Skip to Content

Term Sheet — Wednesday, July 8

Random Ramblings

Some very quick notes to kick off your Wednesday…

• Circled up: U.S. venture capital firms raised $10.3 billion for 74 funds in the second quarter of 2015, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. The dollar figure is a 27% bump over the year-earlier period, but an 11% drop in the number of funds. Compared to Q1 2014, it was a 39% dollar increase and 10% fund number increase. The Q2 2015 data includes 31 first-time funds, which is the highest such quarterly total since Q1 2014.

• Extra space: WeWork, the New York-based co-workspace startup, last month announced that it had raised $400 million in new VC funding led by Fidelity at a $10 billion valuation. According to a regulatory filing issued yesterday, however, it looks like the equity total was actually $434 million.

• Tipping point? We’ve previously discussed the regulatory crackdown on leveraged lending, with the feds (actually, the Fed) paying very close attention any time covered banks help finance a transaction at more than 6x EBITDA. Today there is a NYT story about how certain banks not covered by the same regulators (e.g., Jefferies) and business development companies have been picking up the slack for higher-priced loans (thus creating a shadow leveraged loan market of sorts). The story itself isn’t revelatory for the lending or private equity markets, but it’s the sort of thing that could spur some sort of government action. Worth keeping an eye on.

• Oops: Yesterday’s note on states receiving the most private equity money in 2014 mistakenly said that Ohio came in fifth. It didn’t. That should have said Illinois. For its part, Ohio was tied for sixth place with Pennsylvania. Apologies.

• Next week: We’ve now released the final agenda for Fortune Brainstorm Tech, which takes place next Monday-Wednesday in Aspen, Colorado (yes, I’ll still be writing Term Sheet).

My moderation duties include interviews with such folks as Henry Kravis, John Doerr, Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta, Bill Maris and the heads of M&A at Microsoft, Yahoo and SAP. If you’ve got questions you think should be asked of any of these folks, be sure to let me know.


• Albertsons, the Boise, Idaho-based supermarket giant that completed its acquisition of Safeway earlier this year, has filed for a $100 million IPO. Goldman Sachs is listed as left lead underwriter, with four other banks also on the filing.

It reports a $385 million net loss on nearly $58 billion in revenue for pro forma 2014, and more than $12 billion in debt on the books. Albertsons is the nation’s second-largest grocer, behind Kroger. Read more.


• Didi Kuaidi, a Chinese ride-hailing company, has raised $2 billion in new funding. Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures were joined by return backers like Alibaba and Tencent. Read more.

• Harry’s, a New York-based men’s razor subscription service, has raised $75.6 million in Series C funding led by Wellington Management at a reported post-money valuation of $750 million. Read more.

• Whipclip, a Los Angeles-based mobile TV and video sharing app, has raised more than $40 million in an “initial closing” of its Series C funding round. Eminence Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Institutional Venture Partners and Raine Ventures.

• Confluent, a Mountain View, Calif.-based platform built around Apache Kafka, has raised $24 million in Series B funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backer Benchmark. Read more.

•, a German language learning startup, has raised $22 million in new VC funding. Scottish Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, and VC Fonds Technology Berlin. Read more.

• InSphero AG, a Swiss 3D cell culture company, has raised CHF 20 million (US$21m) in Series C funding from an unidentified family office.

• Salviol, a London-based developer of fraud detection and prevention solutions, has raised €6.5 million in Series A funding led by Orange Growth Capital. Read more.

• LANDR, a Montreal-based provider of cloud-based audio post-production software, has raised US$6.2 million in VC funding from Nas, HDGL, Warner Music Group, Plus Eight Private Equity, Real Ventures and YUL Ventures.

• Emma Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based email marketing software company, has raised $5 million in equity and debt funding from Nashville Capital Network and Square 1 Bank. Silvermark Partners served as placement agent. It is the 12 year-old company’s first-ever round of outside funding.

• Karmic Labs, a San Francisco-based developer of an app and prepaid MasterCard to aid in cost controls for corporate payments and expense management, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners.

• PandaDoc, a San Francisco-based provider of sales content automation software, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Altos Ventures led the round, and was joined by TMT Investments.

• VideoStitch, a French developer of video editing software, has raised $2.25 million in VC funding from Alven Capital.

• KnowledgeHound, a Chicago-based enterprise market research data-retrieval and visualization platform, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from individual angels like Jeff Cantalupo and Mark Mitten.

• ioFabric, a Toronto-based developer of automated QoS-driven storage solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from firms that include Real Ventures.


• Amistad Energy Partners has been formed via a $150 million equity commitment from Kayne Anderson Energy Funds. The Houston, Texas-based company will focus on acquiring and developing oil and natural gas assets in North America, with an initial focus on the Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and East Texas regions.

• Avast Software, a portfolio company of CVC Capital Partners and Summit Partners, has acquired Remotium, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of virtual enterprise mobility. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Draper Nexus Venture Partners and CyberAgent Ventures.

