Axios Pro Rata

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June 08, 2022

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Top of the Morning

Illustration of a quarter as an archery target with an arrow in the center

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Most private equity firms claim to have top-decile returns, or at least top-quartile, but perhaps they no longer need to embellish.

Driving the news: Most limited partners in PE funds say that they'd hit their return targets with "only median fund performance," according to new survey results from Coller Capital.

  • Coller conducts these "barometers" biannually, with this one surveying 110 LPs between Feb. 7 and March 30.

The big picture: LPs aren't going to shirk away from private equity, despite short-term denominator effects and ongoing reputational issues. Namely because 71% of respondents tell Coller that their private equity portfolios have outperformed their public equities portfolios since the global financial crisis, with only 14% reporting the opposite.

  • For context, LP consultant Cambridge Associates reports 10-year pooled private equity returns, net of fees and carried interest, at 18.51% as of Dec. 31, 2021.

The big warning sign: 42% of respondents report net annual returns over 16% for the lifetime of their PE portfolios. The last time Coller got a number that high (45%) was in 2007, shortly before the "Golden Age" was indelibly tarnished.


Coller's survey had some other notable findings:

  • Nearly half (47%) of LPs now invest in funds that buy GP stakes in PE firms, up from 36% in last summer's survey.
  • 93% of European LPs require exclusion of weapons investments, whereas the figure is 70% for North American LPs.
  • 81% of LPs say they don't expect to ever invest in funds that buy cryptocurrencies/tokens, including 44% that have a policy against doing so. That said, 30% are in funds that back crypto companies and another 13% plan to make such commitments within the next few years.
  • Nearly half of all LPs, including 47% of North American LPs, are upping compensation to attract talent.
  • One-third of North American LPs expect increased default rates in their private credit portfolios, as interest rates rise, although that view is shared by just one-fifth of European LPs.


Illustration of a stack of hundred dollar bills underneath a football field.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Denver Broncos agreed to be sold for $4.65 billion to Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner and her husband, Greg Penner (who chairs Walmart's board and leads the Walton family's VC group Madrone Capital Partners).

Why it's the BFD: This is the most ever paid for a professional sports franchise, topping the prior record set just nine days ago when Todd Boehly bought British soccer club Chelsea F.C.

Pregame: Pat Bowlen paid just $78 million to buy the Broncos in 1984, but died in 2019 before picking a successor among his seven children. There also had been some legal wrangling with former owner Edgar Kaiser Jr., who claimed to have a right of first refusal to repurchase the team, but a judge in January ruled that the agreement was no longer valid.

The bottom line: This was barely an auction, given that Walton is said to have preemptively floated a $4 billion-plus figure to the Broncos back in January. There were other official bidders, including private equity execs Josh Harris and José Feliciano, but none with equally deep pockets.

Venture Capital Deals

Multiverse, a New York-based tech apprenticeship platform, raised $220m in Series D funding at a $1.7b valuation. StepStone Group led, and was joined by insiders Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst.

Branch, a Columbus, Ohio-based home and auto insurance startup, raised $147m in Series C funding at a $1.05b valuation. Weatherford Capital led, and was joined by Acrew, AmFam Ventures, Anthemis, Gaingels, Greycroft, HSCM Ventures, Narya, SignalFire and Tower IV.

🚑 CareBridge, a Nashville-based value-based care provider, raised $140m. Oak HC/FT led, and was joined by five Managed Medicaid plans.

Kushki, an Ecuadoran payments infrastructure startup, raised $100m in new Series B funding at a $1.5b valuation from Kaszek Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, SoftBank and DILA Capital.

Immuta, a Boston-based data governance startup, raised $100m in Series E funding at a $1b valuation. NightDragon led, and was joined by Snowflake Ventures and insiders Dell Technologies Capital, DFJ Growth, IAG, Intel Capital, March Capital, StepStone, Ten Eleven Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Vanta, an SF-based enterprise data security compliance startup, raised $100m at a $1.4b valuation. Craft Ventures led and was joined by insider Sequoia Capital.

BUD, a London-based open banking startup, raised $80m led by an affiliate of TDR Capital.

🚑 Code Bio, a Hatfield, Pa.-based biotech focused on non-viral delivery of genetic medicines, raised $75m in Series A funding. Northpond Ventures led, and was joined by Amgen Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, UCB Ventures, NEA, 4BIO Capital, CureDuchenne Ventures, JDRF T1D Fund, UPMC Enterprises and Takeda Ventures.

🚑 ImmunOs Therapeutics, a Swiss oncology startup focused on myeloid checkpoint targets, raised $74m in Series B funding. Samsara BioCapital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Gimv co-led, and were joined by Mission BioCapital, GL Capital, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, Fiscus Financial and insiders Pfizer Ventures, BioMed Partners and Schroder Adveq.

