Term Sheet — Thursday, November 16

November 16, 2017, 2:52 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Let’s start the day off with what Fortune’s 20 hottest CEOs have in common — they invest in R&D and focus on growing businesses far into the future. And nobody is hotter in Silicon Valley right now than Fortune’s 2017 Businessperson of the Year, Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang.

Huang, 54, is the cofounder and CEO of semiconductor and software company Nvidia. The company’s “graphic processing units” (GPUs) crunch the complex calculations necessary for crypto markets, deep neural networks, and the visual fireworks in games and movies. Nvidia currently owns 70% of the market for GPUs, and it has racked up profits of $2.6 billion on $9 billion in sales in the last four quarters. Behind those ridiculous numbers is Huang, the visionary founder leading the AI revolution in Silicon Valley. Fortune’s Andrew Nusca profiled Huang in the latest issue. He writes:

“Halfway through dinner at Evvia, a bustling Greek restaurant in downtown Palo Alto that Apple cofounder Steve Jobs used to frequent, Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang rolls up his shirtsleeve to show me his tattoo. It’s tribal in style, with thick curves extending across his shoulder cap. The black ink gleams in the warm glow of the restaurant’s low lights.

‘So, I really want to extend it,’ he says with a glint in his eye, gesturing along the length of his arm. ‘I actually kinda do. I would love to. But getting it really, really hurt. I was crying like a baby. My kids were with me, and they’re like, ‘Dad, you’ve gotta control yourself.’ ”

Huang’s two adult children, speakeasy proprietor ­Spencer and hospitality professional Madison, also have tattoos. But at 54, their father, cofounder and CEO of the red-hot Silicon Valley semiconductor and software company Nvidia, so far has only this one, an abstract version of the company’s logo. He got it about a decade ago.” Read the full profile here.

I’m not sure how many other CEOs on our “Businessperson of the Year” list are sporting tattoos of their company logo, but runners up include Jamie Dimon, Marc Benioff, Jeff Bezos, and Mary Dillon. See the full list here.

JUST A FOOTNOTE: Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake is expected to rake in nearly $20 million after she sells one million shares in her company’s IPO. If you read media reports and even look on Stitch Fix’s “How We Got Here” section, Lake appears to be the company’s sole founder. But she’s not. The Wall Street Journal reported that a footnote buried in a regulatory filing names a co-founder, Erin Morrison Flynn. Flynn, who reportedly worked on the startup full-time while Lake attended Harvard Business School full-time, sued Lake and eventually settled. According to court documents, Flynn had accused her partner of seeking to preserve her own stake and force Flynn out of the company in retaliation for seeking legal counsel.

I got an interesting email about the fallout from a Term Sheet reader. It said:

“If the co-founder doesn't have the skills, experience, or mindset to scale, then it is the CEO's fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to place someone more qualified in the role. When a co-founder lacks the awareness of their own limitations and refuses to step down, then they hurt themselves, the employees and the shareholders. It would be in their best interest to realize that their continued participation leaves money on the table since someone else can increase the value of the company more than they can, thereby increasing the value of their shares.”

I tend to agree. As co-founders raise venture funding, new investors come in and often shake up the management team and change the power dynamics. At the end of the day, building a business is about continuously increasing the value of the company. A company rife with internal conflict can’t focus on increasing value and propelling forward. One solution? Prepare for all of this before things get ugly. Founders should outline negative scenarios that might occur in the future to help avoid them before entering into a business partnership with a co-founder. Some have called this “a common sense prenup” for business. As Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor says:

“Startups are passionate, exciting endeavors — but they are still businesses. And when things go wrong between co-founders, as with most things in life, a little planning up front can mean the difference between a catastrophic vs. merely painful outcome.”

Curious to hear from Term Sheet readers who have gone through a similar experience.


Dyson is going to war with former CEO Max Conze (by David Meyer)

With Nelson Peltz on the board, will P&G finally break up? (by Geoff Colvin & Shawn Tully)

This woman ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game play video (by Andrew Nusca)

Why Bitcoin costs nearly twice as much in Zimbabwe (by Lucinda Shen)


Meredith bid for Time Inc. said to be backed by Koch Brothers. Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for $450.3 million. Mattel snubs Hasbro's latest acquisition approach. Airlines have your personal data. Black Friday will be the biggest mobile shopping day ever.


Maoyan, a China-based online ticketing platform, raised 1 billion yuan ($150.82 million) in funding from Tencent Holdings Ltd, valuing the company at 20 billion yuan ($3 billion). Read more.

Xeltis, a Switzerland-based medical device company, raised $52 million in Series C funding. The investors included Ysios Capital, Kurma Partners and VI Partners.

Health IQ Insurance Services, a Mountain View, Calif.-based life insurance company for health conscious individuals, raised $34.6 million in Series C funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round.

Arterys Inc., a San Francisco-based medical imaging company, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Temasek led the round, and was joined by investors including Northwell Health Ventures, New York-Presbyterian, Varian Medical Systems, GE Ventures, Fosun, DNA Capital, Emergent Medical Partners and ORI Capital.

Atomist, a San Francisco-based platform for developers, raised $22 million in Series A funding. Investors include Accel and Matrix Partners.

TaskEasy, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based on-demand lawn maintenance provider, raised $21.3 million in Series C funding. River Cities Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Camber Creek, Moderne Ventures, Grotech Ventures, Access Venture Partners, and Delta Electronics Capital.

Less, a Paris-based ride-sharing startup, raised $19 million (€16 million), according to TechCrunch. Investors include Index Ventures and Daphni. Read more.

