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News of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine sent waves of relief throughout the world.
But here’s the question: How will the vaccine be distributed? The mRNA-based treatment is expected to require a vast and expensive supply chain to remain effective: The vaccine will need to be kept in extremely cold storage—in subzero temperatures—and used within five days after being thawed out.
And then the process must repeat all over again for a second booster shot a month later. Already, experts are pointing out the difficulties of delivering a vaccine, especially to rural spots and poor nations.
It’s a costs-to-benefits analysis with the highest stakes. There are other approaches to a COVID vaccine that could be cheaper, but they have yet to show the same level of promise. Per Bloomberg:
“It also presents a choice now faced across the developing world: to pay for the expensive construction of subzero cold-chain infrastructure for what seems like a sure bet, or wait for a slower, more conventional vaccine that brews batches of protein or inactivated viral particles in living cells, and can be delivered through existing health-care networks.”
The need for cold storage is already a challenge, most noticeably in food transportation. Rachel Drori, CEO of Daily Harvest, told me during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Next Gen virtual conference that early in the pandemic, the startup faced difficulties delivering frozen meals thanks to a nationwide shortage of dry ice—a product used to also transport medicine.
It’s also one investors are honing in on. Earlier this year, Lineage Logistics, a cold storage company, raised $1.6 billion from investors including Oxford Properties Group, BentallGreenOak, and D1 Capital Partners.
REMEMBER TIKTOK? The Trump administration may have…forgotten about the company. Earlier this year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ordered ByteDance, the app’s Chinese parent company, to effectively divest of assets used to support its U.S. operations by November 12. ByteDance’s tentative solution was to shift TikTok’s U.S. assets to a new entity which would see Oracle and Walmart take a 20% stake in the new firm.
Now, on the heels of a protracted U.S. election, ByteDance says it has yet to receive substantive clarity on its new framework, nor has it received approval by CFIUS for a 30-day extension on the deadline. With the deadline—and its unclear implications—just around the corner, ByteDance filed a petition Tuesday with a U.S. Federal Appeals Court challenging the order to divest. Read more.
HOW COULD FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY FOSTER FINANCIAL INCLUSION? Join Fortune’s next Brainstorm Finance gathering to discuss alongside Goldman Sachs Chief Strategy Officer Stephanie Cohen; SoFi CEO Anthony Noto; Mastercard President, North America, Craig Vosburg; and Coinbase COO Emilie Choi on Wednesday, November 18, at 12:00 PM ET. REGISTER HERE.
- SentinelOne, a Mountain View, Calif.-based maker of machine learning-based solutions, raised $267 million in funding valuing it at over $3 billion. Investors include Tiger Global, Sequoia, Insight Partners, Third Point Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Read more.
- Carbon Health, a San Francisco-based primary and urgent healthcare provider, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Dragoneer Investment Group and was joined by investors including Brookfield Technology Partners, DCVC, and Builders VC.
- LinkAja, an Indonesia-based state-owned payments company, raised $100 million in funding. Grab led the round. Read more.
- Endpoint, an El Segundo, Calif.-based digital title and escrow platform for real estate agents, buyers, and sellers, raised $40 million from its parent company, First American Financial Corporation.
- Buoy Health, a Boston, Mass.-based symptom checker using A.I., raised $37.5 million in Series C funding. Cigna Ventures and Humana led the round and were joined by investors including Optum Ventures, WR Hambrecht + Co, and Trustbridge Partners.
- Remote, a San Francisco-based maker of an HR technology platform for international payroll, benefits and compliance, raised $35 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital, Aaron Levie, Zach Weinberg, Kevin and Julia Hartz, General Catalyst, and Two Sigma Ventures.
- Thoughtexchange, a Vancouver-based polling and rating platform, raised $34 million in funding. HarbourVest Partners led the round.
- Isovalent, a Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud-native networking company, raised $29 million in Series A funding. Andreessen Horowitz and Google led the round and were joined by Cisco Investments.
- Bond Vet, a New York-based animal health company, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Talisman Capital Partners led the round.
- R-Zero, a San Francisco-based company with a germ-killing UV device, raised $15 million in Series A funding. DBL Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Bedrock Capital and HAX / SOSV.
- Coherent, a Hong Kong-based provider of digital platforms to insurers, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Cathay Innovation led the round and was joined by investors including Franklin Templeton.
