On deals and dealmakers.
New money: Heap, an analytics software company, has raised $27 million in Series B funding led by NEA and Menlo Ventures with participation from Initialized Capital and Pear VC. Heap CEO and co-founder Matin Movassate created the company to solve a problem he faced as a product manager at Facebook: He couldn’t easily get analytics on how his products were performing.
“I had to beg the engineers to build tracking software for me, and once that would be written, you have to wait for the next release cycle, and then wait for data to accumulate, and then loop in an analyst to make sense of it for you and have someone run a query. Every time you have a question, you have to lean on developers and wait literally a month to get an answer,” Movassate says.
“If it’s this hard to be data-driven at a place as smart as Facebook, what hope does every other online business have?” he added. He noted that analytics have been done the same way for 20 years, but with the falling costs of storage and computing, it’s now viable for products like Heap to be automatically collecting data at all times and allowing anyone in the company to make queries.
Heap launched several years ago and now has 6,000 customers, including public companies like Zendesk and Twilio. The company’s biggest competitors are Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Adobe’s Omniture. The new funding will go toward accelerating its product road map.
Fyre: For any Term Sheet readers obsessed with the Fyre Festival, there is, of course, a Silicon Valley connection.
The festival’s parent company, called Fyre, actually operates an on-demand talent agency. Fyre helps talent (mostly rapper friends of co-founder Ja Rule) book corporate events and private parties. It’s comparable to the original concept for Tiki Barber’s startup, Thuzio, which launched as an online booking agency for athletes. Here’s the Fyre agency website: Fireapp.com.
This spring, Ja Rule and his co-founder Billy McFarland pitched angel investors, including well-known ones from Silicon Valley, on investing in Fyre. In the pitch, the company claimed it did $26 million in revenue in the month of February. The funding round valued Fyre at an $80 million pre-money valuation.
I’m told these pitches didn’t even mention the Fyre Festival, which means they were was separate from the pitchdeck that leaked earlier this week, showing the company’s plans to raise $25 million for the festival. It’s not clear whether the $26 million in monthly revenue came from festival ticket sales or Fyre’s agency business. The investors Term Sheet spoke with passed on investing.
On Kalanick’s cancellation: The buzz around the Collision conference has been about another conference – the Code conference, and the fact that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick cancelled his planned appearance at the late May event. Why? Kalanick cited the fact that Uber’s much-anticipated report on sexism at the company will not yet be finished. To most observers (myself included), it’s a lame excuse to not publicly respond to the many criticisms of the company.
Here’s another theory I heard from an Uber advisor: Cancelling looks bad, but that’s a small story, with a limited round of headlines and chatter that will largely remain inside the tech industry. As the many reports over the last few months have shown, Kalanick has a temper, and easily becomes defensive. If he gets on stage with Recode editor Kara Swisher, he could be provoked into fighting in an unflattering way. Any videos of him bickering would likely go viral, thus shining another spotlight on Uber’s many issues and re-igniting questions about his leadership. Cancelling must mean that he (or his advisors) don’t think he is capable of keeping his temper in check.
As Swisher noted, many executives have kept their commitments to speak at conferences while they were embroiled in controversies. It looks bad. But Kalanick is in self-preservation mode. An eruption would be worse.
Macro: Carlyle Group’s Bill Conway weighed in on the firm’s first quarter earnings call: “Outside of automobiles, where there is genuine weakness, we see no evidence of a slowdown in consumption which was the main driver of the weak first quarter estimate.
“Overall, the US economy looks to us to be growing roughly a full percentage point faster than it was last year at about 2.4% versus 1.5% last year. Despite this rosy economic environment, the investment environment remains challenging, characterized by high prices and significant competition.”
Note: Yesterday’s Term Sheet said the terms were not disclosed on Crisp Media’s sale to Quotient. They were in fact disclosed: Quotient will pay $33.0 million in cash and stock with up to $24.5 million in additional incentives.
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How SoftBank became tech’s phantom buyer. Why J. Crew’s vision of pretty America failed. The top ten states for pre-existing conditions went for Trump. How your selfie could affect your life insurance. Private equity is so misunderstood. SpaceX denies IPO rumors.
