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Term Sheet — Monday, November 10

Random Ramblings

On Friday afternoon, The Financial Times reported that Uber was seeking to raise another $1 billion or so that would be at a valuation higher than the $17 billion pre-money from its June round. Three follow-up notes:

  1. In reference to the valuation, let me use a very technical capital markets term: No duh. Had fast-growing Uber somehow lost value over the past five months? Moreover, had it lost so much money that the $1.2 billion it raised in that round had been totally washed away (again, $17b was pre-money). Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but come on…
  2. Two weeks ago I reported that Uber was prepping another secondary tender for early employees, and I subsequently heard word that it would be done at a valuation that could be between $23 billion and $25 billion. But I didn’t report the number, because it wasn’t in keeping with Uber’s habit of underpricing secondaries. Now I have to wonder if I had wires crossed, and those valuations were related to this fundraise.
  3. After the news broke, I tweeted that the FT story only referred to new “capital” (i.e., not “equity”). Shortly thereafter, TechCrunch’s Ryan Lawler reported that this may be a convertible debt deal. Perhaps similar to what we’ve seen in the past for companies like SurveyMonkey and Jawbone…

• Just asking: It feels like I’m constantly writing news blurbs about new on-demand delivery startups getting venture funding. Today it’s Door to Door Organics (one of the market’s more self-explanatory company names), which raised $25.5 million in new funding. And each time I write one, I think about how dotcom-era flameouts Webvan and Kosmo were just 14 years too early. So here’s my question: Which venture-backed craters from the past couple of years will prove to be great ideas that were just a decade too early? Something in cleantech? Something else? Interested in your thoughts…

• Broken eggs: Unilever has filed suit against VC-backed alt food darling Hampton Creek, alleging false advertising and unfair competition. Specifically, Unilver is complaining that because Hampton Creek’s “Just Mayo” product doesn’t contain eggs, it shouldn’t be marketed as mayo. Seems like Unilver is a bit concerned about Hampton Creek encroaching on its Hellman’s empire. My colleague Beth Kowitt has the full story here.

• Counterpoint: Last month I wrote about my disagreement with those who argue public pensions should no longer invest in “alternatives.” Not only because of diversification value for systems that need constant liquidity, but also because not all alternatives are created equal. On the other side of this argument is author and academic Roger Lowenstein, who has penned a new piece for Fortune. Read it here.

• Breaking: President Obama just announced that he will ask the FCC to reclassify broadband service as a utility. All sorts of ramifications — including, one would think, for the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal — depending on the specifics and if this proposal is ultimately adopted.

From Obama’s statement, per The Verge: “The time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.”

• Drop a dime: Just a reminder that you always can send me an anonymous message by using our tip function. Just go here.


• HGGC has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Survey Sampling International, a Shelton, Conn.-based provider of corporate surveys, from Providence Equity Partners and Sterling Investment Partners (each of which will retain a minority stake). No financial terms were disclosed, but the NY Times reports that the deal values SSI at around $500 million. Read more.


• Restoration Robotics Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of medical devices for hair transplantation, has raised $45.2 million in new Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. The round was launched in 2013, and follows up on a 41 million Series C tranche from 2011 that included  Clarus Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Interwest

• Door to Door Organics, a Lafayette, Colo.-based provider of home and office delivery of organic foods, has raised $25.5 million in Series B funding led by Arlon Group, according to VentureWire.

• Evernote, a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of apps and products that help people find, collect and save information, has raised $20 million in strategic funding from Japanese media group Nikkei. Evernote previously raised around $270 million. Read more.

• Mesh Networks, a Houston-based provider of bandwidth management and optimization solutions, has raised $4.3 million in new VC funding. Investors were not identified.


• BC Partners, Onex Partners and Partners Group each are expected to submit second-round bids by today’s headline for Swiss packaging maker SIG Combibloc, according to Reuters. The seller is New Zealand’s Reynolds Group Holding. First-round offers were worth upwards of €3.9 billion, but Reuters suggests the second-round offers actually could be a bit lower, due to a dip in SIG’s recent results. Read more.

• Andrea Bonomi has secured backing from KKR in his efforts to acquire French resort operator Club Med, which also has received a bid from China’s Fosun International, according to La Lettre de L’Expansion. Read more.

• CHC Group Ltd. (NYSE:HELI) has received shareholder approval for the receipt of a $600 million private placement from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC.

• Datashield LLC, a Utah–based provider of cyber-security solutions, has secured a $4 million mezzanine loan and equity commitment from Huntington Capital.

• Golden Gate Capital is in pole position to acquire Angus Chemical Co. from Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), according to Reuters. The deal could be worth more than $1 billion, with Onex Partners and Metalmark Capital also involved in the auction. Read more.

• LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology, a Canadian endocrinology practice network, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Persistence Capital Partners.

• Platinum Equity has completed its purchase of MACtax, the pressure sensitive materials business of Bemis Company Inc. (NYSE: BMS). The deal was valued at $170 million.

• Shipston Equity Holdings has acquired Busche Enterprise Division Inc., an Albion, Ind.–based computer numerical control production machining company. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Tier 1 Energy Solutions Inc., a portfolio company of Intervale Capital, has acquired Avenger Oil Tools, a Calgary-based downhole completion tools and services company operating in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. No financial terms were disclosed.


• Momo Inc., a Chinese mobile-based social networking platform, has filed for a $300 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MOMO, with Morgan Stanley listed as left-lead underwriter. The company reports an $8.2 million net loss on $13.89 million in revenue for the first six months of 2014. Shareholders include Alibaba (20.7% pre-IPO stake), Matrix Partners China (19.9%) and Sequoia Capital (5.6%). Read more.


• InterMedia Partners has sold InterMedia Outdoors Holdings Inc., owner and operator of such media properties as Guns & Ammo and the BassFan network, to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC. No financial terms were disclosed.

• One Equity Partners is again trying to sell Austrian packaging company Constantia Flexibles, around one year after canceling a planned flotation, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at around €2 billion, with interested suitors including CVC Capital Partners, Cinven, EQT Partners and Permira. Read more.


• AT&T (NYSE: T) has agreed to acquire Mexican mobile service provider Iusacell for $2.5 billion (including debt). Read more.

• KKR has agreed to provide Singapore-based Amtek Global Technologies, a subsidiary of India-listed Amtek Auto, with €235 million of “long-term, flexible financing” to replace its existing bridge loan and consolidate all of the company’s debt.

• GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) has filed for an $800 million secondary public offering, with J.P. Morgan serving as left lead underwriter.

• Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) has held talks with troubled Australian broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd. (ASX: TEN) about a possible A$680 million takeover offer, according to the Australian Financial Review. Read more.


• Hellman & Friedman has closed its eighth flagship private equity fund with $10.9 billion in capital commitments, including a $500 million commitment from the general partners.


• Bill Kennard, a Carlyle Group managing director between 2001 and 2009, has joined the board of AT&T (NYSE: T). He also served as chairman of the FCC between 1997 and 2001, and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013.

• Michael O’Boyle, former CEO of HCA Holdings subsidiary Parallon Business Solutions, has joined Pamplona Capital Management as an operating partner.

• Jun Tsusaka has stepped down as head of Japanese operations for TPG Capital, in order to form a new private equity firm focused on small and mid-sized Japanese companies, according to the WSJ. He will continue to advise TPG. Read more.

• Nancy Fechnay has left Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers after just five months, in order to move to London where she will serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence for TechStars.

• Robert Friedman Jr. has joined Dresner Partners as a managing director, with a focus on the medical device space. He previously was a managing director with Northeast Securities Inc.

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