Situational awareness: U.S. GDP fell 4.8% in Q1, the largest quarterly drop since the Great Recession, with expectations that the Q2 slowdown will be significantly worse.
You're invited: Axios tomorrow at 12:30pm ET will host a virtual live event on how the pandemic has impacted our work lives, featuring conversations with Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. Register here.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Private equity has long dabbled around the edges of professional sports, but now has its first firm dedicated to buying into teams.
Driving the news: Arctos Sports Partners has been launched by David "Doc" O'Connor, former president of Madison Square Garden Co., and Ian Charles, a longtime private equity secondaries investor who spent the past 13 years at Landmark Partners.
Axios has learned from multiple sources that Arctos is raising between $1 billion and $1.5 billion for its debut fund, with $500 million already committed from backers like the Petershill unit of Goldman Sachs.
The state of play: Major League Baseball late last year changed its ownership rules to permit funds to be part of team ownership groups, leaving the NFL as America’s only major sports league to still prohibit them.
📣 Axios last night announced that it will return the $4.8 million Public Paycheck Protection loan for which it applied and qualified earlier this month.
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast dug deeper into the concept of state bankruptcy, and if it's really just a political ploy. My guest is The Atlantic's David Frum. Listen here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), a Beijing-based e-commerce giant, filed confidentially for a Hong Kong stock float that could raise at least $2 billion, per multiple reports.
Today's project is for your kids to design their dream bedrooms. Giant bunk-beds, slides, or whatever they'd want if space and money were no object. They can draw them, craft them, Lego them, write about them, etc.
Yesterday's project was for your kids to create a brand new animal. And they did:
🚑 Mojo Vision, a Saratoga, Calif.-based maker of smart contact lenses, raised $51 million in Series B-1 funding. NEA led, and was joined by Gradient Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, Struck Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, Motorola Solutions, Fusion Fund, Intellectus Partners, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, Numbase Group, and InFocus Capital Partners. http://axios.link/jtBh
• Catalyst, a New York-based customer success platform, raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Spark Capital. http://axios.link/LUiA
• Tecton.ai, a machine learning platform formed by three former Uber engineers, raised $20 million in Series A funding co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital. http://axios.link/kFQr
• Deliverect, a Belgian provider of online food delivery management software, raised $18 million in Series B funding. OMERS Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Newion and Smartfin. http://axios.link/VjPA
• Topia, a San Francisco-based talent mobility platform, raised $15 million in Series D funding from NewView Capital, Notion Capital, and Workday Ventures. http://axios.link/f9nY
🚑 Particle Health, a New York-based patient health data platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Menlo Ventures led, and was joined by Collaborative Fund, Story Ventures, and Company Ventures. http://axios.link/GY1h
• Vutiliti, a Salt Lake City-based provider of smart utility monitoring software, raised $11.75 million in Series A funding. Constellation Technology Ventures and Cycle Capital Management co-led, and were joined by Chevron Technology Ventures, University Venture Fund, and Kickstart Seed Fund. http://axios.link/dgD7
• Glofox, an Ireland-based provider of gym management software, raised $10 million in new Series A funding (round total now $20m). Octopus Ventures led, and was joined by Notion Capital, Partech, Silicon Valley Bank, and Tribal VC. http://axios.link/hfi8
• Fat Snax, a Brooklyn-based maker of low-carb and keto snacks, raised $5 million in Series A funding co-led by BFG Partners and Boulder Investment Group Reprise. http://axios.link/gBam
• Asterion Industrial Partners acquired Telefonica’s (Madrid: TEF) microwave radiolink portfolio in Spain. www.asterionindustrial.com
⛽ Marlin Equity and Thomas H. Lee Partners are vying to buy Open Systems International, a Medina, Minn.-based energy and utility software automation company that could fetch more than $900 million, per PE Hub. http://axios.link/ATQo
🦈 Jaws Acquisition, a blank check acquisition company led by Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht, filed for a $400 million IPO. It did not specify a target acquisition or sector, except to say it wouldn’t be competitive with Starwood Capital. http://axios.link/v3pE
• Novus Capital, a blank-check acquisition company focused on “smart tech,” filed for a $100 million IPO. http://axios.link/hgXd
• Arcus Infrastructure and Jose de Mello sold their 81% stake in Portuguese roadway operator Brisa at an enterprise value north of €3 billion to a group consisting of Dutch pension APG, South Korea’s National Pension Service, and a unit of Swiss Life. http://axios.link/QNQt
• Charlotte Tilbury, a London-based makeup brand, received takeover offers from Unilever, Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Shiseido, and Puig, per Bloomberg. The deal could be valued north of 1 billion, with sellers to include Sequoia Capital. http://axios.link/iwbw
• Rapid7 (Nasdaq: RPD) agreed to buy DivvyCloud, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of cloud security and governance SaaS, for $145 million in cash and stock. DivvyCloud had raised around $27 million from RTP Ventures, Providence Equity Partners, and MissionOG. http://axios.link/AWXX
🐔 Sun Capital Partners sold fast-casual restaurant chain Boston Market to Engage Brands, owned by Jay Pandya. http://axios.link/MrrV
• Cimpress (Nasdaq: CMPR), an Ireland-based customized print and signage e-commerce company, agreed to raise $300 million in secured notes from Apollo Global Management. www.cimpress.com
🚑 GlaxoSmithKline will seek a buyer for all or part of its 5.7% stake in Unilever’s listed India unit, which could fetch around $3.7 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/lLos
🚑 Manna Tree Partners, a Vail, Colo.-based private equity firm focused on human health and wellbeing, raised $142 million for its debut fund. www.mannatreepartners.com
• Wynnchurch Capital, an Illinois-based mid-market private equity firm, promoted Greg Gleason to partner and Brian Crumbaugh, Paul Ciolino, and Roy Sroka to partners. www.wynnchurch.com
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