On deals and dealmakers.
This is it! My last Term Sheet and my last day at Fortune. (It’s not my last story for Fortune – I’ve got one more Boom With a View column, a profile of a venture capital firm, and some blurbs running in upcoming issues of the magazine.)
One of the unfair things about being a writer is that we get all the glory and credit for the work of an enormous crew of people who make us look good. Editors, managers and colleagues provide a huge amount of support, from talking us off of ledges about our stories and opening their rolodexes to us, to poking holes in our arguments and catching embarrassing typos. Fortune has one of the best support systems of any place I’ve worked.
Apologies for getting a bit sappy here. But while I still have this giant microphone, I want to call out a few of the many people that deserve thanks:
Thank you, first, to Dan Primack for hiring me back at peHUB and teaching me to be an opinionated blogger-journalist-columnist hybrid before that was really even a thing. Double thanks to him for getting my foot in the door at Fortune. Thank you to Megan Barnett and Megan McCarthy for hiring me, to Alan Murray for giving me a column in the magazine, to Cliff Leaf for letting me jet off to places like India and Cuba in the name of a good story, and to Matt Heimer for making my feature stories infinitely better. Thank you to Adam Lashinsky for being an incredible advocate while ruthlessly doling out “nits,” to Michal Lev-Ram and Marlene Saritzky for making my year as a Brainstorm Tech co-chair such a breeze, and to Jessi Hempel for being a font of wisdom and advice. Thanks to Laura Entis, Polina Marinova, and Lucinda Shen for making Term Sheet’s deal listings awesome every morning. Lastly, thank you to Andrew Nusca for letting me print curse words, emojis, rap lyrics and Internet slang in an 87-year old business magazine, for giving me the URL Fortune.com/unicorntears, and for being a fantastic editor, boss, and colleague.
And most of all, thank you, readers, for being so welcoming. You have put up with my digressions into tangentially related areas like self-driving cars, New York’s tech scene, Uber (so much Uber), and lately, cryptocurrency, while indulging my references to Mariah Carey and my digital shrugs. (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) You’ve been generous with scoops, tips, and smart feedback. You’ve been (mostly) respectful when you disagreed with me. This newsletter can be a beast to put together every day. But it has been infinitely rewarding, in large part because I know there’s a passionate audience on the other side of the send button.
I can only assume you’ll offer that same welcome to my successor. That honor goes to Polina Marinova, who has been doing a fantastic job compiling the blurbs you read at the bottom of this newsletter for the last few months while also reporting on venture capital and startups for Fortune.com and the magazine. Polina is smart, enterprising, diligent, and full of enthusiasm. I am excited to see where she takes Term Sheet.
Lots of you have asked how to stay in touch. There are many ways: You can follow me on Twitter. (DMs = open.) You can find me on the messaging apps (Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, Confide…). You can …add me on LinkedIn I guess? I may start sending my long-neglected personal newsletter again. (It’s not for everyone; consider yourself warned.) And, if you want to keep reading my stuff at the next gig, shoot me a note there. My email will be Erin_Griffith@wired.com.
See you on the Internet, friends.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• 4 skills you need to survive in the smart machine age.
• Uber investors intervene.
• 4 ways Amazon is changing Whole Foods.
• WeWork, a New York-based co-working company, raised $4.4 billion in funding from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund. SoftBank will invest $3 billion in WeWork’s parent company, and $1.4 billion into three newly-created WeWork subsidiaries — WeWork China, WeWork Japan, and WeWork Pacific.
• AutoFi, a San Francisco-based auto finance platform, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Investors include Crosslink Capital, Ford Motor Credit Company, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
• Amitree, a San Francisco-based real estate tech startup, raised $7.1 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Vertical Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Accel Partners and Seven Peaks Ventures. Read more.
• RecordGram, a Miramar, Fla.-based mobile music creation and music producer marketplace app, raised $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners.
• Mirador, a Portland, Ore.-based digital small business lending platform provider, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from CMFG Ventures.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Arlington Capital Partners acquired Tex Tech, a Portland, Maine-based maker of specialty high performance materials serving the aerospace, defense, industrial industries and select sporting applications. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• CXtec, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, acquired Atlantix Global Systems, an Atlanta-based provider of IT asset disposition and associated lifecycle management support services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Orix Growth Capital made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Datavail Corp, a Broomfield, Colo.-based IT managed services provider focused on data services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Accenture (NYSE: ACN) acquired Verax Solutions, a Toronto-based technology and systems-integration consulting firm that serves the financial services sector in Canada. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Roots Canada, a retailer based out of Toronto, has reportedly hired Toronto-Dominion Bank, Credit Suisse, and Bank of Montreal for an initial public offering, Bloomberg writes citing people with knowledge of the matter. The company, which is seeking an IPO this year, is backed by Searchlight Capital Partners. Roughly C$200 million, or $159 million, could be raised in the deal.
• HelloFresh, a German meal kit delivery company, told Manager Magazin that it was still considering a September stock market listing, Reuters reports. That comes after its sister organization, Delivery Hero, raised $1.13 billion in its IPO in June. Both are backed by Rocket Internet.
• Aptuit, a Greenwich, Conn.-based provider of integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services, and a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, has been acquired by Evotec for $300 million.
• Partners Group agreed to acquire United States Infrastructure Corporation, an Indianapolis-based provider of underground utility locating services, from Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
• Levine Leichtman Capital Partners acquired FlexXray, an Arlington, Texas-based food safety solutions platform, from Barton Creek Equity Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Quantum Energy Partners, a Houston, Texas-based private equity and venture capital firm, raised $450 million for its fund, Vitruvian Exploration IV.
• Saban Capital Group Inc promoted Jennifer Chen to director. Chen joined SCG as an associate in 2014. Previously, she was at Morgan Stanley.