Cerberus Capital Management is finally out of the firearms manufacturing business, a scant five years after it first tried to sell the conglomerate then known as Freedom Group. The only wrinkle is that this particular exit is coming via a prepackaged bankruptcy.
• Coming attractions: Spotify is a giant step closer to going public without engaging in a traditional IPO process, as the SEC has approved a New York Stock Exchange request to modify certain rules related to direct listings.
• Healthcare M&A frenzy: The WSJ reports that Walgreens Boots Alliance has held talks to buy drug distributor AmerisourceBergen, in which Walgreens already holds a 26% stake.
• Tom vs. term sheets: Tom Brady has launched a digital media startup called The Religion of Sports, alongside Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra, per TechCrunch, which adds that the trio is seeking $3 million. No doubt they'll be able to get the money — VCs have a habit of sidling up to pro athletes — but also no idea why someone with Brady's bankroll needs an equity partner.
• Tech-lash: Bill Gates tells Axios that big tech companies are inviting the type of government intervention that once bedeviled Microsoft.
• Building bridges: There doesn't look to be too much in the White House infrastructure plan that wasn't in the leaked draft Axios obtained last month. Lots of focus on public-private partnerships, providing cornerstone capital to projects that would largely be funded by state/local governments and new revenue generation via user fees (including the allowance of interstate highway tolls).
• Political science: Peter Thiel, during a recent on-stage conversation with Reid Hoffman:
“Crypto is decentralizing, AI is centralizing. Or, if you want to frame it more ideologically, crypto is libertarian and AI is communist."
Outdoorsy, an Airbnb-style service for recreational vehicles, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Aviva Ventures and Altos Ventures co-led, and were joined by return backers Tandem Capital and Autotech Ventures.
• XebiaLabs, a Boston-based provider of delivery automation software, has raised $100 million in new funding from backers like Accel and Susquehanna Growth Equity. http://axios.link/EIoW
• YapStone, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based provider of payment services to online marketplaces, has secured $71 million of what could be a $100 million-targeted Series C round. Premji Invest led, and was joined by MasterCard and return backers Accel and Meritech Capital Partners. http://axios.link/5ulk
• DataVisor, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of fraud detection solutions, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. Sequoia Capital China led, and was joined by return backers NEA and GSR Ventures. http://axios.link/hFDo
• InfluxData, a San Francisco-based time series database startup, has raised $35 million in Series C funding. Sapphire Ventures led, and was joined by Harmony Partners and return backers Battery Ventures, Mayfield Fund and Trinity Ventures. http://axios.link/XiMp
🚑 Vascutek, a Scotland-based maker of aortic implants, has raised £33 million in new funding from parent company Terumo Corp. (Tokyo: 4543). http://axios.link/Sdxm
• UJet, a San Francisco-based developer of customer support acceleration software, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. GV led, and was joined by Citi Ventures and return backers Kleiner Perkins and DCM Ventures. http://axios.link/kRcn
• Spryker Systems, a German provider of customized e-commerce expansion solutions, has raised $22 million in growth equity funding. One Peak Partners led, and was joined by return backer Project A. http://axios.link/ZdiC
• Unacast, a Norweigian data location startup, has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding. White Star Capital led, and was joined by Telia, and return backers Open Ocean Capital and Investinor. http://axios.link/gEMS
• Ucomune (f.k.a. UrWork), a Chinese co-working space company, has raised $17.4 million at a reported $1.42 billion valuation from existing backer Qianhai Wutong M&A Funds. http://axios.link/3yT6
• Templafy, a Danish provider of brand governance and enterprise productivity SaaS, has raised $17.2 million in Series B funding. Insight Venture Partners led, and was joined by return backer SEED Capital. www.templafy.com
👕 Frank and Oak, a Canadian direct-to-consumer menswear brand, has raised $16 million in Series C funding. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec led, and was joined by Goodwater Capital and Investissement Québec. http://axios.link/DWKB
• Bird, an electric scooter-share startup launched by Travis VanderZanden (ex-Uber/Lyft), has raised $15 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led, and was joined by Tusk Ventures, Valor, Lead Edge Capital and Goldcrest Capital. http://axios.link/YJfp
• Jobcase, a Boston-based social and knowledge platform for blue-collar job-seekers, has raised $11.5 million in Series A-1 funding led by Providence Equity Partners. www.jobcase.com
