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Term Sheet — Monday, September 19

Random Ramblings

Some very quick notes to kick off your Monday…

• Delayed gratification: This is the week of truth for IPOs, with nine scheduled to price and several other September issuers setting terms. Among the latter is Nutanix, which this morning fleshed out its S-1 by estimating an initial market cap of $1.64 billion (at the middle of its listed pricing range).

That’s below the $2 billion post-money valuation Nutanix received in a 2014 Series E round, although none of the major shareholders appear to be selling into the offering (i.e., will hope for a pop and wait for the lock-up period to expire).

• Update: We had previously reported that early-stage venture firm Foundry Group was raising a new fund that would make both later-stage direct investments (a continuation of an existing strategy) and also invest in third-party VC funds (a new effort, led by ex-UTIMCO investor Lindel Eakman). Today comes word that fundraising has closed at the Colorado-based firm’s $500 million target.

It’s also worth noting that Foundry’s website now lists those LP commitments alongside its more traditional investments, showing that it has backed such fellow VCs as Union Square Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and True Ventures.

• Honestly: Word is that Goldman Sachs is managing The Honest Company’s sale process. And, yes, it is a real sale process ― even though talks with Unilever have been ongoing for some time).

• That was quick: Following publication of Friday’s piece on “Asenqua Ventures,” a few things happened. First, the Asenqua Ventures website disappeared. Second, emails to Asenqua Ventures accounts ― including the one with which I had communicated ― bounced back as undeliverable.

Finally, several of you pointed me to recent press releases, LinkedIn profiles and other information from a similarly-suspicious firm named Sienna Ventures. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because there really was a Sienna Ventures years ago (led by ex-Apple CEO Gil Amelio), but this new version also vanished after the Asenqua piece went live. It also appears that PRNewswire has pulled the “Sienna Ventures” press releases off its site.

• New firm alert: Eva Ho is moving on from Susa Ventures, the seed-stage shop she co-founded back in 2013 (all amicable, I’m told). Her next stop is a new Los Angeles-based firm being called Fika Ventures, with Ho serving as co-founder alongside TX Zhuo, who has been leading ed tech-focused Karlin Ventures. No word yet on strategy, although a regulatory filing shows that Fika is targeting $38.5 million for its debut fund.


• Vista Equity Partners has agreed to acquire Infoblox (NYSE: BLOX), a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of network management and security software, as first reported by Fortune. The deal is valued at around $1.6 billion, or $26.50 per share (16% premium to Friday’s closing price). Earlier reports suggested that Thoma Bravo had submitted an offer. Read more.


• Thalmic Labs, a Canadian developer of a gesture-controlled armband, has raised US$120 million in Series B funding. Backers include the Amazon Alexa Fund, Intel Capital and Fidelity Investments Canada. Read more.

• TenNor Therapeutics, a Chinese biotech startup focused on infectious diseases, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Northern Light Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by Frontline BioVentures, WuXi PharmaTech Healthcare Fund I, Oriza Venture Capital and Relativity Healthcare Fund.

• White Ops, a New York-based provider of invalid traffic detection and prevention services for the digital ad market, has raised $20 million in Series B funding co-led by return backers Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures.

• OMsignal, a Montreal-based maker of smart sports bras, has raised US$10 million in new VC funding. Relay Ventures led the round, and was joined by MAS Holdings, Bessemer Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Real Ventures, Mistral Ventures, Primera Capital, Investissement Québec and Export Development Canada. Read more.

• Doxly, an Indianapolis-based provider of legal transaction management software, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding from Nextlaw Labs, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and High Alpha Capital.

• LumaTax, a Seattle-based provider of sales tax automation solutions for small businesses, has raised $2 million in new VC funding from Madrona Venture Group, Greycroft Partners and individual angels.

• DueCourse, a UK-based provider of invoice financing solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, has raised £1.25 million in new equity funding from firms like Global Founders Capital. The company also secured £5 million in new debt. Read more.


• Apollo Global Management is considering a higher bid for listed Danish telecom company TDC after its initial offer was rejected in July, according to Bloomberg. TDC has a current market value of around $4.5 billion. Read more.

