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Term Sheet – Wednesday, July 30


Hello, Erin Griffith here filling in while Dan is out. Contact me here: or here: @eringriffith

All about India: Yesterday Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce site founded by ex-Amazon employees, raised $1 billion in venture backing, adding to its existing $770 million war chest. Flipkart is big in India, with four million daily visitors and 22 million registered users. But the opportunity is even bigger — 250 million people are online in India, buying just $13 billion worth of goods. (Compare that with China’s $180 billion.) Today Amazon responded, announcing it will invest $2 billion in its Indian operations, which launched there last summer, using the money to open five new warehouses.

On the U.S. side, Amazon has a new competitor:, a stealth-mode commerce startup Fortune first reported on in May, has raised $55 million from New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Accel Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and MentorTech Ventures. Jet is led by Marc Lore, who sold his first startup, Quidsi, aka, to Amazon. The company hasn’t revealed much about itself yet — a blog post by Lore says only that Jet’s shopping experience will “empower customers” with transparency and efficiency. From what I understand, the company will sell commodity items, not terribly unlike what Lore did at

It’s become a VC cliche to discourage startups from competing with Amazon. “If it has a UPC code, Amazon will beat you,” the saying goes, since, as Chris Dixon and others have pointed out, a lower price is just one web search away. And yet, Lore is going for it. I love a good story of an entrepreneur who is motivated — at least partially — by spite. As I wrote in May:

When Quidsi sold to Amazon in 2010, it wasn’t an entirely happy transaction. Amazon and Quidsi had a fierce pricing rivalry; at one point, Amazon’s pricing bots automatically lowered their prices to match Quidsi’s. Amazon, ever happy to lose money if it puts a competitor out of business, eventually triumphed — buying Quidsi for $545 million in late 2010.

To be sure, both Lore and Bharara did quite well in the transaction. But, like any entrepreneur who sells before he or she is ready, Lore is said to be determined to build something new and even bigger.

Somehow my interview with Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff on Monday’s $3.5 billion acquisition of its rival, Trulia, did not make it into Term Sheet yesterday. A few highlights you might not have read elsewhere by now:

Zillow has had ambitions to buy Trulia since the beginning. “I’ve always admired their brand and audience, and always thought adding to our portfolio of real estate media brands would be exciting,” Rascoff says. Why now then? Because the valuation was right. “We made an offer to the Trulia board – their shareholders will own 1/3 and Zillow will own 2/3 of the company — and we’re very pleased we found common ground on valuation. Finding that between competitors is very difficult.”

To critics of the deal’s high premium, Rascoff says observers are looking at the wrong metric, pointing out that the $3.5 billion price tag won’t likely be the actual price when the deal closes. That will depend on how Zillow’s stock performs.

Zillow has now made nine acquisitions, three of which were consumer-facing brands that the company kept alive. (Trulia will also maintain its brand.) No deals are currently in the pipeline, but the company will continue its hunt for acquisition targets, Rascoff says. The next area of growth for Zillow is rentals, and the company has made three acquisitions in that category.

Sidenote: Have you noticed there have been no interviews with Trulia founder Sami Inkinen about the deal? That’s because he’s on a rowboat in the middle of the Pacific. He’s been there for 43 days, rowing from California to Hawaii. Nothing like selling your company for $3.5 billion while on vacation.


Mobileeye, a Jerusalem, Israel-based developer of collision avoidance technology for drivers, increased the amount of its planned IPO to $611 million, selling 27.8 million shares between the price of $21 to $23, up from $17 to $19. The midpoint of the new range values the company at $5.2 billion, about $1 billion more than before. The company will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol MBLY, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. Mobileeye’s investors include Goldman Sachs (17.5% pre-IPO stake), Fidelity Investments (7.8%), Enterprise Holdings (7.1%), and BlackRock (5.7%).


ZipZap, a San Francisco-based payment network, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Brock Pierce’s AngelList syndicate, 500 Startups, and Blumberg Capital.

• Beyond Meat, an El Segundo, Calif.-based maker of plant-based meat alternatives, has raised a Series D round of funding of an undisclosed size from new investors DNS Capital (the investment fund of Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Michael Pucker), as well as Taiwan’s Tsai family, WTT Investment, and S2G Ventures. Existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, The Obvious Corporation (founded by Evan Williams and Biz Stone), Bill Gates, Morgan Creek Capital, and Seth Goldman (founder of Honest Tea) also participated.

• Privlo, a Los Angeles-based provider of of private real estate loans, raised a $3.8 million seed round of funding from Spark Capital and QED Investors. The company has also secured up to $350 million in debt capital from an undisclosed private real estate investment fund based in New York.

