Term Sheet — Friday, December 14

December 14, 2017, 2:55 PM UTC


Good morning Term Sheet readers, this is Jeff John Roberts pinch-hitting for the popular Polina today.

A recent Fortune feature put a spotlight on Greycroft—an earlier investor in Target’s brand new acquisition of Shipt—and its OG partner, Alan Patricof. While researching the story, one source raised the question of who would be on “the Mt. Rushmore of VCs.”

There’s no plan afoot to carve four venture capitalists into a mountain anytime soon (though it’s not inconceivable given the money and ego in Silicon Valley), but it’s still an interesting thought exercise, which is why I put the question to various founders and venture capitalists.

Four names came up most often: John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Marc Andreessen, and the late Tom Perkins. All of these men became very rich, of course, but they also share attributes that go beyond wealth—such as the ability to identify and shape transcendent technologies, and to mentor brilliant entrepreneurs. It also probably helped that they have interesting or outlandish personal lives.

My survey sample was small, however, and no doubt some will disagree with the outcome. That’s why Fortune has put together a poll asking readers to weigh in on their choice for VC Mt. Rushmore. Specifically, should one of the current four be replaced with one of the runner-ups like Bill Gurley or Fred Wilson? Please visit and cast your vote.

Finally, some will notice a dearth of women among the choices, which is discouraging but obvious given the VC world’s very male culture. But if you want to take heart, there are a growing number of female partners at venture firms—including Dana Settle and Ellie Wheeler at Greycroft—which means the list of Mt. Rushmore candidates is likely to look very different ten years from now.


Charles Schwab's Surprising AI Adviser Doesn't Pick Stocks (by Aaron Pressman)

IBM Adds JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Samsung to Quantum Computing Project (by Jonathan Vanian)

How to Spend Money on Elections—and Actually Win (Christopher Glazek)

Why Steph Curry, Randi Zuckerberg, and Jessica Seinfeld Invested in This Generic Grocery Store (Beth Kowitt)

Doug Jones Wants Action On This Major Health Policy Before He Takes Office—And It's Not Obamacare (by Sy Mukherjee)

These Looks Will Make Any Man Stand Out at Their New Year's Party (by Michael Zennie)


Target to Buy Shipt for $550 Million in Challenge to Amazon. Tencent Music Drowns Out Spotify and Apple in China. Investors most bearish since 2009, according to BCG survey. Navajo Nation sues Wells Fargo over 'predatory' sales practices. Justice Department confirms criminal probe in Uber case.


Ginkgo Bioworks, the Boston, Mass-based organism company, raised $275 million in Series D funding. Investors included Viking Global, Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, and Cascade Investment, and General Atlantic.

INSIGHTEC, an Israeli medical device company specializing in non-invasive treatment of brain conditions using MR-guided focused ultrasound,raised $150 million in Series E funding. Koch Disruptive Technologies led the round.

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, a San Francisco-based developer of antibody therapeutics, raised $62 million in Series B funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round and was joined by investors including Sofinnova Ventures, Vida Ventures, OrbiMed, SV Health Investors, Osage University Partners and Mission Bay Ventures.

Ritual a San Francisco-based social ordering app that connects users to their favorite local eateries, announced $57.5 million in total funding. Series A was led by Greylock Partners and Series B was led by Insight Ventures.

INSIKT, a San Francisco-based white label lender to underbanked families, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Grupo Coppel led the round, and was joined by investors including First Mark Capital, Revolution Ventures, and Colchis Capital.

Kyn Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass-based biotechnology company, raised $49 million Series A funding. The investors were OrbiMed and Atlas Venture.

Vayyar Imaging, an Israeli 3D imaging sensor company, raised $45 million in Series C funding. Walden Riverwood and ITI led the round and was joined by investors including Claltech, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, Israel Cleantech Ventures and Amiti.

NorthSea Therapeutics B.V., a Dutch biotech, closed 25 million euros ($29.6 million) in Series A funding. Forbion and BGV led the round and were joined by Novo Seeds and New Science Ventures.

Finiata, a Berlin-based fintech, raised €18 million ($21.3 million) in Series A funding. Investors include DN Capital, Point Nine, Fly Ventures and Redalpine.

Instana, a San Francisco-based firm applying automation and artificial intelligence to application performance management (APM),raised a $20 million Series B funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including Target Partners.

FreightHub, a Berlin-based digital freight forwarder, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Northzone led the round and was joined by investors including Global Founders Capital, Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures and La Famiglia.

Virtual Incision Corporation, a Lincoln, Neb.-based medical device company, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Sinopharm Capital and Bluestem Capital led the round and was joined by investors including PrairieGold Venture Partners.

Manticore Games, a San Mateo, California-based developer of multiplayer PC and console games, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Benchmark led the round and was joined by investors including BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Correlation Ventures, CrunchFund, Macro Ventures and SV Angel.

Bizzabo, a New York and Israel-based event success platform, raised $15 million in funding. Pilot Growth Equity led the round.