• Cosmetic Design Group, a provider of custom design and formulation for beauty products, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Five Crowns Capital and Corbel Structured Equity Partners. It also secured a senior secured credit facility from Opus Bank.

• Falfurrias Capital Partners has acquired a control stake in RegEd, a Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of compliance software and solutions for the financial services market, from StoneRiver Group. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Nekoosa Holdings, a Nekoosa, Wisc.-based maker of specialty paper products for use in a variety of printing applications, has acquired Main Tape Co., a Cranbury, N.J.-based manufacturer and distributor of surface protection films and graphics transfer tapes. No financial terms were disclosed. Nekoosa is a portfolio company of Wingate Partners, while Main Tape had been owned by Calvert Street Capital Partners.

• Nintex, an Australian workflow automation company backed by TA Associates and Updata Partners, has acquired Drawloop Technologies Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of document automation software. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Sesac, a Nashville, Tenn.-based performing rights organization owned by Rizvi Traverse Management, has agreed to acquire The Harry Fox Agency, a New York-based provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services to music publishers. T No financial terms were disclosed, but the NYT reports a sale price just north of $20 million. Read more.

• ShoreGroup Inc., a New York-based provider of software and managed services to support network infrastructure, has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Francisco Partners.

• Veritas Capital has completed its previously-announced US$2.1 billion buyout of StandardAero, a Canadian provider of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, from Dubai Aerospace


• Ferrari has selected UBS to lead its U.S. IPO, which is expected to occur later this year, according to Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan also will play roles in the offering, in which Ferrari will be spun out of Fiat Chrysler. Read more.

• GenSight Biologics, a Paris-based ophthalmic therapeutics using gene therapy, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GNST, with Leerink Partners listed as left lead underwriter. The company reports an $8 million net loss on around $1.3 million of operating income for 2014. Shareholders include Novartis Ventures (20.37% pre-IPO stake), Abingworth (17.06%), Versant Ventures (17.06%), Fidelity (9.44%), Vitavest (7.48%) and Index Ventures.

• SRA Companies Inc., a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of IT services to the U.S. federal government, has filed for a $100 million IPO. BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are serving as lead underwriters. It reports $64 million in operating income on $1.39 billion in revenue for the year ending June 30, 2014. Providence Equity Partners took SRA private in 2011 in a $1.8 billion transaction.


• Alvarez & Marsal Capital Partners is considering a sale process for portfolio company Gabriel Brothers Inc., a Morgantown, WV-based discount retailer that could garner around $270 million, according to LBO Wire.

• Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) has agreed to acquire MaintenanceNet, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of service revenue generation software, for $139 million in cash. Sellers include Express Ventures and Kayne Anderson. Read more.

• Team Inc. (NYSE: TISI) has agreed to acquire the Qualspec Group from Clearview Capital for $255 million in cash (plus up to another $10m in earnouts). Qualspec is a Deer Park, Texas-based provider of industrial inspection services.


• EMC (NYSE: EMC) has agreed to sell Syncplicity, a seller of file sharing and synchronization to businesses, to Skyview Capital for an undisclosed amount. Read more.

• Horizon Pharma (Nasdaq: HZNP) has launched a hostile $3 billion takeover bid for Newark, Calif.-based drugmaker Depomed (Nasdaq: DEPO). The $29.25 per share offer represents a 42% premium over Depomed’s closing share price on Monday. Read more.

• Nortek Security & Control, a unit of Nortek Inc. (Nasdaq: NTK), has agreed mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS) and telehealth business assets from Seattle-based Numera Inc. for around $12 million.

• Wilmington PLC (LSE: WIL) has acquired the trading assets and assumption of certain liabilities of Financial Research Associates LLC, a Capitola, Calif.-based provider of specialist events in healthcare and finance, for up to $20.6 million.


•  Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has closed its second infrastructure investment fund with $3.1 billion in capital commitments. Read more.


• Antony Jenkins is stepping down as CEO of Barclays PLC, just three years after assuming the role. He will be replaced on an interim basis by new Barclays chairman John McFarlane, while a search for a permanent successor is underway. Read more.

• Karen Cook has been named chairwoman of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. She has been with the firm since 1999, originally joining as a managing director and head of UK investment banking. Read more.

• François Feuillat has joined the London office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP to focus on EMEA and cross-border private equity transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. He previously was a partner with Vinson & Elkins.

• Joseph Lane has joined Napier Park Financial Partners, the private equity arm of Napier Park Global Capital, as a managing director. He is the former head of GE Technology Finance, who most recently has been serving as a corporate director and consultant.

• Jason Sydow has joined Siemens Venture Capital as a Palo Alto-based investment partner. He previously was a partner with QuestMark Partners.

• Wynnchurch Capital, an Illinois-based private equity firm, has promoted Brian Crumbaugh, Greg Gleason, Neel Mayenkar and Michael Teplitsky to managing director.

Share today’s Term Sheet: