A Very Special Episode
“What do you plan to do next?”
This is a question I often get during face-to-face meetings with readers, many of whom seem to view prolonged big company employment as a befuddling anachronism. And I’ve always replied, quite honestly, that I have a fantastic job, generous colleagues and give my career future zero thought. Sometimes people call about other opportunities, and I give them varying degrees of consideration. But I ultimately demur, because often there is value in knowing how good you’ve got it.
All of which is preamble to this: I’m leaving Fortune.
You might already have read about it earlier this morning, in a journalistic piece of karma. But for those who haven’t, I’m joining a nascent media startup whose co-founders include Jim VandeHei (co-founder of Politico) and Mike Allen (creator of Politico’s Playbook newsletter, which makes him one of the world’s few people who understand my daily schedule). And yes, it’s backed by a host of venture capitalists and angels, which will add some degrees of conflict difficulty that I’ll discuss at a later time in a different venue (Hi Steve Rattner – seriously, can you believe this?).
In short: I’ve decided that this is an adventure worth pursuing. More details to come except that, sufficed to say, I still love what I do and who I do it for (that’s you, dearest readers). We won’t become strangers.
My understanding is that Fortune intends to continue Term Sheet, but my last issue will be in a couple of weeks.
Now some notes:
• Today in Theranos: Let the investor lawsuits commence. There's one already filed by San Francisco-based hedgie Partner Fund Management, and yesterday I received a plaintiff lawyer's request for Theranos backers who would like to join a separate class action.
• For friends and family: Following Sunday night's presidential debate, several non-finance friends asked me to help them understand just what carried interest actually is. So I wrote it up here, without my well-worn editorial bias on the matter. Feel free to pass it along if you receive similar questions.
• Unicorn squeeze: Yesterday we reported that Tim Recker was stepping down as head of private equity and real assets at UC Regents, in order to become CIO at The James Irvine Foundation. I subsequently spoke with Tim, who made an interesting point about a tangible and troublesome byproduct of unicorn valuations on limited partners.
He explained that his new shop, a charitable foundation, contributes 5.5% of its AUM each year in grants. That's actual cash going out the door. At the same time, the system is currently more than 40% exposed to venture capital and private equity (compared to a 30% target allocation), in part due to skyrocketing unicorn valuations. So while precious few unicorns are generating liquidity for LPs, some of those LPs are still obligated to make disbursements based on the paper prices. That's a particularly high-risk scenario, even for a high-risk asset class.
• Still working: Please do not use this morning's lead item as an excuse to stop sending me tips. Instead, use it as encouragement. Here's the tipbox link.
THE BIG DEAL
• Zymergen, an Emeryville, Calif.-based biological materials engineering company that leverages both robotics and big data, has raised $130 million in Series B funding. SoftBank Group led the round, and was joined by Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures, and Tao Capital Partners and return backers Data Collective, True Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DFJ, Innovation Endeavors, Obvious Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Navya, a French developer of driverless electric and robotic vehicles, has raised €30 million in new VC funding. Keolis, Valeo and Group8 (Qatar) were joined by return backers Rebolution Capital (now part of 360 Capital Partners, CapDecisif Management and Gravitation. www.navya.tech
• Everwise, a software platform for talent development, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Canvas Ventures and Webb Investment Network. The company has offices in San Francisco and New York. www.everwise.com
• Evidation Health, a San Mateo, Calif.-based, has raised $15 million in new VC funding. B Capital Group led the round, and was joined by Pappas Ventures and return backers GE Ventures, AMV and Fresco Capital. www.evidation.com
• Cityworks, a Sandy, Utah-based provider of public asset and land management software for local governments, has raised $14.5 million in growth equity funding. Polaris Partners led the round, and was joined by Blue Cloud Ventures. www.cityworks.com
• StreetTeam, a London-based platform that helps brands build, deploy and manage decentralized ambassador programs, has raised $10 million in new VC funding from Frontline Ventures, Kindred Capital, Backed, Universal Music Group and Saatchi Invest. Read more.
