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Term Sheet — Monday, August 28

August 28, 2017, 2:01 PM UTC


Hi, I'm Polina Marinova, and it's nice to formally meet you all. Although technically, we already know each other -- for the past few months, I’ve been doing the deals section of Term Sheet. Literally started from the bottom (of this newsletter), and now we’re here...

A little about me: I joined Fortune in 2014. I’ve covered entrepreneurship, venture capital, and Uber. I hosted a Facebook Live series called “Founder Friday,” and worked on some of your favorite Fortune lists including 40 Under 40 and The Fortune Entrepreneurs. Previously, I worked at OZY, CNN, and USA Today.

First, a thank you to Dan and Erin, who have been great mentors along the way. I’m excited to follow in their footsteps. Term Sheet will continue to skew toward venture, startup, and tech deals, but it will have my voice, my opinions, and more than a few of my sarcastic comments weaved throughout.

With that said, your feedback is invaluable to me -- especially in these early days. Send me the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll need it all to carry on this newsletter’s legacy as the place where you’ll find the most important news day after day. I even welcome typo corrections (with the caveat that most  happen at 5 a.m. before I’ve had my first cup of coffee.)

Please reply to this email to introduce yourselves and send me story ideas. What do you find most useful? What would you like to see more of? What kinds of coverage areas are missing? As a reminder, you can always email me directly and we have an anonymous tip box as well.

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Please continue sending deals to me at the same email:, and IPO news to my colleague Lucinda Shen at


On to the news. Here’s what people are talking about today:

UBER’S NEW CHIEF: Of course this story broke on a Sunday night. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is expected to be Uber’s new chief executive, as first reported by Recode’s Kara Swisher. While we were all looking at Meg Whitman and Jeff Immelt, the dark horse candidate won the race. Khosrowshahi is being called a “truce” choice because Travis Kalanick reportedly favored GE’s Jeff Immelt (who withdrew on Sunday) while Benchmark favored Whitman (who was back in the running, despite denying it in July)

Some things to know about Khosrowshahi:

– He served as CEO of Expedia for 12 years.

– During his tenure, the company’s revenues have grown from $2.1 billion in 2005 to $8.7 billion in 2016.

– He was previously the CFO of IAC (which then bought Expedia in 2003 and spun it out in 2005).

– He is an investor in Convoy, a company that has been referred to as the “Uber for trucking.” He tweeted about Convoy in 2015 when it raised $2.5 million in funding. People are already speculating that it could make for an attractive acquisition for Uber down the line.

Now that Uber’s filled the top job, they have quite a few interviews left to do.

NEW FUNDING (MAYBE): This weekend, a Wall Street Journal reporter tweeted out a Form D filing, which shows Elon Musk’s neuroscience company Neuralink has raised approximately $27 million in funding with a $100 million target.

This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except for Musk’s reaction. In a tweet, he claimed the filing was “misinterpreted” and that Neuralink is not raising money nor is it seeking investors. The form, however, shows that 12 investors have already invested in the offering. (Musk also called the WSJ “laboriously negative,” and managed to incorporate a 🔥 and 💩 emoji into his response. See the full tweetstorm here).


Does Bitcoin have a monopoly problem?

Top hackers-for-hire startup names new CEO

Google is issuing refunds for ads seen only by robots

Netflix is now selling its own weed strain

How Barneys is navigating luxury’s slowdown


Private equity’s $600 billion problem. California looks to outlaw sexual harassment by VCs. Amazon cuts prices at Whole Foods by up to 43%. Danone is sending 5,000 cows to Siberia. Hootsuite’s founder apologizes for his inappropriate tweets.


Seven Senders, a Germany-based e-commerce logistics startup, raised €6.5 million ($7.8 million) in Series A funding, according to btov Partners led the round. Read more.

WhatsBroadcast, a Germany-based messaging app company, raised €5 million ($6 million) in Series A funding, according to Hightech Gründerfonds led the round, and was joined by investors including Müller Medien, Media + More Ventures, and Wessel Management. Read more.

Sherpa, a U.K.-based price comparison website for insurance products, raised $2.3 million in seed funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include InsurTech.VC. Read more.


SetPoint Medical, a Santa Clarita, Calif.-based clinical-stage biomedical technology company, raised $30 million in Series D funding. Investors include NEA, Morgenthaler, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Topspin, and Action Potential Venture Capital.

MedGenome, an India-based molecular genetic diagnostic test provider, raised $30 million in funding, according to VentureBeat. Sequoia Capital India and Sofina co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Zodius Capital. Read more.


Veritas Capital is exploring the sale of two high-tech portfolio companies, electronics component maker Excelitas Technologies Corp and radar component-maker Anaren Inc worth nearly $3 billion in total, according to Reuters. Read more.

KKR acquired Laser Clinics Australia, a Sydney-based provider of non-surgical cosmetic services, for $650 million, according to The Australian. Read more. (subscription required)

Genstar Capital made an investment of an undisclosed amount in PDI, a Temple, Texas-based provider of enterprise-class software solutions for the convenience retail and wholesale petroleum and logistics industries. TA Associates will retain its “significant” stake in PDI.

Excellere Partners made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Biocare Medical, a Pacheco, Calif.-based provider of immunohistochemistry instrumentation.


Gilead Sciences Inc agreed to buy Kite Pharma Inc (Nasdaq:KITE), a Santa Monica, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, for about $11 billion in an all-cash deal, according to The Wall Street Journal. The $180 per share offer represents a premium of about 29% to Kite’s closing price on Aug. 25. Read more.

Invesco Ltd. is nearing an agreement to buy Guggenheim Partnerss exchange-traded-funds business for more than $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Read more.

Fusion Telecommunications International Inc will buy the cloud and business services unit of Birch Communications in a deal that creates a combined company worth about $950 million, including debt, according to Reuters. Read more.

Littelfuse Inc (Nasdaq:LFUS) will buy IXYS Corp (Nasdaq:IXYS) for about $750 million in cash and stock, according to Reuters. Read more.

Hudson’s Bay Co, a Canada-based owner and operator of department stores, plans to review its options, including going private, according to Reuters. Read more.

CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) plans to acquire Ten Network Holdings Ltd (ASX:TEN), an Australia-based broadcasting company. Read more at Fortune.

Asia Pulp & Paper Co Ltd is in advanced talks to buy control of Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA, a Brazil-based operator of pulp mills, according to Reuters. Read more.


Excelitas Technologies, a Waltham, Mass.-based electronics parts maker, is reportedly undergoing consideration for a dual track process. According to Reuters, Veritas Capital has hired Goldman Sachs to explore either selling the company in a private deal, or taking the company public.

Secoo Holdings, a Beijing-based online luxury retailer, has filed for an IPO American Depositary Share raising up to $100 million. In 2016, the company lost $94.5 million on revenue of $382.6 million.Secoo is backed by IDG Ventures(24.5% pre-offering) Ping An Insurance(9.2%) China Capital Media (11.7%), and Ventech China(7.2%). Jefferies has been named underwriter in the deal. Secoo plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SECO.”

Draper Oakwood Technology, a San Mateo, Calif.-based SPAC filed for an IPO to raise $50 million in an offering of 5 million shares at $10 a piece. Draper Oakwood, which backs the company, intends to acquire a tech company in North America. EarlyBirdCapital is sole bookrunner in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “DOTAU.”

Sinopec, a Chinese refinery giant, said it would postpone an IPO of its marketing division, Reuters reported Monday. Sinopec previously planned the offering for 2017.


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Polina Marinova produces Term Sheet, and Lucinda Shen compiles the IPO news. Send deal announcements to Polina here and IPO news to Lucinda here.