Greetings from the luxurious Days Inn on Santa Monica Boulevard, which I'll soon leave to go moderate an Axios Expert Voices event on how technology will impact the future of urban mobility. Back in the Massachusetts home office tomorrow. Here we go...
Top of the Morning
Lyft yesterday announced that it's raised $600 million in new funding led by Fidelity, and word is that the round could expand to $1 billion if it finds the right strategic investor (as it previously did with auto parts maker Magna).
- Lyft is still worth just a fraction of Uber, but it's making inroads. This round was done at a $15.1 billion post-money valuation, up from *only* $11.7 billion in a CapitalG-led round earlier this year. Uber's valuation, on the other hand, has been effectively flat for two years.
- This round probably puts a nail in the "2018 Lyft IPO" coffin, which would set both ride-hail giants up for 2019 offerings. Fidelity has shares in both.
• Breaking: Amazon has agreed to acquire Boston-based online pharmacy PillPack, which had previously been in takeover talks with Walmart. Not surprisingly, shares of Walgreens and CVS are getting hammered.
- Pillpack had raised over $110 million in funding, most recently at around a $360 million valuation, from firms like Accel, Accomplice, CRV, Pillar Cos, Astral Capital and Sherpa Capital.
• Opportunity zone: Venture capitalist Mike Hirshland has launched an effort to help cities and states leverage part of the 2017 tax bill that’s meant to boost economically struggling areas of the country. Axios' David McCabe has more.
• Equity share: In writing about Toys "R" Us on Tuesday, I mentioned that private equity firms have an obligation to portfolio company employees. Some readers pushed back via email, but it's worth noting that Toys backer KKR has been providing equity to some of its portfolio companies (including Gardner Denver, CHI Overhead Doors and Capsugel).
- Obviously it's not apples-to-apples with Toys, but such equity-share does reflect a more modern private equity mentality toward portfolio company employees. Bloomberg wrote about the Gardner Denver example last year.
• Today in Abraaj: Sean Cleary has stepped down as chairman of Abraaj Holdings. Per an official statement: "Following the appointment of the Joint Provisional Liquidators, Sean determined that his role as an independent non-executive director would serve no further legal or fiduciary purpose in the interests of creditors or other stakeholders."
Hims, a San Francisco-based provider of men's prescription healthcare products, raised $50 million in Series B-2 funding led by IVP.
- Why it's the BFD: Because there might not be another startup that combines tele-medicine, off-patent drug production and millennial-inspired e-commerce. The company has a network of (mostly exclusive) physicians that digitally prescribe Hims-branded treatments for such things as balding and erectile dysfunction (based on legacy formulations), which Hims buys at negotiated rates from contract manufacturers and then sends to customers in fancy packaging.
- New Investors are Founders Fund and Cavu Venture Partners, while return backers include IVP, Thrive Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and SV Angel.
- Bottom line: The year-old company is experiencing scooter-like valuation surge, based on Delaware filings obtained by Lagniappe Labs. The per share price climbed 87% between Hims' B-1 round and its B-2 round, bringing the new post-money past $400 million.
Venture Capital Deals
• Cibus, a San Diego-based developer of gene-edited canola, raised $70 million in Series C funding. Fidelity led, and was joined by Alexandria Venture Investments and Cormorant Asset Management. http://axios.link/HHrT
• BitSight, a Cambridge, Mass.-based security ratings company, raised $60 million in Series D funding at around a $600 million valuation. Warburg Pincus led, and was joined by return backers Menlo Ventures, GGV Capital and Singtel Innov8. http://axios.link/42DI
• High Fidelity, a San Francisco-based open-source distributed VR platform, raised $35 million in Series D funding. Galaxy Digital Ventures led, and was joined by Blockchain Capital and return backers Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital. http://axios.link/kSNz
• Puppet, a Portland, Ore.-based maker of DevOps tools, raised $42 million in new funding. Cisco led, and was joined by Kleiner Perkins, EDBI, VMWare and True Ventures. http://axios.link/rx8c
🚑 Cedar, a New York-based financial management platform for hospital patients, raised $36 million in Series B funding. Kinnevik led, and was joined by Lakestar, Founders Fund, Thrive Capital and Sound Ventures. www.cedar.com
🚑 Dreem, a French developer of brainwave-monitoring headbands for improving sleep, raised $35 million co-led by Johnson & Johnson and Bpifrance. http://axios.link/I1Bo
• Parachute, a Los Angeles-based home décor e-commerce company, raised $30 million in Series C funding. H.I.G. Growth led, and was joined by Upfront Ventures, Susa Ventures, Suffolk Equity, JAWS Ventures, Grace Beauty Capital and Daher Capital. http://axios.link/7jHU
