How much will Quibi’s content fetch?
This is the web version of Term Sheet, a daily newsletter on the biggest deals and dealmakers. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.
Good morning, and welcome to 2021.
While many of us would like to cut a clean break with 2020, that won’t be the case for Quibi.
Yes, Quibi, the short-form streaming company started by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and helmed by Meg Whitman that announced plans to wind down in October some six months after its launch, is reportedly seeking to sell its content catalog to connected TV company Roku, per the Wall Street Journal.
The maker of smart TV devices is seeking to bolster its own roster of content and specifically attract users with exclusive content in what seems like a necessity in today’s content wars.
The key question is this: How much will Roku offer for Quibi’s content catalog? While Quibi raised $1.75 billion total, only early investors are expected to receive some $350 million of those funds back. Later investors are watching to see if they can recoup some of their losses as Quibi sells its assets to those like Roku. (Pegasus Tech Ventures General Partner Anis Uzzaman, for instance, will get none of the $350 million, but hopes to get back some of his $35 million from such sales.) Buuuuut not all buyers have liked the content the Katzenberg-backed shop has produced: Other potential buyers have reportedly passed on Quibi’s earlier overtures for selling its shows, including NBCUniversal and Facebook.
Personally, I can’t see Quibi’s content driving users to Roku the way The Mandalorian has done for Disney’s streaming platform. One thing I’d bet on, however, is that Roku’s name is about to get a lot louder in the streaming wars. Roku—now the largest distributor of streaming apps—has seen its stock rise 136% in 2020, making it a $41 billion company.
CONTENT IS KING: In case you missed it, Amazon last week announced plans to acquire podcast startup Wondery as media companies seek to distinguish themselves with audio content. While Amazon did not disclose the size of the deal, reports peg the deal at about $300 million, surpassing Spotify’s $230 million acquisition of Gimlet Media in 2019. The maker of titles including “Dirty John” and “Dr. Death” has reportedly garnered interest from names including Apple and Sony Music Entertainment.
Also gliding under the radar in this story: Earlier this year, federal prosecutors accused Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez and another former 21st Century Fox executive of participating in a bribery scheme to secure broadcasting rights for the World Cup—rights that had belonged to ESPN. Lopez has denied the charges and vowed to fight them.
- Nayuki, a Shenzhen-based chain of desserts and teas, raised over $1oo million in Series C funding valuing it at over $2 billion, per Bloomberg. PAG led the round and was joined by investors including Yunfeng Capital. Read more.
- CRED, an Indian credit startup, raised $81 million in Series C funding. DST Global led the round and was joined by investors including Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst.
- AMP Robotics Corp., a Denver-based artificial intelligence and robotics company focused on the waste industry, raised $55 million in Series B funding. XN led the round and was joined by investors including Valor Equity Partners, GV, Sequoia Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, Congruent Ventures, and Closed Loop Partners.
- Oxygen, a San Francisco-based digital banking startup, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Investors included Runa Capital, S7V, 1984.vc, EFG Hermes, Rucker Park, and Inventures.
- Infinedi Partners invested in BWG Strategy, a Cranford, N.J.-based provider of market intelligence. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- QuantiTech, a portfolio company of Sagewind Capital, acquired Systems Engineering Group, a Columbia, Md.-based provider of threat engineering and simulation services, from Griffon Corporation (NYSE: GFF). Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Thompson Street Capital Partners acquired GovSpend, a Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based provider of government intelligence solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Thompson Street Capital Partners invested in Made4net, a New Jersey based provider of supply chain software. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Vision Innovation Partners acquired Eyes of York, a York, Penn.-based ophthalmology practice. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Waterland agreed to acquire the Priory Group, Acadia Healthcare’s U.K. unit of rehab centers, for about 1.1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion).
- Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) offered to acquire Kokusai Electric Corp. (TYO: 7722), a Japanese semiconductor company, for $3.5 billion from KKR, lifting its bid from a previously agreed upon $2.2 billion.
- CenterOak Partners sold Service Champions, an Orange County, Calif.-based residential HVAC and plumbing services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) agreed to acquire Sparta Systems, a Hamilton, N.J.-based provider of enterprise software, for $1.3 billion from New Mountain Capital.
- JLL Partners acquired Jonathan Engineered Solutions, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of ruggedized enclosures, slides, and vibration isolators. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners was the seller. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Permira acquired a majority stake in Boats Group, a Miami-based operator of online classified marketplaces for boats and yachts, from Apax Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) increased its offer for Entain (LON: ENT) the British sports betting company behind Ladbrokes, valuing it at $11 billion per Bloomberg. Entertain has rejected the offer. Read more.
- Teledyne Technologies (NYSE: TDY) agreed to acquire Flir Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR), a maker of sensors for the aerospace and defense industry, for about $8 billion in cash and stock.
- Centene (NYSE: CNC) agreed to acquire Magellan Health (Nasdaq: MGLN), a Phoenix, Ariz.-based healthcare company, for $2.2 billion in cash.
- Natixis agreed to sell its majority stake in H2O Asset Management, a London-based investment firm, back to its management. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- RLX Technology, a Chinese e-cigarette company, filed to raise $100 million. Read more.
- Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York-based boutique investment bank, agreed to go public via merger with FinTech Acquisition Corporation IV, a SPAC, for $975 million. The deal includes a $125 million commitment from investors including Fidelity Management and Wellington Management.
- Ark Global Acquisition, a SPAC seeking a target in the technology industry including consumer internet and marketplaces, healthtech, fintech and mobility, filed to raise $250 million. Former Groupon CEO Rich Williams and ENVST CEO Sultan Almaadeed founded the company. Read more.
- Aeva, a Mountain View, Calif.-based LiDAR sensing and perception technologies seeking to go public via merger with InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, received a $200 million commitment from Sylebra Capital for the merger.
BlackRock Long Term Private Capital, a BlackRock private investing strategy, raised $3.4 billion.
- Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm, raised $500 million across two funds. It raised $345 million for its eighth fund and $160 million for its second Acceleration Fund.
- Spectrum Equity, a Boston, Mass.-based private equity firm, promoted Julia Kuo Chen, Adam Gassin, Matt Neidlinger, and Michael Radonich to principal. It also promoted Jamie Mitchell, Kevan Olander and Sam Todd to vice president; and Angus Wilson to senior associate.