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I wrote last week of the incredible soaring stock price of Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), the customer engagement platform that has gone from a $15 billion business to a $46 billion one over the course of the year, spurred by the pandemic and investors’ love of all things digital.
On Monday, the company leveraged its mega valuation to make its largest acquisition yet: Confirming an earlier report from Forbes, Twilio said it would acquire Segment, a customer data platform, for $3.2 billion in—yes—an all-stock transaction. Soaring stock prices, after all, make for good acquisition currency.
Segment was valued at $1.5 billion in its last private round of fundraising, and has raised from investors including Y-Combinator, Kleiner Perkins, Accel, Thrive Capital, and Meritech Capital Partners.
Companies buy a bevy of apps to help with online payments, traffic analysis, email marketing, and so on—resulting in disconnected pools of data. Segment, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said in a Monday morning call with investors, attempts to bring together all that information, allowing companies “to have the infrastructure they bought” and “to form a [whole] picture of the customer base.”
The deal between Twilio and Segment is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year.
One thing I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the near future: even more mergers and acquisitions and investments by companies, such as Peloton, Zoom, or Shopify, whose stocks have gained valuable dealmaking currency in the pandemic (see Grubhub combining with Just Eat Takeaway).
LEON BLACK AND JEFFREY EPSTEIN: The Apollo Global Management CEO has often been questioned over his connections with Jeffrey Epstein, which he has said have been of a limited kind. But The New York Times reported on Monday that Black may have had deeper connections than previously assumed, and wired at least $50 million to Epstein in the years after the latter was convicted of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl in 2008. Read more.
- Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s Long Beach, Calif.-based satellite-launch business, is seeking to raise up to $200 million in a funding that could value it at $1 billion, per The Wall Street Journal. Read more.
- Flash Express, a Thailand-based logistics startup, raised $200 million in Series D funding. PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company led the round and was joined by investors including Durbell and Krungsri Finnovate. Read more.
- Razorpay, a Bangalore-based fintech, raised $100 million in Series D funding, valuing it at over $1 billion. GIC and Sequoia India led the round and were joined by investors including Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y Combinator, and Matrix Partners. Read more.
- Numan, a U.K.-based online health clinic for men, raised £10 million ($13 million) in Series A funding. Novator along with Anthemis Exponential, Vostok New Ventures, and Colle Capital.
- GetSetup, a San Francisco-based maker of education technology for older adults, raised $10 million in funding. ReThink Education led the round and was joined by investors including AME Cloud Ventures, Work Play Ventures, and Sweat Equity Ventures.
- Edgify, a London-based company building A.I. training frameworks, raised $6.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Octopus Ventures, and Mangrove Capital Partners.
- Clair, a New York City-based fintech focused on rapid pay for hourly and gig economy workers, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Upfront Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Founder Collective and Walkabout Ventures.
- EQT is weighing a takeover of Royal KPN NV (AS: KPN), a Dutch phone company trading at about $11 billion in market value. Read more.
- Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners sent a conditional offer to take over Link Administration Holdings (ASX: LNK), an Australian IT services company, for A$2.76 billion ($2 billion).
- Heartland Home Services, a portfolio company of North Branch Capital, acquired Blind & Sons and Superior Drainage, Barberton and Akron, Oh.-based provider of residential HVAC replacement and maintenance, plumbing and electrical services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Broadtree Partners acquired Seanair Machine Co., a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based manufacturer of machined parts for the aerospace industry, alongside AE Industrial Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Permira, Warburg Pincus, Dragoneer Investment Group and Durable Capital invested in Clearwater Analytics, a Boise, Id.-based SaaS provider of investment accounting and analytics. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Ardian acquired a majority stake, in Syclef, a French refrigeration company, from Latour Capital. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Centerbridge Partners agreed to acquire American Bath Group, a maker of bathtubs, from Lone Star. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Bandwidth (NASDAQ: BAND) agreed to acquire Voxbone, an enterprise cloud communications company, for about €446 million from investors including Vitruvian Partners.
- IK Investment Partners entered exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in Kersia, a biosecurity and food safety company, from Ardian. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Breakups and Hangups
- Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK), a pharmaceutical company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
- Dida Chuxing, a Chinese ride hailing company, is seeking to raise $500 million in a Hong Kong IPO. Read more.
- Atea Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based clinical stage biotech developing therapies for viral infections, filed to raise $100 million. Bain Capital and Morningside Venture Investments back the firm. Read more.
- Eargo, a San Jose, Calif.-based hearing-aid maker, plans to raise $100 million in an offering 6.7 million shares priced between $14 to $16. The firm posted revenue of $32.7 million and loss of $44.5 million in 2019. New Enterprise Associates, Future Fund, Gilde Healthcare, and Longitude Venture back the firm. Read more.
- Aligos Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based clinical-stage maker of therapies for viral and liver diseases, plans to raise $150 million in an offering of 10 million shares priced between $14 to $16. Backers include Roche, Versant Ventures, and Baker Bros. Advisers. Read more.
- Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotech developing therapies for ophthalmic conditions, plans to raise $80 million in an offering 5 million shares priced between $15 to $17. Vivo Capital and Frazier Life Sciences backs the firm. Read more.
- Triller, the short-form video app rival to TikTok, is reportedly in talks to merge with a blank-check acquisition company. The company is said to be in the middle of raising a $250 million round. Read more.
- Social Capital Hedosophia raised $2.1 billion total across its fourth, fifth, and sixth SPACs.
- Ajax I, a blank check company founded by Och-Ziff’s Daniel Och, filed to raise $750 million. Read more.
- Spartan Acquisition II, a blank check company seeking a business in the North American energy industry, filed to raise up to $400 million. Apollo Global Management backed the firm. Read more.
- Lux Health Tech Acquisition, a blank check company seeking a healthcare business, filed to raise $300 million. Lux Capital formed the firm. Read more.
- Plus Venture Capital, a Bahrain-based fund that plans to invest in the Middle East and North Africa region, raised $60 million.