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Term Sheet — Monday, July 2

July 2, 2018, 1:26 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Media site Quartz is being acquired by Uzabase, a publicly-listed Japanese media company looking to increase its global reach.

Uzabase, which was founded by two former UBS investment bankers and a tech consultant, will pay between $75 million and $110 million in cash and stock, depending on Quartz’s financial performance for the remainder of 2018. The deal is expected to close in the next 30 days.

Last year, Quartz booked $28 million in revenue and is on pace to increase revenue by as much as 35% in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Japanese company is “turning to Quartz to drive its expansion outside of Asia, with a particular eye on subscription offerings.”

As part of the deal, Quartz will assume responsibility for the English-language version of NewsPicks. (Uzabase operates NewsPicks USA, a business news app that provides users with a personalized stream of content in English.)

This acquisition is particularly interesting for the media industry at large because:

One goal of the Uzabase deal is to help Quartz develop paid products for its audience, with a particular focus on digital subscriptions. In other words, it sounds like Quartz, too, will follow in the footsteps of its media counterparts and be the latest to launch a paywall product.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Business Insider have all invested in digital-subscription or premium-content models. Those models now make up substantial portions of the news organizations’ revenue, and it would be worth seeing whether others, like Quartz, follow suit.

The digital subscription model will create new incentives in the media industry. It will de-prioritize the competition for eyeballs (ie: pageview count) and begin courting readers for their loyalty, engagement, (and dollars) instead.

A SUMMER OF IPOS: Nearly every day, my colleague Lucinda and I ask each other, “Why are the bankers working so much this summer,” “When will they go on vacation,” and “Why the hell are there so many IPOs today?”

Well, my friends, we have our answer.

The IPO market just had its busiest quarter since 2015 — and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Sixty companies went public in the U.S. during the second quarter (mainly small-cap healthcare companies), according to Marketwatch. In total, initial public offerings in the second quarter raised a whopping $13.1 billion.

A few notes:

The top 3 included AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. with $2.7 billion, GreenSky Inc with $874 million, and BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc with $638 million.

It’s been a good summer for VCs as nearly half of all IPOs in the last quarter were venture-backed.

DocuSign is the only tech company that went public during the quarter to have positive free cash flow (!)

The year of IPOs isn’t over yet. New filing activity remains strong headed into the second half of the year, with 72 new filings. “Our global IPO pipeline is stronger now than it’s been since the financial crisis,” Evan Damast, global head of equity and fixed income syndicate at Morgan Stanley, told The Wall Street Journal.

Until it slows down, check out the IPO section below for the latest. Read more at Fortune.


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Serena Williams Speaks Out About Unfair Drug Testing (by Erin Corbett)


Automation Anywhere, a San Jose, Calif.-based robotic process automation company, raised $250 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates and Goldman Sachs Growth Equity co-led the round, and were joined by investors including General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab. Automation Anywhere is valued at $1.8 billion post-money.

Califia Farms, a Los Angeles-based plant-based beverage company, raised more than $50 million in funding. Ambrosia Investments led the round, and was joined by investors including Sun Pacific and Stripes Group.

Arrive Logistics, an Austin, Texas-based freight broker, raised more than $10 million in Series A funding. Lead Edge Capital led the round.

Unify Square, a Bellevue, Wash.-based provider of software and cloud managed services for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, raised approximately $10 million in Series C funding. PRIMEPULSE SE led the round.

Oden Technologies, a New York-based industrial IoT company that provides manufacturing data analytics, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Atomico led the round, and was joined by investors including EQT Ventures and Inbox Capital.


CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire Recordati, an Italy-based pharmaceutical business the Recordati family, for about 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion).

HS2 Solutions, which is backed by Mountaingate Capital, acquired Infield Digital, a digital experience consultancy. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Cairngorm Capital acquired Rembrand Timber Limited, a U.K.-based timber processing and distribution company, and is merging it with its existing portfolio company, Thornbridge. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Golden Gate Capital acquired The Learning Experience, a Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based operator of academies of early education for children. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Walnut Street Group, the Shanghai-based e-commerce firm behind Pinduoduo, filed for a $1 billion IPO. It posted revenue of $278.1 million in 2017. Tencent (18.5% pre-offering) and Sequoia (7.4%) back the firm. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and CICC are underwriters. It has not chosen an exchange. Read more.

Aurora Mobile, a Shenzhen-based app data and analytics platform, filed for a $200 million IPO.  The firm posted revenue of $45.4 million in 2017. KK mobile (34.2% pre-offering) and Mandra iBase (19.2%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank are underwriters. The firm plans to list on the NASDAQ as “JG.” Read more.

Opera Limited, an Oslo, Norway-based web browser maker, filed for a $115 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $128.9 million in 2017. Kunlun Tech (48% pre-offering) backs the firm. CICC and Citigroup are underwriters. The firm plans to list on the NASDAQ as “OPRA.” Read more.

Berry Petroleum Corp., a Bakersfield, Calif.-based onshore oil firm, filed for a $100 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $319.7 million in 2017. Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and BMO Capital are underwriters. The firm plans to list on the NASDAQ as “BRY.” Read more.

Tenable, a Columbia, M.D.-based cybersecurity firm, filed for a $100 million IPO. It posted revenue of $187.7 million in 2017. Insight Venture Partners (35.2% pre-offering) and Accel (34.4%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company, and Deutsche Bank are underwriters.The firm plans to list on the NASDAQ as “TENB.”  Read more.


Facebook is acquiring Bloomsbury AI, a London-based startup that has built natural language processing technology to help machines answer questions based on information gleaned from documents, according to TechCrunch. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Bloomsbury has raised approximately $1.7 million in venture funding from investors including Fly.VC, Seedcamp, IQ Capital, UCL Technology Fund, and the London Co-investment Fund.


Industry Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture firm, raised $335 million for its fifth hybrid fund of funds.

Aretex Capital Partners, a private equity firm, raised $325 million for a new fund.


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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.