From: FORTUNE Term Sheet - Monday Oct 28, 2019 02:10 pm
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October 28, 2019

We’re all familiar with the PayPal mafia, the crew of Silicon Valley bigwigs who used their payouts from the company’s acquisition by eBay to shape the next generation of startups. This group of serial entrepreneurs and investors represented a new generation of wealth and power, Fortune wrote in a 2007 feature.

In 2019, we’re at the forefront of another such great generation of wealth and power — but it looks quite different this time around.

The companies the PayPal mafia funded—Facebook and Lyft, to name a couple—are well into maturity and producing their own generation of investors. This time, those investors are women, and they’re shaping the next next generation of startups.

The new mafia in town is called #Angels, an investment collective of former Twitter colleagues that began sharing deals and opportunities across their networks nearly five years ago. It includes former Slack chief product officer April Underwood and Lightspeed partner Jana Messerschmidt. #Angels has invested in more than 120 companies. 

Now, the network is growing. Late last year, the #Angels were joined by F7—a group of seven former and current Facebookers—and by a still nascent group of 10 women who worked at Uber and have since gone into venture at separate firms.

My colleague Emma Hinchliffe reports:

Unlike the PayPal mafia, who mostly struck out on their own or in duos or trios, these women are sticking together. In a venture landscape in which women make up 11% of venture capital decision-makers and men hold 91% of startup equity—the ­money that often turns into angel investments—solidarity has its advantages. “It’s so comforting and supportive working with six other women who have so much experience to bring to the table. It makes it less scary,” says Yvette Lui of F7, who was a director of sales and global partnerships at Facebook and had done only a little bit of angel investing prior to F7. As Robyn Reiss, also of F7, puts it: “Angel investing is not competitive. There’s no reason not to share.”

Read the full story here.

DEREK JETER’S MOVE: The Players’ Tribune, a New York-based digital media sports website co-founded by Derek Jeter, is exploring a potential sale, according to Bloomberg. Although nothing has been finalized, The Players’ Tribune could be the latest to join the recent flurry of digital media mergers. The Players’ Tribune has raised approximately $58 million in venture funding from investors including GV, IVP, NEA, and GenTrust.

DIALING DOWN THE RISK: I’ve written before how the most shocking thing in the whole SoftBank/WeWork saga is that risk-loving Masayoshi Son is changing his tune when speaking to founders. He famously told WeWork CEO Adam Neumann that he appreciated how he was crazy—but thought that he needed to be crazier. “Recently, I’ve been telling founders to ‘know your limit,’” Son said in an interview earlier this month. “Knowing your limitations will help unleash limitless possibilities.” 

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that SoftBank’s aggressive, high-risk strategy is changing, and the firm will focus “more on improving corporate governance at portfolio companies.” Under the lower-risk strategy being imposed by Son, the fund already is being more careful about proposed deals it might otherwise have done quickly, according to the report. Son has recently asked for more information from his investment team before pulling the trigger on some deals.

DON VALENTINE’S LEGACY: Don Valentine, the founder of famed Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital, died Friday at age 87 in his home in Woodside, Calif. Valentine founded Sequoia in 1972, and made early investments in companies including Apple, Atari, Oracle, Electronic Arts, and Cisco

Born in New York in 1932, Valentine studied chemistry at Fordham University before moving to Southern California in the mid-1950s for a job as a sales engineer with Raytheon. He later joined Fairchild Semiconductor, where he learned how to market and sell silicon chips. He began making personal investments in technology companies, and then decided to team up with mutual fund management firm Capital Group to establish Capital Management Services. The firm, which later became known as Sequoia Capital, formed its first $3 million venture capital fund in 1974 and bet early on Atari and Apple.

Venture capitalists and tech executives shared tributes to honor the legendary investor who was instrumental in shaping what we know as Silicon Valley today. Read them here.




- Weave, a Lehi, Utah-based developer of patient communications software focused on the dental and optometry market, raised $70 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $970 million. Tiger Global Management led the round, and was joined by investors including Catalyst Investors, Bessemer Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital, Pelion Venture Partners and LeadEdge Capital.

- Aviatrix, a Sherwood, Ore.-based provider of networking and security services for the multi-cloud enterprise, raised $40 million in Series C funding. CRV led the round, and was joined by investors including Formation 8, Ignition Partners and Liberty Global Ventures.

