Term Sheet — Tuesday, February 20

February 20, 2018, 2:17 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Here’s the story everyone is talking about today:

RETAIL WARS: Albertsons strikes again. The national grocery chain announced it will purchase the part of Rite Aid that isn’t being sold to Walgreens Boots Alliance. The two companies will have a combined value of around $24 billion, including debt. Albertsons, which owns Safeway and 19 other supermarket chains, would hold roughly 71% of the combined company, while Rite Aid investors would own the rest.

Why does this matter?

For one, it’s mutually beneficial. The deal will help bolster Albertsons’ plans to go public after more than a decade of ownership by private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management. In turn, it will help Rite Aid sell all of its assets after the federal government blocked its full sale to Walgreens in 2015.

But perhaps most interesting is what the chief executives at both companies told The Wall Street Journal. They said “the merger is the best way for them to compete in businesses increasingly threatened by Amazon.com Inc., along with an emboldened Walmart.”

Retailers like Albertsons have been feeling the Amazon-fueled pressure for some time. Ever since Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition sent ripples through the market, grocers began scrambling to find ways to compete. As a result, Albertsons recently scooped up meal kit startup, Plated, in order to better serve a different clientele that prefers to shop online (read: Millennials).

As Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green told me last week, traditional retailers need to “deliver more and deliver better” in order to compete in a market where Amazon dominates.

LET'S MEET: I'll be at the Bull City Venture Partners Venture Outlook conference in Durham, N.C. tomorrow, and I'd love to meet some of you in person. If you're planning to attend, say hi! See the agenda here.


Meet Chronicle, Alphabet's latest moonshot (by Jonathan Vanian)

How top fitness chains are using tech to keep you coming back (by Valentina Zarya)

Venezuela launches pre-sale of its controversial oil-backed cryptocurrency (by David Meyer)

Sweden's mission to go cashless may have gone too far (by Emily Price)


The case against Google. Kidtech startup SuperAwesome is now valued at $100+ million and profitable. Sony Corp. to launch an AI-based taxi-hailing service in Japan. The tax overhaul gains more supporters. Qualcomm raises bid for NXP for $44 billion.


Small Giant Games, a Finland-based mobile game developer, raised $41 million in funding. EQT Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Creandum, Spintop Ventures, and PROfounders.

Lyric, an San Francisco-based hospitality company that designs and manages short-term rentals, raised $15.5 million in Series A funding. Investors include Fifth Wall, NEA, Barry Sternlicht, the founders of Casper, AXA Strategic Capital and NFX Guild.

Vydia, a Holmdel, N.J.-based video tech startup, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Vocap Investment Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Newark Venture Partners.

Losant, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based IoT developer platform that provides device management, raised $5.2 million in a Series A funding. CincyTech led the round, and was joined by investors including TechNexus, Vine Street Ventures, and Rise of the Rest fund.

LumiGrow, an Emeryville, Calif.-based smart horticultural lighting company, raised $5.1 million in bridge funding. Ecosystem Integrity Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including ValueAct Spring Master Fund LP and Greenhouse Capital.

Homie, a London-based proptech startup, raised $4 million in seed funding, according to TechCrunch. Connect Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including VentureFriends, Seedcamp, and The Family. Read more.

re:infer, a London-based AI startup delivering cognitive automation, raised $3.5 million in funding. Touchstone Innovations led the round, and was joined by investors including Crane Ventures and Seedcamp.

CentralReach, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based provider of electronic health record and practice management software for clinics focused on applied behavioral analysis and speech therapy, raised funding of an undisclosed amount, from Insight Venture Partners.


Huntington Solutions, a portfolio company of Mill Point Capital, acquired TrimTec Systems, a Columbus, Ohio-based maker of custom fabricated EPS and industrial packaging solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Amphora Gas Storage USA, which is backed by Arclight Capital Partners LLC, agreed to acquire Enstor Gas, an operator of Avangrid‘s gas storage business. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Metal Powder Products LLC, a portfolio company of Mill Point Capital, acquired NetShape Technologies Inc, a Floyd Knobs, Ind.-based provider of engineered metal components using powdered metal and metal injection molding technologies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Softbank, the Japanese giant, has reportedly tapped Nomura for what may be a $19 billion IPO of its domestic telecom business, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.

Deutsche Bank, the German banking giant, is planning to IPO its asset management arm, DWS, next week, Reuters reports citing sources. The firm is expected to raise about $1.9 to $2.5 billion by offering 25% of the firm. Read more.

DFB Healthcare Acquisitions, a New York City-based blank check company backed by Deerfield Management, said it raised $250 million in an offering of 25 million units priced at $10 a piece. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “DFBHU.” Read more.

Zscaler, a San Jose, Calif.-based cloud security firm, filed for an $100 million IPO. The company posted revenue of $125.7 million and loss of $35.5 million in the year ending July 2017. TPG backs the company (8.7% pre-IPO). Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are joint bookrunners in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ZS.” Read more.

Arcus Biosciences, a Hayward, Calif-based biotech developing immunotherapy drugs, filed for a $100 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $1.4 million and loss of $53.1 million in 2017. Google’s parent company and The Column Group back the company. Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Leerink Partners are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the NYSE as “RCUS.” Read more.

Taiwan Liposome, a Taipei-based biotech developing pain and eye disease drugs, filed for a $50 million IPO. In 2017, the firm posted revenue of $1.7 million and loss of $29.5 million. Cantor Fitzgerald is underwriter in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “TLC.” Read more.

Siemens, a Munich-based engineering firm, is planning to IPO a minority stake in Siemens Healthineers during the first half of the year. Siemens plans to offer the stake in the first half of 2018. Read more.


Oracle agreed to acquire Zenedge, an Aventura, Fla.-based platform that helps secure IT systems deployed via cloud, on-premise or hybrid hosting environments. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Zenedge had raised approximately $13.7 million in venture funding from investors including TELUS Ventures, Union Bay Partners, and Pilot Growth Equity.

New Matter, a Pasadena, Calif.-based maker of 3D printers, is shuttering operations. New Matter had raised approximately $6.5 million in venture funding from investors including Dolby Family Ventures, First Round Capital, and Alsop Louie Partners.

H.I.G. Capital sold Pet Food Holdings Inc, parent of Pro-Pet LLC, to Cargill Inc. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Ezaki Glico Co Ltd agreed to buy TCHO Ventures Inc, a Berkeley, Calif.-based craft chocolate company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. TCHO is majority owned by Emil Capital Partners and Tengelmann Group.


Kevin R. Collins joined GHK Capital Partners as a vice president.

Pomona Capital promoted John Stephens to partner.

Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky joined Y Combinator as a partner.

Rodolfo Rosini joined Zeroth.ai as a partner.

Pantheon appointed Justin Mallis and Michael Hutten as principals.


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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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