Alison Minter is involved in a sale, Kim Kamdar sees a portfolio company agree to be acquired and Lydia Jett, Stephanie Geveda, Jazmin Medina and Rudina Seseri are involved in new investments
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 26, 2021
North Castle Partners’ Alison Minter tees up the sale of Full Swing
North Castle Partners’ Alison Minter tees up the sale of a portfolio company, one which provides indoor golf simulation technologies. Terms of North Castle’s sale of Full Swing to Bruin Capital were not disclosed. North Castle will, however, retain a stake. Alison led the firm’s investment in Full Swing in 2017.
Based in Carlsbad, Calif., Full Swing has had its product installed in thousands of homes and businesses. It is used by many of the top pros on the PGA tour, including Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth. In a statement, Alison said, “we are excited to be part of the new Bruin – Full Swing partnership. We believe Bruin’s expertise in this industry coupled with Full Swing’s extraordinary management team and our knowledge and network will continue to drive growth through innovation and excellence.” Alison, in 2017, told Women’s PE Briefs that the firm was introduced to Full Swing by KPMG and was driven to invest by the belief that “there is a segment of the market that is changing the landscape of golf driven by off-course participation and technology.”
Late last year, another of Alison’s portfolio companies, SmartyPants Vitamins, was acquired by Unilever. The vitamin, mineral and supplement company was co-founded by Courtney Nichols Gould and husband Gordon Gould.
Alison’s investments include Sparx Hockey, Mack Weldon, VitaCup, Inc., ProSupps, HydroMassage, Sprout Foods and Maya Kaimal Foods, LLC, an Indian food company founded by Maya Kaimal. Alison is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and spoke during a Perspectives Webinar. North Castle in 2019 closed its seventh fund at $400 million.
TA Associates’ Lovisa Lander leads the firm’s $210M purchase of Elos Medtech AB
TA Associates’ Lovisa Lander leads the firm’s purchase of a publicly traded Swedish contract development and manufacturing organization. TA acquired Elos Medtech AB for $210 million.
Elos serves the dental, orthopedic and life science markets. Founded in 1923, the company has facilities in Sweden, Denmark, China and the United Sates. In a statement, Lovisa said that TA has followed Elos for several years and has “been highly impressed by the company and its management team.” She said given its reputation for “quality and reliability, we believe Elos Medtech is well-positioned to further grow market share as a partner of choice for leading medical technology and life science companies around the world.”
Another company that Lovisa was involved with, Flashtalking, was recently sold to Mediaocean for what was reported to be more than $500 million. TA in 2020 sold its stake in another company that Lovisa was actively involved with, Zadig & Voltaire, to European private equity firm Peninsula. A principal, Lovisa is on the board of Biocomposites and an observer on the board of Vivacy. She is also actively involved in Babilou and Inspired.
A portfolio company of Domain Associates’ Kim Kamdar agrees to be acquired for what could be $800M
Domain Associates’ Kim Kamdar had a very good July on the liquidity front. Just a week after portfolio company Sera Prognostics went public, Kim sees portfolio company Omniome agree to be acquired for what could be $800 million by publicly traded Pacific Biosciences, a manufacturer of DNA sequencers. Investors in Omniome will receive $600 million up front in cash and stock and could receive $200 million more based on the San Diego developer of DNA sequencing technology hitting certain milestones. The company raised around $140 million in funding from a group which in addition to Domain included ARCH Venture Partners, Biomatics Capital, Decheng Capital and Madrone Capital Partners.
For a time, Kim was on Omniome’s board. Charlotte Hubbert was an observer on the board for a time as well while she was with Gates Foundation Venture Capital. She left last year to become senior director, business development and strategic alliances at NanoString Technologies, Inc.
