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Why American Eagle’s $350 million deal matters

November 2, 2021, 2:53 PM UTC

Supply chain logistics.

Who knew the clunky term could become so sexy and panic-inducing all at the same time? 

American Eagle, the $5 billion clothing retailer known for its jeans and staples, it seems, gets it. The publicly-traded business on Tuesday announced that it would acquire Quiet Logistics, a supply chain logistics company, for about $350 million in cash. 

With robot-aided fulfillment centers in Jacksonville, Fla.; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles; St. Louis, Mo., and more, Quiet Logistics helps businesses including American Eagle and Peloton deliver products on the same or the next day—giving brands the ammo to compete with Amazon’s network. 

This deal is of importance not only because supply chain bottlenecks and issues are very much top-of-mind at the moment, but it also marks the first time “a specialty retailer like American Eagle Outfitters decided to purchase its own last-mile delivery service,” putting it up against Walmart, Target, and Amazon, per Women’s Wear Daily’s Kellie Ell. This also all comes as retailers are gearing up for the holiday season.

Retailers want control of their own supply chain, and in this case, American Eagle is also seeing an opportunity in continuing to expand Quiet Logistics’ services to other brands and retailers. Looking at it from the ground, the deal could make for a new stream of revenue for American Eagle. Looking at it from the bird’s eye point of view, the deal could also signal a new and surprising crop of potential acquirers for the bevy of logistics companies out there.

Quiet Logistics was previously owned by Related Cos. and property investor Greenfield Partners, who acquired the business in 2019.

RIVIAN: As investors go bananas for electric vehicle maker, Tesla, another company in the space is looking to capture some of that investor sentiment in its IPO. Rivian, backed by Amazon (which holds 22.4% of the business) and Ford (which holds about 14.4%) is now looking to raise about $8.4 billion in a listing of 135 million shares priced between $57 to $62 apiece, per its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the numbers are still subject to change, the high-end of that range would give it a valuation of about $53 billion—making it more valuable than the likes of Kia and Nissan, and within striking distance of $71 billion Ford. And that’s all for a company that has yet to post a revenue.

The maker of electric SUVs however did begin making deliveries of its pickup truck in September.

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

Jessica Mathews curated the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Nuro, a Mountain View, Calif.-based autonomous vehicle company, raised $600 million in Series D funding valuing it at $8.6 billion, per VentureBeat. Investors included Tiger Global Management and Google

- Mynt, a Philippines-based payments app maker, raised over $300 million in funding, valuing Mynt at over $2 billion. Warburg Pincus and Insight Partners led the round.

Everlaw, an Oakland, Calif.-based maker of an investigation and litigation platform, raised $202 million in Series D funding, valuing it at over $2 billion. TPG Growth led the round and was joined by investors including H.I.G. Growth Partners, CapitalG, Menlo Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and K9 Ventures

- When I Work, an employee scheduling app company, raised $200 million from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.

- Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payments company, raised $150 million in Series C extension funding. FTX led the round.

- Shoreline Biosciences, a San Diego, Calif.-based biotech focused on immunotherapies, raised $140 million. Ally Bridge Group led the round and was joined by investors including Eventide Asset Management, BeiGene, Irving Investors, Kingdon, NS Investment, Piper Sandler, and Superstring. 

- Moonfare, a Berlin-based platform for investing in private equity funds, raised $125 million in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round.

- Moka, a Chinese HR startup, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Tiger Global led the round and was joined by investors including Blue Lake Capital, GL Ventures, GSR Ventures, and GGV Capital.

- Prepaid Technologies, a Birmingham, Ala.-based provider of prepaid digital payment solutions, raised $96 million. Edison Partners and StepStone Group led the round and were joined by investors including Stifel Venture Bank, a Division of Stifel Bank, and Top Tier Capital Partners.

- 42dot, a South Korea-based autonomous vehicle company, raised $88.5 million in Series A funding. Investors include Shinhan Financial Group, Lotte Rental, Lotte Ventures, STIC Ventures, We Ventures, and DA Value Investment.

- Permutive, a collaboration and viewing platform for publishers and advertisers, raised $75 million in Series C funding. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the round.

- Infusion for Health, a network of ambulatory infusion centers, raised $50 million in funding led by Oak HC/FT.

- LightForce Orthodontics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of a 3D-printed bracket system, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Kleiner Perkins led the round.

