Just a few very quick notes to kick off your Wednesday, as there were a whopping 46 news items to blurb this morning...
• New Enterprise Associates made it official this morning, closing the largest VC fund of all time with $2.8 billion in capital commitments. And, in a surprise move, it raised an additional $350 million "opportunities" fund that will back portfolio companies in both the new fund (NEA XV) and its predecessor ($2.6b NEA XIV, which closed in 2012).
I know what you're probably thinking: Why raise a $350 million opportunities fund when you've got a $2.8 billion main fund? Co-managing partner Peter Barris explains that the idea originally came from a large LP: “We are portfolio managers to some degree, and we don’t want to change the dynamics, or basic mix, of the core fund. For LPs who are particularly interested in later-stage, growth-oriented investments, this gives them an extra way to invest in them with us.”
No changes are expected to NEA's typical investment strategy, which is around 70/30 split between IT and healthcare.
Also worth noting that none of the 10 general partners on this new fund are women, although NEA does have a female senior managing director/country head for India (Bala Deshpande), who participates in GP meetings, etc.
• Same as it always was: Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with Tom Speechley, a New York-based partner and fundraising chief with The Abraaj Group, which earlier this week raised $990 million for its third sub-Saharan Africa fund. One question I asked was how the firm’s investment strategy was affected by the recent terrorist attack in Kenya – a catalyzing event that seems to be mobilizing Kenya’s government in a way that is reminiscent of the U.S. after 9/11. His reply: It’s business as usual.
“When there’s a tragedy like that you first think of the people involved, and make calls to make sure our people on the ground are alright,” Speechley said. “But it’s business as usual there because it’s an isolated thing that we can’t do too much about. I don’t mean to be flippant about it, and we’re constantly watching places where we invest, but it doesn’t generally affect the types of mid-market consumer-focused businesses that we support.”
• Personal note: Happy birthday to M, my childhood girl next door (literally) turned PE partner who doesn't give me a lick of scoop. Have a great day...
• More free tix: More than 1,500 tech folks and investors already have tickets for the 2015 TUGG Wine and Tequila Party, which takes place tomorrow night in Boston. Last week we gave away some free tickets, and today we've got 10 more. Just go to the site, and use the code PRIMACKWP2015 upon checkout. And if the code no longer works, but a ticket anyway, since all proceeds will be going to a very good cause...
THE BIG DEAL
• Nokia (Helsinki: NOK1V) has agreed to acquire Alcatel-Lucent (Paris: ALU) for €15.6 billion in an all-stock transaction. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• RetailNext, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of in-store data analytics for retailers, has raised $125 million in new VC funding. Activant Capital Group led the round, and was joined by return backers August Capital, Star Vest Partners, Nokia Growth Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and AMEX Ventures. www.retailnext.com
• Skyport Systems, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of “hyper-secured infrastructure” for mission-critical IT and corporate assets, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by Intel Capital and return backer Sutter Hill Ventures. www.skyportsystems.com
• Acorns, a Newport Beach, Ca.-based micro-investing platform, has raised $23 million in Series C funding. Greycroft Partners and e.ventures were joined by return backers Sound Ventures, Garland Capital, and MATH Venture Partners. Read more.
