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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is an adept dealmaker. But Grubhub has eluded him

June 11, 2020, 1:58 PM UTC

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is known for being an adept dealmaker, building travel company Expedia with a series of acquisitions to fend off competitors. But a deal that could have been his largest yet fell apart.

Late Wednesday, Amsterdam-based food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway.com confirmed plans to merge with Grubhub in a $7.3 billion all-stock deal—beating out Uber who had been in courting its U.S. food-delivery peer for far longer in a deal that could have created the largest U.S. food-delivery firm.

In comparison, Just Eat Takeaway.com has no operations in the U.S., and appears to offer a higher price: 0.671 shares of Just Eat Takeaway for each share of Grubhub, implying a value of about $75.15 for each share and valuing Grubhub at about $7.3 billion. Reports suggest that Uber had also offered stock, though the trade valued shares of Grubhub closer to $70 apiece.

The Uber negotiations were clouded with concerns about antitrust scrutiny. Unable to come to an agreement on how to handle potential regulatory issues, Uber reportedly bowed out, and left a rather salty message about the negotiations as well.

“Like ridesharing, the food delivery industry will need consolidation in order to reach its full potential for consumers and restaurants,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “That doesn’t mean we are interested in doing any deal, at any price, with any player.”

Will Uber seek to snap up another food-delivery company? The antitrust concerns are certainly a headache—but Khosrowshahi is also known for his proclivity toward dealmaking. The chief executive tacked on the likes of Homeaway (acquired for $3.9 billion) and Orbitz ($1.6 billion) to build out Expedia. In negotiations with Grubhub, Uber has also shown its willingness to shell out shares worth billions for a tie up. Before talks broke down, the duo reportedly settled on a deal that, at current prices, would value Grubhub at around $5.9 billion.

And though Just Eat Takeaway has no U.S. presence, analysts believe the tie up will only galvanize the food-delivery wars, pressuring prices at a time when regulatory pressures around delivery fees are already hounding the industry.

Perhaps U.S.-based food delivery companies will also have time to figure out their own strategy, as Just Eat Takeaway handles two mega mergers at once: The company’s own name-making £6.2 billion ($7.7 billion) combination between Takeaway.com and U.K.’s Just Eat only received approval from U.K. antitrust authorities in April.

China-listings FOMO: Scrutiny over Chinese listings in the U.S. has been fueled in no small part by the Luckin Coffee scandal and current geopolitical tensions. But that also means U.S. investors could miss out as some Chinese companies self-select out. Here’s my colleague Grady McGregor on the Hong Kong IPO of gaming company Netease, which raised $2.7 billion:

“The Hong Kong IPO represents Netease ‘returning to a market in which we share a closer mutual understanding,’ said CEO William Ding. The comment was perhaps swipe at the U.S.’s Nasdaq, where Netease has traded since 2000 and where skepticism of Chinese companies is growing.” 

VENTURE DEALS

- Postman, a San Francisco-based platform for API development, raised $150 million in Series C funding.  Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including CRV and Nexus Venture Partners.

- Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical stage biotech focused on cancer immunotherapy, raised $85 million in Series C funding. Longitude Capital and Novo Holdings led the round and were joined by investors including Medixci, Omega Funds, Clough Capital Partners, Sectoral Asset Management and BrightEdge.

- Transcend, a San Francisco-based data privacy infrastructure company, raised $25 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round alongside Accel, and was joined by investors including South Park Commons, Phil Venables (Board Member and former CISO, Goldman Sachs), and Dylan Field (CEO, Figma). 

- Alkemics, a Paris-based platform for brands to launch products with retailers, raised €21 million ($24 million) in Series C funding. Highland Europe, Cathay Innovation, Index Ventures, SEB Alliance and Serena Capital invested.

- Ontruck, a European l road freight platform, has secured an investment round of €17 million ($19.3 million) led by OGCI Climate Investments. Cathay Innovation, Atomico, Idinvest Partners, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures,  and Endeavor Catalyst also participated.

