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Term Sheet — Tuesday, January 22


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

You probably know TomTom for its GPS-powered navigation devices.

The Dutch company just announced that it’s selling its telematics division, which delivers vehicle-related data and intelligence for fleet management and connected car services, to automotive giant Bridgestone Europe for €910 million ($1.03 billion).

The sale is a step in TomTom’s shift to location technology as customers increasingly ditch their GPS devices for their smartphones. Meanwhile, Bridgestone, which is the world’s biggest tire maker, is speeding up product development for connected and intelligent cars, combining tires and sensors to collect road conditions and tire information such as the amount of wear.

With the Telematics purchase, Bridgestone plans to gather data from 860,000 units of vehicles that currently use TomTom’s digital service to develop products and improve tire maintenance service.

But let’s be real — the mapping wars are fierce. As Bloomberg noted, it’s become harder and harder for TomTom to compete in the market for high-definition maps given that Alphabet and Apple throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at the industry.

Read more.

DEAD & GONE: Munchery, a San Francisco-based food delivery startup, has officially gone out of business. The company had raised more than $125 million in venture funding from investors including Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Capital, and Greycroft.

AN IPO UPDATE: Although the SEC is running with limited staff because of the government shutdown, it looks like there’s not a complete IPO freeze out there. New Fortress Energy, a liquified natural gas company, is tentatively slated to make its debut on the Nasdaq later this week. Let’s see how much longer this will last.

MOST UNDERRATED: Fortune’s survey of the World’s Most Admired Companies, now in its 21st year, has always measured the reputations of large corporations as seen by their fellow big-company executives. For the past three years, we’ve also asked our respondents to weigh in on the reputations of the people who lead those enterprises. Specifically, we asked respondents to tell us which CEOs aren’t getting enough credit—and which are getting too much. For the third year in a row, Satya Nadella of Microsoft took the number one spot as most underrated CEO and Jeff Bezos of Amazon finished second (Term Sheet Note: Underrated? What?!). Read more here.

‘A RECORD JUMP IN PESSIMISM:’ PwC’s survey, which polls 1,378 CEOs around the world, came out yesterday. As Fortune’s Alan Murray said, it looks like pessimism is rising among this normally optimistic group.

From the findings:

Nearly 30% of business leaders believe that global economic growth will decline in the next 12 months.

The U.S. retains its lead as the top market for growth over the next 12 months. However, many CEOs are also turning to other markets, reflected in the dramatic drop in the share of votes in favor of the US, from 46% in 2018 to just 27% in 2019.

— The U.S. is no longer top territory for overseas investment and growth for Chinese CEOs. It dropped precipitously from the top choice of 59% of Chinese CEOs last year to just 17% this year and fell behind Australia.

— Eighty-five percent of CEOs agree that AI will dramatically change their business over the next five years. Despite the bullish view on AI, 23% of CEOs currently have ‘no current plans’ to pursue AI, with a further 35% ‘planning to do so’ in the next three years.


• Artificial Intelligence: Separating the Hype from Reality (by Adam Lashinsky)

• U.S. Market Futures Drop Over Trade and Growth Concerns (by Erik Sherman)

• France Fines Google $57 Million For GDPR Violations (by Emily Price)

• CEOs Are Good at Predicting Economic Trends. Their Confidence in Growth Just Dropped Dramatically (by Claire Zillman)


The Pill Club, a Redwood City, Calif.-based online birth control prescription and delivery service, raised $51 million in Series B funding. VMG led the round, and was joined by investors including GV, ACME Capital, Base10 and Shasta Ventures.

Clearcover, a Chicago-based car insurance company, raised $43 million in Series B funding. Cox Enterprises led the round, and was joined by investors including American Family Ventures, IA Capital Group, Lightbank, Hyde Park Angels, and Silicon Valley Bank.

MarketInvoice, a London-based business finance company, raised 26 million pounds ($33.5 million) in Series B funding. Barclays and Santander InnoVentures led the round.

Beeswax, a New York-based provider of a technology buying platform for digital media, raised $15 million in Series B funding. RRE, Foundry, and Amasia co-led the round, and were joined by investors including You & Mr Jones.

Kaia Health, a creator of a back pain app, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Balderton Capital led the round.

Vinebox, a San Francisco-based subscription wine service, raised $5.9 million in funding. Harbinger Ventures led the round.

Hubble, a London-based online platform for flexible office space, raised 4 million pounds ($5.2 million) in Series A funding. JLL Spark led the round.

Bactana Corp, a Farmington, Conn.-based animal health company, raised $1.3 million in funding. Investors include Connecticut Innovations, Cornell University and Sustainable Income Capital Management.

AutoGrid, a provider of flexibility management software for the energy industry, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Shell Ventures LLC. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Apollo Global Management is in advanced talks to buy RPC Group (LSE:RPC), a plastics packaging maker, for more than $3.8 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more.

Calamos Investments agreed to acquire Timpani Capital Management LLC, a Milwaukee-based boutique investment firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Perforce Software, which is backed by Clearlake Capital Group, agreed to acquire Rogue Wave Software, an independent provider of cross-platform software developer tools and embedded components. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

San Francisco Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in jane iredale, a Great Barrington, Mass-based makeup and skincare company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Patek Philippe, a Switzerland-based watchmaker could fetch as much as $10 billion in a sale, according to Bloomberg. Read more.

Varsity Tutors acquired Veritas Prep, a Los Angeles-based provider of GMAT, GRE, SAT and ACT prep and college admissions consulting. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Just Eat acquired Flyt, a London-based startup that offers software for restaurants and restaurant suppliers, for £22 million ($28.4 million)


Maoyan Entertainment, the Chinese movie ticketing platform that plans to raise $345 million in a Hong Kong IPO, has secured $2.6 million in share purchases from Xiaomi, $4.4 million from Prestige of the Sun, and $5 million from Hylink Digital Solution. Tencent and Meituan Dianping back the firm. Read more.

Avedro, a Waltham, Mass.-based maker of corneal disorders, filed for an IPO of up to $86 million. The firm posted revenue of $20.2 million and loss of $21.3 million in 2017. OrbiMed Capital (35.7%), InterWest Partners (22.7%), and HealthQuest Partners (10.7%) back the firm pre-offering. BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “AVDR.” Read more.

The RealReal, a U.S.-based luxury reseller, is weighing an IPO with investment banks, Reuters reports citing sources. The firm is backed by Perella Weinberg Partners, Sandbridge Capital, and Great Hill Partners. Read more.

Arabian Centres Company, the Saudi Arabian mall unit of Fawaz Alhokair Group, has applied for an IPO on Riyadh’s Saudi Stock Exchange, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.


Objectway acquired Algorfin, a provider of IT and administrative outsourcing services for asset management companies, custodian banks and other financial operators. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Unione Fiduciaria SpA was the seller.

Main Capital Partners sold its majority stake in Axxerion, a Netherlands-based provider of software for facility and property management, to Nemetschek Group. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


AVP, a venture capital firm, raised $150 million for its early stage fund, AVP Early Stage II.


Oak Hill Capital Partners promoted Andy Burdick to partner, Jake Shulman to vice president, and Adam Hahn and Jeff Mettam promoted principal.


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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.