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Apr 2, 2019

Axios Pro Rata

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Top of the Morning

Source: Giphy

Lyft shares yesterday closed below their IPO price, and this morning opened even lower. It's sparked a debate over whether the company and its bankers priced for perfection over pop, and the consequences of such a decision.

  • Everyone needs to chill out a bit. Today's open price still gives Lyft a market cap of around $19 billion and a fully-diluted value closer to $28 billion. Those are both well above the last private market prices, and today's open was also above Lyft's original IPO price range proposal.
    • Except you Uber. You should be freaked out a bit by the aftermarket performance of your closest, albeit much smaller and less diversified, comp.
  • This was first and foremost a financing event for Lyft, a money-hemorrhaging which needs all the cash it can get. Why leave money on the table for the benefit of its bankers' high net worth clients?
  • Here's what I wrote in 2012, after Facebook faced similar criticism: "Imagine if you found out your real estate broker had priced your home for $50,000 below market value because she thought it would generate more interactions with buyers for her other properties?"
  • The compelling counterargument is that a sinking post-IPO price dampens employee morale and makes hiring much more difficult. That's also something I heard from Facebook insiders, in the months and years after it went public. Remember, all of those employee "millionaires" are illiquid until the lock-up period expires.
  • Past isn't predicate for IPO aftermarket performance. Each company ultimately gets judged on its own merits. Just ask Facebook and Snap.

Cataclysmic: Patagonia has stopped making branded fleece vests for financial firms, according to a note received by financial PR firm Vested. So if you see a venture capitalist walking aimlessly down Sand Hill Road, please let him know that while life may never be quite the same, it will get better.

Coming attractions: Accel-KKR, a Silicon Valley private equity firm focused on mid-market tech companies, is raising $2 billion for its sixth flagship fund, per a source familiar.

  • But it will be doing so without managing directors Jason Klein, who joined while the firm was investing its inaugural fund in 2005, and Joe Savig, who came aboard two years later.
  • Klein is expected to maintain his existing portfolio company board seats, and will remain what the firm is calling a "non-investing partner." Savig is said to be planning a startup with his wife.

Update: Social Capital Hedosophia, the blank-check company formed in 2017 by venture firm Social Capital to buy a unicorn-type tech company, disclosed in an SEC filing that Steven Trieu will serve as its new CFO.

  • This comes after Sachin Sood stepped down as Social Capital's CFO, in order to take a similar role with CRV. Trieu is Social Capital's enior VP of finance and operations.
  • SCH would need to return capital to investors if unable to complete a purchase by mid-September of this year.

🎧 Pro Rata Podcast: Our new episode focuses on Mark Zuckerberg's kinda/sorta request for regulation of social media. Why now, and what next? Listen here.


Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Elvie, a UK-based developer of connected tech hardware for women’s health, including a silent wearable breast pump, raised $42 million in Series B funding. IPGL led, and was joined by Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK.

  • Why it's the BFD: Because VCs are finally beginning to invest in a massive market that had previously been avoided due to both demographic-driven ignorance and legacy stigma.
  • On that latter point, I spent 20 minutes trying to find an image or GIF for this item, struggling because almost all of them would have triggered email spam filters.
  • Bottom line: "Elvie co-founder Tania Boler says reiterating some key statistics helped during its latest fundraise, including the fact that in the U.S. alone, 80% of women breastfeed but many must stop earlier than recommended due to a lack of support from the community, employers and health care providers; as well as the fact that one in three women suffer from pelvic floor problems after giving birth. And of course, her pitch-deck contains the kind reminder that women do make up half the population." — Tanya Klich, Forbes
Venture Capital Deals

SambaNova Systems, a Palo Alto-based developer of a systems platform to run AI apps, raised $150 million in Series B funding. Intel Capital led, and was joined by return backers GV, Walden International, Atlantic Bridge Ventures and Redline Capital. http://axios.link/3cfN

🚑 Elvie, a UK-based developer of smart tech hardware for women’s health, raised $42 million in Series B funding. IPGL led, and was joined by Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK. http://axios.link/t79i

🚑 Aura Biosciences, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of ocular oncology therapies, raised $40 million in Series D funding led by Medicxi. http://axios.link/fTPc

Mswipe, an Indian merchant acquirer and point-of-sale network provider, raised $30 million in Series E funding from return backers Falcon Edge, B Capital, Epiq Capital and DSG Growth Partners. http://axios.link/ryBD

MemVerge, a developer of memory storage convergence software., raised $24.5 million in Series A funding from Gaorong Capital, JVP, LDV Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Northern Light VC. www.memverge.com

🚑 Candel Therapeutics, a Newton, Mass.-based immune-oncology startup, raised $22.5 million in Series C funding. Northpond Ventures led, and was joined by Sands Capital Ventures, H7 Holdings and Level One Partners. http://axios.link/qSZQ

Tibit Communications, a Petaluma, Calif.-based developer of broadband access devices, raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Intel Capital. http://axios.link/67iw

Pixeom, a Phoenix-based software-defined edge computing platform, raised $15 million co-led by Intel Capital and National Grid. http://axios.link/d2in

Green Tank Technologies, a Toronto-based maker of cannabis vaping hardware, raised C$14 million in Series A funding from Newstrike Brands and return backer Green Acre Capital. http://axios.link/KzTq

Sqreen, a France-based web app and cloud infrastructure security startup, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Greylock led, and was joined by return backers YC, Alven and Point Nine Capital. http://axios.link/76wR

🚑 Fifth Eye, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based developer of clinical early-warning systems for hospitals, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Arboretum Ventures and Cultivation Capital. http://axios.link/n4bU

