🎧 Pro Rata Podcast digs into the practical politics of fracking, ahead of Super Tuesday. Listen here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
I really didn't want to write about politics again today, but I also wasn't expecting a leading presidential contender to propose a plan that could upend startup employee compensation.
The legislation, which you can read here, is officially designed to "end tax advantages that allow CEOs to contribute unlimited amounts to special executive retirement plans," with proceeds going to "shore up multi-employer pension plans for 1.7 million workers." Startup employees are collateral damage, much like they would have been had similar language not been stripped from the 2017 tax bill.
What to know:
Why it matters is that many of the affected employees, even though well-compensated, may be unable to afford the taxes.
Tax attorneys tell me that this legislation would likely result in companies shifting more from stock options to restricted stock units (RSUs), and also changing vesting periods to quarterly or yearly (because paying taxes monthly would be an administrative nightmare for both companies and employees).
Sources close to the legislation tell me that there could still be tweaks to the language, so don't be surprised if all of this gets addressed. Particularly given that a top Sanders campaign advisor is Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), whose district includes such Silicon Valley burgs as Cupertino and Sunnyvale.
The bottom line: This isn't how much people pay in taxes. It's about when they pay it. It would make more sense for the timing to match the receipt.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Thyssenkrupp of Germany agreed to sell its elevators unit for $18.7 billion to a consortium that includes Advent International, Cinven, ADIA, and the RAG Foundation.
• Veev, a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of smart home materials and systems, raised $85 million in equity funding from Zeev Ventures and Lennar Ventures. http://axios.link/jLuP
• Lendio, a Lehi, Utah-based small business loans marketplace, raised $55 million in Series E funding. Mercato Partners led, and was joined by Napier Park Financial Partners, Comcast Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Stereo Capital, and Runa Capital. Lendio also secured $24 million in debt from Signature Bank. http://axios.link/uKEP
• Tempo, a San Francisco-based connected home fitness system, raised $17.5 million in Series A funding from Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, DCM, and Bling Capital. http://axios.link/q8Gf
🚑 AxialHealthcare, a Nashville-based healthcare optimization startup focused on substance use issues, raised $15 million from return backers Oak HC/FT, .406 Ventures, BlueeCross BlueShield VP, and Sandbox Advantage Fund. www.axialhealthcare.com
• Lion Air, an Indonesian commercial carrier, is delaying its $500 million IPO plans due to global stock market tumult, per Reuters. http://axios.link/0jvU
🚑 Passage Bio, a Philadelphia-based developer of gene therapies for rare CNS disorders, raised $216 million in its IPO. The company priced 12 million shares at $18, versus original plans to offer 7.4 million shares at $16-$18. It will trade on the Nasdaq (PASG) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter, and had raised around $225 million in VC funding from such firms as OrbiMed (14.9% pre-IPO stake), Versant Ventures (11.3%), Frazier Life Sciences (10.6%), LAV (5.8%), Vivo Ventures (5.3%), and New Lead Ventures (5.3%). www.passagebio.com
• ZoomInfo, a Vancouver, Wash.-based data platform for sales, marketing, and recruiting, filed for a $500 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (ZI) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter, and reports a $78 million net loss on $293 million in revenue for 2019. Backers include The Carlyle Group and TA Associates. http://axios.link/bFfu
• DocuSign (Nasdaq: DOCU) agreed to buy Seal Software, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based provider of contract discovery and data extraction solutions, for $188 million in cash. Seal had raised nearly $50 million from DocuSign, Toba Capital, Advent Venture Partners, Greylock, and Kreos Capital. http://axios.link/u0M1
• EQT Partners is considering a sale of In.Corp Group, a Singapore-based corporate services provider that could fetch “several hundred million dollars,” per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/6HTW
🚑 BDMS, Thailand’s largest hospital operator, offered $3.2 billion to buy the stake in Bumrungrad Hospital that it doesn’t already own. http://axios.link/5dgD
🚑 Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) approached Menlo Park-based cancer therapy company Forty Seven (Nasdaq: FTSV) about a possible takeover, per Bloomberg. Forty Seven shares jumped over 30%, giving it a market cap of $2.34 billlion. http://axios.link/F3Fe
• Public Storage (NYSE: PSA) is the only remaining bidder for Australian self-storage operator National Storage REIT (ASX: NSR), after both Gaw Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus dropped out. PSA’s offer is A$1.89 billion. http://axios.link/rFA7
• Kate Castle joined Victress Capital, a VC firm focused on female founders, as a partner. She previously was a partner and CMO at Rethink VC. www.victresscapital.com
Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends, colleagues, and startup accountants to sign up.