Jun 19, 2020

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

Good morning! I’m filling in for Dan Primack for the day — he’ll be back on Monday.

🚨Axios will be hosting a live, virtual event today at 12:30pm ET honoring Juneteenth and discussing the current state of race relations in America. 

  • Join Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin for a discussion featuring Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, co-founder of BET Bob Johnson, co-founder of Campaign Zero DeRay Mckesson, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
  • Register here.
Top of the Morning

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Gates Foundation is best known for its philanthropy, but it has also spawned a venture capital fund whose mission is to show that investing in global health care issues can also yield returns.

Driving the news: Adjuvant Capital, founded by veterans of the Gates Foundation-sponsored Global Health Investment Fund, is raising a fund that will be at least $200 million, according to SEC filings.

  • Adjuvant founder and managing partner Glenn Rockman tells Axios that the fund was created in 2012 (raising $108 million) to test whether it was possible to generate returns from these areas historically financed by philanthropy and governments.
  • The expectations were low: “Our investment memo at the time said ‘get your money back in real-terms,’ meaning, to beat inflation,” Rockman says.

The intrigue: While many life sciences and biotech investors go after cancer therapies and the like, Adjuvant is betting it can get investment returns from fighting diseases like malaria and tuberculosis.

  • “To some extent we are taking a contrarian bet that this is a bigger market than people realize,” Adjuvant principal Charlie Petty tells Axios.
  • Adjuvant invests alongside the usual top life-science VCs, but its portfolio will look different — it'll have more vaccines, for example, than most others.

Why it matters: As the current coronavirus pandemic has shown, global health crises can effectively halt entire economies without treatments and prevention.

  • Already, some of Adjuvant’s existing portfolio companies are working on potential treatments for COVID-19.

Go deeper: The legacy of Kleiner Perkins' 2006 pandemic fund

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to note that Adjuvant is separate from GHIF.


Funding diversity: Array Ventures, a San Francisco seed firm focused on enterprise tech, is the latest to put forward a concrete plan to fund more underrepresented entrepreneurs.

  • It’s carving out $1 million from its fund that it will invest exclusively into black and LatinX founders, whom it will find via a new set of office hours.

🎧 Podcast: Yesterday, Dan spoke with Jeff Davidson, an attorney with Covington & Burling who argued for DACA in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Listen here.


Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Albertsons, the U.S. grocery chain, is finally going public after it shelved its initial IPO plans five years ago amid market jitters. The company won’t receive any of the proceeds — instead, common stockholders including PE firm Cerberus will get to sell their stakes.

  • Why it’s the BFD: Albertsons is one of the companies to see a boom in business during the current coronavirus pandemic. The offering would give it a valuation of more than $10 billion if its stock prices at the midpoint of its $18-to-$20.
  • The bottom line: “After suffering through a deep freeze for most of the year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the IPO market has heated up in recent weeks, powered by strong debuts from Warner Music Group Corp. and ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. Albertsons, which made its IPO plans public in March, is one of the most notable IPOs on tap for 2020.” — Corrie Driebusch and Jaewon Kang, WSJ
Venture Capital Deals

Payfone, a New York-based mobile ID company, has raised $100 million led by Apax Digital. http://axios.link/JwGX

Botkeeper, a Boston-based bookkeeping company, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Point72 Ventures, with High Alpha Capital, Republic Labs, Oakridge, Peak State and earlier backers also participating. http://axios.link/3his

Copado, a Chicago-based DevOps platform for Salesforce, has raised $26 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners, with Salesforce Ventures, Lead Edge Capital, ISAI Cap Venture, and Perpetual Investors also participating. www.copado.com

🚑 Kaia Health, a New York-based digital therapeutics startup, has raised $26 million in Series B funding led by Optum Ventures, Idinvest and capital300, with Balderton Capital, Heartcore Capital, and Symphony Ventures also participating. http://axios.link/hK8d

Urbint, a New York-based provider of field safety information for utilities, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Energy Impact Partners and Piva, with Salesforce Ventures and National Grid Partners also participating. http://axios.link/EHbv

Back Technologies, a Germany-based company making HR and IT software, has raised $3.3 million in seed funding led by La Famiglia, with Gradient Ventures also participating. http://axios.link/8aTJ

