Skip to Content

Term Sheet — Tuesday, June 28

Random Ramblings

Some very quick notes to kick off your Tuesday:

• What, me worry? Yesterday I was preparing to do a Q2 IPO wrap-up post. Sure there were still a few days left in June, but what company would possibly price into this post-Brexit volatility? But then I actually looked at the IPO calendar, and noticed that it actually contains some brave (or perhaps masochistic) issuers.

Most of them are companies that had originally hoped to price last week (e.g., Gemphire Therapeutics and Tactile Systems), but there also is a new hopeful: Syros Therapeutics, a developer of gene control therapies for cancer that has raised over $120 million in VC funding. Its lead underwriters are Cowen & Co. and Piper Jaffray. Maybe they’re betting on the bounce…

Also worth noting that, even if Syros does manage to price, this will be the slowest Q2 for IPOs on U.S. exchanges since 2012.

• Surge sale? Ride-hailing company Lyft has hired boutique investment bank Qatalyst Partners, according to the WSJ, but it remains unclear if the retention is to find a buyer or just new investors. Per the story, those contacted by Qatalyst include large automakers (Lyft already has a strategic investment from GM). Would be sort of interesting if Lyft investors get distributions before Uber investors…

• Help Wanted: Steven Trieu has stepped down as VP of finance at Quora, the question-and-answer site that he joined in late 2011 from Facebook.

Quora doesn’t have a chief financial officer, so Trieu was the person tasked with overseeing private financings for the company―including an $80 million Series C round in 2014 at a $900 million post-money valuation―and creating a long-term option exercise program that served as the model for similar programs at companies like Pinterest.

Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo tells Fortune that the company “appreciates Steve’s contributions over the last five years and we’re starting a CFO search.” Per a Facebook post, Trieu doesn’t have any immediate future plans.

• Ballpark: Looking forward to softball today at Fenway Park with a group of Term Sheet readers who raised $20,000 for ABCD SummerWorks, a great summer jobs program for low-income Boston teens. You’re all invited to come out and watch. First pitch is at 2:10pm (weather-dependent).

• Coming attractions: Fortune Brainstorm Tech kicks off in less than two weeks, and we’re pleased to announce some exciting new additions to the speaker line-up:

Thomas Tull and Mary Parent of Legendary Entertainment; Haley Van Dyck, co-founder of the U.S. Digital Service; A special “lessons learned” tribute to Bill Campbell, with John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins), Shellye Archambeau (MetricStream CEO) and Brad Smith (Intuit CEO); OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles; HP CTO Shane Wall and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. Get the full agenda overview by going here.


• Pavilion Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire Altius Associates, a private markets advisory and separate account management firm with offices in the U.S., U.K. and Singapore. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which would merge Altius with existing Pavilion subsidiary LP Capital Advisors.

The combined business will be renamed Pavilion Alternatives Group, and have over $60 billion in alternative assets under management.


• Anki, a maker of robotic race-cars and other toy robots, has raised $52.5 million in new VC funding. J.P. Morgan led the round, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Two Sigma. Read more.

• Modern Meadow, a New York-based producer of animal-free leather made from living cells, has raised $40 million in Series B funding. Horizons Ventures and Iconiq Capital co-led the round, and were joined by ARTIS Ventures, Temasek, Breakout Ventures, RedSwan Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Tony Fadell.

• Movile, a Latin American mobile commerce platform, has raised $40 million in Series F funding. Naspers Ventures led the round, and was joined by Innova Capital.

• PredictSpring Inc., a Los Altos, Calif.-based mobile commerce platform for brands and retailers, has raised $11.4 million in Series A funding. Felicis Ventures led the round, and was joined by Benvolio Group and return backers Beanstalk Ventures and Novel TMT Ventures.

• SpringCM, a Chicago-based sales contract management solution for Salesforce customers, has raised $17.5 million in new VC funding. Panorama Partners and Wellington Financial were joined by return backers Foundation Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Bluestem Capital and Square 1 Financial.

• Intensity Therapeutics Inc., a Westport, Conn.-based developer of cancer immunotherapy products, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Batterson Venture Capital, VCapital, FastForward Innovations, SalvaRx Group PLC and individual angels.

• Vemba, a Toronto-based video distribution and content discovery platform, has raised C$5 million in Series A funding. Upfront Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments co-led the round, and were joined by the Enterprise Fund and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

•, a New York-based verified candidate network for the hourly and on-demand workforce, has raised $3.3 million in seed funding. Tokalon Ventures led the round, and was joined by ARC Angel Fund, Fund and Gambit Ventures.


