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Term Sheet — Wednesday, January 11


Everything besides this news and Donald Trump’s scheduled press conference seems beside the point this morning, so here’s some venture data and private equity macro predictions to distract you. (If the topic of Trump, his business, and how his administration will affect regulation, finance, taxes and the economy is your thing, I suggest you check out Trumponomics Daily, Fortune’s newest newsletter, written by Tory Newmyer, our lead Washington writer. Sign up here.)

Venture Data: Highlights from a new report from CB Insights and MoneyTree below.

Dollars and deals are down: In the U.S., venture capitalists deployed $58.6 billion across 4,520 deals in 2016. That’s a 16% drop in capital and a 20% decline in deal volume over 2015. Globally, investment fell 23% and deal volume fell 10% over the year prior, driven by declines in the U.S. and Asia. (European funding actually rose .)

AI is hot: Term Sheet has been a bit AI-obsessed lately, but for good reason. Deal volume grew 16% in Q4 over an already-hot 2015, and dollars invested grew 22%. (PS. Another day, another corporate VC backs another AI startup.)

Cyber and Auto-tech is not: The companies in these areas may be thriving, but venture capitalists pulled back on their investing in the last part of the year. Cybersecurity investment fell 51% from Q3; Auto-tech investments declined as well.

Q4 was slow: Quarterly deal volume dropped to its lowest since 2011. View the full report here.

Private Equity Outlook: KKR has published a collection of 100 charts detailing the macro-economic environment and what it means for the firm’s outlook. One part stuck out to me: KKR is often asked why private equity did not maintain its 400-500 basis point spread above public equities in this economic cycle. Here’s its answer:

Key to our thinking is that private equity returns do not deliver as big a spread during the early-to-middle stages of a bull market, which is generally what happened this cycle too.

Naturally, the firm believes its spread will return toward the end of this cycle, which it projects will last until 2019. Under President Trump, “meaningful government stimulus and fewer regulatory hurdles [will] unleash a virtuous cycle of confidence and investment.” (The firm also acknowledges the bear case, in which the administration rachets up trade tensions with little net fiscal stimulus, leading to recession.)

Inclusion: Ellen Pao is back investing in startups, though it’s only her part-time job. The Kapor Center for Social Impact has hired her as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. There, she’ll also back seed-stage companies focused on companies with a social mission (including education and healthcare), through Kapor Capital, the center’s investment arm. In 2015, Mitch Kapor and his wife Freada Kapor Klein pledged to invest $40 million towards initiatives aimed at helping women and underrepresented minorities advance in tech and entrepreneurship.

Feedback: I’ve been experimenting with the length of this column as some have noted it can get unwieldy at times. I’d like to hear from you: Do you prefer short and sweet, or comprehensive and in-depth?


• Amazon’s bananas.

• Joel Hyatt’s new job.

• Of Tillerson and taxes.

Delete your account.

• What happens when you refuse to pay off hackers.

• Chris Lattner to Tesla.

• The worst corporate renamings.

Dr. AI.

• Why stocks are expensive.

• How Mary Barra plans to get more female engineers.


Subscription Escalades. We need startup Drano. Energy-conscious loans echo the subprime crisis. The heavy price of prisons run by CEOs. The grim silver lining of America’s opioid crisis – organ donations. Cursing and authenticity, cracking a joke and confidence. M&A boutiques face risk in Trump era.


iZettle, a Stockholm-based provider of mobile payment services and applications for businesses and individuals, raised €60 million ($63 million)  in equity and debt.

Panzura, a Campbell, Calif.-based hybrid cloud storage company, raised $32 million in funding.  Matrix Partners led the round, and was joined by Meritech Capital Partners, Opus Capital, ChevronWestern Digital, and an undisclosed strategic investor.

HOOQ, a Singapore-based Netflix competitor for consumers in Philippines, Thailand, and India, raised $25 million in funding from Singtel, Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

FarmLogs, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based data science company that provides online crop management software for farmers, raised a $22 million Series C funding. Naspers Ventures led the round, and was joined by Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, SV Angel, and Y Combinator president Sam Altman.

