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Term Sheet — Thursday April 12

It’s Thursday

Good morning, Term Sheet readers. Lucinda here filling in for Polina as she takes a much-deserved vacation. Meanwhile, New York City yo-yos in and out of acceptable April weather.

I’ll take the usual: It’s all about the recurring revenue. Today, investors are betting on the subscription economy via Zuora, a tech firm helping companies including HBO, Box, and Zendesk manage their regular payments. Zuora will go public today, priced at $14 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. That gives the company a valuation of about $1.5 billion.

A positive sign: The firm, founded in 2006, has accelerated its growth in the last year, with its customer base up about 22% from a year earlier, to 950 customers (that growth was about 9% from a year before that). And though the firm is still unprofitable, revenue has been rising faster than expenses, up about 49% to $168 million, while spending jumped 29% to $134 million.

That’s not to say the trend will continue. The firm plans to scale up further globally, a move that could significantly boost spending.

“These efforts may prove more expensive than we currently anticipate, and we may not succeed in increasing our revenue sufficiently, or at all, to offset these higher expenses,” the filing read.

Meanwhile, cash flow from operating activities still remains in the red.

The deals spree: WeWork made its first foray into China in 2016, with an office in Shanghai. The next step: Buying Naked Hub, a Chinese co-working space for an estimated $400 million.

It’s just WeWork’s second pureplay co-working acquisition, the first being Singapore-based SpaceMob. Notably, its investors have been betting big on its Asia expansion. The startup launched WeWork China last year—with a $500 million investment from Hony Capital and SoftBank.

Though the startup has been on a deals spree largely in other spaces, snapping up everything from SEO marketing firms to visitor registration startups.

In the dorm room: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg headed into his second round of questioning Wednesday, but this time with the members of the House. It was a tougher room than the Senate, with representatives regularly interrupting or chastising the 33 year old for unsatisfactory answers. And, boy, does he have homework to do. Still, the punches landed softer than expected there, with shares of the company up nearly 1% by the day’s end. An interesting tidbit: Zuckerberg was prepared to field questions about a resignation, if bullet pointed noted on his desk at Capitol Hill are anything to go by. “I made mistakes,” a line under the header “Resign” read, as photographed by the Associated Press.

“Big challenge, but we’ve solved problems before, going to solve this one.”

Zuckerberg didn’t have to use that line, in the end.

Deals below.


• Marijuana Stocks Spike After Ex-House Speaker John Boehner Joins Cannabis Company Board (by Sy Mukherjee)

• Trump’s New Executive Order Will Make Welfare Recipients Work to Receive Benefits (by Natasha Bach)

• Uber Adds Car Rentals, Bikes, Buses, and Trains (by Kristen Korosec)

• Vietnam Is Outraged Over a $658 Million Cryptocurrency Scam (by David Meyer)


Jack Ma on a potential trade war. Toys ‘R’ Us gets bids for Asia business. Walmart close to buying Flipkart. Apollo and Jeremy Corbyn. GE explores spinoffs, public offerings. Disney must buy all of Sky.


Liberis, a London-based small business lender, raised 57.5 million pounds ($81.6 million) in funding. British Business Investments, Paragon Bank, BCI Finance, and Blenheim Chalcot were the investors.

GO-JEK, an Indonesian ride-hailing platform, raised $35 million in funding. Allianz X was the investor.

Aetion, a New York-based biopharma customer analytics firm, raised $36.4 million in Series B funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round and was joined by investors including Amgen Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, Lakestar, and Oxeon Ventures.

Jedox, a German performance management company, raised 20 million euros ($24.7 million) in funding. Iris Capital, eCapital, and Wecken & Cie were the investors.

Instapage, a San Francisco click-optimization firm for advertisers, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital led the round.

Tentrr, a New York City-based camping marketplace, raised $8 million Series A funding. West Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Obvious Ventures.

Great Jones, a New York City-based residential property management company, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Crosslink Capital led the round.

vTime, a London-based virtual reality social network, raised $7.6 million in Series A funding. Deepbridge Capital led the round and was joined by investors including MSIF.

