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We’re in a cybersecurity arms race

April 26, 2021, 2:03 PM UTC

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Thoma Bravo is certainly not shy about the amount it’s offering to acquire the cybersecurity company Proofpoint.

The tech-focused private equity firm agreed to acquire the public company in an all-cash deal valuing the latter at about $12.3 billion, the duo announced. That values Proofpoint at about 34% more than its closing share price on Friday.

Will cybersecurity valuations keep rising? Wedbush analyst Dan Ives suspects that yes, they probably will.

“In this cybersecurity arms race and with $500 billion of dry powder among private equity and financial buyers and strategic players, we expect a massive M&A spree in the software and cybersecurity space over the next 12 to 18 months,” he wrote in a note Monday. “We view the Microsoft/Nuance marriage and now the Proofpoint deal as just the tip of the iceberg around a broader M&A spree in the tech landscape for the remainder of [2021].”

Recent scares, such as the SolarWinds hack, have certainly made cybersecurity a risk no company can ignore.

AJIT PAI: The former Federal Communications Commission Chairman is joining New York-based private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners as a partner and prospective board member of a number of unnamed portfolio companies within the technology, media, and telecommunications space.

Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and stepped down as the administration changed hands in January, fanned controversy when the FCC dismantled net neutrality regulations in 2017. While carriers such as AT&T and Verizon welcomed the change that allowed broadband service providers to favor some websites over others, tech companies such as Mozilla and Vimeo have fought against the decision. 

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

P.S. Here’s a company that, instead of going toe-to-toe with Amazon, is hitting the areas the tech giant will not go. Founded in 2017, Curated raised $39 million in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners, the company announced Monday. In a departure from the e-commerce businesses that emphasize A.I., Curated uses some 1,000 (human) experts to help consumers choose what to buy at prices at the same level as retail chains. But can it dominate as much as Amazon does? I wrote about how it works: Read everything here.

VENTURE DEALS

- Mighty Networks, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based platform for creators and brands to create communities, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Owl Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Ziff Capital Partners and LionTree  Existing investors included Intel Capital, Marie Forleo, Gretchen Rubin, Dan Rosensweig, Reid Hoffman, BBG Ventures, Lucas Venture Group, and Great Oaks Venture Capital. 

- Securrency, a Washington D.C.-based blockchain financial and regulatory tech company, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Investors included WisdomTree Investments, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, State Street, and U.S. Bank.

- Willow, a Mountain View, Calif.-based wearable breast pump company, raised $26.8 million in extended Series C funding. Endeavour Vision led the round and was joined by investors including NEA, Pura Vida Investments, Purple Arch Ventures, Logos Capital, and Gaingels. 

- StashAway, an Indian investment app, raised $25 million in Series D funding. Sequoia Capital India led the round and was joined by investors including Eight Roads Ventures and Square Peg.

- Small Door Veterinary, a New York-based membership-based veterinary care model, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Toba Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Pentland Group, Lerer Hippeau, Primary Ventures, Brand Foundry, Howard Draft, Zach Weinberg, and Nat Turner

- Embedded Financial Technologies, a  Vancouver, Wash.-based clearing and custody broker-dealer for U.S. listed equities and options, raised $20 million in seed funding. Investors include  Bain Capital Ventures, Propel Venture Partners, Acrew Capital, Homebrew, Y Combinator, Lachy Groom, and Josh Buckley.

- RAKwireless Technology, a New York-based internet-of-things company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Hong Kong NWS Holding led the round and was joined by investors including Shunwei.

- PowerX, a Brooklyn-based smart home solution, raised $4 million. Investors included SpringTide Capital and Antler Global.

- BastCore, a Montgomery, Ala.-based manufacturing industrial hemp fiber processing company, raised $2.8 million in Series A funding. Poseidon Asset Management invested.

- Introvoke, a San Francisco-based startup focused on virtual stages, chat rooms and networking hubs, raised $2.7 million in funding. Struck Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Comcast, Social Leverage, Great Oaks, V1vc, Time CTO Bharat Krish and Resy co-founder Mike Montero.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Thoma Bravo acquired and took private RealPage, a Richardson, Tx.-based provider of software and data analytics, for about $10.2 billion.

