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Term Sheet — Friday, January 12

January 12, 2018, 2:46 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Oh man, let’s talk sex parties & cuddle puddles. Earlier this month, Vanity Fair published a bombshell excerpt from Emily Chang’s new book Brotopia describing the allegedly rowdy sexual escapades of the tech elite.

Last night, Axios reported that one of these parties was held at venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson’s home. The party followed an annual DFJ conference called the Big Think. (Recently, Jurvetson stepped down from his role at DFJ after an internal investigation “uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs,” according to Recode.)

Things quickly escalated last night as entrepreneur Paul Biggar published a Medium post that described the Jurvetson party as “organized by the firm staff” and “the official afterparty of their big annual summit.”

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, along with angel investor Jason Calacanis and several others, attended the party and said they did not see inappropriate behavior at the event. Musk said the following to WIRED’s Erin Griffith:

“Emily Chang’s article was salacious nonsense. She conflated what happens in SF sex clubs in the Tenderloin, which have been around long before Silicon Valley was anything, with boring VC parties on the Peninsula. That is misleading to the public and she should be ashamed. If there are ‘sex parties’ in Silicon Valley, I haven’t seen or heard of one. If you want wild parties, you’re in the wrong place. Obviously. That DFJ party was boring and corporate, with zero sex or nudity anywhere. Nerds on a couch are not a ‘cuddle puddle.’ I was hounded all night by DFJ-funded entrepreneurs, so went to sleep around 1am. Nothing remotely worth writing about happened. The most fun thing was Steve lighting a model rocket around midnight.”

So — cuddle puddle or nerds on a couch? Regardless, these kinds of events obviously blur the line between personal and professional. Sponsored by DFJ but hosted at a partner’s home. Attended by DFJ staff but open to Jurvetson’s personal friends who are unaffiliated with the firm. It’s easy to see how people could get confused as to whether this is a DFJ-sponsored event or a private person entertaining guests in the privacy of his home. Whether the salacious details that Chang outlines in her book are true or they’re a gross mischaracterization of what took place, this event will surely make firms think twice about their out-of-office gatherings in the future.


Dropbox filed confidentially for IPO. The cloud company plans to go public in early 2018, meaning it could be one of the biggest U.S. enterprise technology companies to list domestically in recent years. Dropbox has a private valuation of $10 billion, and though it’s uncertain whether it will be able to initially sell shares above it, the stock could trade higher once it’s public.

Peter Thiel has made an offer to buy Gawker, a New York-based online media company. Thiel has not said why he wants Gawker, though the potential acquisition would let him take down stories regarding his personal life that are still available on the site.

HOUSEKEEPING: As a reminder, Term Sheet won’t be in your inbox this Monday for the MLK holiday. I'll still be around, so feel free to tweet at me over the weekend. Have a great weekend, and see you next week!


The trend that’s killing startup innovation (by Stav Vaisman)

Drone registrations have soared to a sky-high milestone play video (by Jonathan Vanian)

Daimler invests in what3words (by Kirsten Korosec)

The U.S. Marshals are auctioning off $52 million in Bitcoin seized from drug dealers


YCombinator is launching a biotech track. Walmart hikes minimum wage, announces layoffs on same day. Facebook unveils sweeping changes to algorithm. Snapchat’s big redesign bashed in 83% of user reviews.


Meicai, a China-based startup that helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, raised $450 million in funding. Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital led the round. Read more at Fortune.

Chronext, a Switzerland-based online platform that is used for buying, selling, and maintenance or overhauling of watches, raised $34 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Endeit Capital and Tengelmann Ventures. Read more.

Closetbox, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based provider of concierge storage services, raised $7.3 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. The investors were not named.. Read more.

Cardlay, a Denmark-based fintech company, raised $5 million in funding. Investors include SEED Capital and SEB Venture Capital.

Harver, an Amsterdam and New York-based HR tech company, raised $4.2 million in funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round.

FieldIn, an Israel and Salinas, California-based provider of pest management software for orchards, groves and vineyards, hs raised $4 million in funding. Gal Ventures and Germin8 Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Terra Ventures and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Pager, a New York-based mobile-first patient engagement and care navigation platform for large health plans and health systems, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Horizon Healthcare Services led the round, and was joined by investors including Lux Capital, Goodwater Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Vero Norte.

SalesPro, a Bangalore-based provider of market research and sales solutions, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from 3737 North Capital.

Acorns, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based micro-investing app, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from The Rise Fund.


Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, a Princeton, N.J.-based provider of treatment solutions for opioid addiction, raised $110 million in funding. Wellington Capital Management led the round, and was joined by investors including Avista Capital Partners, RA Capital Management, New Leaf Venture Partners, Deerfield Management, Rock Springs Capital and Apple Tree Partners.


