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GUESS WHO IS LOOKING PAST BITCOIN (HINT: STEVEN COHEN)
Well, kind of.
The venture capital arm of his family office, Cohen Ventures, recently invested in Autonomous Partners, a crypto hedge fund. According to founder Arianna Simpson, the fund has gained investments in the lower eight digits from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Union Square Ventures, and Craft Ventures.
Autonomous Partners holds a broad swath of major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, both of which have historical and nostalgia-related significance in the crypto sphere. But the fund says Simpson said she is looking forward in this time of regulatory uncertainty.
“I am also looking at what is the next generation,” she told me. She has invested in, for example, 0x, a protocol allowing for the creation of decentralized exchanges, or exchanges that don’t need a central management team to function. It also has a token dubbed ZRX, which has fallen about 1.14% this year.
So yeah, Cohen’s not directly looking beyond Bitcoin, though his investment is.
One notable exception from the fund: XRP tokens, which is majority-owned by Ripple and is the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. While Autonomous holds a swath of the largest cryptos out there, it’s stayed away from XRP over concerns that the token will be dubbed a security by none other than the Securities and Exchange Commission. While Ripple has argued that XRP is not equity, not everyone is convinced. Multicoin Capital, another hedge fund startup, is apparently so skeptical that it’s gone ahead and shorted the tokens.
Read the rest of the story here.
MORE YIELD (MORE PROBLEMS?): That also comes at a time when there appears to be an uptick in hedge fund investments in venture capital. In the first half of the year, hedge funds and their related entities have poured about $5.8 billion into the space, up from $5.3 billion for the entirety of 2017 (Thanks, Pitchbook!). That uptick also comes slightly after a downturn in such deals in 2016, when the figure fell to $4.37 billion from $7.5 billion a year earlier.
Perhaps it’s getting harder to find stuff to get excited about in public markets. Companies are choosing to stay private longer, and the public market as measured by the S&P 500 has stalled in 2018. Guess we’re all just looking for more yield, risks aside.
FINTECH FINTECH FINTECH: CB Insights has an interesting tidbit on top Fintech unicorns. Ribbit Capital apparently is at the top, being the “most active investor in fintech unicorns.”
About 24% of of its fintech investments, 10 out of 41 startups, have become unicorns, a figure larger than Andreessen Horowitz and SV Angel.
INSTAGRAM: That and scandal has helped propel Kylie Jenner, the 20-year-old of Kardashian fame, to $900 million by Forbes estimates. And now that her lip-kit company is pushing her nearly the billionaire’s club, someone has intrepidly decided to try and buy her a membership via a GoFundMe page. Is it a joke? Maybe. But what’s perhaps more bizarre: People have actually donated, with $422 raised of an $100 million goal.
NO ROMEO AND JULIET HERE: President Donald Trump blocked Singapore-based Broadcom’s $117 billion bid for chip maker Qualcomm over national security concerns in March.
A few months later, Broadcom is nearing a deal to purchase New York City-based CA Technologies, in the red-hot semiconductor space, for a lesser $18.9 billion in cash.
At the time, the administration was concerned that Broadcom was taking over a leader, in other words a big company, in the industry.
Though that does make me wonder: Have any readers out there changed their investing behavior or seen a shift in potential investors interest due to the administration’s tougher stance of foreign investments?
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• Tesla Whistleblower Ups Ante, Making a Formal Complaint With the SEC (by Kevin Kelleher)
• Papa John’s Shares Slide as John Schnatter Faces Another Controversy
• 3 Key Lessons From Trump’s Drug Price Feud With Pfizer (by Sy Mukherjee)
• Want to File a Complaint With the FCC? It Could Cost You $225 (by Chris Morris)
Tiger Global goes Softbank. Brexit, without an actual exit. Good returns of Music.ly and Youku. Trump on NATO. North Korea pulls a no-show. Comcast vs. Disney. VC funding hits 2000s levels in San Diego. How to pay for growth, PE style. Big money tests Marijuana. Waste management.
• Greenhouse, a New York-based talent acquisition software maker, raised $50 million in Series D funding from Riverwood Capital.
• Movile, a Brazil-based mobile marketplace, raised $124 million in funding from Naspers and Brazilian investment fund, Innova Capital.
• EndoGastric Solutions, a Redmond, Washington-based provider of solutions for gastroesophageal reflux disease, raised $30.5 million in funding. Advanced Technology Ventures, Canaan Partners, Canepa Healthcare, Chicago Growth Partners, CRG, Radius Ventures, and Sightline Partners are investors.
• BIMobject ABM, a Swedish technology company digitizing the building industry, raised $27.4 million from EQT Ventures.
• Swing Education, a San Mateo-based on-demand marketplace for substitute teachers, raised $15 million Series B investment. GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Owl Ventures led the round the round.
• Pointy, a Dublin-based products listing site, raised $12 million Series B. Polaris Partners led the round and was joined by Vulcan Capital.
