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Term Sheet — Monday, March 21

Random Ramblings

Today’s planned column didn’t quite come together in time, so just some very quick notes to kick off your Monday:

• Deal data: U.S. equity capital markets activity is down 57% year-to-date compared to 2015, according to Thomson Reuters. And healthcare-specific ECM activity is taking an even deeper cut, down 64%. Global M&A is off 14% (-26% for U.S. targets), while global private equity is down 41% (-57% for U.S.).

• Update: Last week I mentioned how Amber Baptiste’s lawsuit against Michael Goguen may have unintentionally revealed a tax fraud related to how Goguen allegedly paid for Baptiste’s living expenses between 2010 and 2014 (namely by creating a tax-exempt “charitable organization”). I’ve dug a bit deeper, and have posted a follow-up here.

• New fund alert: Stephen DeBerry, a former partner with Kapor Capital and investment director with Omidyar Network, is raising upwards of $50 million for the first formal fund under his San Francisco-based Bronze Investments brand, according to an SEC filing.

• Today in Theranos: Hillary Clinton’s campaign has moved today’s planned fundraiser away from Theranos HQ, to a private home in Palo Alto. That said, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes remains listed as a host.

• Prudence over price: One of today’s VC deals is that Mattermark has raised $7 million in new VC funding at a $42 million post-money valuation. Many of you might know the San Francisco-based company for its database of VC deals, but it really is seeking to be a provider of data for corporate salespeople.

Anyway, I asked founder and CEO Danielle Morrill why she opted to go with existing backer Foundry Group as the lead (i.e., do insider round, as Foundry took $5m of the $7m). Her reply: “We had 14 months of runway when we raised, the funding climate made me nervous and now we have what we need to invest in long term growth and ensure we will get to break even, no matter what happens in the macro.”

• PE bodyslam: You probably read about how a Florida jury on Friday awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million in his case against Gawker Media. It’s worth noting that Gawker sold an equity stake earlier this year to Columbus Nova Technology Partners for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Columbus Nova put one of its partners on the Gawker board of directors. I guess this would be considered to have been a binary bet…

• Recommended reading: New Orleans journalist Scott Santens has a fascinating piece up on Medium, jumping off from the recent competition in which artificial intelligence regularly defeated the world’s top Go player (for those unfamiliar, consider it a strategic game that kind of mixes chess with Othello).

Specifically, Santens argues that deep learning is on track to replace most current human jobs, and much faster than we generally think possible. “These exponential advances, most notably in forms of artificial intelligence limited to specific tasks, we are entirely unprepared for as long as we continue to insist upon employment as our primary source of income.” Read more by going here.

• Game Time: We’ve got a new leader in our March Madness competition, in which more than 1,400 of you are competing. It’s Chris Hagen, who works in the debt capital markets group at Piper Jaffray. He’s still got three of his final four remaining, including projected winner Kansas. Continued good luck to all, as the Sweet 16 gets whittled down to the Elite 8…


• The Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) has agreed to acquire rival paint-maker The Valspar Corp. (NYSE: VAL) for approximately $11.3 billion, or $113 per share (35% premium to Friday’s closing price). Read more.


• Moat Inc., a New York-based online media analytics company, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners. The company previously raised around $17 million from Mayfield, First Round Capital and Founders Fund. Read more.

• eGym, a Munich-based provider of cloud-connected gym equipment and related apps, has raised $45 million in Series C funding. HPE Growth Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers like Highland Europe. Read more.

• Atlantic Healthcare PLC, a UK-based pharma company focused on gastrointestinal disorders, has raised $24 million in new funding from LDC, Fullbrook Thorpe Investments (family office of Clinigen Group founder Andy Leaver) and the founders of Salix Pharmaceuticals.

• FuboTV, a New York-based online provider of live, streaming and curated soccer content, has raised $15 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Existing backers include 21st Century Fox, I2BF Digital, BAM Ventures and Luminary Capital.

• Mirriad Advertising Ltd., a UK-based provider of in-video ad solutions, has raised $15 million in new VC funding. IP Group PLC led the round, and was joined by Parkway Funds and Unilever Ventures.

• Sillajen, a South Korea-based oncolytic immunotherapeutic startup, has raised $12 million in VC funding from Mediavate Partners.

• Mattermark, a San Francisco-based provider of business information, has raised $7.3 million in new VC funding at a $42 million post-money valuation led by return backer Foundry Group.

let you know that Mattermark has raised our Series B from Foundry Group. The round is $7.3M and values the company at $42M post money.

• Distribusion Technologies, a Berlin-based global distribution system for intercity bus and shuttle rides, has raised €6 million in new VC funding from  Northzone, Creandum, HR Ventures and seed backer Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg.

• Elliptic, a London-based developer of blockchain monitoring technology, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Paladin Capital Group led the round, and was joined by Santander InnoVentures, KRW Schindler, Digital Currency Group and return backer Octopus Ventures.

