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The executive who led Carta’s gender-pay gap study is suing over gender discrimination

July 22, 2020, 2:21 PM UTC

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Carta, the buzzy unicorn that helps other startups manage their equity and ownership, is well known for its paper advocating for the closing of the gender wealth gap in Silicon Valley.

On Tuesday, the woman who oversaw the publication of that paper sued the company, alleging gender discrimination. Emily Kramer, the former vice president of marketing at the company valued at $3.1 billion, accused it of paying her less than her male coworkers and alleged wrongful termination

Carta, which is seeking to rival giants such as the Nasdaq exchange with a private share trading platform, has raised from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and ridden the wave of private companies staying away from public markets. It provides shareholder management software to startups including Robinhood. And it began publishing an annual report on gender-based startup equity in 2018. The study has revealed largely expected gaps: In 2019, women represented 13% of startup founders, yet own just 7% of founder equity, per the report.

But, alleges Kramer, Carta was not putting its study to practice within its own company.

“It’s become increasingly clear that ‘mission-driven’ Silicon Valley companies are often built on hypocritical lies, but as my lawsuit alleges, Carta takes this to an entirely new level,” Kramer wrote in a Medium post. The lawsuit alleged that Kramer’s time at the company, she faced “increasingly hostile, sexist harassment in response to her complaints of sex discrimination.”

Carta CEO Henry Ward, the lawsuit alleged, repeatedly called Kramer an “asshole” during a one-on-one meeting, adding that “no one likes you” and that Kramer had gotten a “pass” as she was a woman. The document also states that while Kramer called for greater diversity within Carta, the company made little effort to change hiring practices. 

Carta has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Rise of the robots: Investors often say the coronavirus is “accelerating” existing trends—and boosting interest in the one towards automation (fun fact: This month, fast food chain White Castle partnered with startup Miso Robotics to introduce a burger-grilling robot in its Chicago-area restaurants starting in September).

On Tuesday, Dexterity, a robotics startup that makes industrial robotics software, announced that it had $56.2 million in debt and venture funding since inception from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Obvious Ventures, and Pacific West Bank. Most recently, the company’s tech has been used to pack baked goods for brands like Sara Lee. Read more.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Hippo, the Palo Alto-based home insurance company, raised $150 million in Series E funding, valuing its business at $1.5 billion. Investors included FinTLV, Ribbit Capital, Dragoneer and Innovius Capital.

- Innovium, a San Jose, Calif.-based  a leading provider of switch silicon solutions for cloud and edge data centers, raised $170 million in funding. Investors including Premji Invest, DFJ Growth, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Greylock, Capricorn, WRVI, Qualcomm Ventures, Redline, S-Cubed Capital and DAG. 

- Misfits Market, a New York-based food delivery service, raised $85 million in Series B funding. Valor Equity Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Greenoaks Capital, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Sound Ventures.

- Scalable Capital, a Munich-based investing startup, raised €50 million ($58 million). Investors included BlackRock, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures. Read more.

- Olema Oncology, a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for women’s cancers, raised $54 million in Series B funding. BVF Partners, Logos Capital and Janus Henderson Investors co-led the round and were joined by investors including Cormorant Asset Management, RA Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, Surveyor Capital, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, and Foresite Capital.

- Forge Biologics, a Columbus, Oh.-based viral vector gene therapy company, raised $40 million in Series A funding. Xontogeny led the round and was joined by investors including Drive Capital.

- Chowbus, a Chicago-based food delivery app specific to Asian restaurants and grocery stores, raised $33 million in Series A funding. Altos Ventures and Left Lane Capital led the round and were joined by investors including Hyde Park Angels, Fika Ventures, FJ Labs, and Silicon Valley Bank.

- Elevation Oncology, a cancer drug biotech startup, raised $32.5 million in Series A funding. Aisling Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Vertex Ventures HC, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Driehaus Capital Management, and BVF Partners. Read more.

- Branch, an Ohio-based startup that bundles home and auto insurance, raised a $24 million in Series A funding. Greycroft and HSCM Bermuda co-led the round and were joined by investors including SignalFire, SCOR Global P&C, and Elefund.

- Tasso, a Seattle-based company with an at-home blood-testing kit, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Foresite Capital, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Vertical Venture Partners, Techstars, and Cedars-Sina.

- Tubulis, a Munich-based firm developing antibody-drug conjugates, raised €10.7 million ($12.3 million) in Series A funding. BioMedPartners and High-Tech Gründerfonds co-led the round and were joined by Seventure Partners, coparion, Bayern Kapital, and OCCIDENT..

- CurvaFix, a Bellevue, Wash.based developer of medical devices to repair fractures in curved bones, raised $10.8 million in Series B funding. Sectoral Asset Management led the round and was joined by investors including Delta Dental Washington Seed Fund.

- Cooks Venture, a New York-based startup raising heirloom chickens, raised $10 million in Series A funding. SJF Ventures and Cultivian Sandbox led the round.

- ODILO, a Spanish learning services startup, raised $10 million. Swanlaab Venture Factory led the round and was joined by investors including Endeavor Catalyst and CDTI alongside current investors KIBO VC, JME VC and Active VP.

