Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy went public in July 2018, six years after a scandal in which its bankers were found to have misled prospective investors. But Axios has learned that Bloom itself has a history of playing fast and loose with its numbers.
Axios has reviewed hundreds of pages of confidential company documents, plus dug deeper into publicly-available information. They show that Bloom repeatedly disseminated unreliable data and rose-colored projections to prospective investors.
The scandal related to a now-defunct Chicago firm called Advanced Equities, which often helped raise money for privately-held portfolio companies of Bloom investors Kleiner Perkins and NEA.
Bloom went public in July 2018 at $15 per share, with its stock popping 30% on its first day of trading.
The bottom line is that privately-held Bloom was either sloppy or intentionally deceptive, and that history has found its way into current litigation for a company that is now publicly-traded.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Fiat Chrysler (Milan: FCA) and Peugeot (Paris: PCA) confirmed that they are in talks for what could be a $50 billion, all-stock merger.
• Faire, a San Francisco-based curated wholesale marketplace, raised $150 million in Series D funding at a $1 billion post-money valuation. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Founders Fund co-led, and were joined by return backers Forerunner Ventures, YC Continuity, and Khosla Ventures. http://axios.link/trk0
• MX Player, an India-based video playback app acquired in 2017 by Times Internet, raised $111 million in app, raised $111 million in Series A funding led by Tencent at around a $500 million valuation. http://axios.link/0zMH
🚑 Arranta Bio, a Watertown, Mass.-based microbiome contract development and manufacturing organization, raised $82 million from Ampersand Capital Partners. www.arrantabio.com
🚑 Disc Medicine, a Cambridge, Mass.-based hematology startup, raised $50 million in Series A funding from Novo Holding, Access Biotech, and Atlas Venture. http://axios.link/HxxG
• Rokt, a New York-based ecommerce marketing company, raised $48 million led by TDM Growth Partners. www.rokt.com
• Datameer, a San Francisco-based big data analytics platform, raised $40 million. ST Telemedia led, and was joined by return backers Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Nextworld Capital, Citi Ventures, and Top Tier Capital Partners. http://axios.link/vlvd
• ElasticRun, an Indian logistics startup focused on mom-and-pop stores, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Prosus Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital. http://axios.link/qA9N
• Green Rabbit, a Braintree, Mass.-based provider of cold chain e-commerce logistics for the food industry, raised $31 million in first-round funding from Guidepost Growth Equity. http://axios.link/Ehmg
• Ribbon, a New York-based home finance startup, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Greylock led, and was joined by Thomvest and return backers Bain Capital Ventures, NFX, and NYCA Ventures. Ribbon also secured a $300 million credit facility from Goldman Sachs. http://axios.link/Bm5z
• Grax, a Boston-based “data value platform,” raised $12.8 million in Series A funding from Volition Capital. www.grax.io
• Quill, a workplace messaging startup, raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, per TechCrunch. http://axios.link/hrfH
• CoinList, an AngelList spinoff that connects investors to crypto projects, raised $10 million led by Polychain Capital. http://axios.link/9K5U
• Tactile Mobility, an Israeli virtual sensing startup for vehicles, raised $9 million from backers like Porsche and Union Group. http://axios.link/u0EQ
• Alice Technologies, a San Francisco-based simulation platform for construction, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Merus Capital led, and was joined by Blackhorn Ventures, Foundamental, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. http://axios.link/YLuZ
• Oliver Space, a San Francisco-based apartment furnishing service, raised $6.8 million in seed funding from Mayfield, Aspect Ventures, and individuals. http://axios.link/71nV
• Techtonic, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of outsourced software development services, raised $6 million in Series B funding. Camden Partners led, and was joined by University Ventures and Zoma Capital. www.techtonicgroup.com
🚑 FundamentalVR, a London-based VR training platform for surgeons, raised £4.3 million in Series A funding. Downing Ventures led, and was joined by Epic PE, Brighteyes Ventures, Mayo Clinic, and Sana Kliniken. http://axios.link/50Vd
• Altor, TDR Capital, and Petter Stordalen have partnered to buy the Nordic business of insolvent British travel company Thomas Cook. http://axios.link/3rbv
• Anacapa Partners invested in Auronix, a Mexican communications-platform-as-a-service. www.auronix.mx
• The Carlyle Group agreed to buy Hilb Group, a Richmond, Va.-based insurance brokerage, from Abry Partners.