- Mosaic Building Group, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based construction tech platform for the residential development industry, raised $44 million in Series B funding. Investors included Peak State Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Innovation Endeavors, and Building Ventures.

- Laika, a New York City-based compliance startup, raised $35 million in Series B funding. J.P. Morgan Growth Equity Partners led the round and was joined by investors including PayPal Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Canapi, Dashfund, Nyca, and ThirdPrime. 

- Apollo.io, a San Francisco-based sales software maker, raised $32 million in a Series B funding round led by Tribe Capital, with participation from NewView Capital and Nexus Venture Partners.

- Whimsical, a Denver-based collaboration tech company, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round and was joined by investors including Basis Set Ventures. 

- First AML, an Australian anti-money laundering startup, raised $21 million (NZ$ 30 million) in Series B funding. Blackbird Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Headline, Bedrock Capital, Icehouse Ventures, and Pushpay founder Eliot Crowther.

- Hone, a leadership training startup, raised $16 million in Series A funding. F-Prime Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Cowboy Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Slack Fund, Gaingels, and SemperVirens.

- Evrnu, a Seattle-based textiles startup, raised $15 million in Series B funding. FullCycle Climate Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Hansae, Bestseller, and PDS Venture.

- Yotta Energy, an Austin-based energy storage startup, raised $13 million. WIND Ventures led  and was joined by investors including Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Riverstone Ventures, EDP Ventures, and SWAN Impact Network. 

- Checkbook, a San Mateo, Calif.-based push payments company, raised $10 million in Series A funding. MassMutual Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including IA Capital, JPMorgan Chase, and Cross River Digital Ventures.

- Elotl, a San Francisco-based Kubernetes platform, raised $5 million in seed funding. Vertex Ventures US led the round and was joined by investors including Essence Venture Capital, HearstLab, Telescopic, XYZ, Dan Scheinman, and CEO of LaunchDarkly, Edith Harbaugh.  

- RightRev, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based finance and accounting solution, raised $5 million. Norwest Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including IDEA Fund Partners, Two Sigma, GoBig.ai, and Correlation Ventures. 

- Baseimmune, a U.K.-based biotech focused on vaccines against vaccines, raised $4.8 million. Hoxton Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Creator Fund.

- Accrue Savings, a New York City-based merchant-embedded savings startup, raised $4.7 million. Twelve Below led the round and was joined by investors including Box Group, Good Friends, Red Sea Ventures, Night Capital, Groundup Ventures, Silas Capital, Gokul Rajaram, and Scott Belsky. 

- Mictic, a Swiss-music wearables startup, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. PTK Capital led the round.

- Mployer Advisor, a Nashville-based site for employers to research insurance brokers, raised $1.6 million in funding from Martin Ventures and others.

- Axios, an Arlington, Va.-based media company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding valuing it at $430 million. Cox Enterprises invested, per Axios.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Altaris Capital Partners agreed to acquire Meridian Medical Technologies, a  St. Louis, Mo. and Columbia, Md.-based emergency response and health security company, from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). 

- Arsenal Capital Partners acquired Guidemark Health, a Parsippany, N.J.-based  healthcare marketing communications company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Billwerk, backed by PSG, will merge with Reepay, a Danish payment processes and subscriptions management software maker. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- BV Investment Partners invested in Ubiquity, a New York City-based outsourcer, valuing it at $325 million.

- CloudNine, backed by Crest Rock Partners, acquired ESI Analyst, a Canadian forensic discovery software maker. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- E Source, backed by Align Capital Partners, acquired Water Systems Optimization, a Nashville, Tenn.-based water loss reduction analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- GI Partners and TA Associates recapitalized Rectangle Health, a Valhalla, N.Y.-based provider of healthcare financial technology and patient engagement solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- GS Foods, backed by Highview Capital and A&M Capital Partners, acquired Thurston Foods, a Wallingford, Conn.-based food distributor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Hunter Point Capital invested in MidOcean Partners, a New York-based alternative asset manager specializing in middle-market private equity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Mercer Global Advisors, majority owned by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, acquired ACG Wealth, an Atlanta-based wealth management services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Len The Plumber, a portfolio company of Thompson Street Capital Partners, acquired Service Today, Heating & Cooling Company, a Federalsburg, Md.-based provider of residential HVAC, plumbing, electrical and indoor air quality services. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Macquarie Capital invested in Procentrix, a Herndon, Va.-based IT services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- One Rock Capital Partners acquired the tire additives business of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN), a specialty maker of chemicals for the tire industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Thompson Street Capital Partners and pest control industry executive Jay Keating formed PestCo Holdings, a pest control acquisition company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXIT

- Verra Mobility (NASDAQ: VRRM) agreed to acquire T2 Systems, an Indianapolis-based parking tech provider, for up to $356 million from Thoma Bravo. 