Take Blip, a Brazilian online messaging platform for businesses, raised $70m in Series B funding led by Warburg Pincus.

Delphia, a "share to earn" investment app, raised $60m in Series A funding. Multicoin Capital led, and was joined by FTX Ventures, Ribbit Capital, M13 and Lattice Ventures.

🚑 Bicycle Health, a Boston-based provider of virtual treatments for opioid addiction, raised $50m in Series B funding, per Axios Pro. InterAlpen Partners led, and was joined by Questa Capital, Frist Cressey Ventures and City Light Capital.

LibLab, an Austin, Texas-based SDK-as-a-service platform for engineering teams, raised $42m in Series A funding. Insight Partners led, and was joined by Zeev Ventures, Stepstone Group, Sheva and Rainfall.

Ethena, a Brooklyn-based compliance training startup, raised $30m in Series B funding. Lachy Groom led, and was joined by Felicis Ventures, Homebrew and Neo.

🚑 Anagenex, a Boston-based small molecule drug discovery startup, raised $30m in Series A funding. Catalio Capital Management led, and was joined by insiders Lux Capital, Khosla Ventures, Obvious Ventures, Air Street Capital and Menlo Ventures.

🚑 Moxe, a Madison, Wis.-based health data exchange, raised $30m in Series B funding. Piper Sandler and Vensana Capital co-led, and were joined by insiders Safeguard Scientifics, UPMC Enterprises and 3M Ventures.

Trovata, a San Diego-based cash management automation startup, raised $27m in Series B funding. Fin Capital led, and was joined by JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One Ventures, Pivot Investment Partners and NAB Ventures.

Calaxy, an LA-based web3 social marketplace, raised $26m. Animoca Brands and HBAR Foundation co-led, and were joined by Polygon.

Onfleet, an SF-based provider of last-mile delivery management software, raised $23m in Series B funding. Kayne Partners led, and was joined by Savant Growth.

🚑 CareAcademy, a Boston-based care enablement platform for home care and home health organizations, raised $20m led by Goldman Sachs.

Ledgible, an Atlanta-based crypto tax and accounting startup, raised $20m in Series A funding. EJF Capital led, and was joined by Thomson Reuters Ventures, Fenbushi US and TTV Capital.

Canix, an SF-based seed-to-sale cannabis startup, raised $10m from Altair VC, Canthexis Ventures and Emles Ventures.

Opal, an employee access management startup, raised $10m in Series A funding led by Greylock.

🚑 Massive Bio, a New York-based clinical trials startup, raised $9m co-led by Revo Capital and PaigeAI chair Kenan Turnacioğlu.

443ID, an Austin, Texas-based identity and access management cybersecurity startup, raised $8m in seed funding co-led by Bill Wood Ventures and Silverton Partners.

🌎 Prometheus Materials, a Niwot, Colo.-based maker of zero-carbon building materials, raised $8m in Series A funding led by Sofinnova Partners, per Axios Pro.

Strella Biotechnologies, a Seattle-based provider of food freshness data, raised $8m in Series A funding. Millennium New Horizons led, and was joined by GV, Rich Products Ventures, Mark Cuban, Yamaha Motor Ventures, Catapult Ventures and Union Labs.

• Navigate, a Singapore-based crypto rewards startup, raised $7.6m in seed funding. Distributed Global led, and was joined by Kraken Ventures, Outlier Ventures and Alan Howard.

• Adelaide, a New York-based ad tech startup that argues CPMs and impressions are outdated, raised $7m in seed funding led by Human Ventures, per Axios Pro.

• Teal, a Miami-based career growth startup, raised $6.3m in seed funding. City Light Capital led, and was joined by Rethink Education, Human Ventures, Gaingels, Pareto Ventures, Basecamp Fund, Zelkova Ventures, Flybridge, Lerer Hippeau and Oceans.

• Kira Learning, a K-12 computer science edtech, raised $6m in seed funding co-led by NEA and AI Fund.

• Mash, a Toronto-based payments platform that uses the Bitcoin and Lightning networks, raised US$6m in seed funding. Castle Island Ventures and Whitecap Venture Partners co-led, and were joined by Maple VC, Strategic Cyber Ventures, Aquanow and Spacecadet Ventures.

🌎 Virridy, a Boulder, Colo.-based developer of IoT sensors for environmental resource management, raised $5.5m in Series A funding. Accord Capital led, and was joined by FHI 360, Cleo Capital, Reverent Rock, Save Earth and VertueLab.

• Nextiles, a New York-based maker of smart fabrics for athletes, raised $5m seed funding. Drive by DraftKings led, and was joined by the NBA, Madison Square Garden Sports, Alumni Ventures and SmartSports.

• Reflex, an Austin, Texas-based online marketplace for retailers and retail workers, raised $4.5m in seed funding. Indicator Ventures led, and was joined by Sugar Capital and Red Swan Ventures.

