Greetings from the home office, where it’s good to be back after a few days in Las Vegas. Just some quick notes to kick off your Wednesday, since I spent most of yesterday on a plane with very spotty WiFi:
• Triple unicorn: Yesterday’s big deal was that Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna Therapeutics had raised $450 million in new venture capital funding, in the largest such round ever for a biotech startup (per PitchBook). Now comes word that the deal was done at a $3 billion post-money valuation. Absolutely amazing for a company that has yet to begin human clinical trials.
• Fidelity seeing red: Clothing retail chain C. Wonder reportedly is shutting down, telling employees earlier this week that its remaining stores will all be shuttered by next month.
C. Wonder had raised $35 million in equity funding two years ago from Fidelity Investments at around a $350 million post-money valuation, after company founder Chris Burch reached a legal settlement with ex-wife Tory Burch over her alleged interference with his efforts to sell his 28.3% stake in her own retail empire (which he ultimately unloaded to General Atlantic and BTD Capital). For her part, Tory had accused Chris of ripping off signature design features of her stores for C. Wonder.
• Update: Last July we reported that Greylock IL, the international affiliate of U.S. venture capital firm Grelylock Partners, was planning to spin off and rebrand as an independent entity. Today the group made it official, rebranding as 83North and saying that it has raised $200 million for a new fund that will back European and Israeli tech companies.
• Recommended reading: Simon Clark and Becky Pritchard have a fascinating piece in the WSJ about infighting at British buyout firm Charterhouse Capital Partners, which was made public via a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled former partner. In short, the firm’s management is accused of essentially having regularly raided Charterhouse’s short-term value without regard to how it will impact successive management – even though it, like almost all private equity firms, is asking LPs to commit to long-term funds.
For example, a 2001 memo from then-CEO (and current chairman) Gordon Bonnyman reads: “The absolute intention is to maximise the value of [Charterhouse] to the people who are there today… No one is particularly concerned with the financial well being of those who will succeed us.” Read the full story here.
• Look ahead: A couple of readers pointed out that once CES clears out of Las Vegas, the city’s next giant convention will be the NAHB International Builders’ Show – where more than 75,000 homebuilders and designers will talk shop. Should be very interesting to see how many of the ‘connected home’ company presenting this week at the “consumer” event will be back for the B2B event, given yesterday’s discussion about urbanization and ownership slide.
THE BIG DEAL
• Red Ventures, a Fort Mill, S.C.-based digital marketing agency, has raised $250 million in equity funding from General Atlantic and Silver Lake. The NY Times reports that the deal valued Red Ventures at more than $1 billion. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Blend Therapeutics Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based developer of cancer drugs, has raised $21 million in Series B funding. Backers include New Enterprise Associates, Flagship Ventures, NanoDimension and Eminent Venture Capital. www.blendtx.com
• Genkyotex, a Swiss developer of selective NOX inhibitors, has raised nearly $20 million in Series D funding. NeoMed Management led the round, and was joined by VI Partners, BioMedInvest and return backers Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Eclosion2 and Vesalius Biocapital Partners. www.genkyotex.com
• Apervita Inc. (f.k.a. Pervasive Health), a Chicago–based health analytics marketplace, has raised $18 million in Series A funding. GE Ventures and Baird Capital co-led the round, and were joined by Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Math Ventures. www.apervita.com
• SiteSpect Inc., a Boston-based provider of web and mobile marketing optimization solutions , has raised $13 million in minority equity funding from NewSpring Growth Capital. www.sitespect.com
• GlySense, a San Diego-based developer of a continuous glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes, has raised $12 million in Series C funding. No investors were identified. www.glysense.com
• Stem Inc., a Millbrae, Calif.-based energy storage startup, has raised $11.6 million in new Series B funding from Constellation Technology Ventures and Total Energy Ventures. This brings the round total to $27 million, including a prior close from GE Ventures, Ibedrola and Angeleno Group. www.stem.com
• Device42, a New Haven, Conn.-based provider of datacenter infrastructure management solutions, has raised $1 million in funding from Connecticut Innovations. www.device42.com
• CutisPharma, a Wilmington, Mass.-based developer of “value-added kits” for the compounding pharmacy market, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Ampersand Capital Partners and secured a senior credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank. www.cutispharma.com
• VocalZoom Ltd., an Israeli developer of sensors for speech enhancement has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Motorola Solutions. www.vocalzoom.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Anatrace, a Maumee, Ohio–based portfolio company of StoneCalibre, has acquired Microlytic, a Burlington, Mass.–based provider of life science tools and reagents to the structural biology market. No financial terms were disclosed. www.anatrace.com
• Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and TPG Special Situations Partners have agreed to acquire Acenden Mortgage Servicing Solutions, a UK–based mortgage servicing solutions provider, from the administrators of Lehman Brothers. No financial terms were disclosed, except that its loans under management were valued at around £5.4 billion in December 2013. www.acenden.com
• The Carlyle Group has acquired AxleTech International, a Troy, Mich.-based engineering and manufacturing company for off-highway and specialty vehicle drivetrain systems and components, from General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). No financial terms were disclosed. www.axletech.com
• Delos Capital has acquired FCA Packaging, a Moline, Ill.–based maker of packaging products and solutions for large original equipment manufacturers in such industries as non-residential construction, heavy duty engines, agriculture, mining and energy. www.fcapackaging.com
• Halo Pharmaceutical, a Whippany, N.J.–based provider of outsourced development and manufacturing services to the global pharma industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from SK Capital Partners. www.halopharma.com
• J.W. Childs Associates has acquired Kosta Browne, a Sebastopol, Calif.-based winery. No financial terms were disclosed. www.kostabrowne.com
• Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has acquired Westport, Conn.-based veterinary practice network PetVet Care Centers from Catterton Partners for approximately $400 million, according to the WSJ. Read more.
