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What’s Going on With SoftBank’s Second Mega-Fund?: Term Sheet

Softbank Chairman Masayoshi Son Speaks To The PressSoftbank Chairman Masayoshi Son Speaks To The Press
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son speaks during a press conference on November 5, 2018 Tomohiro Ohsumi—Getty Images

Good morning, Term Sheet readers. The deluge of deals continues:

A BIG, FAT, HAIRY DEAL: Viacom, parent company of Nickelodeon, has reached a deal to buy the intellectual property rights to Garfield, the comic strip cat that has been grumbling about Mondays and quietly suffering the antics of Odie the Dog and Jon Arbuckle for more than 40 years. Financial terms of the deal with Paws Inc. were not disclosed, but Garfield has been a merchandising cash machine for decades and is thought to make millions each year in book, toy and other sales. Read more.

A COMPLICATED DEAL: Tencent Holdings plans to buy 10% of Universal Music Group from Vivendi SA in a deal that would value the world’s biggest music company at $34 billion and help it tap fast-growing Asian markets. The discussions with China’s most valuable company will reinvigorate the French media giant’s efforts to find new partners for its most successful business. But they may also sound alarms in the U.S., the world’s biggest music market, amid a deepening trade war with China. Read more.

A NOT-SO-SURE DEAL: A few weeks ago, media outlets reported that Apple, Goldman Sachs, and Standard Chartered are among some of the investors who committed $108 billion to SoftBank’s second Vision Fund.

But now, The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article with the headline, “Does SoftBank Really Have $108 Billion for Its Vision Fund 2?” According to the report: 

“People familiar with the matter said that to attain the total, SoftBank is counting on contributions from potential investors not listed in its public statements. And they said the figure could include debt or debt-like securities, stretching the usual definition of ‘capital.’”

In other words, the $108 billion is not as solid as it appears. A lot is riding on this second mega-fund as the first one is running out of money to invest. SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son has been described as both insane and a genius, but one thing is certain: The man is ruthless in executing his big ambitions — some of which he’s been able to realize. I wouldn’t be so fast to dismiss Vision Fund II just yet. 

VENTURE DEALS

C2FO, a Leawood, Kansas-based operator of an online marketplace for working capital, raised $200 million in funding. The SoftBank Vision Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Temasek and Union Square Ventures.

TickPick, a New York City-based ticket marketplace, raised $40 million in funding, from PWP Growth Equity. 

LeafLink, a New York-based cannabis wholesale marketplace, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Thrive Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Nosara Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Wisdom VC, Thought Into Action Ventures, and L2 Ventures.

Awfis, an India-based co-working space startup, raised $30 million in Series D funding. ChrysCapital led the round, and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital India and The Three Sisters Institutional Office. 

Infusion Express, an Overland Park, Kansas-based operator of ambulatory infusion centers, raised $22.5 million in funding. McKesson Ventures and Health Velocity Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Nueterra Capital and CrimsoNox Capital. Infusion Express will rebrand as IVX Health.

Dough, a Chicago-based online broker, raised $20 million in funding, from Tastytrade.

Sidecar Health, a California-based provider of health insurance plans, raised $18 million in funding. GreatPoint Ventures and Morpheus Ventures led the round.

Teralytics AG, a Switzerland-based human mobility intelligence startup, raised $17.5 million in funding. Investors include Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, innogy Ventures, LBBW Venture Capital, Liil Ventures, Atomico and Lakestar.

Human Interest, a San Francisco-based automated 401(k) provider, raised $15.4 million in funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Wing VC, Uncork Capital and Slow Ventures.

Morty, a New York-based mortgage tech platform, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Prudence Holdings led the round, and was joined by investors including Thrive Capital and Lerer Hippeau.

Penta, a Berlin-based digital bank, raised 8 million euros ($9 million) in funding. HV Holtzbrinck Ventures led the round. 

FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, raised $8 million in funding. Investors include Proof of Capital, Consensus Lab, FBG, and Galois Capital.

FinMkt, a New York-based B2B New York-based lending fintech solutions provider, raised $5 million in Series B funding. FINTOP Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including ManchestorStory Group and West Loop Ventures.

Remarkably, a Seattle-based multifamily portfolio performance software company, raised up to $4.1 million in seed funding. Wildcat Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including PSL Ventures

Ultranauts Inc, a quality engineering startup employing talent on the autism spectrum, raised $3.5 million in Series A funding. SustainVC and The Disability Opportunity Fund led the round.

Eagle Alpha, an Ireland-based provider of alternative data solutions, raised $2.4 million in funding. Investors included Enterprise Ireland.

EnjoyHQ, a London-based customer feedback and user research startup, raised $2 million in seed funding. Point Nine Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including The Venture City, LocalGlobe, Faber Ventures, Kibo Ventures Techstars and Social Capital.

Kompany.com, a Vienna, Austria-based provider of audit-proof, primary source and time stamped company information in real-time, raised funding of an undisclosed amount. Investors include Elevator Ventures and UNIQA Ventures.

HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS

RoosterBio Inc, a Frederick, Md.-based cell manufacturing platform, raised more than $15 million in funding. Dynamk Capital led the round.

Cleave Therapeutics, Inc, a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company focused on protein homeostasis and stress pathways in cancer and neurodegeneration, raised $12 million in funding. Investors include 5AM Ventures, Celgene Corporation, Orbimed, U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Arcus Ventures, Astellas Venture Management, and Osage University Partners (OUP).

LUCA Biologics, a biotechnology company developing live biotherapeutics for widespread, unmet medical needs in women’s health, raised $2.8 million in funding, from Seed Health.

PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

Cambrex Corporation (NYSE: CBM) agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Permira for approximately $2.4 billion, including Cambrex’s net debt. 

Growth Street Partners acquired a minority stake in Suralink, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based provider of a professional of workflow software. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. 

GenServe, a portfolio company of GenNx360 Capital Partners, acquired GenAssist, a New York-based provider of maintenance and repair services to industrial generators and backup power solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. 

OTHER DEALS

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) agreed to acquire the majority of the corporate services businesses of Nets, a Denmark-based provider of digital payment services, for €2.85 billion ($3.19 billion).

IPOs

Pepkor Europe, a South African retail operator, is weighing an IPO, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Steinhoff International backs the firm. Read more.

EXITS

TopFunnel acquired Clara Labs, a San Francisco-based scheduling platform. Clara Labs had raised approximately $7.2 million in funding from investors including Basis Set Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and First Round Capital. 

Hackman Capital Partners acquired The MBS Group, a film and TV studio real estate and production services platform, from The Carlyle Group for $650 million.

Nike acquired Celect, a Boston-based cloud-based predictive analytics SaaS platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Celect had raised approximately $30.2 million in funding from investors including NGP Capital, August Capital, Fung Capital, and Activant Capital. 

– NAVEX Global acquired Lockpath, Inc., an Overland Park, Kansas-based provider of corporate governance, risk management, regulatory compliance, and information security software solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Lockpath had raised approximately $8 million in venture funding from investors including El Dorado Ventures, SV Angel, Vesbridge Partners, and Webb Investment Network. 

Cisco agreed to acquire Voicea, a Mountain View, Calif.-based voice focused AI technology company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Voicea had previously raised approximately $20 million in venture funding from investors including GV, e.ventures, Cisco Investments, M12, Battery Ventures, Mindset Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and GGV Capital.

FIRMS + FUNDS

River Cities Capital, a Cincinnati-based growth equity firm, raised $200 million for its sixth fund, according to an SEC filing.

Crossplane Capital, a Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm, raised $93.8 million for its new fund, according to an SEC filing. The target is $275 million. 

PEOPLE

J.P. Sanday joined Menlo Ventures as a partner.