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Term Sheet — Friday, November 17

November 17, 2017, 2:14 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Alright, here it is: the book list to end all book lists. I’ve organized your suggestions into sections you can tackle while avoiding your annoying relatives this holiday season.

Thank you to everyone who emailed, tweeted, and even mailed me a real physical book (how did you find me?!). Just in case you’re curious, I’m currently reading, “Titan” by Ron Chernow, “Principles” by Ray Dalio, and a dramatic, tell-all book about “The Bachelor.”

Now, onto your suggestions:


Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

A Bill Gates (and Term Sheet reader) favorite, Shoe Dog offers an inside look at how Phil Knight built his startup Nike into the global brand it is today.

The Smartest Guys in the Room by Peter Elkind & Bethany McLean

If you’re looking for drama and really good reporting, this is for you. The book-turned-Netflix special details the rise and fall of Enron and was written by two Fortune alums.

Titan by Ron Chernow

John D. Rockefeller has been referred to as “the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism.” He was a ruthless business magnate while also being a major philanthropist. This one is a business staple.

Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin

This is a real-life thriller with a blow-by-blow account of the economic crisis that brought the entire financial world to its knees. It has everything — ego, greed, and fear.

Wild Ride by Adam Lashinsky

Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky wrote about Travis Kalanick, one of the most polarizing figures in Silicon Valley. Lashinsky takes readers on quite a ride as he meticulously details Uber’s meteoric rise — and its jaw-dropping plunge into controversy.


Principles by Ray Dalio

Most people hate conflict, but Ray Dalio thrives on it. He’s built Bridgewater Associates into the world’s biggest hedge fund by encouraging radical transparency and organizational dissent. This book will give you the tools to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.

Venture Deals by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson

This one delves into the details of what Term Sheet readers deal with on a daily basis — the term sheet, the players, the negotiations, the legalities, and more. Think of it as a very comprehensive guidebook to understanding venture capital funding.

E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

E Myth should be required reading for anyone who wants to start their own company. In this bestseller, Gerber dispels the myths about starting a small business and helps readers take their plans from the ideal to the specific.


Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

This book has been called, “one of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980s.” The captivating account of the fall of RJR Nabisco still serves as a great cautionary tale about greed and double-dealings.

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart

This bestseller details the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and profiles the players who almost walked away with billions. The book combines business, crime, and the ugly side of human nature — what more could you want?

Business Adventures by John Brooks

This is Bill Gates’ favorite book (and he has Warren Buffett’s copy). So if this is good enough for Gates & Buffett, it’s good enough for this list. John Brooks compiled his longform New Yorker articles into this book, which include profiles of Xerox, Ford, and General Electric.


Elon Musk by Ashley Vance

I personally like this book because it delves into the psyche of one of the most innovative (albeit unusual) entrepreneurs of our time. Vance gives readers an exclusive look into SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, while also giving us a better understanding of Elon Musk’s mind.

Jeff Bezos and The Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

It is mind-boggling to think Amazon started out as an online bookstore. That wasn’t nearly enough for its wildly ambitious founder, Jeff Bezos. This is an in-depth account of how Bezos’ large bets forever transformed the retail industry.

King of Capital by David Carey & John E. Morris

This is a good book to read right after you finish Barbarians at the Gate. It demonstrates how Blackstone and other private equity firms transformed into disciplined, risk-conscious investors — all this while banks were recklessly pushing the economy to the brink of disaster. This book documents the remarkable rise, fall, and rise (again) of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone.

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

You may already know that Franklin was a writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, but this is a look into how this country’s ultimate founder helped define America’s national identity.


Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel’s contrarian view that we live in an age of technological stagnation is obviously heavily debated. In this book, he teaches readers to learn to think for themselves and shows them how to win big by avoiding competition.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz shares words of advice for running a startup, solving tough problems, and managing a growing company. Oh, and he uses rap lyrics to teach complex business lessons in his own personalized way.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

In a world of crazy valuations and excess capital, Ries encourages founders to take a more capital-efficient approach to building a company. Throw away the business plan, innovate faster, and build a sustainable startup.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

In his latest book, Tim Ferriss shares the productivity secrets of the more than 200 “world-class performers” he has interviewed on his podcast.


Good to Great by Jim Collins

How can good, mediocre, and even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? In this book, Collins outlines some of the characteristics of the world’s greatest performers and explores how they were able to leave their competitors in the dust.

Earning It by Joann Lublin

As one of the first female reporters at the Wall Street Journal, Joann Lublin knows a thing or two about women shattering the corporate glass ceiling. In this book, she interviews more than 50 female traiblazers who made their mark on their way the top.

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

In this bestseller, Gallup presents its findings after studying more than 80,000 managers in pursuit of learning the secret of what separates the greatest leaders from all the rest.


The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

As the greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham’s philosophy of "value investing" has withstood the test of time. It’s also a book that Warren Buffett says “changed his life.”

The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett (edited by Lawrence A. Cunningham)

This book is a compilation of Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder letters woven in with his thoughts on investing. What better way to learn than from the Oracle himself?


