Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
SoftBank and former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann are nearing a detente in their long-running legal battle, as first reported by WSJ and confirmed by Axios.
Why it matters: WeWork isn't a party to the litigation, but having it settled would help smooth the company's post-pandemic path, which is expected to include a second stab at the public markets.
Backstory: SoftBank in the fall of 2019 agreed to buy up to $3 billion of WeWork shares via a tender offer, as part of a broader rescue package in the aftermath of the company's failed IPO. Included was around $970 million for Neumann, who also received nearly $200 million to leave the CEO spot and give up his voting rights.
Fast forward: Sources say that the proposed settlement would apply to both lawsuits, with the $3 billion effectively cut in half.
Bottom line: Given everything that's transpired since SoftBank first agreed to the tender, this feels like a win for all parties.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Lucid Motors, a Newark, Calif.-based electric car maker led by former Tesla chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, agreed to go public at an implied $24 billion valuation via reverse merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV (NYSE: CCIV), a SPAC led by Michael Klein.
• Plume, a Palo Alto-based provider of smart home services, raised $270 million from Insight Partners at a $1.35 billion post-money valuation. www.plume.com
• Zomato, an Indian food delivery company, raised $250 million at a $5.4 billion post-money valuation from Kora, Fidelity, Tiger Global, Bow Wave and Dragoneer. http://axios.link/5l9o
🚑 Clover Biopharma, a Chinese developer of vaccines for COVID-19 variants, raised $230 million in Series C funding. GL Ventures and Temasek co-led, and were joined by Oceanpine Capital, OrbiMed and insider Delos Capital. http://axios.link/zAwV
• Highspot, a Seattle-based provider of enterprise sales enablement software, raised $200 million in Series E funding. Tiger Global led, and was joined by Bain & Co. and insiders Iconiq, Madrona Venture Group, OpenView, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Shasta Ventures. http://axios.link/XXDm
• TymeBank, a South African digital bank, raised around $109 million from Apis Partners and JG Summit Holdings. http://axios.link/YMmI
• Anuvia, a Winter Garden, Fla.-based developer of crop fertilizer alternatives, raised $103 million from TPG ART, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund, Generate Capital and Piva Capital. http://axios.link/TJxr
• ScienceLogic, a Reston, Va.-based IT operations management company, raised $105 million in Series E funding. Silver Lake Waterman led, and was joined by insiders Goldman Sachs, Intel Capital and NewView Capital. www.sciencelogic.com
🚑 ABclonal Biotech, a life science research and diagnostic reagents manufacturer, raised $93 million in Series C funding. Sequoia Capital China and LYFE Capital co-led, and were joined by Sigma Square Capital, Kinghall Ventures and Lucion Capital. http://axios.link/sNVM
• Aviatrix, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based cloud network platform, raised $75 million in Series D funding at a valuation north of $700 million. General Catalyst led, and was joined by Greenspring Associates, Meritech Capital, TrueBridge and insiders CRV, Formation 8, Ignition and Liberty Global Ventures http://axios.link/gCSn
• Creatio, a Boston-based low-code startup, raised $68 million led by Volition Capital. http://axios.link/IpEE
• Burrow, a modular furniture startup, raised $55 million in Series C funding. Parkway VC led, and was joined by NEA, Red & Blue Ventures, Winklevoss Capital and Michael Seibel. http://axios.link/R4Bo
• Splice, a New York-based music creation platform, raised $55 million led by a joint venture by Liontree and music exec Matt Pincus. Existing backers include Flybridge Capital Partners, DFJ Growth, True Ventures and USV. http://axios.link/Pa4Q
• Shippo, a San Francisco-based provider of shipping software, raised $45 million in Series D funding. D1 Capital led, and was joined by insiders Bessemer Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Uncork Capital and Version One. www.goshippo.com
• Codeacademy, a New York-based coding class provider, raised $40 million in Series D funding. Owl Ventures led, and was joined by Prosus and USV. http://axios.link/vDBw
• Electric, a New York-based provider of IT support services for SMBs, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Greenspring Associates led, and was joined by Atreides Management, Vintage Investment Partners and insiders Bessemer Venture Partners, GGV Capital, 01 Advisors and Primary Venture Partners. www.electric.ai
• NextCar, a startup for car leases and subscriptions formed by TrueCar and Fair founder Scott Painter, raised about $30 million in seed funding from investors like Reid Hoffmann and Mark Pincus, per Axios. http://axios.link/gZzQ
🚑 January AI, a Menlo Park-based diabetes management startup, raised $21 million from Felicis Ventures, Hand Capital and Marc Benioff. http://axios.link/icFF
• Heyday, a New York-based skincare brand, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Level 5 Capital Partners led, and was joined by insiders Lerer Hippeau and Fifth Wall Ventures. www.heydaytskincare.com
• Rows, a Berlin-based startup that lets users build and analyze web apps via spreadsheet, raised $16 million in Series B funding. Lakestar led, and was joined by insiders Accel and Cherry Ventures. http://axios.link/KhTA
• Platform9, a Mountain View-based managed private and edge cloud platform, raised $12.5 million in new Series D funding. WRVI Capital led, and was joined by insiders NGP Capital, Mubadala Ventures, Canvas Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Redpoint Ventures. www.platform9.com
• Katana, an Estonian provider of manufacturing ERP software for SMBs, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Atomico. http://axios.link/Luuh
• CGTrader, a Lithuanian 3D model provider, raised $9.5 million in Series B funding. Evli Growth Partners led, and was joined by return backers Karma Ventures and LVV Group. http://axios.link/xObh
