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Grata raises $25 million to help private equity firms find their next investment

February 22, 2022, 5:31 PM UTC

It starts at the top: Find a business to acquire.

Directories. Lists. Connections at an investment bank or law firm. Word-of-mouth. Plain old research. They can all help an investor identify their next investment opportunity and develop an ongoing pipeline of leads. But closing the deal can still be a matter of getting there first, and at the right time, especially in today’s market, where capital seems ever-flowing.

That’s where big data is extending a hand: to help firms identify new opportunities—or help analyze an investment against the competition. Some firms are taking that in-house, building out internal research teams that know a thing or two about data scraping. Other firms are looking for third-party tools to find new leads.

Enter Grata, a New York-based search engine company for private market investors or M&A advisors. The company has been building out an exhaustive database of middle-market businesses since 2015 that pulls information from company websites, social media profiles, and other sources to help investors find businesses and pinpoint information like size and growth, funding and ownership, business model, customer base, and contact information.

Grata recently landed $25 million in Series A funding to keep building out its tech in a round led by Craft Ventures and joined by investors including Teamworthy Ventures, Altai Ventures, Eigen Ventures, Bling Capital, Accomplice, and Touchdown Ventures. (Grata declined to disclose its current valuation.)

It’s an interesting scenario where the lead investor, Craft Ventures, is setting up the Grata platform internally to help source its own investments and conduct better due diligence. “There is no Bloomberg for the middle market, and I think that’s really the big opportunity that Grata has here,” says Jeff Fluhr, general partner at Craft Ventures.

The middle market, which typically refers to companies generating somewhere between $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenue, “is so vast and kind of overlooked,” says Grata CEO Andrew Bocskocsky, who co-founded the company with COO Nevin Raj.

With capital flowing into venture capital and private equity firms at record rates—and COVID forcing some local business owners online for the first time—Grata has been able to scale its clientele and database. Since 2015, the startup has accumulated around 200 accounts (think private equity firms, investment banks, and corporations: “even hedge funds and family offices who invest in public companies are now looking at the middle market,” Raj says) and has just under 1,000 monthly active users. Clients can use its search engine, access Grata’s API for their own internal proprietary data systems, or get direct access to Grata’s data warehouse (meant “for people who are looking to do data science efforts and have more sophisticated in-house capabilities,” Bocskocsky says). Grata added a Chrome extension that loads information about a company when you open its site.

Raj and Bocskocsky hope to use the influx of capital to further build out their tech, expand their datasets to international companies, and extend partnerships with other data providers. More specifically, Grata plans to use $20 million of company revenue and the investment to build out its product and engineering teams, including to hire new data scientists and machine learning engineers.

“That’s the mechanism you need to be able to stay up-to-date and have the level of breadth and depth required to properly map and index the middle market,” Bocskocsky says.

Hedge funds start pulling back: Tiger Global Management, D1 Capital Partners, and Octahedron Capital are reportedly pulling back from later-stage growth investments, per The Information. Tiger Global reportedly told investors in a webinar that it was no longer focusing on late-stage startups and turning more attention to Series A and B rounds. We’ve seen that move before.

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
Email: jessica.mathews@fortune.com
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Jackson Fordyce helped curate today’s deals section.

VENTURE DEALS

- Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto liquidity provider, miner, and validator company, raised $200 million in funding led by Temasek and was joined by investors including Sequoia China, Tiger Global Management, and Pantera Capital.

- CHEQ, a Tel-Aviv, Israel-based data and analytics security company, raised $150 million in Series C funding led by Tiger Global and was joined by investors including Battery Ventures, Hanaco and Phoenix Insurance, and Key1 Capital

- Beyond Identity, a New York-based passwordless identity management system, raised $100 million in Series C funding led by Evolution Equity Partners and was joined by investors including New Enterprise Associates, Jim Clark, Potentum Partners, Expanding Capital, and HBAM.

- Clickatell, a Redwood City, Calif.-based chat commerce company, raised $91 million in Series C funding led by Arrowroot Capital and was joined by investors including Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, Endeavor Global, and Harvest.

SKAEL, a San Francisco-based digital workforce platform, raised $38 million in Series A funding led by RTP Global.

- Facilio, a New York-based property operations software platform, raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Dragoneer Investment Group and was joined by investors including Brookfield Growth, Accel India, and Tiger Global Management.

- Coast, a New York-based B2B card payment platform, raised $27.5 million in Series A financing led by Accel and Insight Partners.

- Minded, a New York-based mental health medication prescription specialist, raised $25 million in seed funding from investors including Streamlined Ventures, Link Ventures, The Tiger Fund, Unicorn Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, Gaingels, SALT Fund, and TheFund.

Northspyre, a New York-based financial tracking and project delivery automation platform for real estate developers, raised $25 million in Series B funding led by CRV and was joined by investors including Craft Ventures, Tamarisc Ventures, and Intercom co-founder Des Traynor.

- Neosapience, a Seoul, South Korea-based AI-enabled voice and video company, raised $21.5 million in Series B funding led by BRV Capital Management and was joined by investors including Stic Ventures, Quantum Ventures, Company K Partners, Albatross Investment Capital, Daekyo Investment, and TimeWorks Investment.

