Situational awareness: Amazon this morning raised the minimum wage for all of its U.S. workers to $15 per hour, including part-timers and seasonal workers. Got to wonder how this will affect Amazon worker unionization efforts, particularly at Whole Foods...
Eighty-three percent of U.S. IPOs this year have involved unprofitable issuers, which represents an all-time high, according to data from University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter (first reported by the WSJ).
That on its own isn't necessarily worrisome, until you realize the previous record was in 2000 (81%).
• Another calendar comp: Oaktree Capital's Howard Marks tells Axios' Courtaney Brown that 2018 is looking a lot like 2006: "It's easy to get transactions done, even ones which don't have a lot of virtue." Read the full Q&A here.
• Top tier turnover: Two of Benchmark's longtime general partners, Matt Cohler and Mitch Lasky, are stepping back as the venerable venture capital firm raises its ninth fund, per both an SEC filing and sources close to the situation.
• More venture-land: Sources say that Ben Ling is stepping down as an investment partner with Khosla Ventures, as he wraps up fundraising for a new effort called Bling Capital. Word is that he'll retain some of his KV board seats.
AM General, the South Bend, Ind.-based maker of Humvees, hired Macquarie Group to find a buyer, per Reuters. The company could fetch more than $2 billion.
• Tanium, an Emeryville, Calif.-based cybersecurity company, raised $200 million at a $6.5 billion post money valuation. Wellington Management led, and was joined by Ballie Gifford and Adage Capital Management. http://axios.link/sBWX
🌽 Pivot Bio, a San Francisco-based developer of an alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer for corn crops, raised $70 million in Series B funding led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures. www.pivotbio.com
• ExecOnline, a New York-based provider of certificate-bearing leadership and development programs, raised $18 million in Series C funding. ABS Capital Partners led, and was joined by New Spring Capital, Osage Partners, Kaplan, and New Atlantic Ventures. www.execonline.com
• Arcadia Data, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of visual analytics software, raised $15 million in Series B funding. Pelion Venture Partners led, and was joined by return backers Intel Capital, Mayfield and Blumberg Capital. www.arcadiadata.com
• Bloom & Wild, a London-based online flower seller, raised £15 million. Piper led, and was joined by MMC Ventures and Burda Principal Investments. www.bloomandwild.com
• DrumG, an enterprise blockchain startup based in Bermuda, raised $6.5 million led by blockchain startup ConsenSys. http://axios.link/pV1f
• Lingokids, a Madrid-based provider of software that helps kids learn a second language, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Holtzbrinck Ventures led, and was joined by JME VC, Sabadell Ventures, Big Sur Ventures and Gwynne Shotwell. http://axios.link/tQS8
• Slamcore, a UK-based developer of spatial AI algorithms for robots and drones, raised $5 million. Amadeus Capital Partners led, and was joined by MMC Ventures Octopus Ventures and return backers Mirai Creation Fund and Toyota AI Ventures. www.slamcore.com
• Re:Store, a co-working and retail space startup for online brands, raised $1.7 million led by Sequoia Capital. http://axios.link/DqYb
🥩 Meatable, a lab-grown meat startup, raised $3.5 million in funding led by Blue Yard Capital. http://axios.link/Pyfz
• Alleghany Capital acquired a majority stake in Concord Hospitality Enterprises, a Raleigh-based hotel management and development company. www.concordhotels.com
• Ansira, a St. Louis-based portfolio company of Advent International, acquired Defakto, a Dallas-based Adobe solutions provider. http://axios.link/oAUH
• The Carlyle Group and GIC completed their €10.1 billion purchase of the specialty chemicals business of Akzo Nobel. http://axios.link/21cJ
⛽ Cotton Creek Capital acquired Vecta, a Gonzales, La.-based provider of industrial and environmental services. www.vectavenvironmental.com
⛽ Encana (TSX: ECA) agreed to sell its San Juan oil acreage assets in New Mexico to DJR Energy, a portfolio company of Trilantic Capital and Waveland Energy Partners, for $480 million. http://axios.link/REDi
🚑 Gen Cap America acquired OPTP, a Minneapolis-based provider of physical therapy, fitness and wellness products. www.optp.com
🚑 Platinum Equity completed its $2.1 billion purchase of diabetes monitoring business LifeScan from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). http://axios.link/uNJN
• TSG Consumer Partners acquired a minority stake in Dutch Bros Coffee, a Grants Pass, Ore.-based drive-thru coffee company. http://axios.link/v3Vz
• Six companies expect to price IPOs in the U.S. this week: Arya Sciences, Elastic, Guardant Health, Kodiak Sciences, UpWork and YayYo.
• Elastic, a provider of subscription-based data search software, increased its IPO price range from $26-$29 to $33-$35. It still plans to offer 7 million shares and trade on the NYSE (ESTC) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The company reports a $19 million net loss on $57 million in revenue for H1 2018, and raised over $100 million in VC funding from firms like Benchmark (17.8% pre-IPO stake), Hexavest (10.5%), NEA (10.2%) and Future Fund (8.2%). http://axios.link/vvYB
• Latitude Financial, an Australian mortgage lender backed by KKR and Deutsche Bank, has postponed its planned IPO. The official reasons are market conditions and management changes, but Australia’s entire financial sector is under pressure from a federal investigation into misconduct. http://axios.link/tCsF
• Livent, a Philadelphia-based maker of lithium batteries for electric vehicles, set IPO terms to 20 million shares at $18-$20. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $2.7 billion, were it to price in the middle. The company is being spun out of FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC), and plans to list on the NYSE (LTHM) with BofA Merrill Lynch as lead underwriter. It reports $70 million of net income on $211 million in revenue for the first half of 2018. http://axios.link/y3Ht
• StoneCo, a Brazilian online payment processor, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (STNE) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The company reports $23 million of net income on $165 million in revenue for the first half of 2018. Shareholders include Madrone Partners and Tiger Global. http://axios.link/Pqpi
• Industrial Opportunity Partners sold Toledo Molding & Die, a Toledo, Ohio-based maker of thermoplastic auto components and assemblies, to Germany’s Grammer. www.tmdinc.com
🚑 Fresenius of Germany won a court battle over its decision to bail on a $4.3 takeover of Illinois generic drugmaker Akorn (Nasdaq: AKRX), with a Delaware judge saying Fresenius had valid reason to be worried about data integrity and certain financial issues. http://axios.link/cVkg
• General Electric (NYSE: GE) agreed to sell its “intelligent platforms” unit to Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR). http://axios.link/t1Nq
• Mars agreed to sell its coffee business to Italy’s Lavazza for around $650 million (including assumed debt). http://axios.link/Fml2
• Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: PENN) received FTC approval for its $2.8 billion purchase of Las Vegas-based casino company Pinnacle Entertainment (Nasdaq: PNK), so long as it complete divestitures of casino assets in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Kansas City to Boyd Gaming. http://axios.link/YJzI
• United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) received U.S. antitrust approval for its $23 billion purchase of Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), so long as it divests two businesses. Chinese approval remains pending. http://axios.link/xlkl
• Level Equity raised $535 million for its fourth growth equity fund, and another $200 million for a new opportunities fund. It also promoted Charles Chen to partner. www.levelequity.com
• Sridhar Ramaswamy is stepping down as Google's head of advertising and commerce in order to join VC firm Greylock as a venture partner.
• Adam Weinstein and Tony Feuerstein both left Akin Gump to join private equity and M&A law practices at Sidley Austin. http://axios.link/8iuc