"I've never wanted a vacation more than I want one right now."
That was a limited partner in venture capital funds, speaking to me near the middle of 2016. A record amount of fund capital had been raised by brand-name funds in the first half of that year, as the cycle had condensed from four years to two years — and firms were seeking added amounts of capital to deal with unicorn-level valuations (both in terms of new investments, and maintaining pro rata stakes).
And now it's happening again.
Limited partners tell me that most of the firms that raised in early 2016 are returning to market in the first half of this year. For example, Dow Jones this morning reports that General Catalyst is in market with a $1 billion ask for its ninth fund. And, like last time, the fund sizes are larger (GC raised $845 million last time around).
• Look inside: Intel is refusing to give an explanation for why CEO Brian Krzanich sold around $39 million of stock and options at the end of November 2017, months after the company had been made aware of a fundamental design flaw in its chips that could result in security vulnerabilities.
• Seed stuff: Fortune yesterday reported that Los Angeles-based seed investor Arena Ventures told LPs that it is taking a seed investing break due to inflated valuations.
• All hail breaks loose: Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick tendered half his 10% stake in the ride-hail giant to Japan's SoftBank, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios. The offer was oversubscribed by 42%, so he ultimately will be allowed to sell around 29% of his holdings.
• Have a great weekend. Stay warm...
The Weinstein Co. is "nearing the end of a sale process" that may garner less than $500 million, per the WSJ. Bidders reportedly include Lions Gate Entertainment, Vine Alternative Investments and a group led by former U.S. Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet. It is unclear if most offers or for the entire company or for select assets.
🚑 Gossamer Bio, a San Diego-based biopharma startup led by the former CEO and CMO of Receptos (acquired by Celgene for $7.2 billion), has launched with a $100 million Series A funding co-led by Omega Funds and ARCH Venture Partners. http://axios.link/Ou6m
🚑 Personal Genome Diagnostics, a Baltimore-based cancer diagnostics startup, has raised $75 million in Series B funding. Bristol-Myers Squibb and return backer NEA co-led, and were joined by Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners and the Maryland Venture Fund. http://axios.link/VJai
• Wealthfront, a Redwood City, Calif.-based robo-advisor, has raised $75 million in new VC funding. Tiger Global led, and was joined by return backers Benchmark, DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Social Capital and Spark Capital Growth. http://axios.link/Kryk
🚑 Genetron Health, a Beijing-based cancer genomics startup, has raised around $61 million in Series C funding. Zhongjin Kangrui Medical Industrial Fund led, and was joined by V Star Capital and Shenshang Xingye Fund. http://axios.link/l60d
🚑 SoYoung, an online marketplace for aesthetic medical treatments in China, has raised $60 million in Series D funding led by Apax Digital. http://axios.link/KIo9
🚑 Quartet, a New York-based digital collaboration and connection platform for mental healthcare, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. F-Prime Capital Partners and Polaris Partners co-led, and were joined by Deerfield Management, Oak HC/FT and GV. http://axios.link/z8jm
⛽ SolidEnergy Systems, a Woburn, Mass.-based lithium-metal battery company, said that it has raised $34 million in Series C funding. Existing backers include Temasek, Applied Ventures, General Motors and Vertex Ventures China. www.solidenergysystems.com
• BondLink, a Boston-based provider of SaaS solutions for municipal bond issuers, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Franklin Templeton Investments led, and was joined by Coatue Management. www.bondlink.com
• Frank, an online platform aimed at simplifying the student loan application process, has raised $10 million in second-round funding from investors like Aleph, Reach Capita, Rusk Ventures, Slow Ventures and Apollo Global Management's Marc Rowan. http://axios.link/Kq3r
• Dinghy, a UK-based digital insurance startup focused on freelancers, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Balderton Capital. www.getdinghy.com
• Chushou, a Chinese provider of live-streaming for gamers, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding led by Google. Others backers include Qiming Venture, Shunwei Capital and Alpha X Capital. The company did say that it has raised a total of $120 million. http://axios.link/TZQU
• Beautycounter, a Los Angeles-based provider of "cleaner" skin care and cosmetics products, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Mousse Partners. http://axios.link/E98n
• DeTech, a Palmer, Mass.-based analytical instrument contract design and manufacturing company, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Ampersand Capital Partners. www.detechinc.com
• MidOcean Partners has acquired BH Cosmetics, a direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand focused on the millennial and Gen Z markets. http://axios.link/3XoX
🚑 North American Dental Group, a New Castle, Penn.-based portfolio company of ABRY Partners, has acquired Atlanta-based TF Dental from Blackford Dental Management. www.nadentalgroup.com
• Oaktree Capital Management has agreed to acquire Australian surfwear brand and retailer Billabong (ASX: BBG) at an enterprise value of around US$155 million. http://axios.link/c0uJ
• One Rock Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Robertshaw Controls, an Itasca, Ill.-based manufacturer of electronic and electromechanical controls for commercial and home appliances, from Sun Capital Partners at an enterprise value of $900 million, according to the WSJ. http://axios.link/1FBm
• Saw Mill Capital Partners has acquired Climate Pros, a Glendale Heights, Ill.-based provider of refrigeration services to grocery retailers and other cold-chain customers. www.climateprosinc.com
• ADT, a Florida-based home security company owned by Apollo Global Management, set its IPO terms to 111.11 million shares being offered at between $17 and $19 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $13.6 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker ADT, with Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriter. http://axios.link/5kis
• China Vanke Co. has agreed to acquire 20 Chinese shopping malls from Singapore's CapitaLand for around $1.3 billion. http://axios.link/vAqq
• HNA Group is no longer in talks to acquire a stake in asset management firm Value Partners (HK: 0806), according to Reuters. http://axios.link/P1hd
• Lactalis of France has agreed to acquire Siggi's, a New York-based maker of Icelandic-style yogurt. http://axios.link/ogA1
🚑 Roche (Swiss: ROG) has signed a "biospecific molecule" discovery and development deal with Maryland-based DART biotech MacroGenics (Nasdaq: MGNX) that could be worth upwards of $380 million (including just $10m upfront). http://axios.link/7Oag
🚑 Takeda (Tokyo: 4502) has agreed to acquire TiGenix (Nasdaq: TIG), a Belgium-based developer of stem cell therapies, for around $627 million. http://axios.link/Zoec
• Terminus, an Atlanta-based marketing platform startup, has acquired BrightFunnel, a San Francisco-based provider of B2B marketing analytics and attribution solutions. Terminus has raised over $19 million in VC funding from firms like Edison Partners, Arthur Ventures, Atlanta Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners. http://axios.link/FHaf
• Berkshire Partners has promoted both Blake Gottesman and Sam Spirn to managing director. www.berkshirepartners.com
Cannabis stocks tanked yesterday, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy that helped states legalize marijuana with little to no law enforcement interference by the federal government.