Grit by Angela Duckworth

Psychologist Angela Duckworth claims success is the result of passion and persistence, not talent and luck. One Term Sheet reader said, “It gets to the heart of why people succeed and most of it is the result of consistent effort.”

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Renowned psychologist Daniel Kahneman conducts a deep analysis of the two cognitive systems that shape the judgments and decisions we make in our everyday lives.

The Essays of Warren Buffett by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

As an FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss has come face-to-face with all sorts of criminals, including kidnappers, bank robbers, and terrorists. In this book, he teaches negotiation tactics that you can use even if your life depended on it.


Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

In this book, Harari explores the unexplored. Humans have started bending laws of natural selection, so he asks some simple but uncomfortable questions: As humans gain the ability to design themselves as well as the world around them, where will this lead our species and what will we become?

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace

Everyone can learn something from Pixar. This book details the story of how the studio behind Inside Out and Toy Story came to dominate the industry of animation. Creativity Inc. has been called “the most thoughtful management book ever.”

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sheryl Sandberg’s raw and heart-wrenching Option B redefined what it means to “lean in.” The phrase takes on a new meaning in this book where she recounts the moment when the rabbi who presided over her husband’s funeral tells her to “lean in to the suck.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This timeless bestseller is the type of book you re-read and take notes on. It will shatter long-standing beliefs you never even thought you held. Carnegie’s strategies and principles are applicable to life and business.


Disrupted by Dan Lyons

This is a messy, tell-all account of what happens when a seasoned journalist from an established news magazine takes a job at a software marketing startup. He chronicles his time at Hubspot where he encountered “devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and ‘wantrapreneurs.’”

Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis

In the 1980s, liar’s poker was the game you played on Wall Street. Lewis recounts his days as a young, bond salesman working at Salomon Brothers. He gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the frat-boy world where young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of deception.

Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez

This is the Silicon Valley version of Liar’s Poker. It’s a hilarious account of life inside the tech bubble. Garcia Martinez, a former Twitter advisor, Facebook product manager and startup founder, has done some crazy things himself — brewing illegal beer on the Facebook campus, living on a sailboat, and racing sport cars on the 101. This is Silicon Valley in all its glory.

Again, thank you all for your wonderful recommendations. Now, I have a lot of reading to do over the holidays. PS: I also asked my friends on Twitter for more books — you can find them here.


Stitch Fix is the latest weak tech IPO (by David Meyer)

PayPal's CEO on Venmo: Don't mess up the 'special magic' (by Michal Lev-Ram)

Elon Musk reveals Tesla truck with a Model 3 heart (by Kirsten Korosec)

Apple's diversity chief is leaving after only 6 months (by Jonathan Vanian)


GoSpotCheck, a Denver, Colo.-based SaaS-based field execution management platform, raised $21.5 million in Series B1 funding. Insight Venture Partners and Point Nine Capital co-led the round.

 Axios, an Arlington, Va.-based media company, raised $20 million in funding. Greycroft Partners and Lerer-Hippeau Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by investors including NBCUniversal, Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective, Greg Penner, and WndrCo.

 Trocafone, a Brazil-based online marketplace for used electronics, raised $15 million in funding. Investors include Callfort, MIT Castor Ventures Fund, FJ Labs, Rocketship, and Mercado Libre Fund.

 Airside Mobile, an Arlington, Va.-based creator of a mobile passport app, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Blazar Ventures and Grotech Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Bain Capital Ventures and 8VC.

 Meural, a New York-based digital art technology company, raised $5 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. Corigin Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Netgear, and Resolute Venture Partners. Read more.

 Modulated Imaging Inc, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of imaging technology for preventing, diagnosing and curing medical conditions, raised $2.86 million in Series A funding. Grey Sky Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co and Fresenius Medical Care Ventures GmbH.

 Physera, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based musculoskeletal care company, raised $2.8 million in funding. Investors include Innovation Endeavors, Lux Capital, Expa, Slow Ventures, and iD Ventures.

 Bird.i, a U.K.-based startup which collates and disseminates satellite, airborne and drone imagery in real-time, raised $2.6 million in funding. Accelerated Digital Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Concrete VC, Frontline Ventures, Satellite Application Catapult Services and Scottish Investment Bank.

 Gainfully Inc, a San Francisco-based software-as-a-service network that connects insurance and financial services companies, raised $2.5 million in funding. MassMutual Ventures led the round.

 OROS, a France-based maker of high-tech outerwear, raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors include NCT Ventures and Fengshion Capital.

 Achievelt, an Atlanta-based company that helps businesses “improve the execution of their strategic plans and growth initiatives,” raised $1.7 million in funding from BIP Capital.


 X4 Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of novel CXCR4 inhibitor drugs to improve immune cell trafficking to treat cancer and rare diseases, raised $27 million in Series B funding. The investors were not named.


 Bridgepoint agreed to buy the Burger King brand in the UK, according to Reuters. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.

