July 15, 2020

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Top of the Morning

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Early Facebook employee Dave Morin is back with a new venture capital fund called Offline Ventures, 15 months after leaving Slow Ventures.

Driving the news: Morin's new effort is called Offline Ventures, and is raising money via a "rolling fund" structure recently introduced by AngelList. Expect it to invest in both health and IT startups.

Rolling fund structure? This is kind of the digital evolution of evergreen funds, whereby limited partners commit via quarterly subscriptions (although some may still want to commit on an annual basis, and then just prorate the checks).

  • Offline's minimum quarterly commitment is $25k, with a source saying the first-year target is $50 million.
  • Morin has some history with AngelList, having used it to raise SPVs for Slow Ventures that invested in Blue Bottle Coffee, PostMates and Slack.
  • AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant is said to have also used the "rolling fund" structure to raise a new fund of his own.

Team: Morin's partners include wife Brit (who is stepping back her time commitment at Brit+Co, after quietly buying out her investors last year), James Higa (longtime Apple employee who served as a top aide to Steve Jobs), and Nate Bosshard (co-founder of Tonal, ex-Khosla Ventures).

  • Morin, who founded photo-sharing app Path after leaving Facebook, declined to comment, citing unclear SEC marketing rules around "rolling" fundraises. But it's my understanding that he left Slow, in part, because of his growing interest in mental and other health care, which wasn't a major part of that firm's mandate.


Advent International and cybersecurity company Forescout Technologies this morning announced that they've agreed on an amended takeover agreement, cutting the price from $33 per share to $29 per share.

  • Why it matters: This preempts a trial that was set to begin next week, over whether or not the pandemic triggered a material adverse event clause in Advent's original $1.9 billion deal to buy Forescout.

VC nerdery alert: CB Insights this morning announced that it’s acquired the assets of VentureSource from Dow Jones.

  • Context: VentureSource was one of the earliest data repositories for venture capital, along with Venture Economics, long before things like Crunchbase, CB Insights, or Pitchbook (which was created by an ex-VentureSource exec).

🖥️ Today at 2:30pm I’ll be interviewing Plaid co-founder and CEO Zach Perret, as part of a virtual event called The Treasury Summit.

  • We’ll talk about Plaid's (still pending) sale to Visa for $5.3 billion, how he manages the company through a pandemic, and how the past four months may have changed fintech permanently.

🎧 Axios Re:Cap goes behind the recent gun sales surge, including the large increase in first-time buyers. Listen via Apple or via Axios.


Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) is considering a sale process for its snake venom unit, which could fetch upwards of $1 billion, per multiple reports.

  • Why it's the BFD: Because snake antivenom products, like Boston Scientific's CroFab, are the sort of niche things you never think about until that unfortunate moment when it's all you can think about.
  • The bottom line: "Boston Scientific acquired the business in its $4.2 billion takeover of BTG PLC last year. The company is retaining the other parts of BTG’s portfolio, including liver and kidney cancer treatments." — Bloomberg

Venture Capital Deals

Thrasio, a New York-based acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses, raised $260 million in Series C funding led by Advent International at a $1 billion valuation. http://axios.link/WcOL

Auth0, a Seattle-based developer of APIs to incorporate authentication into apps, raised $120 million in Series F funding. Salesforce Ventures led, and was joined by DTCP and return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Meritech Capital, World Innovation Lab, Trinity Ventures, Telstra Ventures, and K9 Ventures. http://axios.link/7slT

Pricefx, a German provider of price management and optimization software, raised $65 million in Series C funding. Apax Digital led, and was joined by return backer Digital+ Partners. http://axios.link/t1ze

Lattice, a San Francisco-based employee management platform, raised $45 million in Series D funding. Return backer Tiger Global led, and was joined by Frontline Ventures, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Thrive Capital Partners, Fuel Capital, and YC. http://axios.link/nGV1

NS1, a New York-based app and access networking company, raised $40 million in Series D funding led by Energy Impact Partners. http://axios.link/J8ES

Nasuni, a Boston-based provider of cloud file services, raised $25 million in new equity funding from Goldman Sachs, Telstra Ventures, Northbridge Venture Partners. It also secured a $15 million debt facility from SVB. http://axios.link/uG6D

GoSecure, a managed detection and response startup, raised $20 million in Series E funding. Yaletown Partners led, and was joined by BMO, SAP/NS2, and Razor’s Edge. http://axios.link/dY8J

Ravelin, a London-based provider of fraud prevention solutions for online merchants, raised $20 million in Series C funding. Draper Esprit led, and was joined by return backers Amadeus Capital Partners, BlackFin Tech, and Passion Capital. http://axios.link/O02D

Traceable, a code security startup founded by Jyoti Bansal, raised $20 million in Series A funding from Unusual Ventures and Big Labs (both of which Bansal helps lead). http://axios.link/6Cal

Snorkel AI, a Palo Alto-based machine learning optimization platform, raised $15 million from Greylock, GV, and In-Q-Tel. http://axios.link/RMqB

TileDB, a Cambridge, Mass.-based data management startup, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Two Bear Capital led, and was joined by Uncorrelated Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and Big Pi Ventures. http://axios.link/HC4u

Abacus.ai, a cloud platform for AI services, raised $13 million in new Series A funding led by Index Ventures. http://axios.link/Kpbz

RealityEngines.ai, an autonomous AI service startup, raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. http://axios.link/r4kC

• Privacy.com, a virtual card payment startup, raised $10.2 million in Series A funding. Teamworthy Ventures led, and was joined by Tusk Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Quiet Capital, Exor Seeds, and Rainfall Ventures. http://axios.link/Z4au

Cyr3con, a Tempe, Ariz.-based provider of cybersecurity prediction software, raised $8.2 million led by Pivotal Group. http://axios.link/7BAk

Valid Network, an Israeli provider of enterprise blockchain security solutions, raised $8 million in seed funding. Ten Eleven Ventures led, and was joined by JVP. http://axios.link/cuOG

🚑 AristaMD, a San Diego-based e-consulting platform for medical specialists, raised $6 million in new Series B funding from Ascension Ventures and .406 Ventures. http://axios.link/rZ03

CompanyCam, a Lincoln, Neb.-based mobile app for residential contractors, raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Blueprint Ventures.