- FAT Brands agreed to acquire Fazoli’s, an Italian food chain, for $130 million from Sentinel Capital Partners. 

- Fiverr acquired Stoke Talent, an Israel-based freelance management platform, for $95 million. Stoke is backed by investors including Battery Ventures and TLV Partners.

- Coinbase is acquiring Agara, a Walnut, Calif.-based maker of A.I.-based customer service tech. The deal is valued between $40 million and $50 million, per TechCrunch. Agara is backed by Kleiner Perkins.

- ServiceMax will acquire LiquidFrameworks, a Houston-based field-services software maker, from Luminate Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- SoftBank Group is weighing a sale of Fortress Investment Group, the asset manager it acquired for about $3.3 billion. 

- Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) will acquire Lexington Partners, a private equity fund manager, for about $1.8 billion.

- CrowdStrike Holdings (Nasdaq: CRWD) agreed to acquire SecureCircle, a SaaS-based cybersecurity startup. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- Delhivery, an Indian commercial logistics and supply chain services company, is seeking a valuation of more than $5.5 billion in its IPO in the country, according to Reuters. SoftBank and Carlyle Group back the firm.

- CI&T, a Brazilian software engineering services company, and its shareholders plan to raise up to $369 million in a U.S. offering of 19.4 million shares (43% sold by insiders) priced between $17 and $19 per share. The company reported $191 million of net revenue in 2020 and net profit of $26 million.

- Atour Lifestyle Holdings, a Shanghai-based hotel network in China, plans to raise up to $306 million in a U.S. offering of 19.7 million shares priced between $13.50 and $15.50 per share. The company reported $244.8 million in net revenue in 2020 and $5.9 million in net income. Legend Capital, Shanghai Divine Investment Management, and Trip.com back the firm.

- Weave Communications, a Lehi, Ut.-based customer communications and engagement software platform, plans to raise up to $140 million in an offering of 5 million shares priced between $25 and $28 per share. The company posted $80 million in revenue in 2020 and reported a net loss of $40 million. Bessemer Venture Partners, Tiger Global, Catalyst Investors, Pelion Venture Partners, and Crosslink Capital back the firm.

- IO Biotech, a Copenhagen-based immune-modulating cancer therapy development company, plans to raise up to $110.5 million in a U.S. offering of 6.5 million shares priced between $14 and $17 per share. The company reported a $12 million net loss in 2020 and has yet to post revenue. Novo Holdings, Lundbeckfond Emerge, Sunstone Life Science Ventures, Vivo Capital, and HBM Healthcare Investments back the firm.

- Lulu’s Fashion Lounge Holdings, a Chico, Calif.-based digital fashion brand, plans to raise up to $109.3 million in an offering of 5.8 million shares priced between$16 and $19 per share. The company posted $249 million in the 12 months ending Jan. 3, 2021, and reported a net loss of $19 million. Institutional Venture Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board back the firm.

- Backblaze, a San Mateo, Calif.-based storage cloud platform, plans to raise up to $106 million in an offering of 6.3 million shares priced between $15 and $17 per share. The company reported $54 million in revenue in 2020 and a net loss of $6.6 million. TMT Investments backs the firm.

- FreeCast, an Orlando, Fla.-based entertainment-based content discovery and aggregation technology company, filed for an IPO. The company reported $692,604 in total revenue in the 12 months ending in June and a net loss of $6.6 million. Nextelligence and Telebrands back the firm.

SPAC

- Black Rifle Coffee Company, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based veteran-owned coffee company, will go public via a merger with SilverBox Engaged Merger Corp. I, a SPAC. A deal could value the company at $1.7 billion.

- FTAC Zeus Acquisition, a blank check company focused on the financial technology industry, now plans to raise $300 million. It previously planned to raise $440 million. The SPAC is led by Daniel Cohen, who has served as chairman for several black check companies, and Ryan Gilbert, founder of Launchpad Capital.

F+FS

- 137 Ventures raised $350 million for its fifth fund focused on growth-stage tech companies.

- BlackRock raised $673 million for its Climate Finance Partnership.

PEOPLE

- Quiet Capital hired Betty Yang from WCAS as a senior associate.

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