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Former NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning recruited into private equity

January 10, 2022, 4:27 PM UTC

Private equity firm Brand Velocity Partners has hired none other than Eli Manning as its new partner.

Yes, that Eli Manning. The two-time Super Bowl champion has proved himself to be a “savvy investor” and a “brand-builder” since leaving the New York Giants in 2019, BVP said in a statement this morning. Manning will be involved in all aspects of the private equity firm, including sourcing new investments.

Since retiring from his quarterback career, Manning has become rather active in the private markets—though, to be sure, he had already been investing in ventures prior. 

You may remember that several members of the Manning family backed BBQGuys, a grill e-commerce company, which was one of three different barbecue companies to announce plans to go public within the same month this past summer. (BBQGuys and SPAC Velocity Acquisition ultimately agreed to part ways in early November due to supply chain issues). Manning has also invested in nutrition research startup Zoe, teen banking app Step, and sleep-tracking device Whoop. He worked with his brother, Peyton, to launch a bourbon brand under the name Sweetens Cove. 

BBQGuys was Manning’s first stint with BVP, which had helped launch the retailer’s national advertising campaign—and largely with private equity. “I went through a Private Equity 101,” Manning told Bloomberg of sitting in on business meetings for about a year. “As I get more familiar, I’ll be able to have more intel and be more helpful with some of the deals that we’re deciding on.”

It’s not the first time a private equity or venture capital group has brought an athlete into the fold—although pro players appear more likely to start their own firms. Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, for instance, has Thirty5 Ventures, which invested in Robinhood. 

Hold up, startups: If unicorns were under the impression they would be prancing around in open fields for a while, it’s time to rethink that. The SEC is reportedly planning to require more transparency from the private market, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. Read: more routine financial and operational disclosures. The regulator is also weighing whether it should further restrict the qualifications for investors to invest in private companies. This could have big implications on the private markets, with more and more companies opting to stay private for longer these days. Startups have historically been able to operate largely behind closed doors until a public debut. 

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
Email: jessica.mathews@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

- Qraft Technologies, a Seoul, South Korea-based AI-powered financial platform developer, raised $146 million in funding from SoftBank, per the Wall Street Journal

- Repeats Group, a Netherlands-based pan-European plastics recycling platform focused on producing recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE), raised €100 million ($113.2 million) in funding for its launch from Ara Partners.

- Avataar, a San Francisco and Bengaluru, India-based AI and Computer Vision platform focused on spatial visual discovery, raised $45 million in Series B funding led by Tiger Global and was joined by Sequoia Capital India

- arive, a Munich, Germany-based online delivery webshop operator, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Balderton Capital and was joined by investors including Global Founders Capital, Burda Principal Investments, La Famiglia, and 468 Capital.

- Draftea, a Latin American daily fantasy sports platform, raised $13.2 million in funding led by Kaszek and was joined by investors including Sequoia, Bullpen, and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles.

- Pendulum, a Seattle-based company that detects harmful narratives within social media for corporations and government organizations, raised $5.9 million in seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group and was joined by Cercano Management.

- TurbineOne, a San Francisco-based defense technology management platform for first responders and warfighters, raised $3 million in seed funding from XYZ Venture Capital

- reHarvest Provisions, a Denver, Colo.-based food marketplace operator, raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by True Wealth Ventures and was joined by Flagstaff Ventures, Segal Ventures, Captra Capital, Chicago Early, Dobson Avenue, and CPG focused Angels.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- R1 RCM agreed to acquire Cloudmed, an Atlanta, Ga.-based revenue recovery and consulting services company that is backed by New Mountain Capital, for $4.1 billion, including debt, in an all-stock transaction. New Mountain Capital will remain invested in the combined entity.

- Enterprise Products Partners acquired Navitas Midstream Partners Holdings, a Woodlands, Tex.-based natural gas gathering, treating and processing services company, from Warburg Pincus for $3.3 billion in cash.

- Blackstone invested $3 billion in Invenergy Renewables Holdings, a Chicago-based private renewable energy company. CDPQ and Invenergy management retain majority stakes in the company.