• The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has agreed to acquire Ascot Underwriting Holdings Ltd., a Lloyd’s of London insurer affiliated with American International Group (NYSE: AIG), in a $1.1 billion recapitalization through which AIG will receive $240 million in cash. Read more.

• EQT Partners has agreed to acquire XP Solutions, an Australian professional infrastructure and environmental services company. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Madison Dearborn Partners has agreed to acquire Powerflute (LSE AIM: POWR), a Finland-based paper and packaging company, for approximately $354 million. Madison Dearborn previously had tried to buy the company last year, but was rebuffed. Read more.

• Permira has agreed to acquire Personal & Informatik AG, a German payroll company currently owned by HgCapital. No financial terms were disclosed, although an earlier Bloomberg report suggested that the deal could be valued north of $900 million.

• Pharos Capital Group has acquired a control stake in TechLab Inc., a Blacksburg, Va-based maker of non-invasive diagnostic tests for gastrointestinal disease, from Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR) and TechLab co-founders Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly. No financial terms were disclosed.

• QIC Private Capital is leading an investor consortium that has agreed to acquire Port of Melbourne, Australia’s largest cargo terminal, for around A$9.7 billion. Other members of the buying group include Future Fund, Global Infrastructure Partners, Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Read more.

• Radixx International Inc., an Orlando-based provider of travel distribution and passenger service system software for airlines, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from TA Associates.

• Soundcore Capital Partners has acquired PumpMan Inc., a Baldwin Court, Calif.-based provider of pump system maintenance, repair and new system installation. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Thomas H. Lee Partners is among the second-round bidders for Learfield Communications, a Jefferson City, Mo.-based company that helps college athletic departments negotiate sponsorship and licensing deals, according to Bloomberg. Temasek and Creative Artists Agency (owned by TPG) also remain in the process, which could garner upwards of $1.2 billion. Moelis & Co. is managing the process, while Providence Equity Partners is the seller. .


• Nine companies are expected to price IPOs on U.S. exchanges this week, including Valvoline, e.l.f. Beauty, Apptio and AC Immune. Read more.

• Nutanix, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of datacenter infrastructure solutions, has set its IPO terms to 14 million shares being offered at between $11 and $13 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.64 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NTNX, with Goldman Sachs listed as left lead underwriter. Nutanix reports a $168.5 million net loss on $445 million in revenue for the year ending July 31, 2016. That compares to an $126 million net loss on $241 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. Nutanix has raised over $300 million in VC funding and most recently was valued at around $2 billion. Shareholders include Lightspeed Venture Partners (23% pre-IPO stake), Khosla Ventures (10.9%), Fidelity (6.1%), Blumberg Capital (5.7%), Riverwood Capital Partners (5.1%), Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, Greenspring Associates, SAP Ventures and Battery Ventures. In related news, Nutanix disclosed that its recent purchase of Pernix Data included $21 million in stock.

• Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Co., a Riviera Beach, Fla.-based developer of lipid drug delivery technology, has withdrawn registration for an $86.25 million IPO. UBS had been listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders include Signet Healthcare Partners (12.2% stake) and Wellington Management (12.2%).

• Smart Sand Inc., a Texas-based frac sand producer owned by Clearlake Capital, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SND, with Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs serving as co-lead underwriters. The company reports a $2.2 million net loss on $19 million in revenue for the first half of 2016.


• Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) has agreed to acquire Palerra, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based cloud security automation company. No financial terms were disclosed. Palerra had raised around $25 million in VC funding from August Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital and Engineering Capital. Read more.


• Airbnb has acquired Trip4real, a Spain-based online tourist experience marketplace. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.

• Safran SA (Paris: SAF) is expected to receive multiple bids in the €2 billion range for biometric security unit Morpho, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


• Acorn Growth Co. is raising up to $100 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing.

• Align Capital Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm with offices in Cleveland and Dallas, has closed its debut fund with $325 million in capital commitments.


• Sabeen Firozali has joined Comerica Bank as a New York-based VP of tech and life sciences. She previously was an associate director with ORIX Ventures.

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