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Term Sheet — Thursday, November 8

November 8, 2018, 2:20 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Ford is entering the scooter wars.

The automaker is acquiring Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter company, in a deal pegged at approximately $80 million to $90 million. The startup had raised ~$8 million in venture funding at a $40 million valuation, which pales in comparison to e-scooter rivals Bird and Lime. It had expanded to nine cities, including Charlotte, Durham, and Detroit, as well as five college campuses.

This acquisition makes it crystal clear that Ford is feeling the pressure from the increasing popularity of the electric scooter industry. The automaker is preparing for a future that will look very different than it does today — one that could include more scooters and bikes than cars on the road. Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett has repeatedly emphasized the need for automakers to invest in new transportation services to avoid getting left behind.

In a Fortune feature from September 2017, Hackett laid out his ambitious plan as the new chief of Ford. He said he’ll focus the company on revenue sources beyond just building and selling cars. That includes producing electric and autonomous vehicles as well as offering services like the Ford-owned Chariot “micro-transit” system and “curb-management” software that helps reduce congestion in cities. Under Hackett’s leadership, Ford has acquired three startups in the last year, which is more than any given year on record.

Hackett referred to the opportunities ahead as a “mobility smorgasbord,” adding that, “We don’t want to cede the future to anybody else.” Although his vision is admirable, let’s not forget that to win the mobility wars, Hackett has to go head-to-head with heavyweights Bird, Uber, and Lyft because they’re not willing to cede the future to anybody else either.

AND A FACT-CHECK: You might remember that five months ago, Spin was said to be in the process of finalizing a $125 million security token offering, according to reports in Axios and TechCrunch. The company would raise money from accredited investors, who would then be entitled to a portion of the revenue from Spin’s electric scooter operations.

There was further discussion on Twitter this morning about what would happen to the token holders following the Ford acquisition. Though a security token offering would’ve made for an interesting twist on this deal, Spin co-founder Euwyn Poon told Term Sheet the company did not conduct an STO and no tokens were issued.


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Tesla names Robyn Denholm as chair to replace Elon Musk. Tim Draper says Elon Musk should’ve taken Tesla private sooner. Uber founder Travis Kalanick buys $36-million NYC penthouse. Bird is suing Beverly Hills after racking up more than $100,000 in fines from the city's ban. Wells Fargo is exploring a sale of its retirement plan services.


TripActions, a Mountain View, Calif.-based corporate travel management company, raised $154 million in Series C funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Zeev Ventures and SGVC.

Zopa, a U.K. peer-to-peer lending company, raised £60 million ($78.7 million) in funding. The investors were not disclosed, but existing investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Augmentum Capital, Northzone and Wadhawan Global Capital.

RealtimeBoard, a Las Vegas, Nev.-based visual collaboration platform, raised $25 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, and was joined by investors including AltaIR Capital.

Oncology Analytics, an Atlanta-based provider of oncology benefits management solutions, raised $21 million in Series B funding. Oak HC/FT led the round and was joined by investors including McKesson Ventures, Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners and Sandbox Advantage Fund.

Overwolf, an Israel-based company building an open platform of game apps and in-game services, raised $16 million in funding. Intel Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Liberty Technology Venture Capital.

PressLogic, a Hong Kong-based tech startup that engages in MediaLens technology & data and digital media & content marketing operations, raised $10 million in funding from Meitu Inc.

FLEx Lighting, a Chicago-based provider of front lighting for low power displays, raised $9 million in Series B funding. Energy Foundry led the round, and was joined by investors including SABIC Ventures and Bascom Ventures.

Coder, an Austin, Texas-based developer of a full-featured cloud-based development suite, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Uncork Capital and Redpoint Ventures co-led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Fund, Capital Factory, and several strategic individual investors: John Kodumal, Quinn Slack, Grant Gregory, Alec Guettel, David Rosenblatt, and Gregory Kennedy from Advection Capital.

Drivetime, a San Francisco-based developer of voice games for drivers, raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors include Felicis Ventures, Fuel Capital, Steadfast Venture Capital, Webb Investment Network, Sinai VC, Canaan Partners, Access Ventures, Founders Fund, Index Ventures and The Chernin Group.

Lone Rooftop, a Netherlands-based proptech platform, raised $2.5 million in funding. The investor was Nimbus Ventures.

HuiyiHuiying, a Beijing-based medical imaging artificial intelligence company, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Intel Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Beijing Singularity Power Investment Fund.

Titan Spine, a Mequon, Wisc.-based developer of surface-enhanced spinal interbody fusion implants, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. The investor was Southlake Equity Group.


Force Therapeutics, a New York-based provider of episode-based digital care delivery, raised $21 million in funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round.


Versa Integrity Group, a portfolio company of Dorilton Capital, acquired the assets of Maintenance & Turnaround Resources, a Hondo, Texas-based asset integrity management company that provides non-destructive testing to customers in the oil and gas industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

MavenHill Capital acquired Gasser & Sons Inc, a Commack, N.Y.-based maker of metal components used in mission critical medical, defense and industrial applications. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


One Equity Partners agreed to sell PeroxyChem, a Philadelphia-based chemical maker, to Evonik Industries, for $625 million, or around 10.4x Ebitda.

Symantec agreed to acquire Appthority, a San Francisco-based provider of mobile security services. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Appthority raised approximately $25.3 million in venture funding from investors including U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock, Blue Coat Systems and ForgePoint Capital.

Leggett & Platt agreed to buy Elite Comfort Solutions Inc, a provider of specialized foam technology for the bedding and furniture industries, for $1.25 billion. Arsenal Capital Partners is the seller.

Pamlico Capital agreed to make an investment in TRG Screen, a provider of enterprise subscription management solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Polaris Partners will exit its stake in TRG Screen.

OpenGate Capital agreed to acquire AICO, an Italian manufacturer of residential stoves, fireplaces, boilers and cookers, from Ambienta SGR. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Platinum Equity agreed to acquire Jostens, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based provider of products, programs, and services for high schools and universities, from Newell Brands in a deal valued at approximately $1.3 billion.


Monashees, a Brazil-based venture capital firm, raised $150 million for its latest fund, monashees VIII.


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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.