Term Sheet — Wednesday, March 11

March 11, 2015, 2:02 PM UTC

Random Ramblings

Some notes to kick off your Wednesday:

Cart before the horse: In all the talk about how private equity's 'old model' is being eclipsed by longer-term funds and customized accounts, it still seems that the vast majority of firms are still out there raising traditional funds. Even groups like TPG, whose co-founder David Coulter got lots of media attention for his talk about the new era last month at SuperReturn in Berlin. To me, this is more about diversified offerings than it is a move away from core structure.

Man of many funds: Peter Thiel yesterday was named a part-time partner with Y Combinator, apparently because being a partner with at least three other investment firms wasn't taking up enough of his time. In the post announcing his hiring, YC president Sam Altman wrote:

"We generally won't bring on people that are involved with other investing firms given the obvious conflict, but Peter is so good we felt like we had to make an exception. Peter won't invest in any companies while they're in YC or for 3 months after they present at Demo Day (this will apply to Peter's investment entities as well), which should eliminate any unfair advantage."

The investment entity that would likely feel this restriction most is Founders Fund, given that it backs early-stage companies (including at least a couple after past YC Demo Days, although it's not the firm's typical strategy). A source familiar with the situation says that entire Founders Fund team discussed Thiel joining YC prior to the announcement, and ultimately felt the benefits outweighed the downside. How will they sell it to LPs? Likely by arguing that Demo Day can create an unreasonavble amount of hype and valuation inflation, thus making the subsequent few weeks an unduly tricky time to invest.

From the courthouse: We've got coverage of yesterday's happenings in the Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins trial, which included cross-examination of Pao by KPCB's attorney. Read it here. Also, if you want much more granular coverage, Re/Code is doing a great live-blog each day. Get yesterday's here.

Reconciliation: Private equity firms keep crowing about how low oil prices create buying opportunities, while often skipping over what those same prices have done to existing valuations for hard oil and gas assets. At the same time, I've heard from several firms about how they hedged their commodities exposure, to mitigate that latter risk. The only trouble, however, is that those hedges are typically for just two or three years out, whereas the overall marks relate often relate to long-dated cash flow analyses. So even when the hedges work, they really don't (at least not for now).

Update: I've reached out to partners at each of the VC firms that backed Gigaom. Not has returned my emails. Funny thing about VCs: They're so eager to discuss new investments, but so tight-lipped when those same deals go south...


 Univision reportedly has hired Goldman Sachs to lead an IPO that could raise upwards of $1 billion at a valuation of around $20 billion. The Spanish-language broadcaster was taken private in early 2007 for $12.3 billion by Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Read more


 Zuora, a Foster City, Calif.–based provider of SaaS solutions for managing subscription services, has raised $115 million in new VC funding. Wellington Management, Blackrock and Passport Capital were joined by return backers Vulcan Capital, Benchmark, Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff. Read more.

 Collegium Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Canton, Mass.-based developer of abuse-deterrent treatments for chronic pain, has raised $50 million in new VC funding. TPG Biotech led the round, and was joined by RA Capital Management, Adage Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Aperture Venture Partners and return backers Longitude Capital, Skyline Ventures, Frazier Healthcare and Boston Millennia Partners. www.collegiumpharma.com

 SpareFoot, an Austin, Texas-based marketplace for finding and booking self-storage, has raised $33 million in new VC funding. Revolution Growth led the round, and was joined by Monkfish Equity and return backer Insight Venture Partners. www.sparefoot.com

 Looker Inc., a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based business intelligence startup, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Meritech Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by Sapphire Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital and PivotNorth. Read more.

 Sequoia Capital is investing $20 million into Groupon India, a subsidiary of Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN), according to TechCrunch. Read more.

 Cardiac Dimensions, a Kirkland, Wash.-based developer of minimally-invasive treatment modalities for heart failure, has raised $15.2 million in new VC funding. Life Sciences Partners and Aperture Venture Partners were joined by return backers Lumira Capital, M.H. Carnegie & Co., and Arboretum Ventures. This is the third tranche of a round that now totals $43 million. www.cardiacdimensions.com

 Prevoty, a Los Angeles-based provider of runtime application self-protection software, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. www.prevoty.com

 Splash, an event-planning software startup, has raised $6 million in new VC funding led by Spark Capital. Read more.

 ChargeBee, an Indian provider of billing and subscription management solutions, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. Tiger Global led the round, and was joined by return backer Accel Partners. Read more.

