For years I’ve complained about rankings of venture capitalists, most notably the Forbes Midas List. Not because I’m anti-rankings (I’m not) but, rather, because I’ve felt that they often include too many qualitative criteria, pay too little attention to deal attribution and ignored exits that are cash-small but IRR-big.
Readers have generally nodded their collective head in agreement, and then asked if I was going to try to build a better mousetrap.
The short answer is no. The longer answer is yes.
For over a year I’ve been advising what today is being launched as Sunesis, which is a Greek word for many diverse points of information joining together for new understanding. The goal is to produce rankings of venture capitalists and growth equity investors based exclusively on liquidity (i.e., no paper unicorns), in order to provide both the VC and LP communities with a better idea of who is actually driving top returns (we expect some of the results to surprise both groups).
The project head is Greg Bohlen, a longtime fund-of-funds manager who is doing this as separate from his day job as co-founding partner of Union Grove Venture Partners. The code was written by a software company called Lightspeed that engineers for HIPAA compliance (i.e., it’s secure), Crunchbase has provided database help and the University of North Carolina is aiding on data management.
Here’s how it works: We’re asking VCs (of all levels) to create free accounts at Sunes.is and input certain information about deals you have led (including exited transactions). These specific details will not be disclosed either to other Sunesis members nor to outsiders like me. It’s confidential (again, I have zero back-end access). Instead, the data will be inserted into an algorithm that ultimately will spit out a ranking, which can be cut various ways (industry, geography, stage of investment, cash return vs. multiple, etc.).
If there is conflicting information entered, the Sunesis team will reach out to other sources for clarity (including entrepreneurs). It’s also important to note that you can “share” deals with your partners (e.g., 50/50 attribution, etc.).
In exchange for entering your information, you’ll be able to access ranking data for yourself and other members of your firm. Once we collect enough data, I’ll be publishing a select group of top-level rankings.
Venture capital is one of very few investment management industries without an accurate accounting of the best professionals. I’m hoping we can change that. Please help by going to http://Sunes.is, sign up for an account and enter your information.
If you have any questions, please let me know or reach out to the Sunesis team via the website
THE BIG DEAL
• SMS Assist, a Chicago-based provider of multisite property management software, has raised $150 million in Series D funding from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. Existing shareholders include Insight Venture Partners and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. www.smsassist.com
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Moogsoft, a San Francisco-based provider of real-time IT operations analytics software, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. The deal was split over two tranches, with Northgate Capital leading the first tranche and Singapore Technologies Telemedia leading the second. Other investors include SingTel Innov8, Cisco, Redpoint Ventures, Wing Venture Capital and HCL Technologies. www.moogsoft.com
• Zimperium Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile threat management platform, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus led the round, and was joined by return backers Sierra Ventures, Telstra Ventures and Lazarus Israel Opportunities Fund. www.zimperium.com
• Cloudability, a Portland, Ore.-based tool for companies to manage cloud infrastructure spend, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by The Foundry Group. www.cloudability.com
• Helpshift, a San Francisco-based provider of mobile customer support experience solutions, has raised $23 million in Series B funding. Microsoft Ventures and Salesforce Ventures were joined by return backers Intel Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, True Ventures and Visionnaire Ventures. www.helpshift.com
• DocPlanner, a Poland-based online booking platform for healthcare appointments, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. Target Global led the round, and was joined by ENERN Investments and the ERBD. .
• Applied StemCell Inc., a Milpitas, Calif.-based gene editing company, has raised $19 million in Series D funding. HerMed Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Ping An Ventures, Vi-Ventures and BioSciKin. www.appliedstemcell.com
• Jiff Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise health benefits platform, has raised $17.7 million in new Series C funding. No new investor information was disclosed. Existing shareholders include GE Ventures, Venrock, Rosemark Capital, Aeris Capital and Aberdare Partners. www.jiff.com
• CrowdFlower, a San Francisco-based “human-in-the-loop platform for data science teams,” has raised $10 million in new VC funding from Canvas Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Microsoft. www.crowdflower.com
• Hibob, a British provider of a cloud-based HR management platform, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Read more.
• Instana Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of app performance monitoring solutions, has raised $6 million in VC funding. Target Partners led the round, and was joined by Codecentric. www.instana.com
• Bunker, a San Francisco-based provider of small business insurance software, has raised $2 million in seed funding. Comcast Ventures and Route 66 Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Hiscox and American Family Ventures. www.buildbunker.com
• Instabug, an Egyptian mobile app bug reporting startup with an office in San Francisco, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding led by Accel. Read more.
