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Term Sheet — Wednesday, December 7


• Adroll has laid off around 50 employees. AdRoll CEO Aaron Bell provided the following statement to Term Sheet:

During our annual planning process, we made prioritization decisions to focus on the growth areas that we’re most excited about. This led to a small number of roles being eliminated. We also opened other new roles, and there was no personnel impact in R&D. We saw record-breaking revenue in 2016 and these changes will support our ambitious growth plans for 2017 and beyond.

The San Francisco ad-tech company has raised $90 million in funding from Foundation Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Northgate Capital, Performance Equity, Glenmede, Merus Capital, Accel Partners and Peter Thiel.

The latest employee count I could find for AdRoll is 400 as of April 2015. At the time, co-founder and president Adam Berke said AdRoll planned to add another 250 employees by year-end, or a person a day. Berke also touted a $150 million revenue run-rate.

I suspect AdRoll is not the only startup to rush a round of layoffs out before the end of the year… Just a reminder, you can send Term Sheet an anonymous tip by clicking the link in this email.

• Promises: Masayoshi Son is on Team Trump and Trump is on Team SoftBank. Son yesterday promised Trump he will invest $50 billion in the U.S. to create 50,000 jobs. A few thoughts:

  1. This is not new money. It’s projected to come from SoftBank’s previously announced $100 billion tech investment fund, which is backed by Trump’s favorite country, Saudi Arabia.
  1. SoftBank has not exactly been a job creator in the U.S. As BTIG telecom analyst Walt Piecyk points out, Sprint has cut its headcount by 9,000 and reduced capital investment by 70% since SoftBank bought it three years ago.
  1. Son says he likes Trump’s stance on deregulation. He likely means antitrust scrutiny, which killed SoftBank’s original plan to buy Sprint and merge it with T-Mobile. Bloomberg reports that Son still wants to do that deal, even though T-Mobile’s stock has risen about 220% since 2013. But I’d have to imagine that merger would create more “synergies” than it would jobs.
  1. Son has been a master of surprise lately (always? but especially lately). In 2015 he flirted with taking SoftBank private in what would be the largest management buyout ever (SoftBank’s astonishing $120 billion in debt notwithstanding). Then he announced plans to hand off his company to Nikesh Arora so he could retire. Then he changed his mind and within weeks, SoftBank was spending $32 billion on a chipmaker and creating a $100 billion tech investment fund. It’s fun to watch him in action, but a roller-coaster for SoftBank shareholders investors.

In other Trump-meets-Silicon Valley news: Politico on the many ways Silicon Valley’s incestuous interconnectedness (as I once called it, board whoring) can translate into conflicts of interest in Washington, Peter Thiel edition.

• Yes That Merger Again: Jeff Bewkes and Randall Stephenson are scheduled to defend their proposed merger before the Senate today. They had a trial run yesterday at a Business Insider conference. My colleague Jeff John Roberts covered their arguments in favor of the deal:

[Bewkes] predicted it would be different [than AOL-Time Warner] because of AT&T’s emerging power in mobile video, and because the hoped-for change in regulatory rules will allow AT&T to take advantage of targeted advertising.

Stephenson, meanwhile, boasted that it made sense to buy rather than license TV content in part because Time Warner is “the peach of them all” with its properties like HBO and CNN. Read more here.

• How Much: Yesterday’s Term Sheet included an item announcing Goldman Sachs Investment Partners’ investment in Hubba, a platform that helps retailers find new brands to carry. The deal value was not disclosed, but a source familiar with the situation says Goldman invested $45 million in the Canadian startup. This deal comes from Goldman’s Asset Management Group, which is distinct from its San Francisco-based growth equity fund.


• What the Supreme Court insider trading rule means for hedge funds

• Uber’s new tracking tool is more convenient than creepy

• Starbucks courting millennials with $10 coffee

• Trump, Buffett, and clean energy

• How quickly wind power has caught on

• The Air Force’s $19 million cybersecurity deal

• Silicon Valley’s obsession with Universal Basic Income


Tech’s broader problem with physics. SFO has a therapy pig. The dolls are listening (and sending the recordings to a defense contractor). The spectacular fall of Coding House. Techstars is a B Corp. Can algorithms trade Trump’s tweets? Analyzing Trump’s insults. We’re out of big ideas. KKR’s cybersecurity spree.


