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Three mega-deals to have on your radar today

February 20, 2020, 2:56 PM UTC

Good morning, Term Sheet readers! I was out of the office for several days, and I was definitely not mentally prepared for the avalanche of email in my inbox this morning. After sorting through an egregious amount of deals, I present three mega-deals to have on your radar today:

VICTORIA’S SECRET WILL GO PRIVATE: L Brands Inc is close to selling a controlling stake in Victoria’s Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners in a deal that values the lingerie brand at $1.1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sycamore Partners will buy a controlling stake of 55% in the company, and L Brands will retain 45% in a separate firm that includes the Pink chain. As part of the deal, Leslie Wexner, the founder of L Brands, is expected to step down as chairman and CEO. The change happens amid scrutiny of his past ties to Jeffrey Epstein. He will reportedly remain on the L Brands board and retain stakes in both companies.

The turnaround of Victoria’s Secret continues as sales decline and competition grows. Let’s see what Sycamore Partners does. The firm is known for scooping embattled brands including The Limited, Hot Topic, Nine West and Staples.

Read more.

MORGAN STANLEY SCOOPS UP E*TRADE: Morgan Stanley has agreed to purchase electronic trading platform E*Trade in a $13 billion all-stock deal. This is the biggest takeover by a giant U.S. bank since the 2008 financial crisis, according to the WSJ.

As a result of the acquisition, Morgan Stanley will gain access to E*Trade’s 5.2 million customer accounts with $360 billion in assets. Perhaps most importantly, Morgan Stanley will get its hands on E*Trade’s $56 billion in deposits that it can use to fund loans. 

“We’ll take on Schwab. We’ll take on Fidelity,” Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman told the WSJ. “This isn’t about legacy-building; it’s about getting [Morgan Stanley] ready for prime time.”

FRANKLIN TEMPLETON BUYS LEGG MASON: Asset manager Franklin Templeton has agreed to buy rival Legg Mason for $6.5 billion, including debt, as first reported by The Financial Times. The deal would create a $1.5 trillion monster whose size trails only BlackRock, Vanguard Group, Fidelity Investments, Capital Group, and Amundi Asset Management.

As Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta noted, the merging of these two firms suggests that there is no room in the current investing landscape for a mid-sized asset manager. You either go big, go niche, or go home.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “One of the things that I don’t think would serve society well is if we have companies that only want to serve Democrats or Republicans.” — Santa Clara University’s Ann Skeet on venture-backed startups that grapple with their investors’ political affiliations. Read more.

Polina Marinova
Twitter: @polina_marinova


- OneTrust, an Atlanta-based developer of enterprise software platform, raised $210 million in Series B funding. Coatue and Insight Partners led the round.

- SentinelOne, a Mountain View, Calif.-based autonomous endpoint protection company, raised $200 million in Series E funding at a $1.1 billion valuation. Insight Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Tiger Global Management, Qualcomm Ventures LLC, Vista Public Strategies of Vista Equity Partners, and Third Point Ventures. 

- Swiggy, an India-based on-demand food delivery platform, raised $113 million in funding. Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) led the round, and was joined by investors including Meituan Dianping and Wellington Management Company.

- ZeroFOX, a Baltimore, Md.-based social cyber security intelligence, analytics, and protection company, raised $74 million in funding. Intel Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including NEA, Highland Capital Partners, Redline Capital Management, Hercules Capital and Core Capital. 

- Rarebreed Veterinary Partners, a Portland, Maine-based animal health startup, raised nearly $40 million in funding. The investors were not named.

- Feather, a New York City-based furniture rental service, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Cobalt Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Spark Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel, PJC, Fuel Capital, and Wildcat Capital Management.

- Lilac Solutions, an Oakland, Calif.-based lithium mining technology company, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Breakthrough Energy Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including The Engine, Lowercarbon Capital, and The Grantham Foundation. 

- Teikametrics, a Boston-based SaaS provider of AI-powered optimization for brands and sellers on Amazon and Walmart, raised $15 million in funding. Jump Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Granite Point Capital, Jerry Hausman, and Ed Baker.

- Liquid Death, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based water brand, raised $9 million in Series A funding. Velvet Sea Ventures led the round.

- Enveil, a Fulton, Md.-based data security company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. C5 Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Mastercard, Capital One Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and 1843 Capital. 

- Ordway, a Washington, D.C.-based billing and revenue automation platform for scaling companies, raised $10 million in Series A funding. CRV led the round, and was joined by investors including Clocktower Ventures, Lerer Hippeau and Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. 

- Blueprint Title, a Nashville, Tenn.-based title and escrow company for real estate investors, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Santander Innoventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Greycroft, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, Mucker Capital and Tribeca Early Stage Partners.

- Hopin, a remote live online events company, raised £5 million ($6.5 million) in seed funding. Accel led the round, and was joined by investors including Northzone, Seedcamp, Web Summit’s Amaranthine Fund and Slack Fund.

- Coassemble, an Australia-based provider of online training for global brands, raised $4.4 million in Series A funding. Equity Venture Partners led the round.

- Electriphi, a San Francisco-based provider of software solutions for electric vehicle fleet and energy management, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Wireframe Ventures, the Urban Innovation Fund, Blackhorn Ventures, Acario Innovation and Lemnos Labs.

- The Org, a San Francisco-based platform where users can explore any company’s organizational chart, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Founders Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital and Balderton Capital.

- ChartHop, a Brooklyn-based organizational management platform, raised $5 million in seed funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Abstract Ventures, the a16z Cultural Leadership Fund, CoFound, Cowboy Ventures, Flybridge Capital, Shrug Capital, and Work Life Ventures.

- Arize AI, a Berkeley, Calif.-based company built to solve production AI issues for businesses, raised $4 million in funding. Foundation Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Trinity Ventures and Brett Wilson. 


- Thompson Street Capital Partners will acquire Len the Plumber, a Boothwyn, Penn.-based full-service residential plumbing contractor. Fintemr 

- IQ-EQ acquired Blue River Partners, a Dallas, Texas-based provider of outsourced solutions to alternative asset managers. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 


- Knowlton Development Corporation agreed to acquire Zobele Group, an Italy-based manufacturer of home and air care products. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 


- SIA, an Italian payments firm, is preparing for a listing on the Milan bourse, Reuters reports citing sources. The company plans to raise 1 billion-1.5 billion euros ($1 billion-$1.6 billion). Read more

- Imara, a Boston-based biotech developing small molecule therapies for rare genetic disorders, filed for an $86 million IPO. It posted a loss of $23.5 million in 2019. New Enterprise Associates (31.8% pre-offering), Lundbeckfond Invest (16.3%), and Pfizer (11.2%). It plans to trade on the Nasdaq as “IMRA.” Read more.


- WorkJam acquired Forge, a Playa Vista, Calif.-based on-demand staffing platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Forge had raised $4 million in venture funding from investors including Brainstorm Ventures, Jason Calacanis, XRC Labs, Sherpa Capital, and the Dorm Room Fund.


- ForgePoint Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, raised $450 million for its second fund.

- Marcy Venture Partners, a venture firm co-founded by JAY-Z, Jay Brown and Larry Marcus, raised $85 million for its inaugural fund, Marcy Venture Partners Fund, L.P. 


- StepStone Group LP appointed Kieran Farrelly, Sheila Gibson, Adam Johnston, and Suzanne Tavill to partner.

- Noah Carr joined Unusual Ventures as an enterprise partner. Carr was previously at Bain Capital and Point72 Ventures.