• Arbe Robotics, a Tel Aviv maker of imaging for autonomous vehicles, raised $10 million. 360 Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Canaan Partners Israel, iAngels, Manic Mobility, OurCrowd, O.G. Tech Ventures and Taya Ventures.
• SentryHealth, a Louisville, K.Y.–based healthcare company, raised $9.5 million in Series A financing. Lunsford Capital led the round.
• Journera, a Chicago-based platform for travel, raised $9 million in Series A funding round. B Capital Group led the round,and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and The Boston Consulting Group.
• Aurora Labs, a Tel Aviv and Munich-based maker of the predictive maintenance solutions, raised $8.4 million in Series A funding. Fraser McCombs Capital led the round and was joined by investors including MizMaa Ventures.
• OLIO, a London-based sharing app top share surplus food, raised $6 million Series A funding. Octopus Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Accel, Quadia, and Quentin Griffiths, as well as Lord Waheed Alli’s Silvergate Investments 2, Bran Investments, Julien Codorniou and Jason Stockwood.
• Spring Health, a New York-based mental health AI firm, raised $6 million in seed funding. Rethink Impact led the round and was joined by investors including Work-Bench, BBG Ventures, and NYC Partnership.
• Stronghold, a San Francisco, Calif.-based fintech startup for global payment and trade ecosystem built on the Stellar network’s blockchain protocol, raised $3.3 million seed round. Dave Samuel, a founding general partner at Freestyle Capital, led the round.
• DIRT Protocol, a Mountain View, Calif.-based blockchain protocol not unlike Wikipedia, raised $3 million in seed funding. General Catalyst, Greylock, Lightspeed, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, and SV Angel are investors.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Veritas Capital closed its acquisition GE Healthcare’s Enterprise Financial Management, Ambulatory Care Management, and Workforce Management assets for $1.05 billion in cash.
• Cotton Creek Capital acquired Young’s Communications Co, a Melbourne, Fla.-based infrastructure provider in the Southeast. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• TA Associates invested in Compusoft, a Norwegian provider of computer-aided design software to the kitchen and bathroom retail industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• The Strategic Group, P.R. acquired Ascenda Biosciences, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of medical tests. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Natixis will acquire a minority stake in WCM Investment Management, a Laguna Beach, Calif.-based provider of investment advisory services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Summit Companies, a CI Capital portfolio company, closed its acquisition of the Michigan branch offices of Koorsen Fire & Security, an Indianapolis, Indiana-based firm.
• Boyne Capital acquired A.S.A.P. Industries Manufacturing, a Houma, La.-based maker of flow control products in the oil in gas industry. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Fishawack Group of Cos, a portfolio company of LDC, acquired Healthcircle Advertising, a London-based health advertising firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Luckin Coffee, a Chinese coffee chain, raised $200 million in a funding from investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. The funding makes it a unicorn.
• Oprah Winfrey invested in True Food Kitchen, a Phoenix-based health restaurant brand. Centerbridge Partners backs the firm.
• Walmart plans to sell its Japanese supermarket chain, Seiyu, the Nikkei reports citing sources. Read more.
• CNFinance Holdings, a Guangzhou, China-based equity loan firm, filed for a $200 million in ADSs. It posted interest and fees incomd of $543.7 million in 2017. J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse are underwriters.It plans to list on the NYSE. Read more.
• Sunniva, a Vancouver-based provider of cannabis products and services, plans to spin out its Canadian assets into a separate Canadian entity and list on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock Market. Canaccord Genuity Corp. is financial advisor in the deal.
• GEMS, the Abu Dhabi-based education firm, shelved its IPO in London, Reuters reports citing sources. Blackstone backs the company. Read more.
Goldman Sachs will acquire Boyd Corp., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based maker of highly engineered thermal management and environmental sealing solutions, from Genstar Capital. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Humana Inc., TPG Capital, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe completed their acquisition of Curo Health Services (Curo), a hospice operator from Thomas H. Lee Partners.
• Highview Capital acquired Good Source Solutions, a Carlsbad, Calif-based food distribution firm, from Evergreen Pacific Partners.
• Thoma Bravo purchased a majority of Centrify, Santa Clara, Calif-based cybersecurity firm, from Mayfield, Accel Partners, and Jackson Square Ventures.
• Fitch Group closed its acquisition of Fulcrum Financial Data, a New York in London-based credit analysis firm, from Leeds Equity Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Getronics Group acquired Pomeroy Group, a Hebron, K.Y.-based infrastructure solutions firm for enterprise customers, from Clearlake Capital Group LP.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Forbion, a Netherlands-based fund, closed its fourth flagship fund at 270 million euros ($316.3 million), above a 250 million euros target.
• Sky9 Capital added Yu Yuan as Managing Director. Previously, he was Investment Director of Unity Ventures.