Finicity, a Murray, Utah-based financial data aggregation and API services platform provider, raised $42 million in Series B funding. Experian led the round.

SnapLogic, a San Mateo, Calif. enterprise integration platform that connects data, applications and devices for digital businesses, raised $40 million in Series F funding. European private equity firm Vitruvian Partners led the round, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Capital One, Ignition Partners, NextEquity Partners and Triangle Peak Partners.

PatientPing, a Boston-based company whose technology lets health care providers monitor their patients remotely, raised $31.6 million in Series B funding. Andreessen Horowitz and Leerink Transformation Partners led the round.

KeyMe, a New York City app that allows users to store, copy, share, and duplicate their physical keys using a digital scan, raised $25 million in funding. Benefit Street Partners, an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, led the round.

Menlo Micro, an Irvine, Calif. designer of electronic switches created by GE (NYSE:GE), raised $18.7 million from Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), Corning, Paladin Capital Group, and GE Venture.

Kenna, a San Francisco-based vulnerability and risk intelligence platform, raised $15 million in Series B funding. PeakSpan Capital led the round, and was joined by OurCrowd, U.S. Venture Partners, Costanoa Venture Capital, and Hyde Park Angels. This item has been updated to correct Kenna’s location.

Metabolon, a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based maker of software for biotech research, raised $15 million in funding from Essex Woodlands. This follows a $15 million investment the company received from the private equity firm in August.

Secdo, a New York City and Israel-based maker of security alert monitoring software, raised $10 million in Series A funding. RDC, an arm of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elron Electronic Industries, led the round, with participation from Check Point Software Technologies cofounder and chairman Marius Nacht, and Anobit co-founders Ariel Maislos, Ehud Weinstein, and Ofir Shalvi. Read more at Fortune.

Abyrx, an Irvington, N.Y.-based maker of biosurgical products, raised $10 million in funding from Canaan Partners, MedEdge, and BB Biotech Ventures.

PDC*line Pharma, a Grenoble, France-based developer of a new immuno-oncology platform, raised €4 million ($4.2 million) in funding from Meusinvest, Spinventure, and Financière Spin-Off Luxembourgeoise/INVESTSUD Group.

Alluvium, a New York City developer of software that applies machine learning to mechanical data, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Investors include IA Ventures, Lux Capital, Bloomberg Beta, and Mike Olson, chief executive officer of Cloudera. Read more at Fortune.

Pepo, a Berlin-based group social messaging app that connects users with shared interests, raised $2.35 million in seed funding, according to TechCrunch. Tencent led the round, and was joined by Greycroft, Vectr, and Correlation, and Jason Goldberg — the company’s founder. Goldberg previously founded Jobster, Hem and, most notably, Fab. Read more.

Raptor Maps, a Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of drone-enabled technology for the agricultural industry, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Airware’s Commercial Drone Fund.

Cambridge Touch Technologies, a Cambridge, U.K.-based developer of 3D multi-touch technologies for smartphones and tablets, raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. Cambridge Enterprise led the round, with participation from other investors including Amadeus Capital Partners and Parkwalk Advisors.

Chowly Inc., a Chicago-based company developing third-party online ordering systems for the restaurant industry, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding. Investors include MATH Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, and M25 Group.

Jacada, an Atlanta-based provider of customer experience technology, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Israel Growth Partners. As part of the deal, IGP partner Haim Shani is joining Jacada’s board of directors.


L Catterton has acquired Pinarello, an Italian maker of road bikes, apparel and accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Worldwide Facilities, a Los Angeles-based insurance wholesale broker backed by Lovell Minnick Partners, has acquired Trinity Underwriting Managers Inc, an underwriting manager and insurance broker specializing in commercial transportation. Financial terms were not disclosed.

KJM Capital has acquired Watkins Refrigerated, a Lakeland Fla.-based refrigerated carrier, from Watkins Associated Industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AVI-SPL, a Tampa, Fla.-based developer of audio visual and video collaboration services backed by H.I.G. Capital, has acquired Anderson Audio Visual, a San Diego, Calif.-based provider of audio visual services in California, Texas and North Carolina. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Onward Capital and Thompson Street Capital Partners have acquired Domaille Engineering, a Rochester, Minn.-based maker of polishing machines and fixtures, inspection equipment, and associated engineered products for the fiber-optic cable market.

