Greetings from Las Vegas, where I’m in town to play low-stakes blackjack for tonight’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech dinner featuring Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. Some quick 2014 data notes as we shake off the vacation cobwebs…
• M&A: Thomson Reuters reports that there was $3.5 trillion worth of global M&A activity in 2014, which is up 47% from the year before. The key here is big deals — 95 valued at $5 billion or more — given that the overall number of M&A transactions only climbed by 6%. M&A for U.S. targets was up 51.4% to $1.53 trillion, while there were large year-over-year decreases in countries like Germany (-21.6%) and Mexico (-23.5%).
• Private equity: Thomson Reuters puts the global PE total at $561.9 billion. That’s the highest figure since 2007, and a 43% bump over 2013. Perhaps more importantly, it represented 21.9% of total global M&A activity — which represents an all-time high (previous leader 2006 was at 21.3%). Pretty remarkable given the relative dearth of mega-LBOs last year, which was perhaps offset by a growing number of firms willing and able to play in the $1b-$3b space.
PitchBook also released a bunch of private equity data, showing that 60% of 2014 buyout activity was for add-on investments. It also reports that global PE exit activity totaled $445.7 billion, which is a record high. For PE fundraising, Pitchbook shows a drop from $353 billion raised in 2013 to $291 billion raised in 2014.
• Venture capital: PitchBook data shows that venture capitalists disbursed a massive $87.75 billion last year (compared to $50.27b for 2013) via 7,731 deals, with median post-money valuations climbing to a decade-high $27 million. Uber raised the most money, while 500 Startups did the most deals. Capital exited by VC funds was up 73% over 2013. There also was a major increase in VC fundraising, climbing from $26.77 billion raised for 247 funds in 2013 to $44.74 billion raised for 308 funds in 2014.
• IPOs: Companies raised around $249 billion in global IPOs in 2014, which was the busiest year for new listings since 2010. Moreover, the year-over-year dollar volume was up 36% if you exclude the massive Alibaba offering. It’s also worth noting that, according to Renaissance Capital, there were 369 S-1 docs filed for U.S. listings in 2014, which is 44% higher than in 2013. Within that were 24 filings in December, making it the busiest December for new filings since 2007.
• 45k and counting… Every time I add another thousand Twitter followers, I like to ask you to join the others. That way we can chat throughout the day. Follow me @danprimack.
THE BIG DEAL
• SnapChat, a Venice, Calif.-based ephemeral messaging app, has raised around $486 million in new funding, according to a regulatory filing. Prior reports had suggested that the company was raising money at around a $10 billion valuation, with subsequent stories saying that Kleiner Perkins was among the participants. No new board members are listed on the filing. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Instacart, a San Francisco-based on-demand grocery delivery startup, has raised $220 million in new funding led by Kleiner Perkins at around a $2 billion valuation. Existing backers include Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital. Read more.
• Wanda E-commerce, a Chinese e-commerce platform formed last year as a joint venture between Wanda, Tencent and Baidu, has raised around $161 million in new funding from Centec Networks and Xude Rendao at a $3 billion valuation. Read more.
