Term Sheet — Wednesday, October 3

October 3, 2018, 1:23 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Busy news day today. Here’s the rundown:

NEW FIRM: Term Sheet has learned that Golden Gate Capital longtime managing director Rajeev Amara is leaving the firm to launch his own called Arcline Investment Management. Amara had been at Golden Gate for more than 18 years where he founded and oversaw the firm’s industrials investing practice. The practice reportedly consists of 12 companies aggregating to more than $4 billion of revenues.

Golden Gate principal Shyam Ravindran and vice president Alex Iannaccone are also leaving to join Amara at his new venture. Ravindran had been at Golden Gate for more than 10 years, Iannaccone for more than six, and they were both part of the industrials investing practice.

Spokespeople for both Golden Gate and Arcline declined to comment.

There have been other firms to spin out from Golden Gate in previous years, including Sycamore Partners and Altamont Capital Partners.

NEW FUND: Initialized Capital, the early-stage VC firm founded by Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian in 2012, raised $225 million for its fourth core fund.

In total, Initialized now has approximately $508 million in capital under management and more than 100 companies in its portfolio. Its previous investments include Coinbase, Instacart, Zenefits, Opendoor, Soylent, Cruise Automation, and Standard Cognition.

Term Sheet spoke with Tan to better understand how the partners plan to deploy the new capital. He said Initialized will continue investing in early-stage startups, with an emphasis on software. The category of “software” will include cryptocurrency and blockchain investments, which the firm has sought out in the last few years.

“We don’t view crypto as a different thing — it’s just software,” Tan said. “There’s not really crypto versus non-crypto to me. It’s software eats money in the sense that crypto is a programmable form of money.”

Ohanian told Term Sheet that Coinbase “has obviously been a tremendous performer for the firm and we are excited that this crypto bear market has caused the builders to dig in and focus on shipping great software to bring blockchain tech to more people.”

The new fund is backed by endowments, foundations, and institutions that are primarily U.S.-based. “We’ve taken institutional capital, so it’s incredibly important to return the capital and grow it the way we said we would,” Tan said. “I told Alexis, ‘It’d be cool to start a billion-dollar company, but what if we could help create one every year?”

For more on Initialized, check out Term Sheet’s interview with Ohanian on more of the firm’s thesis, crypto investing, and deal flow diversity.

NEW FUNDING: Coinbase, the cryptocurrency-trading startup, is raising up to $500 million in funding from Tiger Global and existing shareholders that would value the company at about $8 billion, according to Recode. The deal would make Coinbase one of the highest-valued startups in the U.S. and help further legitimize the entire cryptocurrency industry. Fortune profiled Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong in the latest issue of the magazine. Read the feature here.

NEW PARTNER: David Ulevitch, the founder of OpenDNS (which sold to Cisco in 2016), joined venture firm Andreessen Horowitz as its newest general partner. He is the fourth general partner to be announced by the firm since it appointed three new GPs — Katie Haun, Connie Chan, and Angela Strange — this summer.


How Estonia Is Leading the Charge in E-Citizenship (by McKenna Moore)

New Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Has a Big Goal: Hire More Women (by Lisa Marie Segarra)

Why Megyn Kelly Thinks the Kavanaugh Hearings Are 'a Farce' (by Lucinda Shen)

How Millennial Consumers Are Redefining Luxury and Wealth (by Polina Marinova)


Hopper, a Canada-based travel booking app, raised $100 million in Series D funding. OMERS Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Accomplice, Brightspark Ventures, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund, and Citi Ventures.

Talkdesk, a San Francisco-based provider of customer service software, raised $100 million in Series B funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Viking Global Investors led the round, and was joined by investors including DFJ.

Braze (formerly Appboy), a New York-based customer engagement platform that delivers personalized messaging, raised $80 million in Series E funding at a $850 million valuation. Meritech Capital Partners led the round.

HEED, an AI platform that illuminates insights behind moments from live events, raised $35 million in funding. SoftBank Group International led the round.

Foursquare, a New York-based enterprise platform, raised $33 million in Series F funding, with $25 million already closed out and another $8 million inbound. Investors include Simon Ventures, Naver Corp, and Union Square Ventures.

Human, Incorporated, a Seattle-based consumer tech company that develops premium speakers, raised $21 million in Series B funding. Sage Venture Partners, Sugar Mountain Capital and Ropart Asset Management II led the round, and were joined by investors including Microsoft Corp.

Brightwheel, a provider of management and communication software for early education, raised $21 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Omidyar Network and existing investors Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Eniac Ventures, GGV Capital, Golden Venture Partners, and Lowercase Capital.

ExecOnline, a New York-based provider of certificate-bearing leadership and development programs, raised $18 million in Series C funding. ABS Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including New Spring Capital, Osage Partners, Kaplan Inc and New Atlantic Ventures.

MTPV Power Corporation, an Austin, Texas and Medford, Mass.-based clean energy company that converts heat to electricity using semiconductor chips, raised $16 million in Series C funding. Lake Bridge Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Total Energy Ventures and SABIC Ventures.

Arcadia Data, a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of visual analytics software for big data, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Pelion Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Blumberg Capital.

Giant Oak, an Arlington, Va.-based data analytics software company, raised $10 million in funding from Edison Partners.

Preservica, a Boston-based digital preservation and electronic archive software provider, raised $10 million (£7.5 million) in Series B funding from Mobeus Equity Partners.

Truebill, a New York-based app that enables users to optimize spending and manage subscriptions, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Investors include Cota Capital, Social Capital, Day One Ventures, David Marcus, Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Jawed Karim, Troy Carter, Marc Katz, and Hiten Shah.

Lumina, a San Francisco-based digital assets prime dealer and financial platform, raised $4 million in seed funding. Craft Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Dragonfly Capital Partners.

Stoplight, an Austin, Texas-based enterprise API lifecycle company, raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Bill Wood Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including NextGen Venture Partners, Next Coast Ventures, Social Starts, and Capital Factory.

Dvdendo, a Miami-based bilingual micro-investing platform to service the Latino market, raised $3.25 million in Series A funding. DILA Capital led the round.

Tiny, a rich-text editing platform that helped launch and scale brands, raised $4 million in Series A funding. BlueRun Ventures led the round.

Centaur Analytics, a Ventura, Calif.-based company creating the post-harvest quality chain for crops and foods, raised $3 million in funding. Marathon Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including OurCrowd and Avi Reichental.


Falfurrias Capital Partners acquired Global Plasma Solutions, a Savannah-based provider of innovative air purification devices designed to improve indoor air quality. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Optima Healthcare Solutions acquired Vantage Clinical Solutions, Inc., a company that specializes in revenue cycle management and digital marketing services for physical therapy practices. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Sign-Zone LLC, a portfolio company of Pfingsten, acquired Jansen Display Group, a Czech Republic-based maker of promotional display hardware and signage systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


ACON Investments acquired a majority stake in Fleetwash, a Fairfield, N.J.-based mobile fleet washing and facility service company, from DFW Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Louisa Xu is joining IVP as a vice president and Jake Storm is joining as an associate. Additionally, IVP promoted Armaan Ali to senior associate.


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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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