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Term Sheet — Tuesday, October 31

October 31, 2017, 1:31 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

STARTUP GRAVEYARD: Dead and gone. These are the dreaded words no entrepreneur wants to hear (or see in Term Sheet). Well, thanks to the lovely folks over at PitchBook, you can start your Halloween off right. So far in 2017, VCs invested more than $1 billion in startups that have shut down this year. 💀 💀 💀  Last week, Term Sheet laid out some of the companies that terminated employees or shut their doors in October, but here’s a more comprehensive list.

The top 5 in the startup graveyard (ranked by valuation):


A developer of wearable tech and portable audio devices.

Valued at $1.5 billion (peak valuation was $3B)

Raised $900+ million in funding

Backed by Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Silver Lake, and Andreessen Horowitz


A developer of a search engine for apps

Valued at $600 million

Raised $130+ million in funding

Backed by Alibaba, SoftBank, Goldman Sachs, and GGV Capital


A maker of counter-top cold-press juicers

Valued at $459 million

Raised $118+ million in funding

Backed by GV, Artis Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Thrive Capital.

Fun fact: Juicero raised more funding than SpaceX attracted in its first four years of operation.


A developer of an anonymous messaging app

Valued at $400 million

Raised $73.5 million in funding

Backed by Sequoia Capital, Azure Capital Partners, Vaizra Investments, and Atlanta Ventures.


A developer of sleep tracking devices

Valued at $276 million

Raised $41 million in funding

Backed by Temasek and Cherubic Ventures

For the thrill-seekers, feel free to check out the full list.

LET’S MEET: Here’s something much less terrifying (I hope): I’ll be at the PACT Capital Conference in Philadelphia tomorrow, and I’d love to meet some of you in person. If you’re planning to attend, say hi! See the agenda here.


Donald Trump’s tax reform could benefit Apple (by Shawn Tully)

Here’s the first look into Waymo’s self-driving minivan (by Kirsten Korosec)

SpaceX edges nearer to goal of reusable rockets (by Joseph Hincks)

Why Apple made a bad bet on Face ID (by Chan Choi)

Here are Sprint's options if merger talks with T-Mobile fail (by Aaron Pressman)


Russian-backed election content reached 126 million people. SoftBank to drop effort to merge Sprint with T-Mobile. China-backed buyout fund founder charged in U.S. insider trading case. Is the ‘death tax’ debate finally over?


Remitly, a Seattle-based digital remittance company, agreed to raise up to $115 million in Series D funding. PayU will lead the round, and will be joined by investors including Existing Remitly investors Stripes Group, DFJ, and DN Capital.

Innoviz Technologies, an Israel-based provider of LiDAR sensing solutions, raised $73 million in Series B funding. Investors include Samsung Catalyst and SoftBank Ventures Korea.

Ada Health, a health technology company, raised 40 million euros ($47 million) in funding. Access Industries led the round, and was joined by investors including the June Fund, Cumberland VC and William Tunstall-Pedoe.

Wonder Workshop, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based raised developer of robots that teach kids to code, $41 million Series C in funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Tencent Holdings, SoftBank Korea, TAL Education Group, MindWorks Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and VTRON Group. Read more.

Recorded Future, a Boston-based threat intelligence service, raised $25 million in Series E funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round. Read more at Fortune.

HighLife SAS, a Paris-based early-stage medtech company, raised 12.3 million euros ($14.3 million) in funding. Sofinnova Partners led the round.

Trilio Data, a Hopkinton, Mass.-based provider of OpenStack backup and recovery solutions, raised $5 million in Series A funding. .406 Ventures led the round.

Waycare Technologies, Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv-based optimizer of traffic management systems leveraging predictive analytics, raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Spider Capital and Innogy SE led the round, and were joined by investors including Goldbell Investments, UpWest Labs, janom, Zymestic Solutions and SeedInvest.


Kymera Therapeutics LLC, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company focused on treating previously untreatable diseases, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Atlas Venture led the round, and was joined by investors including Lilly Ventures and Amgen Ventures.