• 3–V Biosciences Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of therapeutics that modulate key pathways in oncology and infectious disease, has raised $28.5 million in Series D funding co-led by existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates and Rock Springs Capital Management. New backers included Ally Bridge Group. www.3vbio.com
• Scribd, a San Francisco-based e-book subscription service, has raised $22 million in new VC funding. Khosla Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers CRV, Redpoint Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. The company previously raised $26 million. www.scribd.com
• Noom, a New York-based maker of weight loss and fitness apps for smartphones, has secured $15 million of a new VC funding round that could end up at around $20 million, according to a regulatory filing. TransLink Capital and Han-Sing Hi-Tech Fund were joined by return backer RRE Ventures. www.noom.com
• Beepi Inc., a Los Altos, Calif.-based online P2P marketplace for buying and selling cars, has raised $12.7 million inVC funding. Yuri Milner (DST) and Scott Bommer (SAB Capital) helped lead the round, which included $2.7 million via AngelList. Beepi previously raised a $60 million Series B round from Foundation Capital and Sherpa Ventures. www.beepi.com
• Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Montreal-based developer of drugs for rare diseases, has raised US$10 million in new Series A funding. OrbiMed Advisors led the round, and was joined by fellow return backer BDC Venture Capital. The Series A round is now $32.5 million. www.clementiapharma.com
• EHANG, a San Carlos, Calif.-based maker of “intuitive personal drones,” has raised $10 million in Series A funding. GGV Capital led the round, and was joined by PreAngel and individual investors like Xiaoping Xu and Nick Yang. www.ghost-drone.com
• X.ai, a New York-based virtual personal assistant for scheduling meetings, has raised around $9.13 million in new VC funding. FirstMark Capital led the round, and was joined by Pritzker Group and CrunchFund. www.x.ai
• VideoDesk, a New York-based provider of videochat solutions, has raised $4.8 million in angel and seed funding from undisclosed investors. www.videodesk.com
• TINYpulse, a Seattle-based provider of employee engagement software, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding. Baseline Ventures led the round, and was joined by Harrison Metal and undisclosed “strategic investors.” www.tinypulse.com
• Vouch Financial, a San Francisco-based social lending startup, has raised $3 million in VC funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include IDG Ventures and Gil Penchina. www.vouchmoney.com
• Lightpoint Medical, a UK-based developer of surgical imaging technologies, has raised £2 million in Series A funding. Backers include Oxford Technology, Cambridge Capital Group, London Business Angels, Envestors, Ruffena Capital and SyndicateRoom. www.lightpointmedical.com
• Arthena, a New York-based platform for crowdfunding investments in fine arts, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Beamonte Investments. www.arthena.co
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Abraaj Group reportedly has pulled out of the auction for Egyptian confectionery company BiscoMisr after Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) again increased its offer. Read more.
• CCMP Capital has completed its acquisition of a 47% stake in PQ Holdings Inc. from The Carlyle Group, which will maintain the other 53% position (alongside INEOS and company management). PQ is a Malvern, Penn.-based specialty inorganic chemicals company. www.pqcorp.com
• Centre Partners has acquired a majority stake in Sun Orchard, a Tempe, Ariz.-based provider of premium juice and beverage products to the foodservice industry. No financial terms were disclosed. www.sunorchard.com
• Electrical Components International Inc., a St. Louis-based maker of wire harnesses and provider of assembly services for consumer appliance and specialty-industrial applications, has acquired Global Harness Systems, a Bala Cynwyd, Penn.-based maker of electrical connectors. No financial terms were disclosed. ECI was acquired last year by KPS Capital Partners. www.ecintl.com
• Onex Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in Advanced Integration Technology, a Plano, Texas–based provider of automation and tooling maintenance services and aircraft components to the aerospace industry. www.aint.com
• Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has increased its stake in Britain’s Birmingham Airport from 29% to 48.25%, by paying an undisclosed amount for a 19.25% position from Australia’s Victorian Funds Management Corp. www.birminghamairport.co.uk
• Pamplona Capital Management has agreed to acquire Charter NEX Films Inc., a Milton, Wis.–based producer of polyethylene films. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close later this quarter. www.nex-films.com
• Avinger Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of catheters for treating peripheral artery disease, has filed for a $69 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AVGR, with Canaccord Genuity and Cowen & Co. serving as co-lead underwriters. The company reports a net loss of nearly $24 million on $8.1 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014. Shareholders include Donald Lucas. www.avinger.com
• Carbylan Therapeutics, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of a therapy for sustained relief from pain associated with osteoarthritis, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CBYL, with Leerink Partners serving as lead underwriter. Shareholders include InterWest Partners (33.2% pre-IPO stake), Atla Partners (30.2%) and Vivo Ventures (27.8%). www.carbylan.com
