Greetings from Aspen, where Fortune Brainstorm Tech is heading into its final morning. A few items and notes from yesterday’s goings on:
• Bitcoin bust? Yesterday morning I hosted a breakfast roundtable of venture capitalists, from firms like Google Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Scale Venture Partners and NEA. Overall, there were around 90 people in the room (including many non-VCs). At one point I asked for a show of hands of how many of them would currently invest in a new Bitcoin company. Not a single hand was raised.
I then expanded the question out to investing in a new blockchain-related company, and perhaps a dozen or so hands went up.
To be clear, there are still venture capitalists interested in Bitcoin. In fact, Greylock’s Reid Hoffman said so just an hour later on the main-stage. And plenty of Bitcoin advocates got pretty upset with me tweeting out the “zero hands” experience, with Fred Wilson asserting that it said more about our conference than about Bitcoin.
If you want to shoot the messenger, go ahead. But this was a pretty strong sample of the VC space, plus many entrepreneurs and other tech execs. The ‘heat’ that was felt at this event around Bitcoin last year — from many of the same participants — has dissipated. That doesn’t mean new Bitcoin deals won’t pay off (indeed, sometimes it’s best to invest when others aren’t), but my takeaway is that the lack of market adoption has taken a tangible toll.
• Twitter palace intrigue: Ev Williams said that if the next CEO of Twitter thinks there are too many former Twitter CEOs on the board, he’d be willing to step off. No word yet on if that offer holds if Adam Bain somehow gets bypassed for Jack Dorsey.
• For the kids: Pixar president Ed Catmul said that the idea for Frozen had been kicking around Disney for years, but that the original storyline involved a mean queen who had an army of bad snowman.
• Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith: “Congratulating me for raising venture capital is like congratulating someone for taking out a mortgage.”
• Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane on why he took his company public: “At some point you have to move out of your parent’s basement.”
• Billion dollar future? The grand prize winner of our Unicorn Idol competition was Accion Systems, the Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of small satellite propulsion systems that was recruited just last week via Term Sheet. So big congrats to Accion and CEO Natalya Brikner. Here’s a full roundup.
• Coming attractions: This morning’s main-stage program will be live-streamed on Fortune.com, and includes: Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman (9am MT); Stripe co-founders Patrick & John Collison (9:30); an enterprise transformation discussion with NYSE president Tom Farley, CVS Health president Helena Foulkes and incoming HP CEO Dion Weisler (10am), Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris (10:35), Joyus founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (11am) and Softbank president Nikesh Arora (11:05).
You also can view video clips and write-ups of past sessions by going here.
THE BIG DEAL
• Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG) has agreed to acquire Receptos Inc. (Nasdaq: RCPT), a San Diego-based developer of drugs for immune disorders, for $7.2 billion in cash. The $232 per share deal represents a 12% premium to yesterday’s closing price for Receptos shares. Sellers will include venture capital firm Polaris Partners, which still holds around a 1.31% stake in Receptos. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Zeta Interactive, a New York-based big data and marketing analytics company, has raised $125 million in new equity funding from GSO Capital Partners. The deal was done at a valuation in excess of $1 billion. Read more.
• Ticketfly, a San Francisco-based social ticketing platform for live events, has raised $50 million in Series D funding led by Riverwood Capital. The company previously raised $37 million from Sapphire Ventures, Northgate Capital, Cross Creek Capital and Mohr Davidow Ventures. www.ticketfly.com
• RealtyMogul.com, a Los Angeles-based online marketplace for real estate investing, has raised $35 million in Series B funding. Sorenson Capital led the round, and was joined by Canaan Partners. www.realitymogul.com
• DemandBase, a San Francisco-based B2B targeting and personalization company, has raised $30 million in new VC funding led by SageView Capital. Read more.
