May 10, 2019

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

Happy Friday, readers! Dan is hanging out at the NYSE this morning for Uber's IPO (follow him on Twitter for updates) so I'll be taking you through the news today. Let's go...

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It’s finally come—the day Uber goes public.

Yesterday, the company raised $8.6 billion in proceeds from its IPO (including a $500 million PayPal investment) at an initial market cap of $75.5 billion, and its fully diluted value just north of $82 billion.

Uber’s shares will begin trading later this morning. So while we we wait, here's what some of the company's earliest investors had to say about writing that first check:

  • Mike Walsh, Structure Capital: He met future CEO Ryan Graves through a friend and told him he'd invest in Uber if Graves took the job, he tells me via email, adding that the Uber idea resonated with his experiences with cabs and black cars. And did he think then that it'd become so huge? "No, definitely not. I knew it had the potential to be reasonably big, but never expected this — or I would have mortgaged my house to invest more. It's been a good ride."
  • Eric Paley, Founder Collective: "It's hard to remember just how odd the idea of a tech-enabled black car dispatch service seemed in the 2009/2010 time period," he emails. "The hottest app at the time was Angry Birds. Hipstamatic was cooler than Instagram!... I really liked Ryan Graves and the use case was intriguing, but it wasn't clear that Uber would be more successful than the five companies I invested in before it, or the five that followed."
  • Cyan Banister, invested as angel: "I originally heard about Uber from my personal driver who took me to the airport. (Roger) He handed me a card and said, 'I’m not an investor, but if I were, I would call this guy Ryan Graves — this company is going to be huge!' He was their first driver I believe. Or at least, one of their first drivers. Eventually, his whole family was driving for Uber. He kept handing me cards and after meeting Travis at a demo pitch at one of Jason Calacanis’ Open Angel Forums, I knew that I needed to finally call Ryan. Luckily he let me in:)” (via Product Hunt Live Chat)

Speaking of early Uber backers… I spoke to Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein the other day about their fund’s performance after they released some figures. Since 2011, Kapor Capital has been fully focused on investing in startups that will (hopefully) have a positive social impact.

  • In short: The Kapors want to dispel the myth that “social impact investing” is charity and can’t lead to meaningful financial gains.
  • They revealed that their fund has a net IRR of 29.02% and TVPI of 3.0. This includes all investments from 2011 to 2017, but excludes earlier ones like Uber and Twilio. Read my full story here.

🚨Trade war alert: President Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods Friday morning to 25%, report my colleagues Dion Rabouin and Felix Salmon.

  • The president also is expected to tax nearly all of China's imports as punishment for Beijing’s attempt to "renegotiate" a trade deal.
  • Read their full story on rethinking the markets in the trade war's next phase.

🎙Pro Rata Podcast: China has detained an estimated 1 million to 2 million Uighur Muslims, but the world has turned a blind eye. Dan and Axios' Dave Lawler discuss why there's been no repercussions from the U.S., other world governments or global corporations. Listen here.

Source: Giphy

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM), maker of the well-known Samuel Adams beer, is merging with Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery in cash and stock deal worth about $300 million.

  • Why it's the BFD: Even combined, the new company will still only be 2% of the U.S. beer market—and yet the Sam Adams brand is one of the most recognizable.
  • The bottom line: "The two companies will combine Boston Beer's 1,543 employees with Dogfish Head's 400, and will add 275,000 barrels of brewing to Boston Beer's 4 million. In 2018, Boston Beer reported around $1 billion in revenue." — Boston Business Journal
Venture Capital Deals

Unity Technologies, a San Francisco-based video gaming company is raising up to $125 million in Series E funding according to a Delaware stock authorization filing. Its valuation could reach $5.96 billion.

GoBear, a Singapore-based banking and insurance startup, has raised $80 million in funding from Walvis Participaties and Aegon N.V.

🚑 Pulmonx Corporation, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of diagnostic and therapeutic pulmonary device technologies, has raised $65 million in new funding led by Ally Bridge Group, with RTW Investments, ArrowMark Partners and Driehaus Capital Management and others also participating.

Coalition, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity insurance company, has raised $40 million in funding led by Ribbit Capital, with Greenoaks Capital and Hillhouse Capital also participating.

OneDegree, a Hong Kong-based insurance technology company has added $4.5 million to its Series A round, bringing it to a total of $30 million. BitRock Capital led the investments, with Cyberport Macro Fund, Cathay Venture and others also participating.

🚑 Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics, a Watertown, Mass.-based biotech company focused on the modulation of RNA to treat cancer and other diseases, raised $15 million in new funding led by Sofinnova Partners, with Osage University Partner also participating.

