Hello from Portugal, where Web Summit is underway. Many of the attendees were bleary-eyed yesterday, having stayed up until 4 a.m. watching the U.S. election results on Tuesday. At the conference, the word “Trump” seems to pepper every conversation I hear, no matter the language.
I've asked just about everyone I've encountered what they think about the news. The answers are mostly shock, sadness, and confusion. One founder chuckled that we underestimated our country. Another expressed disbelief that almost none of the leaders in the technology, media, and finance worlds wanted Trump to win, and yet he did anyway. “That’s the most telling thing about how people feel about the state of the country,” the founder told me.
At the registration desk, a cheerful Irish volunteer asked a group how they’re feeling. “Not so good,” a founder-type answered. The volunteer nodded. “Oh, you’re American.”
In the speaker lounge, a crowd gathered around a TV showing Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, with several tearing up during the broadcast. In the corner of the room, a group of men chatted through the speech. (I asked them if they were Trump supporters. “I’m just sick of it all,” one replied.)
The news also shifted the tone of many of the panel discussions here. “The President is supposed to be a reflection of how society wants to see themselves, and that’s very troubling,” one panelist said.
Several startup CEOs said they planned to cut their trip short. They’d already drafted statements to send to their employees, but they felt they needed to be there in person. Some fear their employees will fret over how Trump’s proposed policies will affect their business (health care startups, for example). Others simply want to express solidarity to their workforces, specifically the women, minorities, and immigrants. “It doesn’t feel right to be away from them right now,” one told me as we shuffled through the customs line at the airport. In a similar vein, Tim Cook, Jaime Dimon, and other Fortune 500 CEOs are sending reassuring memos to their employees.
On the Other Hand: Carl Icahn and John Paulson, both Trump advisors, cashed in yesterday. Fortune's Jen Wieczner reports that Icahn made more than $700 million on his stock portfolio Wednesday and Paulson’s hedge fund was up more than $463 million. Meanwhile Coatue Management and Glenview Capital Management took hits. Read more.
Palette Cleanser: While the world focuses on the fallout of the U.S. presidential election, a new survey from Mourant Ozannes, an offshore law firm, details how Brexit is impacting private equity overseas. Spirits are high, considering the realities. A few highlights:
More than two thirds of private equity fund launches are being delayed in the U.K. and half are being delayed in Europe. Nearly half of the private equity professionals surveyed believe Brexit will decrease PE investment in European companies, and a third believe it will decrease investment in U.K. companies. Globally, 88% of the PE pros surveyed are optimistic about the next twelve months. In the U.K., 93% are optimistic.
God Complex: Yesterday on stage I moderated a spirited debate on whether entrepreneurs need a “God Complex” to drive innovation.
As the moderator, I stayed neutral in the debate. But as the author of Term Sheet, I can offer my opinion here: No. They don’t.
Sure, you have to be crazy and a little irrational to start a company and build something totally new based on a vision that only you can see. But somewhere in the history of startup culture, the myth of the hero entrepreneur, fighting against all odds to change the world, has gotten twisted. We’ve reverse-engineered stories about the larger-than-life personalities of founders like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Larry Ellison. We think that Apple was successful because Steve Jobs was a jerk. And we use that belief to justify bad behavior.
There are many ways to build a great company. Doing a bad impression of Steve Jobs’ ego is probably not it.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• America is still investment grade.
• Marc Cuban on Trump.
• What Trump means for small business.
• Brexit, China, and Trump panic.
• Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser on Trump.
• Samsung and transparency.
• Neo Technology, a San Mateo, Calif. graph data analytics provider, raised $36 million in Series D funding. Greenbridge Investment Partners led the round, and was joined by existing investors Sunstone, Creandum, and Eight Roads Ventures.
• RiskIQ, a San Francisco cyber security company, raised $30.5 million in Series C funding. Georgian Partners led the round, and was joined by Summit Partners, Battery Ventures, and MassMutual Ventures.
• CureVac AG, a German drug developer, raised $29.5 million in funding from Baden-Württembergische Versorgungsanstalt für Ärzte, Zahnärzte und Tierärzte, and Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg. The company last raised €98.5 million ($110 million) in 2015 at a valuation of €1.5 billion.