• CrossChx, a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of healthcare patient identification solutions, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Khosla Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backer Drive Capital. www.crosschx.com
• Stem Inc., a Millbrae, Calif.-based provider of “intelligent energy storage” solutions, has raised $12 million in Series C funding led by Mitsui & Co. www.stem.com
• Hello Alfred, a New York-based automation platform for managing all of a user’s on-demand subscriptions and services, has raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. NEA and Spark Capital co-led the round, and were joined by Sherpa Ventures and CrunchFund. www.helloalfred.com
• 99designs, an online marketplace for graphic design, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Recruit Strategic Partners led the round, and was joined by return backer Accel Partners. www.99designs.com
• NSS Labs Inc., an Austin, Texas-based information security research and advisory company, has raised $7 million in new VC and debt financing. Backers include eOak Venture Partners and Chevron Technology Ventures. www.nsslabs.com
• ResiModel, a New York-based platform for aggregating, standardizing and analyzing financial data for multifamily transactions, said that it now has raised a total of $3.5 million in VC funding. Backers include Osage Venture Partners and Leading Edge Ventures. www.resimodel.com
• Bedrock Data, a Boston-based data integration platform for businesses, has raised $3.11 million in Series A funding led by .406 Ventures. www.bedrockdata.com
• Poachable, a Seattle-based anonymous talent marketplace, has raised $750,000 in seed funding from Vulcan Capital and individual angels like Dawn Lepore. www.poachable.co
• Courion, a Westborough, Mass.-based provider of identity governance and administration solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from K1 Investment Management. www.courion.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Apax Partners has completed its previously-announced €730 million take-private acquisition of Exact Holding NV (Amsterdam: EXACT), a Dutch provider of software for small and mid-sized businesses. www.exact.com
• ArcLight Capital Partners has acquired Petroleum Products Corp., a petroleum pipeline terminals and logistics business that owns 12 refined products storage terminal facilities in Pennsylvania. No financial terms were disclosed. www.arclightcapital.com
• Berwind Consolidated Holdings has acquired Protective Industries Inc. (a.k.a. Caplugs), a Buffalo, N.Y.-based manufacturer of plastic protection products, from Windjammer Capital Investors. No financial terms were disclosed. www.caplugs.com
• Brakes Group, a European food service company owned by Bain Capital, is in talks to acquire the Davigel frozen foods business of Nestlé. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
• Dude Solutions Inc., a Cary, N.C.-based provider of facility management SaaS solutions, has acquired Mobile311, a Sanford, N.C.-based provider of geographical information system and mobile mapping solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Dude Solutions is backed by Warburg Pincus. www.dudesolutions.com
• Insignia Capital Group has acquired Metanexgen, a Bensalem, Penn.-based provider of multi-channel marketing solutions for the medical device and pharma markets, from DFW Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.metanexgen.com
• LSQ Funding Group, a Maitland, Fla.–based provider of accounts receivable financing, has raised more than $100 million in new equity funding led by Lovell Minnick Partners. Read more.
• Oaktree Capital Management completed its previously-announced $17 million acquisition of Pulse Electronics Corp., a San Diego-based provider of electronic components and modules. www.pulseelectronics.com
• Tricor Pacific Capital has acquired Certified Recycling, an Anaheim, Calif.-based provider of recycling and waste solutions services in Southern California. No financial terms were disclosed. Lincoln International managed the process. www.usa-recycling.net
• Aduro Biotech Inc., a Berkley, Calif.-based immuno-oncology company, raised $119 million in its IPO. The company priced 7 million shares at $17 per share, and has an initial market cap of approximately million $1 billion. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ADRO, while BofA Merrill Lynch and Leerink Partners served as lead underwriters. Aduro reports a $17 million net loss for 2014 on around $13 million in revenue, and has raised over $140 million in VC funding from firms like Morningside Ventures (37.8% pre-IPO stake), Fidelity Investments (7.9%), Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. (6.6%), OrbiMed Advisors, Janus Capital Management, Franklin Advisers, Jennison Associates, Foresite Capital Management and Clough Capital Partners. www.aduro.com
• LightBeam Electric Co., a Sausalito, Calif.-based operator of clean and renewable electric generation projects, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol LEC, with BMO Capital Markets, Macquarie Capital and RBC Capital Markets serving as lead underwriters. www.lightbeamelectric.com
• Shopify Inc., an Ottawa-based cloud commerce platform for small and mid-sized businesses, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE and TSX under ticker symbols SHOP and SH, respectively. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets are serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $22 million net loss on $105 million in revenue for 2014, compared to a $5 million net loss on $50 million in revenue for 2013. The company has raised around $122 million in VC funding from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners (30.28% pre-IPO stake), FirstMark Capital (11.87%), OMERS Ventures (6.05%), Georgian Partners (5.48%) and Felicis Ventures. Read more.
• BlaBlaCar, a Paris-based long-distance ride-sharing network, has acquired German rival Carpooling.com and Hungarian rival AutoHop. No financial terms were disclosed for either deal. BlaBlaCar recently raised $100 million in Series C funding from Index Ventures, Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital. Carpooling.com backers include Daimler AG and Earlybird Venture Capital, while AutoHop had received funding from iEurope Capital. Read more.