• Periscope Equity has acquired Strategic Pharma Solutions LLC, a Raleigh, N.C.-based healthcare communications agency. No financial terms were disclosed. www.periscopeequity.com
• Platinum Equity has agreed to acquire Ten Cate Enbi, a provider of paper transport, fusing and image transfer rollers for the office equipment market, from Netherlands-based Royal Ten Cate. No financial terms were disclosed. www.platinumequity.com
• Texas Contract Manufacturing Group, a portfolio company of Camwood Capital Group, has acquired Lone Star Manufacturing LLC, a Brenham, Texas-based machine shop, from Generational Equity. No financial terms were disclosed. www.lsmfg.net
• Updata Partners has acquired a majority stake in Ruby Receptionists, a Portland, Ore.–based receptionist services company, for $38.8 million. StepStone Group participated alongside Updata as a co-investor. www.callruby.com
• No IPO news this morning.
• Generational Equity has sold Iden’s Detailing Inc., a Tukwila, Wash.-based auto reconditioning and cosmetic services business, to Pacific Northwest Capital Group. No financial terms were disclosed.
• ThermiAesthetics, a Southlake, Texas-based aesthetic technology company, has raised $9 million in venture debt funding from Cypress Growth Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. www.thermiasthetics.com
• TowneBank (Nasdaq: TOWN) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Franklin Financial Corp., the parent company of a community-based financial institution in central Virginia. No financial terms were disclosed. www.townebank.com
• Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam disputed a Bloomberg report that his company had reached out to AOL (NYSE: AOL) about a possible takeover. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• 3G Capital Partners has secured around $5 billion in capital commitments for its latest buyout fund, according to the WSJ. Read more.
• Polaris Private Equity, a Danish private equity firm focused on lower mid-market companies, has held a €300 million first close on its fourth fund, which is targeting a total of around €477 million. www.polarisequity.dk
• Spruce Capital Partners (San Francisco) and Xeraya Capital (Malaysia) have raised $150 million for a co-managed venture capital fund focused on the “biogreentech” space. www.sprucecp.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Doug Gilstrap has joined Technology Crossover Ventures as a New York-based venture partner. He previously was chief strategy officer for Ericsson. www.tcv.com
• Goldman Sachs has named Kim Posnett as co-head of Internet investment banking, alongside Nick Giovanni. Posnett has been with Goldman Sachs since 2005, and had been leading its e-commerce banking group. Read more.
• Tracy Hogan has joined Institutional Venture Partners as chief financial officer. She previously was CFO and chief compliance officer for Elevation Partners. www.ivp.com
• Mark Lucas and Daniel Oates have joined law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as partners in the law firm’s private equity and M&A practice. Lucas (New York) previously was a VP and associate general counsel in the legal department of Goldman Sachs, while Oates (London) was a partner with O’Melveny & Myers. www.friedfrank.com
• Lior Susan has joined VC firm Formation 8 as a partner, with a focus on opportunities in the hardware sector. He previously was with Flextronics. www.formation8.com
• Christen Thomson has joined British private equity firm Terra Firma as head of communications. He is a former BBC journalist who most recently served as deputy CEO of a hedge fund trade group called the Alternative Investment Management Association. www.terrafirma.com
• Carousel Capital has promoted Alan Welch to principal. He joined the North Carolina-based private equity firm in 2008. www.carouselcapital.com
• Carrick Capital Partners has promoted Alex Mason and Steve Unterberger to managing director. Mason had been a director with Carrick who previously was with Accel-KKR, while Unterberger was Carrick’s CTO after having previously held several positions at Exult Inc. www.carrickcapitalpartners.com
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