A few Disney shorts as we continue to digest the $52 billion blockbuster:
• Research firm Zero2IPO reports that more than 3,400 Chinese venture capital and private equity funds raised nearly $242 billion in the first 11 months of 2017, which is more than double the 2015 dollar total (h/t WSJ). That helps explain why Chinese startups are so often atop our daily VC Deals blurb list, which ranked by deal size.
• Moving out: Shervin Pishevar yesterday resigned from Sherpa Capital, the San Francisco venture capital firm he co-founded in 2013, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct (all of which he continues to deny). Some notes:
• Have a great weekend... Go Pats!
Snyder's-Lance (Nasdaq: LNCE), a Charlotte-based snackmaker, has hired an investment bank to explore a possible sale of the company, after receiving an unsolicited approach from Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), as first reported by CNBC. Snyder's Lance shares jumped on the news, boosting its market cap from $3.8 billion billion to $4.3 billion.
• ThinkForce, a Chinese maker of AI chips, has raised around $68 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Capital and Yitu Technology. http://axios.link/Et9y
🚑 Jnana Therapeutics, a Boston-based drug discovery startup focused on targeting the solute carrier (SLC) family of transporters, has raised $50 million in Series A funding. Versant Ventures, AbbVie Ventures and Pfizer R&D Innovate were joined by seed backers Polaris Partners and Avalon Ventures. http://axios.link/e1HE
• Splice, a New York-based music creation and collaboration platform, has raised $35 million in Series B funding. DFJ Growth led, and was joined by True Ventures, Union Square Ventures and Flybridge Capital Partners. http://axios.link/ub4U
• Airwallex, an Australian provider of cross-border transaction processing solutions, has raised A$6 million in VC funding led by Square Peg Capital. http://axios.link/S0LI
• Loot, a UK-based digital bank account startup aimed at students and millennials, has raised £2.2 million in Series A funding co-led by Portag3 Ventures and Speedinvest. http://axios.link/FCJ6
• Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric vehicle maker, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Alibaba, GGV Capital and Matrix Partners China. http://axios.link/OTP1
⛽ ATX Energy Partners, an Austin, Texas-based shale oil startup, has launched with $780 million in equity funding led by Warburg Pincus (which previously backed the same management team at Brigham Resources). http://axios.link/jmM2
⛽ FourPoint Energy, a Denver-based oil and gas producer backed by GSO Capital Partners, has raised $525 million in new equity financing led by Quantum Energy Partners ($489m). Part of the proceeds will be used for an upstream and midstream acquisition in the Anadarko Basin. http://axios.link/gLul
• Goldman Sachs has acquired a majority stake in Financeit, a New York-based provider of point-of-sale financing solutions. www.financeit.io
• Hony Capital has agreed to acquire the sweater, furniture and beauty business of Hong Kong sourcing group Li & Fung (HK: 494) for $1.1 billion. The Fung family is participating alongside Hony. http://axios.link/E4FI
• Platinum Equity is in advanced talks to acquire Husky Injection Molding Systems, a Canadian supplier of injection molding equipment to the plastics market, from Berkshire Partners and OMERS for nearly $4 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/tDjYsweater,
• St. George Logistics, a Jersey City, N.J.-based portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, has acquired Channel Distribution Corp., a Bensenville, Ill.-based provider of cargo handling and warehousing solutions. www.stgusa.com
• TA Associates has agreed to support Old Mutual Global Investors CEO Richard Buxton in a £550 million carveout of the British investment manager from Old Mutual PLC (LSE: OML), according to Reuters. A formal announcement could come next week. http://axios.link/ym4w
• Casa Systems, an Andover, Mass.-based maker of cable and mobile edge devices, raised $78 million in its IPO. The company priced 6 million shares at $13, compared to original plans to offer 8.4 million shares at between $15 and $17. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker CASA, while Morgan Stanley and Barclays served as lead underwriters. Casa Systems reports $6 million of net income on $234 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2017. Shareholders include Summit Partners (52% pre-IPO stake) and Liberty Global Ventures (6%). www.casa-systems.com
• Berkshire Partners has sold Toreres Unidas, a communications tower owner and operator in South America, to Andean Tower Partners, a group owned by Digital Bridge. http://axios.link/aUfo
• Target (NYSE: TGT) has agreed to acquire Shipt, an Alabama-based same-day delivery startup, for $550 million in cash. Shipt had raised around $65 million in venture capital funding from firms like Greycroft Partners, e.ventures, and Harbert Venture Partners. http://axios.link/CZV7
⛽ BP (LSE: BP) has agreed to invest $200 million over three years in Lightsource, one of Europe's largest solar companies, to acquire a 43% stake. http://axios.link/gaXp
⛽ Elliott Management is readying for a potential new fight” with Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES), in which it holds a 6.7% stake, per the WSJ. Specifically, it wants either the removal of CEO John Hess or an increase in stock buybacks. http://axios.link/3bpM
• Go-Jek, an Indonesian ride-hail company, has acquired local payments gateway Midtrans and lending network Mapan. This comes one month after Go-Jek acquired a majority stake in Indonesian payment services provider Kartuku for around $50 million. Go-Jek backers include DST, JD.com and Lombard Investments. http://axios.link/ChiC
🚑 Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) is prepping an offer for the $4.7 billion consumer health unit of Merck, according to Reuters. Rivals bidders are expected to include Nestle and Stada (which is owned by Bain Capital and Cinven). http://axios.link/rNTA
• J.W. Childs, a Boston-based buyout firm, is raising up to $500 million for its fifth fund, per an SEC filing. www.jwchilds.com
• Macquarie Infrastructure has secured nearly $3 billion in commitments for its second Asia-focused fund, which is targeting upwards of $3.25 billion, per an SEC filing.
• Scrum Ventures is raising up to $100 million for its third fund, per an SEC filing. www.scrum.vc
• Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley startup accelerator, will add a program for "growth stage" companies next year, a departure from its early-stage DNA. http://axios.link/0Ebt
• Jill Ford has joined Toyota AI Ventures as a principal. She previously was the City of Detroit’s head of innovation and entrepreneurship. www.tri.global
• Daniel Leever, former CEO of Platform Specialty Products, has joined PWP Growth Equity as a operating partner. www.pgpgrowthequity.com
• Palladium Equity Partners has promoted Luis Zaldivar and Caleb Clark to senior managing director and managing director, respectively. The New York-based buyout firm also hired Chris Allen, previously of Arlon Capital Partners, as a principal. www.palladiumequity.com