 Shore Points Capital acquired GenAlpha Technologies, a Brookfield, Wisc.-based provider of software and services for original equipment manufacturers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 Equistone Partners Europe Limited made an investment of an undisclosed amount in BFT Mastclimbing, a U.K.-based independent specialist for the specification, rental, and installation of mast climbing work platforms. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 Cerberus acquired a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank (DB:DBK), according to Reuters. Read more.

 Serent Capital made an investment of an undisclosed amount in CallRevu, a Baltimore-based provider of automotive dealer call management software.

 Caligor Holdco LLC, which is owned by Diversis Capital, acquired The Coghlan Group, a Bastrop, Texas-based materials management service company for clinical trials. No financial terms were disclosed.

 Spanos Barber Jesse & Co made an investment of an undisclosed amount in DENNIS, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of school uniforms. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 Optiv Security, which is backed by KKR, acquired Decision Lab, a big data, automation and orchestration services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 Magna5, which is backed by NewSpring Holdings, acquired NetServe365, a  Pittsburgh, Penn.-based managed services provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 The Riverside Company acquired iView Systems, a Toronto-based provider of public safety software solutions for the gaming and hospitality markets, as an add-on for its Omnigo Software platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


 Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc have expressed interest in acquiring a significant part of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s assets, according to Reuters. Read more.

 Airbnb acquired AdBasis, a Chicago-based adtech company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

 FAT Brands Inc., parent company of the Fatburger, agreed to acquire Hurricane Grill & Wings, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based restaurant chain, for $12.5 million.


MPM Holdings, a speciality silicone producer based out of Waterford, N.Y., said it plans to postpone its $350 million IPO of 14.6 million shares(29% insider) priced between $23 to $25. Apollo Management (39.74% pre-offering), Oaktree Capital Management(20.43%), D.E. Shaw (7.44%), and Pentwater Capital Management (6.83%) back the company. J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs were underwriters in the deal. MPM planned to list on the NYSE as “MPMH.”

Canuelas Mill, a Buenos Aires, Argentina-based food company, said it will postpone its $302 million in an IPO of 19.5 million ADSs(50% insider) between $14 to $17 a piece. In 2016, the company posted sales of $2 billion on earnings on $53 million. J.P. Morgan and UBS were joint global coordinators in the deal, with HSBC and Itau BBA as joint bookrunners.The company planned to list on the NYSE as “MOLC.”

SailPoint Technologies, an Austin, Texas-based company providing access management software, said it raised $240 million in an offering of 20 million shares(28.5% insider) at $12, above its $9 to $10 range. The company posted revenue of $132.4 million in 2016 and loss of $3.2 million. Thomas Bravo backs the company. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Jefferies, and RBC Capital Markets are underwriters in the deal. It plans to list on the NYSE as “SAIL.”

Sterling Bancorp, a mortgage loan company based out of Southfield, Mich., raised $180 million in an IPO of 15 million shares at $12 a piece, the low end of its range. In 2016 the company posted income of $33.2 million with loans of $2 billion. Real estate developer Scott Seligman and his family back the company. Sandler O’Neill and Partners is underwriter in the deal. The company has filed to list on the Nasdaq.

Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based personal styling company, said it plans to offer raise $120 million in an offering of 8 million shares at $15 a piece, below its previously stated range at $18 to $20. Baseline Ventures(28.1% post-offering), Benchmark Capital(25.6%), and Lightspeed Venture Partners(11.8%) back the company. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list as “SFIX” on the Nasdaq.

Bluegreen Vacations, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based timeshare resort company, raised $91 million in an offering of 6.5 million shares(42% insider) at $14 a share, below its range of $16 to $18 a piece. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $662.6 million and income of $75 million. BBX Capital backs the company. Stifel and Credit Suisse are bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE as “BXG.”

scPharmaceuticals, a Burlington, Mass.-based company seeking to commercialize intravenous treatments, said it raised $90 million in an IPO of f 6.4 million shares at $14, at the low end of its range. The company posted loss of $24.4 million in 2016. Backers include 5AM Ventures(23.2% pre-offering), Lundbeckfond Invest A/K(22.6%), OrbiMed(23%), and Sun Pharmaceuticals(16.2%). Jefferies, Leerink Partners, and BMO Capital Markets are underwriters in the deal. THe company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SCPH.”


Williams-Sonoma, Inc will acquire Outward, a San Jose, Calif.-based augmented reality startup, in an all-cash deal for $112 million. Outward had raised approximately $11.5 million in venture funding from investors including Merus Capital.

 Mashable, a New York-based tech news website, is being sold to Ziff Davis, according to the Wall Street Journal. The website will sell to Ziff Davis for approximately $50 million according to the report, which is less than its valuation of $250 million. Mashable had raised approximately $46 million from investors including Time Warner Investments, Turner Broadcasting, and Updata Partners. Read more.


 Aster, a Paris-based venture capital firm, raised 240 million euros ($283 million) for its first venture fund.

Engineering Capital, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm, raised $47.5 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing.


 Advantus Capital Management promoted Dave Kuplic to president.

 Upfront Ventures promoted Michael Carney from associate to principal.


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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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