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Term Sheet — Tuesday, November 18

Random Ramblings

Today’s column didn’t quite come together in time, so just a few quick notes to kick off your Tuesday…

• Whoa daddy: Yesterday, Internet hosting company GoDaddy updated its IPO registration with all sorts of Q3 financial data. Through the first nine months of 2014, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company showed improvements in year-over-year revenue ($825m vs. $1.02b), customers (11,196 vs. 12,452) and EBITDA ($155m vs. $215m). Plus net loss decreasing from $134 million to $116 million.

The one thing we didn’t see, however, were IPO terms.

GoDaddy originally filed its S-1 on June 9, with all intentions of pricing in 2014. But word is that the company now has pushed back its listing plans until sometime in early 2015. Factors cited include the Alibaba IPO delay (GoDaddy wanted that massive offering out of the way) and the recent public market troubles of competitor (Nasdaq: WWWW), which saw its share price fall from $36.72 on March 3 to just $15.40 on Nov. 3.

GoDaddy shares holders include KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures.

• Two cents: Yes, an Uber executive’s apparent plan to dig up dirt on journalists’ private lives is appalling. No, it won’t harm Uber’s business in any tangible way.

• Tick-tock: Just a reminder that it has been 31 months since the JOBS Act was signed into law, and more than one year since the SEC (belatedly) proposed crowdfunding rules. Yet we still don’t have finalized rules, despite SEC chair Mary Jo White promising during her early 2013 confirmation hearings that finishing up the SEC’s JOBS Act responsibilities would be a priority.

Moving on: Hadn’t noticed this earlier, but it seems that Richard Griffin has stepped down as a partner with Pritzker Group Private Capital, in order to launch a North Carolina-based private equity firm (Aiglon Capital Management) to focus on lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution and services companies.

Today’s largest VC deal is for Shift, a mobile app for buying and selling used cars (currently in beta testing in the SF and LA markets). The special sauce here is what Shift calls “car enthusiasts” — independent contractors who will borrow cars from sellers in order to help prospective buyers take test drives (for purposes of both convenience and safety).

I spoke last night with company CEO George Arison, and asked if his company is running counter to a perceived trend of reduced auto ownership among the young, West Coast urbanites who would normally be his first adopters. His reply: “We haven’t seen any data to support that. Europe is a great place to look at what happens when people have much better ground transportation beyond their own car, and you still see people have one car per family. Maybe not two cars, but that’s fine for us.”

• Minor mystery solved: Last week, online crafting enthusiast community Craftsy announced that it had raised $50 million in Series D funding. Backers included Stripes Group, Foundry Group, Tiger Global, Adams St. Partners, Access Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. But a couple eagle-eyed readers looked up the associated Form D, and noticed that Michael Zeisser – Alibaba’s head of U.S. investments – is now listed as a board member.

So is Alibaba an investor? No, according to a source close to the company. Seems Zeisser quietly joined the Craftsy board as an independent director just before joining Alibaba last year from Liberty Media. So that’s that.


• SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) and TerraForm Power Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP) have agreed to acquire First Wind, a Boston-based developer, owner and operator of U.S. wind energy projects, for $2.4 billion. Sellers include D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn Partners. Read more.


• Shift, a San Francisco-based mobile app for buying and selling used cars (complete with intermediated test drives), has raised $23.75 million in Series A funding. DFJ and Highland Capital Partners co-led the round, and were joined by Jim McKelvey, Chris Barton, SV Angel and Great Oaks VC.

• Eyeview, a New York–based personalized online video advertising platform, has raised $15 million in new VC funding from return backer Marker LLC.

• Veradocs, a Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise platform for sharing digital information across platforms and devices, has raised $14 million in new VC funding. Battery Ventures led the round, and was joined by Amplify Partners and individual angels.

• V-Key Inc., a Singapore-based provider of mobile security and cryptographic technology, has raised $12 million in Series B funding from Ant Financial (the operating company of Alipay) and return backer IPV Capital.

• Redbooth, a Redwood City, Calif.-based real-time collaboration platform for enterprise, has raised $11 million in Series B funding from Avalon Ventures and Altpoint Capital.

• Breezeworks, a San Francisco-based creator of a “smartphone business manager,” has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Obvious Ventures led the round, and was joined by Marc Benioff, James Murdoch, Jeff Skoll, David Sacks, Max Levchin and Peter Thiel.. It is the first-ever investment led by Obvious, which was formed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

• Made Television, an owner and operator of local TV stations in the UK, has raised £3.5 million in new equity funding from Ariadne Capital.