- ShiraTronics Inc, a Brooklyn Park, Minn.-based medical device company, raised $33 million in Series A funding. USVP, Amzak Health and Strategic HealthCare Investment Partners led the round, and were joined by investors including Aperture Ventures and LivaNova PLC.

- 1906, a Denver-based cannabis brand, raised $18 million in funding. Navy Capital led the round.

- Young Alfred, a New York City and Philadelphia-based home insurance shopping platform, raised $10 million in funding. Gradient Ventures led the round with participation from Pear Ventures, ERA and Newfund Capital.

- Own Up, a Boston-based software provider that enables residential lending from various lenders, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Link Ventures led the round.

- Picus Security, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Earlybird led the round.

- Shiru, an Oakland, Calif.-based provider of proteins for food applications, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Lux Capital led the round.

- EnsureDR, a Los Angeles-based disaster recovery readiness platform, raised $2.5 million in Series A funding. Awz Ventures led the round.

- Aspireship, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based experiential professional development and career matching platform, raised $1.4 million in pre-seed funding. Story Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including TDF Ventures, Mana Ventures, Upfront Ventures Community Fund, Supernode Ventures, and Capital Factory. 


- SMP Pharmacy Solutions, a portfolio company of Galen Partners, acquired Northridge Plaza Pharmacy, a California-based pharmacy specializing in reproductive care. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- XLerate Group, which is backed by Huron Capital, acquired Columbus Fair Auto Auction, a Columbus, Ohio-based auction that operates an 11-lane arena, reconditioning facility, body shop, and mechanical shop. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Cato Research, which is backed by Water Street and JLL Partners, merged with Specialized Medical Services-oncology BV (SMS-oncology), a Netherlands-based full-service contract research organization dedicated to the conduct of clinical oncology studies. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Guidepost Growth Equity invested $31 million in Green Rabbit, a Braintree, Mass.-based eCommerce cold chain logistics provider. 


- LVMH has held “preliminary discussions” to buy Tiffany & Company (NYSE:TIF). LVMH had approached Tiffany with an all-cash bid of about $120 a share, which would value the company at approximately $14.4 billion, according to The New York Times. Read more.

- Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) agreed to  Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT) in an all-stock transaction, valued at approximately $12.6 billion, including debt. 


- Q&K International Group, a Shanghai-based apartment rental platform in China, plans to raise $94 million in an IPO of 5.2 million ADSs priced at $17 to $19 apiece. The firm posted revenue of $129.6 million in 2018 and loss of $72.8 million. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “QK.” Read more.

- Galera Therapeutics, a Malvern, Pa.-based firm focused on reducing toxicity during radiotherapy, now plans to raise $75 million in an IPO of 5 million shares priced at a range of between $14 to $16. It has yet to post a revenue and posted losses of $30 million in 2018.  New Enterprise Associates (20.4% pre-offering), Novartis Bioventures (17%), and Novo Nordisk (15%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “GRTX.” Read more.

- 89bio, a San Francisco-based biotech focused on metabolic diseases, plans to raise $70.4 million in an IPO of 4.4 million shares priced at a range of between $15 to $17. It has yet to post a revenue and posted losses of $16.2 million in 2018.  OrbiMed (41.2% pre-offering), Longitude Venture Partners (24.9%), and RA Capital (21.6%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “ETNB.” Read more.

- Sprout Social, a Chicago-based platform focused on social media for businesses, filed to raise $100 million in an IPO. It posted revenue of $78.8 million in 2018 and loss of $20.8 million. Goldman Sachs (35.5% pre-offering), NEA (30.9%), and Lightbank (21%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “SPT.” Read more.


- Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE:BAX) acquired Cheetah Medical, a Newton Center, Mass.-based provider of non-invasive fluid management monitoring technologies, for $190 million up front cash consideration, with potential for an additional $40 million based on milestones. The seller was HighCape Capital.


- Carlyle Group, a Washington D.C.-based investment firm, raised 6.4 billion euros ($7.1 billion) for its fifth European buyout fund, according to Bloomberg. Read more.


- Lightspeed Venture Partners hired Mercedes Bent, James Ephrati, Anoushka Vaswani and Rytis Vitkauskas as partners. 



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