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Term Sheet — Thursday, October 4

October 4, 2018, 1:26 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

I just got back from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and I’m severely sleep-deprived but it was worth every second.

Some of the highlights from yesterday include:

Uber Benefits: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi indicated that the company is working to close the gap between its treatment of full-time employees and drivers—including by offering the latter access to similar perks and protections. “For the first time, I think we are now listening to our drivers, and we are building out our services in concert with them,” he said. Read more.

Instagram Update: The tech world was stunned last week when Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram, abruptly announced they were leaving the company. Instagram COO Marne Levine assured the audience that the business was in safe hands. Read more.

Dating Drama: Bumble broke news saying it will be expanding into India with the support of its new investor and advisor Priyanka Chopra. Following a bitter legal saga, Bumble has turned down Match’s buyout offers and has since announced that it’s exploring an IPO. But an acquisition isn’t totally off the table, said CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. “If an acquisition came along that was going to fuel that mission and help take it to every corner of the planet, faster, more efficiently, it’s something we’ll explore.” This is one to watch. Read more.

UNICORN ALERT: Developer software startup JFrog raised $165 million in venture funding from investors including Insight Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Geodesic Capital, Battery Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Dell Technologies Capital, Vintage Investment Partners, JFrog Gemini VC Israel, Qumra Capital and VMware.

JFrog CEO Shlomi Ben Haim told Fortune that the startup’s latest investment values the company at over $1 billion, but he declined to cite a specific valuation. Developers use JFrog’s core product to help manage large software projects in what’s known as agile development, which involves continuously working on apps by making small updates. Read more.

ICYMI: The FDA conducted a surprise inspection at Juul Labs’ San Francisco headquarters last week, seizing “thousands of pages of documents” in relation to the e-cigarette company’s marketing practices. Juul, which is now valued at approximately $16 billion, has been at the center of a federal investigation over whether it intentionally marketed its devices to underage customers. Last month, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called youth e-cigarette use an "epidemic,” adding that "the FDA won't tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine.” There are all sorts of ethical questions around Juul, and as one Term Sheet reader pointed out, the investigation could have “potentially industry changing implications.”


OmniSci (formerly MapD), a San Francisco-based creator of an extreme analytics platform, raised $55 million Series C funding. Tiger Global Management led the round.

ClimaCell, a Boston-based microweather technology company that finds and forecasts location-specific, short-term weather, raised ​$45 ​million in Series B funding. Clearvision Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Ford Smart Mobility LLC, Envision Ventures, and existing investors Canaan, Fontinalis Partners, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Square Peg Capital.

Glassbox, a U.K.-based developer of digital customer experience solutions, raised $25 million in funding. Updata Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Ibex Investors, CEIIF, and Gefen Capital.

Hysolate, an Israel and New York City-based cybersecurity startup, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners and Innovation Endeavors led the round, and were joined by investors including NGP Capital.

Cover, a mobile-first insurance platform, raised $16 million in Series B funding. Tribe Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Y Combinator, Social Capital, Exor and Samsung Ventures.

Artificial Solutions, a Sweden-based unified natural language development and analytics platform, raised $15.8 million in funding. The investors were not named.

Coolfire Solutions, a St. Louis, Mo.-based developer of situational awareness technology, raised $11.5 million in Series B funding. Investors include Clayton Venture Partners.

Chasm, a Canton, Massachusetts-based maker of advanced materials for printed electronics and battery applications, raised $11 million in Series A funding. WAVE Equity Partners and NXT Ventures led the round.

CloudKnox Security, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based cloud security platform, raised $10.75 million in funding. ClearSky Security led the round, and was joined by investors including Dell Technologies Capital and Foundation Capital.

Siilo, a Netherlands-based secure instant messaging app for healthcare professionals, raised €4.5 million ($5.2 million) in funding round. EQT Ventures led the round.

Basis, a mental health-focused company, raised $3.75 million in funding. Bedrock led the round, and was joined by investors including Wave Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Tourmaline Labs, a San Diego-based company that analyzes mobility data, raised $2 million in funding. Investors include ClearVision Equity Partners and Tech Coast Angels.

Caribu, a Miami-based education platform that enables parents, extended family, and mentors to read and draw with children when they’re not in the same location, raised $1.3 million in funding. Be Curious Partners led the round.

Tomorrow Ideas, a Seattle-based financial and legal services company, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. The investor was NFP Ventures.


