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Term Sheet — Monday, March 12

March 12, 2018, 1:01 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Bird, the Santa Monica-based electric scooter company, raised $100 million in Series B funding at a ~$300 million valuation. But what’s perhaps more interesting is that Arena Ventures founder and general partner Paige Craig joined the startup as its head of U.S. city operations.

If you remember in January, Term Sheet reported that Arena Ventures, the Los Angeles-based early-stage venture capital firm, would pause seed investing “until the seed market corrects.” Craig had sent a private letter to limited partners laying out concerns about the seed market — high valuations, excessive capital supply, and imbalanced market forces.

It appears those concerns did not go away.

When asked whether he would be working on something else during Arena’s hiatus, Craig said “No, we’re full time on Arena.” Fortune contacted him on Friday to ask what will happen to his VC firm, and he said, “We stopped seed investing last year, and Jeff [Lo, Arena co-founder] and I decided to oversee the portfolio, but will not make any new investments. I’m full time at Bird.”

While Craig said the seed market has become increasingly crowded and expensive, he joined a company that raised $15 million in Series A funding last month and $100 million in Series B this month at a $300 million valuation. So, there’s that.

Read the full story here.

NEW FUND ALERT: GV partner Lo Toney is looking to raise up to $50 million for a new fund-of-funds, called Plexo Capital. Plexo, which is backed by Alphabet, plans to invest as a limited partner in seed funds led by people of color and/or female general partners.

DROPBOX IPO UPDATE: Online file storage company Dropbox hopes to raise as much as $648 million in its initial public offering. It is marketing 36 million shares of Class A common stock for $16 to $18 apiece. At the high end of that range, Dropbox would have a market value of about $7.1 billion. If you add in restricted stock units, the valuation could push as high as $7.6 billion.

While these are large numbers, don’t forget that Dropbox was last valued at $10 billion in its 2014 funding round. At the high end of its offering size, it’d be the third-biggest IPO from an enterprise technology IPO in the past three years. Read more at Fortune.


Why Saudi Aramco's Mega-IPO Might Be Delayed Until Next Year (by David Meyer)

Elon Musk Says SpaceX’s Mars Rocket Could Launch in Early 2019 (by David Z. Morris)

Commentary: Here’s What Kim Really Wants Out of His Meeting With Trump (by Christine Ahn)

Waymo Plans to Use Self-Driving Trucks to Deliver Freight to Google's Data Centers (by Kirsten Korosec)


Corporate bio VCs are backing more rounds and making bigger bets. Warby Parker’s path to an IPO. Uber's infighting & multi-million-dollar exit packages. Lloyd Blankfein prepares to exit Goldman Sachs. Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years in prison.


Radiology Partners, an El Segundo, Calif.-based radiology practice, raised $234 million in funding. New Enterprise Associates and Future Fund led the round.

BioCatch, an Israel-based in behavioral biometrics company, raised $30 million in funding. Maverick Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including American Express Ventures, NexStar Partners, Kreos Capital, CreditEase, OurCrowd, and JANVEST Capital.

Rent the Runway, a New York-based renter of designer dresses, clothing, and accessories for women, raised $20 million in venture funding at a valuation of approximately $800 million, according to Recode. Investors include Blue Pool Capital. Read more.

KIXEYE, a San Francisco-based developer of online combat strategy games, raised $20 million in funding. Icon Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Ridge Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Interior Define, a Chicago-based custom furniture retailer, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Fifth Wall led the round.

Poka, a Canada-based training and knowledge platform for manufacturers, raised C$10 ($7.8 million) in funding. Investors include iNovia Capital, Uncork Capital, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH.

Ponddy Education Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of personalized language learning, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Chenco Holding Company LLC led the round, and was joined by investors including Osnaburge Ventures LLC and MIC Ponddy AR Fund LP.

Smartcare, a Las Vegas, Nevada.-based provider of cloud-based solutions for child care centers, raised $6 million in funding. Lyrical Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Charter Oak Equity and Dakota Capital.

Blast, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based gamification company, raised $5 million in seed funding. Investors include the Forbes and Roth families, Core Innovation Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Snowmass Private Equity, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Smarter Sorting, a Austin, Texas-based reuse solution for household hazardous waste, raised $5 million in seed funding. Investors include RTP Ventures.

Epsagon, an Israel-based provider of automated end-to-end performance monitoring technology for serverless architectures, raised $4.1 million in seed funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Ariel Maislos led the round.

Unearth, a a Seattle-based company focused on place-based progress documentation solution to commercial and civic construction projects, raised $3 million in funding. Madrona Venture Group led the round, and was joined by investors including Vulcan Capital.  


ViewPoint Therapeutics Inc, a San Francisco-based developer of crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia, raised $35 million in Series B funding. The Rise Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Novo Holdings A/S, Biotechnology Value Fund LP, Mission Bay Capital LLC, Lagunita BioSciences LLC and the University of Michigan through its MINTS initiative.


Searchlight Capital Partners invested $150 million in Global Eagle Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based provider of media, content, connectivity and data analytics to various markets.

Stone Point Capital LLC acquired a majority stake in Genex Services, a provider of cost containment services for the workers’ compensation, disability and auto industries. The seller was Apax Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Duravant, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus, acquired QC Industries, a Cincinnati-based conveyor systems manufacturer. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

MPK Equity Partners and AHR Growth Partners made an investment in Urban Air Adventure Park, a Texas-based operator and franchisor of active family entertainment centers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Gen Cap America Inc acquired CoreMedical Group, a Manchester, N.H.-based healthcare staffing and recruiting agency specializing in travel and permanent placement for nurses. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) is exploring a sale of the electrical engineering business which it acquired for $3.2 billion in 2011, according to Reuters. Read more.


Hua Medicine, a Shanghai-based diabetes drug maker, choose Hong Kong for an IPO to raise up to $300 million, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Hua is said th be working with Goldman Sachs, CLSA, and UBS in the deal. Read more.

BioXcel Therapeutics, a Branford, Conn.-based firm seeking AI solutions to neurological disorders, said it will raise $60 million in an IPO of 5.5 million shares priced at $11, an upsized IPO at the low end of its range. The firm posted loss of $4.5 million in 2017. Barclays, UBS Investments, and BMO are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “BTAI.” Read more.


GTCR acquired EaglePicher Technologies, a St. Louis, Mo.-based provider of power solutions for customers in the defense, aerospace and medical end markets. The seller was Vectra, a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management LLC. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Clearlake Capital Group acquired Provation Medical Inc, a Minneapolis-based provider of clinical decision support and procedure documentation solutions. Wolters Kluwer was the seller. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Equistone Partners Europe Limited, a U.K.-based private equity firm, raised 2.8 billion euros ($3.45 billion) for its sixth fund, Equistone Partners Europe Fund VI.

Center Rock Capital Partners, a Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based private equity firm, is seeking to raise $450 million for its inaugural fund, according to an SEC filing.


Matt Brennan joined General Catalyst as a partner.

Littlejohn & Co., LLC promoted Gentry Klein and Brian Michaud to 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.