Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
TROUBLE AT DFJ: DFJ founding partner Steve Jurvetson has stepped down from his position at the firm as a result of sexual harassment allegations. However, the exact allegations remains unclear. By now, Term Sheet readers probably realize I’m not a fan of reading between the lines — especially in a case like this. There are too many vague statements made on behalf of all the parties involved:
• A DFJ spokesperson told me Jurvetson left “by mutual agreement.”
• Meanwhile, Jurvetson tweeted that he’s leaving the firm “to focus on personal matters,” which include taking legal action against those “whose false statements have defamed me.”
• I looked back at Raw Science founder Keri Kukral’s original Facebook post that alleged predatory behavior was “rampant” at DFJ. She alludes to “security w/in the firm creating files on women, to potential violations of revenge porn laws, to threats.” She added that she was not seeking investment, but doesn’t specify her relationship with DFJ.
• Recode cited anonymous sources saying he stepped down after “the investigation uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs.”
What does “negative tone” mean? As I’ve written before, a good start would be to label the behavior. Was the DFJ investigation launched due to reports of an inappropriate comment? Or was it because of solicitation of sexual activity? Like Erin Griffith said in a previous Term Sheet, the degree of the misconduct matters: “The specific act that occurred matters for questions like: Should this person be allowed to get a new job in a position of power? Should everyone associated with that person should suddenly become radioactive? And many others.”
I’m trying to get answers to the above, and I’ll report back as soon as I know more.
MORE STARTUP MAGAZINES (SIGH): Just after my rant about tech startups launching print magazines, I came into the office today to discover yet another one laying on my desk. This one is from The Wing, a women-only club and co-working space in New York City. The company is joining its fellow startups-turned-media publishers Casper, Airbnb, and Away. The Wing’s new print product is called No Man’s Land, a 132-page, women-focused publication. The debut issue of No Man’s Land features a mix of essays, profiles, and Wing-branded stickers. It costs $18 per issue (!) (For context, an issue of Fortune Magazine is $5.99.)
It seems the startup publishing floodgates have opened, but here’s what’s interesting about the Wing’s tactics: The company partnered with New York Magazine’s The Cut for digital distribution. It requires the site to publish about 10 stories on its site over the course of the next week for digital promotion. But Wing founder Audrey Gelman clarifies that the startup isn’t trying to start a media company, it just “wanted to create non-snackable content in a physical form for supportive and highly intelligent members.”
The lines are getting even murkier. Make no mistake, No Man’s Land is a publication sponsored by The Wing, but it uses a combination of Wing employees as well as freelance journalists to write the (mostly) long-form content. So I’m not even sure what to call this? Because it’s definitely branded content, but it could technically have the editorial quality of The New York Times.
A Term Sheet reader named David put it best: “Startups getting into the publishing business might be good business but no one should confuse what they do with news … Enjoy the article? Sure, but don’t confuse it for anything more than an ad.”
VCs AT FORTUNE’S NEXT GEN SUMMIT: It’s the second day of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. Yesterday, three female investors—Anjula Acharia of Trinity Ventures, Leah Busque of FUEL Capital, and Nisha Dua of BBG Ventures— outlined the seven traits they look for in promising entrepreneurs. (Read here.) Today, I’m covering a session called “Tales from the VC trenches,” featuring an interview with Kleiner Perkins senior partner Juliet de Baubigny.
You can watch it live here at 12:50 p.m. ET, follow the hashtag #FortuneMPW on Twitter, or read my article about it later today to help me reach my traffic goals. :)
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE…
• Bitcoin Cash crashes after wild weekend surge (by Jeff John Roberts)
• 5 simple things any executive can do to combat sexual harassment at work (by Valentina Zarya)
• Amazon aims for its own “Game of Thrones” with new “Lord of the Rings” series (by Tom Huddleston Jr.)
• Houzz CEO: 12% of couples consider divorce when remodelling (by John Patrick Pullen)
Reddit weighs a 2020 IPO. It’s a record year for VC funding in biotech and genetics companies. Donald Trump Jr. traded messages with Wikileaks. Tesla is a “hotbed for racist behavior,” lawsuit claims. Citigroup, J.P. Morgan are said to be among banks most exposed to Saudi rich. Home Depot beats on hurricane demand. Apple may be developing a rear-facing 3D sensor for 2019
• Collective Medical, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based network for care collaboration, raised $47.5 million in Series A funding. Kleiner Perkins led the round.
• Syapse, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of precision medicine software, raised $30 million in Series D funding. Investors include Ascension Ventures, GE Ventures, Intermountain Healthcare Innovation Fund, Safeguard Scientifics, Social Capital, Amgen Ventures, Medidata Solutions, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, and Roche Venture Fund.
• LightStep, a San Francisco-based provider of application performance management for enterprise software, raised $29 million in funding. Investors include Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Cowboy Ventures and Harrison Metal.
• Quantum Circuits, a New Haven, Conn-based startup developing quantum computers, raised $18 million in Series A funding. Canaan and Sequoia co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Tribeca Venture Partners.
• Bossa Nova, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous service robots for the global retail industry, raised $17.5 million in Series B funding. Paxion led the round, and was joined by investors including Intel Capital, WRV Capital, Lucas Venture Group, and Cota Capital.
• Lessonly, an Indianapolis-based team training software solutions company, raised $8 million in Series B funding. OpenView led the round, and was joined by investors including Rethink Education, High Alpha Capital, and Allos Ventures.
