Good morning, Term Sheet readers. Here’s a rundown of what’s going on today and what you may have missed over the weekend.
GLOBAL PROSPERITY: The global economy is having a moment. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, and the growth is creating jobs while tempering fears of popular discontent. As Alan Murray wrote in today’s CEO Daily newsletter, President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade agenda was retrofitted at Davos into a more reasonable “America First, but not America alone.”
IN MEMORIAM: Ingvar Kamprad, the 91-year-old Swedish entrepreneur who founded Ikea, has died. Though he had an estimated net worth of $58.7 billion, Kamprad was known for driving an old Volvo, recycling tea bags and taking home little packets of salt and pepper from restaurant visits. Kamprad built the company from a small household goods business into the world’s largest furniture retailer. In 2015, colleague Beth Kowitt wrote an in-depth feature on Ikea’s global expansion efforts, and it’s definitely worth a read. Read the full story here.
ELECTRIC CARS: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and Foxconn Technology Group co-led a 2.2 billion yuan ($348 million) funding round into Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors. This marks Alibaba’s first big investment in a carmaker. Why? Because all the major Chinese players — Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu — want to see their technology incorporated into cars as autonomous vehicles enter the market.
MEANWHILE...Elon Musk is selling $500 flamethrowers. The reason? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Musk did say the rumor that he’s “secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false.”) It remains to be seen whether Musk will hit production targets for the flamethrower or the Model 3 first.
CONFIDENCE: Earlier this month, I asked Term Sheet readers to take Semaphore’s annual confidence survey of private equity and venture capital professionals. Many of you did, and here are some preliminary results. (The full results will be published here early next month).
• 90+% of current respondents have confidence in themselves entering 2018, while 79% have no or little confidence in President Trump.
• 81% earned more personal income in 2017 than in the year before with 72% expecting to continue that trend in 2018.
• Right now, there is a 50/50 tie in belief that the tax favorability of carried interest should be repealed vs. remain in force.
• 83% believe sexual misconduct, harassment and gender bias is a problem in the VC/PE industry.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• Why Sanofi Is Buying Belgian Biotech Company Ablynx for Nearly $5 Billion
• Koch Brothers Like Trump’s Plan for Dreamers (by Alana Abramson)
• ‘The Post’ Shows How Newspapers Once Dominated (by Adam Lashinsky)
• SpaceX’s Biggest Rocket Ever Has a New Date for Its First Launch (by David Meyer)
• ContentSquare, a Paris-based developer cloud-based software, raised $42 million in Series B funding. Canaan led the round, and was joined by investors including Highland Europe, Eurazeo, and H14.
• Duco, a London-based data engineering technology company, raised $28 million in funding. Investors include Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities and Eight Roads Ventures.
• Occipital, a San Francisco and Boulder-based maker of computer vision technologies and products, raised $15 million in Series C funding. Foundry Group led the round.
• BigID Inc., a New York-based company focused on enterprise data protection and privacy for personal data, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Investors include ClearSky Security, Comcast Ventures, the SAP.iO Fund, and BOLDstart Ventures.
• Bodle Technologies, a U.K.-based developer of low-power display anywhere technology, raised £6 million ($8.4 million) in Series A funding. Investors include Parkwalk Advisors, Oxford Sciences Innovation and Neil Woodford.
• StoreHub, a Malaysia-based startup that helps retailers digitize their businesses, raised $5.1 million in Series A funding. Vertex Ventures led the round.
• Goxip, a Hong Kong-based social shopping service, raised $5 million in funding. Meitu led the round, and was joined by investors including Nan Fung Group.
• LearnPlatform, a Raleigh, N.C.-based research-backed software-as-a-service for educators, raised $3.2 million in funding. Investors include New Markets Venture Partners and Emerson Collective.
• New Knowledge, a cyber security company that detects social media propaganda campaigns in real time, raised $1.9 million in seed funding. Moonshots Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Haystack, GGV Capital, Geekdom Fund, Capital Factory and Spitfire Ventures.
• Dominode, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based developer of verified identity solutions for regulated industries, raised $1.3 million in funding. Investors include Blockchange Ventures.
• Pay By Group, a Mountain View, Calif.-based group payments solution provider, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Czar Ventures.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Citron Hygiene LP, a Birch Hill Equity Partners portfolio company, acquired Hygiene Solutions Inc, a Chicago-based provider of washroom hygiene services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. will buy Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc (NYSE:DPS). to create Keurig Dr Pepper, a new beverage company. Under the terms of the agreement, Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders will receive $103.75 per share in a cash dividend and retain 13% of the combined company.
• RELX Group will acquire ThreatMetrix, a San Jose, Calif.-based risk-based authentication solutions provider, for 580 million pounds ($816 million) in cash.
• Cactus, a Houston oil and gas firm, said it plans to raise $375 million in an IPO of 21.4 million shares priced between $16 to $19. Citi, Credit Suisse and Simmons & Co. are joint bookrunners in the deal. Cactus plans to list on the NYSE as “WHD.”
• Huami, a Hefei, China-based maker of wearable devices maker, said it plans to raise $110 million in an offering of 10 million ADSs priced between $10 to $12. Credit Suisse, Citi and China Renaissance are joint bookrunners in the deal. It plans to list on the NYSE as “HMI.”
• EQT Partners agreed to sell I-MED Radiology Network, an Australia-based network of medical imaging clinics, to Permira. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Bloomberg pegged the sale at A$1.3 billion ($1.1 billion). Read more.
• Leonard Green & Partners LP is nearing a deal to acquire Pro Mach Group Inc, a Loveland, Ohio-based packaging company, from AEA Investors LP for more than $2.2 billion, including debt, according to Reuters.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Blue Point Capital Partners LLC, a Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity firm, raised $700 million for its fourth fund, Blue Point Capital Partners IV LP.
• LRVHealth (formerly Long River Ventures), a Boston-based venture capital firm, raised $100 million for its new fund.
• Bonfire Ventures, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, raised $60 million for its debut fund.