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Term Sheet — Friday, May 7

Random Ramblings

Some notes to kick off your Friday:

• Grounded: BlackJet, an on-demand private jet service founded by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, has ceased operations. You might recall that the Florida-based company was launched in 2012 with the backing of VC firms (First Round Capital, CrunchFund, etc.), tech executives (Marc Benioff, Matt Mullenweg, etc.) and celebrities (Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, Will Smith, etc.). But then it ran into some major hiccups — including a short service suspension — and reemerged after a financial and strategic reorg that meant folks like Camp were no longer involved (nor investors).

CEO Dean Rotchin said the company basically ran into a capital crunch, but not did respond to a question about whether or not members will receive pro rata refunds of their pricey annual subscriptions.

• Personnel note: Philip Borden has joined Galen Partners, a healthcare-focused growth equity firm, as a managing partner (alongside David Jahns and Zubeen Shroff). He previously spent a decade with Riverside Partners, where he was a managing director. In an email sent to friends and colleagues yesterday, Borden wrote: “I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have helped build Riverside over the last decade, and I will continue to serve on the boards of several Riverside portfolio companies.”

• Biotech boom: Intarcia, the diabetes biotech “unicorn” that was most recently valued at $5.5 billion, will make two major announcements this morning. The first is that it has completed Phase 3 clinical trials, and will submit an FDA approval application for its lead candidate in Q3. The second is that it has secured a $75 million credit facility from MidCap Financial and Silicon Valley Bank, in order to ramp up manufacturing (i.e., build inventory for a prospective late 2017 commercial launch).

The real question, therefore, is when Intarcia will go public. After all, most biotech startups would have done so by now (or been acquired). Read more on that by going here.

• Deal and debt data: Thomson Reuters reports that global M&A activity is down 20% year-to-date from 2015, at a current clip of $974.4 billion. Global tech M&A, on the other hand, is up 19% to $130.6 billion. Global private equity deal volume is down 46%, and it’s off a whopping 60% for U.S. targets.

High-yield corporate debt issuance remains down 50% globally and 53% for the U.S., but Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris yesterday said: “The financing markets are back — they’re back in all their glory… The good times are rolling again, at least for this month.”

• I think it’s posturing. Probably: Interesting tweet yesterday from Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham: “Met a fairly big startup whose lawyers have already started making contingency plans to move stuff out of the US if Trump becomes president.” In a follow-up, he added: “I think they’re mostly worried about the US being so damaged it would no longer be the best home for the company.” Maybe the company is being advised by Niall Ferguson

• Feedback: As you might imagine, my inbox has more than a few emails related to the Xfund situation. We’ll get to those next week.

• Correction: Venture firm Lux Capital is not rebranding. I read the statement wrong. Major apologies.

• Where in the World: In two weeks I’ll be in Carlsbad, Calif. for Fortune Brainstorm E, our invite-only conference focused on energy and sustainability.

My on-stage responsibilities will include 1:1 interviews with Dan Doctoroff (CEO of Sidewalk Labs), Afsaneh Beschloss (CEO of Rock Creek Group), plus judging a startup competition and moderating a cleantech investing panel that will include Chris Buddin (Goldman Sachs), David Danielson (U.S. Dept of Energy), Peter Davidson (Aligned Intermediary), Bob Perciasepe (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) and Theodore Roosevelt IV (Barclays).

We’ll be live-streaming, and you can view the entire agenda by going here. And, yes, I’ll be writing Term Sheet each morning at an ungodly hour.

• Have a great weekend!


• Hellman & Friedman announced an agreement to acquire MultiPlan, a New York-based healthcare services provider, from Starr Investment Holdings and Partners Group (each of which will retain minority equity stakes). No financial terms were disclosed, but earlier media reports suggested a price-tag of around $7.5 billion (including assumed debt).


• 360fly Inc., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based maker of a single-lens camera that captures 360-degree video, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. L Catterton led the round, and was joined by Hydra Ventures (corporate VC arm of Adidas) and return backer Qualcomm Ventures. Read more.

• Drawbridge, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of anonymized digital identity solutions, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Northgate Capital. Read more.

• ACT Genomics, a Taipei-based provider of cancer molecular information solutions, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding. Hotung Group and CDIB Capital Management co-led the round, and were joined by return backers Eminent II VC, Hua Nan Venture Capital, President International Development and UMC Capital.

• Omni, a San Francisco-based on-demand storage startup, has raised $7 million in Series A funding, according to Fortune. Highland Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by Bolt Capital, Formation 8 and individual angels like Drake and Scooter Braun. The company previously raised $3 million in seed funding. Read more.