• SAM Labs, a London-based edtech startup, raised $6.75 million in Series A funding. Touchstone Innovations and E15 Ventures co-led the round.
• Airside Mobile, Inc, an Arlington, Va.-based developer of the Mobile Passport app, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Blazar Ventures and Grotech Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Bain Capital Ventures and 8VC.
• Choozle, a Denver, Colo.-based self-service programmatic ad platform, raised $6 million in Series B funding. The investors were not named.
• Lofelt, a Germany-based developer of haptic technology for use in gaming, AR, VR, automobile, consumer electronics, toys, medical, and entertainment, raised $5.4 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. Wolfman.One led the round, and was joined by investors including Q Venture Partners, Coparion, and Horizons Ventures. Read more.
• Medigate, a Tel Aviv-based medical device security platform, raised $5.35 million in seed funding. Investors include YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital.
• HUM Nutrition, a Los Angeles-based producer of vitamins, supplements and powders, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Investors include CircleUp Growth Partners, Imaginary Ventures and Strand Equity Partners.
• GreenRush, a San Mateo, Calif.-based online marketplace for legally purchasing cannabis, raised $3.6 million in Series A funding. Investors include James Weil and Chris Burggraeve.
• Natilus, a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of large aircraft drones, raised seed funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Starburst Ventures, Seraph Group, Gelt VC, Outpost Capital and Draper Associates.
• Pet Circle, an Australia-based e-commerce provider of pet food, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from investors including Francisco Partners and AirTree Ventures.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• FBG Capital agreed to invest in Zilliqa, a blockchain platform developed at the National University of Singapore. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• The Beekman Group acquired a majority stake in Another Broken Egg, a Miramar Beach, Fla.-based restaurant chain. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Värde Partners acquired CreditShop, an Austin, Texas-based consumer finance company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• The Riverside Company acquired Kii Naturals, a Canada-based maker of all-natural artisan crackers as an add-on for portfolio company NuStef Baking. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Tritium Partners made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Vacation Innovations LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of secondary-market services and marketplace solutions for the vacation ownership industry. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Rosewood Private Investments made a majority equity investment in ProTec Laboratory, a Quitman, Texas-based provider of contract manufacturing services to consumer brands in the dietary supplements, sports nutrition, functional foods, and pet care products industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• LexinFintech Holdings, a Shenzhen, China-based company filed for an IPO of up to $500 million. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $652 million and loss of $33.5 million. K2 Partners(15.3% pre-IPO), Matrix Partners(12%) and JD.com(11.9%) back the company. Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and China Renaissance back the company. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “LX.”
• TFI TAB Food Investments, an Istanbul, Turkey-based franchisee for quick serve restaurants including Burger king in the country, filed for an IPO to raise up to $400 million. In 2016, the company posted revenue of 2.9 billion lira($750 million) and loss of 253.9 million lira($26.6 million). Members of Turkey’s Kurdoğlu family back the company. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Citi, J.P. Morgan, and Rabo Securities are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “QSRG.”
• Odonate Therapeutics, a San Diego, Calif.-based oral chemotherapy drug maker, filed for an IPO of up to $173 million. In 2016, the firm posted loss of $3.1 million. Tang Capital Partners(54.3% pre-offering), Boxer Capital(14.7%), and Janus Capital Management(4.3%) back the company. Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, and Cowen are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ODT.”
• Denali Therapeutics, a San Francisco, Calif.-based neurodegenerative disease treatment maker, filed to raise up to $100 million. In 2016, the company posted loss of $87 million. Bratton Capital(28.1% pre-offering), ARCH Venture Fund(15.3%) and Flagship Venture Fund(12.3%) back the company. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “DNLI.”
• AXA Equitable Holdings, the New York City-based financial services arm of AXA SA, filed for an IPO of up to $100 million. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $12 billion and income of $1.2 billion. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are joint bookrunners in the deal. A ticker symbol has yet to be disclosed.
• TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in Mendocino Farms, a Southern California-based restaurant chain serving chef-inspired sandwiches and salads, from L Catterton. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Vestar Capital Partners agreed to acquire Nonni’s Food Group, a maker of artisanal cookies and other snacks, from Wind Point Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Pamlico agreed to sell Secure 24, a Southfield, Mo.-based provider of comprehensive managed services, to NTT Communications Corp. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Cloudflare acquired Neumob, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company focused on speeding up mobile apps, reducing errors, and boosting conversions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Neumob had raised $10.9 million in venture funding from investors including Accel Partners, Lightbank, and Shasta Ventures.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• GI Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, raised $2.7 billion for its fifth fund, GI Partners Fund V.
• Post Oak Energy Capital LP, a Houston, Texas-based private equity firm, raised $600 million for its fourth fund, Post Oak Energy Partners IV LP.
• Leavitt Equity Partners, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based private equity firm, is seeking to raise $125 million for its second fund.
• Commerce Street Capital appointed Eric M. Corrigan as a managing director. Previously, Corrigan was at FBR Capital Markets & Co.
• Jerusalem Venture Partners promoted Yoav Tzruya and Fiona Darmon to general partners and members of the executive committee.
• Highland Europe named Stan Laurent as a partner. Previously, Laurent was at PhotoBox Group.
• Crissy Costa joined Primary Venture Partners as a senior associate.