Some very quick notes, as there was an unexpectedly large amount of deal news this morning…
• One Paupers Lane: Back in June, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that it was acquiring One Kings Lane, a home decor and furnishing e-commerce company that once had been valued north of $800 million by top-name venture capital firms (Greylock, Kleiner Perkins, IVP, Tiger Global, etc.). No purchase price was disclosed, but clearly it was at a deeper discount than Bed Bath’s famed 20% off coupons, since it was deemed “not material.” Moreover, Recode reported that the price might be lower than $30 million.
The trouble with public companies not disclosing acquisition prices, particularly when they only make one acquisition in a fiscal quarter, is that the number is going to come out eventually via financial disclosures. That’s why we now know that Bed Bath paid a paltry $11.78 million for One Kings Lane, which easily makes this one of the biggest VC-backed busts in recent memory — with over $200 million invested.
• Speaking of undisclosed prices: Poultry company Tyson Foods yesterday announced that it had acquired a 5% stake in Beyond Meat, a VC-backed maker of plant-based foods, for an undisclosed amount.
A source familiar with the deal says that Tyson invested at around a $250 million valuation, and that several existing investors also participated in what was actually a broader round (shareholder Kleiner Perkins, however, did not come back).
• Wait & see: Sheryl Sandberg said at an Internet Association conference yesterday that she’s committed to staying at Facebook, meaning that she would not be heading to Washington DC to lead Treasury for a possible Clinton Administration. I have no doubt she believes what she says, but I also know that it is very hard to turn down a presidential request of that type, if for no reason other than patriotism. In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is more a signal to Hillary Clinton, asking her not to ask, than it is an indication that she’d actually turn it down. Either way, of course, this makes current Fed governor Lael Brainard an even more likely selection.
• Personnel scoop: Rob Jevon has quietly stepped down as a partner with Boston Millennia Partners, where he had been since the firm’s founding in 1997. No word yet on his future plans. In unrelated news, Jiten Sanghai has joined Strategic Value Partners as a director, after having spent the past nine years with JLL Partners.
• Just to be clear: I’m not retiring, abandoning journalism or leaving this beat behind. It’s about evolution and new adventure.
THE BIG DEAL
• Baidu Group (Nasdaq: BIDU) said that it will launch a $3 billion investment arm focused on mid to late-stage Internet companies. It will be called Baidu Capital. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• DTI Management, an Alexandria, Va.-based provider of live event ticket inventory to online marketplaces, has raised $75 million in new growth equity funding from CVC Capital Partners and New Amsterdam Growth Capital. www.dtimanagement.com
• Relievant Medsystems Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based medical device startup focused on nerve ablation within vertebral bodies for the treatment of chronic low back pain, has raised $36 million in new VC funding. NEA led the round, and was joined by Canaan Partners, Emergent Medical Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures. www.relievant.com
• SimPro Software, an Australian provider of job management software for the trade service industry, has raised US$31 million in growth equity funding from New York-based Level Equity. www.simprogroup.com/au
• Cloud9 Technologies LLC, a New York-based provider of cloud communications solutions for institutional traders, has raised $30 million in new VC funding. JPMorgan Chase led the round, and was joined by ICAP, Barclays and Point 72 Ventures. www.c9tec.com
• Nexus Systems, a Falls Church, Va-based provider of procure-to-pay software for medium and large enterprises, has raised $28 million in growth equity funding from Mainsail Partners. www.nexussystems.com
• Mist, a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of wireless networking solution “for the smart device era,” has raised $28 million in Series B funding. Google Ventures led the round, and was joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Cisco Investments. www.mist.com
• ActiveCampaign, a Chicago-based provider of marketing and sales automation solutions, has raised $20 million in growth equity funding from Silversmith Capital Partners. www.activecampaign.com
• Ranzure Networks, a Richardson, Texas-based provider of cloud technologies to radio access networks, has raised $13 million in Series A funding co-led by LiveOak Venture Partners and Mitel. www.ranzure.com
• E8 Security, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of behavioral intelligence for cybersecurity, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Strategic Cyber Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers March Capital Partners, Allegis Capital, and The Hive. www.e8securitycom
• Blue Medora, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based provider of enterprise cloud and data center management software, has raised $8.6 million in Series B funding. Lewis & Clark Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers VMWare, eLab Ventures, Start Garden and Grand Angels. www.bluemedora.com
• Akriveia Therapeutics LLC, a Thousand Oaks, Calif-based immune-oncology startup, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from F-Prime Capital Partners. www.fprimecapital.com
• Optimus Ride, a Boston-based developer of autonomous driving technology, has raised $5.25 million in seed funding co-led by NextView Ventures and FirstMark Capital. Read more.
• Noodle Partners, an online secondary education startup, has raised $4 million in new VC funding. Osage Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by New Markets Venture Partners and 500 Startups. Read more.
