Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
#METOO BACKLASH: Everyone’s talking about this Bloomberg article on how men on Wall Street are limiting their interactions with women as a result of the #MeToo movement. The report is based on interviews with more than 30 senior executives who work for hedge funds, law firms, banks, private equity firms and investment-management firms. Some of the strategies they now employ reportedly include:
No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings. In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?
In other words, the pendulum could swing all the way from sexual harassment complaints to sex discrimination complaints, says Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison.
I’m always skeptical when I see a report entirely based on 30 men speaking on the condition of anonymity as a representation of an entire industry. As my colleague Kristen Bellstrom wrote in Fortune’s Broadsheet newsletter this morning, it’s hard to believe that “men who are so skittish around and suspicious of women were ever doing all that much to advance the careers of their female colleagues” in the first place. Not only is it absurd, it is also impractical to ice out an entire gender out of fear of being accused of sexual harassment. It’s a reaction — not a solution.
I’d love to hear from both the men and women of Term Sheet on whether you’ve found this to be an issue in your industry following the #MeToo movement.
CANNABIS $$$: Tobacco company Altria is trying really hard to stay relevant. Just last week, it was reported that Altria, which owns Philip Morris USA, Nat Sherman, and several other cigarette companies, was in talks to buy a “significant minority stake” in e-cigarette startup Juul.
Now, the $105 billion tobacco giant is eyeing cannabis producer Cronos Group, according to Reuters. A deal would mark one of the largest combinations between mainstream tobacco and the booming marijuana sector.
Regardless what deal Altria pursues, one thing’s for sure — it’ll be expensive. (Juul was last valued at $16 billion.) But it’ll pay up because the trend lines don’t lie. Last year, cigarette smoking in the U.S. fell to its lowest point in recorded history, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, both cannabis and e-cigarette usage is growing. It ain’t cheap to stay relevant.
GRAB MONEY: Here’s an interesting deal — ride-hailing firm Grab poured $100 million into Indian hotel startup OYO. Wait, why does this make sense, you may ask? Well, for one, both companies are backed by 800-pound gorilla SoftBank.
As SoftBank managing partner Jeffrey Housenbold said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference said in July, “Our playbook has been to take meaningful minority stakes and bring both capital, counsel, and connections to our entrepreneurs and introduce them to their sister companies inside of the broader SoftBank ecosystem.”
And two, I’m completely speculating here, but it wouldn’t be crazy for Grab to move into the hotel sector as it expands internationally and goes head to head with rival Go-Jek. Whatever the strategy, I’m sure SoftBank is responsible for making sure they pull it off.
• Freeletics, a digital fitness company, raised $45 million in Series A funding. Investors include FitLab, Causeway Media Partners, JAZZ Venture Partners, Courtside Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, ward.ventures, and Tony Robbins.
• SnapTravel, a Toronto-based message-driven commerce company, raised $21.2 million in Series A funding. Investors include Telstra Ventures and NBA player Stephen Curry.
• Fivetran, a company redefining data pipelines, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Matrix Partners led the round.
• FortressIQ, a creator of a cognitive automation platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding, from Lightspeed Venture Partners.
• Eclypsium, an enterprise firmware protection platform, raised $8.75 million in Series A funding. Madrona Venture Group led the round, and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Ubiquity Ventures.
• 15Five, a San Francisco-based employee engagement and performance management software, raised $8.2 million in funding. Origin Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including New Ground Ventures and LAUNCH Fund.
• Oura Health, a Finland-based sleep improvement health platform, raised $5 million in funding. MSD Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Steve Chen, Drew Brees, Apolo Anton Ohno, Shaquille O’Neal, Jimmy Johnson, Lance Armstrong and Will Smith.
• Ascent360, a Golden, Colo.-based customer data platform provider, raised $4.1 million in Series A funding. Fulcrum Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Access Venture Partners, NelNet, Bialla Venture Partners and Rockies Venture Club.
• Quality Green, a Canada-based licensed cannabis producer, raised $2 million in funding from Australis Capital.
• SalonHQ, a mobile beauty commerce platform, raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors include Panache Ventures.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Tactiva Therapeutics, a cancer immunotherapy company, raised $35 million in Series A funding. Panacea Healthcare Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Vi Ventures and Efung Capital.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• V3 Group Limited, a specialty retailer of luxury lifestyle and wellness products in Asia, raised up to S$500 ($367 million) from KKR. The deal is valued at approximately S$1.7 billion ($1.2 billion).
• Crown Laboratories, a portfolio company of Hildred Capital Partners, acquired five over the counter consumer brands from GlaxoSmithKline. The brands include PanOxyl, Sarna and Zeasorb. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Main Capital acquired a stake in cleversoft, a Munich-based regtech software specialist. Financial terms weren’t announced.
• WestView Capital Partners recapitalized Bell and Howell, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of tech-enabled mechatronic services and solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Surge Private Equity made an investment in Global Bakeries Inc, a California-based specialty baked goods manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• TCGRx, a portfolio company of Frazier Healthcare Partners, acquired Parata Systems, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of pharmacy technology solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) acquired Quandl, Inc., a provider of alternative and core financial data. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the largest Chinese online music-streaming service, plans to raise $1.15 billion in an IPO of 82 million ADSs (50% insider) priced between $13 to $15. 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.”
• ResMed (NYSE: RMD) agreed to acquire Propeller Health, a Madison, Wisc.-based digital therapeutics company providing connected health solutions for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, for $225 million. Propeller Health had raised approximately $70 million in venture funding from investors including McKesson Ventures, Social Capital, 3M New Ventures, SR One, Hikma Ventures, and Safeguard Scientifics.
• Vector Capital sold Triton Digital, Inc, a technology provider to the audio streaming and podcast industry, to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ:SSP) for $150 million.
• Irving Place Capital sold Caribbean Financial Group Holdings, a Puerto Rico-based consumer finance company, to a group of investors led by BayBoston Managers. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Callaway Golf Co agreed to buy Jack Wolfskin, a Germany-based provider of functional outdoor clothing, for 418 million euros ($476 million). Bain Capital Credit, H.I.G. Bayside Capital, CQS, Avenue Capital Group and BlueMountain Capital Management, which own a combined 67% of Jack Wolfskin, were the sellers.
• General Atlantic promoted Chris Caulkin, Roni Elchahal, Andrew Ferrer, and Peter Munzig to managing director; Preston McKenzie was named operating partner; and Rodrigo Catunda and Luiz Ribeiro were promoted to principal.