Goji, a Boston-based online personal lines insurance agency, raised $15 million in funding. Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd led the round.

Pixelz, a Denmark-based provider of post-production photographic software and services, raised  $7 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Anders Bjornsbo, Karsten Mathiesen and Morten Mathiesen. Read more.

PayStand, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based B2B payment platform, raised $6 million in Series A funding. BlueRun Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Cervin Ventures, Serra Ventures, TiE and Capital for Founders.

Inboard Technology, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based maker of electric skateboards, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Upfront Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including LION Smart and Sunstone Capital.

CY Vision, a San Jose, Calif.-based vision systems and applications company, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Vestel Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Intel Capital.

PayStand, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based B2B payment platform, raised $6 million in Series A funding. BlueRun Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Cervin Ventures, Serra Ventures, TiE and Capital for Founders.

Meural, a New York City-based creator of a digital art frame, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Corigin Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including NETGEAR and Resolute Venture Partners.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a UAE-based tech-enabled arid climate agribusiness, raised $4.5 million in funding. Shorooq Investments led the round.

Roxy, a Seattle-based voice system startup, raised $2.2 million in seed funding today, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Highway1, Alchemist, Betaworks, Genesis Capital, and AJ Capital. Read more.

ReFirm Labs, a Fulton, Md.-based IoT security startup, raised $1.5 million in funding. Investors include DataTribe.

Edmit, a Boston-based education startup with a college price comparison and bidding platform, raised $855,000 in pre-seed funding. Investors include Bessemer Venture Partners' 15 Angels Fund, Rethink Education Seed Fund, and Neu VC.


Outpost Medicine, an Indianapolis and London-based biopharmaceutical company focused on treating urologic and gastrointestinal disorders, raised $20 million in funding. Investors include Takeda Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Novo Holdings A/S, Vivo Capital and Adams Street Partners.


TSG Consumer Partners acquired a minority stake in Nuun and Company, a Seattle-based sports hydration provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

One Thousand & One Voices agreed to invest funding of an undisclosed amount in TRUE Jerky, a San Francisco-based healthy snack foods company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

ADT, which is backed by Apollo Global Management, acquired Datashield, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based cybersecurity company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Arlington Capital Partners acquired Cadence Aerospace, an Anaheim, Calif.-based maker of aerospace components. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

K1 Investment Management acquired Actiance, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of communications compliance, archiving and analytics. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Tritium Partners recapitalized Inova Payroll, a  Nashville, Tenn.-based payroll and human resources service provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


TractManager, Inc acquired Hayes, Inc, a Lansdale, Penn.-based industry provider of clinically focused, evidence-based research and analysis to health plans, insurers, hospitals, healthcare systems, ACOs, and government agencies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


GigCapital, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based blank check company formed to acquire a tech, media, or telecommunications business, filed for a $150 million IPO. Avi S. Katz backs the company(79.7%). Cowen & Company is the sole bookrunner in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE as “GIG.U.”

Arsanis, a Waltham, Mass.-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on monoclonal antibodies, raised $40 million in an offering of 4 million shares at $10 a piece, below its $15 to $17 range. The company posted loss of $23 million in 2016. Polaris Ventures(17.8% pre-offering), SV Life Sciences(17.8%), OrbiMed(17.8%), NeoMed Management(7.4%), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (9.4%) back the company. Citigroup, Cowen, and Piper Jaffray are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the NAsdaq as “ASNS.”

Farmmi, a Zhejiang, China-based mushroom processor, filed for a $5 million IPO. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $20.7 million and income of $2.3 million. ViewTrade is solebookrunner in the deal. The company plans to list as “FAMI” on the Nasdaq.


Native Deodorant, a San Francisco-based natural deodorant brand, sold itself to Procter & Gamble for $100 million in cash, according to TechCrunch. Native had raised $500,000 from Azure Capital Partners. Read more.

Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) agreed to acquire Leehar Distributors, LLC, from Nautic Partners, LLC and Oak HC/FT Partners LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, Diplomat will pay LDI $515 million cash and approximately $80 million in Diplomat common stock.

Leonard Green & Partners acquired a majority stake in MDVIP, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of affordable personalized healthcare solutions. The seller was Summit Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Imagia acquired Cadens Medical Imaging, a Canada-based provider of medical imaging software. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Imagia is backed by BDC Capital and Fidelity Investments Canada.

Excellere Partners sold TrialCard, a Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of patient-centric healthcare solutions to pharmaceuticals, to Odyssey Investment Partners LLC. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Bluegogo, a China-based bike-sharing company, is closing down, according to TechCrunch. It had raised approximately $90 million from investors including Black Hole Capital, Sinovation Ventures, and Elex Technology. Read more.

TechShop, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based membership-based do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio, is shutting down all U.S. locations and declaring bankruptcy, according to TechCrunch. It had raised approximately $4.7 million in venture funding. Read more.


Defy Partners, a California-based early stage venture firm, raised $151 million for its initial fund.

Sapphire Ventures is raising $100 million for its sports tech fund, according to an SEC filing.

The Maryland Venture Fund, a Columbia, Md.-based early-stage, evergreen venture capital fund, raised $25 million for the Maryland Innovation Opportunity Fund I.


Andrew Parmentier joined Highland Capital Management as chief strategy officer and head of thematic investing.

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. promoted Aaron Jacobson to partner and hired Kavita Patel, M.D. as a venture partner.

Idinvest Partners appointed Charles Daulon du Laurens as partner and global head of investor relations and marketing.


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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.

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