• Flex Pharma Inc., a Boston-based developer of treatments for neuromuscular disorders, has filed for a $60 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol FLKS, with Jefferies and Piper Jaffray serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Longwood Fund (19.23% pre-IPO stake), Bessemer Venture Partners (9.82%), EcoRq Capital, Jennison Associates, Lightstone Ventures, Alexandria Equities, CD-Venture, Bindley Capital Partners, City Hill Ventures, Kraft Group, Todd Dagres, Peter Lynch and Steve Pagliuca. www.flex-pharma.com
• HTG Molecular Diagnostics, a Tucson, Ariz.-based provider of a “platform to facilitate the routine use of complex molecular profiling,” has filed for a $60 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol HTGM, with Leerink Partners serving as lead underwriter. The company reports a $9.8 million net loss on around $2 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014. Shareholders include Novo AS (24.8% pre-IPO stake), S.R. One (19.6%), Merck Capital Ventures (19.5%), Fletcher Spaght Ventures (12.3%), Solstice Capital (6.1%) and Valley Ventures (5.6%). www.htgmolecular.com
• Inovalon Holdings, a Bowie, Md.-based provider of healthcare data analytics, has filed for a $500 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol INOV, with Goldman Sachs listed as left-lead underwriter (9 total banks listed). The company reports $52 million of net income on $272 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014, compared to $27 million of net income on $231 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. www.inovalon.com
• Nexvet Biopharma, an Australian developer of biological drugs for companion animals, has filed for a $60 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NVET, with BofA Merrill Lynch and Cowen & Co. serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders include One Funds Managemen (11.9% pre-IPO stake), Ute Holdings (11.6%), Bushranger Funding (11.4%), Adage Capital Partners (11.2%), Foresite Capital (10%), Irrus Investments (9.1%) and AustralianSuper (6.3%). www.nexvet.com
• Shake Shack Inc., a New York-based premium burger restaurant chain, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol SHAK, with J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $3.5 million in net income on $83.7 million in revenue for the 39 weeks ending Sept. 24, 2014, compared to $4.4 million in net income on $59.5 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. Shareholders include Leonard Green. Read more.
• Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based developer of one-time gene therapy products, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ONCE, with J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include Sofinnova Ventures (11.45% pre-IPO stake), Baker Brothers (7.63%), Brookside, Deerfield Management, Rock Springs Capital, T. Rowe Price, Wellington Management, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. www.sparktx.com
• Tracon Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based developer of therapeutics for cancer and age-related macular degeneration, has filed for a $57.5 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TCON, with Wells Fargo and Stifel serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include New Enterprise Associates, BioMed Ventures, JAFCO Co, Nextech Inves, Brookline Investments, Arcus Ventures and BHP. MTS Health Partners and Wells Fargo Securities served as placement agents. www.traconpharma.com
• Mistral Equity Partners has agreed to sell Country Pure Foods Inc., an Akron, Ohio-based juice packaging company, to a joint venture of Sapporo International and Toyota Tsusho America (via U.S.-based subsidiary Silver Springs Citrus Inc.). No financial terms were disclosed. www.countrypurefoods.com
• Thoma Bravo has completed its previously-announced sale of Tripwire, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of IT security and compliance management solutions, to Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC) for $710 million in cash. www.tripwire.com
• Wasserstein Partners has agreed to sell High Pressure Equipment Co., an Erie, Penn.-based maker of valves, fittings, tubing and accessories for use in high-pressure applications, to Graco Inc. (NYSE: GGG) for $160 million. www.highpressure.com
• The Ensign Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) has acquired Alarys Home Health, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Medicare and Medicaid certified home health agency. No financial terms were disclosed. www.ensigngroup.net
• Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has agreed to pay upwards of $835 million for the option to license three bowel disease drugs from Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS). www.isispharm.com
• NASDAQ OMX Group has acquired Dorsey Wright & Associates, a Richmond, Va.-based index and analytics provider, for $225 million. www.dorseywright.com
• Robert Saver, majority owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball franchise, has offered to acquire Scottish soccer club Rangers for around $27.5 million. Read more.
• Vuzic Corp. (OTC BB: VUZI), a Rochester, N.Y.-based maker of wearable display devices, has raised $24.8 million in equity funding from Intel Corp. www.vuzix.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• No firm or fund news this morning…
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Berkshire Partners has promoted three professionals to managing director: Marni Payne (focused on consumer products and retail), Dave Bordeau (consumer products, retail and biz services) and Raleigh Shoemaker (business development). www.berkshirepartners.com
• Todd Spence has joined William Blair & Co. as a managing director and head of West Coast equity capital markets. He previously was a managing director and head of technology equity capital markets for Raymond James. www.williamblair.com
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