 HealthMyne Inc., a Madison, Wis.-based healthcare informatics startup focused on bringing imaging analysis to the point-of-care, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. Venture Investors and 4490 Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by HealthX Ventures. www.healthmyne.com

Alibaba is in talks to invest in Indian online retailer Snapdeal, according to Reuters. Snapdeal last year raised more than $650 million from Softbank, BlackRock, Temasek, eBay, Myriad and  Premji Investment. Read more.

 Cinq Music, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based provider of music distribution and rights management services, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from GoDigital Media Group. www.cinqmusic.com


 Alchemy Systems, an Austin, Texas–based portfolio company of The Riverside Company, has acquired Chilton Consulting Group, a food safety and quality consulting services firm. www.alchemysystems.com

 BC Partners has completed its previously-announced $8.7 billion take-private acquisition of retailer PetSmart Inc. The deal also included co-investments by BC limited partners like La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, StepStone and Longview Asset Management. Read past coverage.

 The Carlyle Group has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Barbon Insurance Group Ltd., a provider of tenant referencing and insurance products to the UK private rental sector. No financial terms were disclosed. www.barbon.com

 H.I.G. Europe has acquired Adelie Foods, a UK-based provider of chilled food-to-go products, from India Hospitality Corp. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Adelie Foods is expecting to generate nearly £300 million in 2015 revenue. www.adeliefoods.co.uk

 Kennet Partners and Joe Wang (ex-CEO of WatchGuard Technologies) have acquired a majority stake in TreeHouse Interactive, a Draper, Utah-based provider of partner relationship management SaaS solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.treehousei.com

 KKR has agreed to acquire Air Medical Group Holdings Inc., a West Plains, Mo.–based helicopter ambulance company, from Bain Capital. No financial terms were disclosed, but Reuters previously reported that the deal could be worth around $2 billion. Read more.

 Signum Instruments Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of open-hole formation evaluation tools and services to the oil and gas industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from NGP Energy Technology Partners. www.signuminstruments.com


 Aldermore, a British lender partially owned by AnaCap Financial Partners, raised £226 million in a London IPO that valued the company at £651 million. Read more.

 Europris AS, a Norwegian discount retailer owned by Nordic Capital, is in the early stages of prepping an Oslo IPO, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


 Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is in “early talks” to buy InMobi, an Indian mobile advertising network, according to Reuters. The deal likely would be valued at around $1 billion. InMobi has raised around $215 million in private equity funding from Softbank, Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Read more.

 RoundTable Healthcare Partners has completed its previously-announced sale of Tower Holdings Inc. to Impax Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IPXL) for $700 million in cash. Tower is the parent company of CorePharma, a Middlesex, N.J.-based developer and manufacturer of “complex branded and generic pharmaceutical products with high barriers to entry.” www.roundtablehp.com

 Seacoast Capital has sold UX Specialized Logistics, a New York–based provider of last-mile logistics services for retail chains and e-commerce companies, to XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE: XPO). The deal valued at $59 million. www.urbanexpress.com


 Brother Industries (Tokyo: 6448) has offered to acquire British printer manufacturer Domino Printing Sciences (LSE: DNO) for approximately $1.55 billion. Read more.

 Kareo, an Irvine, Calif.–based provider of cloud-based software and services for independent medical practices, has acquired DoctorBase, a San Francisco–based practice marketing and patient communications solution. No financial terms were disclosed. Kareo has raised over $90 million in funding from firms like OpenView Venture Partners, Stripes Group, Greenspring Associates and Escalate Capital Partners. www.kareo.com

 SingleHop, a Chicago-based provider of on-demand hosted private clouds and managed hosting, has acquired Server Intellect, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of Microsoft managed hosting solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. SingleHop backers include Battery Ventures. www.singlehop.com

 Zogenix Inc. (Nasdaq: ZGNX) has agreed to sell Zohydro, an ER opioid painkiller, to Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PTX) in a deal that could be valued at upwards of $400 million. www.zogenix.com


 Inverness Graham is raising its third private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. No additional details were provided. The Philadelphia-based firm closed its second fund in 2009 with $152 million in capital commitments. www.invernessgraham.com


 Ironwood Capital, a Connecticut-based middle-market growth equity firm, has promoted Alex Levental to managing director, Zachary Luce to CFO and Paul Witinski to director. www.ironwoodcap.com

 Levine Leichtman Capital Partners said that managing director David Wolmer has been promoted to general counsel and chief compliance officer. Steve Hartman, who previously served in those positions, is “retiring for personal reasons.” www.llcp.com

Share today's Term Sheet:

Read More

CryptocurrencyInvestingBanksReal Estate