POC Medical Systems, a Livermore, Calif.-based developer of a portable breast cancer screening test, raised $ 21 million in Series A funding. BioVentures Investors led the round, and was joined by Sirius America Insurance Company, IFG Healthcare, and MIA Investment Limited.

Aledade, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that helps doctors form and operate accountable care organizations, raised $20 million in funding. Biomatics Capital led the round, and was joined by GV, Maryland Venture Fund, Venrock, and ARCH Venture Partners.

CompareEuropeGroup, a London-based fintech startup, raised €20 million ($21 million) in Series A funding, according to EU Startups. Investors include ACE & Company, Pacific Century Group, Nova Founders Capital, SBI Holdings, Mark Pincus, and Peter Thiel. Read more.

Adynxx, a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to treat chronic pain, raised $16 million in Series B funding. TPG Biotech led the round, and was joined by Domain Associates.

Mighty AI (formerly Spare5), a Seattle-based platform that connects businesses with subject-matter experts to complete specialized tasks, raised $14 million in funding. The round was led by Intel Capital, with participation from Accenture Ventures, GV, Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group, and New Enterprise Associates.

PeraHealth, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of predictive, real-time patient monitoring software for hospitals, raised $14 million in funding from Mainsail Partners.

Velocidi, a New York City-based marketing intelligence platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Pilot Growth Equity led the round, and was joined by Neuberger Berman Private Equity Funds.

Logtrust, a business intelligence platform, raised $11 million in funding from Kibo Ventures, Investing Profit Wisely, and Atlantic Bridge Capital.

Gravy Analytics, a Leesburg, Va.-based consumer intelligence platform that offers targeted marketing services, raised $7.7 million in funding. Spring Lake Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by Gaspar Global Ventures, Loeb Holding Corporation, and Richard Braddock.

Trackforce, a San Diego, Calif.-based physical security software company, raised $7.4 million in funding from Five Elms Capital.

Talkwalker, a Luxembourg-based social media analytics company, raised €5 million ($5.3 million) in funding from Main Mezzanine Capital.

•  Kuli Kuli, an Oakland, Calif.-based producer of moringa-based food products, raised $4.25 million Series A funding. Eighteen94 capital, Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) venture capital fund, led the round, and was joined by InvestEco and S2G Ventures.

Mac & Mia, a Chicago-based online children’s clothing retailer, raised $3 million in seed funding from Corazon Capital, Chicago Ventures, KGC Capital, and with unnamed angel investors.

AdmitHub, a Boston-based company that provides college admission guidance for high school students, raised $2.95 million in a seed funding. Relay Ventures and Reach Capital led the round.

Revl, a London-based events marketplace app for iOS, raised £2.4 million ($2.9 million) in seed funding from undisclosed investors, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

OLIO, a U.K.-based food sharing app for reducing food waste, raised $2.2 million in funding, according to Investors include Accel, Quadia, and Mustard Seed. Read more.

Yet Analytics, a Baltimore-based data analytics platform that helps businesses manage employees, raised $1 million in funding. Investors include Grotech Ventures and TCP Venture Capital.

ClassWallet, a Miami-based platform that allows schools to track and manage funds,  raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Brentwood Associates.

Immortals, a Los Angeles-based eSports franchise, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF.A).


Calera Capital has acquired a majority stake in Carnegie Fabrics, a Rockville Centre, New York-based manufacturer of sustainable textiles and wallcoverings.

The Riverside Company has invested in Xcentric Mold & Engineering, a Clinton Township, Mich.-based maker of plastic molded parts for the defense, medical, aerospace, automotive, and consumer products industries.

CHA Consulting, Inc., which is backed by Long Point Capital, has invested in American Fire Protection Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based provider of services involving the custom design, engineering, installation and maintenance of fire protection systems throughout the Southeast U.S. and internationally. [Update: A previous version of this article referenced the wrong company. The correct company is American Fire Protection Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., not the American Fire Protection Group in Edina, Minn.]

