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July 10, 2018

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The electric scooter wars are entering a new phase: Consolidation. No, not officially yet. But some new developments suggest it's coming:

Uber yesterday announced that it participated in Lime's new funding round, which topped out at $335 million, and that the two sides are working on a strategic partnership whereby people would be able to rent Lime scooters via Uber's app.

  • The strategic partnership isn't yet finalized, but a source says it will include at least temporary restrictions on both sides. For Uber, that means rules around its own e-scooter fleet launches (although it says it isn't pulling its SF permit request) and investing in Lime rivals. For Lime, that means working with other ride-hail companies.
  • Lime exec Caen Contee adds that Uber can receive additional equity, based on milestones tied to Lime usage via Uber's app. This is similar to the agreement Uber signed earlier this year with bike-share company Jump, which Uber acquired just months later.

Lyft, meanwhile, is said to be working on its own partnership with Spin. No details yet, nor confirmation from either company, but it shouldn't be too surprising. There are basically three big scooter-share companies right now: Lime (partnered with Uber), Bird (led by someone who left both Lyft and Uber on not-so-great terms) and Spin (winner winner, e-scoot dinner).

The bottom line is that we're heading toward full-stack local transportation companies, and what we've seen with bikes — e.g., Uber buying Jump, Lyft buying Motivate — should eventually come to scooters.

Coming attractions: We hear that Tiger Global today told investors that it has begun raising its 11th fund with a $3 billion target, up from the $2.5 billion it raised for Fund X back in 2015.

• Crypto: Coinbase last week said it’s launching a custodial service that will initially work with the most popular digital assets, like Bitcoin and Ether.

  • Why it matters: While the cryptocurrency market is going gangbusters, many institutional investors have been unable to participate because they require qualified custodians to hold such assets. Coinbase's move should begin to help alleviate that problem, although the real holy grail will be when it or another company expands to all types of tokens and coins, thus expanding the buy-side universe for ICOs.


Pillsbury Doughboy Animation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Brynwood Partners has agreed to acquire the U.S. baking unit of J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM), which includes the Pillsbury brand, for $375 million.

  • Why it's the BFD: Oh, me just wanting to use that nostalgic GIF is too shallow? Okay, how about because it's the largest-ever deal for 34 year-old Brynwood, which has a habit of buying up no-longer-trendy food brands like SunnyD and Bit-O-Honey.
  • Is Funfetti included? Yes.
  • Bottom line: "Smucker bought Pillsbury, the well-recognized baking mix brand represented in ads by the giggling Doughboy, as part of its 2004 acquisition of International Multifoods. The deal added an array of so-called center-of-the-store brands, including muffin mixes and frostings, to its portfolio. More recently, the drive toward healthy-eating has drawn consumers to the perimeter of grocery stores in search of fresh produce and less processed foods." — Bloomberg

Venture Capital Deals

Toast, a Boston-based restaurant management platform, raised $115 million in Series D funding at a $1.4 billion valuation. T. Rowe Price led, and was joined by Tiger Global and existing shareholders.

DeepMap, a Palo Alto-based developer of mapping solutions for autonomous vehicles, raised $60 million from China’s Alibaba, Didi Chuxing and BAIC Group, per The Information.

Kyligence, a Shanghai-based data analysis startup, raised $15 million. Eight Roads led, and was joined by Redpoint Ventures, Cisco, China Broadband Capital and Shunwei Capital.

Lodgify, a Barcelona-based provider of vacation rental management SaaS, raised $5 million in Series A funding from Intermedia Vermögensverwaltung and return backers Nauta Capital and Howzat Partners.

Topbox, a Potomac, Md.-based provider of customer touchpoint intelligence software, raised $5 million. Telescope Partners led, and was joined by Cascade Angels, Flyover Capital and the Maryland Venture Fund.

Perceptive Automata, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of psychophysics-derived pedestrian awareness and intent solutions for autonomous vehicles, raised $3 million in seed funding from First Round Capital.

Private Equity Deals

🚑 AdvancedMD, a South Jordan, Utah-based portfolio company of Marlin Equity Partners, acquired NueMed, a Lawrenceville, Ga.-based provider of practice management, electronic health records and revenue cycle management SaaS.

Bacharach, a New Kensington, Penn.-based portfolio company of FFL Partners, has acquired Neutronics, an Exton, Penn.-based provider of refrigerant and gas analyzers.

Cadence Aerospace, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based portfolio company of Arlington Capital, has acquired Perfekta, a Wichita, Kansas-based provider of monolithic machined components and structures to the aerospace industry.

• The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and TCV have acquired a 35% stake in Swiss data sports group Sportradar from private equity firm EQT, at a valuation of around $2.4 billion. Pretty consequential deal in the context of legalized sports betting in the U.S.

Illuminate Education, an Irvine, Calif.-based portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners, has acquired IO Education, an Atlanta-based provider of K-12 education data and performance management software, from LLR Partners.

Oaktree Capital Management is expected to make a bankruptcy bid for fashion jewelry retailer Claire’s Stores, in which it is a junior creditor. Claire’s was owned by Apollo Global Management until filing Chapter 11 in March, and is expected to be valued at between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion once reorganized.

Palladium Equity Partners invested in Spice World. No, not the 1997 film, but an Orlando-based provider of garlic and other spices.

🚑 Ping An Insurance may make a rival takeover bid for China Biologic (Nasdaq: CPBO), a Beijing-based plasma treatment provider that already received a $3.6 billion ($110 per share) offer from Citic Capital, per Bloomberg.

