Term Sheet — Monday, September 17

September 17, 2018, 1:40 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Go-Jek, the Indonesia-based ride-hailing company, plans to raise more cash from investors to fuel its ride-hailing battle with Grab in Southeast Asia. In recently raised $1.5 billion from investors including Tencent, Meituan, JD.com, Google, Allianz and Temasek. It was valued at roughly $5 billion.

Now, it’s planning to raise a further $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. It plans to use the capital to accelerate its overseas expansion. Of course, the funding comes on the heels of rival Grab’s $2 billion investment — $1 billion of which came from Toyota.

Capital is essential when it comes to winning the ride-hailing wars in Asia. In March, Uber agreed to merge with Grab after a costly fight for market share. But the fight is far from over. Ride-hailing services in Southeast Asia are expected to surge to $20.1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025 from $5.1 billion in 2017.

THIS JUST IN: Speaking of capital, aspiring Tesla rival Lucid Motors just raised more than $1 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). Lucid Motors is a Newark, Calif.-based electric vehicle manufacturer that does not currently have any cars on the market. Tesla stock dipped more than 2% in pre-market trading on the investment news. Before changing his plans, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had claimed that PIF could help him take Tesla private.

A RECIPE FOR DISASTER? Last week, Blackstone acquired a 60% stake in Luminor, a bank operating in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, for $1 billion euros ($1.2 billion). This was one of the biggest private equity banking deals in the past decade. The Financial Times published a column that states the “widespread mixing of private equity with banking could be a recipe for disaster.”

The reasons? Both sectors are highly leveraged, which means that boosting one with the other could be problematic. From the FT story:

“If the financial crisis taught us anything, it is that spiralling levels of leverage are not a good idea. A decade since the crisis erupted, the continuing weakness of parts of Europe’s banking sector makes prudence even more well-advised. High volumes of non-performing loans continue to afflict several banking markets; economic growth remains subdued.”

A MEDIA BUY: Marc and Lynne Benioff announced yesterday they will acquire Time Magazine (a Fortune sister publication) for $190 million in cash. The title is currently owned by Meredith Corp., whose purchase of Time Inc. closed eight months ago. Meredith said it was close to selling Fortune, Time, and Sports Illustrated. We have yet to see if more billionaires scoop legacy publications (hi Bezos!) to become modern-day media barons.


The Robot Takeover Is Coming: Machines Will Do Half Our Work by 2025

Uber and Lyft Drivers in Chicago Will Hold Rally to Protest Abuse and Low Wages (by Erin Corbett)

Crowdfunding Site Republic Announces Token Sale (by Jeff John Roberts)

Sears CEO: Retiree Pensions Are Killing Us, Not Online Shopping (by Brittany Shoot)


Mary Meeker is leaving Kleiner Perkins to start a new investment fund. Adyen’s IPO success spurs hopes European tech scene has turned a corner. SpaceX to announce its first space tourist.  The NFL’s very profitable existential crisis.


Benson Hill Biosystems, a St. Louis, Mo.-based crop improvement company, raised $60 million Series C funding. GV led the round, and was joined by investors including Activant Capital, Tao Capital Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, Fall Line Capital, iSelect Fund, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, and S2G Ventures also participated.

Freightos, a Hong Kong-based operator of an online freight marketplace, raised $44.4 million in Series C funding. Singapore Exchange led the round.

Iskn, a France-based provider of smart drawing pads, raised 10.5 million euros ($12.2 million) in funding. Investors include iXO Private Equity, CM-CIC Innovation, C4 Ventures and Supernova Invest.

Emplify, a Fishers, Indiana-based employee engagement measurement company, raised $7.5 million in funding. Investors include Edison Partners.

Expeto, a platform-as-a-service provider of secure IoT deployment and management, raised $4 million in Series A funding. Lavrock Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Evok Innovations and Mistral Venture Partners.


BelHealth Investment Partners acquired Gemini Bio-Products, a West Sacramento, Calif.-based biological reagents manufacturer and supplier. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Geneva Glen Capital acquired EZ Shipper Racks, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based provider of recoverable shipping racks to the nursery industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Silver Lake agreed to invest $600 million in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC).

Thompson Street Capital Partners will acquire LifeSpan Biosciences, Inc, a Seattle-based developer and distributor of antibodies and related reagents. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Microsoft acquired Lobe, a San Jose, Calif.-based AI-focused firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Walmart Inc acquired Cornershop Inc, a San Francisco-based on-demand grocery delivery service for the Latin American market, for approximately $225 million. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Cornershop had raised approximately $31.7 million from venture investors including Accel, Creandum, Jackson Square Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst.


Flybridge Capital Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm, set out to raise a $75 million fifth venture-capital fund.


Costanoa Ventures promoted John Cowgill to principal.

Eddie Kang joined Next47 as a principal. Previously, he was at Telescope Partners.


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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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