Apr 3, 2017

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

Monday greetings from the home office. Two quick administrative notes. First, a big welcome to ex-WSJ scribe Amy Harder, who today joins Axios to help cover energy (including via our daily Generate newsletter). Second, remember that you can sign up for Pro Rata, Generate and all of our newsletters by going here. Okay, on to the business of business...

Top of the Morning

Only 7% of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women, according to an Axios analysis. Moreover, women effectively control just 4.7% of all venture dollars raised in the past five years by U.S.-based firms.

  • Numbers: Axios identified 1,019 decision-makers at 227 U.S. venture capital firms, of which 72 were women. Of those 227 firms, 169 had zero female decision makers. Those firms raised around $153 billion between 2012 and 2016, of which $9.51 billion is estimated to be controlled by women.
  • Minor progress: A similar analysis from last year found 5.7% of decision-makers at U.S. VC firms were women. The sample years are slightly different (2011-2015 vs 2012-2016), and the overall number of decision-makers climbed from 906 to 1019. Of that differential, 17.7% of the new "additions" were women ― suggesting that U.S. venture firms are doing a slightly better job adding women to partnerships and/or that women are more likely to help form new firms than they have been in the past.
  • Methodology: We asked PitchBook for a list of all U.S.-based VC firms that had raised at least one fund of at least $100 million between 2012 and 2016. We then examined the current websites of each firm to determine the decision-making level of investment management, sometimes using regulatory filings for supplemental information. We excluded administrative partners (COO, CFO, IR, marketing, etc.) and, admittedly, there is a bunch of art mixed into the science ― given that different firms use different titles. In short, we were looking for the people who control the investments. For the dollar totals, we examined the amount of capital raised by each firm, and divided it by the number of each firm's female partners (where applicable).

• Update: Boom Technology, the Colorado-based startup that wants to revive commercial supersonic flight, has hired D.C. lobbyists, presumably to fight the current U.S. ban on such travel over land, per a disclosure noticed by my Axios colleague, Ben Gemen.

• Moving on: Brett Rochkind has quietly stepped down as a managing director with General Atlantic, after a 15-year run (most recently leading the firm's Palo Alto office). Word is his next stop will be a bit earlier in the startup food-chain, with a source saying that he has agreed to join venture firm CRV.

• Fun fact: As expected, Cloudera filed its public S-1 on Friday. Not as expected, it filed with the code-name still attached. For the participating bankers and lawyers, it seems that the Clouders IPO was known as Project Thunders.

• Gametime: We're down to the final game, which means our March Madness contest is down to a final two readers. Unfortunately, both of their user names are fairly anonymous, so please let me know ASAP if you are MWID (who picked UNC) or TDHoya (who picked Gonzaga).


Cornell Capital has acquired World Kitchen, a Rosemont, Ill.-based manufacturer and marketer of housewares under the Pyrex and CorningWare brands. No financial terms were disclosed, but the FT reports a purchase price north of $500 million and that Cornell will use World Kitchen as an acquisition platform with an eye on expanding further into the Asia housewares market.

  • Why it's the BFD: Because this is a company that just refuses to die. World Kitchen originally became independent as a byproduct of the 1990s asbestos litigation against former parent company Corning, agreeing to be acquired by KKR in 1998. That deal was a bust, however, with World Kitchen filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy six years later. Creditors like Oaktree Capital Management have been in control ever since, and last April agreed to sell the company to Brazil's GP Investimentos for $566 million ― but GP scrapped the deal in November.
  • Bottom line: "Although far from the multibillion-dollar transactions that are the focus of the big listed buyout groups the purchase shows that even seemingly boring brands can offer great potential. For example, despite changing times, Pyrex is at present the most popular product on department store Macy's bridal registry." ― Financial Times
Venture Capital Deals

• Robinhood, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based stock trading app, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding led by DST Global at a $1.3 billion valuation, according to TechCrunch. http://tcrn.ch/2nFz4Hr

• I Believe, a Chinese convenience store e-commerce and logistics company, has raised $29 million in Series B funding led by ClearVue Partners. http://bit.ly/2nxrM7t

