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Term Sheet — Monday, March 28

Random Ramblings

Just a few quick notes to kick off your Monday:

• IPO wasteland: There are still a few days left in Q1 2015, but we already know that the quarter will not have hosted a single technology IPO. It also will be bereft of any traditional private equity-backed IPOs.

Overall, 11 companies have priced offerings on U.S. exchanges in Q1, all of which either were biotechs (including Editas, which has nearly doubled from its $16 per share price) or special purpose acquisition companies (including Silver Run, whose backing from Riverstone slightly complicates the ‘no PE-backed IPOs’ statement). One more company ― Sensus Healthcare ― may price before the quarter officially ends on Thursday.

• New firm alert: Tom Ball, a longtime general partner with Austin Ventures (RIP), has teamed with Mike Smerklo (ex-CEO of ServiceSource) to form Next Coast Ventures, a new early-stage firm that is raising $50 million for its debut fund. Expect the firm to focus on, but not be limited to, startups in the Austin area.

You might recall that Ball originally had partnered with two other former AV partners to raise $150 million for something called Outset Ventures, but the group fell apart just before hard circling its first close. Ball’s more recent deals have included RetailMeNot and SilverCar, while Smerklo currently sits on the board of listed SPS Commerce.

• Job listings: SEC chair Mary Jo White appeared before a House subcommittee last week to discuss her agency’s FY 2017 budget request. Included in her testimony was a request to hire 127 additional examiners, “primarily to conduct additional examinations of investment advisers.”

• Gametime: We’re down to the Final Four, and have yet another new leader: It’s Jon Curtis, who has Villanova topping UNC in his final game (unfortunately I’m not sure who Jon is… hey Jon, drop me a note). In second place right now is Zack Norris, a Denver-based VP with Silicon Valley Bank, who has Oklahoma winning it all (albeit against the dear-departed UVA). Continued good luck to all…


In memoriam: Brenda Gavin, a founding partner of Philadelphia-based venture firm Quaker Partners, has passed away at the age of 67. She had helped form Quaker after previously serving as president of S.R. One (the VC arm of GlaxoSmithKline) and as a general partner with EuclidSR Partners.

Brenda is survived by her husband Laurence and son Zachary. Donations in her memory may be made to the Overbrook Presbyterian Church or to The Philadelphia Zoo.

Rest in peace Brenda.


• Dell Inc. has agreed to sell the technology services business previously known as Perot Systems to NTT Data Corp., a unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., for $3.055 billion. Dell, which paid $3.9 billion for Perot Systems in 2009, is backed by Silver Lake. Read more.


• Katerra Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of design services to the construction industry, has increased its first-round of funding to $75 million, according to a regulatory filing. It could still expand to $85 million. The Michael Marks-founded company announced $51 million raised in January, from backers like Foxconn at around a $450 million pre-money valuation. Board members include Jim Davidson of Silver Lake.

• Bromium Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of endpoint protection using virtualization, has raised $40 million in new equity and debt funding. Return backers included Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Meritech Capital Partners. Silver Lake Waterman also participated. According to Pitchbook, the deal was done at a $200 million pre-money valuation, compared to a $452 million pre-money valuation on Bromium’s Series C round in late 2013.

• Venus Medtech, a Chinese developer of percutaneous medicle devices, has raised $37 million in new equity funding from Goldman Sachs. Existing shareholders include Qiming Venture Partners and DiNova Venture Capital.

• Emulate Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of an automated human bioemulation platform, has raised $28.75 million in Series B funding. Backers Hansjörg Wyss, NanoDimension, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, OS Fund, Atel Ventures and ALS Finding a Cure.

• Maxwell Health, a Boston-based HR platform for managing benefits and promoting employee health, has secured $22 million of a round that could total $35 million, according to a regulatory filing. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, Sun Life Financial and Cendana Capital were joined by return backers Adams Street Partners, Cambia Health Solutions, Catalyst Health Ventures, Industry Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Schooner Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners and Vaizra Investments. Read more.

• RevUp Software, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of data analytics SaaS solutions for nonprofits, academic institutions and political organizations, has raised more than $5 million in seed funding. Backers include Greylock Partners, Sean Parker, Omidyar Network, Salesforce Ventures, Evan Goldberg, Drew Perkins and Valley Fund.

• And Co., a New York-based “smart back office for freelancers,” has raised $2.5 million in funding, according to a regulatory filing. No investors were identified.


• GTCR has agreed to acquire Vector Laboratories, a Burlingame, Calif.-based developer of labeling and detection systems for biologics, according to an FTC filing.

• Regina Maria, a Romania-based hospital and surgical center operator backed by Mid Europa Partners, has acquired Ponderas Hospital, a Bucharest medical facility focused on metabolic and bariatric surgery. No financial terms were disclosed.


• There is no IPO news this morning.


No exit news this morning.


• Banca Popolare di Milano (BIT: PMI) and Banco Popolare (BIT: BP) have agreed to merge, in a deal that would create an Italian bank with around €170 billion in assets under management. Read more.

• Qlik Technologies (Nasdaq: QLIK), a Radnor, Penn.-based provider of business intelligence solutions that has a current market cap of nearly $2.5 billion, has hired Morgan Stanley to begin exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, according to Reuters. The move comes after Elliott Associates recently amassed an 8.8% stake in Qlik, and said that company should be acquired by a larger rival. Read more.

• Sinochem International (SHSE: 600500) has offered to acquire Singapore-based rubber trading firm Halcyon Agri (SGX: 5VJ)for approximately $328.4 million. Read more.

• Veracyte Inc. (Nasdaq: VCYT) has secured up to $45 million in new financing, including a term loan agreement and securities purchase option, with Visium Healthcare Partners.


• Founders Fund has closed its sixth VC fund with $1.3 billion in capital commitments.

• Granite Hill Capital Partners, a San Mateo, Calif.-based VC and growth equity firm focused on India-related opportunities, is targeting upwards of $75 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing.


• Barbara Fox, former CEO of Avaxia Biologics, has joined Partners Innovation Fund as an entrepreneur-in-residence, according to her LinkedIn profile.

• Ben Gray, TPG Capital’s head of Australia and co-head of Asia, is leaving the firm at year-end. According to a local media report, he plans to launch his own Australia-focused firm. The move would leave Tim Dattels as sole Asia head, while TPG has hired Joel Thickens (formerly with Champ Private Equity) as new Australia country head.

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