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Troubled startup Magic Leap gets a key player from Microsoft as CEO

July 8, 2020, 2:11 PM UTC

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Magic Leap is getting a new CEO in August. And she has one starry resume.

The struggling augmented reality startup announced Tuesday that Peggy Johnson, a top executive at Microsoft known for leading its $26.2 billion deal to buy LinkedIn, will take over as CEO in August. Johnson also helped start Microsoft’s venture capital fund, M12.

The maker of AR headsets has seen no shortage of turmoil: It raised nearly $3.5 billion from investors including Google, Alibaba, Fidelity, and Andreessen Horowitz, according to Pitchbook. But hype then failed to live up to reality, with sales falling short of expectations. Magic Leap later made pivots from consumer to enterprise. 

Then, amid the pandemic, the Florida-based startup laid off about 600 of its 1,900 employees, with CEO Rony Abovitz stepping down in May—allowing Johnson to take over the torch.

Now all eyes are on her, and that pronoun is of note. She is following a trend of female executives taking over companies in crisis, a phenomenon that researchers have dubbed the “glass cliff.” Which often means success as an executive can be more difficult.

Still, Johnson says she has long hoped to be the leader of a company.

“I chose this,” she told the New York Times. Now she has some $375 million in fresh funding (which Magic Leap raised sometime between April and now) to make it work as the company seeks to focus on businesses including healthcare.

How many privately funded companies got a PPP loan? According to a tally by CB Insights, over 9,600 companies backed by angels, venture capitalists, or private equity firms received funding of over $150,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program. But as I highlighted yesterday, take the data with a grain of salt: Some businesses named by the program say they did not take out a loan.

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

VENTURES DEALS

- Karma Automotive, the maker of a hybrid luxury car owned by Wanxiang Group, raised $100 million from outside investors. Read more.

- LeanIX, a Bonn, Germany-based enterprise architecture software company, raised $80 million in Series D funding. Goldman Sachs Growth led the round and was joined by investors including Insight Partners and DTCP.

- Doctor On Demand, a San Francisco-based virtual care provider, raised $75 million in Series D funding. General Atlantic led the round.

- OwnBackup, an Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based cloud-to-cloud continuity platform, raised $50 million in funding. Insight Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Salesforce Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Innovation Endeavors

- Farewill, a U.K.-based will writing firm, raised £20 million ($25 million) led by Highland Europe.

- XM Cyber, an Israel-based cyber risk analytics and cloud security management company, raised $17 million in Series B funding. Investors included Macquarie Capital, Nasdaq Ventures, Our Innovation Fund, and Swarth Group

- Truepill, a San Mateo, Calif.-based API-based healthcare infrastructure company, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Investors included TI Platform Fund, Optum Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Sound Ventures.

- Second Front Systems, a San Francisco-based software company in the aerospace and defense industry, raised $6 million in seed funding. ARTIS Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Kleiner Perkins, 8VC, Gula Tech Adventures, and Abstract Ventures

- Quaestor, a collaboration platform for financial data and business metrics, raised $5.8 million in seed funding. 8VC led the round and was joined by investors including Spark Capital, Abstract Ventures, GFC, Fathom Ventures, and Riot Ventures.

- Optimal Dynamics, a Princeton, N.J.-based logistics and supply chain automation startup, raised $4 million in seed funding. Fusion Fund led the round and was joined by investors including The Westly Group, TenOneTen Ventures, Embark Ventures, FitzGate Ventures, and Newark Venture Partners.

- Nomad Homes, a Dubai-based real estate tech startup, raised $4 million in funding. Comcast Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, WndrCo, and Class 5 Global.

- Athlane, a San Francisco-based platform for brands to find esports streamers, raised $3.3 million. Investors include Y Combinator, Jonathan Kraft (New England Patriots), Michael Gordon (President of Fenway Sports Group), Global Founders Capital, Romulus Capital, and Seabed VC. Read more.

- Nayya, a New York-based  employee benefits management company, raised $2.7 million in seed funding. Social Leverage led the round and was joined by investors including Guardian Strategic Ventures,  Cameron Ventures, and Soma Capital. Read more.

- Northflank, a London-based DevOps platform in the cloud, raised $2.6 million in seed funding. ​Kindred Ventures, Stride.VC​  and Amaranthine Partners led the round. Read more.

- MonkeyLearn, a San Francisco-based text analysis firm, raised $2.2 million in funding. Uncork Capital and Bling Capital led the round. Read more.

- Replenysh, an Orange County, Calif.-based startup focused on recycling, raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors included Kindred Ventures, Floodgate Fund and 122WEST. Read more.

- Vital4, an Atlanta-based fintech platform for risk screening and continuous monitoring, raised $1 million in seed funding led by Valor Ventures.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Veritas Capital and Leeds Equity Partners combined Campus Management, Campus Labs, and iModules, higher education tech companies. The combined company will be known as Anthology, based in Boca Raton, Fla. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Brillio, backed by Bain Capital, acquired Cognetik, a Cary, N.C.-based data and insights company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Ipro Tech, a portfolio company of Parker Gale, acquired NetGovern, a Montreal-based information archiving and governance software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Headlands Research, backed by KKR, acquired two central nervous system focused clinical research centers: Lake Worth, Fla.-based JEM Research Institute and Toronto Memory Program. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KKR agreed to acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group, a retirement and life insurance company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- DocuSign agreed to acquire Liveoak Technologies, an Austin-based digital customer engagement cloud company, for $38 million. 

- Unacademy  acquired PrepLadder, a Chandigarh-based medical exam preparation startup, for $50 million in cash and stock.

- Rapyd acquired Korta, an Iceland-based payment card service provider Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Arm, backed by SoftBank, plans to spinoff two IoT businesses, IoT Platform and Treasure Data, to the SoftBank Group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPOs

- Rocket Companies, a Detroit-based mortgage lender operating Quicken Loans, filed for an $100 million IPO. It plans to list on the NYSE as “RKT.” Read more.

- GoHealth, a Chicago-based medicare-focused health insurance marketplace, plans to raise $751 million in an offering of 39.5 million shares priced between $18 to $20. Centerbridge and Norwest back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “GOCO.” Read more.

- nCino, a Wilmington, N.C.-based cloud-based software for financial institutions, plans to raise $175 million in an offering of 7.6 million shares priced between $22 to $24. It posted revenue of $138.2 million in the year ending Jan. 2020, and a loss of $27.6 million. Investors include Insight Partners (46.6% pre-offering), Salesforce (13.2%), and Wellington Management (9.5%). It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “NCNO.” Read more.

- BlueCity Holdings, a China-based LGBTQ community and dating platform, raised $85 million in an offering of 5.3 million ADSs priced at $16. It plans  to list on the Nasdaq as “BLCT.” Read more.

EXITS

- Aura acquired Pango, a privacy and security company. Pango was backed by Accel and WndrCo. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

F+FS

- New Mountain Partners raised over $6 billion for its sixth fund, per an SEC filing. Read more.

- Intel Capital plans to double its investment in Black founders over the next 5 years. Between 2015 and 2018, Intel Capital invested $125 million in startups led by women and underrepresented minorities.

- Victress Capital raised $22 million for its second fund.

- K Fund raised €70 million for its second fund. Read more.

- Cavalry Ventures raised €80 million for its second fund. Read more.