Implus, which is backed by Berkshire Partners, acquired RockTape, a provider of kinesiology tape, medical education and other health and wellness products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Contegix, which is backed by Strattam Capital, acquired Equip, a Seattle and Portland, Oregon-based Atlassian professional services firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Paine Schwartz Partners made an investment in MS Biotec, a provider of products for the beef feedlot and dairy markets. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Enlightenment Capital made an investment in Emagine IT, a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of information technology services and management consulting to government and commercial customers. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) said it is considering a sale after receiving interest from multiple parties including its executive chairman, Leonard Riggio, according to The Wall Street Journal. Read more.


Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the largest Chinese online music-streaming service, filed for a $1 billion IPO. Tencent backs the firm. BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are underwriters. The firm plans to list on the NYSE as “TME.”

Allogene Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based maker of cancer therapies, says it plans to raise $272 million in an offering of 16 million shares priced between $16 to $18. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Cowen, and Jefferies are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ALLO.”

Upwork, a Mountain View, Calif.-based hiring and management marketplace, raised $187 million in an IPO of 12.5 million shares priced at $15, above its $12 to $14 range. The company posted revenue of $202.6 million and loss of $10.6 million in 2017. Benchmark (15% pre-offering), Sigma Partners (14.2%), and Globespan Capital Partners (12.9%) back the firm. Citi, Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “UPWK.”

Elastic, Mountain View, Calif.-based search software firm, plans to raise $245 million in an IPO of 7 million shares priced between $33 to $35. The firm posted revenue of $159.9 million in the year ending April 2018 and loss of $52.7 million. Benchmark (17% pre-offering), Index Ventures (10.5%) and New Enterprise Associates (10.2%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Jefferies, and Canaccord Genuity are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “ESTC.”

EnVen Energy, a Houston-based energy company, filed for a $100 million IPO. Bain Capital Partners, Adage Capital Partners, and EIG Global Equity Partners back the firm. Citi, J.P. Morgan, Stifel and BMO Capital Markets are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “ENVN.”

Twist Bioscience, a San Francisco-based DNA-based products manufacturer, filed for an $86 million IPO. Ever Alpha Fund (14.9%), ARCH Venture Partners (14.8%), and Illumina  (7.7%) back the firm. J.P. Morgan and Cowen are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “TWST.”

Equillium, a La Jolla, Calif.-based biotech developing monoclonal antibody therapies, plans to raise $70 million in an IPO of 4.7 million shares priced between $14 to $16. Biocon backs the firm. Jefferies, Leerink Partners and Stifel are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “EQ.”

Alberton Acquisition, a Hong Kong-based blank check firm, filed to raise $100 million. Chardan Capital Markets is underwriter in the deal. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ALACU.”

Change Healthcare, a healthcare tech firm backed by McKesson Corp, hired underwriters for an IPO in the first half of 2019, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.


Vista Equity Partners agreed to acquire Starhome Mach, an Israel-based provider of SaaS wholesale and retail roaming, clearing, settlement and fraud prevention technology, from Fortissimo Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Palo Alto Networks agreed to acquire RedLock Inc, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based cybersecurity company, for about $173 million. RedLock had raised approximately $12 million in venture funding from investors including Sierra Ventures, Storm Ventures and Dell Technologies Capital.

Anju Software Inc, which is backed by Providence Equity Partners, acquired Zephyr Health, a San Francisco-based provider of physician, institution and treatment data for every major disease area. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Zephyr Health had raised approximately $33.5 million in funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Icon Ventures and Google Ventures.

CDI Corporation, a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, sold its talent & technology solutions business unit to Artech Information Systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

SpotOn Transact acquired  EmaginePOS, a Ferndale, Mich.-based point of sale company for the restaurant industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed. EmaginePOS had raised approximately $1.6 million in funding from investors who were not named.

Thoma Bravo acquired a majority stake in Apttus, a San Mateo, Calif.-based SaaS application provider, from K1 Investment Management.


MidOcean Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, raised $1.2 billion for its MidOcean Partners V, L.P.

Adams Street Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm, raised $426 million for its second early-stage venture fund.

Trinity Hunt Partners, a Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm, raised $350 million for its fifth fund, Fund V.

Balderton Capital, a London-based venture firm, raised $145 million for a new fund.


David Pogoda and Mathew Carvajal joined 23 Capital as managing directors.


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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.