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Foursquare Buys Location Data Company Placed From Snap: Term Sheet

May 31, 2019, 1:48 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers — I’m back!

Foursquare is coming in hot with a slew of news this morning. First, the location tech company announced that it raised $150 million in fresh funding from investors including The Raine Group. It also acquired Placed, a location-driven insights and mobile ad intelligence platform, from parent company Snap. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Foursquare plans to merge Placed with its own ad-effectiveness-measurement product and rebrand it as “Placed powered by Foursquare.” Both companies help advertisers learn how effective their ads are by matching people exposed to an ad to a group of users who have opted in to have their location tracked.

The deal comes only two years after Snap bought Placed for $135 million. (Anyone know what happened to Placed at Snap & why that didn’t work out? Very curious what’s happening inside that company.)

Placed founder and CEO David Shim will bring over his team of ~80 employees and become president of Foursquare. Last year, Term Sheet reported that Foursquare’s then-president Steven Rosenblatt left the company to start his own early-stage venture.

Foursquare launched in 2009 as a consumer app that allowed users to “check in” and share their location with friends, but it later pivoted to an enterprise player to provide location data and software to businesses.

(In 2017, I spoke with Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley for a story in which he recounted the moment he realized he was no longer the right person to lead the company he co-founded. Read it here.)

BIG MONEY: I was sitting directly under a gigantic ad for Brex at San Francisco’s airport yesterday as I read an article about Brex’s new funding. The company, which provides corporate credit cards to tech companies, is raising a new funding round at a valuation north of $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. Kleiner Perkins is expected to lead the round, represented by Mood Rowghani, who was also an investor in Stripe. As I reported recently, Meeker, Rowghani, and the rest of the team (who are no longer at Kleiner) have allocated and committed all of the remaining capital from Kleiner’s third growth vehicle and will be making investments from their first fund out of venture firm Bond.

PRESS PLAY: When Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are making podcasts, you know things are getting weird. Virtually every major investment bank—including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS, and Deutsche Bank—now has at least one podcast of its own. These programs are usually launched with branding and marketing goals in mind, and are also often used to deliver banks’ research and market commentary on a wider scale and in a more engaging format.

My colleague Rey Mashayekhi reports:

Barclays has embraced a slightly more experimental format in launching its latest podcast, “The Flip Side.” The show embraces a debate-like structure in which regular host Jeff Meli, the investment bank’s global head of research, squares off against another economist at the firm—with each taking a particular side on hot-button issues ranging from corporate tax cuts to the state of “big tech.”

Meli says the idea for “The Flip Side” originated during an off-site session in which Barclays economists held an “interactive,” back-and-forth debate about the state of the economy—a departure from the usual format of “a speech [featuring] someone standing up there with slides.”

“We realized that the typical audience for research pieces normally just see the answers that we come up with; they don’t see the internal debate that happens to arrive at that answer,” Meli tells Fortune. “With some of the most nuanced questions, there are alternative viewpoints that can be as valid and worth considering.”

Read the full story here.


SmartRecruiters, a San Francisco-based recruiting platform, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Insight Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Mayfield Fund and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

EndoGastric Solutions, a Redmond, Wash.-based medical device company focused on treating GERD, raised $45 million. Investors include Accelmed.

Swimlane, a Denver-based security orchestration, automation and response vendor, raised $23 million in Series B funding. Investors include Energy Impact Partners.

Welkin Health, a San Francisco-based patient relationship management software company, raised $17.5 million in Series B funding. Altos Ventures led the round.

BabbleLabs, a Campbell, Calif.-based speech technology startup, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Dell Technologies Capital and Intel Capital led the round.

xtraCHEF, a New York-based cloud-based restaurant management platform, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. MVP Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including ValueStream Ventures and Laconia Capital Group.

Altoida, a Switzerland-based health tech firm, raised $6.3 million in Series A funding. M Ventures led the round.

Pico, a New York City-based provider of audience relationship management solutions, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Precursor Ventures and Stripe led the round.


Thrive Earlier Detection Corp, a Cambridge, Mass. and Baltimore-based company focused on incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, raised $110 million in Series A funding. Third Rock Ventures led the round.

Whole Biome, a San Francisco-based evidence-based microbiome company, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including True Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mayo Foundation and AME Cloud Ventures.

TFF Pharmaceuticals Inc, an early-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating chronic respiratory diseases and lung conditions, raised $8.17 million in funding. The investors were not named.


Ampersand Capital Partners acquired Vibalogics, a Germany-based contract development and manufacturing organization focused on complex live biological products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Mountaingate Capital recapitalized MeritDirect LLC, a Rye Brook, N.Y.-based provider of multi-channel B2B database products and services solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

ShootProof, which is backed by Providence Strategic Growth, acquired Táve, a provider of studio management solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Pantheon acquired StagingPilot, a provider of website update automation solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Adaptive Biotechnologies, a Seattle-based maker of an immunosequencing platform for diagnosing diseases, filed for a $230 million IPO. It posted revenue of $55.7 million and loss of $46.4 million in 2018. Viking Global (36% pre-offering) and Matrix Capital (16.4%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Cowen, Guggenheim Securities, William Blair, and BTIG are underwriters.  It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ADPT.” Read more.

Watches of Switzerland, the watchmaker behind Rolex and Cartier, raised $277 million in a London offering. Read more.

Morphic Holding, Waltham, Mass-based maker of oral small-molecule integrin therapeutics for various chronic diseases, filed for an $86 million IPO. It posted revenue of $3.4 million in 2018 and loss of $23.8 million. GlaxoSmithKline (9.8% pre-offering) and Pfizer (9.3%) back the firm. Jefferies, Cowen, BMO Capital Markets, and Wells Fargo Securities are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “MORF.” Read more.

Aluflexpack, a packaging maker, is expected to launch an IPO next week in Zurich raising roughly $99 million, Reuters reports citing sources. Read more.


Palo Alto Networks agreed to acquire Twistlock, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of container security solutions, for $410 million. Also, Palo Alto will buy PureSec, an Israel-based provider of severless security, for an undisclosed amount. Twistlock had raised approximately $63 million in venture funding from investors including Iconiq Capital, YL Ventures, TenEleven, Rally Ventures, Polaris Partners and Dell Technologies Capital while PureSec had raised approximately $10 million from investors including Square Peg Capital, Entree Capital and TLV Partners.


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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.