• Ziften, an Austin, Texas-based provider of continuous endpoint visibility, has raised $24 million in new VC funding. Spring Mountain Capital led the round, and was joined by Fayez Sarofim. www.ziften.com
• Credit Benchmark, a London-based provider of credit risk data and analytics, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Balderton Capital led the round, and was joined by return backer Index Ventures. www.creditbenchmark.org
• Scale Computing, an Indianapolis-based provider of hyper-converged solutions, has raised $18 million in new VC funding led by ABS Capital Partners. www.scalecomputing.com
• CallMiner Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of speech and interaction analytic solutions, has raised $12 million in private equity funding from NewSpring Growth Capital. www.callminer.com
• Crew, a Montreal-based a curated platform that connects designers and developers with vetted clients, has raised C$10 million in new VC funding. Accomplice led the round, and was joined by return backers from iNovia Capital, Real Ventures, Boldstart Venture Capital, BDC Capital, AngelList, Launch Capital and LDV Capital. www.crew.co
• Mailjet, a French email marketing startup, has raised €10 million in new VC funding from Iris Capital, Seventure Partners and return backer Alven Capital. www.mailjet.com
• HackerRank, a Mountain View, Calif.-based technical talent platform, has raised $7.5 million in new VC funding from Recruit Holding’s HR Technology Fund. www.hackerrank.com
• Rokk3r, a Miami-based platform that partners with entrepreneurs to co-build companies, has raised $5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Scout Ventures and Jon Gosier. www.rokk3rlabs.com
• Picwell, a Philadelphia-based predictive recommendation engine for health plan selection, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by MassMutual Ventures. www.picwell.com
• HopSkipDrive, an on-demand ride service for children, has raised $3.9 million in new VC funding. Upfront Ventures led the round, and was joined by FirstMark Capital, Maveron, Built by Girls Ventures and Joanne Wilson. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Amteck, a Lexington, Ky.-based provider of electrical and design contracting services, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Trive Capital. www.amteck.com
• Century Park Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Better Life Technology LLC, a Lenexa, Kansas-based maker of vinyl flooring products and printing substrates. No financial terms were disclosed. www.centuryparkcapital.com
• Courtagen Life Sciences Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based diagnostic testing services business, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Bunker Hill Capital. www.courtagen.com
• High Road Capital Partners has acquire Cali Bamboo LLC, a San Diego-based maker and direct-to-consumer retailer of bamboo flooring and sustainable building products. No financial terms were disclosed. www.calibamboo.com
• MidOcean Partners has acquired KidKraft Inc., a Dallas-based maker of children’s furniture and toys. No financial terms were disclosed. www.kidkraft.com
• Seacoast Capital has sponsored a recapitalization of Righttime Medical Care, an operator of 13 urgent care centers in Maryland. No financial terms were disclosed. www.myrighttime.com
• Vesey Street Capital Partners has acquired Imedex LLC, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of continuing medical education to industry professionals. No financial terms were disclosed. www.vscpllc.com
• No IPO news this morning.
• ABRY Partners and Berkshire Partners have agreed to sell Telx, a New York-based data center company, to Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) for $1.89 billion. www.telx.com
• Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), via its Amazon Web Services unit, has acquired AppThwack, a Portland, Ore.-based Android and iOS app testing service, for an undisclosed amount. AppThwack had been seeded by firms like In-Q-Tel, Portland Seed Fund, TIE Angels Group Oregon, Upstart Labs and Rogue Venture Partners. www.appthwack.com
• Emerging Capital Partners has sold its equity stake in Nouvelle Societé Interafricaine d’Assurance Participations SA (NSIA), a west and central African insurance group, to the National Bank of Canada and Amethis Africa Finance for an undisclosed amount. www.ecpinvestments.com
• Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based satellite company, has agreed to acquire Rapideye and other geospatial assets of BlackBridge Geomatics Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. Planet Labs recently raised a $118 million Series C round led by Data Collective. www.planet.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Dyal Capital Partners, a unit of Neuberger Berman, has acquired a minority stake in Vista Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.dyalcapital.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Justin Overdorff has joined the business development and partnerships team of Stripe. He previously was director of business development for Yelp (NYSE: YELP). www.stripe.com
• Michael Rake is stepping down as deputy chairman of Barclays later this year in order to become CEO of British payment processor Worldpay, according to the NY Times. Read more.
• Jill Wright has joined The Carlyle Group’s middle-market group as a principal in a newly-created operations role that “seeks to harness the global resources of the firm to create value in the middle market fund’s portfolio.” She previously was with Goldman Sachs as a director in the bank’s special situations group. www.carlyle.com
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