Layer, a Berlin-based productivity platform for spreadsheets, raised €5 million in seed funding. Index Ventures led, and was joined by btov Partners. http://axios.link/EE3k

Bbot, a New York-based developer of restaurant ordering and payment tech, raised $3 million in seed funding led by Craft Ventures. http://axios.link/eLzK

Evertas, a Chicago-based cryptoasset insurance startup, raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Morgan Creek led, and was joined by Plug n Play, Kailash Ventures, RenGen, Vy Capital and Wavemaker Genesis. http://axios.link/boFO

Narrative, a New Zealand-based provider of software for pro photographers, raised $2.6 million in seed funding. Founders Fund led, and was joined by Icehouse Ventures. http://axios.link/U7Y6

Private Equity Deals

CVC Capital Partners is seeking to include pandemic-related clauses into its plans to invest £300 million for a 14% stake in rugby tournament operator Six Nations, per the FT. http://axios.link/vIHz

KKR invested in GreenCollar, an Australian environmental markets platform. http://axios.link/nc6x

Petershill, a unit of Goldman Sachs, agreed to acquire a passive minority ownership stake in private equity firm Permira, per Reuters. The deal reportedly is for less than a 10% position at an enterprise value north of $5 billion. http://axios.link/dAsn

Sageview Capital invested $60 million for a minority stake in IIS/Drivewyze, a Canadian developer of a connected truck platform. www.intelligentimagingsystems.com

Sumeru Equity Partners invested $100 million for a majority stake in SocialChorus, a San Francisco-based employee communication and engagement platform that had raised over $40 million from VC firms like Arrowroot Capital and Kohlberg Ventures. http://axios.link/8Tdt

Public Offerings

Churchill Capital Corp IV, the fourth SPAC led by Michael Klein, filed for a $1 billion IPO. This comes just days after Klein’s third SPAC agreed to acquire Multiplan, in the largest SPAC-sponsored reverse merger in history. http://axios.link/K0Yw

D8 Holdings, a SPAC targeting a global consumer brand, raised $300 million in an upsized IPO. It’s led by Nautica founder David Chu. http://axios.link/txGz

Datto, a Norwalk, Conn.-based data protection software company owned by Vista Equity Partners, is prepping an IPO that could come this year, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/ZNgM

🚑 GoHealth, a Chicago-based health insurance marketplace owned by Centerbridge Partners, raised $914 million in its IPO. The company priced 43.5 million shares at $21, versus plans to offer 39.5 million shares at $189-$20, and has a fully diluted market cap of $6.7 billion. The company will list on the Nasdaq (GOCO) and reports $1.4 million of net income on $141 million in net revenue for Q1 2020. http://axios.link/Qt3r

Malacca Straits Acquisition, a SPAC targeting a business in Southeast Asia, raised $125 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/IK3M

Montrose Environmental Group, an Irvine, Calif.-based environmental measurement firm owned by Oaktree Capital Management, set IPO terms to 10 million shares at $15-$17. It would have a fully diluted market value of $374 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the NYSE (MEG) with BofA and William Blair as lead underwriters. Montrose reports a $41 million net loss on $61 million in revenue for Q1 2020. http://axios.link/1AB0

Liquidity Events

TeamViewer acquired Ubimax, a German provider of wearables and AR solutions for frontline workers. Ubimax had raised around $5 million from backers like Fielmann Ventures. www.ubimax.com

More M&A

🚑 Hillhouse Capital invested around $1 billion in Chinese biotech BeiGene (Nasdaq: BGNE), raising its stake to 12.7%, as part of a $2.1 billion direct offering. http://axios.link/e5ce

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced that it will invest $4.5 billion for a 7.7% stake in Indian telco Reliance Jio Platforms. http://axios.link/F2Pg

Orlen, Poland’s largest oil refiner, signed a letter of intent to buy a control stake in PGNiG, the country’s largest gas company, at a $7.8 billion enterprise value. http://axios.link/Ro8C

Reliance Industries of India said its plans to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals business for to Saudi Aramco won’t close until early 2021. It originally was set to close back in March. http://axios.link/iLc1

Virgin Atlantic Airways struck a £1.2 billion rescue package that includes around £200 million from founder Richard Branson and £170 million in secured financing from Davidson Kempner Capital Management. http://axios.link/suSy

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is investing another $1.2 billion into Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, two years after buying a majority stake for $16 billion. http://axios.link/9clN


Munich Private Equity Partners raised €162 million for its third fund. http://axios.link/vCGY

Wavemaker Partners, a Singapore-based VC firm, raised $111 million for its third fund. http://axios.link/gvXH

It's Personnel

Nicolai Schwarz-Gondek joined Sidley Austin as a member of the law firm’s private equity practice. He previously was a partner with O’Melveny & Myers. www.sidley.com

Aaron Wolfe joined Arsenal Capital Partners as an investment partner focused on specialty industrials. He previously was with Sun Capital Partners. Arsenal also promoted health care-focused investor John DiGiovanni to investment partner, and John Mattison to operating partner and chief medical information officer. www.arsenalcapital.com

Final Numbers

Source: Change Research/CNBC poll of 4,332 likely voters July 10-12

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