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Term Sheet — Wednesday, September 6


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

SLAM DUNK: Let’s start this Wednesday off with a record-breaking deal. Tilman J. Fertitta, the owner of the Landry’s restaurant chain and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, just bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion. That’s the most anyone has ever paid for an NBA team, surpassing Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the LA Clippers in 2014.

The deal, which is pending approval from the NBA Board of Governors, began in July. Fertitta who has been a lifelong resident of the Houston area, said, “It is truly unfortunate that this announcement is occurring amidst the aftermath of one of the biggest tragedies in the history of our great City.”

Here are a few more interesting details to note:

• The $2.2 billion deal is pretty sweet for the Houston Rockets’ previous owner Leslie Alexander, who bought the team for $85 million in 1993.

• Ferttita, who is also the host of the CNBC show “Billion Dollar Buyer” has a net worth of around $3.1 billion. CNBC columnist Eric Jackson tweeted that Fertitta is “spending 71% of his net worth on the Rockets.” And someone responded with the always-appropriate: “Scared money doesn’t make money.”

Read more at Fortune.

GLOBAL TAKEOVER: HNA Group, the $53 billion Chinese conglomerate, was considering buying a stake in German insurer Allianz SE (DB:ALV). Although the talks did not result in formal bids due to regulatory hurdles, according to Reuters, this reveals HNA’s ambition and appetite to continue on its quest to build a global empire. In July, Fortune published a feature on the little-known but powerful global force that’s beginning to emerge from obscurity.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In the case of HNA, its executives have crisscrossed the globe in a frenetic buying spree, making deals through a labyrinth of subsidiaries in China and abroad. The purchases have included household names for Americans and Europeans. Among them are Minnesota-based Carlson Hotels—owner of the Radisson and Park Plaza hotels—which HNA bought outright last December for an undisclosed sum. In March of this year, it bought 25% of Hilton Worldwide Holdings, the hotel group, from Blackstone for $6.5 billion. And in May it increased its stake in Deutsche Bank to become its biggest shareholder, with its stake worth about $3.7 billion.” Read the full feature here.


7 reasons why China banned ICOs (by Robert Hackett)

• A “robot tax” might be coming to San Francisco (by Emily Price)

• The world’s largest chocolate maker is committing $1B to fight climate change (by Natasha Bach)

Intel scores victory in fight against $1.3B fine (by David Meyer)

• How gamers made over $1 million on Minecraft (by Jonathan Vanian)


The lonely lives of Silicon Valley conservatives. Why WeWork thinks it’s worth $20 billion. The case for non-voting stock. Tech leaders respond to Trump’s plan to rescind DACA. Airbnb nightmares.


Fanatics, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based online sports retail company, raised $1 billion in funding from Softbank. The new funding values the company at $4.5 billion.

23andMe, a Mountain View, Calif.-based personal genetics company, is raising close to $200 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Sequoia is leading the round, and Fidelity is looking to participate. Read more.

Snowflake Computing, a San Mateo, Calif.-based cloud data warehousing software company, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Capital One Growth Ventures, bringing its previously announced Series D round to a total of $105 million. Other investors include ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Altimeter Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures.

Turo, a San Francisco-based online car rental marketplace, raised $92 million in Series D funding. Daimler and SK Holding led the round, and were joined by Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures and Founders Circle Capital. Existing investors August Capital, Canaan Partners, Kleiner Perkins, GV, Trinity Ventures and Shasta Ventures participated. Turo is also buying Croove, a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace in Germany from Daimler.

Absorb Software Inc., a Canada-based provider of cloud-based learning and performance management software for corporations and higher education institutions, raised $59 million in funding. Silversmith Capital Partners led the round.

Aras, an Andover, Mass.-based product lifecycle management solutions developer, raised $40 million in funding. Silver Lake Kraftwerk led the round, and was joined by investors including GE Ventures.

Truveris, a New York-based healthcare technology company, raised $25 million in Series D funding. McKesson Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Canaan Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, and New Atlantic Ventures.

Orion Labs, a San Francisco-based voice communication platform for teams in business, raised $18.25 million in funding. Allen & Company LLC led the round, and was joined by investors including Argentum, The Thermo Companies, John Kelly, and Joshua Schachter.

FiveAI, a Cambridge-based autonomous vehicle software company, raised £14 million ($18 million) and £12.8 million ($17 million) in two tranches for a total of $35 million, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Lakestar Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, Notion Capital and Kindred. Read more.

Dataiku Inc., a France-based provider of a software platform for data applications, raised $28 million in Series B funding. Battery Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including FirstMark, Serena Capital and Alven.

ForeverCar, a Chicago-based provider of car repair protection plans, raised $15 million in funding. Investors included CMFG Ventures and Method Capital LLC.

Coya, a Berlin-based digital insurance startup, raised $10 million in funding. Investors include Valar Ventures, and La Famiglia.

Notable Labs, a San Francisco-based lab testing service provider for brain cancer patients, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Builders VC led the round.

EverTrue, a Boston-based software company focused on fundraising efforts at educational institutions, raised $6 million in funding. University Ventures led the round, and was joined by in investors including Bain Capital Ventures.

Axonius, an Israel-based security startup, raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors include YL Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Emerge.

11 Honoré, a Mira Loma, Calif.-based online clothing website, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Forerunner Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Upfront Ventures, Greycroft and Canvas Ventures.

Classcraft, a Quebec and New York City-based education tech startup, raised $2.8 million in funding. Whitecap Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund.

ChurnZero, an Arlington, Va.-based SaaS platform for subscription businesses, raised $2.5 million in funding. Grotech Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Middleland Capital, Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Charlottesville Angel Network.

