The sun is shining, the presidential field is narrowing and I'm no longer eligible for Fortune's 40 Under 40 list. In other words, it's time for some Monday Mouth-Off:
First up are some replies to Silicon Valley's BIG data problem. First up is RA: "As an analytics man myself, it might be strange to say this but I did appreciate the sentiment of your article. Synthesis is what creates insight, and the human mind always creating shortcuts. Before it was intuition without data that was easy. That became quickly dismissed, so we've shifted to the burden of proof being incontrovertible data evidence in an attempt to correct for our cognitive biases. In that process we've lost the concept that intuition, data, experience, and observation are all valuable tools in decision-making that need to be used together. Thank you for the reminder."
Beau: "The only thing missing was the general admonishment: 'Never mistake precision for accuracy and trailing indicators for predictors.' We in tech are often guilty of both."
Alan: "Don't write an entire 'I told ya so' column and then pretend that it's about some higher purpose."
• Mitchell: "Fred Wilson should look at companies like Alibaba that stayed public for very long periods of time. Absolutely nothing wrong with it if the company continues to perform."
• Serena on private equity's debt problem: "Access to credit matters, but still not as much as two sides agreeing on price. Right now that also is in question because of the public equities correction that many potential sellers (and their boards) believe could be reversed. If your stock (or your public comp's stock) as been cut by 25% since November and you think that it only should have gone down by 5-10%, then it's going to be very hard to agree upon a sale price with a new sponsor."
• Tim Draper on his past and present efforts: "Thought I would clarify for you. I said I was skipping a fund, and that was the plan, but it has evolved. I still am on the DFJ management committee, and I am supporting all my responsibilities with previous funds, and am a Special Limited Partner in all the new funds. But we decided to have separate funds going after our different strategies. I will do the early stage/seed investing under the Draper Associates brand. The Draper Associates moniker allows me the flexibility to drive some new processes to venture capital, while focusing on the early stage. I have also rebranded the Draper Venture Network to help spread entrepreneurship globally, enhancing deal flow and best practices throughout our teams of associated venture funds. Draper University is gaining awareness as the premiere school to come to if you want to make an impact on the world."
THE BIG DEAL
• Qubit, a London-based e-commerce personalization platform, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. Goldman Sachs led the round, and was joined by Sapphire Ventures and return backers Salesforce Ventures and Accel. Existing shareholders also include Balderton Capital. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• NuoDB, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of distributed database technology, has raised $17 million in third-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. Existing backers include Dassault Systems, Morgenthaler Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Longworth Venture Partners. www.nuodb.com
• Impact Therapeutics, a Chinese developer of cancer drugs, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Backers include China Summit Capital, Guangzhou YUEXIU Industrial Investment Fund, Sungent Bioventure, HAIBANG Ventures and existing investor Lilly Asia Ventures. www.impacttherapeutics.com
• Trusona, an identity authentication startup founded by Ori Eisen (previously founded The 41st Parameter), has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Read more.
• Understory, a developer of weather sensor hardware and hyper-local data networks, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. 4490 Ventures and Monsanto Growth Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by CSA Partners and return backers True Ventures, RRE Ventures and SK Ventures. The company also said that it will relocate its headquarters from Boston to Madison, Wisconsin. www.understoryweather.com
• Athentek, a Taipei-based maker of “smart wearable devices that keep everyone you love in a close-knit circle,” has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Foxconn led the round, and was joined by estrite Group, CSVi Capital and MediaTek Inc. www.athentek.com
• Magicpin, an India-based hyperlocal discovery app, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more.
• Chainalysis Inc., a New York-based regulatory platform designed to help companies transact on a blockchain, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Point Nine Capital led the round, and was joined by Techstars, Digital Currency Group, Funders Club and Converge VP. www.chainalysis.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Ardian said that it plans to participate in the privatization tenders for two French airports: Nice Cote d'Azur Airport and Lyon-Saint-Exupery Airport. Read more.
• Astorg Partners and Goldman Sachs have acquired HRA Pharma, a French drug company focused on women’s health and endocrinology, from The Riverside Company. No financial terms were disclosed. www.hra-pharma.com
• Deutsche Telekom has canceled the proposed sale of its Dutch mobile unit, according to the FT. Both Apollo Global Management and Warburg Pincus had submitted finals bids, but neither could agree to terms with Deutsche Telekom after rivals Vodafone and Liberty Global agreed to merge their Dutch businesses. Read more.
• Highlander Partners has acquired Fuerst Day Lawson Holdings Ltd., a London-based provider of customized specialty ingredients to the food, beverage, fragrance and chemical industries. No financial terms were disclosed.
• IDMWorks, a Miami, Fla.-based provider of identity and access management services, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Trivest Partners. www.idmworks.com
• Polymer Solutions Group, a Rome, Ga.-based portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners, has acquired Flow Polymers LLC, a Cleveland-based provider of specialty additives and dispersions, from Geneva Glen Capital. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Topgolf Entertainment Group, a Dallas-based operator of golfing game centers, has sold a minority equity stake to Providence Equity Partners for an undisclosed amount. www.topgolf.com
• No IPO news this morning.
• Capital Square Partners and CX Partners are seeking a buyer for Minacs Ltd., a global outsourcing company that could be worth more than $500 million, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• BTG Pactual has agreed to sell its Swiss business to EFG International (SWX: EFGN) for approximately $1.34 billion. This comes less than two years after BTG Pactual purchased the business for around $1.7 billion in cash and stock. Read more.
• R. Franco Group has acquired a control stake in Mediatech Solutions, a Spain-based provider of solutions for the online and land-based gambling industry. No financial terms were disclosed. www.mediatechsolutions.es
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Lifeline Ventures, a Helsinki-based venture capital firm, has closed its fourth fund with €57 million in capital commitments. Read more.
• The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is seeking buyers for a $1 billion portfolio of private equity fund positions, according to Dow Jones. www.otpp.com
• Waud Capital Partners, a Chicago-based lower middle-market private equity firm, has closed its fourth fund with just over $1.05 billion in capital commitments. www.waudcapital.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Saban Capital Group has promoted Philip Han to executive vice president. He will continue to serve as chief investment officer. www.saban.com
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