Feb 6, 2017

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

Greetings from the home office, which still smells like stale chips and celebration. Some very quick notes on what really should be a federal holiday...

Top of the Morning

Revel-ation: Last month we reported that private equity firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe may have agreed to acquire a majority stake in Revel Systems, the iPad point-of-sale company in which it previously led a $100 million minority investment. The official announcement came this morning, but with a twist: Revel co-founder and CEO Lisa Falzone is out ― she's no longer even listed on the company's "executive team" page ― with Scott Betts in. Betts is the former CEO of Global Cash Access. No word on Falzone's future, nor who will represent WCAS on the Revel board (original director Sanjay Swani quietly left WCAS in December).

Knock knock: Neighborhood-focused social network Nextdoor has agreed to acquire much smaller British rival Streetlife for less than $10 million. This should give the San Francisco-based company a much better foothold in the UK, even though Nextdoor will need to persuade Streetlife's 1.5 million users to switch services (no user data is being transferred in the sale). But don't expect the European push to cause Nextdoor to raise its first round of VC funding since securing around $110 million in March 2015 (at a $1.1 billion post-money val). CEO Nirav Tolia tells Axios that his company still has around $100 million in the bank.

• It's not me, it's them: Invitation Homes is the Blackstone-based single-family landord that last week raised $1.54 billion in the year's largest IPO (the stock has traded mostly flat in the aftermarket). CEO John Bartling subsequently told CNBC that while he believes the single-family rental market is primed for major consolidation, he doesn't expect his company to be a buyer.

Spectacle: Three more notes from the Snap IPO filing:

  • I mistakenly wrote that the company didn't break out quarterly financials. It did. Revenue between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016 climbed from $33 million to around $166 million, while net loss expanded (albeit at a slower percentage pace) from $98 million to $176 million.
  • Snap paid out $157.5 million to settle a 2014 lawsuit that appears to have been the one brought by Reggie Brown, who had claimed to be a company co-founder.
  • Snap's only female board member, Joanna Coles, earns way less than do her male peers.

• Recommended reading: Donald Trump's economic head start

On the agenda: More than 1,200 Bay Area tech employees have pledged to walk off their jobs at noon on March 14 for a rally against President Trump's immigration ban. Yes, that's Pi Day. Also expect similar actions in cities like Los Angeles and Austin (where SXSW will be in full swing).

• Ultrasonic: uBeam is one of tech's most intriguing startups, promising to someday charge your wireless devices through the air (or, to be more technical, ultrasonic waves). It's also divisive, with some having publicly suggested that uBeam's technology defies the laws of physics. So there was a lot of anticipation last Thursday when company founder and CEO Meredith Perry appeared at the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles, for the first-ever demo of uBeam's technology. In short: This is a science project that is clearly progressing, but not nearly finished. We've got a write-up here.


Alphabet has agreed to sell its Terra Bella satellite business to Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based Earth imaging company. No financial terms were disclosed, although an earlier TechCrunch report suggested the deal could be valued at around $300 million, while other stories suggest Alphabet will retain a minority equity stake in Terra Bella going forward. Alphabet, then still called Google, purchased the company as Skybox Imaging in 2014 for nearly $500 million.

• Why it's the BFD: Alphabet is usually buying VC-backed companies, not the other way around. Particularly at this sort of reported price-tag.

Bottom line: "The sale of Terra Bella is just the latest "moonshot" wind down at Alphabet. The company, after splitting Google into its own division and separating out the X research lab in August 2015, has increasingly taken a more strict and cost-conscious approach to research and units that may not be profitable for quite some time, if ever." Nick Statt

Venture Capital Deals

• Desktop Metal, a Burlington, Mass.-based maker of metal 3D printing solutions, has raised $45 million in Series C funding. GV led the round, and was joined by BMW I Ventures and Lowe's Ventures. www.desktopmetal.com

• Comprehend Systems, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of cloud software for clinical researchers, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Eminence Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. www.comprehend.com

• LogicHub, a Mountain View, Calif.-based cyberthreat detection startup, has raised $8.4 million in Series A funding co-led by Storm Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. http://bit.ly/2jU5Uk1

• Hutch, a UK-based mobile game developer, has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Index Ventures and Backed VC. http://tcrn.ch/2kYPfO4

