Term Sheet — Wednesday, April 22

April 22, 2015, 1:58 PM UTC

Random Ramblings

I spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday in transit and meetings, so just some very quick notes to kick off your Wednesday:

Big raise: TechCrunch last night reported that San Francisco-based HR and benefits company Zenefits is raising a large new round of VC funding that could value the company at between $3 billion and $4 billion. A company spokesperson told TC that “we do not comment on rumors.” Okay. But it’s not a rumor. It’s happening.

Speaking of unicorns: There is a tendency to effectively "rank" all of these companies by valuation, even though such numbers are not all created equal. In other words, not everyone is selling shares with the same flavor of vanilla terms. And, given how many startups are now using valuation as a marketing ploy, I've got to think that some of these "$1 billion" figures are arrived at torturously.

Legal update #1: Last spring we discussed Gurbaksh Chahal, the founder of VC-backed ad-tech company RadiumOne who was (belatedly) fired after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an August 2013 fight with his then-girlfriend. Now a former top executive with Chahal's next company, Gravity4, has sued Chahal and the company for a variety of alleged misdeeds, including gender and age discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

Legal update #2: Lawrence Penn, the founder of private equity secondaries firm Camelot Group, has been sentenced to up to six years in New York state prison after pleading guilty to stealing around $9.3 million in investor funds. In addition to leading Camelot, Penn also spent time on the boards of such privately-held companies as MetricStream and Fisker Automotive.

Coming attractions: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will be interviewed this morning by Fortune’s Christopher Tkaczyk, to open up the annual Great Places to Work conference. You can watch the live-stream by going here at 10:30am ET.


 Dimension Therapeutics Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of liver-directed treatments for genetic disorders, has raised $65 million in Series B funding. New Leaf Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Jennison Associates, Partner Fund Management, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, Tourbillon Global Ventures and return backers Fidelity Biosciences and OrbiMed Advisors. www.dimensiontx.com


 Shyp, a San Francisco-based on-demand shipping service, has raised $50 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round, and was joined by Homebrew Ventures and Sherpa Ventures. www.shyp.com

 CompareAsiaGroup, a Hong Kong-based operator of a financial services comparison website, has raised $40 million in Series A funding. Goldman Sachs led the round, and was joined by Nova Founders Capital, Jardine Pacific, Ace & Company, Route 66 Ventures, Zynga-founder Mark Pincus, and Owen Van Natta. Read more.

 ZIRX, a San Francisco–based on-demand valet service, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures. Read more.

 Poshmark, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based community marketplace for fashion, has raised $25 million in new VC funding. Backers include Mayfield, Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, Union Grove Venture Partners, Shea Ventures and SoftTech VC. www.poshmark.com

 RadPad, a Los Angeles-based mobile rental marketplace focused on milennials, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Altpoint Ventures led the round, and was joined by Goldcrest Investments. www.onradpad.com

 Shots, a social app where users take real-time selfies and 3-second videos, has raised $8.5 million vin Series A funding. WI Harper led the round, and was joined by Launch Fund, Upfront Ventures, Maven Ventures, Major League Baseball, Dennis Phelps, Rodney Jerkins and 500 Startups. www.shots.com

 Deep Information Sciences, a Boston-based plug-and-play solution that leverages machine learning “to evolve MySQL databases and infrastructure,” has raised $8 million in Series A funding co-led by Sigma Prime Ventures and Stage 1 Ventures. www.deepis.com

 Gengo, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of a crowdsourced online translation service,, has raised $5.4 million in Series C funding. Recruit led the round, and was joined by SBI Investments, MUFJ Capital and CrowdWorks. Existing shareholders include Intel Capital, Iris Capital, Infocomm, NTT-IP, Saudi Telecom Ventures and Atomico. In related news, co-founder and CTO Matthew Romaine is replacing fellow co-founder Robert Laing as CEO. www.gengo.com

 Campus Steps, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based online platform for on-demand college selection and related planning advice, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from OCA Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners and Vicente Capital. www.campussteps.com