- Neptune Networks, a London-based fixed income pre-trade market utility,  raised $15 million across two-tranches. Investors included Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, Crédit Agricole CIB, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, ING, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

- Ocient, a Chicago-based provider of data analytics solutions for datasets, raised $15 million. OCA Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including In-Q-Tel.

- Ethyca, a New York-based global data privacy solution, raised $13.5 million in Series A funding, PayPal cofounder Max Levchin invested. Read more.

- Binah.ai, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based provider of general health and wellness video-based monitoring tools, raised $13.5 million in Series B funding. Maverick Ventures Israel led the round, and was joined by investors including Esplanade Ventures, Sompo International, GiTV, and iAngels.

- Conversa Health, a Portland-based virtual care and communication platform, raised $12 million in Series B funding. Builders VC and Northwell Ventures coled.

- Ula!, a Jakarta-based wholesale e-commerce marketplace, raised $10.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, SMDV, Quona Capital, Saison Capital, and Alter Global.

- Lane, a Toronto-based workplace platform,raised $10 million in Series A round funding. Round13 Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Alate Partners and Panache Ventures

- ​CareAcademy​, a Boston, Mass.-based home care workforce skilling platform, raised $9.5 million in funding led by Impact America Fund (IAF).

- OPORA, a cybersecurity firm, raised $7 million led by Jerusalem Venture Partners.

- Protera, a Santiago, Chile-based startup  developing new proteins for sustainable solutions, raised $5.6 million in Series A funding. Sofinnova Partners led the round.

- Wellsheet, a Newark, NJ-based healthcare records company, raised $3.8 million in Series A funding. SpringTide Investments led the round, and was joined by investors including BioAdvance and Newark Venture Partners.

- Vectice, the San Francisco-based cloud-based platform, raised $3 million in seed funding. Spider Capital and Crosslink Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Global Founders Capital,.

- Scope, a San Francisco-based implementation platform, raised $1 million in seed funding. Craft Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Plaid Co-Founder William Hockey.

- Axio, a New York-based cyber risk management company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding. Fin Venture Capital  IA Capital Group co-led the round, and were joined by investors including NFP Ventures.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Fidelis, an insurer and reinsurer, raised $500 million in funding from existing investors. Backers include Crestview Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Pine Brook.

- Francisco Partners invested $30 million in Kyruus, a provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems. 

- A consortium of investors led by BlackRock invested in Trustly, a Swedish bank transfer platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Fortress Investment Group agreed to acquire Finjan Holdings (NASDAQ: FNJN), an East Palo Alto-based cybersecurity company for roughly $43.9 million. 

- VertiGIS, backed by Battery Ventures, acquired Mapcom Systems, a Richmond, Va.-based telecommunications software and services provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Axios Industrial Group, backed by White Deer Energy, agreed to merge with A&L Industrial Services, backed by Hastings Equity Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- DSM is among the final candidates to buy Erber Group, an Austrian animal feed additives maker. The deal has an estimated value of 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) after EQT withdrew its bid, per Reuters. Read more.

- Ningbo Shanshan Co. signed a conditional contract to acquire most of LG Chem’s LCD polarizer business for $1.1 billion. Read more.

BREAKUPS, HANGUPS, AND BANKRUPTCIES

- Simon Property Group canceled its $3.6 billion deal to acquire Taubman Centers, a rival shopping mall operator. 

IPOS

- JD.com, the Chinese retailer, raised HK$30.1 billion ($3.9 billion) in its Hong Kong share sale, per Bloomberg. Read more.

F+FS

- Apollo Global Management Inc. is seeking to start its own credit investment business in India, ending a joint venture with ICICI Bank, per Bloomberg. Read more.

PEOPLE

- Verizon Ventures added Tammy Mahn as a Managing Director based out of Tel Aviv.