A bunch of notes to kick off your Tuesday…
• West Coast winners: The Private Equity and Growth Capital Council today released its annual state-by-state breakdown of private equity activity, covering around $486 billion invested during 2014 (based on data provided by Pitchbook). California-based companies led the pack with around $56 billion secured from private equity firms. This was $4 billion more than Texas, which last year was in first place (thanks, in large part, to the Dell buyout). The rest of the top five included New York (43b), Florida ($34b) and Illinois ($29b). You can view the full PEGCC report by going here.
• In market: NDE Capital, a Beijing-based mid-market private equity fund focused on opportunities in China and Indonesia, quietly held a $107 million first close on its second fund, which is targeting a total of $350 million, per market sources.
• The gift that keeps on giving: Donald Trump yesterday issued a lengthy defense of his immigration comments, and included a few digs at Univision. Here was part of it:
Univision has just announced they are attempting to go public despite very poor and even negative earnings, which is not a good situation for a successful IPO or high stock price.
Methinks that The Donald hasn’t paid too much attention lately to what drives IPO success (and stock prices, for that matter). It certainly isn’t profits…
• Update: Last month we discussed the fraud and breach of contract lawsuit brought by LifeLock against Wences Cesares, the CEO of VC-backed bitcoin storage and wallet company Xapo. Cesares had filed a demurrer — basically the equivalent of a request for dismissal — but was turned down last week by a judge. Cesares now has a few weeks to issue his formal response to the LifeLock complaint. You can read more here.
• Recommended reading: Mike Isaac has a good piece in today’s NY Times about the growth of angel investing, and the downside of startups taking dozens of $10k checks. Namely, CEOs get dozens of opinions on everything from product to hiring, while no one actually has “ownership” if/when things turn south (i.e., when experienced advice is really needed).
One thing not in the story, but something I come across regularly, is how little company information is provided to angels post-investment (particularly when compared to institutional VC backers), which only goes to lower that ownership obligation. Read Mike’s story by going here.
• Brainstorm Tech battle: I’m pleased to announce that the final startup participating in our Unicorn Idol competition next week will be Accion Systems, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of small satellite propulsion systems. The company is led by Natalya Brikner, who is one of those few folks who, during arguments, gets to say, “Actually, I am a rocket scientist.” Much thanks for all of your nominations. Other participating startups will be Area 1 Security, Mark43, Mattermark and Nylas.
THE BIG DEAL
• Hostess Brands, a Kansas City-based snack-maker owned by C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo Global Management, has pulled itself from the auction block and will instead pursue and IPO, according to Reuters. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Procept BioRobotics, a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based developer of a waterjet ablation therapy for treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms, has raised $42 million in new VC funding. Novo AS led the round, and was joined by CPMG Inc. www.procept-biorobotics.com
• Core Informatics, a Branford, Conn.-based provider of data management software for the scientific market, has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding led by Oak HC/FT. www.coreinformatics.com
• Doppler Labs, a Provo, Utah-based maker of hearing devices, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. Backers include Acequia Capital, The Chernin Group, David Bonderman, Live Nation Entertainment, Universal Music Group and WME. Read more.
• Salsify, a Boston-based SaaS platform for product content management, has raised $16.6 million in Series B funding. Venrock led the round, and was joined by return backers Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. www.salsify.com
• SlimPay, a French provider of recurring payment processing solutions, has raised €15 million in new VC funding from Prime Ventures. www.slimpay.net
• PipelineRx, a San Francisco-based provider of medication management services, has raised $9.1 million in new VC funding. Mitsui & Co. led the round, and was joined by McKesson Ventures and existing investor AMN Healthcare. www.pipelinerx.com
• Bugsnag, a San Francisco-based platform for detecting and diagnosing crashes in web and mobile apps, has raised $7.2 million in Series A funding. Benchmark led the round, and was joined by return backer Matrix Partners. www.bugsnag.com
• Lisases Foras, a provider of real estate research and analytics in India, has raised $5 million in VC funding from Dmgi (venture arm of the Daily Mail). Read more.
• ZeroTurnaround, a Boston-based provider of software developer tools, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, and was joined by fellow return backer Western Technology Investment. www.zeroturnaround.com
• Transifex, a localization software startup founded in Greece but now based in Silicon Valley, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. Toba Capital led the round, and was joined by seed backers Arafura Ventures and NEA. Read more.
