Term Sheet — Monday, December 21

December 21, 2015, 3:07 PM UTC

Random Ramblings

One of today’s smaller VC deals is that Octopus Ventures has invested 2 million pounds into Segura Systems, a London-based provider of a supply chain verification and visibility platform. Sounds quite boring, but this actually is one of those enterprise startups those technology could make the world a better place -- as opposed to just a faster, more connected or more profitable one.

Segura is focused on helping to eliminate the use of slave and child labor by manufacturers, some of which have been known to outsource parts of their work-orders to unsavory sub-contractors. For example, British department store operator Debenhams -- an early Segura customer -- uses the platform to track the sourcing of its branded garments. When it contracts out for something like a new t-shirt line, its selected manufacturer is required to detail every step of its supply chain via Segura -- with Debenhams being able to make sure that every sub-contractor is on its “approved” list.

“Typically what would happen is that the retailer would go to one of its approved suppliers, which would then go to a friend down the road in order to drive their own profitability,” explains Malcolm Ferguson, an investment director with Octopus. “Now, the supplier must place all of its orders through this platform, so the retailer will know if something leaks out.”

Ferguson adds that since Debenhams began using the Segura system, certain suppliers stopped bidding on new contracts, saying that it cut too deep into their profitability. On the other hand, he says that orders from one of its approved suppliers -- which chose to participate -- saw its orders go up 1000%.

New fund alert: Ray Yang, a managing director with China-focused Northern Light Venture Capital, appears to be raising $125 million for a new platform called Marathon Venture Partners, according to a regulatory filing.

Background check: When Martin Shkreli stepped down as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals last week -- following his arrest for securities fraud -- the company named chairman Ron Tilles as interim CEO. In a press release announcing the appointment, Turing said: "Ron's experience includes numerous private equity and venture capital positions in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries over the last 20 years."

For what it's worth, I've so far been unable to track down a single private equity or VC position Tilles held. I'm not saying it's untrue but, for now, it's certainly not a matter of public record on the intertubes. I've also emailed and called Turing's head of IR and media relations, but he has not yet replied (and the company's voicemail box is full). In fact, all we really know about Tilles so far is that he previously worked with Retrophin Inc., the biotech company at the heart of Shkreli's arrest.


Panasonic Corp. (Tokyo: 5762) has agreed to acquire Hussman, a Bridgeton, Mo.-based maker of refrigeration systems for the commercial food industry, for $1.545 billion from Clayton Dubilier & Rice ($1.145b) and Ingersoll-Rand PLC ($400m). 

Ingersoll-Rand had sold a majority stake in the business to private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in late 2011 for $195 million. www.ingersollrand.com


 Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of miniaturized implantable sacral neuromodulation technology, has raised $38.5 million in Series B funding. Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners Advent Life Sciences and Cormorant Asset Management were joined by return backers Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, NeoMed Management, Legend Capital and The Alfred E. Mann Foundation. www.axonicsmodulation.com

 Gelesis, a Boston-based developer of therapies for weight loss and glycemic control in overweight and obese patients, has raised $31.5 million in new growth equity funding. Cormorant Asset Management was joined by return backers Invesco Asset Management, PureTech Ventures and the Priztker/Vlock Family Office. Gelesis recently withdrew IPO registration. www.gelesis.com

 Flux Factory Inc., a San Francisco-based developer of engineered architecture tools, has raised $29 million in Series B funding. Temasek and Surbana Jurong Pvt co-led the round, and were joined by DFJ, Far East Ventures, Borealis Ventures, Obvious Ventures and South Park Ventures. The company previously raised around $8 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures. Read more.

 Gusto (f.k.a. ZenPayroll), a Denver-based online platform for payroll, compliance and benefits services, has secured over $22 million of a $50 million Series B extension, according to a regulatory filing. Existing backers include Google Capital, Emergence Capital, Ribbit Capital and Google Ventures. The company held a $60 million first close on its Series B round back in April. Read more.

 SpiderCloud Wireless Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of in-building mobile broadband technology, has secured $15.2 million of a $23.7 million fourth-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. Existing backers include Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures. www.spidercloud.com

 WorkFusion, a New York-based enterprise smart process automation startup, has raised $14 million in Series C funding. Nokia Growth Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Mohr Davidow Ventures, Greycroft Partners, iNovia Capital and RTP Ventures. www.workfusion.com

 MapAnything Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of mapping, geo-analytics and location intelligence solutions for Salesforce users, has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. Greycroft Partners led the round, and was joined by Harbert Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Michael Lazerow and David Stern. www.mapanything.com

 Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug startup focused on ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, has raised $5 million in funding from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (Tokyo: 4502). www.aquinnahpharmaceuticals.com

 CellSavers, an Israel-based on-demand smartphone repair startup, has raised $3 million in seed funding from Sequoia Israel. Read more.