- LEKO Labs, a Luxembourg-based carbon negative construction company, raised $21 million in Series A funding led by 2150 and was joined by investors including Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Tencent, AMAVI, Rise PropTech Fund, Extantia, and Freigeist

- Zoomo, a Parramatta, Australia-based E-bike company, raised an additional $20 million in Series B funding ($80 million in total Series B funding) from investors including Collaborative Fund and Akuna Capital.

Busbud, a Montreal, Canada-based online booking platform for bus tickets, raised $11 million in funding co-led by WIND Ventures and was joined by investors including Canadian Business Growth Fund, Export Development Canada, and K3 Ventures.

- Jambo, a Kinshasa, Congo-based Web3 financing and education app, raised $7.5 million in seed funding from investors including Delphi Digital, Coinbase Ventures, 3 Arrows Capital, Alameda Research, AllianceDAO, Tiger Global, DeFiance Capital, Hashed, Polygon Studios, UOB, Signum Capital, BH Digital, YGG, and others. 

NourishedRx, a Stamford, Conn.-based health care service provider, raised $6 million in seed funding led by S2G Ventures and was joined by investors including Route 66 Ventures, Connecticut Innovations, Primetime Partners, and other individual investors.

- Invact Metaversity, a Bangalore, India-based metaverse immersive learning company, raised $5 million in funding from investors including Arkam Ventures, Picus Capital, M Venture Partners, Antler India, BECO Capital, and 2am VC.

- Minoan, a Jersey City, N.J.-backed hospitality-related products and services provider, raised $5 million in seed funding from investors including Accel and other early investors. 

- Freterium, a Casablanca, Morocco-based transport management software provider, raised $4 million in funding led by Partech and was joined by other investors including Y Combinator, Flexport, CDG Invest, Swiss Founders Fund, and Outlierz Ventures.

- Nabta Health, a Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based women’s healthcare platform, raised $1.5 million in funding led by Basim Anwer and was joined by investors including Priya Oberoi, Sarper Tanli, and Nadia Mannell.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Standard General, backed by Cox Media Group and Apollo Global Management, agreed to acquire TEGNA, a Tysons, Va.-based media company and television network, for approximately $5.4 billion, including debt, and take it private. As part of the deal, TEGNA’s advertising division, Premion, will become a standalone company owned by Cox Media Group and Standard General.

- Veritas Capital acquired Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a Boston-based education and learning technology company, for $2.8 billion.   

- Mubadala Investment Company led a $500 million investment into Princeton Digital Group, a Singapore-based internet infrastructure company. Warburg Pincus and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board also invested in this round.

- Warburg Pincus, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Micro Life Sciences Private Limited, the parent organization of Meril, a Vapi, India-based medical devices company, for $210 million.

- Equistone acquired a majority stake in eperi, a Pfungstadt, Germany-based cybersecurity protection platform for cloud applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.  

- Direct Connect Logistix, a Huron Capital portfolio company, acquired Performance Logistics, a Draper, Utah-based refrigerated and frozen food transportation services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Hambro Perks acquired a minority stake in Altum, a Helsinki, Finland-based ultrasonic cleaning company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

 - Infostretch, backed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management's private equity business and Everstone Group, agreed to merge with Apexon, a Southfield, Mich.-based A.I. and cloud solutions company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Integrum agreed to acquire MerchantE, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based payment platform from Cielo. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

OTHER

- London Stock Exchange Group, agreed to acquire TORA, a Burlingame, Calif.-based online trading platform for global markets, for $325 million.

- SQI Diagnostics acquired Precision Biomonitoring, a Guelph, Canada-based COVID-19 PCR testing company and its TripleLock molecular diagnostic test for approximately $5.4 million.

- KORE acquired Business Mobility Partners and SIMON IoT, a Westbury, N.Y.-based mobility solutions provider for healthcare and life sciences industries. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

- Schneider Electric acquired a majority stake in EnergySage, a Boston-based online solar marketplace platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IPOs

- Volkswagen said it was in advanced discussions to take Porsche public. A deal could value the company at up to €200 billion ($226.8 billion), per the Financial Times.

- Zazzle, a Reno, Nev.-based marketplace for designers, hired bankers for an IPO as soon as this summer, per Bloomberg. A deal could value the company at around $1 billion to $2 billion.

FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS

- BACKED VC, a London-based venture capital firm, raised €150 million ($169.5 million) for two new funds focused on Web3, gaming, and biotech. 

- SKALE, a San Francisco-based Ethereum blockchain network, launched a $100 million fund focused on applications and projects on the SKALE Network.  ​​

- Aera VC, an Auckland, New Zealand-based venture capital firm, raised $30 million for a new fund focused on investing in sustainable startups.

PEOPLE

- Gemspring Capital, a Westport, Conn.-based private equity firm, promoted Rav Chanana to managing director.

-  Housatonic Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, hired Spencer Moss as vice president and promoted Lauren Edwards to principal and Ian Ardrey to senior associate. Formerly, Moss was with Olive Coast Partners.

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