Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
When Facebook revealed plans to enter the online dating space in May, IAC CEO Joey Levin looked at the tickers of IAC and Match Group, the online dating conglomerate it spun off in 2015, where shares of both companies were already dropping. “My phone starts lighting up with texts, and each time I’m getting a text, the stock drops another 5%,” Levin recalls. All told, Match Group stock plunged 22% that day; IAC, almost 18%.
As the competition heats up, so does the pressure. My colleague Leigh Gallagher delves deep inside Match Group to understand the company’s strategy to stay relevant and keep its dominance in the ever-changing dating ecosystem. Just earlier this year, Match was rumored to be in talks to acquire dating app rival Bumble — but then things took a turn for the worse. From the story:
In March, Match, which was recently granted patents related to the swipe and the design of the Tinder app, filed its suit against Bumble, accusing it of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets. With patents in hand, it claimed Bumble’s technology “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise” and that the app is “virtually identical” to Tinder.
Four days after the Match filing, Bumble fired back with an angry letter it published on its blog and in the New York Times. “Dear Match Group, we swipe left on you,” the letter began. “We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and now, to intimidate us.” Accusing Match of suing to scare away other potential bidders, the letter said any deal was off the table: “We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values.” A few days after that, it filed its own suit against Match, claiming Match had fraudulently obtained sensitive information during acquisition talks and that it had “poisoned” Bumble to the investment market. It asked for $400 million in damages.
Among other things, the suit stated that Match had made a $450 million offer for the company last year that Bumble rebuffed, sparking a protracted back-and-forth over Bumble’s valuation. Sources close to Bumble say those discussions were still ongoing when Match filed its lawsuit, and that’s what provoked Bumble’s outraged response. They also suggest that the Match lawsuit may have been a tactic to ramp up pressure on Bumble to do a deal.
ON YOUR RADAR: Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake has joined the board of beauty products company Glossier. Lake has become the first independent director for the startup.
Glossier is a company to have on your radar. With millions of page views a month and revenues growing 600% YoY, its CEO Emily Weiss has quietly turned Glossier into one of the most disruptive brands in beauty. Glossier raised $52 million in Series C funding in February in a round co-led by IVP and Index Ventures. Other investors include Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital, and 14W. In total, the startup has raised $86 million in venture funding. Read more.
MEGA-FUND UPDATE: Sequoia Capital has raised $6 billion toward its $8 billion global fund, according to a report in the Financial Times. As previously reported, most of the capital has been raised from new investors, and Sequoia is expected to turn to existing investors next.
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• Jama Software, a Portland, Ore.-based product development platform provider for building complex products and integrated systems, raised $200 million in funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Madrona Venture Group.
• Cibus, a San Diego, Calif.-based developer of application of gene editing technologies for directed mutagenesis, raised $70 million in a Series C funding. Fidelity Management and Research Company co-led the round, and was joined by investors including Alexandria Venture Investments and Cormorant Asset Management.
• TourRadar, an Austria-based operator of a multi-day tour marketplace, raised $50 million in Series C funding. TCV led the round, and was joined by investors including Cherry Ventures, Endeit Capital, Hoxton Ventures and Speedinvest.
• Celonis, a Germany-based provider of process mining software, raised $50 million in Series B at a $1 billion valuation. Investors include Accel and 83North.
• Cedar, a New York-based patient financial management platform for hospitals, health systems and independent medical groups, raised $36 million in Series B funding. Kinnevik led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Fund, Thrive Capital, Lakestar, Sound Ventures, Kevin Systrom of Instagram and Nat Turner of Flatiron Health.
• Noodle.ai, a San Francisco-based provider of enterprise AI applications, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Dell Technologies Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including TPG Growth.
• Parachute, a Venice, Calif.-based home essentials brand company, raised $30 million Series C funding. H.I.G. Growth Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Upfront Ventures, Susa Ventures, Suffolk Equity, JAWS Ventures, Grace Beauty Capital and Daher Capital.
• DroneDeploy, a San Francisco-based drone software platform, raised $25 million in Series C funding. Investors include AirTree, Scale Venture Partners, Uncork Capital, Emergence Capital and AngelPad.
