I'll be in LA next Monday and (most of) Tuesday for the Milken Global Conference. If you want to grab an overpriced hotel lobby drink, let me know...
Top of the Morning
This metric was introduced yesterday via WeWork's $500 million debt offering, which was later upgraded to a $702 million debt offering. It caused all sorts of Twitter snickering (raises hand), in part thanks to this WSJ description:
"It subtracted not only interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but also basic expenses like marketing, general and administrative, and development and design costs."
So I spoke with WeWork president and COO Artie Minson, who previously was CFO for Time Warner Cable. He basically argued that "community-adjusted EBITDA" is WeWork's best way to calculate unit economics, as it is all the costs and expenses specific to existing WeWork facilities.
- The metric includes all tenant fees, rent expense, staffing expense, facilities management expense, etc. for active WeWork buildings.
- The exclusions are company-wide expenditures, which do not get pro rated. Much of that relates to growth efforts, although not all of it (executive salaries, for example).
- One comp, and its not perfect, could be how Shake Shack reports "shack-level operating profit margins."
- Bottom line: It's still kind of silly, but less silly than it at first appears. And obviously the ratings agencies and bond markets didn't seem put off.
• Middle East mess: Mubadala held talks to acquire Abraaj Capital's investment business, but they fizzled out within the past month, per Reuters. More:
Investment banks have also approached international private equity firms to look at Abraaj's investment arm, but some are holding off until after an investigation by forensic accounting experts Ankura Consulting.
• RIP: The last Virgin America flight landed on Tuesday night in San Francisco, with acquirer Alaska Air now having scrubbed airports and planes of all VA branding and sensibilities. Fondest farewell to the only major U.S. airline that never made me intensely angry.
- West also tweeted that he's looking forward to sitting down with Peter Thiel, and a source close to Thiel says: "They've met in the past and there's mutual interest in meeting again."
• Fallen fame: Boston-based adtech company BuySellAds yesterday said that it has acquired Digg. This comes just a week after Yahoo dumped Flickr to SmugMug. Neither Digg nor Flickr might mean much to the new generation of tech entrepreneurs or investors, but they should serve as a stark reminder that there can be a thin line between revolutionary and irrelevant.
Revolut, a London-based digital banking startup, raised $250 million in new funding at a $1.7 billion post-money valuation. DST Global led, and was joined by Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
- Why it's the BFD: Because Revolut's growth is astounding, even within the context of London's burgeoning digital banking sector (e.g. TransferWise, Monzo, etc.). It claims to have doubled its customer base to two million in the past five months and reports 250,000 daily active users — all just three years after initial product launch.
- Bottom line: "Revolut offers most of the features you’d expect of a current account, including physical and virtual debit cards, direct debits and money transfer. Its 'attack vector' (to borrow Monzo’s Tom Blomfield’s phrase) was originally low exchange fees when spending in a foreign currency, which undoubtedly fueled much of the startup’s early growth." — Steve O'Hear, TechCrunch
Venture Capital Deals
• Singulato Motors, a Chinese electric vehicle startup, said that it is finalizing a $474 million in Series C financing from unidentified investors. Existing backers include TaoYun Beijing Investment Fund, GX Capital and Qihoo 360. http://axios.link/MVqk
• Renrenche.com, a Chinese used car marketplace, has raised $300 million in sixth-round funding. Goldman Sachs led, and was joined by return backers Didi Chuxing and Tencent. http://axios.link/UB5A
• Weimob, a Chinese provider of WeChat business services, reportedly raised around $160 million in Series D funding from firms like Shanghai Free Trade Zone Equity Fund, V-Capital, Shanghai Guohe Capital and Zhejiang Paradise Silicon Valley Asset Management Grou.
• Innovium, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of networking solutions for data centers, raised $77 million in Series D funding from Greylock Partners, Walden Everbright, Walden Riverwood Ventures, Paxion Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Redline Capital, S-Cubed Capital and Qualcomm Ventures. www.innovium.com
🚑 Corvidia Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass.-based drug startup focused on chronic kidney disease, raised $60 million in Series B funding. Venrock led, and was joined by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures, Cormorant and founding backer Sofinnova Partners. http://axios.link/wz88
• Dosh, an Austin, Texas-based cashback app for retail customers, raised $44 million in Series A funding from backers like Goodwater Capital and PayPal. www.dosh.cash
🚑 Rallybio, a rare disease biotech startup founded by ex-Alexion execs, raised $37 million in Series A funding from 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners and Connecticut Innovations. http://axios.link/xcVK
• Rocketrip, a New York-based business travel loyalty platform, raised $15 million in Series C funding. GV led, and was joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners and Canaan Partners. http://axios.link/YNJ4
• Castbox, a Beijing-based podcast app, raised $13.5 million in Series B funding. SIG China led, and was joined by return backers IDG Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and GSR Ventures. http://axios.link/Hpwv
• NuMat Technologies, a Chicago-based developer of programmable nanomaterials, raised $12.4 million. OS Fund led, and was joined by Osage University Partners and the venture arm of Patagonia. www.numat-tech.com
• Allegro.ai, an Israeli provider of a platform for producing and training computer vision-based technologies, raised $11 million from MizMaa Ventures, RBVC, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Dynamic Loop Capital. http://axios.link/nIQw
• Fat Lama, a London-based P2P rental marketplace, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Blossom Capital led, and was joined by Atomico and Y Combinator. http://axios.link/eKlv
• PlaySight, a Cresskill, N.J.-based sports video and analytics platform, raised $10 million in new Series C funding from SoftBank Ventures Korea and CE Ventures (round total now $21m). www.playsight.com
• ScyliaDB, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based big data database startyp, raised $10 million in Series C funding. TLV Partners led, and was joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Magma Venture Partners and Western Digital. www.scyliadb.com
• Africa’s Talking, a Kenyan developer of business APIs, raised $8.6 million in new funding. IFC VC led, and was joined by Orange Digital Ventures and Social Capital. http://axios.link/MKum
• Rookout, an Israel-based production debugging platform, raised $4.2 million in seed funding from TLV Partners and Emerge. http://axios.link/doPV
• Uavia, a Paris-based developer of a platform for connected robotics and drones, raised $2.5 million in first-round funding from Airbus Ventures, Sofimac Innovation and Bpifrance.
