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Term Sheet — Thursday, September 21

September 21, 2017, 1:06 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

PLATED UP: After Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition sent ripples through the market, grocers are scrambling to find ways to compete. National grocery chain Albertsons will buy meal kit startup Plated for between $175 million and $200 million. Plated has raised more than $56 million in venture funding from investors including Greycroft Partners, Kite Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Founder Collective.

This is the first time that a grocery chain has scooped up a meal service company, but it makes sense. As an increasing segment of the population buys groceries online (read: Millennials), the acquisition gives Albertsons the opportunity to better serve a different clientele. "This transaction is the latest example of Albertsons meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop," Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons, told CNBC.

The deal gives the grocer access to Plated’s technology, while Plated gets exposure to millions of new customers. Albertsons will be putting Plated meal kits in its 2,300+ stores and eventually helping deliver the kits with its trucks.

This is a great outcome for a startup like Plated because the meal kit sector is not an easy one to crack. Just this year, meal delivery startups Maple Food Co and Sprig both shut down operations as they struggled to create sustainable businesses. Now, we wait and see if this type of acquisition can really help Albertsons fend off the beast that is Amazon.

SEC HACKS: Because news of the Equifax breach wasn’t enough, it appears as though the SEC’s Edgar corporate filing system was also hacked last year. Edgar is the database of filings made by public companies and other financial firms regulated by the SEC. If it was hacked last year, how are we just learning about it now?

Well, regulators apparently found out about the possibility of illicit trading in August, which is when they started investigating the hack.

50 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Fortune released its 20th annual Most Powerful Women list this morning. The year 2017 has been a mixed one: While we hit a record 32 female Fortune 500 CEOs on the list in June, that number has since dwindled to 29.

But it’s not just CEOs. You’ll find some top names in tech, including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Google/Alphabet’s Ruth Porat, and Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, as well as some women who may not be on your radar (yet). As Fortune’s Kristen Bellstrom says:

“We tell the stories of Fortune 500 soldiers who aren’t gracing a dozen magazine covers, but who are running massive operations nonetheless. These are the women who are driving global business.”

(See the full list here.)

On to the deals.


Exclusive: Cisco Chairman John Chambers is joining Sprinklr's board (by Barb Darrow)

PepsiCo’s CEO opens up about Trump, Amazon, and that Kendall Jenner ad (by Beth Kowitt)

American whisky is on fire (by Laura Entis)

Equifax has been pointing people to a knockoff phishing site (by Robert Hackett)

Tesla may be developing a computer chip with AMD for self-driving cars (by Jonathan Vanian)


Mark Zuckerberg’s political awakening. How to work from home. Benchmark resists SoftBank’s deal. Home prices soar in disaster-prone areas. Bozoma Saint John says Uber didn’t really ‘poach’ her from Apple.


System1, a Venice, Calif.-based developer of a pre-targeting platform for identifying consumer intent, raised $270 million in funding. Court Square Capital Partners led the round.

Vexata, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of data infrastructure solutions, raised $54 million in funding from Mayfield, Intel Capital, Lightspeed Ventures and Redline Capital.

10x Future Technologies, a London-based startup that helps banks manage data and transactions, raised £34 million ($46 million) in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Ping An and Oliver Wyman. Read more.

Activehours, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based a smartphone-based application that enables hourly workers to get paid early, raised $39 million in funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital and March Capital Partners.

mParticle, a New York City-based customer data platform, raised $35 million in Series C funding. Harmony Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Social Capital.

Securonix, a Los Angeles-based provider of big data security analytics, raised $29 million in Series A funding. Volition Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Eight Road Ventures.

Digital Shadows, a London-based provider of digital risk management services, raised $26 million in Series C funding. Octopus Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including World Innovation Lab and Industry Ventures.

Hyliion, a Pittsburgh-based instant Class 8 vehicle hybridizing company, raised $21 million in Series A funding. Axioma Ventures led the round.

Acast, a Sweden-based technology platform for on-demand audio and podcasting, raised $19.5 million in Series B funding. Investors include Swedbank Robur funds Ny Teknik, Microcap, and Norron Asset Management’s funds Target and Select.

