A DAY OF M&A
Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
WeWork just announced that it’s acquiring Conductor, a content marketing platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Conductor had raised approximately $60.6 million in venture funding from investors such as Catalyst Investors, Matrix Partners, FirstMark, and Blue Cloud Ventures. Conductor will continue to operate independently, with its CEO Seth Besmertnik reporting to WeWork president and CFO Artie Minson.
Here’s one of the biggest takeaways: This acquisition gives WeWork access to some large clients as Conductor has relationships with Citibank, Jet.com, CVS, and Salesforce. “When WeWork started in 2010, our focus was the startups and small businesses that filled our first few locations. In the subsequent eight years, we’ve welcomed hundreds of the world’s largest corporations — like GE, Mastercard, and Samsung — into our more than 200 locations. These large companies are now the fastest growing part of our business, making up 25 percent of our membership,” reads a WeWork blog post.
The deal comes days after rival Industrious, a co-working office space startup, raised $80 million in venture funding to grow its roster of corporate clients. As I noted previously, Industrious’ growth in the corporate world is impressive but WeWork is the 800-pound gorilla backed by SoftBank. In turn, WeWork is also going after corporate clients including GE, HSBC, Salesforce and Microsoft. By acquiring Conductor, the co-working giant is using its — what seems like unlimited — cash to show that it’s serious about growing and solidifying its position in serving the corporate world.
M&A BOSS: Coinbase, the largest U.S. Bitcoin exchange, poached a top dealmaker from LinkedIn as it looks to make bigger acquisitions.
Emilie Choi did more than 40 deals at LinkedIn (including the $1.5 billion Lynda.com acquisition) as the company’s head of M&A for eight years. On Monday, she joined Coinbase as its vice president of corporate and business development.
This is a big deal for Coinbase as the company begins to cement its place in the cryptocurrency world though it’s still too early to tell who will emerge as the industry leader. Just a week ago, Poloniex, one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency exchanges, was acquired by Circle for approximately $400 million. The acquisition instantly made Circle a rising threat to Coinbase’s GDAX.
And now, Coinbase will look to Choi to stay ahead of the competition. The company is reportedly already looking at “quite a number” of potential M&A targets. Deals could range from so-called acqui-hires all the way to large-scale acquisitions, my colleague Jen Wieczner reports. From her story:
Choi compares the current opportunities in the cryptocurrency industry with those in front of Google in 2004, when the search giant bought what would become Google Maps. “There were just a bunch of really interesting startups that helped Google take things to the next level,” she said. “So it feels like that kind of an atmosphere.
We’re seeing so much, so many interesting startups and entrepreneurs in the space…and Coinbase wants to capitalize on that.” Added Hirji, “We’ve reached that point of maturity.”
This feels like the perfect storm for unprecedented opportunity as entrepreneurs and investors continue to build and fund crypto’s infrastructure. Stay tuned as it looks like Coinbase and Choi will be very active players moving forward.
• Wecash Technology Co. Ltd, a China-based big data tech company, raised $160 million in Series D funding. ORIX Asia Capital Ltd and SEA Group led the round, and was joined by investors including SIG, Sagamore, Forebright, Lingfeng Capital and Hongdao Capital.
• C2FO, a Leawood, Kansas-based working capital marketplace, raised $100 million in funding. Allianz X and Mubadala Investment Company led the round, and was joined by investors including Temasek, Union Square Ventures and Mithril Capital.
• Degreed, a San Francisco-based career-long learning platform, raised $42 million in Series C funding. Owl Ventures and Jump Capital co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Founders Circle Capital, GSV Acceleration Fund and Signal Peak Ventures.
• ThoughtWire, a Canada-based developer of the Ambiant IoT platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Investors include Yaletown Partners, BDC Capital, Round13 Capital, Epic Capital and Comerica.
• Capitolis, a New York-based technology provider for the capital markets, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, and a prior $9 million in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital.
• Owlstone Medical Ltd, a U.K.-based developer of a breathalyzer for disease, raised $15 million in funding. Horizons Venture and Aviva Ventures led the round.
• Imanis Data, a San Jose, Calif.-based creator of a machine learning-based data management platform, raised $13.5 million in funding. Investors include Canaan, ONSET Ventures, Intel Capital, Wipro Ventures, and Asset Plus Capital.
• RedDoorz, an India-based budget hotel startup focused on Southeast Asia, raised $11 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Investors include Sushquehanna International Group, World Bank’s IFC, InnoVen Capital, Jungle Ventures, DeepSky Capital, FengHe Group and Hendale Capital joining. Read more.
• Redeam, a Boulder, Colo.-based tech company that automates the way tours and attractions process tickets sold by third-party distributors, raised $7.7 million in Series A funding. Vertical Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Thayer Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Tallwave Capital and Peninsula Ventures.
• Snyk, a solution for addressing vulnerabilities in open source libraries, raised $7 million in Series A funding. Boldstart Ventures and Canaan Partners co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Heavybit, FundFire, and Peter McKay.
• TeraPore Technologies, a San Francisco-based developer of advanced nanofiltration membrane systems for bioprocess and other applications, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Anzu Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including RA Capital Management and Artiman Ventures.
• Paro, a Chicago-based future of finance work startup, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Revolution Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Global Founders Capital and Tom Williams.
• Huckleberry, a data-driven business insurance company, raised $4.1 million in seed funding. Uncork Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Crosslink Capital, e.ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Promus Ventures.
• Simple-Fill, a Columbus-based provider of technology that compresses natural gas, raised $1.7 million in funding. Worthington Industries led the round, and was joined by investors including Rev1 Ventures and The Ohio State University’s Carmen Innovations Fund.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• GTCR and Sycamore Partners agreed to acquire CommerceHub, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHUB.K), for approximately $1.1 billion.
• Construction Supply Group, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, acquired Zia Concrete Supply, a Albuquerque, New Mexico-based construction supply distributor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Promus Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Quest Products, a Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.-based provider of consumer packaged goods and ecommerce services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Lexitas, a portfolio company of Trinity Hunt Partners, acquired Automated Records Collection LLC, a provider of records retrieval services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Unifeye Vision Partners, a portfolio company of Waud Capital Partners, recapitalized Pacific Eye Institute, a California-based provider of vision care services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Mettle Midstream Partners LLC, a Dallas-based midstream company, raised $100 million in funding. Investors include Pearl Energy Investments and Natural Gas Partners.
• Opus Agency, a portfolio company of Growth Catalyst Partners, acquired CRG Events, a Seattle-based event agency. Financial terms weren’t announced.
• Revint Solutions, a portfolio company of New Mountain Capital, acquired Naveos LLC, a Sterling, Va.-based healthcare data analytics provider. The seller was Tamroc Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Stone Point Capital acquired Grace Hill, a Greenville S.C.-based provider of online training, credentialing, and mystery shopping solutions for property managers. The seller was The Riverside Company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Angelo Gordon & Company’s AG Energy Partners raised $524 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing.
• New State Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, raised $255 million for its second institutional fund.
• Ilya Fushman joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a general partner. Previously, Fushman was at Index Ventures.
• Frédéric Rombaut joined Seraphim Capital as a general partner.
• Highview Capital named Tyler Kavanaugh and Zepher Loesch as associates.