Kim, in 2021, also had another portfolio company, Singular Genomics Systems, go public on Nasdaq. Kim is a partner with Domain, but last year joined Adjuvant Capital as a partner. She also serves on the boards of Epic Sciences; Truvian Sciences, Inc.; Alume Biosciences; Pleno, Inc.; Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., which was co-founded by Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson; and two publicly traded companies, Evofem Biosciences and Obalon Therapeutics.
SoftBank’ Lydia Jett backs a portfolio company of Shana Fisher’s Third Kind Venture Capital and 23 and Me’s Anne Wojcicki
SoftBank Investment Advisers’ Lydia Jett backs a portfolio company of Shana Fisher’s Third Kind Venture Capital and 23 and Me’s Anne Wojcicki, which is seeking to extend the life of dogs. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led Embark Veterinary’s $75 million Series B round, which also included such existing investors as Third Kind, F-Prime Capital, SV Angel, Slow Ventures and Freestyle Capital.
Based in Boston, Embark has developed a DNA test for dogs that can test more than 350 breeds and more than 200 genetic health risks. Its proprietary genotyping technology analyzes 200,000 genetic markers. By curbing preventable diseases, it is seeking to increase the lifespan of dogs by three years within the next decade. In a statement, Lydia said that SoftBank sees Embark as a “genetics insights platform leader who is creating a new standard for personalized care through digital-based DNA insights.”
Earlier this year, Lydia led SoftBank Vision Fund 2 into Perch, a technology-driven commerce company, and another of her portfolio companies, Coupang, Inc., went public. She also invested individually in Teikametrics, a creator of an optimization platform for sellers on Amazon and Walmart. Lydia serves on the boards of Softbank portfolio companies Fanatics, Flipkart, Tokopedia and Klook.
Stephanie Geveda guides Warburg Pincus into FlexXray
Stephanie Geveda guides Warburg Pincus into the nation’s largest provider of X-ray inspection and recovery services for food companies. Terms of Warburg and Tilia Holdings’ investment in FlexXray were not disclosed, but the Arlington, Texas company described it as a “significant growth investment.” FlexXray had been backed the past four years by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
FlexXray assists food manufacturers with regulatory compliance and food safety issues by identifying and removing foreign contaminants from food. In a statement, Stephanie said, “with the increased compliance through USDA and FDA regulations and focus on minimizing food waste, FlexXray is experiencing rapid market adoption and has significant growth opportunities ahead. The company’s mission-critical services, ensuring food product safety, is backed by an incredible management team and strong customer service.”
The investment in FlexXray comes roughly a month after Stephanie led Warburg into Food Safety Net Services, a provider of laboratory testing services for customers in the food and beverage end markets – a company that merged with another of her companies, Certified Group, a provider of testing and regulatory consulting services. Tilia is also an investor in Certified. Stephanie, who is a managing director and head of business services, is on the board of Certified as well as Sotera Health, Arise Virtual Solutions, GA Foods and Sweeping Corporation of America. Earlier this year, Warburg sold another of her companies, Hygiena, to EW Group. Warburg has more than $60 billion in private equity assets under management.
Jill Granoff-led Eurazeo Brands invests $53M in Pangaea Holdings
Eurazeo Brands, which is led by Jill Granoff, invests in a developer of men’s personal care brands. Eurazeo invested $53 million as part of Pangaea Holdings, Inc.’s $68 million round which also included Unilever Ventures, GPO Fund and existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures.
Pangaea, which is focused on effective, simple and affordable skincare and grooming products, is the creator of Lumin, a skincare brand, and Meridian, a below-the-belt grooming brand. Founded in 2018, Pangaea has more than 300 employees across four offices. In a statement, Jill said that Pangaea’s platform and products “address a significant need in an attractive growing market” and that the company “is well-positioned for future growth.”
Earlier this year, Eurazeo Brands acquired Ultra Premium Direct, a French pet food maker co-founded by Sophie Wincker and her husband, Matthieu. Eurazeo Brands is a unit of Eurazeo, a publicly traded global investment company whose CEO is Virginie Morgon. An $800 million investment division, Eurazeo Brands was launched by Jill in 2017 and is focused on identifying and partnering with differentiated consumer brands with global growth potential.