• Seniorlink Inc., a Boston-based provider of in-home care solutions for seniors and those with disabilities, has raised $7.5 million in growth equity funding from NewSpring Health Capital. www.seniorlink.com
• SimpleOrder, an Israel-based supply chain management platform for restaurant kitchens, has raised $2.75 million in Series A funding. Lazarus Israel Opportunities Fund and FoodLab Capital co-led the round, and were joined by return backer Cyrus Angel Fund. www.simpleorder.com
• Infutor Data Solutions, a Plainfield, Ill.-based provider of on-demand data solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. www.infutor.com
• Tyson Foods (NYSE: TYS) has acquired a 5% stake in Beyond Meat, a California developer of plant-based food products, for an undisclosed amount. Beyond Meat had previously raised around $64 million (most recently at a $147m post), from firms like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Crop Capital, Obvious Ventures and Bill Gates. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Aris Radiology, a Hudson, Ohio-based portfolio company of Great Point Partners, has acquired US Teleradiology, an Atlanta-based provider of radiology services to hospitals and other medical facilities across 25 states. No financial terms were disclosed. www.usteleradiology.com
• Catalyst Principal Partners has acquired a control stake in Zenufa Laboratories Ltd., a Tanzania-based maker of OTC and prescription medicines or the local market. No financial terms were disclosed. www.zenufa.com
• CI Capital Partners announced a partnership with former DEKRA Insight CEO Colin Duncan, in order to form an acquisition platform focused on companies in the safety services industry. www.cicapllc.com
• Grakon LLC, a Seattle-based lighting and electronics products company owned by Industrial Growth Partners, has acquired BMAC Ltd., a UK-based maker of LED lighting and electronic control systems for the European rail, bus and tram markets. No financial terms were disclosed. www.grakon.com
• Incline Equity Partners has acquired Premium Franchise Brands, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based franchisor of light commercial and residential cleaning businesses under the Jan-Pro and Maid Rite brands. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Webster Capital. www.premiumfranchisebrands.com
• Mecaplast Group, a Monaco-based provider of plastic components for the automotive industry, has agreed to acquire Key Plastics Corp., a Livonia, Mich.-based manufacturer of automotive interior, exterior and under-the-hood plastic components. Mecaplast is backed by Equistone Partners, while Key Plastics is sponsored by Wayzata Investment Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.mecaplastcom
• Metalmark Capital and GHO Capital Partners are in talks to acquire Premier Research Group, a UK-based contract research organization, from Indigo Capital for more than $250 million, according to Private Equity News. www.premier-reaearch.com
• NuSource Financial, an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based provider of ATM services, equipment, and commercial security, has acquired Superior Safe & Security, a provider of security solutions for banks and credit unions in Wisconsin. No financial terms were disclosed. NuSource is a portfolio company of Tonka Bay Equity Partners. www.nusourcefinancial.com
• Palladium Equity Partners has made a “significant investment” in Del Real Foods, a Mira Loma, Calif.-based Hispanic refrigerated foods company. www.delrealfoods.com
• Ant Financial, the online financial services arm of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) that includes Alipay, is holding off on its much-speculated IPO until late 2017 at the earliest, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Canada Goose, an outerwear maker and retailer owned by Bain Capital, is prepping an IPO that could value the company at around $2 billion, according to the WSJ. Read more.
• Doughty Hanson has agreed to sell LM Wind Power, a Denmark-based maker of rotor blades for wind turbines, to General Electric (NYSE: GE) for $1.65 billion. Read more.
• Silver Lake is seeking buyers for Vantage Data Centers Management Co., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based data center company that could be valued north of $1 billion (including debt), according to Reuters. Read more.
• Thai Union Group PCL (BK: TU), a producer of canned tuna, has paid $575 million for a minority equity stake in restaurant chain Red Lobster, which will continue to be majority owned by Golden Gate Capital. The deal includes $230 million up-front for a 25% stake, plus $345 million in convertible preferred securities that could represent another 24% of common stock within 10 years. Read more.
• Warburg Pincus has hired J.P. Morgan to explore a sale of Source, a London-based provider of exchange-traded products, according to Bloomberg. The company could be valued at around $500 million. Read more.
• Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia has acquired a 25.63% stake in Thai-listed diaper maker DSG International for around $46.2 million. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Actis is targeting $2 billion for its fourth energy-focused private equity fund, according to Dow Jones. Read more.
• Greylock has closed its fifteenth flagship venture capital fund with $1 billion in capital commitments. Read more.
• Renovus Capital Partners has closed its second education-focused buyout and growth equity fund with $300 million in capital commitments (including SBIC leverage), according to the WSJ. www.renovuscapital.com
MOVING IN, UP AND ON
• Tom Ley has joined Seacoast Capital as a San Francisco-based principal. He previously was a managing director in the equity fund services group of Comerica. www.seacoastcapital.com
• Alex Oppenheimer has joined the Israel office of GE Ventures. He previously spent three years as an associate at NEA. www.geventures.com
• Joe Tucci, former chairman and CEO of EMC Corp., has joined Bridge Growth Partners as chairman. www.bridgegrowthpartners.com
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