• Everlaw, a Berkeley, Calif.-based e-discovery and litigation platform, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led, and was joined by return backer Andreessen Horowitz. www.everlaw.com
• TastyTrade, a Chicago-based financial media company, raised $20 million from TCV. www.tastytrade.com
• Preempt, a San Francisco-based enterprise cybersecurity company whose focus includes insider threats, raised $17.5 million in Series B funding from ClearSky, Blackstone, Intel Capital and General Catalyst. http://axios.link/4b1D
• Signal Media, a UK-based media monitoring and B2B market intelligence startup, raised $16 million in Series B equity and debt funding. GMG Ventures led, and was joined by MMC Ventures, Frontline, Hearst Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures, LocalGlobe and Kreos Capital. http://axios.link/BP5h
• Cordial, a San Diego-based email marketing startup, raised $15 million in Series B funding. PeakSpan led, and was joined by Upfront Ventures and High Alpha. http://axios.link/jPY2
• Roadster, a Palo Alto-based creator of digital storefronts for auto dealers, raised $15 million in new funding led by return backer Costanoa Ventures. http://axios.link/aqua
• Bumped, a developer of stock-based loyalty programs for brands, raised $14.1 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led, and was joined by seed backers Peninsula Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Oregon Venture Partners. www.bumped.com
• Silverfort, an Israeli email authentication startup, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding. TLV Partners led, and was joined by return backers StageOne Ventures and Singtel Innov8. http://axios.link/sUNC
• Cynet, an Israeli enterprise cybersecurity startup, raised $13 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. http://axios.link/bbcS
• Bento, a Chicago-based provider of financial management software for SMEs, raised $9 million from Edison Partners. www.bentoforbusiness.com
• Codefresh, a Mountain View-based continuous integration and delivery platform, raised $8 million in Series B funding. Microsoft’s M12 led, and was joined by Viola Ventures, Hillsven and CEIF. http://axios.link/dzfW
• Baffin Bay Networks, a Swedish cybersecurity startup, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding led by EQT Partners. www.baffinbaynetworks.com
• Unblockable, a Los Angeles-based blockchain startup focused on the sports and entertainment collectibles market, raised $5 million from Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. www.unblockable.com
• Guardian Optical Technologies, an Israeli in-vehicle sensor platform, raised $3.1 million in Series B funding from Mirai Creation Fund, Goldbell Investments and TransLink Capital. www.guardian-optech.com
• InvolveSoft, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based provider of community engagement software, raised $2.5 million. Bonfire Ventures led, and was joined by Greycroft, Bertelsmann, Launch Capital, CrowdSmart and Noname Ventures. www.involvesoft.com
Private Equity Deals
• Comcast reportedly is speaking with private equity firms about participating in an improved offer for the entertainment 21st Century Fox, whose deal with Disney yesterday received anti-trust approval. http://axios.link/2YFn
• Athene (NYSE: ATH), a life insurer backed by Apollo Global Management, is in talks to buy all or part of General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) long-term care insurance business, per the FT. http://axios.link/f1FC
• B-Stock, a Belmont, Calif.-based B2B marketplace for returned or excess merchandise, raised $65 million from Spectrum Equity. www.bstock.com
• Bain Capital agreed to acquire Italian chemicals company Italmatch from Ardian for around €700 million, beating out KKR and Cinven, per Reuters. http://axios.link/M0AJ
Clearlake Capital invested in EagleView Technologies, a Bothell, Wash.-based provider of aerial imagery and property data analytics. www.eagleview.com
🚑 OMERS has agreed to acquire Premise Health, a Brentwood, Tenn.-based healthcare clinic operator, from Water Street Healthcare Partners. www.premisehealth.com
• TPG Capital is exiting Greek yogurt maker Chobani, while Hoopp Capital Partners will acquire a 20% equity stake. http://axios.link/vekJ
• Valet Living, a Tampa-based portfolio company of Ares Management and Harvest Partners, acquired Invisible Waste Services, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of waste removal services for multifamily communities. www.valetliving.com
• BJ's Wholesale Club, a Westborough, Mass.-based retailer, raised $638 million in its IPO. It priced 37.5 million at $17 (high end of range) for a fully diluted market value of $2.3 billion. It will trade on the NYSE (BJ) while BofA Merrill Lynch was lead underwriter. BJ’s was taken private in 2011 by CVC Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners.
• BrightView, a Plymouth Meeting, Penn.-based provider of commercial landscaping services, raised $469 million in its IPO. It priced 21.3 million shares at $22 (low end of range), and will trade on the NYSE (BV). Goldman Sachs was lead underwriter. Shareholders include KKR (75.8% stake) and MSD Capital (17.7%).