• Aclima Inc, a San Francisco-based provider of environmental intelligence, raised $24 million in Series A funding. Social Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including The Schmidt Family Foundation, Radicle Impact, Rethink Impact, Plum Alley, Kapor Capital and First Philippine Holdings.
• CashShield, a Singapore-based provider of online fraud management solutions for mid- to large-sized enterprises, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Temasek and GGV Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Tony Fadell, Wavemaker Partners and Tao Zhang.
• SimpleNexus, a Lehi, Utah-based digital mortgage platform, raised $20 million in funding. Investors include Insight Venture Partners.
• Matternet, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of an autonomous drone logistics platform, raised $16 million in Series A funding. Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital.
• Roadster, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of commerce solutions for car buying and leasing, raised $15 million in funding. Investors include Costanoa Ventures.
• Silverfort, an Israel-based developer of an agentless multi-factor authentication provider, raised $11.5 million Series A in funding. TLV partners led the round, and was joined by investors including StageOne Ventures and Singtel Innov8.
• WaterBit, a San Jose, California-based precision irrigation company, raised $11.4 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round,and was joined by investors including TJ Rodgers, former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor and Heuristic Capital.
• Pared, a San Francisco-based operator of a restaurant labor marketplace, raised $10 million in Series A funding. CRV led the round, and was joined by investors including Uncork Capital and True Ventures.
• Cleeng, a Netherlands-based provider of video e-commerce solutions for broadcasters, raised 5 million euros ($5.8 million) in Series B funding. Walvis led the round, and was joined by investors including C4 Ventures.
• RE’FLEKT, a Germany-based augmented-reality company, raised $4.4 million from BASF Venture Capital.
• Cypress.io, a Atlanta-based automated testing framework built for the modern web, raised $4 million in seed funding. Las Olas Venture Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners co-led the round.
• IMGN Media, a New York-based tech-driven media company, raised $3 million in Series A financing. Investors include Dot Capital, Rhodium, talent agency UTA, KDC Media Fund, Big Block Media and Ron Zuckerman.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Montlake Capital recapitalized Fast Water Heater Company, a Bothell, Wash.-based provider of residential and commercial plumbing services focused on the water heater sector. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Elite SEM Inc, which is backed by Mountaingate Capital, acquired Email Aptitude, a San Rafael, Calif.-based specialist CRM and email marketing agency. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Level Equity made an investment in inMotionNow, a Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of workflow management solutions for marketing and creative teams. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• TPG Capital acquired Wind River, a Alameda, Calif.-based internet of things software provider, from Intel. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Capital Dynamics acquired 8point3 Energy Partners LP, a San Jose, Calif.-based operator of solar energy generation projects. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Uxin, a Beijing-based used car marketplace, raised $225 million in an offering of 25 million units priced at $9, below its range of $10.50 to $12.50. The firm posted revenue of $298.6 million in 2017. Jeneration Capital (22.3% pre-offering), Kingkey Investment Group (14.8%), Redrock Holdings (14.1%), Baidu (10%), and Tiger Global (9%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, CICC, and Chinese Renaissance are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “UXIN.” Read more.
• Neon Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based immuno-oncology firm, raised $100 million in an IPO of 6.25 million shares priced at $16, within its $15 to $17 range. The firm has yet to post a revenue. Third Rock Venture (44.4% pre-offering), Access Industries Holdings (12.7%), and Fidelity (7.5%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley, BofA, and Mizuho Securities are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “NTGN.” Read more.
• Lovesac, a Stamford Conn.-based furniture maker, raised $56 million in an IPO of 3.5 million shares priced at $16, above its $13 to $15 range. The firm posted revenue of $101.8 million in the year ending Feb. 4. Roth Capital is sook bookrunner in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “LOVE.” Read more.
• Polaris agreed to sell its majority stake in Louis Poulsen, a Denmark-based lighting manufacturer, to Investindustrial Group Holdings SA. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Highland Europe, a U.K.-based growth stage technology investment firm, raised €463 million ($610 million) for its third fund.
• CRG, a healthcare-focused investment firm, raised $204 million in asset-backed financing for its third fund, CRG Partners III, L.P.
• IQ Capital, a U.K.-based venture capital firm, raised £125 million ($165 million) for its third fund, IQ Capital Fund III.