- Meemo, a San Francisco-based social financial application, raised $10 million in funding. Investors include Saama Capital, Greycroft, monashees and Sierra Ventures

- Episode Six, an Austin-based financial technology provider, raised $7 million in Series A funding. HSBC led the round and was joined by investors including Mastercard and SBI Investment Co.

- Solfácil, a Brazilian solar fintech,  raised $4 million Reducing electricity bills once and for all, with no upfront investment and in a sustainable manner. This was the value proposition that led Valor Capital Group to invest in 

- Angle Health, a San Francisco-based health insurance carrier, raised $4 million in seed funding. Blumberg Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Y Combinator, Correlation Ventures, TSVC, and Liquid 2 Ventures..

- Mercado Labs, a Dallas-based supply chain platform maker, raised $2.5 million. Investors included Supply Chain Ventures, LiveOak Venture Partners, Schematic Ventures, Story Ventures, and Amplifier.

- Dance, a Berlin-based e-bike subscription company founded by creators of - SoundCloud and Jimdo, raised an undisclosed amount of funding. Investors include BlueYard, Ilkka Paananen (SuperCell founder), Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (La Famiglia VC founding partner), and Kevin P. Ryan (AlleyCorp founder). Read more.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- SK Capital Partners invested in Techmer PM, a Clinton, Tenn.-based designer and producer of engineered compounds and color and additive concentrates for the plastics and fiber industries. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Dedalus Group, majority-owned by Ardian, agreed to acquire HealthCare Software Solutions from DXC Technology Company (NYSE:DXC). Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Bain Capital, PAG, and Blackstone are among bidders for a majority stake in the wealth and advisory business of Edelweiss Financial Services, an Indian firm, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Rubis Terminal, a joint venture between I Squared Capital and Rubis, agreed to acquire TEPSA, a European storer of bulk liquids. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- HealthEdge Software, backed by Blackstone, acquired The Burgess Group, an Alexandria, Va.-based healthcare payments software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- SRR Holdings, a portfolio company of Industrial Opportunity Partners, acquired the assets of Southern CaseArts, a Bessemer, Ala.-based manufacturer of merchandising cases for the grocery and convenience store industries. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Olde Thompson, a portfolio company of Kainos Capital, acquired Gel Spice, a New Jersey-based importer and manufacturer of spices, seasoning, and bakery ingredients. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- PCF Insurance, a portfolio company of HGGC, acquired four regional brokerages: First Fidelity Brokerage in a New York City; Horizon Insurance in Bradenton, Fla.; Moulton Insurance in Western Massachusetts, and Avidity Insurance in Overland Park, Kan. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- The Riverside Company invested in Buildout, a Chicago-based commercial real estate brokerage software maker. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- Perceptyx, backed by TCV, acquired the Employee Insights business of Kantar, a data, insights, and consulting company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Royal Philips NV (NYSE: PHG), an Amsterdam-based white goods maker, has reached out to rivals including Haier Group and Midea to gauge interest in acquiring its home appliance unit, which could fetch as much as $4 billion, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Prysmian (MI:PRY) agreed to acquire EHC Global, a Canadian components manufacturer, for C$130 million ($97 million). Read more.

- Saudi Arabia’s Othiam Investments family plans to offer shares of its malls via IPO in an deal that could value the business at $2 billion, per Bloomberg.  Read more.

- SoftBank Group is seeking to sell Treasure Data, its data-and-device-management unit, for about $1 billion, per Bloomberg. Read more.

- Walmart revived plans to sell a majority stake in Asda, a U.K. supermarket chain. Read more.

IPOS

- Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, a New York-based SPAC founded by Bill Ackman, raised $4 billion in an offering of 200 million units priced at $20 apiece. Read more.

- Lufax, a Shanghai-based online wealth management platform backed by Ping An Insurance Group, is seeking a U.S. initial public offering as early as this year, per Reuters. Read more.

- Jamf, a Minneapolis-based Apple device management company, raised $468 million in an offering of 18 million shares priced at $26. It posted revenue of $204 million in 2019 and a loss of $32.6 million. Vista Equity backs the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “JAMF.” Read more.

- ARYA Sciences Acquisition III, a New York-based blank check company focused on healthcare, filed to raise up to $125 million. Perceptive Advisors backs the firm. Read more.

- 4D Molecular Therapeutics, an Emeryville, Calif.-based biotech focused on gene therapies, withdrew its $100 million IPO. It posted revenue of $14.1 million and a loss of $9.5 million in 2018.  Viking Global(16%), Pfizer (11.8%), and Repleon(7.3%) back the firm.It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “DDDD.” Read more.

F+FS

- J.F. Lehman & Company closed its fifth fund with $1.35 billion in commitments.

- Shamrock Capital closed Shamrock Capital Content Fund with $400 million in committed capital. 

PEOPLE

- ABS Capital Partners added Bion Ludwig as venture partner. Bion was previously a co-Founder and partner of Savano Capital Partners. 

- AE Industrial Partners added Dr. Laurence Vigeant-Langlois as a managing director.