• Nitro, a San Francisco-based provider of document productivity solutions, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Battery Ventures led the round, and was joined by Australian investors Regal Funds Management and Alium Capital. www.gonitro.com

• Echo, a San Diego-based hybrid microscope maker, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Dolby Family Ventures and Tech Coast Angels. http://bit.ly/2omBevh

• Verde Beef Processing, an Ethiopian beef producer, has raised $7.4 million in equity funding from Norfund. Existing backers include 8 Miles. www.verdebeef.com

• Optolexia, a Swedish maker of a dyslexia screening test for children, has raised €5.2 million in VC funding. Gabriel Urwitz (CEO of Segulah) led the round, and was joined by The Pomona Group. http://bit.ly/2nTOOZB

• Cortexica, a UK-based developer of a "visual search engine" for retailer, has raised £2 million in VC funding from Touchstone Innovations. http://bit.ly/2nO3fw0

• Wag, a San Francisco-based provider of on-demand dog walking, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from General Catalyst and Sherpa Capital, according to TechCrunch. http://tcrn.ch/2no1Pqe

Private Equity Deals

• Actis has acquired a 44.4% stake in GHL Systems, a Malaysia-listed payments company, from Creador and executive vice chairman Simon Loh (who will retain a 19.1% position). http://bit.ly/2oyevN9

• Apax Partners has agreed to acquire Syneron Medical (Nasdaq: ELOS), an Israeli maker of aesthetic medical devices, for $397 million. http://reut.rs/2nNYum5

• Capital Square Partners has agreed to acquire the parent company of Aegis, a global outsourcer with more than $400 million in annual revenue, from Essar Global. No financial terms were disclosed, but various reports put the price-tag just south of $300 million. http://bit.ly/2o1R40S

• Davies Group, a UK-based portfolio company of HGGC, has acquired Cynergie, a British specialist regulatory services business. No financial terms were disclosed. www.hggc.com

• Great Hill Partners has acquired a minority equity stake in Reflexis, a Dedham, Mass.-based provider of retail execution and workforce management solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.reflexisinc.com

• KKR has agreed to invest $250 million for a minority equity stake in Vietnamese food and beverage company Masan Group, including $150 million for a 7.5% stake in Masan's meat-producing unit. https://bloom.bg/2or7bG8

• Nutrabolt, a Bryan, Texas-based portfolio company of MidOcean Partners, has acquired Scivation, a Burlington, N.C.-based nutritional supplements maker. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Plexus Capital. www.scivation.com

• Pretium, a Chesterfield, Mo.-based portfolio company of Genstar Capital, has acquired Patrick Products, a Leipsic, Ohio-based maker of packaging and containers for the janitorial, automotive, and household chemical market sectors. No financial terms were disclosed. www.pretiumpkg.com

• Vector Capital has agreed to acquire a 75% stake in the Cross-Channel Marketing business of Experian (LSE: EXPN) at a $400 million enterprise value. Experian will retain the remaining 25% position. http://reut.rs/2nO7Dey

• Vistra, a Luxembourg-based corporate services provider majority-owned by Baring Private Equity Asia, has acquired Optegra, a German provider of auditing, tax consultancy, legal and management consultancy services. No financial terms were disclosed. www.vistra.com

Public Offerings

• Apax Partners is prepping a 2018 IPO for Israeli investment firm Psagot, which could be valued at around $1 billion, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2oB5z9Q

Befesa, a Spanish metals recycling company owned by Triton, has hired Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to lead a public listing, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2nw3gTx

• Carvana, a Phoenix-based online and offline used car platform, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol CVNA, with Wells Fargo serving as lead underwriter. The company reports a $93 million net loss on $365 million in revenue for 2016. http://bit.ly/2o1ZG7K

• Cloudera, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of enterprise big data software, has filed for a $200 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol CLDR, with Morgan Stanley listed as left lead underwriter. The company reports a $187 million net loss on $261 million in revenue for its most recent fiscal year. Cloudera has raised more than $1 billion in VC funding, from firms like Intel (22% pre-IPO stake), Accel (16.3%), Greylock (12.5%), GV and In-Q-Tel. http://bit.ly/2ot9Cbs

