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What now, Parler?

January 11, 2021, 4:07 PM UTC

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Tech’s reaction to the breaching of Capitol Hill by a group of pro-Trump protestors took over the news cycle this weekend.

Much of the news has zoned in on Parler, a social media platform that has become a haven for President Donald Trump’s supporters as Facebook and Twitter have clamped down on the spread of misinformation. But following the riots in Washington D.C., the site has spawned many a post praising those same violent protests, suggesting the “‘war’ isn’t over.” 

It was perhaps a step too far for major tech companies. On Friday, Apple and Google removed the Rebekah Mercer-backed Parler from their app stores, each citing terms and conditions around violence, in a move that cuts off new downloads. And in the biggest blow yet to the fast-growing company, Amazon stopped hosting the company Sunday, effectively taking Parler off browsers and apps entirely.

So Parler is down. What now? Just look at what happened to Gab.com—the conservative social network that multiple companies including PayPal and GoDaddy turned away in 2018 after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter was found to have posted his views on the platform. It has no app on Apple or Google, but it still exists online after Epik, a domain registrar, and Cloudflare, a cloud security company, agreed to go on servicing the company.

To be sure: All these actions by big tech companies will make it significantly harder for Parler to proliferate. Gab.com did come back online, but in recent years it has been accused of inflating its user count. And the question of who would be willing to continue to host Parler persists (sure, Epik and Cloudflare continued working with Gab.com after 2018, but both declined to work with 8chan).

Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook banned President Donald Trump to varying degrees while payments processor Stripe stopped processing payments for his campaign website, a source confirmed to Fortune. Shopify too said it would remove Trump-run storefronts after last week’s events.

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

VENTURE DEALS

- Beijing Calories Technology, a Chinese company behind a workout app known as Keep, raised $360 million at a roughly $2 billion valuation. SoftBank’s Vision Fund led the round and was joined by investors including Hillhouse Capital and Tencent. Read more.

- Affinivax, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical focused on vaccines, raised $226 million in Series C funding. Rock Springs Capital and Foresite Capital led the round and were joined by investors including T. Rowe Price, Wellington Management, Blackrock, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Advisors, EcoR1 Capital, Surveyor Capital, Logos Capital, Viking Global Investors, Bain Capital Life Sciences, and Ziff Capital Healthcare Ventures.

- Tuhu, a Chinese online car-services company, is seeking to raise at a valuation of $4 billion, per Bloomberg citing sources. Goldman Sachs Group and Tencent back the firm. Read more.

- Visen Pharmaceuticals, a Shanghai-based developer of endocrine drugs, raised $150 million in Series B funding. Sequoia China led the round and was joined by investors including OrbiMed, Sherpa Healthcare Partners, Cormorant, HBM Healthcare Investments, Pivotal bioVenture Partners China, Logos Capital, and CDG Capital.

- Worktrans, a Chinese HR software company, raised $190.5 million in Series C and Series D funding. The $50.5 million Series C came from investors including Sequoia Capital China Fund. Investors including Tencent and CICC Capital invested $140 million in the Series D.

- Aulos Bioscience, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company developing treatments for solid tumors, raised $40 million in Series A funding from ATP.

- Ajaib Group, an Indonesia-based online brokerage, raised $25 million in Series A funding. Horizons Ventures and Alpha JWC led the round and were joined by SoftBank Ventures Asia, Insignia Ventures and Y Combinator. Read more.

- Kenbi, a Berlin-based healthcare startup, raised €5.2 million in seed funding. Redalpine led the round and was joined by investors including Heartcore, e.ventures, and Partech.

- Gig Wage, Dallas-based payroll platform, raised an additional $2.5 million in extended Series A funding. The Foundry Group led the extension.

- Alula, a New York-based digital platform for cancer patients and caregivers, raised $2.2 million in seed funding. Andy Dunn led the round and was joined by Metrodora Ventures, BBG Ventures, Thrive Capital, Village Global, and Homebrew.