🚑 Podimetrics, a Somerville, Ma.-based company developing a smart mat for foot ulcers, has raised $13.4 million in Series B funding from Rock Health, Norwich Ventures, and Scientific Health Development.

Phyn, a Los Angeles-based maker of water management technology, is getting $12 million in additional investment from its parent companies Belkin International and Uponor.

Grain, a Singapore-based food delivery startup, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by by Singha Ventures, with Genesis Alternative Ventures, Sass Corp, K2 Global, FoodXervices and Majuven, Openspace Ventures, Raging Bull and Cento Ventures also participating.

Rocean, a New York-based connected water countertop device, has raised more than $6 million in funding led by Blue, with John Legend, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, and others also participating.

🚑 Daye, a London-based startup developing tampons with CBD to tackle dysmenorrhea, has raised $5.5 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures and Kindred Capital, according to TechCrunch.

Understory, a Madison, Wi.-based weather network and analytics company, has raised $5.25 million in Series B funding led by True Ventures, with 4490 Ventures and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund also participating.

🚑 LunaPBC, a San Diego-based company operating a genomic and health data platform, has raised $4.6 million in new funding from ARCH Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Illumina Ventures, and Osage University Partners.

Printify, a Latvia-based startup working on on-demand printing business, has raised $3 million in funding from Bling Capital., a McClean, Va.-based startup working on blocking malicious advertising, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Real Ventures.

Intello, a New York-based software management platform, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Resolute Ventures, with Harrison Metal, Magnetico Ventures, and individual angel investors also participating.

Humanpredictions, a Chicago-based recruiting company for engineers, has raised about $1 million in new funding led by Network Ventures, with Hyde Park Angels, SaaS Ventures, and M25 also participating.

Theta Labs, a Cupertino, Calif.-based developer of the decentralized streaming video protocol Theta Network, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Samsung NEXT and Blockchain, with Uphonest Capital, Wei Fund, Igen Fusion Capital, and other private investors also participating.

Private Equity Deals

🚑 Littlejohn & Co LLC is acquiring a majority stake in Outcome Health, a Chicago-based healthcare company.

Viva Air Group has raised $50 million from Cartesian Capital Group. Irelandia Aviation will remain a majority shareholder.

Reverence Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Advisor Group, an independent wealth management platform, which supports over 7,000 financial advisors with $268 billion of client assets.

AEA Investors has acquired API Technologies, a Marlborough, Mass.-based maker of high-performance components and subsystems for demanding RF/microwave and electromagnetic spectrum management applications, from J.F. Lehman.

North Branch Capital has made an investment in Diversified Fall Protection, a Westlake, Ohio-based maker of engineered fall protection systems for regulatory driven, mission critical safety applications.

Monomoy Capital Partners has acquired Kauffman Engineering, a Lebanon, Indiana-based maker of of highly-engineered wire harnesses and cable assemblies for electrical systems.

Public Offerings

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Asia unit has filed for an I.P.O. in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg. The offering could raise up to $5 billion, and it has hired JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley as joint book managers.

Sonim Technologies, a San Mateo, Calif.-based maker of rugged mobile phones and accessories for industrial and public workers, raised $39 million in an IPO by offering 3.6 million shares at $11, below the range of $13 to $15. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol SONM. Oppenheimer & Co. and Lake Street Capital Markets acted as lead managers on the deal.

Jiayin Group, a Chinese online lending marketplace, raised $37 million in an IPO by offering 3.5 million ADSs at $10.50 per share, on the low end of the range of $10.50 to $12.50. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol JFIN. Roth Capital and Shenwan Hongyuan Securities acted as lead managers on the deal.

More M&A

Boston Beer, maker of Samuel Adams beer, has agreed to buy Dogfish Head Brewery in a deal worth $300 million in cash and stock.

SnapAV will acquire Control4 in an all-cash transaction for $23.91 per share, in an aggregate value of approximately $680 million.

Reliance Industries has agreed to buy Hamleys, a London-based toy store, from the Chinese group Banner International Holdings.


LeapFrog Investments, a New York-based private equity firm, has raised $700 million for a new fund focused on healthcare and financial services companies in Asia and Africa.

It's Personnel

Bill Royer has joined HarbourVest Partners as a managing director and will become Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in early June.

Alex Mason has joined FTV Capital as partner and he will focus on enterprise technology and technology-enabled services investments from the firm’s San Francisco office.

Jamie Kim has joined Gallant Capital as head of business development. She was previously at Presto as vice president of corporate development and strategy.

Arjun Balaji has joined the investment team of Paradigm, a San Francisco-based crypto fund.

Final Numbers
Expand chart
Reproduced from Renaissance Capital; Table: Axios Visuals 
  • In honor of Uber's IPO...
Dan Primack