Greetings from D.C., where I'm in town for some Axios meetings. Quick reminder that you can send me tips and feedback via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or anonymous message (http://axios.com/tips).
Federal restrictions on vaping sales might come sooner than expected, thus threatening an industry whose lead player, Juul, was recently valued by private market investors at over $15 billion.
Background: The FDA sent a letter earlier this month to e-cigarette companies, giving them 60 days to prove they can keep flavored products away from minors.
What's new: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this morning said at an Axios event that regulatory action could come as early as November. Not only could that include a ban on retail sales of flavored product, but also the launch of a rule-making process to restrict online sales of any tobacco products.
• Upside down: The markets didn't react too positively to the SiriusXM-Pandora merger announcement. Sirius stock fell over 6% and Pandora shares fell 7.6%. And that latter figure suggests Pandora shareholders believe Sirius will fall even lower, as the $8.98 per share close is a three cent discount to the current value of Sirius stock that they'll get when the merger closes.
• Two D.C. events of note today:
• Off its high: Medical marijuana purveyor Tilray shares finished just below $100 yesterday, after peaking at $300 per share in intra-day trading last week.
• Today in Social Capital: It gets worse, according to a Business Insider report I have not yet been able to independently confirm (but am working on it).
• Podcast: Our new episode focuses on for-profit colleges, and the Trump administration's efforts to roll back Obama-era oversight rules. Listen here.
Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS) confirmed it has agreed to buy control of Italian fashion house Versace for $2.12 billion, and that it will rename the combined company Capri Holdings. Donatella Versace will continue to lead the label.
• OYO, an Indian budget hotel operator, raised $800 million in new funding (with another $200m expected). SoftBank Vision Fund led, and was joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and GreenOaks Capital. http://axios.link/ISBY
• Highspot, a Seattle-based provider of sales enablement software, raised $35 million in Series C funding. OpenView Venture Partners led, and was joined by Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures and Shasta Ventures. http://axios.link/55ZM
• Lionano, a Woburn, Mass.-based developer of performance-boosting solutions for lithium-ion batteries, raised $22 million in Series B funding from Wave Equity Partners, Helios Capital Ventures and NXT Ventures. http://axios.link/7zXE
• Snyk, a London-based startup that helps companies securely use open-source code, raised $22 million in Series B funding. Accel led, and was joined by GV and return backers Boldstart Ventures and Heavybit. http://axios.link/u2Qs
• Shopal, a Chinese provider of marketing solutions to online and offline retailers, raised $29 million in Series B funding led by Youngor Group Co. http://axios.link/U3S9
🚑 Luciole Medical, a Swiss maker of a device for measuring blood oxygen levels in the brain, raised around $5.5 million in Series A funding. SVC led, and was joined by Blue Ocean Ventures, Investiere and B-to-V. http://axios.link/b51K
• DreamTeam, a Ukrainian infrastructure platform and payment gateway for esports and gaming, raised $5 million in seed funding from Mangrove Capital Partners. http://axios.link/H01a
• Taxfyle, a Coral Gables, Fla.-based on-demand accounting platform, raised $4.1 million in Series A funding. Rokk3r led, and was joined by Ocean Azul Partners. http://axios.link/r84Z
🚑 MouSensor, a New York-based biotech startup that’s building a database of scent, raised $3.3 million in seed funding co-led by IMEC.xpand and Alexandria Venture Investments. www.mousensor.com
• Mode, a San Mateo, Calif.-based real-time sensor database, raised $3 million in a round led by True Ventures. http://axios.link/94UZ
• Apax Partners bought Authority Brands, a Columbia, Md.-based franchisor of home services, from PNC Riverarch Capital.
• Audax Private Equity acquired a control stake in Acuant, a Culver City, Calif.-based provider of identity verification solutions, from Insight Venture Partners, Lightview Capital and Egis Capital Partners. www.acuantcorp.com
• TPG and Blackstone each submitted bids for a stake in the frequent flier loyalty program of India’s Jet Airways, per a local television report. http://axios.link/vkTo
• Exyte, a German builder of semiconductor fabs, said it is planning a Frankfurt IPO for later this year. http://axios.link/SgEB
🚑 Kodiak Sciences, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of antibodies for treating age-related macular degeneration, set IPO terms to 9 million shares at $13-$15. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $350 million, were it to price in the middle. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq (KOD) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter, and raised over $30 million from firms like Baker Brothers, Perceptive Advisors and ArrowMark Partners.
• Niu Technologies, a Chinese e-scooter maker, filed for a $150 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (NIU) with Credit Suisse as lead underwriter. The company reports a $48 million net loss on $84 million in revenue for the first half of 2018. Shareholders include GGV Capital (11.2% stake). http://axios.link/5ZhP
• Valtech, a London-based provider of digital agency services, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (VTEC) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter. The company reports $6 million of net income on $159 million in revenue for the first half of 2018, while shareholders include Verlinvest. www.valtech.com
• General Atlantic is selling MeteoGroup, a British provider of weather forecasting services, to Switzerland’s TBG AG. http://axios.link/WVRt
• Slack acquired Astro, a Palo Alto-based email assistant that had raised just over $10 million from firms like Redpoint Ventures, Upside Partnership, Aspect Ventures and Harrison Metal. http://axios.link/u0n4
• Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) completed its $400 million purchase of London-based music identification app Shazam, after receiving EU approval. http://axios.link/UVaI
• Careem, a UAE-based ride-hail company that reportedly is in talks to be bought by Uber, has acquired Indian mass transportation app Commut. www.commut.co
• China Baowu Steel Group is denying a Reuters report that it’s in talks to acquire rival Chinese steelmaker Magang Group.
• United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) is considering a sale of its Chubb fire and security unit for more than $3 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/O6gm
• Gabriel Chahine joined turnaround firm AlixPartners as head of the Gulf region, including a to-be-opened office in Riyadh. He previously was with Strategy&.
• Stewart Hanlon joined Monroe Capital as co-head of technology. He previously was with White Oak Global Advisors. www.monroecap.com