17 hours ago

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

🎧 Axios Re:Cap digs into America's child care crisis: How it impacts the economy and what can be done to turn the tide.

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last Friday I wrote two stories — one in preparation of President Trump approving the ByteDance/TikTok deal with Oracle/Walmart, and another in preparation of him rejecting it.

  • After all, the White House's deadline was fast-approaching, and Trump had scheduled a Friday afternoon press conference.
  • Neither were published, as Trump punted on Friday and then only agreed "in concept" on Saturday.

What's happening now: One week later, resolution remains elusive. And TikTok is again scheduled to be made unavailable within days.

State of play: There are two sets of simultaneous talks. One is the hard work of CFIUS negotiations, at this point centered on technical issues. The other is political rhetoric coming from both the White House and Beijing.

  • Those familiar with the CFIUS talks say it's all systems go, with no major changes to things like ownership structure. As one source close to the process told me this morning: "We all know how to go home. If this thing had blown up, you'd have heard it blew up."
  • Anyone watching the politicians gets a very different impression. Trump has insisted that Oracle and Walmart must have "total control" (they won't) and bragged about a $5 billion education fund that doesn't really exist. State-run media in China has called the current deal "a dirty and underhanded trick."
  • Remember, it's Trump and Chinese government officials who need to sign off on any final deal. People like Steve Mnuchin and Larry Ellison and ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming don't get votes.
  • Sources continue to disagree on if China has quietly given its blessing to the current structure (i.e., ByteDance wouldn't be negotiating otherwise) or if its demands are yet to come.

Today: A D.C. federal judge gave the White House until 2:30pm ET to again delay its ban on new TikTok downloads, set to take effect on Sunday, or to respond to a TikTok's request for a temporary restraining order.

The bottom line: We often talk about how difficult it is to get laws passed heading into an election. This might be the first time that the same applies to a business transaction.


Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apollo Global Management approached British bookmaker William Hill (LSE: WMH) about an acquisition, per Bloomberg.

  • Why it's the BFD: This could mean Apollo walking back into Caesars Entertainment, where it got cleaned out last time around. Earlier this week, some outlets reported that Caesars and William Hill are in talks for a joint venture whereby each would contribute their online casinos and sports-betting business.
  • The bottom line: The report sent William Hill shares soaring to their highest mark since 2018, hitting a market cap of nearly $4 billion, while Casaers was up in pre-market trading (giving it around an $8.7 billion market cap). For context, DraftKings closed yesterday with a market cap of nearly $18 billion while Penn Gaming was at around $8.8 billion.
Venture Capital Deals

Rappi, a Colombia-based on-demand delivery company, raised more than $300 million from backers like T. Rowe Price. http://axios.link/Atrr

Greenlight Financial, an Atlanta-based provider of a fintech app and debit card for kids, raised $215 million at a $1.2 billion valuation. Backers include Canapi Ventures, TTV Capital, Bond, DST Global, Goodwater Capital, Fin VC, and Relay Ventures. http://axios.link/O7wB

👟 Goat, a Los Angeles-based online and physical reseller of collectible sneakers, raised $100 million led by D1 Capital Partners at a $1.75 billion valuation.

🚑 Within3, a Lakewood, Ohio-based life sciences collaboration platform, raised $100 million. Insight Partners led, and was joined by Silversmith Capital Partners. www.within3.com

Fiture, a Chinese maker of smart home fitness equipment, raised $65 million in Series A funding. Tencent led, and was joined by Bertelsmann, C Ventures, Cathay Capital, and Sequoia Capital China. http://axios.link/kfff

🚑 Nutcracker Therapeutics, an Emeryville, Calif.-based developer of mRNA therapeutics, raised $60 million in Series B funding. Arch Venture Partners led, and was joined by Bluebird Ventures. http://axios.link/W33e

