Term Sheet in times of coronavirus

March 23, 2020, 2:28 PM UTC

I’m Lucinda. You may already know me.

I’ve been making stealthy appearances covering the IPO section of this newsletter since 2017, though I’ve popped up above ground every so often, meerkat-style, to write the essay whenever Polina was out.

I 210% did not expect to ever write Term Sheet when I joined Fortune four years ago as a finance writer covering highly-regulated public companies. But here I am, just in time for startups to confront what may be a global economic meltdown. Strap in, Term Sheet readers—I am doing the same.

A programming note: Term Sheet will still arrive in your inbox every weekday morning. I’ll still be covering the day’s big news in dealmaking as well as sharing a list of major VC deals, private equity deals, IPOs, and more (scroll on for today’s list).

We won’t be having face-to-face contact any time soon, given my honor of taking over Term Sheet in the middle of a global pandemic—but I want to hear from you. What do you want to read about from me? What are you hearing that I should know? And how is your company dealing with coronavirus? 

Let’s Zoom. Let’s email. Let’s On-nomi.

But enough housekeeping. On to the news.

Bargain deal: AOL acquired MovieFone—that service you used to call to buy tickets—in 1999 for $388 million. Last week, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings of Helios & Matheson, MovieFone’s parent company, reveal that it sold for…just over $1 million. 

Early on, MovieFone tried to pivot to online sales but lost to the likes of Fandango.com, theater websites and plain old Google. AOL later tried to reposition the whole venture as a broader entertainment media site…but it turned out that space has pretty heavy competition too. Helios & Matheson then acquired MovieFone in 2018 for about $1 million in cash, not including stock that is now worth nothing—and wound it down to a single employee. It’s unknown who exactly acquired MovieFone last week.

This one Twitter thread: If the medical shortages around the coronavirus haven’t become real enough to you yet, I would like to point you to a Twitter thread by a member of the startup community. Bradley Ziffer, a product designer at Acorns, recounted his harrowing experience trying to get hospital care while battling COVID-19 last week. An excerpt:

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com


- Yuanfudao, a Beijing-based online education platform, is close to raising a new round valuing it at $7.5 billion, Reuters reports citing sources. The round would be co-led by Hillhouse Capital and Tencent. Read more.

- Lilium, a Munich-based startup building aircrafts that it plans to turn into a taxi fleet, raised over $240 million in a new round. Tencent led the round, and was joined by investors including Atomico, Freigeist, and LGT. Read more

- iCapital Network, a New York-based platform giving advisors access to private equity, private credit, and hedge funds, raised $146 million. Ping An Global Voyager Fund led the round, and was joined by new investors Goldman Sachs, Affiliated Managers Group, Hamilton Lane, and WestCap. Existing investors BlackRock, UBS, Blackstone and BNY Mellon also invested.

- Cazoo, a UK-based startup that sells used cars online, raised £100 million ($116 million) in funding. DMG Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors General Catalyst, CNP (Groupe Frère), Mubadala Capital, Octopus Ventures, Eight Roads Ventures and Stride.VC. Read more.

- Enable, a U.K. maker of rebate management software, raised $13 million in Series A funding. Menlo Ventures, led the round, and was joined by investors including Sierra Ventures.

- Quit Genius, a San Francisco-based firm seeking to use cognitive behavioral therapy to treat addiction, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Octopus Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including  YC, Startup Health, Triple Point Ventures, Serena Ventures, and Venus Williams

- Chilibeli, an Indonesian commerce platform for farmers and suppliers, raised $10 million in funding. Lightspeed Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors Golden Gate Venture, Sequoia Surge, Kinesys Group, and Alto Partners

- SecuLetter Co., a Seoul-based information security company developing products to block malicious code attacks, raised $8 million in Series B funding. Riyadh Valley Company,  KDB Bank (Korea Development Bank), Korea Investment Partners (KIP), and UTC Investment are the investors.

- qiio, a Swiss firm focused on IoT solutions, raised 1.89 million euros ($2 million) from an undisclosed investor. 

- jumingo, a Bergisch Gladbach, Germany-based shipping marketplace, raised about 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in angel funding. Tim Schumacher led the round and was joined by existing backers Ryan Hood and Arno Nonnen.


- Arcadia Consumer Healthcare, Inc., backed by Avista Capital Partners, acquired the U.S. rights to Kaopectate, an oral diarrhea medication, from Sanofi. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- DuPont Sustainable Solutions, backed by Gyrus Capital, acquired Lodestone Partners, a Toronto-based metals resource management consultant. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- C.J. Foods, Inc., a portfolio company of J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, completed its acquisition of American Nutrition, Inc., an Ogden, Utah-based maker of pet treats. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Apollo Global Management has bought a chunk of a $2 billion one-year loan to United Airlines in a bid to boost liquidity amid coronavirus, per Bloomberg citing sources. Read more.

- OneWeb, a London-based satellite operator backed by SoftBank, is considering  filing for bankruptcy protection among other options to manage its cash crunch, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.

- Global Savings Group acquired iGraal, a French cashback company, for 123.5 million euros ($132.7 million) in a mix of cash (35 million euros or $37.7 million) and stock. M6 Group was the seller.


- J. Crew has suspended the spinoff IPO process for women’s clothing unit Madewell after failing to reach a deal with creditors, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.


- VideoAmp, acquired Conversion Logic, a Los Angeles-based marketing measurement platform. Lerer Hippeau, Pelion Venture Partners and Bonfire Ventures backed the firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


- Dating.com Group, which backs brands including Tubit and ChinaLove, launched a $50 million corporate venture fund.

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