No column this morning, due to an unexpected Windows update and subsequent glitch that rendered my laptop unusable for a couple hours (thankfully, I figured out a workaround by 8:30 so I could get the blurbs done). And, yes, "Why are you using Windows?" is an entirely valid question to ask. My only reply is a sheepish shrug.
Your regularly-scheduled ramblings will return tomorrow. Apologies..
THE BIG DEAL
• Spotify is in talks to acquire Berlin-based digital music company SoundCloud, according to the FT. This would be the third SoundCloud takeover attempt for Spotify, which reportedly failed on two prior efforts. SoundCloud has raised approximately $220 million in VC funding, including a recent infusion from Twitter at around a $700 million post-money valuation. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Higher Logic, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of cloud-based community platforms, has raised $55 million in new growth equity funding from JMI Equity. www.higherlogic.com
• Shape Security, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of security technology for web and mobile applications, has raised $40 million in Series D funding. Backers include EDBI, Baseline Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, NVP, Venrock, Google Ventures, Eric Schmidt and Northern Light Ventures. www.shapesecurity.com
• Viva Republica, a South Korean maker of a mobile payment app and associated financial services, has raised $23.7 million in Series B funding. Goodwater Capital and Qualcomm Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by return backers Altos Ventures and KTB Network. www.toss.im
• Kyriba Corp., a New York-based provider of cloud treasury management solutions, has raised $23 million in Series D funding. Bpifrance led the round, and was joined by return backers HSBC and Daher Capital. www.kyriba.com
• ReadCoor Inc., a Boston-based developer of a panomic spatial sequencing platform, has raised $23 million in Series A funding. Decheng Capital led the round, and was joined by Lilly Asia Ventures, Vivo Capital and Hansjörg Wyss. The round helps the startup spin out from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. www.readcoor.com
• Kustomer, a New York-based customer relationship platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Boldstar Ventures and Social Leverage. www.kustomer.com
• OpenSesame, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of on-demand elearning courses for the enterprise, has raised $9 million in a Series B funding. Altos Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backer Partech Ventures. www.opensesame.com
• Folloze, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of an account-based marketing sales platform, has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. Canvas Ventures and NEA co-led the round, and were joined by Cervin Ventures. www.folloze.com
• Lydia, a French mobile payment app for friends (i.e., Venmo for France), has raised €7 million in new VC funding from New Alpha AM and Oddo & Cie. Read more.
• BigchainDB, a Berlin-based blockchain database provider for developers and businesses, has raised €3 million in Series A funding. Backers include Earlybird Venture Capital, Anthemis Group, Digital Currency Group and Innogy SE. www.bigchaindb.com
• Karamba Security, an Israel-based developer of cybersecurity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Fontinalis Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers GlenRock and YL Ventures. www.karambasecurity.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Platinum Equity have been short-listed in the auction for Moly-Cop, the grinding media unit of Australian mining company Arrium, according to The Australian. The deal could be valued at more than A$1.5 billion. Read more.
• BC Partners is in pole position to acquire Italian supermarket chain Esselunga, according to Reuters. The deal could be worth upwards of €6 billion, while Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners also submitted bids. Read more.
• Double E Company, a West Bridgewater, Mass.-based portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, has acquired Appleton, a Neenah, Wis.-based provider of core cutters and related core processing and handling solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.ee-co.com
• Falfurrias Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Marquis Software Solutions Inc., a Plano, Texas-based provider of marketing and compliance software for mid-tier banks and credit unions. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more. www.gomarquis.com
• Marlin Equity Partners acquired QualiTest, an Israel-based provider of software testing and business assurance solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.qualitestgroup.com
• Roark Capital Group has acquired Great Expressions Dental Centers, as Southfield, Mich.-based dental care chain, from OMERS Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed. www.greatexpressions.com
• Tech Air, a Danbury, Conn.-based distributor of gases and related welding supplies, has acquired Liquid Tech (Apopka,. Fla.) and has agreed to acquire the local distribution assets of JW Goodliffe & Son Inc. (Linden, N.J.). No financial terms were disclosed for either deal. Tech Air is a portfolio company of CI Capital Partners. www.techair.com
• Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire T2 Systems Inc., an Indianapolis-based provider of parking management technology, from Pamlico Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.t2systems.com
• Thoma Bravo has completed itsd previously-announced purchase of Trader Corp., a Canadian provider of auto dealer advertising solutions, from Apax Partners for approximately C$1.575 billion (including debt).