Petal, a credit card startup, raised $55 million in Series C funding. Valar Ventures led, and was joined by Rosecliff Ventures, Afore Capital, RiverPark Ventures, Great Oaks VC, GR Capital, Nelstone Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Ride Ventures, Gramercy Fund, Adventure Collective, and Starta Ventures. http://axios.link/I1km

Common, a New York-based co-living company, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Kinnevik led, and was joined by Wilshire Lane Partners, Hanaco, and return backers Norwest Venture Partners, 8VC, and Maveron. http://axios.link/m849

Turntide Technologies, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of “sustainable” electric motors, raised $33 million. Backers include Amazon Climate Fund, Meson Capital, BMW iVentures, JLL Spark, Wind Ventures, and Future Shape. http://axios.link/3Tmk

🚑 Palladio Biosciences, a Horsham, Penn.-based drugmaker focused on orphan kidney diseases, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Samsara BioCapital led, and was joined by Roche Venture Fund and return backers Medicxi and Osage University Partners. www.palladiobio.com

Showmac Tech, a Chinese eSIM startup, raised nearly $15 million in new Series A funding. Addor Capital led and was joined by GGV Capital and Hongtai Aplus. http://axios.link/zOCk

🚑 Babson Diagnostics, an Austin, Texas-based blood sample collection startup, raised $13.7 million in Series B funding from Siemens, Genesis Merchant Capital, and Lago Consulting Group. http://axios.link/0a0X

Yummy, an Indonesian cloud kitchen company, raised $12 million in Series B funding. SoftBank Venture Asia led, and was joined by Intudo Ventures, Sovereign’s Capital, and return backers Vectr Ventures, AppWorks, Quest Ventures, Coca Cola Amatil X, and Palm Drive Capital. http://axios.link/dvTq

Blueboard, a San Francisco-based employee rewards and recognition platform, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding. Origin Ventures led, and was joined by Greycroft, Bullpen Capital, Plug & Play, Gaingels, and Martin Babinec. http://axios.link/RJqB

Homesome, a San Francisco-based e-commerce platform for independent grocers, raised $6.7 million in Series A funding from individuals like Itai Tsiddon (Lightricks) and Rappi co-founders Stephane Kurgan and Ran Makavy. http://axios.link/oyIG

Attunely, a Seattle-based machine learning platform for debt collectors, raised $9 million from Framework Venture Partners, Anthos Capital, and Vulcan Capital. http://axios.link/3dS3

BookClub, a Salt Lake City-based platform for author-led book clubs, raised $6 million in seed funding. Maveron led, and was joined by GSV Ventures, Signal Peak Ventures, and Pelion Venture Partners. www.bookclub.com

Nori, a Seattle-based marketplace for carbon removal, raised $4 million. Placeholder led, and was joined by North Island Ventures and Tenacious Ventures. http://axios.link/akdv

Fulcrum, a Minneapolis-based provider of manufacturing operations SaaS, raised $3.1 million in seed funding. Motivate Ventures led, and was joined by Battery Ventures, Schematic Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, Bread & Butter Ventures, VitalizeVC, Social Starts, and SpringTime Ventures. http://axios.link/BfrE

Rephrase.ai, an Indian developer of synthetic media for personalized sales pitches, raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and AV8 Ventures. http://axios.link/K3up

Private Equity Deals

Allianz and Apollo-backed Athora Holding are in talks to buy the French operations of insurer Aviva (LSE: AV) for upwards of $3.5 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/ZUy2

ARInsights, a Florida-based provider of SaaS to the analyst relations market, raised growth equity funding from Polaris Partners. www.arinsights.com

Orion Advisor Solutions, an Omaha-based provider of portfolio management software to financial advisors, acquired Brinker Capital, a Berwyn, Penn.-based investment manager. Genstar Capital sponsored the deal, with existing Orion backer TA Associates retaining a stake. http://axios.link/6Gtm