• EverQuote Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based insurance marketplace, raised $84 million in its IPO. The company priced 4.7 million shares at $18 (above range), and will trade on the NYSE (EVER). J.P. Morgan was lead underwriter. EverQuote had raised over $37 million from Link Ventures, Savano Capital, Stratim Capital, Oceanic Partners and T Capital Partners. www.everquote.com
🚑 Forty Seven, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of monoclonal antibodies for cancer, raised $113 million in its IPO. It priced 7 million shares at $16 (plans were 6.7m at $14-$16), and will trade on the Nasdaq (FTSV). Morgan Stanley was lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company had raised around $150 million in VC funding from firms like Lightspeed Venture Partners (16.8% pre-IPO stake), Sutter Hill Ventures (16.8%), Clarus Ventures (15.8%), Wellington Management (8.8%) and GV (6.7%). http://axios.link/HfEt
• Lovesac Co., a Stamford, Conn.-based seller of beanbag chairs, raised $53 million in its IPO. The company priced 3.3 million shares at $16 (above range), and trading on the Nasdaq (LOVE). Roth Capital was sole underwriter. Pre-IPO shareholders include Satori Capital and Mistral Equity Partners. www.lovesac.com
🚑Neuronetics, a Malvern, Penn.-based developer of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, raised $94 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 5.5 million shares at $17 (plans were 5m at $14-$16) and will trade on the Nasdaq (STIM). Piper Jaffray was lead underwriter. It had raised over $200 million from firms like Investor Growth Capital, New Leaf Ventures, GE Ventures, Ascension Ventures, Accuitive Medical Ventures, Interwest Partners, Industry Ventures, KBL Healthcare Ventures, Onset Ventures, Pfizer, Polaris Venture Partners and Three Arch Partners.
🚑 Translate Bio, a Lexington, Mass.-based developer mRNA therapeutics for cystic fibrosis, raised $122 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 9.4 million shares at $13 (plans to offer 7.7m at $12-$14). It will trade on the Nasdaq (TBIO), and had raised around $140 million from Shire (19.6% pre-IPO stake), Fidelity (14.5%), Baupost Group (13%), Atlas Venture (11.1%), S.R. One (9.7%), Omega Funds (6.9%) and MRL Ventures 5.4%).
🚑 Tricida, a South San Francisco-based based developer of non-absorbed oral drug therapies, raised $222 million in its IPO. It priced 11.7 million shatres at $19 (above range), and will trade on the Nasdaq (TCDA). Goldman Sachs was lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised over $250 million in VC funding, from OrbiMed (36.9% pre-IPO stake), Sibling Capital (23.4%), Longitude Capital (10.1%), Wellington Management (7.5%), Limulus Venture Partners (5.8%), Venrock, Cormorant Asset Management and Vivo Capital.
Amazon has agreed to acquire Boston-based online pharmacy PillPack
• BP (LSE: BP) agreed to buy British electric vehicle charging network Chargemaster, backed by VCs like BMW i-Ventures and Beringea, for around $170 million. http://axios.link/5Y5h
• Peloton, the at-home fitness company valued at around $1.4 billion by VCs, acquired Neurotic Media, an Atlanta-based music aggregation and streaming service that had raised funding from Seraph Group. http://axios.link/YdAI
• Danone (Paris: BN) is considering a sale of Earthbound Farm, a U.S. organic produce distributor that could fetch around $500 million, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Bsyp
• Differential Brands (Nasdaq: DFBG) agreed to buy the North American licensing business of Global Brands Group (HK: 0787) for $1.38 billion. http://axios.link/9hRL
• Long4Life, a listed South African investment firm, agreed to acquire local fashion retailer Rage for around $288 million. http://axios.link/J5hl
🚑 Andy Caine joined Frazier Healthcare Partners as an executive partner. He is a former McKinsey consultant who most recently was a partner with Green Peak. www.frazierhealthcare.com
• Jared Jensen has joined Sidley Austin as a San Francisco-based partner focused on private equity. He previously was with Goodwin Procter. www.sidley.com
• Alex Kurland has joined Meritech Capital as a partner. He previously was with Kleiner Perkins. www.meritechcapital.com
• Matthew Ritchie joined Acorn Growth as its Washington, D.C.-based managing director of M&A. He previously was with Northrop Grumman Technology Services. www.acorngrowthcompanies.com
• Larry Prior, former president and CEO of CSRA Inc., joined The Carlyle Group as an operating executive for the aerospace, defense and gov services team. www.carlyle.com
• Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, former chief diversity officer and global talent head for Goldman Sachs, has joined TPG as its first chief HR officer, per Reuters. http://axios.link/Vqxb