HammerTech, an Australian provider of health and safety software for the construction market, raised A$10 million in Series A funding led by Arrowroot Capital. http://axios.link/k51e

OnScale, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of engineering simulation software, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Intel Capital and Gradient Ventures co-led, and were joined by Stage 2 Capital and Cultivation Capital. http://axios.link/Y5AQ

🚑 NextGen Jane, an Oakland-based women’s health diagnostics startup, raised $9 million in Series A funding, Material Impact led, and was joined by Viking Global Investors and Liminal Ventures. http://axios.link/8JjW

Private Equity Deals

• C.H. Guenther & Son, a Dallas-based portfolio company of PPC Partners, acquired Mid South Baking Co., a Bryan, Texas-based provider of buns and English muffins to quick-serve restaurants in the southern U.S. www.chg.com

Cook & Boardman, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co., acquired A3 Communications, a Columbia, S.C.-based security and networking systems integrator. www.cookandboardman.com

HGGC invested in American Megatrends International, a Norcross, Ga.-based provider of firmware solutions. www.ami.com

Insightsoftware, a London-based portfolio company of TA Associates, acquired BizNet Software, a Dallas-based developer of Excel-based reporting and analytics solutions. www.biznetsoftware.com

Main Post Partners invested in The Happy Planner, a provider of organizational and creative planning systems. www.thehappyplanner.com

Mill Point Capital acquired Kemp Technologies, a New York-based provider of load balancer and application delivery controller solutions and services. www.kemptechnologies.com

Searchlight Capital Partners agreed to buy a 26% stake in French aeronautics company Latecoere (Paris: LAT) for around $107 million. http://axios.link/ARps

Stir Foods, an Orange, Calif.-based portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, acquired Van Law Food Products, a Fullerton, Calif.-based contract and private-label manufacturer of custom sauces, dressings and beverage products. www.stirfoods.com

Symplr, a Houston-based portfolio company of Clearlake Capital, completed its previously-announced acquisition of API Healthcare, a Hartford, Wis.-based provider of healthcare human capital management software, from Veritas Capital. www.symplr.com

Thoma Bravo acquired a majority stake in Mailgun, a Rackspace spinout that provides email infrastructure software, from Turn/River Capital. http://axios.link/BBMJ

Public Offerings

Boqii, a Chinese online pet supplies retailer, is prepping an IPO that could occur in either the U.S. or Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg. The company has raised over $125 million from Goldman Sachs, Korea Investment Partners and China Merchants Bank. http://axios.link/V4Rf

Slack has picked the NYSE for its upcoming direct share listing, which is expected in June or July, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/LrVH

Tufin Software Technologies, an Israeli provider of network security policy management software, set IPO terms to 7.7 million shares at $12-$14. It would have a fully-diluted value of around $498 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the NYSE (TUFN) with J.P. Morgan as lead underwriter. The company reports a $4 million net loss on $85 million in revenue for 2018 and raised around $26 million in VC funding from firms like Catalyst Investors, Sberbank Capital, Pacific Growth Investors, Marker and Axess Ventures. www.tufin.com

Liquidity Events

Finleap has acquired Penta, a German challenger bank focused on SMEs that had raised around €10 million in Series A funding from Inception Capital. http://axios.link/nIKQ

Merck (NYSE: MRK) completed its previously-announced purchase of Antelliq Group, a French provider of animal identification, tracing and monitoring solutions, from BC Partners for approximately $3.7 billion (including debt assumption). http://axios.link/t7hc

TPG has sold most of its remaining stake in China International Capital (HK: 3908) for around $303 million, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/G9C9

More M&A

Cresco Labs, a Chicago-based medical marijuana company that is publicly-traded in Canada, agreed to buy Ottawa-based marijuana distributor Origin House for around US$823 million. http://axios.link/Af5F

• ManTech International (Nasdaq: MANT) acquired Kforce Government Solutions, a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of financial and transformation management solutions to government clients, for $115 million in cash. http://axios.link/EU5S

Sorgenia, an Italian energy company, hired Lazard to explore the sale of power generation and retail client assets that could be worth more than €600 million, per Reuters. http://axios.link/PJE2

• Thales Group of France completed its €4.8 billion takeover of Dutch chipmaker Gemalto. http://axios.link/66Hg

UGI Corp. (NYSE: UGI) agreed to buy the 75% it doesn’t already own in Pennsylvania-based retail propane marketer AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) for $2.44 billion in cash and stock. http://axios.link/XLaT


American Industrial Partners raised $3 billion for its seventh fund. www.americanindustrial.com

BlackRock held a $2.75 billion first close on its debut private equity fund, which is targeting a total of $10 billion to $12 billion. http://axios.link/ERCG

🚑 Cambridge Innovation Capital raised £150 million to invest in British life sciences startups. http://axios.link/5HuS

It's Personnel

Anthony Cassano (ex-Spire Capital Partners) joined Ridgemont Equity Partners as a partner. Ridgemont also promoted Charles Anderson, Tim Dillon and Cay Freihoder to partners, Seth Peck to principal, Tyler Houin to VP, Dan Norton to senior associate and Karen Garrison to fund controller. www.ridgemontep.com

• Broor Spahr van der Hoek has left J.P. Morgan to join corporate advisory Arma Partners as a London-based partner and co-head of its private and growth capital team. www.armapartners.com

• Nikhil Srivastava reportedly is stepping down as a director with KKR India, in order to join PAG as head of Indian private equity. http://axios.link/LDkn

Final Numbers: (Un)Equal Pay Day
Source: Carta's Gap Table Report