Public Offerings

🚑 Graybug Vision, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of drugs to treat ocular diseases, raised $90 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 5.6 million shares at $16 (middle of range), for an initial market cap of $306 million, and will list on the Nasdaq (GRAY) with SVB Leerink as lead underwriter. It had raised over $160 million from firms like Deerfield Management (25.7% pre-IPO stake), OrbiMed (24.9%), Clarus Ventures (11.6%), Hatteras Venture Partners (11.3%), CBC Group, and Blackstone Life Sciences. http://axios.link/7FR6

🚑 PMV Pharma, a Cranbury, N.J.-based precision oncology startup targeting p53 mutations, raised $212 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 11.8 million shares at $18 (high end of range), for an initial market cap of $774 million, and will list on the Nasdaq (PMVP) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. It had raised $240 million in VC funding, including a $70 million Series D round last month, from firms like InterWest Partners (20.5% pre-IPO stake), OrbiMed (20.4%), Euclidean Capital (13.4%), Nextech (8.1%), Viking Global (6.7%), Avoro Capital, RA Capital Management, and Wellington Management. http://axios.link/fxIb

🚑 Prelude Therapeutics, a Wilmington, Del.-based oncology biotech, raised $158 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 8.3 million shares at $19 (high end of range), for an initial market cap of $807 million, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (PRLD) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. It had raised $145 million from firms like OrbiMed (37.1% pre-IPO stake) and Baker Brothers (31.7%). http://axios.link/e0Ho

SPAC Stuff

Most California-based SPACs are complying with the state's new rule on having at least one woman on their boards of directors, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.

FinTech Acquisition IV, a fintech-focused SPAC formed by The Bancorp, raised $200 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/rqFX

Vector Acquisition, a tech-focused SPAC formed by Vector Capital, raised $300 million in its IPO. http://axios.link/96W3

Liquidity Events

The Blackstone Group completed the sale of its 42% stake in the limited partnership of Houston-based liquefied natural gas producer Cheniere Energy to Brookfield Infrastructure for $7 billion. http://axios.link/9o43

Colony Capital agreed to sell six of its hospitality portfolios, representing most of its hotel assets, to real estate investment and hospitality management company Highgate for $2.8 billion. http://axios.link/j8Dn

CVC Capital Partners is seeking a buyer for Polish utility PKP Energetyka, which could fetch upwards of €1.8 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/ft5x

Epic Games, the VC-backed maker of Fortnite, acquired SuperAwesome, a London-based developer of “kid-safe” digital marketing tools that recently raised $17 million in a VC round led by Microsoft’s M12. http://axios.link/gZn4

More M&A

🎧 Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) acquired podcast app Scout FM, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/7W9q

Vodafone (LSE: VOD) is in talks to buy Spanish rival telco MasMovil (BME: MAS), per El Economista. A deal could be worth around €6 billion. http://axios.link/lyGM


EOS Fund, a European small-cap buyout fund led by ex-EQT investors, raised €175 million for its debut fund. http://axios.link/MNVj

L Squared Capital Partners raised just over $500 million for its third growth equity fund. www.lsquaredcap.com

• Riot Ventures, a Venice, Calif.-based hard tech VC firm, is raising $75 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. www.riot.vc

It's Personnel

Amy Banse is retiring as EVP of Comcast and head of Comcast Ventures, after nearly three decades with the company. She’ll continue to serve as a senior advisor through the end of 2021. Comcast Ventures will be led, going forward, by Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh. www.comcastventures.com

Kevin Mayer, the former Disney exec who last month resigned as CEO of TikTok, is in talks to join RedBird Capital Partners, as first reported by the NY Times and confirmed by Axios. No final agreement yet. If he joins, don't be surprised to see RedBird form a second SPAC, more focused on media/entertainment than on sports franchises.

Final Numbers: Founders by undergrad school
Source: PitchBook 2020 report on universities. Data for founders of companies that received a first round of venture funding between Jan. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2020
  • Pitchbook also broke out undergrad rankings for female founders.
  • Stanford still led, followed by Harvard, UC Berkeley, U Penn, and Cornell. MIT fell to seventh.
Dan Primack

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