Prototek, a Contoocook, N.H.-based portfolio company of Core Industrial Partners, has acquired Hayes Manufacturing Services, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based prototyping manufacturer of precision-machined plastic and metal components.

Rock Hill has acquired a majority stake in LQC Pipe and Supply, a Houston-based wholesale distributor of pipes, valves and fittings to the oil and gas markets.

Public Offerings

⛽ AFG Holdings, a Houston-based provider of pressure pumping and managed pressure drilling systems, set IPO terms to 18.2 million shares at $15-$18. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $1.3 billion, were it to price in the middle. It plans to list on the NYSE (AFGL) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. Backers include The Carlyle Group, First Reserve and Stellex Capital Partners.

🚑 Allakos, a San Carlos, Calif.-based developer of antibody therapeutics for allergic and inflammatory diseases, set IPO terms to 6 million shares at $15-$17. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $738 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (ALLK) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised around $140 million from Alta Partners (34.06% pre-IPO stake), Roche (13.94%), RiverVest (21.94%), NEA (6.1%) and Capital Research & Management (6.1%).

🚑 Crinetics Pharma, a San Diego-based drug company focused on endocrine diseases, set IPO terms to 5 million shares at $15-$17. It would havea fully-diluted market value of $380 million, were it to price in the middle. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq (CRNX) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter, and raised over $100 million from firms like Vivo Capital (20% pre-IPO stake), 5AMVentures (19.7%), Versant Ventures (19.7%), Perceptive Advisors (10.9%), OrbiMed (10.1%), RA Capital (5.5%).

🚑 Constellation Pharma, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of treatments for cancer-related gene abnormalities, set IPO terms to 5.3 million shares at $14-$16. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $430 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (CNST) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised over $360 million from firms like Column Group (21.7% pre-IPO stake), Third Rock Ventures (12.7%), Venrock (11.1%), UC Regents (10%), Topspin Partners (8.2%) and Cormorant Asset Management (5.9%).

🚑 Rubius Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer circulating red blood cell therapies, set IPO terms to 9.5 million shares at $20-$22. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $1.8 billion, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (RUBY) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company raised over $240 million from Flagship Pioneering (57.3% pre-IPO stake) and Fidelity (5.3%).

🚑 Vaccinex, a Rochester, N.Y-based developer of antibody therapies for cancer and neurological diseases, filed for a $46 million IPO. It plans to list on the Nasdaq (VCNX) with Oppenheimer & Co. as lead underwriter.

Liquidity Events

👽 AT&T (NYSE: T) has agreed to acquire AlienVault, a San Mateo, Calif.-based cybersecurity and crowd-sourced threat management platform that had raised over $110 million in VC funding from firms like Kleiner Perkins, GGV Capital, Trident Capital, Founders Equity Partners, Jackson Square Ventures and IVP.

🚑 Otsuka Holdings (Tokyo: 4578) agreed to buy ReCor Medical, a Palo Alto-based maker of devices to treat hypertension that had raised over $65 million from backers like Otsuka and Sofinnova Partners.

More M&A

Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) has acquired Assemble Systems, a Houston-based provider of model-data management software for building construction projects.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCA) is lining up buyers for 21st Century Fox's (Nasdaq: FOXA) regional sports networks, in order to ease Fox shareholders' concerns about whether Comcast could get the necessary regulatory approval to acquire Fox's entertainment assets (as Disney has already done), per Reuters.

  • More from Sara Fischer: Sources tell Axios to expect a new bid from Comcast in the mid-$40 per share range in the coming weeks.

EDF (Paris: EDF) is been approached by China General Nuclear about buying an 80% stake in its British nuclear power plants, per The Sunday Times.

SoftBank is increasing its stake in Yahoo Japan (Tokyo: 4689) via a $2 billion purchase of shares from Altaba (Nasdaq: AABA). The complex deal also includes participation from SoftBank’s pre-IPO Japanese telecom unit.

🚑 Takeda Pharmaceutical (Tokyo: 4502) received U.S. regulatory approval for its proposed $62 billion purchase of Shire PLC (LSE: SHP). It is still awaiting both Chinese and EU approvals.


AE Industrial Partners closed its second aerospace and defense-focused private equity fund with $1.36 billion.

Capital Dynamics agreed to buy Advanced Capital SGR, an Italian manager of private equity, real estate and energy funds-of-funds.

Lightspeed Venture Partners closed its twelfth flagship fund with $750 million and its third “select” fund with $1.05 billion. The firm also confirmed the addition of Bradley Twohig (ex-Insight Venture Partners), which Axios first reported back in May.

Longzhu Capital, a Chinese VC fund sponsored by Meituan Dianping, raised $302 million for its latest fund. Other limited partners include Tencent, China Merchants Capital, Noah Holdings and New Hope Group.

Scale Venture Partners raised $400 million for its sixth fund, and also launched a new “studio” platform to help private cloud startups.

It's Personnel

Allison Cole has joined Lightyear Capital as head of fundraising and investor relations. She previously held similar roles with CCMP Capital.

JPMorgan Chase named Carsten Woehrn as head of MENA infrastructure M&A, a new position. He’s been with the bank since 2000.

Chetan Puttagunta has joined Benchmark Capital as a general partner. He previously spent the past seven years with NEA, with a focus on enterprise software.

Lynn Utter has joined private equity firm Atlas Holdings as its first-ever chief talent officer. She previously was CEO of candy packager and distributor First Source.

Final Numbers: U.S. venture capital

Source: PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor

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