Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
SoftBank was sued this morning by a special committee of WeWork's board of directors for alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duty related to SoftBank's decision to cancel a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares.
SoftBank last week gave two reasons for bailing on the tender:
1. The emergence of civil and criminal investigations that could create material liabilities.
2. WeWork not meeting all of the closing conditions, including a consolidation of its joint venture in China.
The special committee is comprised of venture capitalist Bruce Dunlevie, a partner with early WeWork investor Benchmark, and former Coach CEO Lewis Frankfort.
The bottom line: It is highly unusual for a VC-backed company to sue one of its investors, let alone its largest investor. But that's what's happening, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake for current and former WeWork employees who had been promised a payday.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Allegro Merger (Nasdaq: ALGR), a blank-check acquisition company led by Eric Rosenfeld, terminated its $380 million takeover of restaurant chain TGI Fridays, which is owned by TriArtisan Capital Partners.
Today's project is to ask your kid(s) to create a "movie theater." That means they need to make tickets. And a snack counter. And a marquee. And whatever else. (Yes, it also means you're gonna need to watch a kid movie or TV show tonight, but do you have any better social plans?)
Yesterday I asked your kid(s) to make a fort. And they did!
• Kurly, a South Korean grocery delivery service, raised $150 million in Series E funding at a $780 million valuation from Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital, and DST Global. http://axios.link/pFN6
• Podium, a Lehi, Utah-based customer messaging platform for local businesses, raised $125 million in Series C funding. YC Continuity led, and was joined by Sapphire Ventures, Alkeon Capital, Recruit Co., Ltd., IVP, Accel, Summit Partners, and GV. www.podium.com
• Accellion, a Palo Alto-based enterprise content firewall company, raised $120 million led by Bregal Sagemount. www.accellion.com
• CircleCI, a San Francisco-based continuous integration and delivery platform for software development, raised $100 million in Series E funding co-led by IVP and Sapphire Ventures. www.circleci.com
• WorkJam, a Montreal-based engagement platform for non-desk workers, raised US$50 million in Series C funding. Inovia Capital led, and was joined by Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, Claridge, and return backers Lerer Hippeau, Blumberg Capital, and Harmony Partners. http://axios.link/yHu6
🚑 SonderMind, a Denver-based behavioral health startup, raised $27 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led, and was joined by F-Prime Capital and return backers Kickstart Seed Fund, Diōko Ventures, and Jonathan Bush. http://axios.link/yyEi
🚑 GPB Scientific, a Richmond, Va.-based therapeutic cell production and bioprocessing startup, raised $25.5 million. Vensana Capital led, and was joined by Amgen Ventures. http://axios.link/Kxez
• xbAV, a German provider of corporate pension and life insurance digitization SaaS, raised €25 million in Series C funding. HPE Growth led, and was joined by return backers Cinco Capital and Armada Investment. http://axios.link/LCYt
• Myriota, an Australian developer of low-power satellites for IoT connectivity, raised $19.3 million in Series B funding. Hostplus and Main Sequence Ventures co-led, and were joined by In-Q-Tel, Inc., Right Click Capital, Singtel Innov8, Boeing HorizonX, South Australian Venture Capital Fund, and Malcolm Turnbull. http://axios.link/EOcK
• AlertMedia, an Austin, Texas-based provider of emergency communication software, raised $15 million in Series C funding from insiders JMI Equity, Next Coast Ventures, and Silverton Partners. www.alertmedia.com
• Okera, a San Francisco-based secure data access startup, raised $15 million. ClearSky Security led, and was joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners and Felicis Ventures. www.okera.com
• DeHaat, an Indian agricultural services platform for farmers, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital India led, and was joined by return backers Omnivore and AgFunder. http://axios.link/hkLM
🚑 Amphista Therapeutics, a Scottish oncology biotech startup, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Advent Life Sciences led, and was joined by Scottish Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, and BioMotiv. http://axios.link/o1Hq
• Cyolo, an Israeli unified connectivity platform, raised $4.2 million in seed funding. Flint Capital led, and was joined by Global Founders Capital and Differential Ventures. http://axios.link/kOUv
• Airbnb raised $1 billion in equity and debt funding from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. http://axios.link/v7ld
• Golden Skies Ventures offered to buy state carrier Malaysia Airlines for $2.5 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/406v
• ICV Partners invested in Mintz Group, a New York-based provider of investigative and enterprise risk management services. www.mintzgroup.com
• Marlin Equity Partners acquired AVI-SPL, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of workplace collaboration solutions, from H.I.G. Capital. www.avispl.com
• The Riverside Co. invested in Independent Living Specialists, an Australian provider of mobility devices like wheelchairs and personal care equipment like shower stools. www.riversidecompany.com
• Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), a Stamford, Conn.-based composites tech company, and Woodward (Nasdaq: WWD), a Ft. Collins, Colo.-based aircraft parts maker, terminated their $6.4 billion all-stock merger, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Both companies are major suppliers to Boeing. http://axios.link/avCV
• Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502) is under pressure from Hong Kong activist investor Argyle Street Management to sell its entire 40% stake in Japanese flash memory chipmaker Kioxia Holdings when it goes public, per Reuters. Kioxia reportedly could IPO at a $32 billion valuation. http://axios.link/narf
⛽ Total (Paris: FP), the French energy giant, sold assets in Brunei, Sierra Leone and Liberia for a total value north of $400 million. http://axios.link/pIqp
• Jason New joined Onex Credit as co-CEO. He previously was a senior managing director with The Blackstone Group and co-head of distressed and special situations investing for Blackstone’s GSO Capital Partners. www.onex.com
• TPG Growth named Michael Stone as co-managing partner. Sone has been a TPG Growth partner since 2009, and will serve alongside Matthew Hobart. www.tpg.com
• Sean Murphy joined Houlihan Lokey as head of its transaction advisory services practice. www.hl.com
• Gabriel Olearnik joined Delta Capital Partners Management, a Chicago-based PE firm focused on litigation and legal finance, as a London-based managing director and head of Europe. He previously was with Kochański & Partners. www.deltacph.com
• Sounil Yu, former chief security scientist for Bank of America, joined YL Ventures as a full-time CISO-in-residence. www.ylventures.com
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🚴♂️ Yeah, we plan to ride again. Details soon...