Joblift, a Berlin-based job site, raised 10 million euros ($11.4 million) in funding. DN Capital led and was joined by investors including Picus Capital, Cherry Ventures, btov and TruVenturo.

nWay, a San Francisco game developer, raised $11 million. Investors include March Capital Partners and Ridge Ventures.

Collective Retreats, a Denver-based experiential travel firm, raised $10 million. Investors include Altos Ventures, First Round Capital, and Slow Ventures.

Workboard, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of active strategy management software, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding. The investors included Floodgate and Microsoft Ventures.

Biofourmis, a Singapore-based healthtech company, raised $5.0 million in a Series A funding. The investors were NSI Ventures and Aviva Venture.

Mirror AI, a Russian emoji app startup, raised $3.5 million. Current investors include Kevin Durant, SoftBank Group, Greylock Ventures, SV Angel, Peter Thiel, YCombinator,  I2BF, Data Collective, and Peter Diamandis.

Pace, a London startup that uses machine learning and dynamic pricing to maximise hotels’ revenues and occupancy, raised £2.5 million ($2.4 million) in seed investment. InterGlobe led the round, and was joined by investors including Seedcamp, Speedinvest and Amadeus Capital Partners.

Glo Inc, a Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based free-roaming VR system developer, announced that it has raised $3m in seed funding. Investors include Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, CRCM Ventures, Presence Capital Fund, and Mindworks Ventures.

Girlboss, a Los Angeles-based women’s empowerment brand, raised $2 million in funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Atom Factory.

Tilson Technology Management, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based information tech firm for professional services and network construction solutions, raised $5 million in Series D funding. The investors included Rand Capital.

Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency index fund manager, raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors include Khosla Ventures via Keith Rabois, General Catalyst via Hemant Taneja and Blockchain Capital.

Curisium, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based healthcare technology and services company  using a blockchain-based platform, raised $3.5M in seed funding. Investors include Flare Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Shuttle Fund, Sanofi Ventures, and Green Bay Ventures.

Kami, a London and Hong Kong-based conversational artificial intelligence company, raised $1.7 million in seed funding. The investors include ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator Limited, a subsidiary of Softbank, X Technology Fund and Tin Fu Fund.

SBDA Group, a Dublin, Ireland-based artificial intelligence company, raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. The investors were FinSight Ventures and Digital Space Ventures.

GreenJinn, a London-based next-generation mobile couponing app, raised 670,000 pounds ($898,000) in funding via Crowdcube, an investment crowdfunding platform. Investors include Guerrino De Luca, former Logitech CEO and former Jack Wills CEO Wendy Becker.


Back in Motion Physical Therapy, a portfolio company of Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, acquired Results Physical Therapy, a Maine-based operator of outpatient physical therapy clinics. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The Abraaj Group acquired a minority stake in Société Nationale des Télécommunications, Tunisia’s telecom operator. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Silverfleet Capital acquired a majority stake in Riviera Travel, an U.K.-based operator of escorted tours. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Abry Partners closed its recapitalization of NexusTek, a Denver-based IT services and consulting firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Doctor.com, backed by Spring Mountain Capital, Colle Capital, and StartUp Health, acquired Connect Healthcare. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Revelstoke Capital Partners completed its recapitalization of ONsite Mammography, a Westfield, Massachusetts-based 3D mammography service.

TSG Consumer Partners, acquired a majority stake in Sunshine Fitness, an Orlando-based franchisee of Planet Fitness. financial terms weren't disclosed.


Walt Disney will acquire a large chunk of 21st Century Fox for $52 billion. Read more.

DENSO, an auto tech supplier, acquired InfiniteKey, a Holland, Mich-based tech firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


LexinFintech Holdings, a Shenzhen, China-based company said it would raise $120 million in an IPO of 12 million shares at $9 to $11. 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.”

Casa Systems, an Andover, Mass.-based software maker for cable providers, said it would raise $78 million in an IPO of 6 million shares at $13 a piece. The company posted revenue of $316.1 million on income of $88.7 million in 2016. Summit Partners(52.1% pre-offering) backs the company. Morgan Stanley and Barclays are joint bookrunners in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “Casa.”


Andreessen Horowitz raised $450 million for second bio fund, focusing on the intersection of biology and engineering. Read more.

Next Orbit Ventures, an Abu Dhabi-based fund, launched a $2 billion fund to invest in India’s semiconductor and electronics industries, Reuters reports. Read more.


Accelerator Corp, a Seattle and New York-based life science investment and management firm, named Kendall Mohler as chief development officer and Ian Howes as chief financial officer. Previously, Mohler was senior vice president of research at Juno Therapeutics Inc while Howes was the CFO of Heart Metabolics.

Waterfall Asset Management hired Gene Weil and John Nelligan to launch and oversee a new private equity platform dubbed Waterfall Milestone. Previously, Weil was the co-head of Houlihan Lokey‘s financial institutions group while Nelligan was a managing director.

Toyota AI Ventures hired Jill Ford as principal. Previously, Ford served as head of innovation and entrepreneurship for the City of Detroit.

Arsenal Capital Partners promoted Gene Gorbach, Roy Seroussi, and Brian Orkin to Investment Partner.  In addition, Yoonmo Yang was promoted to Vice President.


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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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