- Stonepeak agreed to acquire Rinchem Company, a warehousing and chemical and gas logistics company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Bregal Partners acquired a majority stake in Juniper Landscaping, a Fort Myers, Fla.-based landscaping services provider to commercial clients. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Garnett Station Partners recapitalized Mambo Seafood, a Houston-based Hispanic restaurant brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Gemspring Capital Management acquired a majority stake in Security 101, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based commercial security system solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- GreyLion acquired Webconnex, a Sacramento, Calif.-based ticketing and event management software company, and Norwood Sawmills, portable consumer-sized sawmill, accessory, and equipment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Housatonic Partners invested in Mobile Vascular Physicians, a New York-based concierge medical practice for vascular and interventional services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hughes & Company invested in Encoda, a Tampa, Fla.- based healthcare reimbursement automation platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- JGB Enterprises, backed by HCI Equity Partners, acquired All-Serv Industrial, a Sulphur, La.-based supplier of hose and hose-related accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Littlejohn Capital acquired Alto Healthcare Staffing, a Dayton, Ohio-based healthcare staffing firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Nichols Portland, an Altus Capital Partners portfolio company, acquired Alpha Precision Group, a St. Marys, Penn.-based metal-forming technology company that provides conventional powder metal, high temperature stainless steel powdered metal, metal injection molding, and additive manufacturing (3D metal printing) components and assemblies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- PSG acquired a majority stake in mPulse Mobile, an Encino, Calif.-based online conversation platform. mPulse Mobile acquired HealthCrowd, a communications platform-as-a-service company focused on the Medicaid market. Financial terms were not disclosed for either transaction.

- UBS Next invested in Trust & Will, a San Diego, Calif.-based digital estate planning platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Vauban Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire DB Energy Assets and Beacon Energy Holdings, which collectively own eight district cooling and heating systems in the Northeast and Michigan, from Basalt Infrastructure Partners and DCO Energy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- WilliamsMarston, an Align Capital Partners portfolio company, acquired Bay Valuation Advisors, an Oakland, Calif.-based valuation advisory services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

EXITS

- HCA Healthcare acquired MD Now Urgent Care, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based urgent health services provider, from Brentwood Associates. Financial terms were not disclosed.

OTHER

- Take-Two Interactive agreed to acquire Zynga, a San Francisco-based interactive entertainment and game franchise, in a deal valued at $12.7 billion in cash and stock. 

- Owens & Minor agreed to acquire Apria, an Indianapolis, In.-based integrated home healthcare equipment and services provider, for approximately $1.5 billion in cash.

- GCOM acquired ASR Analytics, a Silver Spring, Md.-based artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics provider for federal, state, and local governments and higher education institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IPOS 

- Reddit, a San Francisco-based social media platform that helped fuel 2021’s meme stock frenzy, may go public as soon as March, and has reportedly selected Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as its bankers, according to Bloomberg.

- Pine Labs, an Indian online payment and loyalty platform, plans to raise approximately $500 million in an IPO in the U.S., per Bloomberg. Sequoia India and Mastercard back the firm.

- Mattress Firm Group, a Houston, Tex.-based omnichannel mattress retailer, filed for an IPO. The company reported $4.4 billion in revenue in the 12 months ending in Sept. 2021 and reported a loss of $165.1 million. Steinhoff International owns the company.

- Excelerate Energy, a Woodlands, Tex.-based regasified natural gas delivery company, filed for an IPO. The company reported $549.8 million in total revenue in the nine months ending in Sept. 2021 and reported net income of $43 million. George Kaiser as well as the George Kaiser Family Foundation back the firm.

- Cariloha, a Sandy, Utah-based company that makes bedding, clothing and bath goods from bamboo, filed for an IPO. The company reported $34.1 million in sales in the nine months ending in Sept. 2021 and reported a net loss of $1.7 million. PW Companies owns the firm.

SPAC

- ProKidney, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based medical technology company, is in talks to go public via a merger with Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. III, a SPAC backed by Chamath Palihapitiya and Suvretta Capital, per Bloomberg. A deal could value the company at around $1 billion.

FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS

- a16z, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm, raised $9 billion for three new funds.

PEOPLE

- Baird Capital, Robert W. Baird & Co.’s private equity and venture capital arm, hired Louise Kingston as a director within its global portfolio operations team. Formerly, Kingston was with Livingbridge.

- IK Partners, a London-based private equity firm, hired Pete Wilson as partner to launch a UK mid-cap strategy. Formerly, he was with 3i Group. In addition, IK Partners promoted Thierry Aoun, Maria Brunow, Vincent Elriz, Antoine Jacquemin, and Diki Korniloff to partners.

- Kainos Capital, a Dallas, Tex.-based private equity firm focused on food and consumer goods, promoted David Gassko to principal.  

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