Private Equity Deals
🚑 Advent International and Bain Capital have expressed interest in Elanco, the animal health unit of Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), according to Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Q4Vy
🚑 BGH Capital is leading a A$4.11 billion takeover offer for Australian hospital operator Healthscope (ASX: HSO). The A$2.36 per share bid represents a 16% premium on Tuesday’s closing price. http://axios.link/Dgut
• Cinven has agreed to acquire Partner in Pet Food, a Hungary-based pet food manufacturer. www.ppfeurope.com
🚑 Delphi Behavioral Health Group, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based portfolio company of The Halifax Group, has acquired Summit Behavioral Health, a Princeton Junction, N.J.-based operator of drug and alcohol treatment centers. www.delphihealthgroup.com
⛽ Drilling Tools International, a Houston-based portfolio company of Hicks Equity Partners, has acquired Premium Rental Tools, a New Iberia, La.-based drill pipe rental business, from Premium Oilfield Services (a portfolio company of Cadent Energy Partners.). www.drillingtools.com
• NorthEdge Capital has sponsored a management buyout of Prohire, a UK-based provider of commercial fleet management solutions. www.prohire.plc.uk
• SNH Capital Partners has acquired ProMax, a Davenport, Iowa-based provider of marketing and credit data SaaS to auto dealers. www.promaxunlimited.com
🚑 Vyaire Medical, a Mettawa, Ill.-based respiratory care company owned by Apax Partners, has acquired Acutronic Medical Systems, a European maker of neonatal ventilation equipment. Vyaire also agreed to buy Imtmedical, a Swiss maker of acute care mechanical ventilation products. www.vyaire.com
• Elio Motors, a Phoenix-based developer of three-wheeled vehicles, withdrew a $100 million IPO registration that it filed last summer. It currently is traded on the OTC, but had planned to relist on the Nasdaq.
• Evo Payments, an Atlanta-based payment solutions company owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker EVOP, with J.P. Morgan as lead underwriter. www.evopayments.com
• nLight, a Vancouver, Wash.-based maker of semiconductor lasers, raised $96 million in its IPO. It priced 6 million shares at $16, compared to plans to price 5.4 million at $13-$15. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker LASR, while Stifel was lead underwriter. Shareholders include Menlo Ventures (21.5% pre-IPO stake), Oak Investment Partners (20%) and Mohr Davidow Ventures (18.9%).
🚑 McKesson (NYSE: MCK) has agreed to acquire Medical Specialties Distributors, a Stoughton, Mass.-based provider of post-acute/non-hospital patient supply chain solutions, from New Mountain Capital. www.msdonline.com
• Unitas Capital is seeking a buyer for Jiahao Foods, a Chinese condiments maker known for wasabi, according to Bloomberg. A deal could fetch around $600 million, with Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL), Citic Capital and Hony Capital all said to have interest. http://axios.link/bzcb
📖 Elliott Advisors has acquired British bookstore chain Waterstones. http://axios.link/wxA8
🚑 General Electric (NYSE: GE) did not engage with Danaher Corp.’s (NYSE: DHR) interest in buying GE’s life sciences unit, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/K6wN
Hearst Magazines agreed to acquire a minority stake in Gear Patrol, a digital media and e-commerce company focused on enthusiast communities. http://axios.link/RluH
• LG Electronics and LG Corp. of South Korea have agreed to acquire ZKW Holding, an Australian maker of auto lights, for $1.3 billion. http://axios.link/kKWL
🚑 Welltower (NYSE: WELL), a healthcare-focused REIT, agreed to buy Quality Care Properties (NYSE: OCP) for $1.95 billion in cash. http://axios.link/lQZC
• Bain Capital is targeting between $3.5 billion and $4 billion for its new Asia-focused buyout fund, per Reuters. http://axios.link/Lus0
• Mubadala Investment Co. has acquired a minority equity stake in the general partner of Phoenician Capital, a New York-based value investment firm focused on public equities.
• NSI Ventures, a Singapore-based VC firm affiliated with Northstar Group, said that it will become independent and rebrand as Openspace Ventures. http://axios.link/YBAi
• Warburg Pincus is planning to open an office in Berlin. It has been without a German presence since closing its Frankfurt office in 2014. http://axios.link/9nfe
• Black Diamond Ventures has promoted Ana Quintana to managing partner. www.bdventures.com
• Doug Campbell has joined Harvest Partners as a partner, with a focus on portfolio company operations. He previously was a managing director with Oaktree Capital Management’s special situations fund. www.harvestpartners.com
• Greg Coleman, former president of BuzzFeed, has joined Lerer Hippeau as an executive-in-residence. www.lererhippeau.com
• John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State, has joined TPG’s Rise Fund as a senior advisor. http://axios.link/F4Lh
• Simon Jones, executive chair of One Discovery Inc. and former CEO of 3SI Security, has joined Turnspire Capital Partners as an operating partner. www.turnspirecap.com
🚑 Glen Moller, former CEO of ArroHealth, has joined Frazier Healthcare Partners as an operating partner. www.frazierhealthcare.com