Term Sheet — Thursday, May 3


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

SHUTTERED: Well that was fast. Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm at the center of the Facebook privacy scandal, is shutting down all operations. Who’s to blame? The press of course, according to the company. The firm issued a statement saying, “The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers.” Bankruptcy proceedings will begin soon.

SHUT OUT: In case you missed this, Birchbox is going through some stuff. Early investor Viking Global has acquired a majority stake in the beauty startup after agreeing to infuse around $15 million of new capital into the business, according to Recode. The startup reportedly has tens of millions of dollars in debt, and several of its acquisition talks with companies like Walmart and QVC fell through.

Term Sheet ran a Q&A with Birchbox co-founder Hayley Barna last week about the early days of the company’s fundraising. “We made almost all the mistakes in the book,” Barna said. “Ultimately, it turned out great in that we were able to raise a round from top-tier investors, but it took us six months of mistakes to get there.” The company raised nearly $90 million from investors including First Round Capital and Accel Partners. Those investors are now out of luck as they walk away with nothing thanks to the recap. On the bright side: The company avoided a potential bankruptcy, CEO Katia Beauchamp will remain in her role, and layoffs are not expected. As a Term Sheet reader said on Twitter, “Tough break. Hedge funds don’t play.” No, they don’t.

BANKRUPTCY WINNER: A winning bidder has emerged in the embattled Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy sale. The movie studio filed for bankruptcy in the wake of sexual harassment claims against co-founder Harvey Weinstein, and its assets went up for sale. After no serious bidders emerged, Lantern Capital Partners will buy the remains of the company for $310 million plus the assumption of about $115 million in debt. The company’s assets include the rights to some of its award-winning films it produced and distributed as well as some of the rights deals to films that are still in production. Read more at Fortune.

FRESH FUNDING: Wedding registry company Zola just raised a whopping $100 million in Series D funding. Comcast Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including NBCUniversal and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. Its investors are betting that technology could make the wedding spectacle a little more streamlined, my colleague Lucinda reports. The startup launched a suite of free tools, allowing users to create wedding websites and track RSVPs in real time. With the new funds, Zola hopes to get further into the wedding planning industry.

This reminds me of a story I wrote in 2016 with the headline, “You Got Your Friends Wedding Gifts. Now, Fund Their Divorce.” It was about a honeymoon registry company going after the divorce market. What is a divorce registry, you ask? It helps people going through a divorce to raise money for expenses such as new furniture, legal fees and child custody. So, there’s that option, too.


Richard Branson Takes a Step Into Private Equity (by David Meyer)

Goldman Sachs Is Said to Add Cryptocurrency Trading Desk—Sort of

Square's Bitcoin Business Is Struggling to Make Money (by Jeff John Roberts & Jen Wieczner)

Apple Analysts Offer Mea Culpas After iPhone Sales Hold Up (by Aaron Pressman)


SoundHound Inc, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, raised $100 million in funding. Investors include Tencent Holdings Limited, Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Midea Group and Orange S.A.

BounceX, a New York-based provider of behavioral software to direct marketing campaigns, raised $37 million in Series B funding. Battery Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Contour Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners and Cross Creek Advisors.

Quovo, a New York-based data platform for financial accounts, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Portag3 Ventures, bringing the total funding to $20 million.

Namogoo, a Boston and Israel-based provider of technology that prevents outside ads from hijacking ecommerce sites, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Hanaco Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including GreatPoint Ventures, Blumberg Capital and Inimiti Capital.

Poq, a London and New York City-based app commerce company, raised 9.5 million pounds ($12.9 million) in Series B funding. Smedvig Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Beringea and Revolt Ventures.

StorageOS, a U.K.-based developer of software-based enterprise storage platform, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including MMC Ventures and 645 Ventures.

Mandaê, a Brazil-based shipping company, raised $7.1 million in Series B funding. IFC led the round, and was joined by investors including UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, Mercado Libre Fund, Tekton Ventures, FJ Labs, Performa Investimentos, Qualcomm Ventures, Monashees and Icon Holding Company.

Washé, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based on-demand car wash app, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Ron Zuckerman.

Matterport, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based immersive media technology company, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from State Auto Labs Fund.


Refuge Biotechnologies Inc, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of intelligent cell therapies to combat cancer, raised $25 million in Series B funding. 3SBio and Sequoia China co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Danhua Capital, Sangel Capital, Ocean Pine Healthcare Fund, 3E Bioventures, WuXi Healthcare Ventures and ShangBay Capital.

Azitra Inc, a Farmington, Conn.-based biotech company focused on harnessing the microbiome to treat skin disease, raised $2.15 million in funding. Connecticut Innovations and Bios Partners co-led the round, and were joined by investors including KdT Ventures.


Clessidra SGR agreed to acquire Scrigno Group, an Italy-based maker of counter-frames for pocket doors and windows. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Mountaingate Capital made an investment in ImagineSoftware, a  revenue cycle management SaaS platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

ParkerGale Capital made an investment in Rippe & Kingston, a Cincinnati-based provider of financial and practice management software for law firms. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire OANDA, a New York-based online retail trading platform, currency data and analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Sovos will acquire TrustWeaver, a Stockholm-based provider of cloud software. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Xiaomi Corporation, the Chinese phone giant, filed for an IPO in Hong Kong. The IPO could raise about $10 billion, valuing Xiaomi at between $80 billion to $100 billion. The firm posted revenue of 114.6 billion RMB ($18 billion) and loss of 43.9 billion RMB ($6.9 billion) in 2017. Apoletto Investments and Morningside China TMT back the firm. CLSA, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley are underwriters in the deal. Read more.

Inspire Medical Systems, a Maple Grove, Minn.-based sleep apnea treatment firm raised $108 million in an IPO of 6.75 million shares priced at $16, an upsized IPO at the high-end of its $14 to $16 range.The firm posted revenue of $28.6 million in 2017. 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.


Ardian agreed to sell its stake in SERMA, a France-based provider of consulting and expertise services for embedded electronic technologies and systems, to a holding company controlled by the management and Chequers Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Gary Spitz joined Snow Phipps Group as managing director of financial operations.


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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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