Perimeter 81, an Israel-based security startup, has raised $5.5 million in extended Series A funding led by Toba Capital. www.perimeter81.com

Outer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand, has raised $4.3 million in funding led by Mucker Capital. www.liveouter.com

🚑 Plume, a Denver-based hormone replacement therapy startup, has raised $2.9 million in funding led by General Catalyst and Slow Ventures, with Springbank Collective also participating. http://axios.link/gV6r

Hash, a New York-based AI simulation startup, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Root Ventures and Zetta Ventures. http://axios.link/rdXS

Private Equity Deals

L Catterton’s Latin American fund has invested an undisclosed amount into Petlove, a Brazil-based online petshop. www.petlove.com

Full Spectrum Group, backed by Pfingsten, has acquired Pion TPFS, a Benson, N.C.-based provider of repair, maintenance, validation, and qualification services for lab instrumentation. http://axios.link/3CV5

Public Offerings

🚑 Forma Therapeutics, a biotech company developing therapies for SCD and hematologic diseases, raised $278 million in an IPO by offering 13.9 million shares at $20, above the range of $16 to $18. It initially planned to offer 11.8 million shares. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol FMTX. Jefferies, SVB Leerink and Credit Suisse were lead managers on the deal. http://axios.link/NmTt

🚑 Repare Therapeutics, a preclinical biotech company developing gene therapies for solid tumors, raised $220 million by offering 11 million shares at $20, the high end of the revised range of $18 to $20. It initially planned to offer 7.4 million shares at a range of $16 to $18. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol RPTX. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Cowen and Piper Sandler acted as lead managers on the deal. http://axios.link/WCdC

DoubleDown Interactive, a South Korean developer and publisher of mobile- and web-based casual casino games, announced terms for its IPO on Thursday. It plans to raise $198 million by offering 11 million ADSs (50% insider) at a price range of $17 to $19. At the midpoint of the proposed range, DoubleDown Interactive would command a market value of $896 million. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol DDI. J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are the joint bookrunners on the deal. http://axios.link/zZkd

🚑 Genetron Holdings, which provides DNA sequencing-based diagnostic services for cancer patients in China, raised $256 million by offering 16 million ADSs at $16, well above the range of $11.50 to $13.50. At pricing, the company commands a fully diluted market value of $1.5 billion (+34% vs. midpoint). It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol GTH. Credit Suisse, CICC, BTIG and Canaccord Genuity were as lead managers on the deal. http://axios.link/gYvH

🚑 GoHealth, a Medicare-focused health insurance marketplace, filed on Friday with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol GHTH. GoHealth filed confidentially on May 8, 2020. Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Evercore ISI, RBC Capital Markets, and William Blair are the joint bookrunners on the deal. http://axios.link/LxJS

Tortoise Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition corporation, has agreed to merge with Hyliion, an Austin-based electric truck company in a reverse merger. The resulting company will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HYLN.” http://axios.link/O6ep

Liquidity Events

L’Oreal has agreed to acquire Thayers Natural Remedies, a Connecticut-based maker of skincare products for a reported $400 million, according to PEhub. http://axios.link/jR2f

Facebook has acquired Mapillary, a Sweden-based mapping imagery company. http://axios.link/SIwG


Sam Altman, along with brothers Jack and Max, have a new fund named Apollo that will invest $3 million a piece into about five “moonshot” companies. http://axios.link/PAXF

Bullpen Capital, a San Francisco-based "post-seed” stage firm, is seeking to raise up to $150 million for its fifth fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/Eydo

Good Growth Capital, a Charleston, S.C.-based venture firm focused on the Southeast and New England, is seeking to raise up to $100 million for its newest fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/rJiF

Grishin Robotics, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm led by Mail.ru co-founder Dmitry Grishin, has raised $100 million for a new fund. http://axios.link/Jxvl

Copec, a Latin American energy company, has established a corporate venture arm named Wind Ventures, which will be based in San Francisco. www.windventures.vc

It's Personnel

Matt Rissell has joined Summit Partners as entrepreneur-in-residence. He previously founded TSheets, which he sold to Inuit in 2018. www.summitpartners.com

Final Numbers
Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Go deeper: Half of the Fortune 100 pledge $2 billion to fight inequality

Dan Primack

🙏 Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends and colleagues to sign up.