Top of the Morning
Mingbike, a Chinese bike-share company, appears to have shut down. Some laid-off employees have complained via social media that they haven't been paid in months, while users have been unable to receive deposit refunds.
- Why it's the BFD: Because this is the third Chinese dockless bike-share startup to go bust in recent months, following Bluegogo and Coolqi.
- More: Bluegogo is the largest such failure, having raised $90 million in venture funding — including from a firm actually called Black Hole Capital... how was that not a red flag? — and rolling out 600,000 bikes. One contributing factor seems to have been a June app modification (unclear if poorly-conceived ad campaign or a hack) that changed Bluegogo bike icons to tank icons. The result in Beijing was that it looked like tanks were rolling toward Tiananmen Square.
- Bottom line: "China's bike-sharing market, overcrowded with more than 40 platforms, have attracted US$2 billion in funding over the last 18 months, making it one of the most popular industries for private equity, venture capitalists and angel investors." — Sarah Dai, South China Morning Post
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• American Securities has agreed to sell SeaStar Solutions, a Litchfield, Ill.-based provider of vessel control, fuel systems and systems integration to the marine industry, to Dometic Group (Oslo: DOM) for $875 million. www.seastarsolutions.com
• Premium Brands Holdings (TSX: PBH) has acquired Raybern Foods, a Hayward, Calif.-based provider of branded specialty sandwiches for the U.S. retail market, from TSG Consumer Partners. Premium Brands also has acquired Buddy's Kitchen (Minnesota-based prepared sandwich maker) and a 50% stake in Shaw Bakers (San Francisco-based bread and pastry maker). www.premiumbrandsholdings.com
• Balderton Capital has closed its sixth Europe-focused VC fund with $375 million in capital commitments. http://axios.link/WVSC
• KKR has disbanded its Africa private equity team because it couldn't find enough large buyout opportunities, according to the WSJ. http://axios.link/91cv
• Tanarra Credit Partners, an Asia-Pacific credit firm led by former Credit Suisse banker John Wylie, has raised more than A$285 million for its debut fund (which is targeting A$500m). http://axios.link/yKDM