Skip to Content

Term Sheet — Wednesday, March 13

A BRIBERY RING

Twitter is buzzing with news of the college admissions cheating scandal, in which more than 40 people have been accused for paying bribes to get their children into elite schools, including Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale.

One of the more high-profile financiers named in the scandal is Bill McGlashan, the founder and managing partner of TPG Growth, a private equity firm with investments in Airbnb and Uber. McGlashan, an advocate of ethical investing, was placed on “indefinite administrative leave effective immediately,” according to a statement made to Fortune.

McGlashan is also known for partnering with fellow social impact-minded leaders such as Bono on TPG’s Rise Fund, a social impact investing vehicle.

He has been charged with making a $50,000 charitable contribution in order to falsify his son’s ACT test results and thereby get his son admitted to the University of Southern California. Court documents show McGlashan discussed repeating the ACT cheating scheme for his two younger children and indicate that he also considered creating a fake athletic profile for his son to facilitate an alternate method for college admissions: athletic recruitment.

“As a result of the charges of personal misconduct against Bill McGlashan, we have placed Mr. McGlashan on indefinite administrative leave effective immediately,” the company said in a statement sent to Fortune. “Jim Coulter, Co-CEO of TPG, will be interim managing partner of TPG Growth and The Rise Fund. Mr. Coulter will, in partnership with the organization’s executive team, lead all investment work for both going forward.”

Below is a conversation — that allegedly occurred in August 2018 — between McGlashan and William Rick Singer, the college prep adviser who is at the center of the scam.

“I’m gonna make him a kicker/punter and they’re gonna walk him through with football, and I’ll get a picture and figure out how to Photoshop,” Singer wrote to McGlashan.

“He does have really strong legs,” McGlashan responded. “Maybe he’ll become a kicker. You never know.”

“Pretty funny,” McGlashan said later. “The way the world works these days is unbelievable.”

I mean, he’s not wrong — it is pretty unbelievable. Other financiers implicated in the bribery ring include Hercules Capital founder Manuel Henriquez, Dragon Global founder Bob Zangrillo and private equity executive John Wilson. Read more at Fortune.

VIDEO GAME MONEY: The cryptocurrency company Ripple announced an ambitious project to integrate blockchain technology into video games. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods. The fund will be overseen by Forte, a San Francisco company founded this year by prominent gaming executives and backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures. In terms of distributing the grants, Forte and Ripple say they are targeting game developers with more than 50,000 daily active users. Read more at Fortune.

THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE…

• Are CEOs Really Abusing Buybacks to Get Richer? (by Shawn Tully)

• Spotify Says Apple Has an ‘Unfair Advantage’ in New EU Complaint (by Don Reisinger)

• MoviePass’ 2018 Was Even Worse Than We All Thought (by Brian Raftery)

•As Brexit Looms, Nissan Stops U.K. Production of Two Infinity Models (by Grace Dobush)

…AND ELSEWHERE:

Vice Media is looking to raise funding up to $200 million. Disney sets March 20 closing date for Fox assets deal. Elon Musk’s defense of his Tesla tweet will get SEC response. The World Wide Web turns 30 years old.

VENTURE DEALS

Dental Monitoring, a Paris-based provider of artificial intelligence solutions for dentistry and orthodontics, raised 45 million euros ($50.8 million) in funding, from Vitruvian Partners.

Quip, a San Francisco-based dental care company, raised $40 million in funding. Investors include Sherpa Capital and Blue Scorpion Investments LP.

Hibob, an Israel-based HR tech platform, raised $20 million in Series A+ funding. Investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Eight Roads, Arbor Ventures, and Presidio Ventures.

Glia (fka SaleMove), a digital customer service platform for financial services companies, raised $20 million in funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Tola Capital, Wildcat Capital Management, and Grassy Creek.

Invenio, a U.K.-based provider of business focused technology solutions and consulting services, raised £11.6 million ($15.3 million) from BGF.

ZayZoon, a Canada-based provider of wages on-demand and employee financial payroll features, raised $15 million in funding. Investors include Prairie Merchant Corporation and Bluesky Equities Ltd.

Adthena, an AI-powered search marketing intelligence platform, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Investors include Updata Partners.

Tetrate, an enterprise service mesh company, raised $12.5 million in funding. Dell Technologies Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including 8VC, Intel Capital, Rain Capital and Samsung NEXT.

Livly, a Chicago-based creator of the operating system for physical spaces, raised $10 million in seed funding. Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Navitas Capital and JLL Spark led the round.

FoodBoss, a Chicago-based online food ordering search engine, raised more than $2 million in seed funding. Cleveland Avenue LLC led the round.

Klara, a New York-based healthcare communication firm, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Stage 2 Capital.

HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS

InventisBio Inc, a biotech company, raised $70 million in Series C funding. Advantech Capital and CMBI co-led the round.

PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

Tecum Capital Partners made an investment in Gilman Cheese Corporation, a Gilman, Wisc.-based maker of processed cheese. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Velosio, a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of business management solutions for companies, raised funding of an undisclosed amount, from Harren Equity Partners.

Providence Strategic Growth, a growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, invested $75 million in Impact, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of partnership automation solutions.

Munch’s Supply, a portfolio company of Rotunda Capital Partners, acquired Comfort Air Distributing, a Denver, Colo.-based provider of Rheem heating and air conditioning equipment. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

WJ Partners made an investment in Power-Utility Products Co., a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of strut channel, cable tray, fittings and associated products used in electrical infrastructure. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

LightBay Capital and Freeman Spogli & Co. will acquire FASTSIGNS International, Inc, a Carrollton, Texas-based franchisor in the signage and visual graphics industry.

IPOs

Jumia, an Berlin-based African e-commerce platform, filed for a $100 million IPO. The firm posted revenue of $150 million on 2018 and loss of $194 million. Firms including MTN and Rocket Internet back the company. Morgan Stanley, Citi, Berenberg Bank, and RBC Capital Markets are underwriters . It plans to list on the NYSE as “JMIA.” Read more.

BioNTech, a European biotech focused on mRNA therapies to treat cancer, has hired J.P. Morgan and Bank of America for an IPO worth $800 million set for as early as this year.to prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) worth as much as $800 million as early as this year on the Nasdaq, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.

EXITS

F5 Networks Inc agreed to acquire NGINX, a San Francisco-based open source web server, for about $670 million. NGINX had raised approximately $104 million in funding from investors including Blue Cloud Ventures, e.ventures, Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, MSD Capital, NEA, Runa Capital and Telstra Ventures.

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) agreed to acquire Ethoca, a Canada-based provider of technology solutions that help merchants and card issuers collaborate in real-time. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Ethoca had raised approximately $45 million in funding from investors including Spectrum Equity, Pivot Investment Partners, and Difference Capital.

L Catterton agreed to sell CorePower Yoga, a Denver, Colo.-based yoga fitness studio operator, to TSG Consumer Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

FIRMS + FUNDS

EQT, a Sweden-based private equity and venture capital firm, raised €9 billion ($10.2 billion) for an infrastructure fund.

Osage University Partners, a Bala Cynwyd, Penn.-based venture capital firm, raised $273 million for its third fund.

PEOPLE

SK Capital Partners promoted Stephen d’Incelli to managing director, and Lee Karras has joined as a director.

SHARE TODAY’S TERM SHEET

View this email in your browser.

Polina Marinova produces Term Sheet, and Lucinda Shen compiles the IPO news. Send deal announcements to Polina here and IPO news to Lucinda here.