PROFITABLE UNICORNS & MORE
The IPO hysteria continues. Ride-hailing startup Gett raised $200 million in a mix of debt and equity at a post-money valuation of $1.5 billion. Investors include Volkswagen, Access, Kreos, and MCI.
Oh yeah — and it’s eyeing an initial public offering by 2020. Guess what Gett CEO Dave Waiser chose to focus on in this interview with TechCrunch? Profitability! Though Gett is a much smaller player than Uber and Lyft, Waiser projects his company will be operationally profitable by the end of this year. He said:
“A year ago, profitability was not a very popular topic. In Uber and Lyft we see two great companies, but even as they grow revenues, their losses are growing. What is really unique for Gett is that our success, and our improvements in revenues, are in parallel with our Ebitda improving.”
Isn’t that funny? Profitability has become so rare that we now have to talk about it at length with pre-IPO companies? You’re profitable? No? Oh OK, surely you must be in active pursuit of profitability? And then we get rudely slapped with a prospectus like Lyft’s that reads, “We have a history of net losses and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
As one Term Sheet reader recently put it, “There has to be an inflection point when a company swings to profitability, typically by wielding pricing power in a winner-take-all market, or at least continues inching closer to it. If you don’t have that, you don’t have a business. Plain and simple.”
Let’s see when that pendulum swings.
The news comes less than two weeks after the FBI searched the company’s offices as part of an ongoing investigation into the startup’s billing practices. UBiome’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, have gone on leave. The startup’s general counsel, John Rakow, will serve as interim CEO.
The company has raised approximately $109 million in venture funding from investors including 8VC, Andreessen Horowitz, OS Fund, and Y Combinator.
From the story:
The company’s suspension of its SmartGut and SmartJane tests follows scrutiny by health insurers, some of which had largely or completely stopped paying for the tests, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
UBiome disclosed the suspension in an email sent Monday to patients. The company said in the email that its move didn’t “insinuate a lack of value or utility in our products” and that the company looks forward “to continuing to demonstrate this clinical utility and value.”
GOLDMAN VS. MORGAN STANLEY: Goldman lost out to Morgan Stanley in leading the hottest IPO in years, Uber. Its consolation? A $600 million windfall from a $5 million investment in 2011…if only we were all this lucky. Read more.
• Cruise, a San Francisco-based self-driving car startup, raised $1.15 billion in funding at a $19 billion valuation. Investors include T. Rowe Price Associates, Honda, Softbank Vision Fund and parent company GM.
• Carta, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based ownership management platform to help companies, investors, and employees manage their equity, raised $300 million in Series E funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments.
• Exabeam, a San Mateo, Calif.-based behavior-based security intelligence platform, raised $75 million in Series E funding. Sapphire Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners co-led the round.
•Tourlane, a Germany-based travel startup, raised $47 million in funding round. Sequoia and Spark Capital co-led the round, and was joined by investors including DN Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures.
• FLEXE, a Seattle-based company focused on on-demand warehousing and fulfillment, raised $43 million in Series B funding. Activate Capital and Tiger Global Management co-led the round, and were joined by investors including Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, and Prologis Ventures.
• Thunes, a Singapore-based payments startup, raised $10 million in Series A funding. GGV Capital led the round.
• QEDIT, a developer of privacy technology for enterprise blockchains, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Investors include MizMaa Ventures, Ant Financial, Meron Capital, Collider Ventures, Jovono, and Target Global.
• Virtuous Software, a marketing and donor management platform, raised $3 million in Series A funding. Investors include MATH Venture Partners.
• Liquid Death, a non-carbonated mountain water brand, raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Science Inc led the round, and was joined by investors including Dollar Shave Club founder & CEO Michael Dubin, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Away co-founder Jen Rubio.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Blue Point Capital Partners recapitalized TAS Environmental Services LP, a Fort Worth, Texas-based provider of environmental and industrial services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• KPS Capital Partners, LP agreed to acquire the fitness business of Brunswick Corporation, including the Life Fitness brand, for approximately $490 million in cash.
• O2B Kids, which is backed by Spire Capital, acquired Brookside Academy, a provider of early education services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Midwest Growth Partners made an investment in Jackrabbit Equipment, a maker of tree nut harvesting equipment and handling systems. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Care Advantage, a portfolio company of BelHealth Investment Partners, acquired Capital City Nurses, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based provider of personal care services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• SemiTorr, which is backed by Transom Capital Group, acquired Tru-Flow, a Denver-based serves biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Diversis Capital LLC and Stage 1 Ventures acquired PureCars, an Atlanta-based provider of marketing automation and business intelligence for the automotive industry. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• LFM Capital made an investment in ShopSabre, a Lakeville, Minn.-based maker of CNC routers and plasma tables. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Hg will invest in Litera Microsystems, a Chicago-based provider of end-to-end document lifecycle solutions to the legal and life sciences industries worldwide. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Pendo acquired Receptive Software Limited, a U.K.-based developer of a product demand intelligence platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Bison acquired Cobalt Environmental Solutions, a water disposal business. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Luckin Coffee, a Xiamen, China-based coffee retailer with delivery, plans to raise $480 million in an IPO of 30 million shares priced between $15 to $17. the firm posted $125 million in sales and $475 million in loss for the year ending 2018. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, CICC and Haitong International are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “LK.” Read more.
• Trevi Therapeutics, a New Haven, Conn.-based biotech focused on neurological disorders, plans to raise $55 million in an offering 5.5 million shares priced at $10. Insiders will acquire $30 million of the offering. TPG, NEA, and Lundbeckfond Invest A/S back the firm. SVB Leerink, Stifel and BMO Capital Markets are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “TRVI.” Read more.
• PayLease, which is backed by Vista Equity Partners, acquired Zego, a Kansas City, Mo.-based smart amenity platform for apartments. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Zego had raised approximately $2.5 million in funding from investors including Techstars Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, Fort Ventures, and KCRise Fund.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• TA Associates, a Boston-based private equity firm, raised $8.5 billion for its thirteenth fund, TA XIII.
• Gainline Capital Partners, a Stamford, Conn.-based private equity firm, raised $155 million for its debut fund.
• Tom Eggemeier joined Permira as a partner.