• Tinkergarten, a Northampton, Mass.-based provider of outdoor early childhood education, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Omidyar Network led the round, and was joined by Blue [Seed] Collective, City Light Capital, 500 Ventures and Outbound Ventures.

• ServisHero, a Malaysia-based provider of on-demand local services in Southeast Asia, has raised $2.7 million in seed funding. Golden Gate Ventures led the round, and was joined by Cradle Seed Ventures. Read more.

• Girnar Software, an India-based operator of online auto portals like, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Google Capital and return backer Hillhouse Capital. Read more.

• InQuba, a South Africa-based provider of managed customer experience orchestration, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Convergence Partners.


• Airbus Group (Paris: AIR) has agreed to sell its defense electronics unit to KKR for approximately $1.2 billion. Read more.

• Blue Harvest Fisheries, a New York-based portfolio company of Bregal Partners, has acquired seven Massachusetts-based scallop vessels and related shoreside assets from Fairhaven, Mass.-based Harbor Blue Seafood. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Clearlake Capital Group has acquired That’s How We Roll LLC, a Fairfield, N.J.-based provider of “better-for-you” snacks like Mrs. Thinsters and Dippin’ Chips. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Cleaver-Brooks Inc., a Thomasville, Ga.-based portfolio company of Harbour Group, has acquired Camus Hydronics Ltd., a Canadian maker of condensing hydronic boilers and water heaters for the commercial, institutional, large residential and light industrial markets. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Formation Capital and Dubai-based investment firm Safanad have acquired nine assisted living facilities in South Carolina from Agape Senior. No financial terms were disclosed.

• LocusPoint Networks LLC, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, has quietly sold three television stations (in Baltimore, Detroit and Buffalo) for around $24 million to HME Equity Fund II. Read more.

• Sunnova Energy Corp., a Houston-based provider of residential solar power services, has raised $300 million in private equity funding from Energy Capital Partners.

• WL Ross has agreed to acquire Nexeo Solutions Holdings LLC, a Houston-based distributor of chemicals and plastics and provider of environmental services, from TPG Capital. The deal values Nexeo at around $1.67 billion (8.4x adjusted EBITDA).


• The Bank of Tianjin raised $949 million in a Hong Kong IPO, after pricing shares at HK$7.39 each (near low end of HK$7.37-HK$9.58 range). The Chinese commercial lender’s offering is the largest Hong Kong IPO so far in 2016. Read more.


• J2 Global (Nasdaq: JCOM) has acquired Callstream, a UK-based provider of cloud-based call management solutions to the insurance, retail and travel markets, from backers like Octopus Investments and YFM Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Senvion, a German maker of offshore and onshore wind turbines, is planning to raise upwards of $358 million via a private placement after shelving an IPO due to market volatility. Backers include Centerbridge Partners. Read more.


• Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX), a Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of molecular diagnostics equipment, has rejected a $1.5 billion takeover offer from a group of its former executives, saying it was “not superior” to an existing $1.3 billion deal to be acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). The ex-executive group says that it remains committed to getting a deal done. Read more.

• Foxconn of Taiwan reportedly will lower its offer for Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp., from its original bid of $4.4 billion. Read more.

• IHS (NYSE: IHS) has agreed to acquire Markit Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRKT), a London-based financial data provider, at an enterprise value of around $5.9 billion. The all-stock deal would give IHS shareholders around a 57% stake in the combined company. Read more.

• Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp. of China has agreed to acquire Canada’s Bankers Petroleum Ltd. (TSX: BNK) for C$575 million, or C$2.20 per share. Read more.

• Zegona Communications PLC is in exclusive talks to acquire TeliaSonera AB’s (Olso: TLSN) Spanish unit, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


• Apax Partners is raising approximately $1.9 billion for its ninth France-focused fund, according to a regulatory filing.

• Silver Oak Services Partners, an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle markets, has closed its third fund with $335 million in capital commitments. Forum Capital Partners served as placement agent.


• Rebecca Converse has joined Sutton Hill, a provider of outsourced investor relations for private equity firms, as a managing director. She previously was director of IR, marketing and communications with Wind Point Partners.

• Todd Lachman (former global president of Mars Petcare) and Larry Bodner (former CFO of Big Heart Pet Brands) have joined Advent International as senior advisors.

• Brad McCarter has joined The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as associate director of private investments. He previously was a vice president with AlpInvest Partners, a unit of The Carlyle Group.

• Metalmark Capital has promoted Donald Gerne and Kumar Valliappan to managing director. Gerne joined the firm in 2011, and serves on the boards of portfolio companies Northeast Natural Energy and WorldStrides. Valliappan joined in 2006 and serves on the boards of Cardinal Chemicals and Hoffmaster.

• Chase Wimberly has joined as senior VP of corporate development. He previously was director of corp dev at Internet Brands.

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