 Juicebox Games Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile gaming company started by ex-Zynga employees, has raised $2.54 million in seed funding led by Initial Capital, according to VentureWire.

• Green Charge Networks, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of energy storage device and an energy management software, has raised $56 million in funding from K Road Power, an energy project development firm, and George Coelho, among others.

• Jet, a New York-based e-commerce company founded by Marc Lore, has raised $55 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Accel Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, and MentorTech Ventures. Lore previously founded Quidsi, the company behind, which sold to Amazon.

• ABA English, an online English teaching platform based in Barcelona, Spain, has raised $3.4 million from Nauta Capital.

• Intrinsic LifeSciences, a La Jolla, Calif.-based diagnostics company, won a $4.45 million National Institute of Health grant to manufacture the Intrinsic Hepcidin Index in-vitro diagnostic and perform a related clinical study.

• MxHero, San Francisco-based cloud storage email management company, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by White Star Capital with participation from GW Holdings, Esther Dyson, Ari Kushner and Actinic Ventures.

• ThredUp, a San Francisco-based online consignment store, has raised $23 million in new venture funding, according to an SEC filing. The round has room for up to $25 million. ThredUp previously raised $23.1 million across several rounds from Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.

• Roamer, a London-based mobile-roaming app, has raised $1.3 million in funding from Richard Frank, co-founder of Dial-a-Phone, a mobile phone retailer.

• Cubic Telecom, a Dublin-based mobile connectivity startup, has raised $5 million in new funding from Qualcomm and Sierra

• Proteus Digital Health, a Redwood City, Calif.-based patient monitoring system company, has raised $52 million in new funding, which is part of a $120 million round the company announced in June. Backers include The Carlyle Group, Essex Woodlands, Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic, Novartis, Otsuka, Oracle, and ON Semiconductor.

• Frameri, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based maker of eyewear systems, has raised a $750,000 seed round led by CincyTech with participation from several individual investors including Tom

MMIS, Inc., an Atlanta-based developer of markets compliance and collaboration software solutions for pharmaceutical and medical device companies, has secured a growth equity investment of undisclosed size from EDG Partners.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., a solar company based in the Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces of China, has secured agreements for $225 million in venture backing from China Development Bank International, Macquarie Greater China Infrastructure Fund, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and New Horizon Capital.

Epic Sciences, Inc., a developer of novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer, raised $30 million in Series C financing from new investors RusnanoMedInvest and Arcus Ventures, with participation from existing investors Domain Associates, Roche Venture Fund, and Pfizer Venture Investments.

ChargePoint, a Campbell, Calif.-based electric vehicle charging network, has raised new funding from Constellation Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Exelon Corporation. Prior investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Braemar Energy Ventures, Siemens Venture Capital GmbH, Voyager Capital, BMW and Rho Ventures. ChargePoint has raised close to $114 million.

ABODO, a local online apartment rental marketplace, has raised $1.25 million in Series A financing led by American Family Ventures with participation from 4490 Ventures and Lakewest Venture Partners.


Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing, a Netherlands-based publisher of financial and commercial information, has sold to EQT VI and minority owner Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area from its current private equity backer, Charterhouse Capital Partners.

Bellsystem24 Holdings, a Japan-based telemarketing firm, will sell a 49.9% stake Itochu Corp from its private equity backer, Bain Capital, which acquired the company from Citigroup in 2009 for $1 billion. Bain Capital will retain a 50.1% stake in the company.

Epicor Software Corp., a Dublin, Calif.-based business software maker, is nearing a sale of itself and CVC Capital Partners is leading the bids, Reuters reported. The deal could be worth as much as $3 billion. Epicor is owned by Apax Partners.

• Pepe Jeans Group, a UK-based clothing retailer, has hired Morgan Stanley to sell itself, Bloomberg reported. The deal could fetch EUR 700 million ($941 million) and KKR & Co., Permira and PAI Partners have expressed interest.

Packaging Coordinators, Inc., a Philadelphia-based healthcare packaging company, has agreed to acquire Penn Pharmaceutical Services Limited, a Tredegar, Wales-based provider of drug development and manufacturing services, for £127 million ($215). Packaging Coordinators Inc. is owned by Frazier Healthcare, with partner investors QIC Global Private Equity, Greenspring Associates and Thomas, McNerney & Partners.

• Causam Energy, Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based, provider of power grid-related technologies, agreed to acquire Power Analytics Corporation, a software and professional services company with offices in San Diego and Raleigh. Terms were not disclosed. Causam Energy is backed by EnergyCo. Holdings, LLC, a portfolio company of Atlanta-based MSouth Equity

• Qualifacts Systems, Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based electronic health record provider, has secured a majority investment from Boston-based Great Hill Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Novetta Solutions, a McLean, Va.-based provider of big data analytics to US Government commercial enterprises, acquired Global News Intelligence, a sentiment and influence analytics firm. Novetta Solutions is a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners.

