Yesterday we mentioned how Kobe Bryant had formally launched a new VC firm with Jeff Stibel (vice chair of Dun & Bradstreet), with $100 million in capital committed by the pair. I subsequently spent some time on the phone with Stibel, and learned a few more details:
1. Several executives with Dun & Bradstreet– whose Credibility business Stibel helped take private in a PE-backed deal, before re-merging it with the former parent company ― also are helping to work for the new firm, but there is no formal business relationship between the two organizations. Among the dual operators are Peter Delgrosso (chief biz development officer at D&B) and Jeremy Loeb (director of product at D&B Credibility).
2. Stibel says the $100 million figure is legit (i.e., they committed the money), but was mainly picked because “otherwise it seemed too nebulous.” He adds that it’s possible the group will at some point solicit outside limited partners, but there are no current plans to do so.
3. More on yesterday’s rollout rationale: “We would have been happy not doing any announcement and keeping this quiet for another 30 years. But, with Kobe retiring it was becoming more difficult. In the early days when we were investing together, we’d tell companies that if they needed to disclose our involvement, to just pick either me or Kobe instead of both of us together… The other reason is that we got asked to do the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange [which happened yesterday] and thought it was an amazing opportunity to show off 15 or so of our portfolio company CEOs.”
4. I also asked Stibel if he was concerned about being able to attract female entrepreneurs, given the 2003 rape allegations against Bryant. His reply, as first reported in this piece by my colleague @kayelbee: “I think it is completely irrelevant and largely water under the bridge. A huge chunk of our portfolio company CEOs are women, and more than half of my senior executives [at Dun & Bradstreet] are female.”
• What goes up, must come down: Evercore has released new survey data on secondaries, showing that the $17 billion of first-half transaction volume in the first half of 2016 was down 17% from the same period in 2015. Perhaps not surprisingly, Evercore also found that secondary dry powder hit a record $70 billion in the first half, compared to $55 billion one year earlier.
Within the transaction data, private equity secondaries were off 18%, real asset secondaries were down by 30% and infrastructure secondaries climbed by 50%. In terms of the capital pool, around 80% of the current dry powder is controlled by just 19 firms. Moreover, the amount of secondaries money is expected to grow substantially this year, with around $30 billion targeted for H2 2016 raises.
• Down south: There has been a lot of political talk this month about the Clinton Foundation, but did you know that the organization has a private equity fund? Or at least that it did? Or that it still does? Again, it’s pretty confusing and the Foundation isn’t exactly being responsive to my inquiries.
The platform is called Fondo Acceso, and is focused on small and mid-sized enterprises in Colombia. It was formed in 2010 as a joint venture between the Clinton Foundation, Carlos Slim’s charitable foundation and Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra. Per tax filings, it appears that the effort only has made a few investments ― totaling around $2.6 million of Foundation money ― with a net loss as of last check. Per those same filings, the Clinton Foundation staffers working on Fondo Acceso are not personally eligible for a stake in investment profits.
Last November, the right-leaning Washington Free Beacon wrote about Fondo Acceso, saying that it was not registered to operate in Colombia. A subsequent NY Post editorial referred to Fundo Acceso as a “secret investment fund,” even though its existence was publicly recorded in both the aforementioned tax documents and press releases like this one (hopefully the NY Post editorial board will soon learn about Google).
Following those stories, however, the Fondo Acceso website disappeared. Completely. Even though its portfolio companies still appear to exist.
To be clear, the actual deals don’t seem controversial (or terribly lucrative — more focused on economic development, in keeping with The Clinton Foundation’s stated mission). Nor is it unheard of for charitable organizations to make investments in private enterprises. But, as I said, my calls and emails to the Clinton Foundation have gone unanswered. And it’s unclear if the registration issue was addressed. So either it’s just the Foundation’s media office under siege, or there is a less generous reason for its lack of communication.
• Oops: Yesterday I gave the wrong link for our anonymous tip form, even though it is my favorite of all our links. So if you want to feed me some info without your fingerprints attached, please use this: http://fortune.com/term-sheet-tips.
THE BIG DEAL
• Quanergy Systems Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of solid state LiDAR sensors and smart sensing solutions, has raised $90 million at a valuation north of $1 billion. Backers include Sensata Technologies (NYSE: ST), Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH), Samsung Ventures, Motus Ventures and GP Capital. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• LendUp, a San Francisco-based direct lender focused on non-prime borrowers, has raised $47.5 million in Series C funding. Y Combinator Continuity led the round, and was joined by return backers Google Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, QED Investors, Data Collective, Susa Ventures, Radicle Impact, Bronze Investments and SV Angel. Read more.
