My Axios colleague Mike Allen will be interviewing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this Friday morning in Washington, D.C., for our debut News Shapers event. Topics could include everything from his role in tax reform to his role in Suicide Squad (yeah, that's on Treas Sec). You can RSVP by going here.
Top of the Morning
Jellyvision, a Chicago-based maker of an employee communications platform called ALEX, has raised $20 million in growth equity funding from Updata Partners. Existing shareholders include Jackson Square Ventures.
Why it's the BFD: In part as a reward for writing the most amusing press release I've seen in quite some time. Highlights:
- Jellyvision is a 100-year-old tech company, give or take 85 years.
- Following the tragic death of the CD-ROM software market, the company pivoted.
More importantly, that pivot is legit. Jellyvision began life as an educational software company that quickly morphed into the gaming company responsible for such late 90s hits as You Don't Know Jack and the CD-ROM version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The visual and writing creatives teams stuck together and turned into a project-based marketing agency whose output often reflected the "question and response" aspects of its games. Eventually a client asked for help explaining healthcare plans to employees, which led to the current ALEX SaaS platform ― whose 800 enterprise customers include more than 80 in the Fortune 500.
Bottom line: "We ride on top of or next to the enrollment platform, so we're not really competing against them." ― Jellyvision CMO Bob Armour, who adds that the company is cash-flow positive.
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Downer EDI (ASX: DOW) has offered to acquire Australian facilities services company Spotless Group (ASX: SPO) for A$1.27 billion. http://bloom.bg/2mJOHey
• Lubrizol, a chemicals unit of Berkshire Hathaway, said that it will bump up its stake in an Indian JV with state-run Indian Oil Corp. from 50% to 74%. http://dailym.ai/2ngmNuM
• National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) has acquired five memory care facilities in Texas and Illinois for $61.8 million. www.nhireit.com