A TALE OF TWO COMPANIES
Happy Friday, Term Sheet readers.
Eyewear company Warby Parker is looking to raise $75 million in Series E funding, Cheddar first reported. The new funding is expected to value Warby at more than $1.2 billion, which was its last valuation back in 2015.
Many people have speculated that Warby would go public soon, but this fundraise confirms the company’s plans to stay private for now. In total, Warby has approximately raised $216 million in venture funding from investors including T. Rowe Price, General Catalyst, and Lerer Hippeau.
Here’s one question: If Warby’s not seeking an IPO in the near future, could it be on Amazon’s radar as a potential acquisition target? It’s certainly not a far-fetched idea. An acquisition by Amazon could improve Warby’s distribution and reduce shipping costs while giving Amazon the ability to increase touchpoints with existing customers. According to FourSquare data, 80% of Warby customers shop at Whole Foods (recently bought by Amazon), so that’s also something to consider.
…MEANWHILE, things aren’t looking so good for traditional retailers. Toys ‘R’ Us is considering closing all of its U.S. stores. The retailer is making preparations for a liquidation of its bankrupt U.S. operations after failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructure with lenders. As Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green (an early investor in Warby) recently said, “To compete, you have to deliver more and you have deliver better. I think that’s an opportunity for founders looking to start companies, but it’ll be a challenge for others in more traditional retail.” Ain’t that the truth.
WEEKEND READS: Fortune was recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for some of this year’s best business journalism. One of the winning stories was “The Billion-Dollar Loophole,” an investigation into the Republican tax plan revealing that many of the biggest tax-avoidance schemes were left untouched—and a cottage industry has sprung up to cash in on one of them. Read all of the winning stories here.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• Bone Broth Protein Company Gets $103 Million in Funding (by Beth Kowitt)
• There’s Opposition to Massive Pay Packages for Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger (by David Meyer)
• China Warns of ‘Strong’ Measures to Counter President Trump’s Trade Tariffs
• Promoter of Disastrous Fyre Festival Pleads Guilty to Fraud (by Emily Price)
SoftBank mulls $5 billion loan on ARM for shareholder payday. Boxed reportedly rejected $400 million buyout offer from Kroger. Some venture capital firms are publicizing their sexual harassment policies for the first time. Southeast Asia’s Grab in talks to buy into Uber’s regional business-source. Grab launches a bike-sharing service in Southeast Asia.
• Teamworks, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of collaboration software for athletic organizations, raised $15.3 million Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round.
• HubHaus, an Anaheim, Calif.-based co-living startup, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Social Capital led the round.
• Mad Paws, an Australia-based startup that offers pet care services, raised $5 million in funding. Qantas led the round.
• Smarter Sorting, an Austin, Texas-based reuse solution for household hazardous waste, raised $5 million in seed funding. Investors include RTP Ventures.
• MinerEye, an Israel-based data privacy and protection startup, raised $3 million in funding. Investors include Awz HLS Fund I.
• Bitt.com, a Barbados-based blockchain-based digital payment provider, raised $3 million in funding. Investors include Medici Ventures.
• Luther Systems, a London-based blockchain startup, raised $1.5 million in funding. Investors include Firstminute Capital.
• Mojio Inc, a Vancouver-based connected car platform, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Iris Capital and Telus Ventures.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Cyteir Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of synthetic lethal therapies that treat cancer and autoimmune disease, raised $29 million in Series B funding. Venrock led the round, and was joined by investors including Celgene, Lightstone Ventures and DROIA Oncology Ventures.
• Metactive Medical Inc, an Olathe, Kansas-based developer of products for the treatment of neurovascular, peripheral vascular and structural heart diseases, raised $1.2 million in Series A funding. Investors include Mid-America Angels and Serra Ventures.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (NasdaqCM:ENT) agreed to a significant investment from Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Chatham Capital invested $9 million in Muse Paintbar, a New York-based operator of a restaurant and bar that provides painting instructions.
• Kimble Applications, a U.K.-based provider of a professional services automation solution for IT and management consultancies, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Accel-KKR.
• Maxcess International Inc, a portfolio company of Bertram Capital, acquired Componex Corp, an Edgerton, Wisc.-based provider of aluminum dead shaft idler rolls. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• KEEN Growth Capital acquired a stake in DAHlicious, a Tewksbury, Mass.-based maker of organic India-style lassi and yogurt. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Comvest Partners acquired Engage2Excel, a Statesville, N.C.-based provider of employee recognition, sales incentives, talent acquisition and consumer loyalty solutions and services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Loftware Inc, a portfolio company of Riverside Partners, acquired Gap Systems, a U.K.-based provider of SaaS-based artwork management solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Norwest Equity Partners sold Gopher Resource, an Eagan, Minn.-based lead recycling, plastics production, household hazardous company, to Energy Capital Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
Phyto Partners, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based venture capital firm, raised $100 million for its second cannabis fund, Phyto II.