Eurazeo Brands’ investments include Dewey’s Bakery, a Winston-Salem, N.C. cookie and cracker manufacturer; Axel Arigato, a Swedish sneaker and ready-to-wear and accessories brand; Waterloo Sparkling Water, an Austin, Texas-based sparking water brand; Herschel Supply Co., a lifestyle brand; Nest Fragrances, which features a collection of more than 30 home and fine fragrances and whose founder is Laura Slatkin and whose CEO is Maria Dempsey; Q Mixers, a maker of premium carbonated mixers; Pat McGrath Labs, a makeup brand created by Pat McGrath; and Bandier, an activewear retailer co-founded by Jennifer Bandier that is led by retail veteran Adrienne Lazarus.
Jennifer Keiser Neundorfer guides January Ventures into Ntropy’s $3.2M seed round
January Ventures’ Jennifer Keiser Neundorfer backs a company aiming to make it easier to understand financial transactions. January participated in Ntropy’s $3.2 million seed round that also included QED Investors as well as founders and executives from Ramp, Square and Stripe.
Based in San Francisco, Ntropy’s platform trains machine learning models across organizations with different data schemas and data sensitivity issues to remove barriers and make data an easily understandable tool. The funding will be used to hire key engineering and commercial talent, to support market growth and for future product development.
In a statement, Jennifer said, “fintech is no longer a standalone industry – embedded fintech enables new business models for almost any company across every industry. Ntropy’s data platform is the foundational layer upon which these business models are built, and the company’s opportunities are massive. The Ntropy team has the unique combination of deep technical expertise coupled with commercialization savvy – the customer demand speaks for itself.”
Jennifer founded January – previously known as Jane VC – with Maren Thomas Bannon. One of the firm’s portfolio companies, Squad, was acquired last year by Twitter. The social screen-sharing and group video chat app was co-founded and led by Esther Crawford.
Amy Kruse leads Prime Movers Lab into Paradromics’ $20M seed round
Prime Movers Lab’s Amy Kruse transmits funds into a company developing technology to help physically disabled patients reconnect with the outside world. Prime Movers led Paradromics’ $20 million seed round, which also included investments from Westcott Investment Group, Dolby Family Ventures, Synergy Ventures, Pureland Global Venture, IT-Farm and Alpha Edison.
Based in Austin, Texas, Paradromics is developing high-volume, bidirectional data streaming capabilities between brains and computers to create solutions to medical challenges. Paradromics’ first commercial product, the Connexus Communication Device, will restore communication for patients who have lost the ability to speak due to severe paralysis. Through this product, patients will be able to reconnect with loved ones and achieve greater autonomy through use of a computer. Paradromics will also seek to partner with leading health care companies to develop novel therapies for brain-related disorders.
In a statement, Amy said, “progress in neuroscience and microelectronics has been exponential, and this is game-changing technology that has implications well beyond the rehabilitation market. As a former DARPA program manager, I am excited to see this technology move out of the lab and into clinical applications.”
In conjunction with the movement, Amy joined Paradromics’ board. Earlier this year, she led Prime Movers into Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, which is utilizing psychedelic-related medicines for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions. She joined Prime Movers Lab last fall as a partner and principal biologist.
Amy previously had been the chief scientific officer at Optios, an applied neuroscience company. She also served as the vice president and chief technology officer at Cubic Global Defense and as a government civilian program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where she created its first performance-oriented neuroscience programs.
Prime Movers earlier this year closed its second fund at $245 million. The Jackson, Wyo. Firm focuses on backing breakthrough scientific start-ups.
NewView Capital’s Jazmin Medina backs a portfolio company of SoftBank’s Gosia Karas
NewView Capital’s Jazmin Medina backs a portfolio company of SoftBank’s Gosia Karas that has created a blockchain-enabled payment network for business. NewView led Paystand’s $50 million Series C round which in addition to the SoftBank Opportunity Fund, also included King River Capital, Industrious Ventures and Transform Capital.
