Axios Pro Rata

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June 21, 2021

Top of the Morning

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sweetgreen, one of the earliest "better for you" quick-serve restaurant chains, has filed confidentially for an IPO, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The company has been a rumored IPO candidate for years, and now is coming out as a post-pandemic growth play.

Why it also matters: Axios runs on Sweetgreen. There's a store on the ground floor of our headquarters, and it's unclear if we would have launched on time had it not been for copious amounts of kale and quinoa bowls.

Behind the scenes: Sweetgreen never seriously pursued the SPAC route, and will seek to list in the fall. No word yet on how much it plans to raise, except that it will be more than the $100 million "list price."

The pitch: Expect Sweetgreen to hype how it correctly identified a coming consumer trend upon launch in 2007, and that its hundred-plus stores have only scratched the surface of what it believes could be a Chipotle-sized opportunity.

ROI: The company raised around $670 million in VC funding, including a round earlier this year at nearly a $1.8 billion post-money valuation.

  • Investors include: Revolution, T. Rowe Price, Red Sea Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Signatures Capital, Scott Belsky, Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud.

Bottom line, per Axios editor-in-chief Nick Johnston: "I'll be spending another $15 on some kale today so makes sense they're worth billions."

The BFD

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice was rejected on its £5.5 billion buyout offer for British supermarket chain Wm Morrison (LSE: MRW), but reportedly plans to continue pursuing the deal.

  • Why it's the BFD: This was an opening salvo in what now becomes a food fight for the U.K.'s fourth-largest grocer, whose stock jumped 30% on the CD&R news. Morrisons owns most of its underlying real estate and a big food manufacturing business, which means higher private equity bids are likely.
  • Bottom line: "CD&R is being advised by Terry Leahy, the man who transformed Tesco into Britain's dominant supermarket group and the world's third-largest retailer as chief executive for 14 years to 2011. The private equity firm's offer pits him against Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson and CEO David Potts, two of Leahy's closest lieutenants at Tesco." — James Davey, Reuters

Venture Capital Deals

Amber Bank, raised $100 million in Series B funding at a $1 billion pre-money valuation. China Renaissance led, and was joined by Tiger Brokers, Tiger Global Management, Arena Holdings, Tru Arrow Partners, Sky9 Capital, DCM Ventures and Gobi Partners. http://axios.link/aDpb

Securitize, a Miami-based digital asset securities firm, raised $48 million in Series B funding token sale co-led by Blockchain Capital and Morgan Stanley Tactical Value. www.securitize.io

🚑 Nuevocor, a Singapore-based developer of cardiac gene therapies, raised $24 million in Series A funding. EVX Ventures and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund co-led, and were joined by EDBI, Xora Innovation and SEEDS Capital. http://axios.link/wuCU

Lexion, a Seattle-based provider of contract management software, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Khosla Ventures led, and was joined by Madrona Venture Group and Wilson Sonsini. http://axios.link/xDjF

🚑 Clair Labs, an Israeli remote patient monitoring startup, raised $9 million in seed funding. 10D led, and was joined by SleepScore Ventures, Maniv Mobility and Vasuki. http://axios.link/zRjA

Crediverso, a Los Angeles-based credit platform for the Hispanic community, raised $3.1 million in seed funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Act One Ventures, Point 72 Ventures and Clocktower Ventures. http://axios.link/NezM

Mfast, a Vietnamese financial services app for users in remote areas, raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Do Ventures led, and was joined by Jafco Asia. http://axios.link/mspo

Curate, a St. Louis-based small biz sales and operations platform, raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by OCA Ventures. http://axios.link/RtIB

BharatPe, an Indian digital payments and working capital platform for merchants, is in “advanced talks” to raise around $250 million in Series E funding at a $2.5 billion valuation led by Tiger Global, per TechCrunch. http://axios.link/vQ2r

Private Equity Deals

DCP Capital is in talks to lead a $5.3 billion buyout of Chinese recruiting firm 51job (Nasdaq: JOBS), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/NSQF

Epiris agreed to buy British furniture retailer Sharps from Sun European Partners. http://axios.link/KbXw

KKR invested $625 million for a control stake in Dubai-based Vini Cosmetics, from sellers like Sequoia Capital. http://axios.link/mSQi

One Equity Partners bought Brush Group, a British provider of electrical power generation equipment and services. www.brush.eu

Unifrax, a Tonawanda, N.Y.-based portfolio company of Clearlake Capital Group, agreed to buy Lydall (NYSE: LDL), a Manchester, Conn.-based maker of specialty filtration materials, for $1.3 billion, or $62.10 per share. www.lydall.com

Public Offerings

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A dozen companies plan to raise around $5.6 billion this week via IPOs on U.S. exchanges. Leading the way will be Full Truck Alliance, Bright Health and Confluent. http://axios.link/5qsp

🚑 ATAI Life Sciences, a developer of psychedelic medicines for mental health, raised $225 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced at the high end of its $14-$15 range, for a $2.3 billion market cap, and finished its first day of trading (Nasdaq: ATAI) at $19.45 per share. Backers include Peter Thiel. http://axios.link/Li1c

