🏄 Greetings from Half Moon Bay, where I'm in town to do some conference moderating (and to escape the Boston snow). Hope you had a restful break. Here we go...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The 2020 bull case for tech startups, and the investors who love them, is that federal regulators will intensify their antitrust investigations into incumbents like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
The bottom line: Big tech is unpopular in both political parties, particularly among some of the leading presidential candidates (despite their ad spends), and that antipathy could help birth big tech's next generation.
• Deal scoop: Stone Point Capital agreed to buy PrismHR, a Massachusetts-based provider of HR software for small businesses, from Summit Partners (which will roll over part of its stake) and Accel-KKR (which exits completely).
• New firm alert: Nuzzel and Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams has launched 8-Bit Capital, a VC shop focused on startups that "connect people and businesses in new ways." His partner is former Nuzzel COO Kent Lindstrom. No word yet on how much 8-Bit is seeking for its debut fund.
• Harlem Capital raised $40 million for its debut fund, which focuses on startups led by women and people of color, co-founder Henri Pierre-Jacques tells Axios.
• The White House is lashing out at private equity-backed ads about surprise medical bills, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Astralis, a Denmark-based e-sports group that includes the world's top-ranked Counter-Strike team, is planning to go public next week in Copenhagen.
• Vinted, a London-based online marketplace for secondhand clothes,, raised €128 million at a valuation north of $1 billion. Lightspeed Venture Partners led, and was joined by return backers Sprints Capital, Insight Partners, Accel, and Burda Principal Investments. http://axios.link/UsJs
• Cazoo, a London-based used-car buying platform, raised £25 million from General Catalyst and Mubadala Capital. http://axios.link/WqXe
• Hastee, a London-based on-demand wages startup, raised £8 million in new VC funding and secured a £200 million credit line. Umbra Capital led the equity tranche, and was joined by IDG Ventures. http://axios.link/mmIb
• Ockam, a San Francisco-based IoT identity management platform, raised $4.9 million in seed funding from Core Ventures, Okta Ventures, SGH Capital, and Future Ventures. http://axios.link/mUVm
• Foodvisor, a French food-tracking and advice app, raised $4.5 million led by Agrinnovation. http://axios.link/Q3UC
• Rossum, a UK-based “cognitive data capture” startup, raised $4.5 million in seed funding from LocalGlobe, Seedcamp, Miton, and StartupYard. http://axios.link/XpfB
• Acosta, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based sales and marketing company owned by The Carlyle Group, last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. http://axios.link/ajx6
• The Carlyle Group is seeking a buyer for Italian sneaker brand Golden Goose, which could fetch upwards of €1.4 billion, per Reuters. Likely bidders include Advent International, Permira, and VF Corp. http://axios.link/Eaef
🚑 Metric Capital and Morgan Stanley are in talks to pay nearly $200 million for a 30% stake in Turkish drugmaker Sanovel, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/kyYu
• Prometheus Group, a Raleigh, N.C.-based portfolio company of Genstar Capital, acquired Roser ConSys, a Holland-based provider of plant shutdown, turnaround, and outages software. www.prometheusgroup.com
• TZP Capital Partners invested in Christy Sports, a Lakewood, Colo.-based winter sports retailer. www.christysports.com
• Bill.com, a Palo Alto-based provider of payment processing software for SMEs, set IPO terms to 8.8 million shares at $16-$18. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $1.3 billion, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the NYSE (BILL) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The company reports a $7 million net loss on $108 million in revenue for the year ending June 30, 2019, and raised $320 million in VC funding from DCM (16.3% pre-IPO stake), August Capita (12.7%), Ossa Investments (9.1%), Emergence Capital (8.1%), Financial Partners (7.8%), Scale Venture Partners (6.2%), and Icon Ventures (5.7%). http://axios.link/3eBf
• ChinData Group, a Chinese data center operator owned by Bain Capital, is prepping an IPO, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/pncJ
• Sprout Social, a Chicago-based provider of social media management software, set IPO terms to 8.8 million shares at $16-$18. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $882 million, were it to price in the middle, plans to trade on the Nasdaq (SPT) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The company reports a $21 million net loss on $75 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2019, and raised over $100 million in VC funding from firms like Goldman Sachs, NEA, Lightbank, and Greenspring Associates. http://axios.link/yEIt
• Syska LED Lights, an Indian provider of LED lighting solutions, is seeking to sell a minority equity stake, with The Blackstone Group, General Atlantic, and TA Associates expressing interest, per LiveMint. http://axios.link/nepz
🍺 Thai Beverage (SI: TBEV) is prepping a Singapore IPO for some of its regional beer assets, per Reuters. The float could raise upwards of $3 billion. http://axios.link/6MVL
• XP, a Brazilian brokerage and wealth manager, set IPO terms to 72.5 million shares at $22-$25. It would have an initial market cap of $13 billion, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (XP) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. Shareholders include General Atlantic. http://axios.link/WRsG
🚑 Centene (NYSE: CNC) agreed to sell its Illinois business, IlliniCare Health Plan, to CVS (NYSE: CVS). The goal is to better smooth Centene’s regulatory path for its $15 billion purchase of WellCare (NYSE: WCG). http://axios.link/a3dc
• Northgate (LSE: NTG) agreed to buy British auto accident claims handler Redde (LSE: REDD) for around £394 million. http://axios.link/q13g
• Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for its South Korean unit, which could fetch around $1.7 billion, per Korea Economic Daily. http://axios.link/nljT
• Hussain Sajwani, chairman of Dubai’s Damac Properties, acquired Italian fashion house Robert Cavalli. http://axios.link/MrLt
• Silver Lake said that Egon Durban and Greg Mondre will become co-CEOs, effective immediately, and that Ken Hao will serve as firm chairman. It also promoted Joe Osnoss to managing partner and said that current managing partner Mike Bingle will soon transition into a vice chairman role (while also managing his own family office).
• Jason Ball joined European VC firm GR Capital to lead its new London office, per TechCrunch. He previously was with Qualcomm Ventures. http://axios.link/gfjJ
• Jon Bradford stepped down as a partner with Motive Partners to join London-based Dynamo Ventures as a partner, per TechCrunch. http://axios.link/gfjJ
• Graham McDonald is stepping down as head of global private equity at Aberdeen Standard Investments, as part of a group restructuring. http://axios.link/OqHi
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