• Go-Jek, the Indonesia-based motorcycle on-demand company, raised $1.2 billion in funding, according to TechCrunch. Tencent led the round. two sources close the company told TechCrunch. The deal values the company at $3 billion post-money. Read more.
• Dodla Dairy Limited, an India-based dairy product company, raised $50 million in funding from The Rise Fund, which is managed by TPG Growth.
• Fuze, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cloud telecommunications provider, raised $30 million in funding from a U.S. public pension fund.
• Ultrahaptics, the Bristol, U.K.-based mid-air haptic technology developer, raised £17.9 million ($23 million) in Series B funding. Investors include Cornes, Dolby Family Ventures, IP Group, Woodford Investment Management.
• Pythian, a Canada-based technology services company, raised $15 million in funding from BDC Capital.
• MPP Global, a UK-based integrated cloud identity management, CRM, and e-commerce platform, raised £12 million ($15 million) in Series B funding. Investors include Albion Ventures and Grafton Capital.
• VST Enterprises, a UK-based cybersecurity company, raised £11.4 million ($14.7 million) in funding. Investors include Chris Lightbody and Guy Weaver. The company is valued at £220 million ($283 million).
• Nav, a San Mateo, Calif.-based small business credit profile platform, raised $13 million in Series B funding. Goldman Sachs led the round, and was joined by Point72 Ventures, Clocktower Ventures and the CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund.
• Pagero, a Sweden-based e-invoice service startup, raised €10 million ($10.9 million) in funding from Total.
• Abundant Robotics, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based automated apple-picking tech developer, raised $10 million in venture funding. GV led the round, and was joined by BayWa AG and Tellus Partners. Existing partners Yamaha Motor Company, KPCB Edge, and Comet Labs participated. Read more.
• Spindrift, a Waltham, Mass.-based sparkling water producer and supplier, raised $10 million in funding. VMG Partners led the round. Investors Prolog Ventures and Karp Reilly participated.
• Decibel Insight, a London-based visual insights and analytics platform, raised $9 million in Series A funding. Eight Roads Ventures led the round.
• Taranis, an Israel-based precision agriculture intelligence platform raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Finistere Ventures led the round, and was joined by Vertex Ventures. Existing investors Eshbol Investments, Mindset Ventures, OurCrowd, and Eyal Gura participated.
• Iconixx, an Austin, Texas-based provider of compensation management software, raised $4.2 million in funding. Investors included Ballast Point Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners and S3 Ventures.
• Acast, a Sweden-based curated podcast platform, raised €3.1 million ($3.4 million) in funding from Bonnier Growth Media and MOOR Capital. The company is now valued at about €30 million ($33 million).
• Indo~European Foods, a Glendale, Calif.-based ethnic and specialty foods provider, raised an undisclosed amount in funding. Investors include Corridor Capital and Centerfield Capital Partners.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Vivet Therapeutics, a Paris-based gene therapy treatment developer raised €37.5 million ($41 million) in Series A funding. Novartis Venture Fund and Columbus Venture Partners led the round, and were joined by Roche Venture Fund, HealthCap, Kurma Partners and Ysios Capital.
• Nemus Biosciences, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based cannabinoid-focused therapeutics biotech company, raised $20 million in Series E funding from Schneider Brothers.
• Axonics Modulation Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based implantable neuromodulator device manufacturer, raised $14.5 million in Series C funding. Investors included Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Advent Life Sciences, Cormorant Asset Management, Legend Capital and NeoMed Management.
• ExoCoBio, a South Korea-based developer of exosome-based biopharmaceuticals, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Investors included SBI Investment, Atinum Investment, ID Ventures and Dt&Investment.
• Z Factor Limited, a Cambridge, U.K.-based drug discovery company raised £7 million ($9 million) in Series A funding. Medicxi led the round, and was joined by Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Innovation Capital.
• EverlyWell, an Austin, Texas-based healthcare testing platform, raised $5 million in funding. NextGen Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Jack Novak, SoGal Ventures and Full Tilt Capital.
