Good morning! I’m attending to some magazine duties today, so here’s some news from my Fortune colleagues:
Polina Marinova checked in with DraftKings in the wake of its failed merger at an elaborate press event, which she writes was “clearly meant to convey that while yes, the merger had failed, everything was still very much under control. (New product launches! More ad campaigns!).” She reports:
The event itself was elaborate. After arriving at the stadium, reporters were guided to locker rooms where we received DraftKings branded jerseys, backpacks, and swag. Prior to the presentations and interviews, journalists and DraftKings executives teamed up to play two 10-minute halves on the famed MSG court. The entire executive team played – including co-founders Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman.
I was still sweating from the activities on the court when, over lunch, I finally got the chance to ask Robins about the company’s strategy post-failed merger.
All he would share is that the company will be introducing new features but won’t be fundraising anytime soon. (“We don’t need money now. We raised a bunch of money during the merger process,” said Robins, referring to the $100 million in Series E1 round of funding the company raised in March.)
When regulators moved to block the proposed merger, DraftKings and FanDuel said, “We are disappointed by this decision and continue to believe that a merger is in the best interests of our players, our companies, our employees and the fantasy sports industry.”
And it made sense – as a combined entity, the nearly identical companies would have been able to pool their resources to get daily fantasy sports legalized throughout the United States. Now, they have to focus on emphasizing their differences to users and the media.
Robins talked up DraftKings’ forthcoming premium content offerings and app features. “Those are all things that will differentiate us as a company,” Robins said. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘What is this thing going to look like in three years?’ It will obviously be very different than it is today.” Read the full article here.
NEW MONEY: Salesforce challenging Appboy raised $50 million from Iconiq Capital (more below). My colleague Barb Darrow writes:
“Legacy clouds founded in 1999 and 2000 don’t understand what it means to transact in mobile,” CEO Bill Magnuson tells Fortune. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff would likely dispute that.
Appboy claims its technology enables personalized interactions between businesses and their customers whether the customer is browsing a web site or carries a mobile phone. The company counts as customers companies like AirBnb, Lyft, DraftKings, Domino’s, Citibank, ABC News, and Microsoft.
FAST AND FURIOUS: Yes, that’s two separate billion-dollar deals from SoftBank in today’s deal listings. There is no August slowdown for Masayoshi Son, who may single-handedly prop up the entire late stage startup market. I assume he’s just cold-calling down the unicorn list at this point.
LASTLY: On Fortune.com, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki respond’s to the Google memo. One notable piece:
Some of those responding to the memo are trying to defend its authorship as an issue of free speech. As a company that has long supported free expression, Google obviously stands by the right that employees have to voice, publish or tweet their opinions. But while people may have a right to express their beliefs in public, that does not mean companies cannot take action when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender. Every day, companies take action against employees who make unlawful statements about co-workers, or create hostile work environments. Read the full response here.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE…
• Video games at the Olympics.
• Private equity firms on track to hit $1 trillion in dry powder.
• A Facebook Snapchat clone called Lifestage shuts down.
• Wisconsin won’t break even on Foxconn plant for 25 years.
• 15 ways food companies try to convince you their products are “natural.”
• Valiant Midstream, an Oklahoma City, Okla.-based provider of midstream energy services, raised $150 million in funding from Tailwater Capital.
• Oryx Vision, an Israel-based developer of depth-sensing solutions for autonomous vehicles, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Third Point Ventures and WRV led the round, and were joined by investors including Union Tech Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC.
• Signals Analytics, a New York City-based provider of insights for global brands, raised $25 million in Series C funding. Pitango Growth led the round, and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital and Qumra Capital.
• Super Evil Megacorp, a San Mateo, Calif.-based game developer, raised $19 million in funding. The investors were not named.
• Socure, a New York-based provider of digital identity verification technology, raised $13.9 million in Series B funding. Commerce Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Synchrony Financial, Flint Capital, Workbench, Santander InnoVentures and Two Sigma Ventures.
• Jetty, a New York-based rental insurance startup, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding. Valar Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Ribbit Capital, SV Angel, BoxGroup and Red Swan.
• Evergage, a Somerville, Mass.-based real-time personalization platform, raised $10 million in Series C funding. Arrowroot Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including G20 Ventures and PJC.
• Here Be Dragons, a Los Angeles-based immersive production studio focused on virtual reality content, raised $10 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. Discovery Communications led the round. Read more.