Based in Scotts Valley, Calif., Paystand automates the entire cash lifecycle so businesses can unlock cashless, feeless, intuitive payments. Using cloud technology and the Ethereum blockchain, the company has developed a digital, highly secure, B2B payment network with zero fees. Paystand’s network has been used by more than 250,000 companies, resulting in more than $2 billion in payment volume.
In a statement, Jazmin said Paystand “has been quietly rebooting commercial payments since 2013. In the same way that the (electric vehicle) industry re-thought the automobile to permanently move society away from fossil fuels, Paystand is creating an entirely new system for B2B payments – not simply laying a digital facade over broken plumbing.”
In conjunction with the financing, Jazmin joined Paystand’s board. Earlier this year, she backed and joined the board of Veryfi, a data transformation platform. Jazmin is also on the board of Topia and an observer on the board of Node.io. Jazmine joined NewView in 2018 after co-founding and serving as chief operating officer of Bundler TV. Based in Burlingame, Calif., NewView was spun-out of New Enterprise Associates in 2018 with a $1.35 billion portfolio of growth-stage technology companies.
IQ Capital’s Kerry Baldwin led Worldr’s $3M seed round
A developer of a communications and messaging platform built around privacy, security and data protection secures funding from IQ Capital’s Kerry Baldwin. IQ led Worldr’s $3 million seed round that also included participation from CyLon, Andreas Wuchner and John Taysom.
Worldr aims to be the private and secure alternative to Slack, Teams and Whatsapp by utilizing split-key encryption by default whilst ensuring that all conversations are stored locally within each company. By doing so, it looks to give businesses total control over who holds and can access corporate data, conversations and sensitive files. The capital will help Worldr build on the success of its 6-month long beta and continue development ahead of the public launch later this year.
Earlier this year, Kerry led IQ into CybSafe, which seeks to help companies manage human cyber risk. She is on CybSafe’s board as well as the boards of FNA, BMLL Technologies, Divido, Synthesized and Neurovalens. Kerry is a partner and co-founder of IQ. The firm invests in seed and Series A stages into U.K. companies with transformational deeptech, AI or disruptive algorithms at their core. IQ has offices in London and Cambridge, U.K.
OpenOcean’s Ekaterina Almasque backs GraphCMS
OpenOcean’s Ekaterina Almasque backs a German content management platform enabling companies to deliver better digital experiences. OpenOcean led GraphCMS’ $10 million Series A round that also included previous investors Peak and Paua Ventures.
Based in Berlin, GraphCMS is a content management system for digital creators and digital products. The company plans to use the new funding to increase its focus on API integrations, accelerate product adoption and scale its team globally with a particular focus on North America and Europe.
In a statement, Ekaterina said that the investment in GraphCMS represents the venture firm’s largest initial investment to date in a Series A company. “GraphCMS is a business primed to solve the challenges facing the industry today, from the exponential growth of siloed data to the increasing complexity of the enterprise digital journey,” she said. “Firms are crying out for a new approach that delivers applications with the convenience of a database, the collaborative nature of a federated content platform, and the programmability of an API gateway. GraphCMS’ breakthrough approach combines the best of the GraphQL and content management system worlds to give their customers the edge over the competition, and the opportunity to lead the way in the era of rapid digitalization.”
In conjunction with the financing, Ekaterina joined GraphCMS’ board. Her investments also include IQM, which is developing superconducting quantum machines, and Sunlight.io, a multi-cloud, hyper-converged infrastructure. Ekaterina was promoted earlier this year to general partner. OpenOcean also at that time said it had raised 92 million euros of its 130 million euros goal for its third fund. OpenOcean specifically targets artificial intelligence, application-driven data infrastructure, intelligent automation and open source.
