Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
HOUSEKEEPING: It’s been seven months since we first met, and I’ve enjoyed the thoughtful feedback you have sent my way during that time. Now, we’ve created a simple survey so I can learn more about all of you. It’s an opportunity to tell me what you think about the newsletter: what you like (and don’t), what you want to see more of, and what you think we’re missing. Thanks in advance! Take the survey here.
NEW FUND ALERT: General Catalyst raised $1.38 billion for its new fund, according to an SEC filing that was first reported by Axios’ Dan Primack. This is the firm’s largest fund ever. As I noted in Term Sheet last week, there is no shortage of capital, with Sequoia, Battery Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and of course, General Catalyst, building up their VC war chests. Still, these funds combined pale in comparison to SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund.
MAMMOTH INVESTMENT: Speaking of the Vision Fund, it looks like SoftBank is on the prowl again. The Japanese giant is looking to invest approximately $1 billion in Chinese truck-hailing company Manbang Group, according to The Wall Street Journal. Manbang, which is backed by Tencent and Jack Ma’s private equity firm, hopes to raise between $500 million and $1 billion in capital to help it expand in China’s growing logistics market. In other words, SoftBank is willing to pour an amount that’s nearly equal to General Catalyst’s entire fund into just one company. What a time to be alive.
UBER OUT: After a costly fight, Uber has agreed to merge with Southeast Asia rival Grab. Uber will get a 27.5% stake in the combined company, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board, 500 individuals of Uber’s staff will transition to Grab, and its customers will be shifted over to Grab’s app.
Asia has been among the most expensive and competitive regions for Uber. It has slipped behind Grab and Indonesia-based Go-Jek. Oh, and SoftBank is an investor in both Grab and Uber. The question here is — how big of a role did SoftBank play in this move?
“It was really a very independent decision by both companies. SoftBank, of course, and Masa in particular, was highly supportive of the acquisition,” Grab President Ming Maa told Reuters.
Things are getting pretty tangled as it may seem like SoftBank has invested in everything, including United States’ Uber, Singapore’s Grab, China’s Didi Chuxing, and India’s Ola. As a result, Softbank has emerged as, “the real king of ride-hailing.”
We’ll see who’s pulling the strings if Uber exits Africa. SoftBank made a statement earlier this year saying the ride-hailing giant should focus on its core markets if it wants to achieve profitability, while Uber insists it’s “very much committed” to its African operations. Read more at Fortune.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE…
• Remington, the U.S.’s Oldest Gunmaker, Just Filed for Bankruptcy (by David Meyer)
• Snapchat’s Celebrity Exodus Keeps Getting Worse (by Hallie Detrick)
• We Played a Professional E-Sports Player…and Lost (by Tom Huddleston)
• Cambridge Analytica Wasn’t Quite What It Claimed to Be (by David Z. Morris)
• Nebanan, a Germany-based locally-focused social network for neighborhoods, raised €16 million ($19.8 million) in Series A funding. BurdaPrincipal Investments led the round, and was joined by investors including Lakestar, Deutsche Telemedien, NWZ, and pd ventures.
• Everledger, a U.K.-based blockchain startup, raised $10.4 million. GMP Securities and Fidelity Investments led the round, and was joined by investors including Vickers Ventures Partners, Graphene Venture Capital, FPV, Fenbushi, Bloomberg Beta and Rakuten.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Dracen Pharmaceuticals Inc, a Baltimore-based developer of anticancer therapies, raised $40 million in Series A funding. Investors include Deerfield Management.
• Everledger, a London-based digital ledger, raised $10.4 million in Series A funding. GMP Securities and Fidelity Investments led the round, and were joined by investors including Vickers Ventures Partners, Graphene Venture Capital, FPV, Fenbushi, Bloomberg Beta and Rakuten.
• Valohai, a machine learning platform-as-a-service company, raised $1.8 million in funding. Superhero Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Reaktor Ventures and Business Finland.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Amteck, a portfolio company of Trive Capital, acquired Southeastern Automatic Sprinkler Co., a Madison, Miss.-based fire suppression company. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Ardenton Capital Corp made an investment in Achieve 1, a Richmond, Va.-based IT architecture and services company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Infogix, which is backed by Thoma Bravo, acquired Lavastorm, a Boston-based provider of data preparation and advanced analytics. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• NovaQuest Capital Management LLC acquired CutisPharma Inc, a Wilmington, Mass.-based specialty pharmaceutical company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Target Corp and Kroger Co are in talks about a possible merger, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Ceridian HCM Holding, a Minneapolis-based maker of human resources software, filed for an IPO of up to $200 million. The firm posted loss of $9.3 million on revenue of $750.7 million in 2017. Thomas H. Lee Partners and Cannae Holdings back the company. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE and Toronto Stock Exchange under undisclosed symbols. Read more.
• Pivotal Software, a San Francisco-based company’s predecessor spin off of DellEMC, filed for an IPO of up to $100 million. The firm posted loss of $163.5 million on $509 million in sales for the 12 months ended February 2, 2018. Michael Dell, Silver Lake, Dell, EMC, VMWare, General Electric, and Ford back the company. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citi, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBC Capital Markets, UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo Securities are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company has not disclosed a stock exchange or symbol. Read more.
• Bioceres, a Rosario, Argentina GMO firm, said it now plans to raise $100 million in an offering of ADSs. The company previously cancelled a $130 million IPO of 11.8 million shares priced between $10 to $12 a piece. Jefferies, Piper Jaffray, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, and Banco Santander remain joint bookrunners in the deal. It plans to list on the NYSE as “BIOX.” Read more.
• FirstCaribbean International Bank, a Barbados-based spin off of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, filed to raise up to $100 million in an IPO. The firm posted income of $160.2 million on revenue of $424.9 million in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2017. Barclays, UBS Investment Bank, and CIBC are joint bookrunners in the deal. It plans to list on the NYSE as “FCI.” Read more.
• Mereo BioPharma, a London-based rare disease drug firm, filed an IPO of up to $81 million. The firm posted loss of $52.5 million in 2017. Woodford Investment Management (42% pre-offering), Invesco (26.9%), Novartis (19.5%), and Hargreave Hale (4%), back the firm. Cowen & Company, BMO Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets are joint bookrunners in the deal. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “MREO.” Read more.
• Surface Oncology, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cancer antibody developer, filed for an IPO of up to $75 million. The firm posted $45.4 million in loss on $13 million in revenue for 2017. Atlas Ventures (23%), F-Prime Capital Partners (10%), Lilly Ventures Management Group (16%), Novartis (16%), and New Enterprises Associates (16%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, Cowen & Company and Evercore ISI are joint bookrunners in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SURF.” Read more.
• Providence Equity Partners agreed to sell its stake in KIN, an Indonesia-based telecommunications infrastructure provider, to Protelindo. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Equistone Partners Europe agreed to buy a majority of Small World Financial Services, a London-based cross-border payment service provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The sellers were FPE Capital and MMC Ventures.
• J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC acquired Jefferson Capital International, a St. Cloud, Minn.-based debt solutions provider, from Flexpoint Ford, LLC. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• BelHealth Investment Partners promoted Paul Barrett to managing director, Rebecca Yu to vice president and Peter Gurny to senior associate.