- Blackrock and Janus Henderson invested in Alphawave IP, a Toronto-founded semiconductor communication company, raised $510 million valuing it at $4.5 billion.

- NewLight Partners will invest up to $150 million in Rosemark Group, a customer marketing company. 

- Novo Tellus Capital Partners invested $40 million in Tessolve, a Bengaluru, India-based provider of engineering and R&D services to semiconductor companies, valuing it at $100 million.

- Baird Capital invested in Azzur Group, a life science consultancy. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Bain Capital Private Equity agreed to acquire Dessert Holdings, a St. Paul, Minn.-based dessert company, from Gryphon Investors. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Jobcase, backed by Providence Strategic Growth, invested in Upward.net, a job search platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Powerhouse Retail Services, a portfolio company of Lincolnshire Management, acquired Dentco, a DeWitt, Mich.-based provider of outsourced business services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Unison, backed by Carlyle, PRICE Systems, a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based provider of engineering software for decisions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXITS

- Stone Point Capital and GIC are nearing a deal to acquire Ascensus, a retirement plan provider, for about $3 billion, per Bloomberg. Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners back Acensus.

- The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire Unchained Labs, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based life sciences tools company, for $435 million from Novo Holdings A/S, Canaan Partners, and TPG Biotech.  

- Alpine Investors acquired Aspira, a Dallas-based software provider for the outdoor recreation industry, from Vista Equity Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Nestle is in talks to buy nutritional supplements maker Bountiful, a maker of nutritional health supplements in a deal that could value it the mid-single-digit billions, per the Wall Street Journal.

- Independent Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: INDB) agreed to acquire East Boston Savings Bank from Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ: EBSB) for about $1.2 billion. 

- Panasonic agreed to acquire the stake it does not own in Blue Yonder, a Scottsdale, Ari.-based supply chain platform, for about $5.6 billion.  

- Reliance Industries acquired Stoke Park, a U.K.-based golf club location, for $79 million. 

- IBM (NYSE:IBM) will acquire myInvenio, an Italy-based process mining software company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Snap’s (NYSE: SNAP) previously disclosed acquisition of Fit Analytics, a Berlin-based  A.I.-based fitting tech startup, was valued at about $124.4 million.

IPOS

- ZipRecruiter, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based job listing platform, filed for a direct listing.

- Treace Medical Concepts, a Ponte Vedra, Fla.-based medical device company focused on bunions, raised $191 million in an offering of 11.3 million shares (44% insider sold) priced at $17 apiece. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Rain Therapeutics, a Newark, Calif.-based company developing cancer treatments, raised $125 million in an offering of 7.4 million shares priced at $17. BVF, Boxer Capital, and Cormorant Capital back the firm.

- Impel NeuroPharma, a Seattle-based biotech developing drugs for central nervous system diseases, raised $80 million in an offering of 5.3 million shares priced at $15 apiece. 5AM Ventures, KKR, and Norwest back the firm.

- Hello, a Chinese provider of bike-sharing services, filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. GGV backs the firm.

- TScan Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass.-based company developing cancer therapies, filed to raise $100 million. Investors include Baker Bros. Advisors, 6 Dimension Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners. 

- ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok, has put its Hong Kong IPO on pause, per the South China Morning Post.

SPACS

- Super Group, the New York-based parent company of online bookmaker Betway, agreed to go public via merger with Sports Entertainment Acquisition (SEAH.N), a SPAC, in a deal that values it at $5 billion.

- Mapbox, a Washington D.C.-based location data services provider, is in talks to go public via merger with a SoftBank Group backed SPAC, per SkyNews. A deal could value the company at $2 billion. 

- Spire Global, a San Francisco-based provider of space-based data and analytics, will raise $70 million  from Francisco Partners. Spire previously announced plans to go public via merger with a SPAC.

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