Summa Equity’s Marika Vitiä leads the acquisition of G-CON
Summa Equity’s Marika Vitiä leads the acquisition of a manufacturer of prefabricated cleanrooms. Summa acquired College Station, Texas-based G-CON. Terms were not disclosed.
G-CON designs, builds and installs turnkey current good manufacturing practice compliant suites called PODs for a global biopharma customer base focused on biologics, pharma, contract development and manufacturing, and cell and gene therapy manufacturing. G -CON’s prefabricated cleanroom solution differs from traditional cleanroom facility structures due to the ease of scalability, mobility and the ability to repurpose the PODs once the production process reaches the end of its lifecycle. Summa is supporting the company in its journey by expanding the product and service offering and establishing a local presence outside the U.S.
In a statement, Marika said, “we are proud to partner with G-CON for the next, exciting chapter of its growth trajectory. We strongly believe G-CON has the potential to significantly accelerate bioprocessing production timelines, to help biopharma manufacturers get to market earlier and fully meet their capacity requirements after launch. This is a vitally important element of the healthcare value chain, ensuring that more of society has access to the right healthcare when they need it.”
Sofia Garrido Freyria leads General Atlantic into Klar
General Atlantic’s Sofia Garrido Freyria backs a Mexican digital financial services platform providing a transparent, free and secure alternative to traditional debit and credit services. General Atlantic led Klar’s Series B round, which also included existing investors Prosus Ventures, Quona Capital, Mouro Capital, International Finance Corporation and WTI. The amount invested was not disclosed. As part of the transaction, Sofia will join Klar’s board of directors.
Klar allows users to manage their money in a secure and personalized way from their smartphone. The funding will be used to strengthen Klar’s efforts to broaden access to consumer credit as Mexico’s transition to a digital economy accelerates through product and proprietary technology expansion.
Sofia was promoted to vice president at the end of 2020. General Atlantic is a growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for global growth companies.
A portfolio company of Calculus Capital’s Alexandra Lindsay has been acquired
A portfolio company of Calculus Capital’s Alexandra Lindsay has been acquired. Calculus and Foresight Group exited from Mologic after the specialist in lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies was acquired by Global Access Health and a group of other philanthropic organizations and investors. Terms were not disclosed. Global Access is a not-for-profit company financed by the Soros Economic Development Fund, the impact investing arm of the Open Society Foundations.
In a statement, Alexandra said, “the management team at Mologic has led the company over the last five years to a stable and strong business that, under its new ownership structure, can deliver tangible benefits to the world in responding to epidemics and preparing for the next pandemic.” Alexandra served on Mologic’s board. An investment director, she has been with Calculus since 2008.
Jennifer Ard and Faran Nouri lead their firms’ venture arms into Fabric8Labs’ $19.3M Series A round
Intel Capital’s Jennifer Ard and Lam Capital’s Faran Nouri guide Intel and Lam Research’s venture arms into a start-up aiming to commercialize a new metal additive manufacturing technology. Intel Capital led Fabric8Labs’ $19.3 million Series A round which, in addition to Lam, included TDK Ventures, SE Ventures, imec.xpand, Stanley Ventures and Mark Cuban.
San Diego-based Fabric8Labs’ process rapidly fabricates complex metal parts at the atomic level, enabling superior feature resolution and enhanced material properties. This approach eliminates the need for expensive metal powders and time-consuming post-processing, and the system operates near room temperature thus minimizing total energy consumption. The infusion of capital will enable Fabric8Labs to accelerate the commercialization of its novel manufacturing approach and to create new applications across multiple market verticals, including semiconductor packaging, electronics, medical, thermal management and RF components.
In a statement, Jennifer said, “the capability to additively manufacture using multiple metals with high precision is highly compelling. Fabric8Labs’ technology offers a unique option for future electronics applications.” Faran added in a statement, “Fabric8Labs’ approach to metal additive manufacturing has disruptive potential and aligns with Lam Capital’s mission to invest in forward thinking companies that address today’s most challenging, high impact problems.”
