Some notes to kick off your Thursday:
• Broader sky: Tyler Zachem and David Basto have quietly joined The Carlyle Group as managing directors in the firm’s corporate private equity group. Zachem also will serve as co-head of Carlyle Global Partners, alongside Eliot Merrill.
Both Zachem and Basto previously led Broad Sky Partners, a middle-market private equity firm they co-founded in late 2013, after leaving MidOcean Partners. Broad Sky was a so-called fundless sponsor, which means it worked on a deal-by-deal basis without having a defined pool of capital. It appears to have made two acquisitions: Apex Parks Group, a group of family entertainment centers; and MannaPro Products, an animal feed company.
At both Broad Sky and MidOcean, the pair focused on deals in the media, communications and business services sectors. They will work out of Carlyle’s New York office.
• Academia: George Mason University professors Janine Wedel and Siona Listokin have published a paper on public pension investing in private equity, with two primary findings: (1) Public pensions lack consistent practices and governance structures for investing in PE, and (2) "Our data show a negative relationsghip between investment returns and management fees, and suggest that [pension] fund size does not predict stronger negotiating power in fees or success in returns."
The paper was first published late last year, but I only learned of it this week (apologies for the tardiness). Check it out here.
• Recommended reading #1: Erin Griffith has a great new profile up on Nikesh Arora, the former Google exec who now is heir apparent at Softbank, where he has completely shaken up the Japanese company's investment strategy (less early-stage venture, more big late-stage bets). In short, he wants to turn Softbank into the Berkshire Hathaway of tech. Here is what Erin learned.
• Recommended reading #2: Roger Lowenstein has a deep dive on private equity returns in the new issue of Fortune, and his findings may be problematic for an industry that promises an illiquidity premium. Read it here.
• Just asking: Cloud collaboration software company Atlassian is expected to go public next week. It is based in Australia and has been profitable since at least 2013. The company's cap table contains both a VC firm (Accel) and later-stage crossover investors (T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer), but the latter investors came in via a secondary sale. In other words, Atlassian is not your typical unicorn.
What if it's IPO is a major success, which many people now seem to be expecting? Marry this with Fitbit -- based in SF, but also profitable on less than $70m in VC at a sub-$1b valuation -- and will we begin to see a change in how startups view the importance of earnings and dilution?
THE BIG DEAL
• Welltok, a Denver-based health optimization platform, has acquired Silverlink, a Burlington, Mass.-based healthcare consumer communications company. To support the deal, Welltok has raised $45 million in funding from new investors Georgian Partners, EDBI, Flare Capital and undisclosed existing investors. The company previously had raised over $100 million.
Silverlink shareholders included HLM Venture Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Sigma Prime. www.welltok.com
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Avecto, a UK-based provider of endpoint security software, has raised $49 million in minority equity funding from JMI Equity. www.avecto.com
• True North Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based developer of therapies that inhibit the complement system to treat rare diseases, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. New Leaf Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Perceptive Advisors, Cowen Private Investments and return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MPM Capital, OrbiMed, SR One and Baxalta Ventures. www.truenorthrx.com
• Velicept Therapeutics Inc., a Malvern, Penn.-based developer of a beta 3-adrenoceptor agonist for the treatment of overactive bladder, has raised $21 million in Series B funding co-led by CAM Capital and Longitude Capital. www.velicept.com
• 3PL Central, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based provider of warehouse management software, has raised $17.5 million in funding from Mainsail Partners. www.3plcentral.com
• Hollar, a “destination for the coolest gifts and goods starting at just $2,” has raised around $17.5 million from firms like Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, according to regulatory filings. The company is led by former Honest Co. exec David Yeom. www.hollar.com
• Uninterrupted, a multi-platform media company founded by LeBron James, has raised $15.8 million in VC funding led by Warner Brothers. Read more.
• EatStreet, a Madison, Wis.-based restaurant delivery platform focused on small cities, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. 4490 Ventures and Lumia Capital co-led the round, and were joined by GCI Capital, MATH Venture Partners, and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Read more.
• Figma, a cloud collaboration startup led by former Thiel Fellow Dylan Field, has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Greylock. It previously was seeded by Index Ventures. Read more.
• Progressa, a Vancouver-based lender for sub-prime and near-prime Canadians, has raised C$11.4 million in Series A equity and debt financing co-led by Cypress Hills Partners and Conconi Growth Partners. www.progressa.com
• Younity, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of cloud storage services, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Marker LLC. Read more.