• Greycork, a Providence, R.I.-based “furniture brand for the design-conscious and affordable urban lifestyle,” has raised $1 million in seed funding led by ff Venture Capital. www.greycork.com
• Sonnen, a German maker of lithium-ion battery packs powered by solar energy, has raised “mid double-digit million-euros” in minority equity funding from GE Ventures. www.sonnenbatterie.de
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Cahill Services LLC, a Houston-based specialty rental services business focused on the energy market, has acquired Drive Rental Corp., an Alberta-based flameless heating rental business with operations in the U.S. and Canada. No financial terms were disclosed. Cahill is a portfolio company of Pine Brook Road Partners. www.cahillservices.com
• Eureka Growth Capital has acquired MedForce, a Shrewsbury, N.J.-based provider of healthcare professional interaction management services for product promotion, from Call Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. TD Bank provided leveraged financing. www.medforce.net
• Guild Mortgage, a San Diego-based portfolio company of McCarthy Capital, has agreed to acquire AmeriPro Home Loans, an Austin, Texas-based mortgage lender, from Tenura Holdings. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
• The Invus Group has agreed to acquire Ashley Stewart Inc., a Seacaucus, N.J.-based lifestyle brand for plus size women’s fashion, from Clearlake Capital Group and FirePine Group. No financial terms were disclosed. www.AshleyStewart.com
• Italmatch Chemicals, an Italian portfolio company of Ardian, has acquired Compass Chemical International LLC, a Smyrna, Ga-based maker of phosphonates and additives for water treatment and for the oil & gas market, from One Rock Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.compasschemical.com
• JD Capital has acquired a 79% equity stake in Modern Metal, a Hong Kong-based aluminum die casting manufacturer, from EQT Partners (30% stake) and the company founders for an undisclosed amount. www.hkmmr.hk
• Power Horse Energy Drinks, an Austrian energy drink maker, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Levant Capital and Vis Mundi. www.power-horse.com
• Professional Physical Therapy, a Uniondale, N.Y.-based portfolio company of Great Point Partners, has acquired Princeton Physical Therapy Group, an operator of five physical therapy clinics in New Jersey. No financial terms were disclosed. www.princetonptgroup.com
• ReliaQuest, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of customized co-managed security services, has raised $30 million in growth equity funding led by FTV Capital. www.reliaquest.com
• Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire Elemica, a Wayne, Penn.-based supply chain operating network for process industries. No financial terms were disclosed. www.elemica.com
• Waste Harmonics LLC, a Victor, N.Y.-based provider of outsourced waste management services, has acquired Consolidated Waste Management, which has offices in Columbus, Ohio and Hartford, Connecticut. No financial terms were disclosed. Waste Harmonics is a portfolio company of Prospect Partners, while independent sponsor Expedition Capital Partners also participated on the acquisition. www.wasteharmonics.com
• PSAV, a Schiller Park, Ill.-based event technology and audiovisual company, has set its IPO terms to around 16.13 million shares being offered at between $14 and $17 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $1.11 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. PSAV plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol PSAV, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. It reports a $5.8 million net loss on around $1.49 billion in revenue for 2015. Goldman Sachs and Olympus Partners acquired PSAV two years ago from Kelso & Co. www.psav.com
• E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP) has agreed to acquire podcasting streaming startup Stitcher for $4.5 million in cash from VC-backed French startup Deezer. Read more.
• Lotte Chemical Corp. of South Korea has made an unsolicited takeover bid for Axiall Corp. (NYSE: AXLL), an Atlanta-based chemicals company with a $1.64 billion market cap. Read more.
• National Amusements, the movie theater chain that serves as an umbrella for Sumner Redstone’s businesses, has altered Viacom’s (Nasdaq: VIAB) corporate bylaws to prevent the sale of film and TV production company Paramount Pictures (or any part of Paramount) without full board approval. Read more.
• Shanghai Pengxin Group, a Chinese conglomerate, is in talks to acquire mid-sized Brazilian lender Banco Insusval & Partners, according to Reuters. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Bernhard Capital Partners Management, a Louisiana-based private equity firm focused on the energy services space, has raised over $750 million in capital commitments for its debut fund. www.bernhardcapital.com
• Juggernaut Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm focused on lower middle-market consumer and business services companies, has closed its third fund with $380 million in capital commitments. www.juggernautcap.com
• Initialized Capital, a New York-based VC firm, is raising up to $100 million for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. The three general partners are Gary Tann (Y Combinator), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit) and Harjeet Taggar (Triplebyte).
• Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has closed its seventh fund with $9.6 billion in capital commitments (including a $500m GP commit). www.leonardgreen.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Kyle Gann has joined Jenner & Block as a Chicago-based partner in the law firm’s private equity and M&A practices. He previously was a corporate partner with Kirkland & Ellis. www.jenner.com
• Nikhil Patel has joined 3i Group as a New York-based associate director. He previously was a VP with Chicago Pacific Founders. The firm also has hired Michael Specht (ex-Warburg Pincus) as a Frankfurt-based associate director and Rafik Alili (ex-Lazard Freres) as a Paris-based associate. www.3i.com
• Derek Pitts has agreed to join investment bank Peter J. Solomon Co. as a managing director and head of corporate restructurings, according to Bloomberg. He previously was with Houlihan Lokey. Read more.
• Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, a former Major League Baseball player, has joined Miami-based VC firm Z9 Capital as a partner and EVP of business development. www.z9capital.com
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