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Term Sheet — Monday, March 5

March 5, 2018, 2:27 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Hope you had a nice weekend. Here’s what you should know in the world of dealmaking today:

CHANGE OF PLANS: The U.S. Treasury just threw a new twist in Broadcom's proposed takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm. Regulators have intervened to delay Tuesday’s shareholder meeting by a month so the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate the proposed acquisition.

At the now-delayed meeting, shareholders were set to vote on the replacement of six Qualcomm board members. Some of the candidates were put forward by Broadcom, which would be an endorsement of the $142 billion takeover (including debt). Broadcom quickly blamed Qualcomm for the delay, saying it had “secretly” asked the CFIUS to investigate.

“This was a blatant, desperate act by Qualcomm to entrench its incumbent board of directors and prevent its own stockholders from voting for Broadcom’s independent director nominees,” Broadcom said. Read more.

BIG DEAL: France's Axa agreed to buy insurer XL Group for $15.3 billion in a deal that will make Axa the top provider of commercial casualty coverage. The move comes at a time when premiums are rising after last year’s hurricanes and California wildfires.

CRYPTO CASH: Here’s a crazy stat brought to light by The New York Times. It took Facebook seven years to raise $1 billion from investors. It took Uber five. Now, thanks to an initial coin offering, messaging app Telegram is on track to pull in a billion dollars in four months, long before the product that the company is raising for is even built! (Although Telegram has been around since 2013, it hasn’t tried to raise significant $ until late last year.)

Think about that for a second.

Several venture investors I’ve spoken to about ICOs have said that VCs provide much more value than just access to capital (they offer advice, mentorship, board members). But I have a feeling that the much-hyped Telegram ICO will further popularize this method of fundraising. As Venrock’s David Pakman told me, “I think we’ll see a bunch of regulation around it that will help weed out the bad actors and put some roadblocks in place to help things slow down and make them a little more rational.” Until regulators act, we continue to live in a world where people can defy the rules meant to protect investors from those bad actors.


Days After Magic Leap Raised $502 Million, An Employee Was Accused of Stealing $1 Million (by Alana Abramson)

Trump Tweets NAFTA Ultimatum: The Tariffs Stay Until a 'Fair' Deal Is Signed

Italy's Election Stalemate Sends the Country's Stocks Into a Tailspin (by David Meyer)

Did Trade Tariffs Cause the Great Depression? (by David Z. Morris)


Nubank, a Brazil-based financial technology company, raised $150 million in Series E funding. DST Global led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Fund, Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, QED Investors, and Dragoneer.

UiPath, a Romania-based provider of robotic process automation software, raised  $120 million in Series B funding at a $1B+ valuation, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers. Read more.

Kr Space, a China-based benchmark co-working space company, raised 600 million china yuan ($94.6 million) in funding. Investors were not named.

Starcity, a San Francisco-based startup focused on the community-based living experience, raised $16.45 million in Series A funding. Investors include Bullpen Capital, Y Combinator, Invest AG, and Alrai Capital.

Scalefast, a Los Angeles-based digital commerce platform, raised $8 million in Series A funding. BGV led the round, and was joined by investors including Adara Ventures, B&Y, French Partners and CIC Capital.

Jscrambler, a Portugal-based web security startup, raised more than $2.3 million in Series A funding. Investors include Sonae IM and Portugal Ventures.


Finch Therapeutics, a Somerville, Mass.-based microbiome therapeutics company, raised $36 million in Series B funding. Investors include Shumway Capital, Willett Advisors, Morgan Noble and Avenir Growth Capital.


Hercules Capital Inc acquired Gibraltar Business Capital, a Northbrook, Ill.-based provider of working capital to small and mid-market businesses. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

KKR invested in LS Automotive, a South Korea-based electrical auto parts maker, and acquired KCF Technologies Co Ltd, a copper foil and flexible copper clad laminate business. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

NBK Capital Partners invested in Energia Model Trading & Contracting LLC, a Saudi Arabia-based energy rental business. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Ooma, Inc. (NYSE: OOMA) agreed to acquire Voxter Communications Inc., a Canada-based provider of custom UCaaS solutions for mid-market and enterprise businesses. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Siemens AG will press ahead with an initial public offering of its health-care unit that could value it between 26 billion euros ($32 billion) and 31 billion euros, according to Bloomberg.


OpenGate Capital acquired Jøtul Group, a Norway-based maker of residential stoves and fireplaces. Ratos AB was the seller. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Astound Commerce acquired Fluid, a San Francisco-based digital customer experience and software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Sarah Cannon joined Index Ventures as a partner. Previously, Cannon was at CapitalG.

Spur Capital Partners named Matt Horten and Kevin Moore as partners.

Armory Group named Steven Sadek as managing director.

Industry Ventures promoted Lindsay Sharma and Ira Simkhovitch to principals and Eric Yee to senior associate.


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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.