• Blueberry Therapeutics, a UK-based developer of topical fungal infection therapies, has raised £3 million in new VC funding. GM&C Life Sciences Fund (managed by Catapult Ventures) led the round, and was joined by InClin Investments. Read more.

• Humanyze, a Boston-based developer of a “people analytics platform” for corporations, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Romulus Capital. Read more.


• Bartec, a troubled German maker of oil and gas safety tools, is preparing to name a financial restructuring advisor, according to Reuters. The contenders reportedly are Houlihan Lokey, Deloitte and Macquarie. Current Bartec owner Charterhouse Capital Partners also is expected to submit a revised refinancing plan by the end of business today. Read more.

• CI Capital Partners has acquired a majority equity stake in Impact Sales, a Boise, Idaho-based sales and marketing agency focused on the consumer packaged goods space. Concurrent with the deal, Impact Sales acquired New Connections Marketing Group, a Burbank, Calif.-based sales and marketing agency focused on the natural and specialty channel. No financial terms were disclosed for either transaction.

• Narrow Gauge Capital has acquired a majority equity stake in SEI Group, an Atlanta-based installer of fiberglass insulation and other residential building products. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Pyramid Healthcare Inc., a Cleasrwater, Fla.-based portfolio company of Clearview Capital, has acquired two providers of outpatient substance abuse treatment services in Pennsylvaia: Mazzitti & Sullivan and Quest Services. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Wasserstein & Co. has acquired Moss Inc., an Elk Grove, Ill.-based provider of 3D fabric structures and customized environmental branding solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Greycliff Partners and Century Park Capital Partners.


• Intellia Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based gene-editing company focused on the development of medicines using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, raised $108 million in its IPO. The company priced 6 million shares at $18 per share, compared to earlier plans to offer 5 million shares at $16-$18 per share. The pre-revenue company has an initial market cap of around $617 million, and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NTLA. Credit Suisse, Jefferies and Leerink Partners served as lead underwriters. Intellia had raised in VC funding, from firms like Novartis (20.3% pre-IPO stake), Atlas Venture (17%), OrbiMed Advisors (9.3%), Fidelity (7.1%), Janus Capital Management, Foresite Capital, Sectoral Asset Management and EcoR1 Capital.


• Aemetis Inc. (Nasdaq: AMTX) has agreed to acquire Edeniq, a Visalia, Calif.-based company that has developed a process for converting cellulosic biomass to industrial sugars, for nearly $23 million in cash and stock (including an earn-out). Edeniq had raised around $100 million in VC funding since 2008, from firms like Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, DFJ, Angeleno Group, The Westly Group and I2BF Global Ventures. It also reports $6 million in 2015 EBITDA on around $20 million in revenue.

• Airtime, Sean Parker’s live mobile video chat platform, has acquired vLine, a provider of video chat infrastructure to SaaS companies. No financial terms were disclosed. vLine had raised $1.5 million from Harrison Metal and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Read more.


• eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) has agreed to acquire Expertmaker, a San Francisco-based provider of AI and big data-powered e-commerce and marketing solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.

• Glencore (LSE: GLEN), a UK-based mining and commodity trading company, is in talks to sell another 9.9% stake in its agricultural unit, to buyers who were not part of its sale of a 40% stake sale to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to Reuters. Read more.

• HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate, is in talks to acquire a control stake in Singapore-listed logistics company CWT Ltd. for around $1 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

• Superior Uniform Group (Nasdaq: SGC) has acquired BAMKO Inc., a Los Angeles-based merchandise sourcing and promotional products company, for around $27 million.


• GP Investments, a Brazil-listed private equity firm, has acquired control of Switzerland-listed Spice Private Equity for approximately $51 million. Read more.

• Industrial Growth Partners has closed its fifth fund with $800 million in capital commitments.

• VenBio Partners has closed its second life sciences VC fund with $315 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include Amgen, Merck and Baxalta.


• Venky Ganesan, a managing director with Menlo Ventures, has been named chair of the National Venture Capital Association board of directors. He succeeds Jon Callaghan of True Ventures.

• Gridiron Capital, a Connecticut-based mid-market private equity firm, has promoted both Chris King and Doug Rosenstein to vice president.

• Francesca Domenech Wuttke has joined Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, the VC arm of Merck & Co., as a Barcelona-based managing director and head of venture investments in Europe. She previously led corporate development for Almiral SA.

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