• Emerald Exposition Events, a San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based B2B trade show operator owned by Onex Partners, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol EEX, with BofA Merrill Lynch serving as lead underwriter. The company reports $23 million of net income on $324 million in revenue. http://bit.ly/2oyi59P

• Frontier, a Denver-based low-cost air carrier, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade under ticker symbol FRNT, with Citigroup listed as left-lead underwriter. The company reports $200 million of net income on $1.7 billion in revenue for 2016. http://bit.ly/2nS63Kk

Liquidity Events

• Altus Capital Partners has sold Prism Plastics, a Chesterfield, Mich.-based maker of high-precision plastics, to a unit of Marmon Engineered Components. No financial terms were disclosed. www.prismplastics.com

• Astellas Pharma (Tokyo: 4503) has agreed to acquire Ogeda, a Belgium-based developer of small molecule drugs targeting G-protein coupled receptors, for upwards of 800 million (including 500m up-front). Sellers include Vesalius Biocapital, Fund+ NV, SRIW SA, Capricorn Health-Tech Fund and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity Management. http://bit.ly/2oAQODC

• Cowen Group (Nasdaq: COWN) has agreed to acquire Convergex, a New York-based equities brokerage, from GTCR and Bank of New York Mellon, for $116 million in cash and stock. http://on.ft.com/2osHMvo

• SFW Capital Partners has completed its previously-announced $320 million sale of Essen BioScience, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of cell-based assays and instrumentation for drug discovery, to Germany's Sartorius (Frankfurt: SRT). http://bit.ly/2oQ8j25

• Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SCMP) has agreed to acquire Vtesse Inc., a Gaithersburg, Md.-based drug developer focused on rate life-threatening diseases like Niemann-Pick Type C1 disease, for $200 million. Vtesse had raised $17 million in Series A funding from Alexandria Venture Investments, Bay City Capital, Lundbeckfond Ventures, NEA and Pfizer. http://bit.ly/2oQdpvA

More M&A

• Apple, Alphabet and Amazon reportedly have entered the auction for the semiconductor unit of Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502), which already has received a $17.9 billion bid from Broadcom (Nasdaq: AVGO) and Silver Lake. http://reut.rs/2nM3VC5

• China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd. has agreed to acquire Brazilian water treatment company Sistema Produtor Sao Lourenco for around $200 million. http://bit.ly/2oqDg0Z

• Grab, a Southeast Asian ride-hailing service, has acquired Indonesia-based mobile payments platform Kudo for a reported $80-$100 million. http://tcrn.ch/2nv3P02

• Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) has completed its previously-announced US$460 million purchase of Sistema Plastics, a New Zealand-based maker of food storage containers. http://bit.ly/2n3H0oL

• Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) is considering a sale of its food business, which includes mustard brand French's, according to The Sunday Times. The deal could be worth more than $3 billion, and would be used to help finance Reckitt Benckiser's $16.6 billion takeover of baby food maker Mead Johnson (NYSE: MJN). http://reut.rs/2oqz5lC

• TBG of Switzerland has agreed to acquire Telvent DTN, an Omaha, Neb.-based provider of agricultural information, from Schneider Electric (Paris: SCHN) for around $900 million. http://reut.rs/2nvZV6O


• AlpInvest, a unit of The Carlyle Group, has raised $6.5 billion for its sixth private equityu secondaries fund (including $3.2b in separately managed accounts). www.alpinvest.com

• Base Venture Partners is raising $10 million for its second seed fund, per an SEC filing. www.base.ventures

• Israel Secondary Fund, an Israel-focused private equity secondaries firm, has closed its second fund with $100 million in capital commitments. http://reut.rs/2oB6yqu

• Limerston Capital Partners, a UK-based small-cap buyout firm, is raising up to $273 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing. It already has secured $121 million, with MVision serving as placement agent. www.limerstoncap.com

• Shore Capital Partners, an Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the healthcare sector, is raising up to $150 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. www.shorecp.com

It's Personnel

Tom Goila has joined Comvest Partners as a managing director in the firm's direct lending group. He previously was a director with Goldman Sachs' specialty lending group. www.comvest.com

IVP has promoted Roseanne Wineck to principal. She joined the late-stage VC firm in early 2015 from Canaan Partners. www.ivp.com

Final Numbers
Dan Primack