Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Shervin Pishevar is being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The allegations range from inappropriate touching in a public setting to forcible kissing and groping. Key line:
"In each case, the women accused Pishevar of exploiting a professional connection, and using the prospect of a job, mentorship or investment to make an unwanted sexual advance."
Pishevar, co-founder of Sherpa Capital and co-founder and co-executive chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, is denying the charges, calling himself the "victim of an organized smear campaign."
• 500 discount: Startup accelerator 500 Startups, whose founder Dave McClure left in July following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault, has not fully paid the companies that graduated most recently from its program, Axios has learned from multiple sources. Kia has more.
• Tax talk: The trigger is dead. Long live... well, something. Maybe. Caitlin Owens with the latest.
• Supermarket sweep: When Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods back in June, some viewed it as a death knell for grocery delivery unicorn Instacart (whose best known customer, at the time, was Whole Foods). We offered both a bull and a bear case — the former basically being that fear of the Bezos Borg would drive other grocers into Instacart's arms.
It seems the bull case was correct, as Instacart has been on a big customer acquisition spree. Two weeks ago it was Canadian chain Loblaw. Earlier this week it was U.S. giant Albertsons, which means Instacart is now partnered with five of North America's top six grocers. The only hold-out continues to be market leader Walmart, which seemingly would have the most to gain by taking some wind out of Amazon's sails.
• Math problem: Roark Capital is committing $783 million in equity to the Arby's purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings, per LevFin Insights. I'd assume that must include some major co-invest, given that Roark currently is investing out of a $2.5 billion fund and currently is targeting only $5 billion for its new fund. Not to mention Roark's existing equity exposure to Arby's, via its 2011 buyout. The Atlanta-based firm did not return a request for comment.
• All hail breaks loose: Okay, we're back. Multiple sources say that current Uber employees eligible for the SoftBank deal are only allowed to tender up to 50% of their holdings, while there are no such restrictions on outside investors or former employees. Eligible shareholders have until Dec. 28 to tender. More:
Farmers Business Network, a San Carlos, Calif.-based farmer-to-farmer network for crowd-sourcing information on things like seed prices, has raised $110 million in Series D funding. T. Rowe Piece and Temasek co-led, and were joined by return backers Acre Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, GV and DBL Partners.
• H2O.ai, a Mountain View, Calif.-based open source AI platform for the enterprise, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. Wells Fargo and NVIDIA co-led, and were joined by New York Life, Crane Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Transamerica Ventures. http://axios.link/GTB8
🚑 12 Sigma Technologies, a San Diego-based medical imaging startup, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. SBCVC led, and was joined by CDBI Partners, Delian Capital and return backers Zhen Fund and Matrix Partners China. http://axios.link/DwlI
• Mojio, a Vancouver-based developer of a cloud-based connected car platform, has raised C$30 million in Series B funding. Kensington Capital led, and was joined by Trend Forward Capital, Innogy Ventures and return backers Amazon Alexa Fund, BDC IT Venture Fund, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners and Relay Ventures. http://axios.link/mZGq
• ReversingLabs, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cybersecurity startup focused on file analysis and classification solutions, has raised $25 million in Series A funding co-led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity and JPMorgan Chase. http://axios.link/6649
🚑 NanoCellect Biomedical, a San Diego-based developer of microfluidic cell sorting technologies for cell-based assays, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Illumina Ventures, Anzu Partners, Vertical Venture Partners and 5 Prime Ventures were joined by return backers FusionX Ventures and Agilent Technologies. http://axios.link/cgsH
• Affinio, a Nova Scotia-based interest analytics platform, has raised US$9 million in Series B funding from Round13 Capital, Whitecap Venture Partners and Build Ventures. http://axios.link/8nRU
• Graphic India, an India-based comic studio (i.e., it wants to be the next Marvel), has raised $5 million from return backers Start Media and Julian Farrior. http://axios.link/WkTP
• DPA Microphones, a Danish maker of high-end microphones owned by The Riverside Company, has acquired Sound Network, its UK professional audio distributor. www.dpamicrophones.com
• EagleTree Capital has led the acquisition of a majority stake in WaterFleet, a San Antonio, Texas-based provider of mobile water and wastewater treatment solutions. www.waterfleet.com
⛽ Greylock Energy, a portfolio company of ArcLight Capital Partners, has acquired substantially all of the gas production and midstream assets of Denver-based Energy Corp. of America. It also has agreed to acquire membership interests in First ECA Midstream, owner of several gathering and transmission pipeline systems via a joint venture with ECA. www.arclightcapital.com
🚑 Permira has dropped out of the auction for A$1.4 billion Australian radiology company I-Med Radiology Network, leaving only Chinese strategics left, according to The Australian. www.i-med.com.au
• Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) has sold Sunset, a lifestyle publication "of the modern American West," to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Regent LP. http://axios.link/NWWF
• Togetherwork, a Columbus, Ga.-based portfolio company of Aquiline Capital Partners, has acquired Capturepoint, a Ridgewood, N.J.-based provider of recreation management software. www.togetherwork.com
🚑 Webster Capital has acquired Bristol Hospice, a Salt Lake City-based hospice operator with 11 locations in seven states, from Avalon Health Care Group. www.bristolhospice.com
• H.I.G. Capital has sold ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, a Midddlebury, Ind.-based maker of buses for small transit and private operators to New Flyer Industries (TSX: NFI). www.allamericansv.com
• Nippon Life Insurance has agreed to buy a 24.75% stake in Los Angeles-based asset manager TCW Group from The Carlyle Group, which will retain a 31.18% position. Bloomberg values the deal at around $490 million. http://axios.link/L5ZA
⛽ Terra Firma next month will launch a sale process for Italian solar power group RTR Rete Rinnovabile, which could be worth around $1.2 billion, according to Reuters. http://axios.link/wDDk
• AJ Networks of South Korea said that it was considering a sale of its 40% stake in listed rental car company AJ Rent A Car. http://axios.link/tR3M
🚑 CVS (NYSE: CVS) is inching closer to a $66 billion agreement to acquire Aetna (NYSE: AET), with a deal to be announced as soon as Monday, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/YvNF
• Fortino Capital Partners, a Belgian growth equity firm, has held a €125 million first close on its €200 million-targeted second fund. www.fortino.be
• John Vrionis is stepping down as a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners, which he joined in 2006, with sources saying he plans to seek around $150 million for a new seed-stage fund. He will remain a venture partner with Lightspeed, where his investments have included AppDynamics, Docker, MuleSoft, Nicira and Nimble Storage. http://axios.link/tuwL
• Erica Berthou and Jordan Murray are joining the investment funds practice of Kirkland & Ellis, after previously having been with Debevoise & Plimpton, per the NY Times.
• Cowen (Nasdaq: COWN) announced that president Jeffrey Solomon will become that company's next CEO, while current CEO Peter Cohen will remain as chairman. www.cowen.com
• Anthony Lubiano has joined Lateral Investment Management as chief financial officer and chief compliance officer. He previously was a vice president with KKR. www.lateralim.com
🚑 Tom Zajac, former CEO of Population Health for Koninklijke Philips, has become an executive-in-residence with both Summit Partners and Noro-Moseley Partners. www.summitpartners.com