- Fnatic, a London-based esports brand, raised $10 million in an internal round led by Beringea and was joined by investors including Unbound, LVL1 Group, and JHD.
- Highwing, a Denver-based commercial insurance tech startup, raised $4 million in seed funding. Baldwin Risk Partners and BrokerTech Ventures led the round.
- Dimension Inx, a Chicago-based company developing regenerative medical implants that repair tissues and organs, raised $3.2 million in seed funding. KdT Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Better Ventures and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
- AppBrilliance, an Austin-based payments technology startup, raised $3 million in seed funding. Investors including Studio VC.
- Spora Health, a healthcare provider focused on people of color, raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Human Ventures backs the firm. Read more.
- TransDigm Group (NYSE: TDG), Cinven, and CVC Capital Partners are competing for Cobham Ltd.’s communications and navigation division, per Bloomberg. Read more.
- Apollo Global Management plans to acquire Great Canadian Gaming Corp (TO:GC), a Canadian Casino operator, for about C$2.2 billion ($1.7 billion).
- Alliance Holdings, backed by Align Capital Partners, acquired Blue Mountain Environmental Management , a Decatur, Ala.-based provider of emission testing services to those in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Dyal Capital Partners acquired a passive minority stake in TowerBrook Capital Partners, a London and New York-based investment firm.
- LP First Capital and Centre Partners acquired O'Hara Management, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of hardscape, irrigation and landscape installation services to commercial home builders. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- PKWARE, backed by Thompson Street Capital, acquired Dataguise, a Freemont, Calif.-based personal data protection company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- SmartWave Technologies, a portfolio company of Northlane Capital Partners, acquired Multi-Tech Systems, a Mounds View, Mn.-based supplier of industrial communication devices and services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Trace4, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, acquired Groupware Technology, a Campbell, Calif.-based IT solutions provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- AEGIS Hedging Solutions, backed by Trilantic North America, acquired Nexidus Commodities, a commodity trading advisor and pioneer in metals hedging. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Uber Technologies $2.7 billion acquisition of Postmates, the food delivery company received the go-ahead from the U.S. Justice Department. Read more.
- BrightSphere Investment (NYSE: BSIG) is considering a sale of its majority stake in Landmark Partners, the private equity fund, that could be worth $1 billion, per Reuters. Read more.
- CVC Capital Partners is weighing a sale of its majority stake in Kount, a U.S.-based cybersecurity company, that could value the latter at over $750 million including debt, per Reuters. Read more.
- Take-Two Interactive Software will acquire Codemasters Group, a U.K.-based videogame developer, valuing it at about 759 million pounds ($1 billion).
- Huawei plans to sell Honor, its brand of budget smartphones, for 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion), to a consortium including Digital China and the government of Shenzhen, per Reuters. Read more.
- SGS will acquire Germany-based Synlab's analytics & services unit for 550 million euros ($650.3 million). Read more.
- Spotify agreed to acquire Megaphone, a provider of podcast advertising and publishing, for $235 million.
- Telos, an Ashburn, Va.-based maker of cybersecurity products, plans to raise $210 million in an offering of 12.4 million shares priced between $16 to $18. Read more.
- Silverback Therapeutics, a Seattle, Wash.-based biotech developing therapeutics for solid tumors and other diseases, filed to raise $100 million. Its investors include OrbiMed, U.S. Venture Partners, and Hunt Pacific. Read more.
- Natural Order Acquisition Corp., a blank check company seeking businesses focused on technologies and products related to plant-based food and beverages, raised $200 million. The company previously planned to raise $250 million. Read more.
- Edoc Acquisition Corp., a blank check company seeking healthcare businesses in North America and Asia-Pacific, raised $90 million, raising $10 million less than expected. Read more.
- Spearhead, a fund created by Jeff Fagnan at Accomplice and Naval Ravikant, closed on $100 million in commitments for its fourth fund. Read more.
- Seedcamp, a Europe-focused fund, raised £78 million in commitments for its fifth fund. Read more.
- Cognitive Capital Partners named Dave Bornhoeft as a Partner leading the firm’s healthcare investments.
- General Catalyst named Zak Kukoff as a principal. Kukoff was previously an associate at Emergence Capital.
- Norwest Venture Partners named Dave Zilberman as a general partner. Zilberman was previously senior managing director at Comcast Ventures.
- Atwater Capital named Meri Khananashvili, formerly an executive at Creative Artists Agency, as principal.