Jun 1, 2020

Axios Pro Rata

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week is expected to be the busiest for U.S. IPOs since February, with Warner Music leading a group of four companies that could raise over $3 billion.

Why it matters: This shouldn't be happening, under any traditional rubric for how markets work.

What's happening: American passions over race and policing are inflamed, with many neighborhoods literally in flames.

  • Over 104,000 Americans are dead from the ongoing pandemic, with infection rates rising in several large states.
  • Tens of millions of Americans are unemployed.
  • And, just for good measure, China is threatening to renege on part of the phase one trade deal.

Yet, stocks opened flat, prompting Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin to declare: "Not even God himself could sink this market rally."

  • And, again, there's no indication that bankers are reconsidering the week's IPO slate, which in addition to Warner Music includes Legend Biotech, Pliant Therapeutics, and ZoomInfo.
  • Economists often warn not to conflate stock market moves with real-time economic realities, but this decoupling feels extreme.

If you know what's coming next, or even have a strong sense of it, you're lying to yourself.


Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) agreed to buy Turkish mobile-game maker Peak for $1.8 billion, split evenly between cash and stock.

  • Why it's the BFD: It's the largest acquisition ever for Zynga, once one of the hottest Web 2.0 names in Silicon Valley, and has helped surge its stock to levels not seen since 2012.
  • ROI: Peak raised $19 million between 2011 and 2013 from firms like Earlybird VC, Hummingbird Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst.
  • The bottom line: "The deal brings Peak's 100-strong team plus two successful puzzle games, 'Toon Blast' and 'Toy Blast,' to Zynga's roster. Zynga stated in its announcement that the two game franchises have consistently ranked in the top 10 or 20 grossing games on the App Store over the past two years." — Shona Ghosh, Business Insider
Pro Rata for Kids

Today’s project is to ask your kid(s) to draw a person similar to themselves, but different in one notable way. What’s the person's name? What’s different about the person, and what’s the most important thing that’s the same?

  • Per usual, please send me pics of what they come up with.
Venture Capital Deals

🚑 Benchling, a life sciences R&D cloud platform, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Alkeon led, and was joined by Spark Capital, Lux Capital, Iconiq Capital, and return backers Thrive Capital and Benchmark. http://axios.link/K3aS

OTTO Motors, a Canadian autonomous mobile robotics unit of Clearpath Robotics, raised US$29 million in Series C funding. Kensington Private Equity led, and was joined by BMO Capital Partners, Export Development Canada, and return backers iNovia Capital and RRE Ventures. www.ottomotors.com

Beam, a Singapore-based e-scooter rental startup, raised $26 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital India and Hana Ventures co-led, and were joined by RTP Global, AppWorks, Right Click, Cherubic, and RedBadge Pacific. http://axios.link/Dvdh

Loom, a video-based enterprise collaboration platform, raised over $23 million in third-round funding, per an SEC filing. Existing backers include Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins. www.loom.com

Beacon, a U.K.-based global logistics startup co-founded by a pair of ex-Uber execs, raised $15 million from 8VC, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, and Travis Kalanick. http://axios.link/wHTX

Bonusly, a Boulder, Colo.-based employee recognition and rewards platform, raised $9 million in Series A funding from Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and seed backer FirstMark Capital. http://axios.link/e4zd

🚑 Bright.md, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of telehealth automation solutions, raised $8.8 million in new Series B funding from Philips Health Technology Ventures, UnityPoint Health Ventures, and Concord Health Partners. http://axios.link/3vtZ

Zeleros Hyperloop, a Spanish hyperloop startup, raised €7 million from Goldacre Ventures, Road Ventures, Plug & Play, Spanish Angels Capital, and MBHA. www.zeleros.com

TruthSet, a San Francisco-based provider of consumer data quality analytics, raised $4.75 million in seed funding from SuperSet, WTI, and Ulu Ventures. www.truthset.io

Cognosos, an Atlanta-based IOT asset intelligence startup, raised $4.5 million from Cox Enterprises and Pete Kight. http://axios.link/yRup

Private Equity Deals

24 Hour Fitness, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based gym chain backed by AEA Investors, is preparing for a bankruptcy filing, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/nYW8

Atlantia (Milan: ATL) is asking bidders to submit tentative bids for up to a 49% stake in its Telepass toll-roads unit by later this month, per Reuters. Offers are expected from Apax Partners, Partners Group, and Bain Capital working with Warburg Pincus. http://axios.link/tv1U

🚑 Avista Capital Partners is sponsoring a €305 million buyout of Swiss direct-to-consumer health products company Vision Healthcare, alongside Vision founder and CEO Yvan Vindevogel. http://axios.link/vbow

Cinven, KKR, and Providence Equity Partners offered to buy Spanish telecom company MasMovil (Madrid: MAS) for around $3.3 billion. http://axios.link/VeDn

🚑 IG4, a Brazilian private equity firm, paid $38 million to buy two hospitals that will be part of a new acquisition platform called OPY Health, per Reuters. http://axios.link/mE98

Public Offerings

🚑 GVS, an Italian maker of masks and filter components, is prepping a Milan IPO for next month. http://axios.link/ufdd

🚑 Repare Therapeutics, a Montreal-based precision oncology startup, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (RPTX) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter, and last week announced a strategic partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb that could be worth upwards of $3 billion. Shareholders include Versant Ventures (30.1% pre-IPO stake), MPM Capital (11.8%), OrbiMed (11.2%), USB (9.2%), Cowen (8.2%), FTQ (7.5%), and Redmile Group (6.8%). http://axios.link/tzIR

More M&A

Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) have neared an agreement on merger price but remain apart on how much Uber would be required to pay were the deal to be blocked by antitrust regulators, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/dQKs


Hummer Winblad Venture Partners is raising up to $75 million for its eighth fund, per an SEC filing. Longtime managing director Mitchell Kertzman is not an investing partner on the new fund, as he plans to retire after 52 years in and around software, but will retain his five portfolio board seats. www.hwvp.com

It's Personnel

Kazushige Kobayashi joined Rhone Group as a senior advisor for Asia, per his LinkedIn page. He previously was a managing director for Capital Dynamics, where he also led its Tokyo office. www.rhonegroup.com

Alex Lynch joined Barclays as chairman of investment banking. He previously was a partner with private equity firm White Deer Energy. http://axios.link/iSmu

Mark McClellan, former commissioner of the FDA and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, joined The Blackstone Group as a senior advisor. www.blackstone.com

Final Numbers
Source: Refinitiv Deals Intelligence

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