• Bridgepoint is planning to float Medipole, a French private hospitals group, by year-end on the Euronext at a potential valuation of €1.5 billion, according to Reuters. Banks working on the deal reportedly include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale. Read more.
• Fulgent Genetics Inc., a Temple City, Calif.-based provider of genetic testing services, raised $38 million in its IPO. The company priced 4.2 million shares at $9 per share, compared to plans to offer 4.6 million shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol FLGT, while Credit Suisse and Piper Jaffray served as lead underwriters. The company reports a $5 million net loss on $7.4 million in revenue for the first six months of 2016. www.fulgentgenetics.com
• Tabula Rasa HealthCare Inc., a Moorestown, N.J.-based provider of patient-specific medication management technology, raised $52 million in its IPO. The company priced 4.3 million shares at $12 per share (below $13-$15 range), for an initial market cap of around $186 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TRHC, while Wells Fargo and UBS served as lead underwriters. Tabula Rasa reports a $77,000 net loss on $42.6 million in revenue for the first half of 2016. Shareholders include Originate Ventures (18% pre-IPO stake), Radius Ventures (11.5%) and Emerald Stage2 Ventures (6.2%). www.tabularasahealtcare.com
• TI Fluid Systems, a UK-based brake fluid and fuel line maker owned by Bain Capital, plans to raise around €600 million via an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Read more.
• D'Ieteren, a Belgian luxury car importer, has agreed to acquire Italian notebook maker Moleskine (BIT: MSK) for around $572 million. The deal includes an initial purchase of a 41% stake from Moleskine shareholders Syntegra Capital and Index Ventures, and then a mandatory offer for the remaining shares (at a 12% premium). Read more.
• Napier Park Financial Partners has agreed to sell Jefferson National, a Louisville, Ky.-based distributor of tax-advantaged investing solutions, to Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Cengage, a Boston-based education technology company, has acquired WebAssign, a Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of digital learning solutions for higher education. No financial terms were disclosed. www.webassign.net
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Amino Capital (f.k.a. zPark Ventures) has closed its second early-stage VC fund with $50 million in capital commitments. The firm also has added former Google executive Huican Zhu as a general partner. www.aminocapital.com
• KKR is planning to raise between $650 million and $800 million for its first dedicated healthcare fund, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Mayfair Equity Partners, a UK-based buyout and growth equity firm focused on the tech and consumer sectors, has closed its debut fund with £400 million in capital commitments. Triago served as placement agent. www.mayfairequity.com
• Owl Ventures, a San Francisco-based early-stage VC firm, is raising upwards of $175 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing. www.owlvc.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Monica Arora has joined Proskauer as a New York-based partner in the law firm’s private investment funds group. She previously was with White & Case. www.proskauer.com
• Carlton Byrd has joined Actis as a New York-based director of fundraising and investor relations. He previously was a managing director with Commonfund. www.act.is
• Brad Eden has joined Dallas-based Highland Capital Management as global head of marketing and investor relations. He previously was with Fund Evaluation Group. www.highlandcapital.com
• Erica Frontiero has joined The Carlyle Group as a managing director and head of capital markets for private credit. She previously was with Antares Capital. www.carlyle.com
• Robert Tribuiani has joined valuation firm Murray Devine as a managing director and head of business development. He previously spent 10 years at SolomonEdwards. www.murraydevine.com
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