• HomeCare.com, a McLean, Ca.-based marketplace for caregivers, has raised $11 million in funding from 3TS Capital Partners, Blue Heron Capital, Maryland Venture Fund, and Private Access Network. http://axios.link/Da00
• NepFin, an online commercial lending platform for mid-sized U.S. businesses, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Sands Capital Ventures. www.nepfin.com
• Perception Point, an Israel-based cybersecurity startup focused on early interception, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Pitango Venture Capital led, and was joined by State of Mind Ventures and Korea Investment Partners. http://axios.link/pt88
• Zervant, a Finnish provider of invoicing software for SMEs, has raised €6 million in funding. Tesi led, and was joined by Northzone, NFT Ventures and Conor Venture Partners. http://axios.link/oHd1
• Ditto, a UK-based maker of AI bots, has raised £4 million from IP Group and Parkwalk Advisors. http://axios.link/x7rG
• Payfone, a New York-based provider of identity authentication solutions for digital channels, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Synchrony Ventures. www.payfone.com
• Bregal Partners has made a growth equity investment in Ju-Ju-Be, a San Clemente, Calif.-based maker of premium juvenile products like diaper bags and kids’ backpacks. www.ju-ju-be.com
• Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Cleveland-based greeting cards maker American Greetings, while the descendants of founder Jacob Sapirstein will retain the other 40%.
⛽ LineStar Integrity Services, a Pasadena, Texas-based pipeline maintenance and repair company owned by First Reserve, has acquired NuGen Automation, a Houston-based provider of automation solutions to the upstream energy market. www.emsenergysolutions.com
• Mercer Advisors, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based registered investment advisor backed by Genstar Capital, has acquired GFS Private Wealth, a Clearwater, Fla.-based RIA that manages approximately $364 million. www.merceradvisors.com
• NorthEdge Capital has invested in Platinum Stairlifts, a UK-based maker of stairlift products. www.platinumstairlifts.com
• Spectrum Plastics Group, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based portfolio company of AEA Investors, has acquired Apex Resource Technologies, a Pittsfield, Mass.-based design, tooling, and injection molding group focused on specialty plastics for the medical device industry. www.spectrumplastics.com
• Thoma Bravo has acquired a majority stake in Nintex, a provider of intelligent process automation solutions. http://axios.link/YCRR
🚑 BioXcel Therapeutics, a Branford, Conn.-based startup that uses AI to develop neurological and immune-oncology drugs, has filed for a $69 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker BTAI, with UBS and BMO Capital Markets serving as lead underwriters.
• Fosun (HK: 0656) has agreed to acquire a majority stake in French couture label Lanvin, according to Reuters. http://axios.link/eyUl
🍔 Jollibee Foods (Philippines: JFC) has acquired an additional 45% stake in Denver-based burger chain Smashburger for $100 million, bringing Jollibee’s overall position to 85%. Smashburger was originally launched in 2007 with funding from Consumer Capital Partners. http://axios.link/ULJM
• Brown Advisory has acquired Washington, D.C.-based venture firm NextGen Venture Partners.
• Everwhere Partners, a new VC fund from ex-Austin Ventures vets John Thornton and Chris Pacitti, is raising $100 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing.
• Homebrew, a San Francisco-based seed-stage firm, has raised $90 million for its third fund. http://axios.link/Un31
• Jerusalem Venture Partners is raising up to $160 million for its third fund, per an SEC filing.
• Omnivore has held a $46 million first close for its second fund, which is focused on Indian tech startups focused on the food, agriculture and rural markets. The total fund target is $75 million. http://axios.link/dECe
⛽ Orion Energy Partners has raised $816 million for its second fund focused on middle-market energy infrastructure companies. www.orionenergypartners.com
• Vynn Capital, a Kuala Lumpur-based VC firm led by Victor Chua (ex-Gobi Ventures) and Darren Chua (ex-IE Singapore), is raising $40 million for its debut fund. http://axios.link/1EBN
• Waverly Capital, a media/entertainment-focused VC effort launched last year by Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Daniel Leff, is raising $100 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing.
• Elizabeth Klein has joined Valar Ventures as general counsel. She previously was an M&A associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. www.valar.com
• Kyle Madan has stepped down as a managing director with American Discovery Capital, in order to become VP of finance and strategy at JetSmarter.
• Trilantic North America has promoted Grant Palmer to partner. www.trilanticnorthamerica.com