• Rivit TV, a Los Angeles-based live streaming video company, has raised $5 million in seed funding, per an SEC filing. http://bit.ly/2kiKlx3

• Jobaline, a Kirkland, Wash.-based candidate engagement platform for hourly workers, has raised $3.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Madrona Venture Group, Trilogy Equity Partners, Founder's Co-op and Rudy Gadre. http://bit.ly/2kacKFx

• Ceres Nanosciences, a Manassas, Va.-based developer of a processing tool for diagnostic applications, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Greybird Ventures. http://bit.ly/2kyJxTv

• VisCardia Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based developer of an implantable heart failure therapy device, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by Kinetic Capital Partners. The company acquired the assets of Beaverton, Ore.-based Inovise Medical. http://bit.ly/2lfgWlO

Private Equity Deals

• Bain Capital has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Innocor, a Red Bank, N.J.-based maker of foam products for the commercial and retail channels. No financial terms were disclosed. http://bit.ly/2kdgYKd

• Career Step, a Provo, Utah-based portfolio company of Revelstoke Capital Partners, has acquired the revenue capture, coding and documentation units of St. Paul, Minn.-based Panacea Healthcare Solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.panaceainc.com

• Convergint Technologies, a Schaumberg, Ill.-based portfolio company of KRG Capital Partners, has acquired Post Browning, a Cincinnati-based systems integrator of security and transaction solutions for financial institutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.convergint.com

• Electro Rent, a Van Nuys, Calif.-based portfolio company of Platinum Equity, has acquired Microlease, a UK-based buyer and seller of electronic test equipment, from Lloyds Development Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.electrorent.com

• SCUF Gaming, a Norcross, Ga.-based maker of customized videogame controllers, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from H.I.G. Growth Partners. www.scufgaming.com

Public Offerings

• Five companies are expected to price IPOs this week on U.S. exchanges: Mauser Group, Foundation Building Materials, Clipper Realty, Visterra and Sachem Capital. http://bit.ly/2lfykXC

Liquidity Events

• Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY) has agreed to acquire Yongle Tape, a China-based manufacturer of specialty tapes and related products, from ShawKwei & Partners and company management. The deal is valued at upwards of $245 million, including $190 million up-front. www.yongletape.com

• Mondi of South Africa has acquired British packaging company Excelsior Technologies for £33 million from firms like Endless LLP and Growth Capital Partners. http://bit.ly/2kirAK5

• MPS Ltd. of India has agreed to acquire Think Subscription, a Provo, Utah-based provider of subscription management and fulfillment software. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Utah Angels. www.thinksubscription.com

More M&A

• Advisory Board Co. (Nasdaq: ABCO), a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare consulting firm with a market cap of around $1.9 billion, said that it is exploring strategic alternatives. ABCO has been under pressure from activist investor Elliott Associates.

• Delek Group of Israel has offered to acquire the 80% stake it doesn't already hold in Ithaca Energy (TSX: IAE), an oil and gas company operating in the North Sea, for around $524 million. http://reut.rs/2lfquh0

• DHT (NYSE: DHT), a Bermuda-based crude oil tanker company, has rejected a takeover offer from Frontline (NYSE: FRO) that would have valued DHT's total equity at around $475 million. Frontline already holds a 16.4% stake in DHT. http://reut.rs/2lazYND

• Electrolux has agreed to acquire Anova, a San Francisco-based maker of precision cooking equipment, for approximately $250 million. http://cnet.co/2lfarPj

• Genpact (NYSE: G) has agreed to acquire the Australian item processing business of Fiserv (Nasdaq: FISV) for an undisclosed amount. http://bit.ly/2jU7oLl

• Klarna, a Sweden-based online payments company whose shareholders include Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, has agreed to acquire German payments company BillPay from British lender Wonga for a reported $75 million. http://tcrn.ch/2l9WtC7

It's Personnel

• Josh Miller, former White House head of product under President Obama, has joined VC firm Thrive Capital. http://bit.ly/2lgik7Z

• StepStone Group has promoted Kristin DePlatchett from principal to managing director. www.stepstoneglobal.com

• Vestar Capital Partners has promoted John Stephens to co-head of the firm's business services and industrial products group. It also promoted Ben Funk to VP and Jonathan Williams to senior associate. www.vestarcapital.com

Final Numbers: Endowment & Foundation Sentiment
Dan Primack