Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Yesterday was all about the warm fuzzies in Corporate America, after The Business Roundtable changed its mission statement to acknowledge that companies have obligations to all stakeholders, not just those with stock certificates. At some point, the FEC might check to see if this counts as an in-kind contribution to Elizabeth Warren.
But the adulation wasn't universal.
I spoke yesterday on background with several business bigs who believe us media folks got snowed.
The biggest critiques related to what happens when interests of various stakeholders come into conflict. If fiduciary duty to owners is no longer primary, what drives final decisions?
There also were worries that stakeholders could use the Business Roundtable statement in litigation.
If you've ever been involved in drafting a mission statement, you know how complicated it can be. And that goes double if you're changing an old one. There are good-faith arguments over specific words and how sentences are structured, with everyone trying to strike the proper balance of aspiration, realism, and flexibility.
In this case, the CEOs may not have realized that their moral GPS was driving them into a ditch. But if they prove unable to successfully negotiate with all stakeholders — if they must lean on their fiduciary crutch — then perhaps they shouldn't be CEOs in the first place.
Bayer (DB: BAYN) agreed to sell its veterinary drugs business to Elanco (NYSE: ELAN) for $7.6 billion in cash and stock.
• H2O.ai, a Mountain View-based open-source machine learning automation platform, raised $72.5 million in Series D funding. Goldman Sachs and Ping An Global Voyager Fund co-led, and were joined by Nvidia, Wells Fargo, and Nexus Venture Partners. http://axios.link/FKmc
• Starship Technologies, a San Francisco-based developer of last-mile delivery robots, raised $40 million in new Series A funding. Morpheus Ventures led, and was joined by TDK Ventures, Qu Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, and MetaPlanet Holdings. http://axios.link/lFj1
• Reputation.com, a Redwood City, Calif.-based online reputation management platform for companies, raised $30 million. Ascension Ventures led, and was joined by Akkadian Ventures, Industry Ventures, River City Ventures and return backers Kleiner Perkins, August Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Heritage Group, and Icon Ventures. http://axios.link/JEnw
• Ally, a Seattle-based corporate goal-setting platform, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Accel led, and was joined by Founders Co-op, Vulcan Capital, and Lee Fixel. http://axios.link/T5JA
• BDS Analytics, a Boulder, Colo.-based cannabis market intelligence startup, raised $7 million from Key Investment Partners, Altitude Investment Management, and 7thirty. www.bdsanalytics.com
• Syzygy Plasmonics, a Houston-based photocatalyst startup, raised $5.8 million in Series A funding co-led by The Engine and The GOOSE Society of Texas. http://axios.link/HQgv\
• Internal, a San Francisco-based no-code SaaS tool for deploying internal corporate consoles, raised $5 million in seed funding. Craft Ventures led, and was joined by Founders Fund. http://axios.link/3z7w
• SpotQA, a London-based automated software testing platform, raised $3.25 million in seed funding led by Crane Venture Partners. http://axios.link/DMg3
• Brainbase, a Los Angeles-based IP licensing management platform, raised $3 million led by Struck Capital. http://axios.link/P9Qw
• Podcorn, a podcasting monetization platform, raised $2.2 million in seed funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Alumni Ventures, 500 Startups, and Global Founders Capital. www.podcorn.fm
• R Fitness, an Indonesia-based micro fitness studio operator, raised $1.25 million in seed funding from Intudo Ventures, Agaeti Ventures and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures. www.ridejkt.com
• CH&CO, a UK-based catering company owned by Equistone Partners, acquired London-based workplace catering company Mitie Catering. http://axios.link/t4Yp
🚑 Kaltroco acquired EspriGas, an Atlanta-based provider of medical and industrial gases, from Council Capital. www.esprigas.com
• Kinderhook Industries acquired Capital Waste Services, a Columbia, S.C.-based provider of solid waste hauling services, from Hawk Capital Partners. www.capwasteservices.com
• Lovell Minnick Partners agreed to buy a majority stake in Inside Real Estate, a Salt Lake City-based SaaS platform for residential real estate brokers. www.insiderealestate.com
• Mitel Networks, a Canadian telecom equipment company owned by Searchlight Capital Partners, offered to buy Santa Clara, Calif.-based rival Avaya (NYSE: AVYA) for more than $5 billion (including assumed debt), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/7ROf
• Resolve Systems, an Irvine, Calif.-based IT automation and orchestration company owned by Insight Partners, acquired FixStream, a San Jose, Calif.-based AIOps company. www.resolve.io
🚑 10x Genomics, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based genomics company, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (TXG) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter, and reports a $14.5 million net loss on $109 million in first half 2019 revenue. The company raised $320 million in VC funding from firms like Foresite Capital (18.1% pre-IPO stake), Venrock (16.3%), Paladin Capital (11.5%), Fidelity (11.3%), Meritech Capital Partners, and SoftBank. http://axios.link/ZwBi
🚑 IGM Biosciences, a Mountain View-based cancer drug developer, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (IMGS) with Jefferies as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised $120 million in VC funding from million in Series C funding from Redmile Group, Janus Henderson Investors, Baker Brothers, Vivo Capital, and Haldor Topsøe Holding. http://axios.link/aBT
⛽ Saudi Aramco picked Lazard and Moelis & Co. to advise on what would be the largest-ever IPO, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/20Un
• Accenture (NYSSE: CAN) acquired Parker Fitzgerald, a London-based consultant to financial institutions. http://axios.link/UHsS
☢️ CK Asset (HK: 1113), founded by Li Ka-Shing, agreed to buy British pubs operator Greene King (LSE: GNK) for £4.6 billion. http://axios.link/Tbpj
🍺 Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE: JEC) agreed to buy the nuclear power business of Wood PLC (LSE: WG) for £250 million. http://axios.link/wT4O
• Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LFG) and ViacomCBS (coming soon) are the final two bidders for up to a 50% stake film studio Miramax, which is being sold by Qatar-based BeIN Media Group at an enterprise value of around $650 million, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/QwiF
• Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) acquired jClarity, a British maker of tools for Java software developers. http://axios.link/DduL
• Publicis (Paris: PUB) acquired Irvine, Calif.-based marketing agency Rauxa. http://axios.link/ccvs
• Sony acquired Insomniac Games, a Burbank, Calif.-based console gaming studio responsible for Marvel Spider Man. http://axios.link/aSiU
• Streamlined Ventures, a Palo Alto-based VC firm led by Ulas Naik, is raising $75 million for its third fund, per an SEC filing.
• Robert Campbell joined boutique investment bank Weild & Co. as a managing director, per his LinkedIn page. He previously was with Boustead Securities. www.weildandco.com
• Jean Greene left Lazard to join Bank of America as a senior banker focused on industrials. http://axios.link/bvbQ
• Leif King joined law firm Baker McKenzie as a Palo Alto-based partner focused on M&A. He previously was with Skadden Arps. www.bakermckenzie.com
• Thrivent promoted Jen Wilson to senior managing director of private equity, per her LinkedIn page. www.thrivent.com
Select price changes from IPO to yesterday's close:
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