Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
We are now on Day 34 of the partial government shutdown, with no end in sight. Some updates:
Australian packaging company Amcor says it must delay the close of its $5.25 billion purchase of Wisconsin-based rival Bemis, as the shutdown has prevented it from receiving U.S. antitrust approval of SEC clearance related to the Bemis shareholder meeting. This had been our BFD on August 6, 2018.
The traditional IPO market remains in limbo due to the SEC closure, creating headaches for companies like Uber and fun GIF opportunities for me. But there may be some exceptions:
U.S. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross appeared on CNBC this morning, ostensibly to warn Americans that trade talks with China are going poorly. But he also got asked about furloughed federal workers who have been lining up at food banks, to which the billionaire said: "I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why."
• Try, try again: Josh and Jon Viner last year left Wag, the dog-walking startup they co-founded, just as the company secured $300 million from SoftBank Vision Fund. They claimed timing coincidence — saying it was they, not SoftBank, who recruited new CEO Hilary Schneider (ex-LifeLock, Yahoo) — and that they had formed a new VC fund focused on consumer startups.
• Today in Theranos: Silicon Valley's most infamous biotech is the focus of our latest Pro Rata podcast. My guest is Rebecca Jarvis of ABC News, who hosts a new docu-series on Theranos, which includes never-before seen or heard depositions of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani. Listen here.
BridgeBio Pharma, a Palo Alto-based drug company focused on genetic diseases, raised $299 million in new funding. KKR and Viking Global co-led, and were joined by fellow return backers Perceptive Advisors, AIG, Aisling Capital, Cormorant Capital and Hercules Capital. New investor Sequoia Capital also participated.
🚑 BridgeBio Pharma, a Palo Alto-based drug company focused on genetic diseases, raised $299 million. KKR and Viking Global co-led, and were joined by fellow return backers Perceptive Advisors, AIG, Aisling Capital, Cormorant Capital and Hercules Capital. New investor Sequoia Capital also participated. http://axios.link/k8Qf
• AInnovation, a Beijing-based B2B commercialization platform for AI, raised around $60 million in Series A funding. CICC Alpha led, and was joined by Sinovation Ventures and Chengwei Capital. http://axios.link/c7dw
• GeoPhy, a Dutch real estate valuation platform, raised $33 million in Series B funding. Index Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Inkef Capital and Hearst Ventures. www.geophy.com
• Credit Culture, a Singapore-based digital lending startup, raised $29.5 million in structured equity funding from Malaysia’s RCE Capital Berhad. http://axios.link/dAQO
🚑 Attune Pharmaceuticals, a New York-based developer of orally-administered drugs for rare diseases like hereditary angioedema, raised $23 million in Series B funding. Venrock led, and was joined by LifeSci Venture Partners and return backers RTW Investments, RA Capital, Boxer Capital and Tang Capital. http://axios.link/bZOT
• Sherpa.ai, a Spanish voice assistant startup, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from Mundi Ventures and British Airways CEO Alex Cruz. http://axios.link/9LmP
🚑 Modulated Imaging, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of optical imaging solutions for assessing tissue health, raised $7 million in Series B funding. Pangaea Ventures led, and was joined by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures, Grey Sky Venture Partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. and Fouse KK. www.modulatedimaging.com
• Teach on Mars, a France-based mobile platform for professional learning, raised €7 million in third-round funding co-led by Omnes and Région Sud Investissement. http://axios.link/0nKh
• ThingTech, an Atlanta-based industrial IoT platform, raised $4 million in Series A funding. BIP Capital led, and was joined by Engage Ventures. www.thingtech.com
• Allvision, a Pittsburgh-based geospatial analytics startup, raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by Lavrock Ventures. www.allvision.io
⛽ PowerShare, a Chinese electric vehicle charging startup, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from BP (LSE: BP). http://axios.link/jDUG
🚑 Pritzker Private Capital acquired KabaFusion, a Cerritos, Calif.-based provider of acute and specialty home infusion services, from Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners. www.kabafusion.com
• Vistex, a Chicago-based provider of go-to-market software, raised up to $105 million in minority equity funding from Accel-KKR ($65m upfront). www.vistex.com
• Wind Point Partners agreed to buy and merger Clock Spring Co. (Houston) and Neptune Research (Florida), both providers of repair and rehabilitation products for critical infrastructure. www.cs-nri.com
• Easyhome, a Chinese home improvement chain backed by Alibaba, will list its new retail arm on the Shenzhen bourse via a $5.65 billion reverse merger. http://axios.link/dPV9
• Cision (NYSE: CISN) agreed to buy Austin, Texas-based PR analytics startup TrendKite for $225 million. TrendKite had raised around $50 million from firms like Harmony Partners, Mercury Fund, Adams Street Partners, Battery Ventures and Noro-Moseley Partners. http://axios.link/wjeP
• Bombardier (TSX: BBD) agreed to buy a wing manufacturing unit of Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI). http://axios.link/oe3Q
⛽ Hydro One (TSX: H) called off its $5.3 billion purchase of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA), a Spokane, Wash.-based electric and natural gas utility, after failing to gain Washington State regulatory approval. http://axios.link/rxzo
• Bank of America named Mike Joo as chief operating officer of its corporate and investment bank, once David Glaser retires in March, per Reuters. Joo currently runs the bank’s global rates and currencies origination business. http://axios.link/kAWe
• Alejandro Capote joined Lazard as head of its Mexico financial advisory unit. He previously focused on private equity investments for Credit Suisse Asset Management. www.lazard.com