• Clayton, Dubilier & Rice agreed to buy Anixter International (NYSE: AXE) for around $3.8 billion, or $81 per share (13% premium to yesterday’s closing price). Anixter is an Illinois-based maker of enterprise communications and security products. http://axios.link/hFJ1
• Confluence Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based portfolio company of TA Associates, acquired StatPro Group (LSE: SOG), a London-based provider of portfolio analytics and asset data services, for £161 million in cash. http://axios.link/MPyB
• Declaration Partners invested in Peaceable Street Capital, a Philadelphia-based specialty finance company focused on small and mid-sized income-producing real estate. www.peaceablestreet.com
🚑 I-Mab, a Chinese biopharma company focused on cancer and autoimmune diseases, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (IMAB) with Jefferies and CICC as lead underwriters. The company raised $370 million in VC funding from firms like C Bridge Capital (38.9% pre-IPO stake, Tasly Holding (14.3%), Hony Capital (8.4%), Hillhouse Capital, Hopu Investment, EDBI, Ally Bridge Group, and CDH Investments. http://axios.link/Lp79
🚑 TELA Bio, a Malvern, Penn.-based developer of surgical scaffolds for abdominal surgeries, set IPO terms to 4 million shares at $14-$16. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $165 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (TELA) with Jefferies and Piper Jaffray as lead underwriters. Shareholders include OrbiMed (34.6% pre-IPO stake), Quaker Partners (21.2%), Pacira Pharma (13.6%), and Signet Healthcare Partners (8.2%). http://axios.link/rmwe
• CoreView, a provider of Office 365 management solutions for the enterprise, bought Alpin, a Boulder, Colo.-based identity-as-a-service startup that had raised a small amount of VC funding from BCF Ventures, Next Frontier Capital and Rockies Venture Club. CoreView last year raised $20 million from Insight Partners. http://axios.link/giBP
• Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR) agreed to buy European data center operator InterXion (NYSE: INXN) for $8.4 billion in stock, or $93.48 per share (5.4% premium to Monday’s closing price). http://axios.link/YuiU
• Erste Group of Austria expressed interest in buying Poland’s mBank from Commerzbank, but only without its Swiss franc portfolio. Santander also is kicking tires on mBank. http://axios.link/lP5b
• Nestle (SWX: NESN) is considering sales of two Chinese units – confectionary brand Hsu Fu Chi and ready-made porridge brand Yinlu — that could fetch a total of $1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Ju2G
• Bran Dunlap stepped down as head of tech investing at TPG’s The Rise Fund, in order to become a managing director for The Blackstone Group’s tech growth equity group. www.blackstone.com
🚑 Frazier Healthcare Partners promoted Ben Magnano to managing partner and Phil Zaorski to principal. It also hired Christina Miller Reszka (ex-Norwest Equity Partners) as a principal. www.frazierhealthcare.com
• Roger Hale, former chief information security officer at Informatica, joined YL Ventures as CISO-in-residence. http://axios.link/fDK3
• Alan Howard will step down as CEO of London-based hedge fund Brevan Howard, to be succeeded by chief risk officer Aron Landy. http://axios.link/X8vy
• Olibia Stamatoglou joined Victory Park Capital as CFO. She previously was VP of finance at Valor Equity Partners. www.victoryparkcapital.com
• Jack Welch, former senior partner at McKinsey & Co. and head of its Boston office, joined Bridge Growth Partners as an executive partner. www.bridgegrowthpartners.com
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