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Term Sheet — Wednesday, September 28

September 28, 2016, 2:04 PM UTC

Random Ramblings

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New firm alert: Xiaodong Jiang has launched a new China-based venture capital firm called Long Hill Capital Venture Partners, according to a regulatory filing that also says he is raising up to $125 million for a debut fund. Jiang has spent the past 11 years as a managing director with New Enterprise Associates, having opened both is Beijing and Shanghai offices.

No word yet on what this means for his relationship with NEA ― he remains listed on its website, alongside 13 active portfolio board seats ― although the Long Hill regulatory filing suggests that he remains based in the firm's Shanghai office.

Corporate venturing: ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the $13 billion cloud software company that helps other companies automate IT operations, has launched a new corporate venture capital program. It will be led by existing ServiceNow corp dev and finance executives, with the primary goal being strategic rather than financial.

“We’re primarily focusing on early-stage companies that are building businesses on the ServiceNow platform,” says Dominic Phillips, VP of finance and corp dev with ServiceNow, who points to Nuvolo as an example. The group also will make select growth-stage investments (e.g., MuleSoft), and is launching a "CreatorCon" startup challenge with $500k in investment prizes.

Brex-in: There's an interesting Q&A up in Private Equity International (sub req) with Philippe Poletti, head of Ardian's mid-market buyout group, in which he argues that Brexit aided in his recent fundraise, because of both currency fluctuations and LP interest in backing pan-European funds over UK-focused funds.

Cash in your chips: There has been a resolution to the contentious legal battle between the private equity owners of Caesar's Entertainment and its creditors. In short, the creditors won. More on this later today at the website, but here's the Reuters write-up.

Quote of the Day: “For any professional investor, this is the most difficult period we’ve ever experienced," Joe Baratta, head of global private equity at The Blackstone Group, speaking at the WSJ/PEA Conference in New York.


 Tink Labs, a Hong Kong-based mobile device for hotel rooms, has raised $125 million in new VC funding. Foxconn led the round, and was joined by Sinovation Ventures and Cai Wensheng. Read more.


 Druva, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of data protection and governance solutions for enterprise devices, has raised $51 million in Series E funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers NTT Finance, Nexus Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. Also participating were new investors EDBI, Blue Cloud Ventures and Hercules Capital. Read more.

 SentreHeart, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of technology for catheter-based, non-implant left atrial appendage closure, has raised $35 million in Series D funding. Deerfield Management Co. led the round, and was joined by return backers U.S. Venture Partners, Prospect Ventures, Vivo Capital and Decheng Capital.

 ProsperWorks, a San Francisco-based provider of CRM solutions for Google Apps, has raised $24 million in Series B funding. Next World Capital led the round, and was joined by Storm Ventures, True Ventures, Industry Ventures, Devoteam and individual angels. www.prosperworkscom

 Zenly, a French location-sharing app, has raised $22.5 million in Series B funding. Benchmark led the round, and was joined by Jerry Murdock and return backers Idinvest and Xavier Niel.

 Contrast Security, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of application security software, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst Partners led the round, and was joined by Acero Capital.

 Beckon, a San Mateo, Calif.-based omnichannel marketing intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Venrock led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers August Capital, Canaan Partners, El Dorado Ventures and The Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Aqua Security, an Israel-based startup focused on securing virtual container applications, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Microsoft Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers TLV Partners and Schlomo Kramer.

 Bitso, a Mexican Bitcoin exchange startup focused on the underbanked in Latin America, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Monex Group, Variv Capital, Xochi Ventures, Digital Currency Group, FundersClub, Bitcoin Capital and Blockchain Tech Ltd. Read more.


 Allianz is in talks about the partial or total sale of regional private bank Oldenburgische Landesbank AG, in which it owns a 90% stake, according to Reuters. Oldenburgische Landesbank has around 13 billion in assets under management, and reportedly received non-binding takeover offers from Apollo Global Management and Commerzbank. Read more.

 Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has invested US$500 million into Sedgwick, a Memphis, Tenn.-based provider of third-party claims administration. KKR remains Sedgwick's majority shareholder, while Stone Point and company management also retain equity.

 DaySmart, a Wixom, Mich.-based provider of business management software for consumer-facing SMEs, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SFW Capital Partners.

 Fastsigns International, a Dallas, Texas-based signage company owned by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire Roanoke, Va.-based Budget Signs LLC, for an undisclosed amount.

 Ratos AB has agreed to acquire Plantasjen, a Norway-based gardening supplies retailer, from Apax Partners. The deal is valued at around $356 million.

 Siris Capital has completed its previously-announced, take-private acquisition of Polycom Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of videoconferencing equipment, for approximately $2 billion in cash, or $12.50 per share.


 Nutanix, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of datacenter infrastructure solutions, has increased its proposed IPO price range from $11-$13 per share to $13-$15 per share. It still plans to offer 14 million shares, and now would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.91 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. Nutanix plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NTNX, with Goldman Sachs listed as left lead underwriter. The company 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.

 Playa Hotels & Resorts, a Dutch owner and operator of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PLYA, with BofA Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank serving as lead underwriters. The company is being spun out by Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H).


 SAP (NYSE: SAP) has acquired Altiscale, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based data management platform. No financial terms were disclosed, although various media reports suggest a sale price of around $125 million. Altiscale had raised over $40 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, EMC Ventures, Wildcat Venture Partners and Start Smart Labs.


 Sard Verbinnen & Co., a strategic and financial consultancy and PR firm, has acquired ARC Research, a New York-based provider of “research-based consulting.” No financial terms were disclosed.

 SABMiller shareholders have approved the company's $103 billion takeover by rival Anheuser-Busch InBevRead more.


 Innovatus Capital Partners is being launched as a new investment firm by Andrew Dym and David Schiff, both former partners with Perella Weinberg Partners. According to the NY Times, Innovatus will focus on “providing credit to assets and businesses that have been underserved by traditional banks.” Read more.

 West Face Capital, a Toronto-based hedge fund manager, is raising a C$1.5 billion private equity fund, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


 Cornelia Bargmann has agreed to become president of  Chan Zuckerberg Science, part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. She had been serving as a non-executive director of AstraZeneca. Read more.

 Tom Krasnewich has joined boutique investment bank BlackArch Partners as a managing director and head of diversified industrials. He previously was a managing director in the industrials group of BMO Capital Markets.

 Technology Crossover Ventures has promoted both John Doran (London) and Kapil Venkatachalam (New York) to general partner. Doran joined TCV in 2012 as a principal, and currently sits on the boards of portfolio companies Perfecto and Venkatachalam joined as an associate in 2006, and currently sits on the board of IQMS.

 Wynnchurch Capital has promoted Frank Hayes to co-managing partner. He has been a partner with the private equity firm since 2001, and currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Carson Air, Gypsum Technologies, Pro-Fab Group, Senco and Texas Hydraulics.

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