An early edition, as I've got a poorly-timed flight back to Boston from LA. Great seeing so many Pro Rata readers over the past few days, and hello to the new folks who signed up. Okay, here we go...
Airbnb made two major announcements yesterday: It's not going public in 2018, and chief financial officer Lawrence Tosi is out.
• Ex-T-Sec: Tim Geithner said on stage last night that he's not surprised by recent labor market gains or "animal spirits" in public equities, arguing that it typically takes economies around a decade to recover from major crises.
• It's not me, it's PitchBook: In each of the past four Super Bowls, the winning team has been the one whose area raised the most VC funding in the prior year.
• Mega-M&A update: It appears the board meetings went well yesterday, as CBS and Viacom said that they have formed special committees to explore a merger.
• Market mover: Lots of LP buzz about a Reuters report that Sequoia "aims to raise up to $8 billion" for its third global growth fund, particularly from Sequoia LPs who say formal marketing hasn't yet begun.
• Missing line: Yesterday's lead item on SoftBank mistakenly left out an important line, so let's try this part again:
SoftBank CEO Masa Son's believes that the world is in a rare technological inflection point, and that large deal sizes are justifiable if you're thinking well beyond a 10-year investment horizon. More like a 30-year to 3oo-year horizon. (Yes, that 300 figure was said repeatedly, so it wasn't just a tongue slip.)
• Have a great weekend... Go Pats!
Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass. mRNA drug discovery and development company, has raised $500 million in new VC funding at a reported valuation of $7.5 billion. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, BB Biotech, Julius Baer, EDBI and Sequoia Capital China were joined by return backers Fidelity, Pictet, Viking Global Investors, ArrowMark Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments.
• BigBasket, an India-based online grocery, has raised $300 million in new funding at a $950 million post-money valuation from Alibaba Group, Abraaj Group and Bessemer Venture Partners. http://axios.link/gsfo
• Joby Aviation, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based maker of flying taxis, has raised $100 million in Series B funding. Intel Capital led, and was joined by based EDBI, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Allen & Co., AME Cloud Ventures, Ron Conway, Capricorn Investment Group, 8VC, Sky Dayton and Paul Sciarra. http://axios.link/HCZk
🚑 Avrobio, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of gene therapies for rare conditions like Fabry disease, has raised $60 million in Series B funding. Cormorant Asset Management and Surveyor Capital co-led, and were joined by Aisling Capital, Brace Pharma Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Morningside Ventures and return backers Atlas Venture, SV Health Investors and Clarus Ventures. http://axios.link/eXpr
• Platterz, a Toronto-based corporate catering startup, has raised US$15 million in Series A funding. Aleph led, and was joined by return backers AltaIR Capital and Globalive Capital. http://axios.link/0H4i
• Wildmoka, a French provider of video editing software for live events, has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alven Capital and seed backer Apicap. http://axios.link/ceqx
• CanvasPop, a Canadian company that prints photos onto various surfaces, has raised C$3.3 million in its first round of outside funding. Celtic House Venture Partners and BDC co-led. http://axios.link/aILN
• Audax Private Equity has acquired Protective Industrial Products Global, a maker of hand-protection product, in partnership with the co-founding families. http://axios.link/3aZj
• Oak Hill Capital Partners has completed its previously-announced purchase of Safe Fleet, a Belton, Mo.-based provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, from The Sterling Group. www.safefleet.com
✈ Corporación América Airports, an Argentina-based operator of 52 airports, raised $486 million in its IPO. It priced 28.6 million shares at $17 (below $19-$23 range), and closed its first trading day at $16.40. The company now trades on the NYSE under ticker CAAP, while Oppenheimer & Co. served as lead underwriter. http://axios.link/520r
⛽ FTS International, a Fort Worth, Texas-based provider of hydraulic fracturing services for the oil and gas industry, raised $351 million in its IPO. The company priced 19.5 million shares at $18, compared to original plans to offer 15.2 million shares at $15-$18. It will trade on the NYSE under ticker FTSI, with Credit Suisse serving as lead underwriter. Shareholders include Chesapeake Energy, RRJ Capital and Temasek. www.ftsi.com
• Sun Capital Partners is seeking a buyer for Spanish toymaker Famosa, according to Dow Jones. www.famosa.es
• AT&T (NYSE: T) has hired BofA to consider a sale of its data center business, which generates around $135 million in annual EBITDA, according to the WSJ. http://axios.link/uaEj
• Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) has agreed to acquire Canadian security camera maker Avigilon (TSX: AVO) for C$1.2 billion in cash, or C$27 per share (18.3% premium over yesterday’s closing price). http://axios.link/rW6U
• 8VC, the San Francisco-based venture firm led by Joe Lonsdale, is raising $640 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. A source says that a final close is expected shortly.
• Baidu Venture Capital held a first close for its second RMB-denominated fund, bringing in the equivalent of around $317 million. http://axios.link/MaP7
• Science Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based tech incubator, has raised $75 million for a new fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/6H8C
Women VCs last night on the Warner Brothers backlot at The Upfront Summit