Cindy Babitt guides Cyprium Investment Partners into REMPREX
Cyprium Investment Partners’ Cindy Babitt maneuvers capital into a railroad industry company. Cyprium made a subordinated debt and preferred equity investment into REMPREX, recapitalizing its balance sheet and enabling the acquisition of Technical Services International, Inc. The amount invested was not disclosed.
REMPREX provides terminal operations and access control solutions to Class I intermodal rail terminals and distribution centers across North America. Access control solutions include installation, maintenance and operation of automated gate systems, and related technology infrastructure. Terminal operations include loading, unloading and management of intermodal containers and automotive units.
In a statement, Cindy said, “the REMPREX acquisition of TSI is consistent with the company’s strategy of becoming more meaningful to the Class I railroads. The acquisition of TSI complements the numerous offerings REMPREX already provides to the Class I intermodal yards and the combined entity should provide for better more efficient service.”
Cindy is a founding member of Cyprium, having previously been a partner at Key Principal Partners. A private equity and mezzanine firm, Cyprium last year closed its fifth fund at $445 million. It has offices in Cleveland, New York and Chicago and provides subordinated debt, preferred stock and common equity as a minority investor in family, founder and entrepreneur-owned companies.
Glasswing Ventures’ Rudina Seseri seeds CloudTruth
Glasswing Ventures’ Rudina Seseri seeds a company that quickly makes an acquisition. Glasswing and Gutbrain Ventures led CloudTruth’s $5.25 million round, which also included Stage 1 Ventures and York IE.
Based in Boston, CloudTruth is a unified configuration management company. It will use the capital to further develop its offering that helps software developers and CloudOps teams increase uptime, improve security and eliminate cloud configuration risks resulting from decentralized and distributed deployment and settings. CloudTruth also said it acquired Tuono, a cloud secrets management start-up. The move is aimed at enabling CloudTruth to unify and simply access and visibility into companies’ infrastructure, application and secrets configuration data. Its platform enables companies to manage their parameters, templates, environment variables and secrets from one central location. This is especially important with the average midsize enterprise having more than 5,000 cloud configuration settings. Ensuring these parameters are up to date is critical as configuration continues to become more distributed and decentralized.
In a statement, Rudina said that “inadequate cloud configuration controls and oversight, exponentially increasing APIs, and a lack of cloud security expose companies of all sizes to major risks. We are delighted to have brought CloudTruth and Tuono together, two synergistic and disruptive companies, to address these preventable threats. This merger and the financing round will power the creation of a unique configuration and automation platform, purpose-built to address the needs of today’s cloud configuration complexities.”
Rudina, who co-founded AI-focused Glasswing five years ago, is on the boards of ChaosSearch, Verusen, Plannuh, Inc., Celtra, Inc., Talla, Zylotech and Inrupt, Inc. and an observer on the board of Reprise. Rudina is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
RA Capital Management’s Laura Tadvalkar pumps capital into Denmark-based Hemab
RA Capital Management’s Laura Tadvalkar pumps capital into a Denmark-based company whose board is chaired by Novo Seeds’ Camilla Petrycer Hansen and which is developing therapeutics for serious underserved bleeding and thrombosis disorders. Hemab secured $55 million in Series A financing led by Novo Holdings, HealthCap and RA Capital Management.
Hemab aims to progress its pipeline of monoclonal and bispecific antibody-based therapeutics into later stages of development, with the vision to transform the treatment paradigm for blood disease patients, from orphan disorders to broad indications with high unmet need. The financing will also enable Hemab to further build the team and expand its operational footprint in Denmark and the United States.
In a statement, Laura said, “we believe Hemab’s innovative approach to addressing rare bleeding disorders has the potential to make an impactful difference for patients, and we are excited to support the company through this financing as well as in expanding their operations in the U.S.”