 OpenFin, a New York–based provider of HTML5 runtime technology for the financial industry, has raised $3 million in new VC funding. Backers include Bain Capital Ventures, Pivot Investment Partners, Nyca Partners, Cris Conde and Tom Glocer. www.openfin.co

 Untapt Inc., an online recruitment platform focused exclusively on the intersection of financial services and technology, has raised $3 million in Series A funding. Tsai Ventures led the round, and was joined by SenaHill Investment Group. www.untapt.com

 SiteZeus, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of site selection technology for brands, has raised $2.2 million in VC funding from Baldwin Beach Capital and Chris Sullivan (co-founder of Outback Steakhouse). www.sitezeus.com

 Onfleet, a San Francisco-based provider of local delivery management software, has raised $2 million in VC funding from backers like CrunchFund, Playfair Capital, Winklevoss Capital and the Stanford-StartX Fund. www.onfleet.com

 The Glukos Co., a Phoenix-based natural performance energy foods brand, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by EIF. www.glukosenergy.com


American & Efird, a Mt Holly, N.C.–based thread and yarn company owned by KPS Capital Partners, has acquired the 50% stake it doesn’t already own in Huamei Thread Co. from joint venture partner Ningbo Veken Elite Group Co. No financial terms were disclosed. www.amefird.com

 Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire Procera Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: PKT), a Fremont, Calif.–based provider of subscriber experience assurance solutions, for around $240 million. The $11.50 per share deal represents around a 21% premium over yesterday’s closing price for Procera Networks stock. www.proceranetworks.com

 The Original Bowling Co., a British portfolio company of Electra Partners that operates under the Hollywood Bowl and AMF brands, has acquired Bowlplex, an operator of 17 ten-pin bowling centers in the UK. No financial terms were disclosed. www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk

 PAG Asia Capital has agreed to acquire Young Toys, a South Korean children’s toy maker, for around $200 million from Headland Capital Partners, according to the WSJ. Read more.

 Perseus Telecom, a New York-based managed services provider of high-speed connectivity, has raised $20.5 million in minority equity funding from Goldman Sachs. www.perseus.co

 Summit Partners is in “final talks” to acquire Paradigm Management Services LLC, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based provider of outsourced catastrophic injury and pain management services, from Lightyear Capital, according to Dow Jones. No financial terms were reported, except that Paradigm generated around $60 million in 2014 EBITDA.  www.paradigmcorp.com

 Synlab, a German lab operator owned by BC Partners, has hired Rothschild to pursue a possible sale of the company for upwards of €1.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. Possible suitors include The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and Cinven. Read more.


 Black Stone Minerals LP, a Houston-based company with royalty and working interests in U.S. oil and natural gas mineral interests, has set its IPO terms to 22.5 million units being offered at between $19 and $21 per unit. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol BSM, with Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup serving as lead underwriters. www.blackstoneminerals.com


 No exit news this morning.


 Nokia is receiving takeover interest in its maps business from Facebook, Uber and a consortium of German automakers, according to a German magazine report. The unit reportedly has a book value of around $2.15 billion. Read more.

 Zomato, an India-based restaurant search and discovery service, has acquired NexTable, a Charlotte, N.C.-based restaurant reservations and table management platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Zomato recently raised $50 million in Series E funding at a reported valuation north of $1 billion. Shareholders include Info Edge, Sequoia Capital and Vy Capital. www.zomato.com


 Boathouse Capital has closed its second SBIC fund with $230 million. The Wayne, Penn.-based firm focuses on structured debt and equity investments from $5 million to $25 million. www.boathousecapital.com

 Knightsbridge Advisers has raised $253 million for its eighth fund-of-funds focused on venture capital and growth equity. www.knightsbridgeusa.com

 Oberland Capital has closed its inaugural healthcare royalty and credit opportunities fund with $425 million in capital commitments. www.oberlandcapital.com


 Daisy Cai has joined the Hong Kong office of TA Associates as a director focused on China. She previously was with Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. www.ta.com

 Pat Pace has joined the University of Texas Investment Management Co. as a director of private markets. He is a medical school grad who spent time as a managing director with Citadel Securities and, more recently, as an advisor to EDG Partners. www.utimco.com

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