• Bridgepoint is considering a sale of Spanish wind farm operator Borawind, according to Bloomberg. A deal could be valued at more than $420 million. Read more.
• CoBe Capital has sold Printing Systems Group, a Dutch distributor of industrial printing solutions, to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (DB: HDD). No financial terms were disclosed, except that PSG generated €225 million in 2014 revenue. www.psg-holding.eu
• Localytics, a Boston-based analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps, has acquired Splitforce, a New York–based automated optimization tool for mobile apps. No financial terms were disclosed. Localytics last month raised $35 million in Series D funding from Sapphire Ventures, Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners. Splitforce had been backed by SOSVentures. www.localytics.com
• Ninebot Inc. of China has agreed to acquire Segway Inc., the Bedford, N.H.–based maker of eponymous personal transport machines. Ninebot shareholders include Sequoia Capital, WestSummit Capital and Xiaomi. Segway had been acquired in 2013 by Summit Strategic Investments. Read more.
• MBK Partners is seeking to sell its 75% stake in Japanese pearl jewelry brand Tasaki & Co., according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has acquired LinX Computational Imaging, an Israeli maker of miniature cameras for tablets and smart phones. No financial terms were disclosed, but the WSJ puts the price-tag at around $20 million. Read more.
• Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) is exploring strategic options that could include a sale of either its North American unit or the entire company, according to the WSJ. The New York-based door-to-door beauty product seller has a current market cap just north of $3.9 billion. Read more.
• Castleton Commodities International reportedly has offered to pay more than $1 billion to buy the oil-trading business of Morgan Stanley. Read more.
• Engine Yard, a San Francisco–based cloud orchestration platform, has acquired OpDemand, a Boulder, Colo.–based open source application platform purpose-built for Docker. No financial terms were disclosed. Engine Yard has raised over $35 million in VC funding from Amazon, Benchmark, Bay Partners, DAG Ventures, Presidio Ventures and NEA. www.engineyard.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Ares Management is planning to target around $5.5 billion for its next private equity fund, which will begin marketing later this year, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Asia Alternatives, an Asia-focused private equity fund-of-funds, has closed its fourth fund and related vehicles with over $1.8 billion in capital commitments. www.asiaalternatives.com
• Doughty Hanson has abandoned plans to raise €2 billion for its sixth buyout fund, blaming “continuing uncertainty for both employees and investors.” The UK-based firm hasn’t raised a new fund since 2007, nor made a new investment since 2012 (the same year co-founder Nigel Doughty passed away). Read more.
• Menlo Ventures has closed its twelfth fund with $400 million in capital commitments. Read more.
• Sterling Partners has raised $200 million for an education sector-focused growth equity fund, which was formed in partnership with a nonprofit called USA Funds. www.sterlingpartners.com
• Viola Private Equity of Israel has closed its second growth equity fund with $250 million in capital commitments. Read more.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• The Abraaj Group has promoted Huda Al Lawati to partner and chief investment officer for the MENA region. She previously was a managing director with Abraaj and leading its MENA investments in the oil and gas, healthcare, education and food and beverage sectors. www.abraaj.com
• Alexandre Alvim has joined Global Environment Fund as a managing director focused on Latin America. He previously was an executive director of energy and biz dev with Estre Ambiental. www.globalenvironmentfund.com
• Doug Hart has joined Main Line Equity Partners as an operating partner. He previously was a director and COO for Uretek-Archer. www.mainlineequity.com
• Per Larsson and Paul Hökfelt have joined Nordic Capital as senior advisors and operating chairman. Larssen is the former CEO of OMC, Borse Dubai and MENA activities for UBS. Hökfelt is the former president and CEO of Capio AB. www.nordiccapital.com
• MVision, an alternative asset placement agency, has made three hires in its New York office: Kay Blackwell as a managing director (ex-Citi Private Bank), Erica Johnson as a managing director (ex-ERJ Group) and William Riedlinger as a director (ex- Barclays Wealth and Investment Management). www.mvision.com
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