Has Elon Musk already broken his merger agreement with Twitter?
Elon Musk has been tweeting this week in reference to the Twitter deal—which is, in fact, allowed under the merger agreement Twitter filed with the SEC earlier this week.
Musk joked about whether or not he could buy McDonald’s and fix all the ice cream machines and said that “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in.”
But it’s possible that two of his tweets actually crossed a line and violated his merger agreement with Twitter. Under the agreement, which was filed with the SEC on Tuesday, Musk can’t make disparaging statements about Twitter or its employees.
Here’s the exact language from the 51st page of the thrilling document: “The Equity Investor [aka Musk] shall be permitted to issue Tweets about the Merger or the transactions contemplated hereby so long as such Tweets do not disparage the Company or any of its Representatives.”
But in a Twitter response the same day the agreement was filed, Tuesday, Musk criticized Vijaya Gadde—Twitter’s general counsel, who oversees the company’s moderation teams—over the company’s decision to limit distribution of New York Post stories about Hunter Biden. Musk tweeted that “suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate” in response to a tweet about Gadde. He yesterday posted a photo featuring Gadde on the Joe Rogan podcast that appears to mock the company’s speech rules.
Perhaps it depends on what you consider to be “disparaging” or not, but it appears that these tweets may cross the line of what Musk is permitted to say on Twitter while his acquisition of the social media network is underway. Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo seemed to refer to it as “bullying” and said in a reply that Musk was making Gadde the “target of harassment and threats.” A Twitter representative declined to comment.
Gadde played a key role in negotiating the deal between Twitter and Musk, a person familiar with the matter told Politico earlier this week. She reportedly cried during a meeting Monday when she told Twitter’s privacy and legal teams about how the company might change moving forward.
Twitter reported earnings earlier this morning and fell short of its growth goals. The company posted $1.2 billion in revenue in the first quarter—up 16% from the same period last year, but still short of prior quarters. It reported net income of $513.3 million (which includes proceeds from its sale of MoPub), up from $68 million in the first quarter of 2021. Twitter chose not to host an earnings call, given the pending acquisition that would take the company private.
Tomorrow I will be at a gravel cycling festival, so Jackson Fordyce will be filling in. Perhaps he won’t make you keep reading about Twitter. Until I return,
Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.
- OneFootball, a Berlin-based soccer media platform, raised $300 million in Series D funding led by Liberty City Ventures and was joined by investors including Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, DAH Beteiligungs, Quiet Capital, RIT Capital Partners, Senator Investment Group, and Alsara Investment Group.
- Sun King, a Nairobi, Kenya-based solar energy products provider for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia, raised $260 million in Series D funding led by BeyondNetZero and was joined by investors including M&G Investments’ Catalyst team and Arch Emerging Markets Partners.
- Divergent Technologies, a Los Angeles-based automotive manufacturing startup that uses 3D printing and automated assembly, raised $160 million in Series C funding from investors including Tom Steyer, former Goldman Sachs president John Thornton, and others.
- Ayar Labs, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip-to-chip optical connectivity company, raised $130 million in funding led by Boardman Bay Capital Management and was joined by investors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NVIDIA , Applied Ventures, GlobalFoundries, Intel Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Agave SPV, Atreides Capital, Berkeley Frontier Fund, IAG Capital Partners, Infinitum Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Tyche Partners, Playground Global, BlueSky Capital, Founders Fund, and TechU Venture Partners.
- 0x Labs, a San Francisco-based decentralized exchange infrastructure provider, raised $70 million in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners.
- Apertura Gene Therapy, a New York-based biotech company developing genetic medicines for intractable diseases, raised $67 million in Series A funding from Deerfield Management Company.
- Vivian Health, a San Francisco-based health care jobs marketplace, raised $60 million in funding led by Thoma Bravo and was joined by investors including IAC and Collaborative Fund.
- Inventa, a São Paulo-based B2B wholesale marketplace for shopkeepers, raised $55 million in Series B funding led by Greylock and was joined by investors including Greenoaks, Andreessen Horowitz, Monashees, Founders Fund, Tiger Global, NXTP, ONEVC, MAYA, Pear VC, Avenir Growth, and A* Capital.
- Movable Ink, a New York-based content personalization provider, raised $55 million in Series D funding led by Silver Lake Waterman and was joined by investors including Contour Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and others.
- Kelonia Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based vivo gene delivery biotech company, raised $50 million in Series A funding from investors including Alta Partners, Horizons Ventures, Venrock, and others.
- Lemon Perfect, an Atlanta-based lemon water brand, raised $31 million in Series A funding from investors including Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Beechwood Capital, Goat Rodeo Capital, and Trousdale Ventures.
- ARMO, a Jerusalem-based Kubernetes security platform, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Tiger Global and was joined by investors including Hyperwise Ventures, Pitango First, and Peled Ventures.
- Verana Networks, a Chelmsford, Mass.-based 5G radio-access networks solutions developer, raised $28 million in a Series B funding led by DC Investment Partners and was joined by investors including Spark Capital, BOLD Capital Partners, Aspiro Capital, Taiwania Capital, and TDK Ventures.
- Venly, an Antwerp, Belgium-based blockchain technology provider, raised more than $23 million in Series A funding led by Courtside Ventures and was joined by investors including Transcend Fund, Coinbase Ventures, Tioga Capital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Fortino, Plug and Play, Leadblock Partners, Imec Istart, Powerhouse, and Alpaca VC.
- Doppler, a San Francisco-based data encryption and management platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by CRV and was joined by investors including Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Y Combinator.
- Hour One, a New York and Tel Aviv-based A.I. video generation company, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Insight Partners and was joined by investors including Galaxy Interactive, Remagine Ventures, Kindred Ventures, Semble Ventures, Cerca Partners, Digital-Horizon, and Eynat Guez.
- Zeno Power, a Washington D.C.-based radioisotope power systems developer, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Tribe Capital and was joined by investors including DCVC, 1517 Fund, AIN Ventures, and Pallas Ventures.
- CommandBar, a San Francisco-based software development company, raised $19 million in Series A funding co-led by Insight Partners and co-founder of Lightricks Itai Tsiddon and was joined by investors including Thrive Capital and BoxGroup.
- Mozart Data, a San Francisco-based data platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Craft Ventures and was joined by investors including Goldcrest Capital, Spearhead, Apollo Projects, and Valor Equity Partners.
- Radius, a San Francisco-based real estate brokerage, raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Crosscut Ventures and NFX.
- Bounce, a Lisbon-based luggage storage provider to travelers, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
- Lucid Green, a Brooklyn-based cannabis supply chain platform, raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Gron Ventures and was joined by Gotham Green Partners.
- CytoTronics, a Boston-based biotechnology company building a metal-oxide-semiconductor-powered drug discovery platform, raised $9.25 million in seed funding led by Anzu Partners and was joined by investors including BoxOne Ventures’ Milad Alucozai and others.
- Our Happy Company, a Los Angeles-based blockchain technology builder for the creator economy, raised $7.5 million in seed funding led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Animoca Brands.
- HomePace, a Park City, Utah-based home equity investments provider, raised $7 million in Series A funding led by LEN X and was joined by investors including Bling Capital, Ride Ventures, and NextView Ventures.
- Playmint, a Brighton, U.K.-based game studio, raised $4 million in seed funding led by BITKRAFT Ventures and was joined by investors including 1kx, Cherry Ventures, Ethereal Ventures, and Play Ventures’ Play Future Fund.
- Cartwheel, a Los Angeles-based delivery management platform for restaurants, retailers, couriers, and more, raised $3 million in seed funding led by Moonshots Capital and was joined by investors including Chingona Ventures, TenOneTen Ventures, Act One, and Pitbull Capital.
- Ruth Health, a Los Angeles and New York-based women-focused telehealth and comprehensive care platform, raised $2.4 million in seed funding led by Giant Ventures and was joined by investors including Citylight VC, Cleo Capital Scout Fund, Crista Galli Ventures, Duro VC, Emmeline Ventures, Gaingels, Global Founders Capital, Pentas Ventures, SOMA Capital, Techstars, Torch Capital, YCombinator, and other angels.
- Accel-KKR acquired a majority stake in Yes Energy, a Boulder, Colo.-based energy market data provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- G.S. Precision, a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, acquired F.T. Gearing Systems, an Aldershot, U.K.-based engineered gears provider to the aerospace and defense industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Horizon Capital acquired a minority stake in Miratech, a New York-based digital engineering and IT consulting services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- L Squared Capital Partners acquired Globe Scientific, an Irvine, Calif.-based laboratory consumable supplies provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Snow Peak Capital acquired a majority stake in Sandy Alexander, the Clifton, N.J.-based multichannel marketing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in Morrow Sodali, a New York-based corporate advisory firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Ingenovis Health, backed by Cornell Capital and Trilantic North America, acquired VISTA Staffing Solutions, a Cottonwood Heights, Utah-based tk, from Envision Physician Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Wipro Limited agreed to acquire Rizing, a Stamford, Conn.-based IT systems integration and implementation services provider, from One Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Blink Charging’s subsidiary, Blink Holdings, acquired Electric Blue, a Hertfordshire, U.K.-based EV charging and sustainable energy solutions provider, for $23.4 million.
- CrowdStrike Falcon Fund acquired a minority stake in thatDot, a Portland, Ore.-based streaming graph event processing software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Nium agreed to acquire Socash, a Singapore-based alternative payments network platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- Slate Technologies acquired Splash Modular, a Charlotte, N.C.-based software designer for the industrialized construction and design for manufacturing and assembly market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS
- Ardian, a Paris-based private investment house, raised $5.25 billion for a fund focused on companies within the renewable energy, telecoms, transport, and utilities sectors.
- Dragonfly Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, raised $650 million for a third fund focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, native protocols, and tokens.
- Coral Tree Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, raised $470 million for its first fund focused on companies within the media, entertainment, communications, and related business services sectors.
- Flare Capital Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm, raised $350 million for a fund focused on healthcare technology companies.
- Cinven, a London-based private equity firm, hired Julia Kahr as partner and head of North America. Formerly, she was with Blackstone.