• Pro.com, a Seattle-based pricing engine for home projects, raised $10 million in funding. DFJ led the round, and was joined by investors including Maveron, Madrona Venture Group and Two Sigma Ventures.
• Kyndi, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of artificial intelligence products and solutions, raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. Investors include PivotNorth Capital, Darling Ventures and Citrix Systems.
• Buoy, a Boston-based software developer that analyzes medical symptoms, raised $6.7 million in Series A funding. Investors include F-Prime Capital Partners and FundRx.
• Converseon, a New York City-based provider of customer intelligence technologies and consulting, raised $5 million in Series A funding. The investors were not named.
• Symphony Ventures, a U.K.-based services firm focused on robotic process automation and intelligent automation, raised $4.5 million in Series A funding from Livingbridge.
• Funraise, a Long Beach, Calif.-based fundraising platform for nonprofits, raised over $3 million in seed funding. Toba Capital led the round.
• NewConnect, a Washington D.C.-based provider of high speed internet access to commercial buildings and businesses, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Blu Venture Investors.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Roivant Sciences, a Switzerland-based healthcare company which creates companies around certain drugs, raised $1.1 billion in funding. Softbank led the round.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• KKR put on hold a planned tender for Hitachi’s chip-making equipment and video solution unit, Hitachi Kokusai Electric (TSE:6756), according to Reuters. KKR had agreed to buy the unit in a deal valuing the company at about $2.3 billion Read more.
• Wellnext, a portfolio company of WM Partners LP, acquired NeoCell, an Irvine, Calif.-based collagen supplement company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• MTS Health Investors recapitalized Medical Knowledge Group, a New York City-based healthcare marketing and communications provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• All Metro Health Care, a portfolio company of One Equity Partners, acquired Independence Healthcare Corp, a Worcester, Mass.-based provider of non-medical home healthcare services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Disney will acquire a majority stake in BAMTech, an Arlington, Va.-based direct-to-consumer streaming technology and marketing services company, for $1.58 billion.
• PRA Health Sciences agreed to acquire Symphony Health Solutions, a Conshohocken, Penn.-based provider of analytics and consulting services to life sciences companies, for an upfront cash payment of $530 million.
• Anheuser-Busch InBev and Anadolu Efes agreed to merge their operations in Russia and Ukraine in a 50-50 merger to create a new company called AB InBev-Efes, according to Reuters. AB InBev will treat the business as an equity stake. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Read more.
• Zealand Pharma, a Denmark-based biotech focused on peptide-based medicines for type 2 diabetes, raised $78 million in an upsized offering of 4.4 million ADSs at $17.87. The company booked loss of $22.1 million on revenue of $33.7 million, and has hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as joint bookrunners for the deal. The company is backed by Legg Mason (6.7% pre-IPO) and Sunstone Capital (8%). Zealand plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ZEAL.”
• Palamon Capital Partners agreed to buy a stake in Business School24 SpA, an Italy-based professionally-oriented postgraduate education and training company, from Il Sole 24 Ore SpA. Palamon is buying 49% of Business School24 at an 80 million euro ($93.9 million) valuation with a call option to buy another 2% in May 2018. The deal also calls for Palamon to acquire additional equity while Il Sole will retain 20%.
• Columbia Pacific Advisors sold Talyst Systems, a Kirkland, Wash.-based provider of pharmacy automation solutions, to Swisslog Healthcare. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Advantage Solutions acquired Brand Connections, a New York City-based consumer promotions marketing services company. The seller was Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• CI Capital Partners acquired AlliedPRA, a San Diego-based destination management company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Tableau acquired ClearGraph, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of enterprise search solutions, according to TechCrunch. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. ClearGraph had raised approximately $1.53 million in venture funding from investors including Accel and Great Oaks Venture Capital. Read more.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Pala Investments, a U.K.-based private equity and venture capital firm, has formed a new fund, Pala New Energy Metals, with initial capital of $150 million.
• Andrew Coats joined Z Capital Group as an operating partner. Previously, Coats was at BlackRock Real Estate Advisors.
• Susie Stanford joined Livingbridge as associate director. Previously, Stanford was at The Lewis Trust Group.
• Mohit Goyal joined CVC Capital Partners as investment director in India. Previously, Goyal was at Carlyle.
• Timothy Schifer joined Twin Brook Capital Partners as a managing director.