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Term Sheet — Friday, March 29


I’ll never forget Lyft president John Zimmer’s comment at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen last year: “Four or five years ago, we woke up one day and Uber had 30 times the amount of cash as us. Thirty times. Everyone assumed we were dead. And they tried to kill us … I mean, mostly figuratively,” he said.

But Lyft didn’t die. Rather, the ride hailing company beat Uber to an IPO. It begins its first day of trading on the Nasdaq today. Lyft priced its initial public offering at $72 a share last evening — well above its initial price range of $62 a share to $68 a share — giving it a valuation of more than $24 billion. The offering will raise $2.3 billion for the company — or $2.7 billion if the over-allotment is exercised—which could help it compete against rival Uber.

So, who’s getting rich? The Lyft IPO will bring big paydays to its key shareholders including Rakuten (with a stake worth $2.3 billion), General Motors ($1.3 billion), Fidelity ($1.3 billion), Andreessen Horowitz ($1.1 billion), Capital G ($923.7 million), and of course co-founders Logan Green ($602.9 million) and John Zimmer ($415.8 million). See this excellent New York Times infographic for more.

Who will have control? After the IPO, Lyft founders Logan Green and John Zimmer together will own approximately 7% of the company’s stock but will maintain close to majority control of the company thanks to a dual-class stock structure. The duo will own shares that will receive 20 votes each, compared with one vote per share for common stockholders.

What can we expect from all the other companies slated to go public this year? We’ve got Uber, Pinterest, Postmates, Zoom, Slack, and Airbnb on the docket. “These are not your Boomer-generation IPOs,” said Duncan Davidson, general partner at venture firm Bullpen Capital. “We killed the small IPO after 2000.”

Read more at Fortune here.

BIGGEST MISSES: Pear VC’s Pejman Nozad tweeted last night: “The night before the IPO of a company that you passed on to seed, is the night you become a man! 😂First Facebook and now Lyft for me.”

Three years ago, I compiled some of venture’s biggest, most cringe-worthy missed deals. Let’s update the list: What are your most painful misses, and why did you pass on the deal at the time? Email me at with the subject line “Biggest miss,” and I will feature the best ones.


• Drake Just Invested in eSports Betting Startup Players’ Lounge (by Laura Stampler)

• Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan steps down (by Lucinda Shen)

• Amid Its Breakneck Expansion, WeWork Finds that Banks Need More Convincing (by Jack Sidders)

• Finland Is Using Inmates to Help a Start-Up Train Its Artificial Intelligence Algorithms (by Alyssa Newcomb)

• How This Female Fintech Exec Conquered Her Imposter Syndrome to Succeed In Silicon Valley (by Kevin Kelleher)


The underground railroad of North Korea. On the trail of the robocall king. Wow Air ceases operations, leaving passengers stranded. Aramco plans $10 billion bond. Tencent-backed news app Qutoutiao nabs $171 million from Alibaba.


PayIt, a Kansas City, Mo.-based platform for state and local governments to engage their constituents digitally, raised more than $100 million in funding, from Insight Partners.

1stdibs​.com​, an owner and operator of a marketplace for luxury furnishings, jewelry, fine arts and vintage fashion, raised $76 million in Series D funding. T. Rowe Price Associates led the round, and was joined by investors including Groupe Artemis, Foxhaven Asset Management, Sofina Group, Michael Zeisser, and Allen & Company.

Kong Inc, a San Francisco-based API and service lifecycle management platform for modern architectures, raised $43 million in Series C funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Charles Rivers Ventures, GGV Capital and World Innovation Lab.

Ellevest, a digital investment platform, raised $33 million in funding. Investors include Pivotal Ventures, Valerie Jarrett, Rethink Impact, PSP Growth, PayPal, Mastercard, Google’s Eric Schmidt, GingerBread Capital, and Elaine Wynn. Read more at Fortune.

ActivTrak, a cloud-based productivity monitoring software provider, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Elsewhere Partners led the round.

Virtual Power Systems, provider of software defined data centers, raised $17 million in Series B funding. CUI Global led the round.

CB4, a New York-based AI software company for brick and mortar retail teams, raised $16 million in Series B funding. Octopus Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Sonae IM, Sequoia Capital and Pereg Ventures.

UpTop, a New York City-based rental tech company, raised $5.5 million in funding. KAL Investments INC led the round.

The Glimpse Group, Inc, a virtual reality and augmented reality platform company, raised more than $5.5 million in funding. The investors were not named.

Spike, a conversational email platform, raised $5 million in funding. Investors include Wix, Koa Labs and NFX.

Novo, a New York-based startup challenger bank, raised $4.8 million in seed funding. Crosslink Capital led the round.

Trellis Research, a Los Angeles-based provider of litigation research software, raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors include Okapi Venture Capital, Craft Ventures, Revel Ventures and Intrepid Ventures.

Cloudsnap, an Austin-based integration startup that connects web apps, raised $1.75 million in seed funding. Active Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Mercury Fund and Capital Factory.


ATAI Life Sciences, a Germany-based biotech platform focused on mental health disorders, raised $43 million in Series B funding. Subversive Capital led the round.

Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG, a Switzerland-based biotech firm, raised CHF22.5 million ($22.6 million) in Series A funding. Investors include Sofinnova Partners and New Enterprise Associates.


Bain Capital Private Equity agreed to acquire a majority stake in Maesa, a Paris-based beauty brand incubator. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Freeman Spogli & Company acquired Five Star Food Service, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based provider of on-site food and beverage services to employers. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

OMNI Environmental Solutions, a One Equity Partners portfolio company, acquired Force Environmental Solutions, an Indiana, Penn.-based provider of environmental equipment, transportation and services to energy producers.


Waterland Private Equity sold its majority stake in Zentrum Gesundheit, a Germany-based association of ophthalmic practices, to NORD Holding. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Brandwatch acquired Qriously, a London-based SaaS research platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Qriously had raised approximately $6.2 million in venture funding from investors including Spark Capital, Accel, and Amalfi Capital.


ForgePoint Capital promoted Will Lin to partner.


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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.