• Singlera Genomics, a non-invasive genetic testing company based in both Shanghai and La Jolla, Calif., has raised $20 million in Series A funding. Lilly Asia Ventures led the round, and was joined by Green Pine Capital Partners and CDBI Partners. www.singleragenomics.com
• Vyome Biosciences, a New Delhi-based developer of medicines for treating skin diseases caused by resistant microbes, has raised $14 million in Series C funding. Perceptive Advisors led the round, and was joined by Romulus Capital and return backers Kalaari Capital, Sabre Partners and Aarin Capital. www.vyome.in
• ThreatQuotient, a Reston, Va.-based provider of a threat intelligence platform, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round, and was joined by return backers Blu Venture Investors and the Center for Innovative Technology. www.threaquotient.com
• Logikcull, a San Francisco-based legal intellifence startup, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. OpenView Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backer Storm Ventures. www.logikcull.com
• MediaBrix, a New York-based provider of contextual and “emotionally-targeted” mobile brand experiences, has raised $6.5 million in new funding from Edison Partners, Revel Partners and Horizon Technology Finance. www.mediabrix.com
• Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug startup focused on treating ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Morningside Ventures led the round, and was joined by the ALS Investment Fund and Henri Tarmeer. www.amylyx.com
• Bitfinder, maker of an air quality monitor, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. Altos Ventures led the round, and was joined by Samsung Ventures. Read more.
• Journi, an Austria-based travel journal app, has raised €400,000 in seed funding from the Austrian Federal Promotional Bank. Read more.
• Cliqz, a German anti-tracking browser, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Mozilla. Read more.
• Lemonade, a New York-based P2P insurance startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from XL Innovate. www.lemonade.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Cinven has agreed to acquire Bioclinica, a Newtown, Penn.-based provider of clinical trial services and technology to contract research organizations and drug companies, from JLL Partners and Water Street Healthcare Partners for $1.4 billion. Read more.
• Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired Quick Weight Loss Centers, an owner and operator of 32 weight loss management centers in Texas and Florida. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included a minority equity investment from Skyline Global Partners.
• Syncsort, a Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based portfolio company of Clearlake Capital Group, has acquired Cogito Ltd., a UK-based mainframe software company. No financial terms were disclosed. www.syncsort.com
• Thoma Bravo has completed its previously-announced $3 billion, or $30.50 per share, take-private acquisition of Qlik Technologies Inc., a Radnor, Penn.-based provider of business intelligence software. www.thomabravo.com
• Trade Desk Inc., a Ventura, Calif.-based self-serve digital ad platform, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TTD, with Citigroup serving as left lead underwriter. The company reports $6.6 million of net income on $76 million in revenue for the first six months of 2016, compared to 5.7 million of net income on $42 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. Investors include IA Ventures (19.8% pre-IPO stake), Founder Collective (14.1%), Wellington Management (11.5%) and Highwind (7%). www.thetradedesk.com
• Abraaj Group is seeking to sell its 66% stake in listed Pakistani utility K-Electric Ltd., which currently has an overall market cap of around $2.3 billion. Shanghai Electric Power said that it has made a bid for at least some of Abraaj’s stake. Read more.
• Clearspring Capital Partners has hired BMO Capital Markets and Harris Williams to find a buyer for Medical Pharmacies Group, a Canadian provider of drug services to nursing homes, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at upwards of C$1 billion. Read more.
• FullContact, a Denver-based provider of address book management tools, has acquired Profoundis, an India-based maker of contacts intelligence software. No financial terms were disclosed. FullContact recently raised $25 million in a VC round led by Foundry Group. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• HGGC is pre-marketing its third tech-focused private equity fund with a $1.5 billion target, according to peHUB. Read more.
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Peter Baird is stepping down as head of a Standard Chartered Private Equity’s Africa-focused fund, which he joined in 2011. He will be succeeded by existing staffer Ronald Tamale. Also leaving SCPE is Yemi Osindero, who led West Africa investing, in order to launch an independent fund with fellow SCPE executive Nana Dankwa. Read more.
• Sanghoon Lee has joined TPG Capital as a partner and head of the firm’s investment activities in South Korea. He previously was a managing director and head of South Korea for Morgan Stanley Private Equity. www.tpg.com
• Ashish Shastry has agreed to join KKR as head of Southeast Asia, according to Reuters. He has been managing director of Singapore-based Northstar Group since 2012, before which he spent more than 10 years with TPG. Read more.
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