• PreparedHealth, a Glenview, Ill.-based healthcare social network, raised $4 million. Chicago Ventures led the round. Investors Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Beverly Capital, and Meridian Street Capital.
• AllLife, a Johannesburg, South Africa-based life insurance company focused on individuals with HIV and diabetes, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, which is managed by Quona Capital.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• New Mountain Capital is in advanced talks to acquire VWR Corp (Nasdaq:VWR), a Radnor, Penn.-based laboratory equipment supplier, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at nearly $5 billion. Read more.
• Tikehau Capital and other shareholders of Asten Santé are in exclusive negotiations with La Poste Group, for the sale of a majority stake in Asten Santé, a France-based home healthcare services provider. The sale will generate a pre-tax capital gain of approximately €16 million ($17.5 million) for Tikehau Capital before transaction fees. The deal is subject to approval by the French antitrust authorities.
• Sonar Entertainment, a portfolio company of Catalyst Capital Group, has acquired assets from Tricon Films & Television, a Canada-based film and television distributor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Pinewell Capital acquired Fogco Systems, a Chandler, Ariz.-based mist and fog system manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• American Healthcare Staffing Group, a portfolio company of BelHealth Investment Partners, acquired Thaxton Barabe, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of interim healthcare leadership staffing.
• Twitchell Technical Products, a portfolio company of Highlander Partners, acquired The Quantum Group, a Colfax, N.C.-based yarn and woven fabrics manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, a company formed by NexPhase Capital and Hawthorne Corporation, acquired JetSun Aviation Centre, a Sioux City, Iowa-based airport operator. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• TPG Growth made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Club Pilates, a San Diego, Calif.-based Pilates studios franchisor.
• Blue Sage Capital has partnered with John Gustafson and Trailcreek Capital Group to form Frontier Waste Holdings, a Dallas, Texas-based provider of municipal solid waste services. The newly-formed company has acquired Access Disposal Services and K2 Waste Solutions.
• Toshiba (TSE:6502) has turned down preemptive bids for Landis+Gyr, a Switzerland-based smart meter manufacturer, according to Reuters. CVC (ASX:CVC) and Hitachi (TSE:6501) had offered to acquire Landis+Gyr for almost $2 billion. The offers were reportedly declined. Read more.
• Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is selling its cloud and managed hosting business to IBM (NYSE:IBM).
• Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO) will acquire the advanced analytics team and associated advanced analytics intellectual property developed by Saggezza, a Chicago-based technology services company.
• Urogen Pharma, an Ra’anana, Israel-based biotech company will begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday, under ticker symbol “URGN.” The company raised $58.5 million in its IPO after pricing 4.5 million shares at $13 a piece (within its $12-$14 range, though with a higher share offering). Jefferies and Cowen and Company are acting as joint bookrunners in the deal. Urogen’s major shareholders include Arkin Communication, Pontifax, and Proquest Investments.
• Antero Midstream GP, a Denver, Colo.-based oil and gas company, raised $875 million in its IPO and plans to start trading on the NYSE Thursday after pricing 37.3 million shares at $23.50—within its previously stated range. Morgan Stanley, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters. The company will list under ticker symbol “AMGP.”
• Hubbell (NYSE:HUBB) acquired iDevices, an Avon, Conn.-based connected home products manufacturer. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. iDevices raised about $20 million in funding from investors including Connecticut Innovations and Stonehenge Capital.
• Scripps Networks Interactive (Nasdaq:SNI) has agreed to acquire online food publication Spoon University, a New York-based digital food publication. The deal values the company at about $10 million. Spoon University raised $2 million in venture funding from investors including BBG Ventures, Box Group, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SoftTech VC, and Techstars. Read more.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG), a New York-based investment manager, raised $590 million for its Fortress Secured Lending Fund.
• YL Ventures, a San Francisco-based seed stage venture capital firm, raised $75 million for its third fund, YLV III.
• John Jenkins joined Dundee Venture Capital as a partner.
• Keith Gordon joined Brentwood Associates as an operating partner.