Manifold, a developer services management platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Investors include OMERS Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, Version One Ventures and Amplify Partners.

pymetrics, a New York-based neuroscience-based assessment and prediction technology platform, raised $8 million in additional Series A funding. JAZZ Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Khosla Ventures, Randstad Innovation Fund, and BBG Ventures., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based employer-funded student loan repayment assistance platform, raised $7 million in Series B funding. Wildcat Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Mohr Davidow Ventures and MassMutual Ventures LLC.

Webgility, a San Francisco-based provider of e-commerce automation software for small and medium businesses, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Pilot Growth Equity led the round.

Pointy, a Dublin-based startup that brings the contents of local retailers online, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Frontline Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Vulcan Capital and Draper Associates.

Verkada, a San Mateo, Calif.-based enterprise physical security company, raised $3.9 million in seed funding. First Round Capital led the round.

Optalysys Ltd, a U.K.-based developer of light-speed optical coprocessors, raised $3.95 million in funding. Investors were not named.

Loftium, a Seattle-based provider of down payments for renting out spare bedrooms on Airbnb, raised $2.5 million in funding, according to PEHub. DFJ led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Co-op and NextView Ventures.

Loge Co., a Seattle-based provider of recreational accommodations, raised $1.85 million in Series A funding. Investors include Bryce Phillips and Ira Gerlich.

Mira, a Los Angeles-based mobile augmented reality company, raised $1 million in funding. Greylock Partners, Founders Fund Angel and Macro Ventures led the round.

FoodLogiQ, a Durham, N.C.-based SaaS provider of traceability, food safety and supply chain transparency solutions, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Renewal Funds led the round.

Realm, a San Francisco-based real-time mobile platform, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Ericsson Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Scale Venture Partners.


Google will acquire part of HTC’s (TSEK:2498)  phone division for $1.1 billion. Read more at Fortune.

Laguna Tools, a portfolio company of Hudson Ferry Capital, acquired SuperMax Tools, a Saint Paul, Minn.-based designer and seller of drum, brush and combo sanders for the woodworking and metalworking industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Oasis Midstream Partners, a Houston, Texas-based MLP formed from Oasis Petroleum, said it raised $128 million in an offering of 7.5 million shares priced at $17, below its range of $19 to $21. The company reported $121 million in revenue on earnings of $40 million in 2016. Morgan Stanley, Citi, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and RBC Capital Markets are underwriting the deal. Oasis plans to go public on the NYSE as “OMP.”

Arcimoto, an electric vehicle company in Eugene, Ore. raised $19.5 million in a Reg A+ IPO. The company sold 3 million shares priced at $6.50 a piece. Arcimoto will begin trading on the Nasdaq as "FUV" Thursday. WR Hambrecht + Co served as the sole underwriter.


H.I.G. Capital is nearing a deal to re-acquire Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a Chicago-based manufacturer of natural additives for personal care, food, consumer and industrial end markets, from The Jordan Company for around $1 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

Carlyle Group sold its 53.3% controlling stake in Coates Hire, an Australia-based provider equipment hiring services, for A$517 million ($414 million), to Seven Group Holding.

BNY Mellon Investment Management agreed to sell CenterSquare Investment Management, a Plymouth Meeting, Penn.-based investment manager, to its management team and Lovell Minnick Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Blue Equity acquired Two Twelve Management, a New York City-based chef representation management firm. The seller was Next Management, which is backed by Golden Gate Capital. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Picsolve acquired Freeze Frame, a New York-based entertainment venue and digital imaging company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm, is targeting the first closing of a new Asia buyout fund at more than $4 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

Baidu, a China-based search engine, will form a 10 billion yuan ($1.52 billion) autonomous driving fund called, The Apollo Fund. Read more at Fortune.

The Engine, a Cambridge-based investment firm formed by MIT, raised $200 million for its first fund, Fund I.


Next Coast Ventures named Paul Rogers and Jim Dunham as technology venture partners and Adam Salamon as its first entrepreneur-in-residence.

F-Prime Capital appointed Joshua Grass as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Previously, Grass was the director of business development at BioMarin.

Andrew Robinson joined Oak HC/FT as an executive in residence.


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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.