Nestle (SWX:NESN) has agreed to sell its nutrition drink brand Nutrament to Harvest Hill Beverage Company, a Stamford, Conn.-based fruit juice company backed by Brynwood Partners.

Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPLS) has agreed to sell it European business, which consists of retail, contract, and online businesses in 16 countries and generates an aggregate annual sales of about €1.7 billion ($1.82 billion), to an affiliate of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Staples will retain a 15% stake in the business.

Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. has invested in Troy Lee Designs, a Corona, Calif. provider of off-road motorcycling and mountain biking gear and apparel.

Stone-Goff Partners has invested in The Channel Company, a Westborough, Mass. provider of media, events and other marketing services to the technology channel.


• Following Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) rejection of Edgar Bronfman Jr., Len Blavatnik and Ynon Kreiz’s $1.8 billion takeover bid, Hearst is interested in acquiring a few of the company’s titles, including Real Simple, InStyle, and Cooking Light, according to the New York Post. Per the report, Hearst has yet to approach Time Inc., which also owns People, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Term Sheet publisher Fortune. Read more.

Equinix (Nasdaq:EQIX) is buying 29 data centers in the United States and Latin America from Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) for $3.6 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

• The European Union has approved Microsoft’s (Nasdaq:MSFT) $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), a Mountain View, Calif.-based social network for professionals. Read more.

StepStone Group, a New York City-based asset manager, has closed its previously announced acquisition of Swiss Capital Alternative Investments AG, a Zurich-based provider of private debt and hedge fund solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.


• Last week, there were reports that Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) was close to acquiring smartwatch company Pebble. Today, the fitness band maker announced it is acquiring Pebble’s assets, which includes key employees and intellectual property, but not its hardware products. Read more at Fortune.

PSAV, an audiovisual and event technology company backed by Olympus Partners and Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division, has acquired Southern Audio Visual, a Miami-based provider of audio visual services for the hospitality industry, from Prudential Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Livingbridge has acquired a stake in Rhubarb, a London-based food and beverage operator, from ECI Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Keter Group, an Israeli household and garden product manufacturer backed by BC Partners, has agreed to acquire Clessidra’s stake in ABM Italia, an Italian maker of high-end resin storage systems for domestic and office applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FreshLime has acquired Dasheroo, a San Francisco-based maker of cloud-based software for small to medium-sized businesses. Dasheroo raised $3.25 million in funding from investors including Cloud Apps Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Altus Capital Partners has sold Rocla Concrete Tie, a Denver-based manufacturer of concrete railway ties, to Vossloh for around $117.2 million. Read more.

Weston Presidio completed two exits. The private equity and venture firm has sold Edge Systems, a Signal Hill, Calif. company that designs and markets patented equipment and consumable products for non-invasive aesthetic skin treatments, to Linden Capital Partners and DW Healthcare Partners. It also sold its shares in breakfast and brunch chain Snooze, an A.M. Eatery to New York City-based private equity firm Stripes Group.

KKR (NYSE:KKR) has agreed to buy Calvin Capital, a London-based provider of gas and electricity meters to energy suppliers in the U.K., from Infracapital. Financial terms were not disclosed.


• The NFL Players Association is launching OneTeam Collective, a venture group that combines money from traditional investors (including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Harvard Innovation Lab) with the marketing, licensing and content rights from star football players. Read more at Fortune.

Ruvento, a Singapore-based firm focused on investing in hardware startups in China and the U.S., raised $25 million for a new seed fund, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

Alpha Venture Partners, a New York City-based investment firm that provides funding to early-stage VC firms so they can participate in late-stage rounds, is seeking to raise $100 million for its second fund.

Wing, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm founded by Gaurav Garg and Peter Wagner that invests in business technology startups, raised $250 million for its second fund.

This item has been corrected to say that this is Wing’s second fund. 

Ascension Ventures, the investment arm of Ascension Health Alliance, raised $255 million for its fourth fund, which will invest in healthcare companies.



Eric Migicovsky, the founder and CEO of Pebble, is planning to rejoin startup accelerator Y Combinator as a partner advising early-stage companies on hardware development, according to a report in Bloomberg. Read more.

David Bellaire has joined Waud Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, as an operating partner. Previously, he served was a senior advisor with Bain & Company.

Fazle Husain is joining CVC Capital Partners as a partner and head of U.S. healthcare. He is currently head of healthcare investing at Metalmark.


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