Term Sheet — Monday, April 23

April 23, 2018, 1:18 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

I’m back! Huge thanks to my wonderful colleagues Lucinda Shen, Andrew Nusca, Robert Hackett, and Jen Wieczner who pitched in last week. It takes a village.

On to the news.

EYE-POPPING IPO: Is Spotify about to be one-upped? China streaming giant Tencent Music is getting ready for what would be one of the largest tech IPOs ever. Tencent Music Entertainment Group is the digital music arm of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings. The company plans to interview potential underwriting banks in the next month, and Tencent Music is expected to list in the U.S.

Tencent Music’s offering could value the business at more than $25 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is a steep increase from the company’s last valuation in 2017 of $12.5 billion. The new valuation would make it the fourth-biggest U.S.-listed tech IPO on record. (Interesting side note: Tencent and Music swapped stakes in each other’s companies late last year in a deal that valued Tencent Music at $12.5 billion and Spotify at $20 billion.)

But here is one question weighing on everyone’s mind: Just how big is Tencent Music’s addressable market? Here’s some sharp analysis from the WSJ:

China’s entire music industry generated $480 million in revenue from live and recorded music in 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates, a small-sounding figure thanks to years of rampant piracy: later data aren’t yet available. Sure, that $480 million represented 13% growth from the prior year. Growth could stay healthy, and a government clampdown on pirated music may start working. But the market could still only make nearly $900 million in revenue by 2021, PwC reckons.

The U.S. market is worth about $8.7 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. In other words, Tencent Music’s apparent valuation is already several multiples of the whole Chinese music market. Remember, too, that less than 10% of its current users now are paid subscribers, paying about $2 a month. Much will depend, then, on how it plans to change that ratio or generate revenue from other sources, such as advertising.”

TERM SHEET SURVEY RESULTS: Last month, I asked you to fill out a survey to tell me what you think about this newsletter: what you like (and don't), what you want to see more of, and what you think we're missing. I just got the results, and I wanted to share them with you in full transparency.

What you like:

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The opening section is sometimes too long — would like to see it drilled down and simplified.

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I take this feedback seriously, and you can expect to see more of your suggestions implemented. Here’s the one stat that made me beam — 98% of you said that you consider this newsletter extremely/very valuable. 🙌 I’d love to keep this number high, so as always, keep the feedback coming.


How Nick Saban Keeps Alabama Football Rolling (by Brian O’Keefe)

Sheryl Sandberg Talks Paid Family Leave, Community Organizing, and Cambridge Analytica (by Valentina Zarya)

Michael Bloomberg Is Footing $4.5 Million of the U.S.'s Paris Agreement Bill (by Hallie Detrick)

Your Next Home Could Be 3-D Printed (by Chris Morris)


Pivotal Software closed up 5% following IPO and raised $555 million. Startup ecosystem report: China is rising while the US is waning. Fresenius abandons the $4.3 billion deal for Akorn. Russian farmer alters rural economy with virtual currency.


RealSelf, a Seattle-based online community where people can share experiences and connect with doctors providing cosmetic treatments, raised $40 million in funding. Elephant led the round.

Orchid Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that’s developing a a surveillance-free layer on top of the Internet, raised $36.1 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

Slite, a Paris-based collaboration and notes tool, raised $4.4 million in seed funding. Index Ventures led the round.


Vista Equity Partners made an investment in Allocate Software, a U.K.-based provider of workforce solutions to the healthcare, defense, and maritime sectors. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Fulcrum Capital Partners acquired Athletica Sport Systems, a Canada-based provider of arena services and products. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Fastener Distribution Holdings, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, acquired Blue Sky Industries, a Monterey Park, Calif.-based distributor of hardware for the aerospace and defense industry. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


CenterPoint Energy will buy Vectren Corp (NYSE:VVC) for about $6 billion, according to Reuters. Vectren shareholders will receive $72 in cash for each share, representing a premium of nearly 10% to Vectren’s Friday close. Read more.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd offered to buy Toys “R” Us‘s Canadian stores out of bankruptcy for $300 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more.

SmugMug is buying Flickr, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based online photo management and sharing application, from Verizon’s digital media subsidiary Oath. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.


AXA Equitable Holdings, the U.S. insurance arm of France’s AXA, will start its IPO roadshow to raise $4 billion this week, the Wall Street Journal reports citing sources. Read more.

Techcombank, the Vietnamese lender, is set to raise $922 million in an IPO of 164 million shares priced at about $5.62 each, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.

Pivotal Software, a San Francisco-based spin off of DellEMC, raised $555 million in an IPO of 37 million shares priced at $15 a piece. Its stock rose 5% in trading Friday. 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 listed on the NYSE as “PVTL.” Read more.

FirstCaribbean International Bank, a Barbados-based spin off of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, postponed plans to raise $226 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 were joint bookrunners in the deal. It planned to list on the NYSE as “FCI.” Read more.

Carbon Black, a Waltham, Mass.-based cloud-based security software maker, plans to raise $128 million in an IPO of 8 million shares priced between $15 to $17 a share. The firm posted revenue of $162 million and loss of $55.2 million in 2017. Atlas Venture (17% pre-IPO), Highland Capital Partners (14.9%), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (8.8%), Point 406 Ventures (7.7%), and Sequoia Capital (9.9%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “CBLK.” Read more.

Unity Biotechnology, a Brisbane, Calif.-based biotech tackling aging diseases, plans to raise $85 million in an IPO of 5 million shares priced between $16 to $18 apiece. Arch Venture Partners (27.5%), WuXi AppTech (8.9%), Venrock (7.3%), Mayo Clinic (6.9%), Ballie Gifford & Co. (7%), and Fidelity (6.1%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citi are underwriters in the deal. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “UBX.” Read more.

Inspire Medical Systems, a Maple Grove, Minn.-based sleep apnea treatment firm, o said it plans to raise $75 million in an IPO of 5 million shares priced between $14 to $16. Presidio Management Group (16.2% pre-IPO), OrbiMed Private Investments (15.9%), Synergy Life Science (15.7%), Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (14.5%),  Amzak Health Investors (10.3%), and Medtronic (5.7%) back the firm. BofA Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are underwriters in the deal. It plans to list on the NYSE as “INSP.” Read more.

Finablr, a holding company for Travelex and UAE Exchange, is preparing for a potential IPO in London. Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty backs the firm. Read more.


Walmart is close to completing its buy of Flipkart for at least $12 billion, according to Bloomberg. Tiger Global Management will sell nearly all its 20% stake in Flipkart, while SoftBank Group Corp. will offload a substantial part of its 20 percent-plus holding. Walmart will likely end up with 60% to 80% of Flipkart, valued at about $20 billion. Read more.

The Stars Group Inc agreed to buy Sky Betting & Gaming, a U.K.-based online gaming company, for $4.7 billion in cash and stock. The sellers are CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc. The deal includes $3.6 billion cash and the rest in stock.

Humana Inc, TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe agreed to buy Curo Health Services, a Mooresville, N.C.-based operator of hospice centers, for about $1.4 billion. Sellers include Thomas H. Lee Partners.


Data Collective, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, is raising a $250 million biotech fund, according to an SEC filing.

Monogram Capital Partners, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based private equity firm, raised $152 million for its debut fund, Monogram Capital Partners I LP.


Philipp Pletka joined Starwood Energy Group Global LLC as a managing director and Alex Daberko was promoted 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.

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