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Term Sheet — Monday, October 13

October 13, 2014, 1:44 PM UTC

Monday Mouth-Off

The sky is gray, gas prices continue to plunge and a lot of you aren't working today. In other words, it's time for some Monday Mouth-Off.

As you might imagine, most of the email lately has related to my "love letter" to New York City, which has put the hype horse before the cash cart when it comes to declaring tech industry sub-dominance (i.e., second to Silicon Valley, and only Silicon Valley). Before moving onto the emails, let me make something clear: I recognize that there are several data points that suggest New York may grow into the "best of the rest" title. My point is simply that such growth has not yet been realized and, as such, remains an open question. Okay, here we go...

Larry: “You’re like Willie Mays playing for the Mets, holding onto past glories. Even VCs who live in Boston are spending more time in New York, which means there is little in the pipeline in three or five years. Enjoy Wayfair, because there isn’t much coming up behind it.”

Joe: “I don’t understand your decision to base all of your conclusions on exit data alone. What about new company formation, VC investment and number of new tech jobs? What about sub-$1 billion exits? Isn’t it better to have a dozen $500 million sales than a couple $1 billion sales?”

Sam: “You’ve written that New York gets over-hyped because it has so many tech reporters there, whereas places like Boston and Seattle do not. Are you so sure that’s a causation, as opposed to smart, forward-thinking editorial judgment? Does Fortune have a tech writer in Boston? Is that because Fortune doesn’t actually understand where the next big tech innovation is coming from? Or is it because they do?”

Seattle Ron: “The real key is that we have Microsoft and Amazon. Neither New York nor Boston have any giant tech companies like those, which lowers their likelihood of smart engineering teams that have worked together deciding to form new companies.”

Silicon Valley Charlie: “Standing applause. New York needs to calm down.”

Anon: “After all these years, NOW you’re a troll?”

Amanda: “I sure hope you don’t write ‘love letters’ to your wife.”

 Christopher on Yahoo's reported investment in Snapchat: "Any Snapchat 'investment' is not a venture investment, but merely the price to pay for a a seat at the ad placement table, a la Microsoft's $100 million investment in Facebook years ago. Yes, Microsoft wrote a far larger check and at an earlier stage in Facebook's life, but that just goes to further highlight this is not an investment. With any kind of privileged position, Yahoo should be able to extract far more than $20 million from placing their proprietary ad widgets in or around Snapchat."

 Vito on VenturePAC giving: "The piece about what you learned from searching the FEC database for VenturePAC's spending would have been better if you discussed who were the largest beneficiaries." Agreed Vito. Among the largest recipients of VenturePAC largesse (through the end of August) were Sen. Mark Udall (D-UT), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-MS) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI). Camp, who received $5,000 from VenturePAC, recently announced both his pending retirement and a tax reform plan that would have included a change to the carried interest tax treatment that currently benefits venture capitalists (the donations came prior to those announcements).

 Cory: Do I have a chance of getting off the Liquidity Event waiting list? Yes Cory, although no promises. I expect to pull a bunch of folks off next Monday, the night before the event. If anyone else wants to add their name, please to go

 Finally, we end with Aaron: "You only wish you could be half as intelligent or rich as the average New York City tech entrepreneur. Your 'love letter' reeks of jealousy and an inferiority complex. Why don't you just stop writing about New York, since you obviously have no idea what it is we're doing here. Do you ever leave Boston? I sure hope you never come here, because we'd be the dumber for it."


 Rhône Capital and a Goldman Sachs affiliate have agreed to acquire Neovia Logistics, an Irving, Texas-based provider of warehouse management and other logistics services, from Platinum Equity and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT). No financial terms were disclosed. Platinum acquired a 65% stake in the business two years ago from Caterpillar, which retained a 35% stake.



 Wahanda, a UK-based hair and beauty marketplace, has raised $26 million in new growth equity funding from RGIP, Fidelity Growth Partners and Lepe Partners. The company also has acquired German rival Salonmeister for an undisclosed amount.

 Gainsight, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of customer success management solutions, has raised $25 million in Series C funding co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company previously raised over $20 million from Summit Partners, Battery Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and Salesforce.

 VoloMetrix, a Seattle-based provider of employee analytics software, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Split Rock Partners led the round, and was joined by return backer Shasta Ventures.