• Blocpower, a Brooklyn-based provider of energy efficiency solutions for urban buildings, raised $8 million in Series A equity funding and $55 million in debt. Backers include American Family Insurance Institute, AccelR8, Goldman Sachs, Kapor Capital, CityRock Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Elemental Excelerator and Schmidt Family Foundation. www.blockpower.io
• HowGood, a New York-based sustainability database for the food and personal care industries, raised $6 million. Contour Venture Partners led, and was joined by FirstMark Capital, Danone Manifesto Ventures and Trailhead Capital. http://axios.link/55bv
• ErudiFi, a Singapore-based education financing startup, raised $5 million in Series A funding co-led by Monk's Hill Ventures and Qualgro. http://axios.link/Pa4A
• Gophr, a British last-mile delivery startup, raised £4 million led by Nauta Capital. http://axios.link/WkS9
• Laundryheap, a British on-demand laundry and dry cleaning startup, $3.5 million in Series A funding led by Sova VC. http://axios.link/nDzF
• Snack, a video-based online dating startup, raised $3.5 million. Kindred Ventures and Coelius Capital co-led, and were joined Golden Ventures, Garage Capital, Panache Ventures and N49P. http://axios.link/oOtA
• Better Origin, a British startup that converts food waste into chicken feed, raised $3 million led by Fly Ventures. http://axios.link/2yMk
⛽ ArcLight Capital Partners will pay $830 million for a 25% stake in Natural Gas Pipeline Co., one of the country’s largest interstate pipeline systems, from Kinder Morgan and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. http://axios.link/VPTY
• Ares Management is nearing a deal for a control stake in the asset management unit of Australia's AMP (ASX: AMP) at an enterprise value north of $3 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/zNWN
• Computer Design & Integration, a New York-based portfolio company of One Equity Partners, acquired Kintyre, a Wilmington, Del.-based system integrator. www.cdillc.com
• GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners agreed to buy Wells Fargo Asset Management from Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) for $2.1 billion. http://axios.link/mcjo
• KKR agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chile's largest fiber optic network, Telefónica Chile, for around $1 billion. http://axios.link/xheO
• NovaQuest Private Equity invested in Pro-ficiency, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of training and compliance solutions for clinical trial investigators and site staff. www.pro-ficiency.com
🚀 Redwire, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, acquired Deployable Space Systems, a Goleta, Calif.-based provider of deployable solar arrays, structures and mechanisms for space applications. www.redwirespace.com
🚑 SPT Labtech, a sample-prep company owned by Battery Ventures, acquired both Apricot Designs (Covina, Calif.) and BioMicroLab (Concord, Calif.). www.sptlabtech.com
• Oatly, the Swedish oat milk company backed by Blackstone, Oprah and Jay-Z, filed confidential IPO papers. http://axios.link/uKWg
⛽ Vine Energy, a Blackstone-backed natural gas E&P operating in Louisiana's Haynesville Basin, filed for an IPO that Renaissance Capital estimates could raise $500 million. It previously filed for an IPO in April 2017, but later withdrew. http://axios.link/5sWf
• Ardagh Group (NYSE: ARD) said it will spin off its metal packaging unit via a reverse merger with Gores Holdings V (Nasdaq: GRSV) at an implied valuation of $8.5 billion. http://axios.link/U8B7
• Acies Acquisition II, a SPAC chaired by ex-MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, filed for a $250 million IPO. http://axios.link/q1G8
• ESM Acquisition, a low carbon SPAC formed by The Energy & Minerals Group, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/xZjf
• FTAC Athena Acquisition, a financial services-focused SPAC led by Betsy Cohen and Amanda Abrams, raised $220 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/RUzI
• Khosla Ventures filed to raise $200 million for its fourth SPAC. http://axios.link/QLW0
• PWP Forward Acquisition I, a "women-forward" SPAC backed by Perella Weinberg, filed for a $200 million IPO. http://axios.link/oJwg
• Queen's Gambit Growth Capital II, a SPAC formed by Colle Capital Partners, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/G5R5
⚾ Slam Corp., a SPAC led by Alex Rodriguez, raised $500 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/vFFC
• Tio Tech A, a Europe tech-enabled SPAC led chaired by HelloFresh CEO Dominik Richter, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/n6h6
• Waldencast Acquisition, a SPAC chaired by the former Anheuser-Busch InBev, filed for a $250 million IPO. http://axios.link/IM9e
🚑 Audax Private Equity agreed to sell Canadian early drug development services firm Altasciences to Novo Holdings. http://axios.link/sRdk
• Aviva (LSE: AV) agreed to sell its French operations to Aéma Groupe for €3.2 billion. http://axios.link/RZm4
• Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL) offered to pay around $1 billion for a control stake in DECIEM Beauty Group, parent company Ordinary skincare products. http://axios.link/io8N
🍾 Moet Hennessy, owned by LVMH, agreed to buy a 50% stake in Jay-Z's champagne brand Armand de Brignac. http://axios.link/4oJb
• Standish, a San Francisco fund administrator, invested in Redwood Valuation, a provider of valuation services to tech and life sciences companies. www.standishmanagement.com
• Pauline Chatin joined 17Capital as a Paris-based director of IR and fundraising. She previously was with Lyxor Asset Management. www.17capital.com
• Jason Neal rejoined Landmark Partners as a director of IR and biz dev. He left Landmark in 2018, after which he worked at both FlowStone Partners and Pomona Capital.
• Joel Stanwood stepped down as a partner with American Industrial Partners to launch StoneTree Investment Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm focused on industrials.
M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) yagreed to buy People's United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT) for $7.6 billion in stock.
Why it matters, per Courtenay Brown in the debut issue of her new afternoon biz newsletter, Axios Closer: "It adds to the parade of regional lenders — which have taken an active role in distributing PPP loans — swallowing each other in an effort to survive a more treacherous backdrop."
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