Billie, a New York City-based female shaving firm, raised $6 million in its seed round. Silverton Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Female Founders Fund and Lakehouse Ventures.

Farmwise, a Boston-based developer of healthy foods, raised $4.5 million in funding. Cleveland Avenue led the round.

Wurk, a Denver-based cannabis industry HR management firm, raised $3.2 million in funding. Poseidon Asset Management led the round and was joined by investors including Phyto Partners, Altitude Investment Partners, Arcview Investor Network, and Arcadian Fund.

Koio, a New York-based luxury leather sneaker brand, raised $3 million in Series A funding.  Acton Capital Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Brand Foundry Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, actor, Miles Teller, and director and producer, Simon Kinberg.

Play by Play Sports Broadcasting Camps raised an undisclosed amount of funding. SeventySix Capital was the investor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Truework, a San Francisco background check firm, raised $2.9 million in seed funding. Khosla Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Founder Collective, Menlo Ventures, and Crunchfund.

Sensoro, a Seattle-based technology service provider, raised an undisclosed amount of Series C financing. Baidu Ventures, Northern Light Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, and Chaos Investment led the round.


RubrYc Therapeutics, a San Ramon biotherapeutics discovery business, raised $10 million in funding. Third Point Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Paladin Capital Group and Vital Venture Capital.

Somatus, a Vienna, Va.-based kidney care company, raised $11 million in Series B funding. Flare Capital Partners led the round and was joined by investors including BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Inova Health System.


WILsquare Capital, a St. Louis-based private equity firm, acquired Quest Solutions, a St. John, M.I.-based insurance solutions firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Vector Capital, a San Francisco-based PE firm, sold a minority stake of its firm to Dyal Capital Partners, a division of Neuberger Berman. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

SleepScore Labs, a joint venture between ResMed, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Pegasus Capital Advisors LP, acquired, a Dutch sleep monitoring firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

• A Chinese state-backed consortium including China Jianyin Investment and Tamar Alliance acquired a majority stake in Nature’s Care, an Australian vitamin company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Pacific Growth Investors invested in Conquest Firespray, a Warren, Mich.-based maker of fire-rated architectural goods. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Advent International acquired Clearent, a Clayton, Mo.-based payments solution processor, as well as FieldEdge, an Atlanta-based field service management software provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Ultimus Fund Solutions acquired Woodfield Fund Administration, a Chicago-based private fund administration firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

NewSpring invested in Brown & Joseph, a Itasca, Ill.-based provider of commercial accounts receivable management solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Allegro Development, a portfolio company of Vector Capital, acquired Financial Engineering Associates, a Dallas-based provider of risk analytics software for traders, risk managers, and quantitative analysts in commodity industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Kuvare, a portfolio company of Altamont Capital, Makena & Access Holdings, acquired United Life, a Cedar Rapid, Iowa-based insurance firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

ABRY Partners acquired Sitelock, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based security company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Aperam, a Luxembourg-based steel maker, agreed to acquire VDM Metals for 438 million euros ($542 million). Read more.

GP Global, acquired a majority stake in MAG Lube, a Dubai-based lubricants maker. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Digital Colony agreed to acquire Digita Oy, a Finnish broadcasting network, from First State Investments. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

United Rentals acquired Service Radio Rentals and subsidiary Industrial Blind Solutions from JMH Capital. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

• Palo Alto Networks acquired Secdo, an Israel-based cybersecurity firm, from RDC.


Public Pension Capital, a New York City and Chicago-based firm, raised $786 million for its maiden fund, according to an SEC filing.


Chris Paik is leaving Thrive Capital Partner firm to start his own fund, Axios reports citing sources. Read more.

David Bartleme joined Borgman Capital as a managing director.

iNovia Capital hired Patrick Pichette and Dennis Kavelman as general partners.


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Today’s Term Sheet was compiled by Lucinda Shen. Send deal announcements here.