 CloudFactory, a Durham, N.C.-based “distributed labor platform melding human and machine intelligence,” has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by David Clouse (founder of VRBO).

 Voxa, an Atlanta-based “email intelligence” startup, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from firms like Ethos Capital Partners.

 Simplestream, a London-based provider of live-streaming services for broadcast TV channels, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Beringea.


 Apax Partners is among the bidders for Nordic IT services company Evry ASA (Oslo: EVRY), according to Reuters. Also circling is Finland’s Tieto. Evry has a current market cap in excess of $700 million, with top shareholders Telenor and Norway Post supportive of the sale process. Read more.

 The Jordan Co. has agreed to acquire American Freight of Ohio Inc., a Lima, Ohio–based discount furniture retailer with more than 95 stores in 18 states. No financial terms were disclosed.

 Novacap has agreed to acquire Dialogic Inc., (OTC BB: DLGC), a Milpitas, Calif.–based provider of services to mobile operators and application developers, for $35.3 million in cash, or $0.15 per share.

 The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has agreed to acquire Bridon Ltd., a UK–based wire rope manufacturer, from Melrose Industries PLC (LSE: MRO) for £365 million. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

 Silver Lake has “shelved” its efforts to acquire photo-sharing site Shutterfly Inc. (Nasdaq: SFLY), according to Bloomberg. Read more

 Starwood Capital is seeking to sell French budget hotels group Louvre Hotels, according to Les Echos. Interested suitors reportedly include Accor, The Blackstone Group, CVC Capital Partners, Fonciere des Murs and PAI Partners. The deal could be worth between $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion.

 Sterling Partners has acquired a control stake in Results Physiotherapy, a Memphis, Tenn.–based provider of outpatient physical therapy services. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Golub Capital provided a senior credit facility. Results Physiotherapy co-founders Gary Cunningham and Greg Spurgin will remain “significant shareholders.”


 Seven companies are expected to price IPOs this week, including Zayo Group and Forward Pharma. Read more

 Navios Maritime Midstream Partners LP, a crude tanker operator formed by Navios Maritime (NYSE: NM), has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE, with BofA Merrill Lynch listed as left lead underwriter. Read more


 GE Capital is in talks to acquire Milestone Aviation Group Ltd., an Ireland–based helicopter leasing company that is prepping an IPO, for more than $2.5 billion, according to the WSJ. Milestone shareholders include Nautic Partners, The Jordan Co. and Aberdeen Private Equity. Read more

 Old Mutual (LSE: OML) is on the verge of acquiring British wealth manager Quilter Cheviot from Bridgepoint, after sweetening its offer to around £650 million, according to multiple press reports. Read more

 SMRT Corp. (Singapore) said that it will not pursue an acquisition of British auto service company Addison Lee, after being approached by an investment bank. Addison Lee is owned by The Carlyle Group, and SMRT reportedly had been considering an £800 million offer.   

 TA Associates is considering a sale of its 50% stake in French asset manager DNCA Finance, according to Dow Jones. The deal could value DNCA at around €500 million. Read more


 The Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX: CP) has approached CSX (NYSE: CSX) about a railway merger that could create a $60 billion company. Read more

 NetScout Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NTCT) has agreed to acquire the communications business of Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR), including Tektronix Communications, Arbor Networks and certain parts of Fluke Networks. The deal is valued at around $2.6 billion in cash, based on NetScout’s closing share price on Friday.

 Numecent, an Irvine, Calif.-based developer of native apps from the cloud through virtualization, has acquired Approxy, a cloud gaming company that it had previously spun out. No financial terms were disclosed. Numecent shareholders include Endeavour Ventures and T-Venture Holding.

 Statoil (Oslo: STL) has sold its 15.5% stakes in the Shah Deniz oil field (Caspian Sea) and a related BP-backed pipeline to Petronas (Malaysia) for $2.25 billion. Read more

 The UK government has begun a sale process for its 40% stake in high-speed rail line Eurostar International. Read more


 Thomas H. Lee Partners has begun raising its seventh flagship buyout fund, according to regulatory filings. It already has secured more than $930 million in capital commitments.


 Jonathan Bourn has joined British mid-market private equity firm Lyceum Capital as a partner. He previously was with Baird as a managing director of global investment banking, leading coverage of European financial sponsors.

 David Jorgenson has joined M&A advisory Equiteq as global head of M&A. He previously was with Robert W. Baird.

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