Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Cleantech is still a dirty word among many venture capitalists, who shudder at memories capital-crushing busts from a decade ago. But Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports that increased concerns about climate change have caused some revival of investor interest, particularly around the concept of carbon capture.
👖 Levi Strauss stock soared yesterday on its first day of post-IPO trading, closing 32% higher than its $17 offering price. A few notes from a phone conversation with company president and CEO Chip Bergh:
• This is just amazing: An e-commerce site appeared this week, offering to sell "VC starter kits." It quickly went viral among Silicon Valley denizens and is done with such brilliant snark that it's a must-visit for any Pro Rata reader.
🏀 March Madness: We've got over 1,300 Pro Rata readers in our contest, but only one has a perfect score after one day of play. It's Drew Coash, an associate account executive at SmartAsset. For the record, I's just behind Drew at #1,095...
Alight Solutions, a Lincolnshire, Ill.-based benefits administration software company owned by The Blackstone Group, postponed its IPO. The company had sought to sell 32 million shares at $32-$35 per share, and begin trading today on the Nasdaq.
• UiPath, a New York-based developer of robotic process automation software, is raising over $400 million at a valuation north of $7 billion, per Business Insider. Last fall it closed a $265 million Series C round from firms like IVP, Madrona Venture Group and Meritech Capital. http://axios.link/O2ui
• Splice, a New York-based digital library of rights-cleared sounds for music creators, raised $57.5 million in Series C funding co-led by return backers Union Square Ventures and True Ventures. Other investors include DFJ Growth, Flybridge, Lerer Hippeau. Liontree and Founders Circle Capital. http://axios.link/rswc
🚑 Imago BioSciences, a San Francisco-based biotech focused on myeloid diseases, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Omega Funds led, and was joined by Highlight Capital and return backers Frazier Healthcare Partners, Amgen Ventures and MRL Ventures Fund. www.imagobio.com
• Honeybook, a San Francisco-based client management platform for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs, raised $28 million in Series C funding. Citi Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Norwest Venture Partners and Aleph. http://axios.link/AWbv
• Cleo, a San Francisco-based platform for companies to better manage and support employees with children, raised $27.5 million in Series B funding led by NEA. http://axios.link/reAc
• Keatz, a Berlin-based cloud kitchen startup, raised €12 million from RTP Global and return backers Project A Ventures, Atlantic Labs, UStart, Kfund and JME Ventures. http://axios.link/x63C
• AnyMind, a Singapore-based digital marketing startup, raised $8 million in new Series B funding from Thailand’s VGI Global Media and Japan’s Tokyo Century. http://axios.link/hQ7J
• Goody Products, an Atlanta-based portfolio company of ACON Investments, acquired Hauppauge, N.Y.-based hair care products company JD Beauty from Topspin Partners. http://axios.link/U1mg
• Hunt Valve, a Salem, Ohio-based portfolio company of May River Capital and Shorehill Capital, acquired MB Valve, a Canadian supplier of severe-duty bronze marine valves. www.huntvalve.com
• Inverness Graham Investments acquired Corsica Technologies, a Centreville, Md.-based provider of IT support and managed services. www.corsicatech.com
• Pinterest is expected to file its IPO prospectus as early as today, with plans to list next month.
🚑 Smiths Group (LSE: SMIN) said it plans to float its healthcare business, months after failing to strike a merger agreement for the unit with ICU Medical (Nasdaq: ICUI). http://axios.link/oHaT
🚑 Turning Point Therapeutics, a San Diego-based developer of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for treating lung cancer and solid tumors, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (TPTX) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised around $76 million in VC funding from firms like Cormorant Asset Management (13.3% pre-IPO stake), OrviMed (8.2%), S.R. One (8.2%), Foresite Capital (6.3%) and VenBio Partners (6.3%). www.tptherapeutics.com
• Uber plans to list its shares on the NYSE when it goes public next month, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/neMy
• Yunji, a Chinese social e-commerce platform, filed for a $200 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (YJ) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. Earlier reports were that the company, which generated an $8 million net loss on $1.9 billion in sales last year, will seek a valuation of between $7 billion and $10 billion. http://axios.link/dRTq
• Affinity Equity Partners has postponed plans to sell its 35% stake in Velocity, the frequent flyers program for Virgin Australia, per The Australian. http://axios.link/cljx
• BlackRock is in talks to buy eFront, a French provider of risk management software for the alternative investments industry, from private equity firm Bridgepoint for more than $1.3 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/6Hh6
• Berry Global (NYSE: BERY) said it would not further sweeten its RPC Group (LSE: RPC). http://axios.link/9hYw
• FWD Group, backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, has revived two-year-old talks to acquire the life insurance unit of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank. A deal could be worth around $3 billion. http://axios.link/Nj1Y
• Paulson & Co. said it will not support Newmont Mining’s (NYSE: NEM) $10 billion takeover for rival gold miner Goldcorp (TSX: G), arguing the price is unjustified. Paulson & Co. holds a 2.7% stake in Newmont. http://axios.link/iU73
• Yilport Holding of Turkey is in advanced talks to buy a Long Beach, Calif.-based container terminal being sold by China’s Cosco Shipping for nearly $2 billion, per Bloomberg. Cosco is divesting the terminal as a condition of its 2018 acquisition of Orient Overseas International. http://axios.link/meE5
• Asterion Industrial, a new infrastructure private equity firm led by ex-KKR infrastructure boss Jesus Olmos, raised €520 million for its debut fund, per the FT. http://axios.link/zaxB