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Term Sheet — Monday, December 5

December 5, 2016, 3:11 PM UTC


 A G Thing: In November Stripe announced its $150 million Series D round led by CapitalG, the growth equity investment arm of Alphabet. Existing investors General Catalyst and Sequoia Capital joined.

But reports at the time failed to mention an interesting new participant in the round: GV, Alphabet’s early stage venture arm, Term Sheet has learned.

GV typically invests in early stage deals, but has stretched its mandate in the past for deals like Uber’s $258 million Series C. And this is not the first time GV and its older sibling have co-invested, either. Both firms invested in Gusto, the benefits software startup. (GV invested in the seed round and CapitalG invested in Series B.) It’s not even the first time both firms invested in the same round: Both firms were a part of Oscar Health’s September 2015 round of funding.

A person close to the deal said this usually happens when the entrepreneur wants to work with a particular investor; in this case, the GV partner on the deal was MG Siegler.

 Value Add: Doug Landis has joined Emergence Capital Partners as a Growth Partner. Landis has been at Box since 2012, most recently with the title of “Chief Storyteller,” (A job that has something to do with making the company more “customer-centric.”) Before that he was Box’s VP of Sales Productivity, and for nearly five years prior to that he held a similar role at Salesforce.

So what does a growth partner do? I’ve been seeing the title more frequently—Social+Capital Partnership’s Ray Ko is a growth partner; other firms have full-fledged growth teams and others yet have growth “platforms.” Considering many venture firms use the word “growth” to describe their late-stage venture investing (like CapitalG, mentioned above), and private equity firms use it to describe their early stage investing, I’d love if we found a word other than “growth” to describe this role.

Landis is the first growth partner at Emergence Capital. He’ll be leaning on his background in software-as-a-service sales to create “go-to-market” strategies and ideas to share with Emergence Capital’s 45 portfolio companies, as well as the broader enterprise tech community. Emergence Capital Partner Jason Green has called this new effort, led by Landis, a “platform.”

“Doug has been at the center of a community of SaaS sales leaders that share best practices and we want him to continue to do that,” Green tells Term Sheet. “Our goal is to raise the game not just of the portfolio but the community overall.” Green would not say whether Landis gets a piece of Emergence’s partnership in the role.

To many venture firms, offering portfolio companies a suite of services from recruiting and “design flights” to PR and fancy CEO summits is table-stakes for getting into the best deals. (That, and blogging. If you’re a VC without a blog, what are you even doing?) The “value add” services that private equity firms have been doing for decades is feeling less like a bubble-era extravagance and more like a permanent fixture for venture capital firms.

Emergence Capital focuses on enterprise and cloud startups. The firm’s fourth fund closed in 2015 with $335 million in capital commitments.

 Presented without comment: Clarium Capital and Founders Fund founder, Facebook board member, part-time Y Combinator partner, Trump Transition team member, future blood-of-the-young injector, and, perhaps most relevant to this conversation, Gawker lawsuit-funder, Peter Thiel showed up to a costume party over the weekend. The theme was “Villains and Heroes.” Thiel dressed as Hulk Hogan. Trump showed up dressed as himself.

 In Transition: David Sacks said he will step aside as CEO of wounded insurance unicorn Zenefits after he helps to hire a replacement for himself. In memo obtained by BuzzFeed, Sacks declared Zenefits’ turnaround complete.

That set off the rumor that Sacks might join the Trump transition team like his Paypal co-founder Thiel. Not true, a Zenefits spokesman tells Term Sheet. But that much should be obvious: Inauguration is in six weeks, not counting the holidays. For Sacks to join the transition team, he’d have to recruit a new CEO immediately. That would be difficult for any company, but especially for one that’s fresh off of massive layoffs, had its valuation sliced in half, lost $200 million last year, and was forced by regulators to adopt an entirely new business model.

 What Bubble? Another day, another CPG giant launches a venture arm. Today it’s Tyson Foods with a $150 million fund to back “alternative protiens” startups, among other food manufacturing ideas. Fortune’s John Kell has the scoop:

Called Tyson New Ventures, the meat producer’s VC fund is just the latest bet by a large manufacturer of foods to seek to link up with upstart brands that have disrupted the local grocery aisle. Tyson Foods’ VC fund news comes after several rivals, including General Mills, Kellogg, and Campbell Soup, have all set up VC investment vehicles. Read more here.

 Correction: Friday’s Term Sheet item about Madison Logic included the incorrect HSR threshold for M&A deals. While it fluctuates each year, the threshold is currently $78.2 million, not $150 million.


 Pope Francis wants business leaders to help spread the wealth

 Mark Cuban will testify at a Time Warner–AT&T hearing

 Italy's zombie banks should be terrified about a 'no' vote in Renzi referendum

 Facebook clones Snapchat, again

 Apple still in the autonomous car game?

