Was this forwarded to you? Please sign up here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Silicon Valley has been shaken over the past two years by the recognition that Americans don't always believe big tech is making the world a better place. It was a tough epiphany for the leaders of companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google, who have vacillated between defensive and apologetic — working through their stages of grief.
But it seems that Amazon either wasn't paying attention or thought itself to be a prime exception. And when finally confronted with disapproval, it lashed out. Like the popular but insecure kid who learns that some classmates said unkind thing behind his back.
Bottom line: New York City is now reminiscent of Washington, D.C., where both sides too often allow viral rhetoric to overwhelm common-sense compromise. And, although Jeff Bezos nor Donald Trump will appreciate the comparison, an ultimate arbiter who becomes capricious when criticized.
🎧 Podcast: Our Valentine's Day episode focused on the "gamification" of dating, via apps that are both highly-personalized and highly-addictive. Listen here.
Hellman & Friedman and The Blackstone Group agreed to acquire a majority stake listed German online classifieds company Scout24 for around $6.4 billion (including debt), after raising their bid from €43.50 per share to €46 per share. In an unusual twist, Scout24 would remain publicly-traded
🚑 Burning Rock, a Chinese oncology diagnostics startup, raised around $125.5 million in Series C funding. GIC led, and was joined by LYFE Capital, CMB International Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sequoia Capital China and T&Brothers Capital. http://axios.link/5PBY
• DriveNets, an Israeli provider of cloud-based network management software, raised $110 million co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Pitango Growth. http://axios.link/yuN0
• LandSpace, a Beijing-based space launch startup, raised around $43 million in Series B funding. China Growth Capital led, and was joined by Zhongji Investment, 36Kr and Juzhuo Capital. http://axios.link/zohE
• Figma, a San Francisco-based screen design tool, raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital at a $440 million post-money valuation. http://axios.link/zUVB
• Remine, a Fairfax, Va.-based real estate data and analytics startup, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Stripes Group. http://axios.link/ybl1
🚑 Sight Diagnostics, an Israeli maker of point-of-care blood diagnostic hardware, raised $27.8 million in Series C funding led by Longliv Ventures. http://axios.link/wu1Y
• Pinpoint, an Austin, Texas-based analytics platform for software engineering, raised $13.5 million in Series A funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led, and was joined by Storm Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Slack Fund, Social Capital and Cherubic Ventures. http://axios.link/Gj8J
🚑 Vicarious Surgical, a Cambridge, Mass.-based, raised $10 million. Gates Frontier led, and was joined by Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, AME Cloud Ventures and Marc Benioff. http://axios.link/kxeb
⛽ Tank Utility, a Boston-based provider of IoT tank monitoring and logistics optimization solutions, raised $6 million. Bullpen Capital led, and was joined by Serra Ventures, Array Ventures, Seed investors Energy Foundry, Blue Fog Capital and Generac. http://axios.link/O0Q3
• Avetta, an Orem, Utah-based portfolio company of Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, acquired Browz, a Draper, Utah-based provider of supply chain risk management solutions. www.avetta.com
• CenterGate Capital invested in Mid-State Industrial Maintenance, a Lakeland, Fla.-based provider of industrial maintenance solutions. www.midstateindustrialcorp.com
• Continental Batteries, a Dallas-based portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, acquired BDI, an Atlanta-based distributor of aftermarket batteries to the automotive, commercial, golf and marine markets. www.continentalbatteries.com
• Industrial Flow Solutions, a portfolio company of May River Capital, has acquired and merged Connecticut-based pump-makers Stancor and BJM Pumps. Sellers include Longview Asset Management and Knox Capital.
• OpenGate Capital agreed to buy SMAC, a French maker of waterproofing and building envelope solutions, from Colas Group. www.smac-sa.com
• Fiverr, an Israel-based freelance work marketplace that has raised over $100 million in VC funding, hired Citigroup and J.P. Morgan to lead a U.S. IPO, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/s4Ib
• Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) acquired DataTiger, a UK-based digital marketing startup that had been seeded by Sussex Place Ventures. http://axios.link/0p6l
• Pentair (NYSE: PNR) completed its $160 million purchase of Aquion, a Roselle, Ill.-based maker of water treatment equipment, from Mason Wells. www.pentair.com
⛽ Royal Dutch Shell agreed to buy Sonnen, a German residential solar battery maker that had raised over $150 million in VC funding from firms like Shell Ventures, Inven Capital, eCapital, GE Ventures, Munich Venture Partners, SET Ventures and Envision Energy. http://axios.link/ddlc
• Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) disclosed that it spent a combined $340 million to buy podcasting networks Anchor and Gimlet. Anchor had raised over $14 million from firms like Accel and GV, while Gimlet had raised around $27 million from firms like Stripes Group and WPP.
🎲 Carl Icahn plans to push Ceasars Entertainment (Nasdaq: CZR) to sell itself, after the casino company received two takeover approaches, per the WSJ. Icahn holds around a 10% stake. http://axios.link/SUoB
• DSV, a Copenhagen-listed freight transport company, increased its original $4.1 billion cash-and-stock offer for rival Panalpina (Swiss: PWTN) by 5.88% and made it all-cash. There also is reporting the Kuwait’s Agility Group is in talks to make its own bid.
• Taobao, a unit of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), acquired an 8% stake in Chinese animation streaming company Bilibili (Nasdaq: BILI). http://axios.link/u5kw
• Lone Star Funds closed its eleventh fund with $8.2 billion. www.lonestarfunds.com
• Waud Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, promoted Justin DuPere, Christopher Graber, Timothy Lawler and Phillip Olson to partners. www.waudcapital.com