• BrainStorm, a Salt Lake City-based Microsoft partner for end-user adoption and change management, has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding led by Kickstart Seed Fund. www.brainstorminc.com
• BrightFunnel, a San Francisco-based revenue attribution and forecasting platform for B2B marketers, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Crosslink Capital led the round, and was joined by Salesforce Ventures and return backers Bloomberg Beta, Karlin Ventures, and Resolute Ventures. www.brightfunnel.com
• Top Flight Technologies Inc., a Boston-based commercial drone developer, has raised $1.75 million in seed funding. ff Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by individual angels like Joi Ito. www.tflighttech.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• AEA Investors has acquired Balboa Water Group, a Tustin, Calif.-based maker of components for the portable spa and jetted bath markets, from Quad-C Management. No financial terms were disclosed. www.balboawatergroup.com
• American Capital Equity has acquired Brandmuscle, a Chicago-based provider of local marketing automation technology and services, from The Riverside Company. No financial terms were disclosed. www.brandmuscle.com
• Areva SA (Paris: AREVA), is once again trying to sell Canberra, a Connecticut-based maker of nuclear measurement solutions for the nuclear industry, two years after a proposed deal with private equity firm Astorg Partners fell group, according to Reuters. Likely bidders include Apax Partners, 3i Group, Triton and Mirion Technologies (a portfolio company of Charterhouse Capital Partners). Read more.
• The Carlyle Group and KKR are among those considering a bid for Doosan Infracore Co.'s machine tools business, according to Korea Economic Daily. A deal could be valued at upwards of $1.7 billion. www.doosaninfracore.co.kr
• Charter NEX Films, a Milton, Wis.-based portfolio company of Pamplona Capital Management, has acquired Optimum Plastics, a Bloomer, Wis.-based leading manufacturer of custom cast embossed and blown film structures, from Huron Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.nex-films.com
• OmegaFi, New York-based provider of financial, fundraising and membership management software for college fraternities and sororities, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Aquiline Capital Partners. www.omegafi.com
• Phase One, a Denmark-based developer of open-platform, high-end camera systems and solutions, has acquired Mamiya Digital Imaging Company Ltd., a Japan-based maker of medium-format camera and lenses. No financial terms were disclosed. Phase One is a portfolio company of Silverfleet Capital. www.phaseone.com
• Rubicon Oilfield International, a Houston, Texas-based oilfield services startup, has secured up to $300 million in equity commitments from Warburg Pincus. Rubicon is led by CEO Michael Reeves, who previously was president of Sandvik – Drilling and Completions. www.warburgpincus.com
• TPG Growth has acquired Taco Bueno, a Tex-Mex quick service restaurant chain with 177 locations, from Palladium Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.tacobueno.com
• Wendel has completed its previously-announced acquisition of AlliedBarton, a Conshohocken, Penn.-based security services provider, from The Blackstone Group for approximately $1.68 billion. www.alliedbarton.com
• China Energy Engineering Corp., a Beijing-based provider of construction and related services to the power industry, raised $1.8 billion in a Hong Kong IPO, after pricing at the bottom of its planned price range. Read more.
• Altor has agreed to sell Akers AB, a Sweden-based maker of cast and forged rolls, to Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. (NYSE: AP). The deal is valued at $80 million, including $30 million in cash. www.akersrolls.com
• Anheuser-Busch InBev confirmed media reports that it plans to sell beer brands Grolsch and Peroni, following its pending acquisition of SABMiller PLC (LSE: SAB). Read more.
• Barclays has agreed to sell its 89 Italian retail bank branches to Mediobanca, in an unusual deal that actually will see Barclays pay Mediobanca €237 million to take the branches off its hands. Read more.
• JX Holdings (Tokyo: 5020), Japan’s larger oil refiner, has agreed to merge with rival TonenGeneral Sekiyu (Tokyo: 5012). Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) has launched a $100 million venture capital fund to support its new cloud-based product development platform. Read more.
• AutoTech Ventures, a transportation-focused VC firm, is raising upwards of $150 million for its debut fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.autotechvc.com
• SOIL Funds has launched as a New York-based asset management group focused on investing in sustainable businesses and infrastructure with an emphasis on private equity and credit. It is led by David Waserstein, former interim CEO of Prism Solar Technologies and a onetime partner with I2BF Global Ventures.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Adams Street Partners said that Yar-Ping Soo, a partner with the private equity firm since 2010, will now lead its Asian investment team. She succeeds PV Wang, who will become a senior advisor. www.adamsstreetpartners.com
• Eric Wiesen has joined Bullpen Capital as a general partner. He previously was a general partner with RRE Ventures. www.bullpen-capital.com
• Stephanie Zhan has joined Sequoia Capital as a Menlo Park-based investment analyst. She previously spent time with Nest, Andreessen Horowitz and Google. www.sequoiacap.com
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