• Kindly Care, a San Francisco-based self-service care management platform, has raised $3.1 million in new VC funding. MHS Capital led the round, and was joined by Floodgate and Jackson Square Ventures. www.kindlycare.com
• Serverless, an open-source developers platform, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Trinity Ventures. Read more.
• MEL Science, a London-based developer of VR and AR content that teaches science to kids, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Sistema Venture Capital. www.melscience.com
• Bison, a Boston-based developer of financial services industry software (with a focus on illiquid securities), has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. Hamilton Lane led the round, and was joined by Accomplice and GrandBanks Capital. www.bison.co
• Yi Wei Xing Technology, a Chinese service for arranging short-term car rentals, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from General Motors. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Advent International is in advanced talks to acquire Culligan, a Rosemont, Ill.-based water treatment company, for more than $900 million from Centerbridge Partners, according to Reuters. Read more.
• BC Partners is the leading bidder for the data centers business of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at more than $25 billion. A rival consortium – consisting of GTCR, Charlesbank Capital Partners, Berkshire Partners and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners – broke apart without submitting a formal offer. Read more.
• Blue Sage Capital has acquired Magnum Systems Inc., a Kansas City-based maker of branded packaging and material handling solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bluesage.com
• Carve Designs Inc., a Mill Valley, Calif.-based apparel maker, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Kanders & Co. www.carvedesigns.com
• Cinven and CVC Capital Partners have agreed to acquire NewDay, a UK-based consumer credit card company with £1.6 billion of receivables, from Värde Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, although the WSJ reports a price-tag of around £1 billion. Read more.
• Dragoneer Investment Group has agreed to acquire a 35% stake in AmWins Group, a Charlotte-based specialty insurance broker, from New Mountain Capital at around a $2.6 billion enterprise value. Existing AmWins shareholders include PSP Investments (30% stake). www.amwins.com
• GigaTrust, a Herndon, Va-based provider of email security and document protection software, has raised $20 million in preferred equity and debt funding from Balance Point Capital. www.gigatrust.com
• Joe & the Juice, a Copenhagen-based urban juice bar and coffee chain, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from General Atlantic. Existing shareholders include Stockholm-based Valedo Partners. www.joejuice.com
• Luxe Energy LLC, an Austin, Texas-based company that acquired unconventional oil properties in the US, has secured $524 million in new equity commitments from NGP Energy Capital Management. www.luxeenergy.com
• Silver Run Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRAQ) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Centennial Resource Development LLC, a Denver-based oil and gas exploration and production company, from NGP Energy Capital Management (which will retain a minority stake). Silver Run is controlled by Riverstone Holdings. www.cdevinc.com
• Azure Power Global, an India-based solar power company, raised $61 million in its IPO. The company priced 3.4 million shares at $18 per share (below $21-$23 range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol AZRE. Barclays served as lead underwriter. Shareholders include Helion Venture Partners and International Finance Corp. In conjunction with the IPO, company sold $75 million shares to Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec at the IPO price. www.azurepower.com
• Extraction Oil & Gas LP, a Denver-based oil and gas company focused primarily on the DJ Basin in Colorado, raised $633 million in its IPO. The company priced 33.3 million shares at $19 per share (above $15-$18 range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol XOG. Credit Suisse was listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders include Yorktown Energy Partners, BlackRock and affiliates of Neuberger Berman. www.extractionog.com
• Inghams Group Ltd., an Australian poultry producer owned by TPG Capital, expects to be valued at around A$1.5 billion when it soon completes what could be the country’s largest IPO of 2016. Read more.
• Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has acquired FameBit, a Toronto-based marketplace for businesses to work with YouTube influencers, for an undisclosed amount from backers like Science Inc., Read more.
• Partners Group and Argan Capital have hired Lazard to find a buyer for Delsey, a French luggage and travel accessories maker, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be valued at upwards of $500 million. Read more.
• Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) has agreed to buy the tools business of Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) for $1.95 billion. Read more.
• TD Bank Group (TSX: TD) has agreed to sell its European direct investing business to Interactive Investor, a UK-based online stockbroker backed by MMC Ventures. No financial terms were disclosed. www.iii.co.uk
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Volpi Capital is targeting €300 million for its debut fund, which will focus on mid-market European buyouts, according to Dow Jones. The firm was co-founded by Crevan O’Grady (ex-3i Group) and Marco Sodi (ex- Veronis Suhler Stevenson). Read more.
MOVING IN, UP AND ON
• Egon Durban and Simon Patterson, managing directors at Silver Lake, will resign from the Intelsat SA (NYSE: I) board of directors at year-end. www.intelsat.com
• Casey Simmons has joined Siemens Venture Capital as a principal, per his LinkedIn account. He previously was with Adveq. www.siemens.com
• Sorenson Capital has promoted Len Blackwell to managing director of portfolio operations. He’s been with the Salt Lake City-based private equity firm since 2006. www.sorensoncapital.com
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