Proper, a provider of data reconciliation software for fintechs, raised $4.3m in seed funding. Redpoint Ventures led, and was joined by BoxGroup, Mischief and YC.

• Klearly, a Cary, N.C.-based revenue analytics startup, raised $4m. York IE led, and was joined by IDEA Fund Partners, Studio VC, Front Porch Ventures and the Triangle Tweener Fund.

🌎 Datia, a Sweden-based sustainability calculation fintech, raised $3.4m in seed funding led by Nauta Capital.

• Geode Finance, a London-based liquid staking solution for DAOs, raised $3m in seed funding. Multicoin Capital led and was joined by GSR, C2 Ventures, Yield Yak and Eden Network.

• Samudai, a DAO for managing and building web3 communities, raised $2.5m from backers like FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Lunar Ventures.

Private Equity Deals

• Antelope, an SF-based portfolio company of Alpine Investors, acquired a pet CBD supplier called Diggin’ Your Dog and Super Snouts.

🐔 Atlas Holdings bought Foster Farms, a Livingston, Calif.-based provider of poultry products with around $3b in annual revenue.

🚑 EQT and Novo Holdings are among those exploring bids for SPT Labtech, a British life sciences sample prep company being sold by Battery Ventures, per Bloomberg. Agilent Technologies and Danaher Corp. also have reported interest.

🚑 HOPCo, a Phoenix-based musculoskeletal physician practice management platform, acquired the MSK-specific tech platforms developed by London's Future Health Works. HOPCo backers include Linden Capital, Audax Private Equity and Frazier Healthcare Partners.

• Longreach Group and Navis Capital are in exclusive talks to buy Japanese eyewear retailer Owndays from L Catterton Asia and Mitsui Co., in what could be a $400m deal, per Bloomberg.

🚑 Northlane Capital Partners invested in SAI MedPartners, a Reading, Pa.-based healthcare consultancy.

• Outdoor Living Supply, a Rochester, Minn.-based portfolio company of Trilantic North America, acquired The Rock Garden, a Truckee, Calif.-based distributor of natural stone and hardscapes.

• Rainier Partners invested in Pet Food Express, an Oakland-based omnichannel pet retailer with over 60 physical locations.

• Schroders, the largest shareholder in British bus and coach operator FirstGroup (LSE: FGP) with an 18% stake, is urging the company to reject a £1.2b takeover offer from I Squared Capital.

🚑 StatLab, a McKinney, Texas-based portfolio company of Audax Private Equity and Linden Capital Partners, acquired CellPath, a British maker of products for the histology and cytology markets.

Liquidity Events

• Warburg Pincus hired Evercore to find a buyer for Reorg, a New York-based distressed debt and bankruptcy information provider that could fetch more than $1.5b, per the FT.

More M&A

🚑 Henry Schein (Nasdaq: HSIC) agreed to acquire Condor Dental, a Swiss dental distribution company.

🚑 Kindbody, a VC-backed fertility benefits provider, acquired Phosphorus Labs, a New Jersey-based preventive genomics company.

• MFS Africa, an African digital payments company that’s raised $124m in VC funding, is acquiring Global Technology Partners, a Tulsa, Okla.-based prepaid card and mobile payments company, for $34m.

• SAF Holland, a German auto supplier, offered to buy the stake it doesn’t already own in Swedish brakemaker Haldex (ST: HLDX) for around $325m.

✈️ Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) pushed back a shareholder vote on its takeover offer from Frontier Airlines (Nasdaq: ULCC) to June 30, in order to further review a sweetened offer from JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU).


• Felix Capital, a London-based VC firm, raised $600m for its fourth fund.

• Obvious Ventures raised a total of $461m for its fourth flagship fund and its second opportunities fund. The exact fund amounts are palprimes (i.e., prime numbers that also are palindromes). Obvious also hired Kahini Shah (ex-Gradient Ventures) as a principal.

• Pitango, an Israeli VC firm, is launching an investment DAO to invest in web3 startups.

• Solana Foundation and Solana Ventures launched a $100m fund for South Korean web3 startups.

• Titan Capital Partners, an Israeli direct and secondary VC firm, raised $100m for its debut fund.

It's Personnel

• George Barsness joined OMERS Private Equity as an associate director. He previously was with Gemspring Capital.

🚑 Ben Brier, former CEO of Kindred Healthcare, joined Partners Group as a partner and head of its U.S. private equity health and life sciences group.

• Sarah Guo stepped down as a general partner with Greylock to launch her own VC firm, as first reported by Axios.

🚑 Rakesh Mehta and Najeeb Ali joined Centerview Partners from JPMorgan’s healthcare investment banking group.

Final Numbers: IPO proceeds

IPO proceeds
Source: Renaissance Capital. Data through June 8, 2022.

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