Blacksmith Applications, which is backed by Strattam Capital, acquired GoSimple, an Oldsmar, Fla.-based provider of food service trade promotion management solutions to small and mid-tier CPG manufacturing organizations. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Marlin Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Talkwalker, a Luxembourg-based global listening and analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Calero Software, a portfolio company of Riverside Partners, has acquired A&B Groep, a Netherlands-based provider of telecom expense management solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Susquehanna Growth Equity LLC acquired a minority stake in Evive, a Chicago-based provider of enterprise benefits engagement, for $43 million.

PWP Growth Equity, Perella Weinberg Partners‘ middle market private equity group, made an undisclosed investment in Delphon Industries, a Haywayrd, Calif.-based maker of device protection and adhesive products.

Prospect Partners recapitalized Bland Landscaping Company Inc, an Apex, N.C.-based provider of landscape design, installation, enhancement and maintenance services for commercial properties and high-end residential estates. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

AccessOne, which is backed by Capital One Bank and Frontier Capital, agreed to acquire HealthFirst Financial, an Oregon, Ohio-based provider of patient financing programs for healthcare organizations. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Huron Capital made an investment in Pueblo Mechanical & Controls Inc, a Tucson, Ariz.-based provider of HVAC replacement, retrofit and repair services primarily for facilities in education, municipal, and healthcare end markets. No financial terms were disclosed.

Serent Capital made a minority investment in BirchStreet Systems, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based provider of cloud-based procure-to-pay automation software for customers in the hospitality, restaurant, and foodservice industries. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Emerson (NYSE: EMR) acquired Cooper-Atkins, a Middlefield, Conn.-based manufacturer of temperature management and environmental measurement devices and wireless monitoring solutions for foodservice, healthcare and industrial markets. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Maoyan Weying, China’s largest movie ticketing app, is planning for a $1 billion IPO in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.

Hyundai Oilbank, a South Korean refiner, has picked six bank to advise an IPO of at least $1 billion this year, IFR reported citing sources.  Hana Daetoo Securities and NH Investment & Securities are said to be lead advisors on the deal, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Shinhan and Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities as joint bookrunning managers. Read more.

Gates Industrial, a Denver, Colo.-based manufacturer of power transmission and fluid power, plans to raise $750.8 million in an offering of  38.5 million shares priced between $18 to $21 a share. Blackstone (84.2% post-offering) backs the company. Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment are leading the deal. The firm plans to list on the NYSE as “GTES.”

Liberty Oilfield Services, a Denver, Colo.-based fracking equipment maker, said it plans to raise $161 million in an offering of 10.7 million shares between $14 and $16 a piece. Riverstone, Carlyle, and Oakmont are major shareholders in the deal. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo Securities, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Evercore ISI are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE as “LBRT.”

Victory Capital Holdings, a Brooklyn, Ohio-based asset management firm, filed for a  $100 million IPO. Crestview GP and Reverence Capital Partners back the company. J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets are joint bookrunners inn the deaI. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “VCTR.”

Menlo Therapeutics, a Redwood City, Calif.-based biotech developing therapies for pruritus associated with dermatologic conditions, said it plans to raise $85 million in an offering 5.7 million shares at between $14 to $16 a piece. Vivo Capital (18% post-offering), and Redmeditex Ventures (12.9% post-offering) back the firm. Jefferies, Piper Jaffray and Guggenheim Securities are joint bookrunning managers in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “MNLO.”


Alphabet Inc.’s Google acquired Redux, a U.K.-based developer of technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers, according to Bloomberg. Redux had raised approximately $5 million in venture funding from investors including Arie Capital. Read more.

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in euNetworks, a U.K.-based bandwidth infrastructure company. Financial terms weren't disclosed. EuNetworks’ backers include Columbia Capital.

ITC Secure, which is backed by C5 Capital, acquired G3 Cyber Security, a London and Berlin-based practice from G3 and Kinnevik AB. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Alliance HealthCare Services, which is owned by Tahoe Investment Group, agreed to acquire e+CancerCare, a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of cancer care services. The seller was Kohlberg & Company L.L.C. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based global equity crowdfunding platform, formed Cognitiv, a $100 million fund.

Full Tilt Capital, a Raleigh, N.C.-based venture capital firm plans to raise $25 million for its debut crypto fund.


Encore Consumer Capital promoted Bill Shen to managing director.

Wynnchurch Capital promoted Carl Howe and Brian Riordan to vice president, JD Frank and Kevin Hanley to senior associate, and Chris Waldock and Ben Cherry to associates.

Clarion Partners named Donald Sheets as a managing director.


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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.