• Chakratec, an Israeli developer of kinetic battery energy storage solutions, has raised $2 million in Series B funding from China’s ZZRunner. www.chakratec.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• The Abraaj Group has acquired Mouka Ltd., a Nigerian mattress maker, from Actis for an undisclosed amount. www.mouka.com
• BioClinica Inc., a Newtown, Penn.-based provider of clinical trials services, has acquired MediciGroup Inc., a King of Prussia, Penn.-based provider of patient recruitment and retention software for clinical trials. No financial terms were disclosed. BioClinica shareholders include Ampersand Capital Partners, JLL Partners and Water Street Healthcare Partners. www.bioclinica.com
• Emdeon, a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management solutions, has agreed to acquire Altegra Health, a Miami Lakes, Fla.-based provider of tech and intervention platforms to the healthcare industry, from Parthenon Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Emdeon is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, General Atlantic and Hellman & Friedman. www.altegrahealth.com
• Endurance Energy Ltd., a Calgay-based portfolio company of Warburg Pincus, has agreed to acquire Calgary-based light oil and gas company StonePoint Energy Inc. (TSX: STO) for around C$16.75 million, or C$0.078125 per share. www.stonepointenergy.com
• Douglas Products LLC, a Liberty, Mo.-based maker of specialty chemical products for pest management, thermal fluids and sanitary sewer applications, has acquired the Vikane and ProFume businesses from Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW). No financial terms were disclosed, except that Altamont Capital Partners provided Douglas with capital to support the transaction. www.douglasproducts.com
• ECS Tuning LLC, a Wadsworth, Ohio-based portfolio company of Bertram Capital, has acquired Turner Motorsport LLC, a -Mooresville, N.C.-based ecommerce retailer for BMW performance parts and accessories. www.ecstuning.com
• Excelsior Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Artissimo Designs, a maker of wall art for retailers, sporting venues and film studios. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Huron Capital Partners. www.artissimodesigns.com
• Gauge Capital has sponsored a recapitalization of Veridicus Health, a Salt Lake City-based provider of pharmacy solutions to self‐funded employers and plan sponsors. No financial terms were disclosed. www.veridicushealth.com
• H.I.G. Capital has acquired Intelius, a Bellevue, Wash.-based online provider of people-related information for consumers. No financial terms were disclosed. www.intelius.com
• High Road Capital Partners has acquired Ariad Communications, a Toronto-based strategic marketing agency, and said that it will merge Arias with existing portfolio company Bluespire Marketing. No financial terms were disclosed. Arias president Mike Beckerman will serve as CEO of the combined company. www.highroadcap.com
• Lieberman Research Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based market research and data analytics company, has raised a “significant” amount of growth capital funding from Tailwind Capital. www.lrwonline.com
• RoundTable Healthcare Partners confirmed that it has acquired TIDI Products Inc., a Neenah, Wis.-based maker of single-use infection prevention products, from J.H. Whitney & Co. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal was previously disclosed in an FTC filing. www.tidiproducts.com
• Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired Fazoli’s Group Inc., a quick-service Italian restaurant with 124 company-owned and 89 independent franchised locations in 26 states, from Sun Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.fazolis.com
• Tech Air, a Danbury, Conn.-based portfolio company of CI Capital Partners, has acquired L&M Welding Supply Inc., a Mobile, Ala.–based distributor of welding supplies and industrial equipment to the military, shipbuilding and power industries on the Gulf Coast. No financial terms were disclosed. www.techair.com
• Chiasma Inc., a developer of octreotide capsules for acromegaly, has set its IPO terms to 5.36 million shares being offered at between $13 and $15 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $308 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CHMA, with Barclays and Cowen & Co. Chiasma has raised over $170 million in VC funding, from firms like MPM Capital (39.7% pre-IPO stake), Fidelity (16%), Abingworth (15.3%), Med Health Ventures (13.4%), F2 Capital (11.2%), ARCH Venture Partners (7.9%), Rock Springs Capital and Sofinnova Ventures. www.chiasmapharma.com
• Ooma Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of telecom solutions to consumers and small businesses, has set its IPO terms to 5 million shares being offered at between $16 and $18 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $286 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol OOMA, with BofA Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $6.4 million net loss on around $72 million in revenue for 2014. Shareholders include Worldview Technology Partners (56.31% pre-IPO stake) and WI Harper Group (5.96%). www.ooma.com
• Rapid7, a Boston-based provider of security analytics software and services, has set its IPO terms to 6.45 million shares being offered at between $13 and $15 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $533 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol , with Morgan Stanley and Barclays serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a net loss of nearly $33 million on $47 million in revenue for 2014, and has raised nearly $90 million in VC funding from firms like Bain Capital Ventures (29.1% pre-IPO stake) and Technology Crossover Ventures (29.6% pre-IPO stake) and Bain Capital Ventures (29.1%). www.rapid7.com
• Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) has acquired Black Lotus, a San Francisco-based provider of distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation services. No pricing terms for the all-cash deal were disclosed. Sellers include Industry Capital. www.blacklotus.net
• ProSiebenSat.1 has entered into merger talks with Axel Springer, according to the WSJ. A combination of the German broadcaster and German publishing house could have a market cap of around $16 billion. Read more.
• Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE: TEVA)is preparing to bump up its bid for rival drugmaker Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL) by upwards of $2 billion to a total of $43 billion, or up to $88 per share, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Costanoa Venture Capital, an early-stage VC firm focused on cloud-based services companies, has closed its second fund with $135 million in capital commitments. www.costanoavc.com
• Tailwind Capital, a middle-market private equity firm focused on the healthcare, business and communications services sectors, has closed its second fund with $1.05 billion in capital commitments. www.tailwind.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Abringworth, a London-based VC firm focused on life sciences, has named Tim Haines and Kurt von Emster as joint managing partners. Stephen Bunting, who has served as managing partner since 2002, will become chairman. Haynes has been a London-based partner with the firm since 2005, while Von Emster joined earlier this year as a Menlo Park-based partner (previously co-founded VenBio). www.abingworth.com
• Bruno Bertrand-Delfau has joined Proskauer as a London-based partner in the law firm’s private investment funds practice. He previously was with Baker & McKenzie. www.proskauer.com
• Stephen Cutler will step down as general counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase, effective next year, and become vice chairman. He will be succeeded as general counsel by Stacey Friedman. Read more.
• Sean Michael Gillis has rejoined Pritzker Group Private Capital as a vice president. He had been a senior associate with the firm, before leaving to get his MBA. www.pritzkergroup.com
• Jason Kustka has joined Fort Point Capital as a vice president. He previously was a senior associate with Sverica International. www.fortpointcapital.com
• Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has promoted David Burcham to managing director. He originally joined the firm in 2009 as an associate. www.llcp.com
• John McCarthy has joined Starwood Capital Group as a managing director of global capital raising. He previously was a senior portfolio manager and deputy head of Europe for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. www.starwoodcapital.com
• Chase Sanders has joined Baird as a managing director in the firm’s tech and services investment banking group. He previously was a partner and managing director with Signal Hill. www.rwbaird.com
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