- Hello Ralphie, a New York-based veterinary telemedicine company, raised $1 million in seed funding. Investors included HearstLab and WPMC Fund.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Axia Women’s Health, backed by Audax Private Equity acquired Care First, a New Jersey-based OB/GYN practice. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Century Equity Partners agreed to acquire Hancock Claims, an Atlanta-based property and casualty inspection business. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Diversis Capital Partners took a controlling stake in Black Box Intelligence, a Dallas-based provider of analysis for the restaurant industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- EyeSouth Partners, backed by Shore Capital Partners, acquired Midwest Eye Center, an operator of eye care services in Ohio and Kentucky. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Growth Catalyst Partners acquired The Equine Network, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of sports information, from Active Interest Media. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Mirion Technologies, backed by Charterhouse Capital Partners, acquired Sun Nuclear, a Melbourne, Fla.-based provider of radiation detection and measurement solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Mercer Global Advisors, backed by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, acquired McGee Wealth Management, a Portland, Ore.-based wealth management firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- KKR agreed to acquire the majority stake of Ryan Tedder and OneRepublic’s music catalog. Tedder is lead vocalist of OneRepublic. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- W2O, backed by New Mountain Capital, acquired Swoop and IPM.ai, two pharmaceutical marketing firms. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Water Street Healthcare Partners invested in Medical Guardian, a Philadelphia-based emergency response service company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- United Site Services, a portable toilet vendor, is considering a sale that could value it at $4 billion including debt. Platinum Equity backs the firm. Read more.

- Equifax agreed to acquire Kount, a Boise, Id.-based fraud prevention and digital identity solution, in a deal valued at $640 million. CVC Capital Partners backed Kount.

- ANGI Home Services (NASDAQ: ANGI) agreed to acquire Umbrella, a New York City-based home services membership company aimd at older adults. Thrive Capital and Inspired Capital back Umbrella.

OTHER

- 40 North boosted its offer for W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRE), a U.S.-based chemicals company, to $4.3 billion.

- Cisco Systems won a temporary court order  to block Acacia Communications from abandoning a planned $2.6 billion merger between the two of them. Read more.

- NCR (NYSE: NCR) offered to acquire Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM), a Houston-based ATM company, for over $1.7 billion, beating Apollo Global Management.

- Sanofi agreed to acquire Kymab, a U.K.-based antibody developer, for as much as $1.45 billion.

- Roku (Nasdaq: ROKU) agreed to acquire the rights to stream more than 75 premium shows and documentaries from Quibi, the Los Angeles-based streaming company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPOs

- Telus International, a New York-based customer support company, filed to raise $100 million. Baring Private Equity backs the firm. Read more.

- Interior Logic Group Holdings, an Irvine, Calif.-based design technology company,  filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. Littlejohn and Platinum Equity back the firm. Read more.

SPACS

- Celularity, a Florham Park, N.J.-based clinical-stage biotech company, will go public with GX Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, valuing it at $1.7 billion. 

- Bustle Digital Group, a U.S. media company, is looking to merge with SPACs. It is seeking a valuation of at least $600 million. Read more.

- Bakkt, the crypto company formed and backed by the Intercontinental Exchange, is reportedly nearing a deal to go public via Victory Park Capital, a SPAC. Read more.

- Pioneer Merger Corp, a SPAC formed by Falcon Edge Capital and Patriot Global Management, raised $350 million. Read more.

- Constellation Acquisition I, a SPAC led by a team including former Arconic CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, filed to raise $300 million. Read more.

- Climate Real Impact Solutions II, a SPAC formed in part by PIMCO, filed to raise $210 million. Read more.

F+FS

- GenBridge Capital, a Beijing-based private equity firm, plans to raise $600 million for its second fund. Read more.

- GitLab, a software writing platform, set up a $100 million fund to invest in Asia and other markets, per DealStreetAsia. Read more.

PEOPLE

- North Castle Partners, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm focused on consumer businesses, promoted Alyse Skidmore and David Weston to partner, Roy Chin to principal, and Jennifer Barsky and Alan Bui to vice president

- SeventySix Capital, a Conshohocken, Pa.-based venture firm, promoted Chad Stender to Partner.