• Dispatch, a Boston-based scheduling and delivery platform for on-demand services, has raised $3.1 million in seed funding. Promus Ventures and GrandBanks Capital co-led the round, and were joined by Salesforce Ventures, Launch Capital, Kima Ventures, Ray Lane and Mark Goldstein.

• Alfred, an in-home “butler” service for household tasks, has raised $2 million in VC funding. Spark Capital led the round, and was joined by SV Angel and CrunchFund.

• Bipsync, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based research automation platform for investment professionals, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Backers include Steadfast Venture Capital,  David Eisner (founder of and Russell Siegelman (ex-Kleiner Perkins).

• Zipnosis, a Minneapolis-based provider of online diagnosis and treatment options for minor health conditions, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Arthur Ventures.


• Asmodee, a French board game publisher owned by Eurazeo, has agreed to acquire Fantasy Flight Games, a St. Paul, Minn.-based hobby games publisher. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Bregal Partners has acquired Dead Down Wind LLC, a Grandview, Mo.–based scent control brand for hunters. No financial terms were disclosed. Dead Down Wind is the first purchase for Bregal via Arcus Hunting LLC, a new acquisition platform focused on the bowhunting and archery accessories category.

• Implement Holdings, a investment company backed by the Edgewater Funds, has acquired a majority stake in Brilliance Financial Technology, an Australia–based provider of commercial lending risk-based pricing and profitability optimization software. No financial terms were disclosed.

• JinkoSolar Holding Co. (NYSE: JKS) has secured a $225 million equity placement led by China Development Bank International and Macquarie Greater China Infrastructure Fund, which will be used for the company’s downstream solar power project business.

• Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired RotoMetrics, a St. Louis–based provider of precision rotary tooling and accessories, from Morgenthaler Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Vector Capital has agreed to acquire ChyronHego Corp. (Nasdaq: CHYR), a Melville, N.Y.-based provider of broadcast graphics creation, play-out and real-time data visualization. The deal has an implied equity value of around $114 million, or $2.82 per share (4% increase over last Friday’s closing price).


• Advanced Accelerator Applications SA, a French developer of molecular imaging and molecular therapy products, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AAAP, with Citigroup and Jefferies serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $1.37 million net loss on around $45.5 million in revenue for the first six months of 2014. Shareholders include HBM Healthcare Investments (7.9% pre-IPO stake), Life Science Capital (6.8%) and Carpéfin (5.6%).

• eHi Car Services Ltd., a Chinese car services and rental company, raised $120 million in its IPO. The company priced 10 million shares at $12 per share (low end of $12-$14 range). It will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol EHIC, while J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Deutsche Bank Securities served as lead underwriters. The company reports around a $21 million net loss on nearly $62 million in revenue for the first half of 2014. Shareholders include Ctrip (23% pre-IPO stake), CDH Venture Partners (12.9%), Qiming Venture Partners (11.9%), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs (10.7%) and Ignition Partners (9.1%).


• The Blackstone Group has agreed to sell 1095 Avenue of the Americas, a 42-story office building in Manhattan, to Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. for approximately $2.25 billion, according to Bloomberg. Read more.

• Campaign Monitor, an Australia-based provider of email marketing and design solutions, has acquired GetFeedback, a San Francisco–based online survey startup that had raised a couple of million dollars in VC funding from Salesforce Ventures. No financial terms were disclosed. Campaign Monitor earlier this year raised US$250 million in equity funding from Insight Venture PartnersRead more.

• The Carlyle Group and Cinven have increased their planned share sale in European cable company Altice (Amsterdam: ATC) from 5.5 million to 7.5 million. The shares could be valued at upwards of €341 million. Read more.

• Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) has acquired Swarm Mobile, a San Francisco-based provider of a a retail analytics and customer engagement platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Swarm Mobile had raised over $4 million in VC funding from Icon Venture Partners, Abundance Capital and rapper Nas.

• Informa PLC (LSE: INF) has agreed to acquire U.S. trade show operator Hanley Wood for £237 million. Sellers include Oaktree Capital Management, Strategic Value Partners and Tennenbaum Capital Partners.


• HomeTrust Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: HTBI) has acquired ten branch banks in Southwest Virginia and Eden, N.C. from Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). No financial terms were disclosed.

• Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) has agreed to acquire the animal health assets of Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) for approximately $255 million.


• Baird Capital, the direct investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co., has closed its fourth venture capital fund with $185 million in capital commitments.

• Harmony Partners, a bi-coastal growth equity firm, has closed its second fund with $85 million in capital commitments. The firm also announced the hiring of Michael Chou (ex-Revolution Growth) as a principal.


• Hyo Young Kang has joined law firm Ropes & Gray LLP as a Seoul-based corporate partner, with a focus on finance and capital markets transactions. He previously was a senior consultant at Linklaters LLP.

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