• Accedo, a Stockholm-based “video experience transformation” company, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from SEB Private Equity.

• Endo International PLC (Nasdaq: ENDP) has held talks with private equity firms about asset sales that could help lighten its $8 billion-plus debt load, according to Reuters. Read more.

• Hirepool Group, a New Zealand-based equipment rental company, reportedly has hired Greenstone Partners and PwC New Zealand to explore sale opportunities. Interested suitors include Anchorage Capital, Crescent Capital, Allegro and Platinum Private Equity. Hirepool is minority-owned by Next Capital. Read more.

• Imagine Print Solutions, a Minneapolis-based portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire Midnight Oil Agency, a Burbank, Calif.-based marketing agency. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Investcorp has agreed to acquire Coresec Systems AB, a Sweden-based cybersecurity company. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) has agreed to sell a 50% stake in its Ohio-based Utopia Pipeline Project to Riverstone Holdings for an undisclosed amount of cash. Riverstone also will fund its share of future capital expenditures to complete the project, which is expected to cost a total of $500 million.

• Onex Corp. has agreed to acquire a majority stake in WireeCo WorldGroup, a Prairie Village, Kansas-based maker of wire rope, from Paine & Partners via a recapitalization that will result in Paine retaining a minority holding. Onex said that it will invest $260 million as part of the deal.

• Nexus Brands Group, a family of brands and businesses serving the tattoo, pet grooming and spa/salon markets, has acquired Kingpin Tattoo Supply, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based designer and maker of tattoo supplies. No financial terms were disclosed. Nexus is a portfolio company of Bunker Hill Capital.

• Roark Capital Group has acquired a minority equity stake in Drybar, a Los Angeles-based chain of hair salons specializing in blowouts. No financial terms were disclosed. Existing Drybar shareholders include Castanea Partners and SPK Capital.

• Spotless (ASX: SPO) is expected to receive multiple bids for its laundry unit, which could be valued at more than A$400 million, according to The Australian. Likely suitors include Affinity Equity Partners, Quadrant Private Equity, Archer Capital and Champ Private Equity.

• TorcSill Foundations LLC, a Pasadena, Texas-based maker of helical pier foundation systems, has acquired AnchorPipe International Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of onshore and offshore pipeline anchoring solutions to the oil and gas industry. No financial terms were disclosed. TorcSill is a portfolio company of Intervale Capital.


• There is no IPO news this morning.


• Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) has agreed to acquire CloudLock Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based cloud security company. The deal is valued at $293 million in cash (and assumed equity awards, plus retention-based incentives). CloudLock had raised around $35 million in VC funding, most recently in late 2014 at a $118 million post-money valuation. Backers include Ascent Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Cedar Fund. Read more.


• Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) has agreed to acquire HeartWare International Inc. (Nasdaq: HTWR), a -based provider of miniaturized circulatory support technologies for the treatment of advanced heart failure. The deal is valued at around $1.1 billion in cash, or $58 per share (93% premium to Friday’s closing price). Read more.


• Apax Partners has held a $7.9 billion first close on its ninth global buyout fund, according to Bloomberg. The fund has a hard cap of $9 billion. Read more.

• Invision Capital, a Chicago-based lower middle-market private equity firm, is raising up to $50 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured nearly $30 million.

• Lightspeed China Partners said that it has closed its third fund with $260 million in capital commitments. Read more.

• Partech Ventures, a Paris-based VC firm, has closed a new growth equity fund with EUR 400 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include Bpifrance, CNP Assurances, AG2R La Mondiale, Carrefour, Ingenico Group and Renault. Read more.

• Siemens AG said that it plans to invest $1.1 billion over the next 5 years in a new strategics startups unit that will be available to employees, external startups and established companies. Read more.


• John Campbell, who retired as a U.S. Army General last month after a 37-year military career, has joined the operating executive board of private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Co.

• Bernhard Gold has joined Paris-based VC firm Iris Capital as a partner and managing director of North American operations. He previously was a managing director of T-Venture of America.

• Nitin Sahney, former president and CEO of Omnicare (now owned by CVS), has joined Clayton, Dubilier & Rice as an operating advisor.

• Yellow Wood Partners has promoted Kevin McCafferty to principal. He joined the firm in 2014, after having served as COO of Superior Cake Products.

• Dow Chemical Co. said that it would lay off around 2,500 employees, as part of its deal to assume full control of Dow Corning. Read more.

Share today’s Term Sheet: