Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Russia's legal system made global headlines yesterday, after a Moscow court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a multi-year prison term for parole violations.
In a different Moscow court this week, U.S.-born investor Mike Calvey began fighting for his own freedom against very long odds.
Backstory: Calvey in 1994 founded Baring Vostok Capital Partners, a Russia-based venture capital and private equity firm that's invested billions of dollars into local companies, including Yandex and Ozon.
Fast forward: Calvey and the other investor eventually settled their issues out of court, with Baring Vostok paying around $33 million but not admitting any guilt.
What he's saying: Calvey, in his opening statement to the court, plead not guilty and argued that investigators intentionally ignored exculpatory evidence. He also called the charges both "unfair" and "illegal."
The bottom line: Calvey's fate may double as the fate of Western investment in Russia, particularly for deals that may require in-person diligence or negotiation. If he goes away, so does such activity.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Kraft Heinz (Nasdaq: KHC) is in talks to sell its Planters snack unit to Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) for around $3 billion, per WSJ.
• Zetwerk, an Indian B2B marketplace for manufacturing inputs, raised $120 million in Series D funding. Greenoaks Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners co-led, and were joined by fellow insiders Sequoia Capital and Kae Capital. http://axios.link/CwR7
🍷 Vivino, a Denmark-based online wine marketplace, raised $155 million in Series D funding. Kinnevik led, and was joined by return backer Creandum. http://axios.link/F8ZY
• Good Eggs, a San Francisco-based grocery delivery company, raised $100 million. Glade Brook led, and was joined by GV, Tao Invest, Finistere Ventures, Rich's and insiders Benchmark, Index Ventures, S2G, DNS Capital and Obvious Ventures. http://axios.link/tLxl
• Pairwise, a Durham, N.C.-based gene editing platform for agriculture, raised $90 million in Series B funding. Pontifax AgTech led, and was joined by insider Deerfield Management. www.pairwise.com
• Tealium, a San Diego-based customer data orchestration company, raised $96 million in Series G funding co-led by insiders Georgian Partners and Silver Lake Waterman. www.tealium.com
• Svante, a Canadian developer of carbon capture solutions, raised $75 million in Series D funding. Temasek led, and was joined by Chart Industries, Carbon Direct, EDC and return backers OGCI Climate Investments, BDC Cleantech Practice, Chevron Technology Ventures, The Roda Group and Chrysalix VC. http://axios.link/nnaA
• TouchCast, a New York-based virtual events platform, raised $55 million. Accenture Ventures led, and was joined by Alexander Capital Ventures, Saatchi Invest and Ronald Lauder. http://axios.link/pT1Z
🚑 Capital Rx, a New York-based pharmacy benefit manager, raised $50 million in Series B funding. Transformational Capital led, and was joined by return backer Edison Partners. http://axios.link/cCQq
• Rescale, a San Francisco-based provider of hardware and software for scientific and engineering simulations, raised $50 million in Series C funding from Hitachi Ventures, M12, Nautilus Venture Partners, NVIDIA, Republic Labs and Samsung Catalyst Fund. http://axios.link/XGMj
• Leadspace, a B2B customer data platform, raised $46 million led by JVP. www.leadspace.com
• DealerPolicy, a Burlington, Vt.-based insurance marketplace for auto retailers, raised $30 million in Series B funding co-led by 3L Capital and HSCM Bermuda Management. http://axios.link/Lc5H
• Granulate, an Israeli provider of computing workload optimization solutions, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Red Dot Capital Partners led, and was joined by Dawn Capital and insiders Insight Partners, TLV Partners, and Hetz Ventures. www.granulate.io
• HousingAnywhere, a European rental housing marketplace for young professionals and international students, raised €24 million in Series C funding from Ergeny Investments, VNV Global and Real Web. www.housinganywhere.com
• Evinced, a Palo Alto-based provider of accessibility automation software for employers, raised $17 million from M12, BGV, Capital One Ventures and Engineering Capital. www.evinced.com
• Flywheel.io, a Minneapolis-based medical research and collaboration platform, raised $15 million in Series B funding from Beringea, 8VC and Great North Labs. www.flywheel.io
• Scratchpad, a Walnut, Calif.-based Salesforce data entry startup, raised $13 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led, and was joined by Accel. http://axios.link/Efbf
• Hip, a commuting platform with offices in Israel and New York, raised $12 million. NFX and Magenta Venture Partners co-led, and were joined by AltaIR Capital. http://axios.link/wuut
• WorkStep, a San Francisco-based provider of HR software for large supply chain employers, raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. FirstMark Capital led, and was joined by Prologis Ventures. www.workstep.com
• Beam, a web browser startup, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Pace Capital. http://axios.link/sfjj
• Superb AI, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of training data platforms, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding. Antinum Investment led, and was joined by Premier Partners, Stonebridge Ventures, Murex Partners, KT Investments, and Duke University’s Angel Network. http://axios.link/Em9l
• SecurityAdvisor, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based personalized security awareness platform, raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. ClearSky Security led, and was joined by Crosslink Capital, SixThirty Ventures and Cyber Mentor Fund. www.securityadvisor.io
• TrustLayer, a provider of risk management SaaS to insurance brokers, raised $6.6 million in seed funding. Abstract Ventures led, and was joined by Propel Venture Partners, NFP Ventures, BoxGroup and Precursor Ventures. http://axios.link/v815
• Frontier Nutrition, a Bangladesh-based maker of fortified snacks, raised $6 million in Series B funding from backers like Adjuvant Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, DSM Venturing and IFC. www.frontiernutrition.com
• Balance, a San Francisco-based B2B payments startup, raised $5.5 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Stripe and SciFi VC. http://axios.link/fORx
🚑 Bot MD, a Singapore-based chatbot for doctors, raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. http://axios.link/OCBq
🚑 HealthTensor, a Los Angeles-based provider of medical decision-making software, raised $5 million in seed funding from Calibrate Ventures, TenOneTen Ventures and Susa Ventures. www.healthtensor.com
• Rightfoot, a San Francisco-based provider of debt repayment APIs, raised $5 million in seed funding. Bain Capital Ventures led, and was joined by BoxGroup and SemperVirens VC. www.rightfoot.com
• Pandion, a Seattle-based e-commerce parcel network, raised $4.9 million in seed funding. Playground Global and Schematic Ventures co-led, and were joined by AME Cloud Ventures and Innovation Endeavors. www.pandionpro.com
• Banxware, a German embedded finance startup, raised €4 million in seed funding co-led by Force over Mass and VR Ventures. http://axios.link/SUB9
• Landed, an app connecting hourly food and retail workers with employers, raised $1.4 million in seed funding. Javelin Venture Partners led, and was joined by YC and Palm Drive Capital. www.gotlanded.com
• Anthill, a Chicago-based provider of talent mapping software for deskless workforces, raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by Origin Ventures. http://axios.link/0Mac
• Cerberus Capital Management sweetened its buyout offer for listed Canadian toymaker Dorel Industries by 10%, to an enterprise value of nearly C$500 million, but two top shareholders continue to resist. http://axios.link/LTA6
• CVC Capital Partners agreed to buy the lower-priced skincare and shampoo brands of Japan's Shiseido for around $1.52 billion. http://axios.link/0JCJ
🚑 DentalPro, an Italian company of BC Partners, agreed to buy dental care firm Vitaldent Italia from JB Capital. www.dentalpro.it
• EagleTree Capital acquired a minority stake in Frosch, a Houston-based travel management company. www.frosch.com
• Hastings Equity Partners acquired MKD Electric, an Elgin, Ill.-based provider of industrial automation and electrical services. www.mkdelectric.com
️🔥 HGGC acquired Marmic, a Joplin, Mo.-based fire protection company, from Thompson Street Capital Partners. www.marmicfire.com
• IMC, a digital media platform sponsored by TPG, acquired StackCommerce, a Venice, Calif.-based commerce and content platform for digital publishers and influencers. http://axios.link/QBLJ
🚑 Indegene, an Indian enterprise health-tech company, raised $200 million from The Carlyle Group and Brighton Park Capital. www.indegene.com
• One Rock Capital is in exclusive talks to buy Nestlé's North American bottled waters business, including Poland Springs, for around $4 billion, per FT. http://axios.link/DH9D
• TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in People 2.0, an Exton, Pa.-based provider of outsourced global employer of record and agent of record services, from CIP Capital. www.people20.com
• VLS Recovery Services, a Houston-based portfolio company of Aurora Capital Partners, acquired PTES, an El Cajon, Calif.-based provider of waste management and other environmental services. www.vlsrs.com
🚑 Movano, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based developer of wearables for measuring glucose levels and blood pressure, filed for a $41 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to list on the Nasdaq (MOVE). http://axios.link/PDD6
• ON24, a San Francisco-based digital experience platform for customer engagement, raised $428 million in its IPO. The company priced at $50 (high end of range), will list on the NYSE (ONTF) and reports $11 million of net income on $104 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2020. It had raised $44 million from firms like USVP (20% pre-IPO stake), Canaan Partners (16.3%), Goldman Sachs (14.5%) and Rho Ventures (10.3%). http://axios.link/ABNv
• Royal Philips hired Lazard for a possible IPO of its home appliances unit, which could be valued at around €3 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Ny8J
• USA Rare Earth, a round top rare earth project in Texas, hired bankers to explore going public, either via IPO or SPAC, per Reuters. http://axios.link/lVMU
• Vodafone (LSE: VOD) is prepping a €3 billion Frankfurt IPO for its towers unit, per Reuters. http://axios.link/iAAk
Photo by Brandan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
• Ross Acquisition II, a SPAC led by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, filed for a $300 million IPO. Directors include Larry Kudlow. http://axios.link/OATz
• Payoneer, a New York-based cross-border payments platform, agreed to go public at a $3.3 billion valuation via reverse merger with FTAC Olympus Acquisition (Nasdaq: FTOC). Payoneer had raised over $300 million from firms like Nyca Partners, 83North, TCV and Viola Ventures. http://axios.link/V9an
• REE Automotive, an Israeli electric vehicle developer, agreed to go public at around a $1 billion valuation via reverse merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition (Nasdaq: VCVC). http://axios.link/YGpa
• Agile Growth, a tech SPAC led by serial tech CEO Jay Bhatt, filed for a $300 million IPO.
• CC Neuberger Principal Holdings III, a SPAC formed by CC Capital and Neuberger Berman, raised $350 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/ywvX
🚑 EQ Health Acquisition, a healthcare services SPAC, raised $220 million in an upsized IPO.
• Finserv Acquisition II, a fintech SPAC led by former Barclays vice chair Lee Einbinder, filed for a $250 million IPO.
• Gaming & Hospitality Acquisition, a SPAC led by James Zenni (Z Capital Partners) and Mary Beth Higgins (CEO of Affinity Gaming), raised $175 million in an upsized IPO. http://axios.link/pGv4
• The Gores Group filed for a pair of tech SPAC IPOs, one targeting $400 million and the other targeting $240 million.
• Kernel Group Holdings, a a tech infrastructure SPAC led by former Supervalu CEO Mark Gross, raised $265 million in an upsized IPO. http://axios.link/iVRZ
• Music Acquisition Corp., a music sector-focused SPAC led by Neil Jacobson, raised $200 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/5BQu
🚑 Jazz Pharma (Nasdaq: JAZZ) agreed to buy British cannabis-derived drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals, maker of, for $7.2 billion in cash and stock (50% premium over yesterday’s closing price). http://axios.link/opL3
• Repsol (Madrid: REP) hired JPMorgan to spin off its renewable unit into an independent company that could be worth upwards of €4 billion, per El Confidencial. http://axios.link/QKVX
🚑 Abingworth raised $465 million for its 13th life sciences VC fund. http://axios.link/nF0i
• Arcline Investment Management raised $2.75 billion for its second private equity fund. www.arcline.com
• Charlesbank Capital Partners of Boston raised $3.75 billion for its 10th flagship buyout fund. www.charlesbank.com
• Endicott Group raised $142 million for a growth equity fund focused on the information services sector. www.endicottgp.com
• Halogen Ventures raised $21 million for its second fund. The firm, led by Jesse Draper, focuses on consumer tech startups with at least one woman in their founding teams. www.halogenvc.com
• KCRise Fund, a VC firm focused on the Kansas City region, raised $41 million for its second fund. www.kcrisefund.com
• One Peak Partners, a London-based growth equity firm, promoted Christoph Mayer to partner. www.onepeakpartners.com
• Michael Noel was promoted to vice president at Great Hill Partners. www.greathillpartners.com
• Arnaud van Tichelen was promoted to principal at PAI Partners, where he focuses on healthcare investments. www.paipartners.com
Be smart: Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon's CEO, to be succeeded by AWS boss Andy Jassy, but he's not retiring. Instead he's moving to a newly-created executive chair role, which means he'll remain in charge.
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