 Q&A with Juniper CEO Rami Rahim

 Transforming women’s health with big data

 A new manifesto for business


Masayoshi Son’s big bets. Clickbait for Wall Street. Silicon Valley tourism (the literal kind). The next Pokemon Go. “You’ve gone from strangers at the gate, to barbarians and eventually robbers of the industry.” Saved you a trick. The rise and fall of Makerbot. Innovation theater on Wall Street. Hot new app alert: SEC Mobile. The Brooklyn design aesthetic is colonizing the planet. The hellscape of the Snapchat Spectacles line. Why our post-truth world is so scary. “A national charter to responsible innovators.”


Datrium, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that develops and manufactures server flash storage systems, raised $55 million in Series C funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Cerevance, a neuroscience company focused on discovering and developing therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric disorders, raised $36 million in funding from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TOKYO:4502) and Lightstone Ventures. Takeda, a Japanese-based pharmaceutical company, also provided Cerevance with a 25-person neuroscience research team.

Impel NeuroPharma, a Seattle-based clinical stage biotechnology company developing intranasal drug treatments for central nervous disorders, closed its Series C round at $36 million (the company received $21 million, with the remaining $15 million contingent on the accomplishment of  development and business milestones.) VenBio, 5AM Ventures and Vivo Capital all participated.

Lemonade, a New York City peer-to-peer insurance provider, raised $34 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round, and was joined by GV, Thrive Capital, Tusk Ventures, Aleph, Sequoia, and XL Innovate. 

MoneyLion, a New York City-based mobile personal finance platform, raised $22.5 million in Series A funding. Edison Partners led the round, and was joined by FinTech Collective, Citizen.VC, Clocktower Ventures, Broadhaven Capital Partners, and Montage Ventures.

Accompany, a Los Altos, Calif. app that creates miniature dossiers for users’ contacts, raised $20 million in funding. Ignition Partners led the round. Read more at Fortune.

MedNet Solutions, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based healthcare technology company that develops clinical study management solutions, raised $16.5 million funding from Arrowroot Capital and Cohesive Capital Partners.

Lilium Aviation, a Munich, Germany-based startup developing a plane that lands and takes off vertically, raised $10.7 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. Atomico led the round. Read more.

OrthoSpace, an Israeli company that develops  orthopedic biodegradable balloon systems for shoulder implants, raised $7 million in funding. Investors include HealthpointCapital, Smith & Nephew, TriVentures and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc.

Fidzup, a Paris-based maker of digital mobile marketing software for retailers, raised $3.7 million in funding from Cap Horn and Turenne Capital.

Kinematics, a Leipzig, Germany manufacturer of robot-based toys for children, raised €2.5 ($2.7 million) million in funding from the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg, KOELBE Unternehmensbeteiligungen GmbH, and angel investors, according to Read more.


FIMI Opportunity Funds has agreed to purchase security provider G4S Israel for an estimated NIS425 million (£88 million; $111 million) in cash, according to the Telegraph. Read more.

Riverstone Holdings, a New York City-based private equity firm, has invested $150 million in Avant Energy, a Mexican energy company.

Capitala Group has invested in BigMouth Inc., a Glastonbury, Conn.-based lifestyle products manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

XLerate Group, a  Charleston, S.C. auction for off-lease, rental, fleet, and dealer-consigned vehicles backed by Huron Capital, has acquired Lone Star Auto Auction, a Lubbock, Texas-based operator of an auction building for car dealers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Clio Holdings, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based granite countertop manufacturer backed by O2 Investment Partners and Tecum Capital, has acquired TopMaster, a Kansas City, Kan.-based company that installs and produces countertops for homes and commercial projects. No financial terms were disclosed.

Hastings Equity Partners has acquired Impact! Chemical Technologies, a Midland, Texas-based company that manufactures chemistries for the oil and gas industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company has acquired Xirgo Technologies, a Camarillo, Calif.-based developer of machine-to-machine applications for tracking, monitoring, protecting and controlling remote assets and workers supporting the "Internet of things" industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Along with portfolio company Shawnee Exploration, an Ill.-based company that acquires and finances onshore shallow oil fields, Coral Reef Capital has acquired the Illinois Basin assets of Viola Oil & Gas Holdings, a Houston, Texas oil and gas exploration and production company. No financial terms were disclosed.

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities has agreed to invest in BTIG, a financial services firm specializing in institutional trading, investment banking, research and related brokerage services. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Uber has acquired Geometric Intelligence, a multidisciplinary A.I. company, according to The New York Times. Financial terms were not disclosed, but all 15 of Geometric Intelligence’s employees will join Uber, including founders Gary Marcus and Zoubin Ghahraman who have been appointed co-directors of the company’s new in-house A.I. research arm. Read more.

Shopify has acquired Tiny Hearts, a Toronto digital product studio that develops mobile apps, games and bots.