Arrowhead Electrical Products, a Blaine, Minn.-based distributor of rotating electrical parts backed by The Riverside Company and Investcorp, has acquired J&N, a Cincinnati-based distributor of aftermarket replacement rotating electrical parts and accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bluegarden, a Marlin Equity Partners portfolio company, has completed its acquisition of Medvind, a Stockholm-based provider of workforce management software, specializing in human resource planning and time management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Industrial Opportunity Partners has acquired Union Corrugating Company, a Fayetteville, N.C.-based metal roofing and siding products manufacturer. Terms were not disclosed.

Colony Capital (NYSE: CLNY), NorthStar Asset Management Group (NYSE: NSAM) and NorthStar Realty Finance (NYSE: NRF) have closed their previously announced merger to create Colony Northstar Inc. (NYSE:CLNS).

Main Capital has acquired a substantial stake in Artegic AG, a German provider of SaaS-based marketing automation software.


Coty Inc (NYSE:COTY) has agreed to purchase a 60% stake in Younique, a Lehi, Utah-based cosmetics company, for about $600 million, according to Reuters. Read more.

Babel Systems, a London-based processing platform for equities and bonds, has been acquired by InvestCloud, a Los Angeles-based fintech firm, for $20 million.


Keane Group, a Houston, Texas-based provider of services for the hydraulic fracturing industry backed by Cerberus Capital, has set its IPO terms to 15.3 million shares being offered at between $17 and $19 per share. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol FRAC.


GoFundMe, a San Diego, Calif.-based crowdfunding platform for personal life-events, acquired CrowdRise, a Detroit-based online fundraising platform for charities and non-profits. CrowdRise raised $31.4 million from investors including Bezos Expeditions, High Line Ventures, and Lowercase Capital, according to Pitchbook.

Coupa Software (Nasdaq:COUP) has acquired the assets of Spend360 International., a U.K.-based provider of artificial intelligence and procurement solutions.

Praesidian Capital has sold its stake in Arc Machines, Inc., a Pacoima, Calif.-based , automated orbital welding equipment manufacturer and distributor, for $8.5 million to an unidentified buyer.

Vesey Street Capital Partners completed its recapitalization of HealthChannels, the parent company of ScribeAmerica, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based provider of medical scribe education, training, and management services. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Firelight Capital Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm focused on retail brands, has launched. [This item has been updated with the correct link.]

Constitution Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that focuses on North American small to mid-cap buyouts, raised $755 million for its fourth fund, Ironsides IV.


Daniel Gross, the co-founder of search engine Cue, has joined Y Combinator as a partner. Previously, Gross was a director at Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL). He joined the company in 2013, when it acquired Cue for $40 million.

Ellen Pao, the ex-CEO of Reddit, has joined Kapor Capital, the venture capital arm of Kapor Center for Social Impact, as a partner and diversity advocate. Read more at Fortune.

Gen II Fund Services has promoted Amber Koiner, Kevin Mahnken, Peter Rosenstein, and Elise Silverman to managing directors.

Highlander Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has made a series of promotions: Michael R. Nicolais is now chief executive officer, Jeff L. Hull is now president, Mark A. Blanchat is now a partner, Nick Thicksten is now a vice president, and Donald J. McNamara is now an associate. The firm has also made several new hires: Doran E. Smith has joined as associate general counsel, Ben R. Slater has joined as a senior associate, and Robert B. Koudelka has joined as an analyst.

Spectrum Equity, a Boston-based private equity and venture firm, has promoted Mike Farrell to managing director and Julia Kuo to vice president.

Brian Selander is joining SeventySix Capital, a Philadelphia-based venture firm, as entrepreneur in residence. Previously, Selander was the executive vice president of Whistle Sports, a New York City sports media company.

Leland Pillsbury has been named managing director at Thayer Ventures, a Valencia, Calif.-based venture capital firm. Pillsbury has been a senior advisor to the firm since its founding in 2009.

Tonka Bay Equity Partners, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based private equity firm, has promoted Kam Kielhorn from associate to director.

Cyprium Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, has promoted Nicholas Stone to managing director.


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