Finaeo, a Canada-based insurtech platform for financial advisers, raised $2.25 million in funding. Impression Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including 500 Startups, Robo Ventures, and iGan Partners.

Betterview, a San Francisco-based software company that can analyze detailed aerial footage captured by drones, raised $2 million in funding, according to TechCrunch.  Compound Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Maiden Re, 645 Ventures, Arab Angel, Winklevoss Capital, Chestnut Street Ventures, Pierre Valade, Haystack and MetaProp. Read more.


Entasis Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass.-based developer of anti-infective products, raised $31.9 million in funding. Investors include Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures and TPG Biotech.


Altamont Capital Partners made a majority equity investment into Sequel Youth & Family Services, a Huntsville, Ala.-based provider of diversified behavioral health programs across the U.S. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire Prima Solutions, a France-based insurance software vendor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

OpenGate Capital acquired Hufcor, Inc, a Janesville, Wisc.-based manufacturer of flexible space management solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Black Dragon Capital made an investment of an undisclosed amount to EnterWorks, a Sterling, Va.-based provider of master data management and product information management solutions.

Aterian Investment Partners made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Standard Furniture Manufacturing LLC, a Bay Minette, Ala.-based maker of home furnishings.

TorQuest Partners acquired Amenity Health Care, a Canada-based operator of retail pharmacies. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Riverside Company acquired FlagPros, a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of outsourced traffic management solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Vista Equity Partners invested in Gather, an Atlanta-based provider of event management software for restaurants and venues. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Bricoprivé, a portfolio company of Ardian, acquired Racetools, a France-based specialist distributor of portable electric tools to professionals.


GIC will buy a 30% stake in BBAM, a San Francisco-based manager of investments in leased commercial jets, according to Reuters. Read more.

Souq acquired, a UAE-based provider of delivery booking application, according to TechCrunch. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Read more.


Charter Court Financial Services, a U.K.-based online mortgage bank, is planning for an IPO  of up to 40% of its equity in London that could value it over $645.95 million. The company is backed by Elliott Management. Reuters.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, a biotech developing obesity treatments, filed for an IPO of $115 million. Rhythm posted loss of $29.1 million in 2016, and has yet to post a revenue. New Enterprise Associates (20.77% pre-offering), Third Rock Ventures(18.9%), MPM BioVentures (12.36%), OrbiMed Private Investments(12.13%), and Pfizer(6.6%) back the company. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Cowen are underwriters in the deal. Rhythm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “RYTM.”

Loma Negra, a Buenos Aires-based cement maker, filed for an IPO raising up to $100 million. The company posted profit of $30.2 million on revenue of $595 million in 2016. Camargo Corrêa backs the company. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bradesco BBI, Citigroup, HSBC, Itau BBA, and Morgan Stanley are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list as “LOMA” on the NYSE.


Turn/River Capital acquired Huddle, a San Francisco-based enterprise content collaboration software startup. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Huddle had raised approximately $90 million in venture funding from investors including  Eden Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Icon Ventures, DAG Ventures, Zouk Capital, and Matrix Partners.

Vesey Street Capital Partners sold Imedex, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of accredited medical education, to HMP. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Carlyle Group acquired United Road Services, a Romulus, Mich.-based provider of vehicle transport and logistics, from Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

CI Capital Partners acquired Summit Companies, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based fire safety services provider, from Prospect Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Cerberus Capital Management sold Admiral Taverns, a U.K.-based pub owner. The buyers include C&C Group plc, Proprium Capital Partners and Admiral Taverns management. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Apax Partners, a U.K.-based investment firm, raised $1 billion for its first technology-focused fund, according to a letter to investors seen by the Financial Times. Read more.

OrbiMed, a New York-based private equity and venture capital firm, raised approximately $551 million for its third Asia-focused private equity fund, Asia Partners III.

StageOne Ventures, an Israel-based venture capital firm, raised $110 million for its third fund, StageOne Venture Capital Fund III.

Tyche Partners, a San Jose, Calif.-based venture capital firm, is seeking to raise $100 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing.

Capital Alignment Partners, a Nashville, Tenn.-based private equity firm, raised $63.2 million for its third fund, according to an SEC filing. The fund’s target is $150 million.

Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Ltd, raised $250 million for its first dedicated China healthcare fund, according to Reuters. Read more.


ConsenSys hired Kavita Gupta as founding managing partner of the soon-to-be launched ConsenSys Ventures, a venture capital arm of ConsenSys.

IVP appointed Kelly O’Kane to vice president of business development, Parsa Saljoughian to vice president, Chloe Breider to associate, and Jason Kong to associate.

Kelley Morrell joined Blackstone as a managing director and head of asset management for its tactical opportunities business. Previously, Morrell was at CIT.

Brian Hatton joined QVentures as a partner. Previously, Hatton was at Cross Creek Advisors.

Aspect Ventures appointed Kendra Ragatz to general partner and chief operating officer. Previously, Ragatz was at DAG Ventures.

Michelle Seitz has been named chief executive officer of Russell Investments.

Atomico promoted Tom Wehmeier to partner, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

Jaguar Growth Partners appointed Elizabeth (Liz) Bell as principal on the firm’s investment team.

Thomas J. Murphy joined Baird as a managing director on its global industrial investment banking team.

James Wallis joined NGP as a partner. Previously, Wallis was at Lime Rock Partners.

Simon Males joined Muzinich & Co as managing director, head of institutional business. Previously, Males was at Legal & General Investment Management.

Tony Zhang joined Jeneration Capital as a partner.


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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.