🚑 Century Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based developer of stem cell therapies for cancer, raised $211 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced at the high end of its $18-$20 range, for a $1.1 billion market value, listed on the Nasdaq (IPSC) and had raised $485 million from firms like Versant Ventures (30.8% pre-IPO stake), Bayer (27.2%), Casdin Capital (5.6%), Fidelity, Federated Hermes Kauffman Funds, RA Capital, Logos Capital, OrbiMed, Marshall Wace, Qatar Investment Authority, Avidity Partners and Octagon Capital. http://axios.link/dU0S

🚑 Cyteir Therapeutics, a Lexington, Mass.-based developer of synthetic lethal therapies for cancer, raised $133 million in its IPO. It priced at the high end of its $16-$18 range, for a $620 million market value, and listed on the Nasdaq (CYT). Cyteir had raised from Novo Holdings (16.9% pre-IPO stake), Venrock (12%), Osage University Partners (9.1% pre-IPO stake), Lightstone Ventures (9%), Droia Ventures (9.5%) and RA Capital (5.8%). http://axios.link/WRQB

Intapp, a Palo Alto-based provider of business management software for professional services firms, set IPO terms to 10.5 million shares at $25-$28. It would have a fully-diluted value of $1.9 billion, were it to price in the middle, plans to list on the Nasdaq (INTA) and reports a $31 million net loss on $153 million in revenue for the nine months ending March 31, 2021. Backers include Temasek and Great Hill Partners. http://axios.link/l5M7

LegalZoom.com, a Glendale, Calif.-based provider of online legal solutions, set IPO terms to 19.1 million shares at $24-$27. It would have a $5.3 billion fully-diluted value, were it to price in the middle, plans to list on the Nasdaq (LZ) and reports $10 million of profit on $471 million in revenue for 2020. Shareholders include Francisco Partners, IVP, Kleiner Perkins, TCV and Bryant Stibel. http://axios.link/yQJC

SentinelOne, a Mountain View, Calif.-based autonomous cybersecurity platform, set IPO terms to 32 million shares at $26-$29. It would have an $8.2 billion fully-diluted value, were it to price in the middle, plans to list on the NYSE (S) and reports a $118 million net loss on $93 million in revenue for 2020. The company raised over $260 million in VC funding, most recently at a $3.1 billion valuation, from firms like Insight Partners (15.8% pre-IPO stake), Tiger Global (12.4%), Third Point Ventures (11.3%), Redpoint Ventures (8%), DCVC (5.2%) and Anchorage Capital (5%). http://axios.link/OC7M

Xometry, a Gaithersburg, Md.-based online marketplace for custom-manufactured parts, set IPO terms to 6.9 million shares at $38-$42. It would have a fully-diluted value of $1.9 billion, were it to price in the middle, will list on the Nasdaq (XMTR) and reports a $31 million net loss on $141 million in revenue for 2020. The company raised around $200 million in VC funding from firms like Highland Capital Partners, T. Rowe Price, Foundry Group, BMW iVentures,Greenspring Associates and Durable Capital Partners. http://axios.link/t6QW

SPAC Stuff

Portage Fintech Acquisition, a fintech SPAC formed by Portage Ventures, filed for a $200 million IPO. http://axios.link/baRc

Liquidity Events

🚑 Antin Infrastructure Partners seeking a buyer for French private hospital group Almaviva Sante, which could fetch more than €1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Yhy7

Hyundai Motor Group completed its purchase of an 80% stake in robotics firm Boston Dynamics from SoftBank at a $1.1 billion valuation. http://axios.link/ljab

More M&A

CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI) agreed to buy Sioux Falls-based agriculture tech company Raven Industries (Nasdaq: RAVN) for $2.1 billion, or $58 per share. http://axios.link/SWax

Telenor (Oslo: TEL) agreed to merge its Malaysian operations with those of Axiata Group (KL: AXIA), creating a $15 billion telecom leader in Malaysia. http://axios.link/hXvi

Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK) will pay $2.15 billion to buy the North American building products unit of Australia's Boral (ASX: BLD). http://axios.link/ubMr

Fundraising

FSN Capital Partners, an Oslo-based midmarket PE firm, raised €1.8 billion for its sixth fund. http://axios.link/iAd8

GI Partners raised $3.9 billion for its ninth private equity fund. www.gipartners.com

🚑 GHO Capital Partners, a London-based healthcare PE firm, raised more than €2 billion for its third fund, per PE International. www.ghocapital.com

OpenGate Capital is pre-marketing its third flagship fund, which could target up to $850 million, per Buyouts. http://axios.link/cQOV

TPG is raising $5 billion for a climate-focused fund, per public pension docs. http://axios.link/RBqz

It's Personnel

Ajay Kavan joined KKR as a London-based senior advisor to Europe. He previously was CEO of Matches Fashion. www.kkr.com

Meahgan O’Grady joined Palladium Equity Partners as director of business development. She previously was with KPS Capital Partners. www.palladiumequity.com

Final Numbers: Cybersecurity VC funding

Source: PitchBook

Cybersecurity startups have nearly raised more VC funding in the first half of 2021 than in any full year, while average valuations have more than doubled, per PitchBook:

"The push to scale comes as digital security takes over boardroom deliberations. Ransomware attacks targeting Colonial Pipeline and beef producer JBS have shown how sophisticated hackers can bring large corporations to their knees."

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