• Zipline, a San Francisco medical device developer, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Visionnaire Ventures led the round and was joined by Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
• Cape Analytics, a Palo Alto, Calif. provider of geospatial structured data for the real estate industry, raised $14 million in funding. Formation 8 led the round and was joined by Data Collective, XL Innovate, Lux Capital, Khosla Ventures, Promus Ventures, and Montage Ventures.
• Teamleader, a Belgium-based provider of CRM, invoicing, and project management software for small and medium-sized businesses, raised €10 million ($10.9 million) in Series B funding, according to TechCrunch. Fortino Capital led the round. Read more.
• Glint, a Redwood, Calif. employee engagement platform, raised an additional $10 million for its Series C round, which closed at $37 million. Bessemer Venture Partners led the new funding.
• Rappi, a Colombian on-demand delivery service, raised $9 million in a funding round that closed in April. Andreessen Horowitz led the financing, and was joined by Foundation Capital and Redpoint Ventures. Read more at Fortune.
• Enterprise Therapeutics, a U.K.-based developer of drugs to treat respiratory diseases, raised £4 million ($5 million) in funding. The round was led by Epidarex Capital and Imperial Innovations.
• SentiOne, a Polish startup that allows people to monitor individuals, topics, and brands on social media, raised $3.5 million from Venture TFI and Trigon TFI Group, according to TechCrunch. Read more.
• Crayon, a Boston marketing analytics company, raised a $3.35 million seed funding. Founder Collective and Baseline Ventures led the round, with participation from BoxGroup, Converge Venture Partners, and angel investors including Behance founder Scott Belsky and ex-HubSpot executives Mike Volpe and Yoav Shapira.
• Blackmoon Financial Group, a Moscow global marketplace lender, raised $2.5 million in funding. Investors include Target Global, A&NN Group, Flint Capital, and angels.
• Iimjobs.com, an Indian job portal site for mid-to-senior level managers, raised $2 million in Series A funding, according to The Economic Times. India Quotient led the round, and was joined by Tracxn Labs and Calcutta Angels. Read more.
• Toast, a Singapore cross-border payments startup for migrant workers, raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding. Aetius Capital led the round and was joined by startup incubator 1776 and Pepper Group.
• Buster, a Brooklyn charter bus, limo and van reservation platform for consumers, raised $1.1 million in funding. Investors include General Catalyst, Allen & Company, and Brand New Matter.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Auxo Management invested in Stealth Monitoring, a Dallas video surveillance company. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Innovative Industrial Properties, a San Diego-based real estate investment trust that acquires medical-use cannabis facilities, has set its IPO terms. It plans to raise $175 million by offering 8.75 million shares at $20 per share.
• Advent International has purchased a stake in inVentiv Health, a clinical and commercial services provider for biopharmaceutical companies, from Thomas H. Lee Partners. The two firms now co-own the company. The deal values inVentiv at $3.8 billion.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Onex Corp, a Toronto-based private equity firm, has raised $1.1 billion for ONCAP IV, its fourth mid-market private equity fund.
• Anthony Noto will replace Adam Bain as Twitter’s chief operating officer. Noto is currently Twitter’s chief financial officer. Bain joined the social media company in 2010 and was promoted to COO last year.
• Frazier Healthcare Partners has added four to its growth buyout team: Kent Berkley as a vice president, and Jeremy Janson, Neeraj Prathipati and Shyamal Swami as associates.
• Brendan Hannigan has joined Polaris Partners as a partner focusing on security, cloud and SaaS companies. Hannigan was previously general manager of IBM Security.
• Jay Bhatt has joined Thomas H. Lee Partners as a managing director in the firm’s media, information services and technology group. Bhatt was previously the president and CEO of Blackboard.
• Roberto Kalim will replace Persio Arida as the chairman of BTG Pactual SA. Kalim is currently the Latin American investment bank’s co-chief executive officer. Arida will remain on as a board member and partner. Note: This item has been corrected to note that Arida will not leave BTG.
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