Mister Car Wash, Tucson-based operator of Mister HotShine Car Wash and Lube Center chains which is owned by ONCAP, has agreed to sell itself to Leonard Green & Partners, according to an FTC filing.

• Kendra Scott, an Austin, Texas-based jewelry brand sold in Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and specialty boutiques, has taken a minority investment from Norwest Venture Partners. Terms were not disclosed.


• Independence Contract Drilling, a Houston, Texas-based provider of land-based contract drilling services for oil and natural gas producers, will raise $150 million in an IPO on NYSE under the ticker symbol ICD. It will sell 10.0 million shares at a range of $14 to $16, valuing the company at $348 million at the midpoint of the range. Shareholders include Sprott Resource Corp. (TSX: SCP), 4D Global Energy Advisors, Lime Rock Partners, and the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

Green Bancorp, a Houston-based commercial bank with 12 branches in Texas, will raise $75 million in an IPO, selling 4.7 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17, valuing it at $428 million at the midpoint of its proposed range. The company will list on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol GNBC. Shareholders include Friedman Fleischer & Lowe (24.1% pre-IPO stake), Harvest Partners (24.1%), and Pine Brook Road Partners (24.1%).

T2 Biosystems, a Lexington, Mass.-based developer of magnetic biosensor detection technology, plans to raise $64 million in an IPO, selling 4 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17, valuing the company at $321 million at the midpoint of its range. The company has raised more than $80 million in VC funding from Goldman Sachs, Polaris Partners, Flagship Ventures, Aisling Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners Physic Ventures, Arcus Ventures, Partners Healthcare, Camros Capital, and WS Investments.

WH Group, a Hong Kong-based pork producer backed by CDH Investments, has raised $2.05 billion in an IPO, selling sold 2.57 billion shares at $0.80 each, valuing the company at $2.05 billion. The company had withdrawn a previous IPO attempt in April. www.wh–

Rundong Automobile Group, a luxury car dealership operating in the Jiangsu province in China, will seek to raise $138 million in an IPO in Hong Kong. The company is backed by KKR & Co.


Harvard Drug Group, a Livonia, Mich.-based pharmaceutical distributor, has been put up for sale by its private equity owner, Court Square Capital Partners, according to LBOWire. Credit Suisse will run the sale. Court Square acquired Harvard Drug from HIG Capital in 2010.

Ulthera, a Mesa, Ariz.-based developer of an FDA-approved ultrasonic medical device for the aesthetics market, has finalized its announced sale to Merz, a privately-held pharma company in Germany. Ulthera, which had registered to go public, was backed by New Enterprise Associates and Apposite Healthcare Fund.

The Princeton Review, a Framingham, Mass-based maker of test prep guides, will sell to, the online tutoring unit of InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI). The Princeton Review was owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners and terms were not disclosed.

Luvocracy, a San Francisco-based social shopping site, has sold to @WalmartLabs, the tech arm of Walmart’s e-commerce operations. It plans to shut down the site. Luvocracy had raised $11 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, CrunchFund, and Marissa Mayer. Terms were not disclosed.

Poptip, a New York-based structured data company, has sold to Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto-based big data company. Poptip was backed by $2.4 million from Lerer Ventures, SoftBank Capital, Techstars, RSE Ventures, BoxGroup and angel investors.

Loftware, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based enterprise company, has raised an investment of undisclosed size from Riverside Partners. Previous announcements of the deal did not mention the seller, Shore Points Capital, which acquired the company nine years ago.

MetraTech Corp, a Boston-based provider of provider of billing, commerce and settlement solutions, has sold to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). Founded in 1998, MetraTech has raised $30 million in venture funding from Vesbridge Partners, Accel Partners, and Meritech Capital Partners.

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) has completed its acquisition of Auto Escape Group, an online car rental reservation company based in Hamburg, Germany and Pertuis, France, from private equity fund Montefiore Investment.


Evercore (NYSE:EVR) has established a European dedicated debt advisory business. The business will be led by Swag Ganguly who joins the firm as a Senior Managing Director from Rothschild in London.

Electra Private Equity, a British private equity firm, has rejected an attempt by Edward J. Bramson, the activist investor behind Sherborne Investors, to take three seats on its board.


AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) will acquire the rights to the respiratory business of Almirall, a Spanish pharmaceutical company, for at least $875 million and as much as $1.22 billion dependent on development, launch, and sales-related milestones.

Madbits, a New York-based image search startup, has sold to Twitter (NYSE: TWTR). It is unclear whether Madbits had raised venture backing.


No people moves today…