Hey San Francisco: Join Axios' Ina Fried this morning at 8:30 for a conversation on San Francisco's housing crisis and innovative solutions. Info and RSVP here.
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Venture capitalist Josh Kushner is the subject of a NY Times piece this morning, suggesting possible conflicts of interest related to his business dealings with the Saudi Arabian government.
Specifically, it notes how he attended the 2017 "Davos in the Desert" conference just hours before his brother, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, quietly arrived to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
What we know:
" Josh regularly attends financial and technology conferences and has for many years. This was no different...
Josh has been clear and consistent with regards to his political beliefs and stance on the administration. Despite his clear articulation of this difference of opinion, Thrive has taken great pains to avoid even the appearance of conflict, and, as we told the Times, after the 2016 election the firm stopped taking investment from any new foreign limited partners with potential business before the administration. We did this not because we had to, and not because anyone asked us to - we did it proactively because we thought it was the right thing to do."
🐷 Salty: Evans Food Group, a Chicago-based pork rinds maker owned by Wind Point Partners, this morning announced the purchase of Georgia-based rival Turkey Creek.
💰 In January we discussed Elizabeth Warren's "wealth tax" proposal, and included some comment from left-leaning economist Greg Leiserson.
🏀 Last chance to join more than 1,100 other Pro Rata readers in our March Madness contest. Brackets must be completed by 12:15 pm ET today:
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast: Our new episode digs into Fed Chair Jay Powell, and why he's become much more public and much more political. Listen here.
Lion Air of Indonesia reportedly is prepping a domestic IPO that could raise upwards of $1 billion.
• Opendoor, a San Francisco-based startup that buys and sells homes, raised $300 million at a $3.8 billion post-money valuation from backers like General Atlantic, Hawk Equity, SoftBank Vision Fund, ATV, Lennar Corp., GV, Fifth Wall Ventures, SV Angel, Norwest Venture Partners, NEA, GGV Capital and Khosla Ventures. http://axios.link/GoU0
• Tarana Wireless, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of fixed wireless access network solutions, raised $88 million from Khosla Ventures, EchoStar and return backer 1010 Holdings. http://axios.link/ibDu
• Carbon Engineering, a Canadian direct air capture startup, raised US$68 million from such backers as Bill Gates, Murray Edwards, BHP, Chevron Technology Ventures, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, Bethel Lands Corp., Carbon Order, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Rusheen Capital Management, Starlight Ventures and Thomvest. Read more in Axios Generate.
• Movius, an Atlanta-based provider of enterprise employee “bring your own device” solutions, raised $45 million in Series D funding. JPMorgan Chase led, and was joined by return backers PointGuard Ventures, NEA and Anschutz Investment Co. http://axios.link/t8Yf
• Guesty, an Israeli provider of pools for property managers who list on Airbnb-type platforms, raised $35 million. Viola Growth led, and was joined by Vertex Ventures, Journey Ventures, Kingfisher Investment Advisors, La Maison Compagnie d’Investissement, TLV Partners and Magma Ventures. http://axios.link/bOPt
• WorkBoard, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of enterprise strategy and results management software, raised $23 million in Series B funding. GGV Capital led, and was joined by M12, Workday Ventures, Floodgate and Opus Capital. www.workboard.com
• Ease, a San Francisco-based provider of HR and benefits software for SMBs, insurance brokers and insurance carriers, raised $19 million in Series B funding. Centana Growth Partners led, and was joined by Propel Venture Partners, Compound Ventures, Freestyle Capital and Upside Partnership. www.ease.com
• The Plum Guide, a London-based holiday home testing and curation site, raised £14 million in Series B funding. Talis Capital led, and was joined by Latitude, Hearst Ventures and return backer Octopus Ventures. http://axios.link/7Mg4
• Jitjatjo, an on-demand staffing platform for the service and hospitality markets, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Morningside Technology Ventures. www.jitjatjo.com
• AppDetex, a Boise, Idaho-based digital brand protection platform, raised $10 million in Series B funding. First Analysis led, and was joined by Epic Ventures and Origin Ventures. http://axios.link/FQyj
• Kaarta, a Pittsburgh-based provider of mobile 3D reality capture software, raised $6.5 million. GreenSoil Building Innovation Fund led, and was joined by Riverfront Ventures, Zamagias Properties, Quaker Capital Investments and Startbot. http://axios.link/GKKC
• Amify, an Arlington Va.-based provider of revenue improvement solutions for third-party sellers on Amazon, raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. Mercury Fund led, and was joined by Dundee VC, CincyTech, SaaS Venture Capital and Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris. http://axios.link/9r3p
• Fetcher, a New York-based outbound recruiting platform, raised $5.4 million in seed funding co-led by Accomplice and Slow Ventures. www.fetcher.com
🦆 WarDucks, an Ireland-based AR game development studio, raised €3.3 million led by EQT Ventures. www.warducks.com
• Ares Management acquired Coolsys, a Brea, Calif.-based refrigeration and HVAC services company, from Audax Private Equity. www.coolsys.com
⛽ Gravity Oilfield Services, a Snyder, Texas-based portfolio company of Clearlake Capital, acquired certain water disposal infrastructure from Belfield, N.D.-based MBI Oil & Gas. www.globeenergyservices.com
• Pleatco, a Glen Cove, N.Y.-based provider of aftermarket cartridge filters for the pool and spa industry, acquired both APEL International (Louisville, Ky.) and Milton Manufacturing (Ontario, Canada). Pleatco is a portfolio company of Align Capital Partners. www.pleatco.com
🚑 Primus Capital invested in Harmony Healthcare IT, a South Bend, Ind.-based provider of data extraction, migration and archival solutions. www.harmonyhit.com
• Fastly, a San Francisco-based content delivery network, hired BAML to lead an IPO that could come later this year, per Reuters. The company has raised around $220 million firms like Amplify Partners, August Capital, Battery Ventures, OATV, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Sozo Ventures and Swisscom Ventures. http://axios.link/2KQa
👖 Levi Strauss & Co. raised $623 million in its IPO, pricing 36.7 million shares at $17 (above $14-$16 range). The jeans giant will begin trading today on the NYSE (LEVI) with a fully-diluted market value of $6.9 billion and an enterprise value of $7.5 billion. http://axios.link/61NY
• Bosch receiving strategic and private equity interest for its packaging machinery unit, which could fetch between €500 million and €600 million, per Reuters. http://axios.link/vLsg
⛽ Medco, an Indonesian oil and gas company, agreed to buy Ophir Energy (LSE: OPHR) for £408.4 million. http://axios.link/nVaW
⛽ Murphy Oil (NYSE: MUR) is in talks to sell its Malaysian oil and gas assets to Thailand’s PTTEP for $2.13 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/DXzp
• OneFi, a Nigerian consumer lending platform, acquired local payment and financial transactions startup Amplify. http://axios.link/Xzuj
🚑 Waypoint/Ares Life Sciences, an investment vehicle of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, agreed to pay 730 million for the 17% stake it doesn’t already hold in French immunotherapies company Stallergenes. http://axios.link/2s4l
• Sierra Ventures is raising $175 million for its twelfth fund, per an SEC filing.
• Karen Appleton Page, formerly of Apple and Box, has joined B Capital Group as a general partner. http://axios.link/elFO
• Heather Widman joined Building Ventures as a principal. She previously led product, customer and brand marketing for WordStream (acquired by Gannett last year). www.buildingventures.com