 Memblaze, a Beijing-based flash memory startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from General Technology Venture Capital Co. and Qualcomm Ventures. www.memblaze.com


 3i Group has agreed to acquire an undisclosed stake in Audley Travel, a UK-based provider of “tailor-made experiential travel,” from Equistone Partners Europe for £159 million. www.3i.com

 FastMed Urgent Care, a Gilbert, Ariz.-based urgent care organization sponsored by ABRY Partners, has acquired Texan Urgent Care, a 14-clinic urgent care operator in Texas. No financial terms were disclosed. www.fastmed.com

 Grupo Biotoscana SL, a Latin American pharma company backed by Advent International and Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, has acquired Laboratorio LKM SA, an Argentina-based specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer that also was controlled by Advent International. No financial terms were disclosed. The combined company is expected to generate annual revenue of around $250 million. www.grupobiotoscana.com

 Mr. Cat, a Brazilian footwear brand and retailer, has secured an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from H.I.G. Capital. www.mrcat.com.br

 New Mountain Capital has acquired (and will merge) Equian, an Indianapolis-based provider of healthcare payment integrity solutions to medical claim payors, and Trover Solutions, a Louisville, Ky.-based provider of cost containment services and software to the private healthcare payer and property & casualty industries. Equian is being purchased for $225 million, and previously was a portfolio company of Great Point Partners. No financial terms for Trover Solutions, which is being sold by ABRY Partners and Veronis Suhler Stevenson. www.equian.com

 Platte River Equity has acquired Jameson Group LLC, a Clover, S.C.-based maker of tools and lighting solutions for the industrial and military markets, from Kayne Anderson. No financial terms were disclosed. Headwaters MB managed the process. www.jamesongroupllc.com

 Salford Group, a Canadian farm equipment company backed by GenNx360 Capital Partners, has acquired the AerWay aeration products line from SAF-Holland Canada Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed. www.salfordmachine.com

 SFW Capital Partners has invested $212 million for an undisclosed equity stake in Gerson Lehrman Group Inc., a New York-based professional learning company, according to Dow Jones. www.glg.it

 Talon Innovations Corp., a Sauk Rapids, Minn.-based portfolio company of Graycliff Partners, has acquired Vulcan Machine Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of custom CNC machining solutions for OEMs in the aerospace, packaging, and industrial markets. No financial terms were disclosed. www.vulcanmachine.com


 Yirendai Ltd., a Chinese online lending platform (i.e., the LendingClub of China), raised $75 million in its IPO. The company priced 7.5 million shares at $10 per share (within $9-$11 range), and began trading on the NYSE under ticker symbol YRD. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and China Renaissance served as lead underwriters. Yirendai reports $17 million of net income on $79 million in revenue for the first half of 2015. www.yirendai.com


 Accel has sold a $100 million stake in privately-held Indian e-commerce company Flipkart to the Qatar Investment Authority, according to the Economic Times. The deal values Flipkart at around $15 billion, and still leaves Accel as its second-largest outside shareholder (behind Tiger Global Management). Read more.

 American Securities has agreed to sell Robertson Fuel Systems LLC, a Tempe, Ariz.-based maker of ballistically self-sealing auxiliary fuel systems for military rotorcraft, to HEICO Corp. (NYSE: HEI) for $255 million. www.robbietanks.com

 Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has acquired Metanautix, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based big data analytics company that had raised around $7 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital, Stanford Management Co. and Workday Ventures. No financial terms were disclosed for the acquisition. Read more at Fortune.


 American Mortgage Consultants, a New York-based provider of due diligence and consulting to the mortgage industry, has acquired Tampa, Fla.-based rival JCIII & Associates for an undisclosed amount. www.amcfirst.com

 Anheuser Busch-InBev has agreed to acquire Four Peaks Brewing Co., the largest craft brewer in Arizona. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more at Fortune.

 Cooke Seafood USA Inc. (a.k.a. Wanchese Fish Co.), a Suffolk, Va.-based fish harvester and processor, has offered to acquire 100% of the assets of Uruguayan seafood company Fripur SA. No financial terms were disclosed. www.wanchese.com

 Fosun International said that it has withdrawn its €5.10 per share takeover offer for British merchant bank BHF Kleinwort Benson. The decision comes amid Fosun’s chairman being detained earlier this month by local authorities, and a subsequent €5.75 per share offer for BHF Kleinwort Benson from French private bank Oddo & Cie. Read more.

 HSBC (LSE: HSBA) has retained Rothschild to advise on a restructuring that would include divestitures for both geographic consolidation and risk mitigation reasons, according to the FT. Read more.

 Nomura Holdings has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Kansas City-based money management firm American Century Investments from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for around $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Read more.

 Pivotal, the software company backed by EMC and VMware with an assist from General Electric, is buying CloudCredo, a longtime partner based in London. Read more at Fortune.

 Santander has agreed to acquire the “good bank” of Portuguese lender Banco Internacional do Funchal, which is majority owned by Portuguese government. The deal is valued at around €150 million. Read more.


 OrbiMed, a New York-based venture capital and growth equity firm focused on the healthcare sector, has closed its sixth fund with $950 million in capital commitments. www.orbimed.com

 Parcom Capital Management, a Dutch private equity group that makes both direct and fund-of-funds investments, has spun out of insurance company NN Group. As part of the sale to Parcom management, NN Group has agreed to serve as a “cornerstone investor” in Parcom’s next fund. www.parcomcapital.com

 Round Hill Music Royalty Partners, a buyout firm which acquires music publishing assets, is raising its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. MVision is serving as placement agent. The New York-based firm raised $200 million for its debut fund in 2014. www.rhmusicroyaltypartners.com

Moving In, On & Up

 DFJ Growth has promoted Sam Fort to partner. He joined the firm five years ago from TPG Capital. www.dfjgrowth.com

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