif.based food discovery platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Yummly raised more than $20 million in venture funding from investors including First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, Intel Capital, Physic Ventures, and Unilever Ventures.
• Education Growth Partners acquired Apex Learning, a Seattle-based digital curriculum provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Apex Learning raised more than $30 million in venture funding from Warburg Pincus and MK Capital.
• Quotient Technology (NYSE:QUOT) agreed to acquire Crisp Media, a New York-based mobile marketing and advertising company, for $53 million. Crisp Media raised $16 million in venture funding from investors including Meritage Funds, Intel Capital and EDB Investments. [This item has been updated to include the terms of the deal.]
• InVision agreed to acquire TrackDuck, a Lithuania-based visual feedback tracking provider, according to TechCrunch. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. TrackDuck raised about $200,000 in venture funding from Kima Ventures and Practica Capital. Read more. [This item has been updated to reflect the correct headquarters country.]
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Panorama Point Partners, an Omaha, Neb.-based private equity firm, raised $50 million for its second fund. The fund’s target is $100 million.
• Moderne Ventures, a Chicago-based venture capital firm focused on early stage investments, raised $33 million for its early stage venture investment fund.