Concept Life Sciences, which is backed by Equistone Partners Europe, acquired Aquila BioMedical, a U.K.-based pre-clinical contract research company with expertise in immuno-oncology, immunology and multiplex histology. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Argand Partners acquired Oase Management GmbH, a Germany-based provider of outdoor water gardening products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The Jordan Company will acquire a majority stake in Young Innovations, an Earth City, Mo.-based maker of consumable dental supplies and equipment. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Linden Capital Partners, which owns a controlling stake, will be reinvesting in the deal.

American Industrial Partners acquired The Brock Group, a Houston, Texas-based provider of industrial specialty services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

ShoreView Industries acquired Winzer Corp, a Plano, Texas-based distributor of maintenance repair supplies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

HealthEdge Investment Partners acquired Westone Laboratories Inc, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based maker of hearing healthcare and in-ear audio solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Prelude Fertility, which is backed by Lee Equity Partners, agreed to acquire Vivere Health, a Franklin, Tenn.-based owner and operator of ambulatory surgery centers and in-vitro fertilization facilities, and its flagship partner, the Houston Fertility Institute. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Telus International, which is backed by Baring Private Equity Asia, agreed to acquire Xavient Information Systems, a Simi Valley, Calif.-based global IT consulting and next-generation software services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Francisco Partners acquired a majority stake in Comodo’s certificate authority business Comodo CA Limited. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Concept Life Sciences, which is backed by Equistone Partners Europe, acquired Aquila BioMedical, a U.K.-based pre-clinical contract research services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) will buy Columbus Manufacturing Inc, a Hayward, Calif.-based deli meat and salami maker, for about $850 million, according to Reuters. Read more.


PPDAI Group, a Shanghai, China-based peer-to-peer lending platform, said it plans to raise $298 million in an offering of 17 million ADSs priced between $16 to $19. The company posted revenue of $175.1 million and loss of $8.7 million in 2016. Backers include Sequoia Capital China(25.5% pre-IPO) and Lightspeed China Partner(10.4%). Credit Suisse and Citi are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE as “PPDF.”

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, a Crestwood, Kentucky-based company filed for an IPO of $150 million. In 2016, the company posted loss of $27.1 million. Morningside Venture Investments(28% pre-IPO), Potentia Holdings(9.9%), and venBio Funds(9.4%) back the company. Citigroup and J.P. Morgan are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “APLS.”

Senmiao Technology, a Chengdu based peer-to-peer lending platform, filed for an IPO of $20 million. For the year ending March, the company posted revenue of $73,237 and loss of $596,645. ViewTrade Securities is underwriter in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as AIHS.


Hero K12, a portfolio company of BV Investment Partners, acquired SchoolMint, a San Francisco-based provider of online and mobile school enrollment solutions. Financial terms were disclosed. SchoolMint previously raised $7.7 million in venture funding from investors including Runa Capital, Reach Capital (New Schools), Fresco Capital, Govtech Fund, Kapor Capital, Crosslink Capital, Maiden Lane Ventures and CSC Upshot.

Ardian acquired a majority stake in Babeau-Seguin Group, a French builder of single-family detached houses. Sellers include NiXEN. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Kissner Group Holdings acquired US Salt, a Watkins Glen, N.Y.-based evaporated salt business. Crestwood Equity Partners was the seller. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Ingersoll-Rand acquired GPSi Holdings, a Sarasota, Fla.-based company making cloud-based technology for transportation fleet managers. Falconhead Capital is the seller. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


CDH Investments and SenseTime Group will raise approximately 3 billion yuan ($453 million) to invest in firms working on artificial intelligence technology, according to Reuters. Read more.

CircleUp raised $125 million for its new venture fund, CircleUp Growth Partners.

Grove Ventures, an Israel-based venture capital firm, raised $110 million for a maiden venture fund, according to an SEC filing.

Northwestern Mutual raised $5 million for its venture fund, Cream City Venture Capital.

Edgar Bronfman Jr., the former head of Warner Music and current managing partner at Accretive LLC, is forming a new venture firm with Daniel Leff. The new firm, Waverley Capital, aims to raise a debut fund of about $100 million, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


Comvest Partners named Al Wood as a partner and head of aviation finance.


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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.