Burberry (LSE:BRBY) has rejected multiple takeover offers from U.S. handbag manufacturer Coach (NYSE:COH). If the deal had gone through, the market value of the combined company would have been above $20 billion. Read more at Fortune.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (SEHK:1038), a Hong Kong-based infrastructure company, has made an unsolicited bid to purchase Australian energy giant Duet Group (ASX:DUE) for A$7.3 billion ($5.4 billion) in cash. At A$3 ($2.2) per share, the offer represents a 28% premium to Duet’s Friday close. The deal, which is being considered by the board and is subject to regulatory approval, comes just four months after the Australian government blocked CKI from purchasing a controlling stake in Ausgrid, a state-owned energy grid. Read more at Fortune.

Consolidated Communications Holdings (NasdaqGS:CNSL) has agreed to buy broadband service provider FairPoint Communications (NasdaqCM:FRP) in an all-stock deal valued at $1.5 billion, including debt, according to Reuters. Read more.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has acquired Yes, Inc. a Palo Alto, Calif. consumer mobile app startup. As part of the deal, seven Yes, Inc. employees have joined the company, including CEO Keith Coleman, who is now Twitter’s VP of product, according to Recode. Read more.


Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), a networking company, has agreed to acquire AppFormix, a San Jose, Calif. developer of software to manage cloud operations. Financial terms were not disclosed. AppFormix raised $7 million in funding from August Capital.

Angstrom Graphics has acquired New Channel Direct, a Cleveland-based direct mail service company, from Weinberg Capital Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Morningstar (NASDAQ: MORN) has closed its previously announced purchase of PitchBook Data Inc., a Seattle-based information provider for the private capital markets including venture capital, private equity, and M&A. No financial terms were announced but previous reports put the purchase price at $225 million.

B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS) has acquired Victoria Fine Foods Holding Company and Victoria Fine Foods, a New York City-based company that makes a variety of pasta and specialty sauces, from Huron Capital Partners and certain other sellers for about $70 million in cash.

Protector Holdings has acquired Big Savings Insurance Services, a Sacramento, Calif.-based insurance provider that specializes in serving Hispanic consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sentinel Capital Partners has recapitalized Sonny’s Enterprises, a Tamarac, Fla. conveyorized car wash systems manufacturer.

Celgene Corporation (NasdaqGS:CELG) has agreed to acquire Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, a Boston pharmaceutical company that develops small molecule drugs targeting epigenetic mechanisms to treat cancer and other diseases. Prior to the acquisition, Acetylon will spin out a new company, Regenacy Pharmaceuticals, which will focus on the development of novel drug candidates that selectively regenerate intracellular transport and upregulate gene expression to modify the course of a disease. Acetylon Pharmaceuticals was already backed by Celgene, having raised $151.2 million in funding from the biotechnology company and The Kraft Group.

Advent International has agreed to purchase a majority ownership stake in V.Group, a Glasgow, U.K.-based marine and offshore vessel management and support services provider, from OMERS Private Equity.

Riata Capital Group has recapitalized WSS, a Los Angeles-based Hispanic-focused athletic, fashion, and work-related footwear and accessories retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

French broadcaster TF1 has taken a majority stake in MinuteBuzz, a Paris online video entertainment platform that has 8 million subscribers and allows brands to sponsor real-time articles, according to Variety. MinuteBuzz raised €1 million ($1.1 million) in funding from Seventure Partners. Read more.

Din, a California meal-kit maker that raised $3 million in funding from Accel, Lowercase Capital, Slow Ventures, and several angels, shut down in October after running out of capital and failing to generate interest from investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more.


Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), a food company that develops chicken, beef, pork, and prepared products, is launching a $150 million venture-capital fund that will invest in startups developing new packaging techniques, laboratory-grown meat, and other high-tech products or solutions for the food industry. With the move, Tyson Foods joins General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), which have launched investment arms in recent years. Read more at Fortune.

Electra Partners, a London investment firm, has changed its name to Epiris.

Solace Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on distressed-for-control investments, has closed its inaugural fund at $576 million.


Steve Parsons has joined Z Capital as a managing director and operating partner focused on the development and implementation of human capital strategies. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Stage Stores.

Rodrigo Prudencio has joined Amazon's corporate development team as part of the Alexa Fund. Previously, Prudencio was a partner at energy-tech VC Nth Power.

General Atlantic, a New York City-based private equity firm, has made several promotions. Effective January 1, Aaron Goldman and Shantanu Rastogi will be managing directors and Erin Chang will be a principal. Before joining General Atlantic, Goldman worked on the growth equity team at the Fremont Group in San Francisco. Rastogi was previously a principal at Apax Partners.

Michael J. Silverstein will join The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) as operating executive consultant with the global consumer and retail group on January 2. Currently, Silverstein is a senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group.

Mark Hatch has joined early-stage venture firm Network Society Ventures as a general partner, according to TechCrunch. Hatch was previously a CEO at TechShop. Read more.


Bob Clone, the former head of private equity for Indiana and a long-time private markets investor with the Michigan Treasury, passed away last week from cancer. He is survived by his wife, Marianne, daughter Stephanie, and son Benjamin.




Term Sheet is produced by Laura Entis. Submit deal items here.