In conjunction with the financing, Laura joined Hemab’s board. She joined RA last year from MP Healthcare Venture Management. RA Capital Management is a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private health care and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.
Crédit Mutuel Equity’s Léa Perge backs Paystone
Crédit Mutuel Equity’s Léa Perge backs a Canadian payments company helping service-based businesses engage with its customers. Paystone secured a $23.8 million strategic investment from Crédit Mutuel Equity, according to TechCrunch.
Paystone is a provider of customer engagement services and electronic payment processing solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s integrated suite of automated payment processing, customer loyalty and gift card solutions help merchants turn everyday transactions into meaningful customer interactions.
In an email to TechCrunch, Léa said, “Paystone is on a mission to help businesses grow, and we were enthralled by their commitment to that mission and their focus on service-oriented verticals.” Crédit Mutuel Equity is the private equity branch of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale.
Kimberly Martin leads BOOST&Co into Atech Support
BOOST&Co’s Kimberly Martin provides support to a U.K. based cloud service provider. The amount invested by BOOST in Atech Support was not disclosed, only that it was seven-figures.
Atech is a specialist in managed services and security, with a particular focus on digital transformation and global support for mid-level enterprises. The funds will be used to offer additional products and services, to new and existing clients, while also supporting its growth plans via acquisition.
In a statement, Kim said, “it has been great to work with Atech’s impressive team to arrange a loan that will enable them to pursue their growth ambitions and develop their offering. The firm operates in a unique sector, so we are excited about seeing what their forthcoming acquisitions will enable them to achieve.”
BOOST&Co is a provider of growth capital for innovative, fast-growing U.K. SMEs.
Northzone’s Wendy Xiao Schadeck leads Magic’s $27M Series A round
Northzone’s Wendy Xiao Schadeck logs onto a developer of passwordless authentication technology in a round that also includes Volt Capital, which is led by Soona Amhaz. Northzone led Magic’s $27 million Series A round, which also included Tiger Global, Digital Currency Group, CoinFund and some 80 angels.
Based in San Francisco, Magic is focused on ending the traditional method of password-based authentication. Its platform enables developers to use just a few lines of code to utilize password authentication. TechCrunch quoted Wendy as saying that as Magic redefines authentication for the Internet, it is “solving a core point for developers, users and companies.”
Wendy, who was promoted to partner earlier this year, recently led Northzone into Gro, which is striving to make decentralized finance more accessible.
Volt, also this year, closed its debut fund at $10 million.
Liz Griggs-led Grantchester helps UCAP Power make an acquisition
Grantchester C Change Group, whose managing partner and CEO is Liz Griggs, helps a company make an acquisition. Terms of Grantchester’s investment in UCAP Power, Inc. were not disclosed. UCAP used the capital to acquire Maxwell Technologies’ non-dry electrode ultracapacitor business.
In a statement, Liz said, “we believe that with the global transition to electrified vehicles for both commercial and consumer use, the innate benefits ultracapacitors and their current utilization in advance power train will drive significant growth as industry research forecasts market opportunities to be more than $7 billion annually by 2027.”
San Diego-based Grantchester specializes in electrification, infrastructure and clean energy generation.
Deborah Benton and Amanda Schutzbank’s Willow Growth Partners leads Lalo’s $5.6M seed round
Willow Growth Partners, which was founded by managing partner Deborah Benton and general partner Amanda Schutzbank, along with Yael Cohen Braun deliver capital to a creator of baby items. Willow Growth led Lalo’s $5.6 million seed round that also includes Dave Heath, CEO of Bombas, and Michael Silverstein, a former senior partner of Boston Consulting Group.
Founded in 2019, Lalo offers such items as strollers, a highchair that turns into a play chair, tables and chairs, tableware and bibs.
Willow Growth recently closed its inaugural fund at $28 million. Its investments also include Dae, a clean hair brand whose CEO and founder is Amber Fillerup Clark; Ox, a fulfillment platform for supply chains whose founder and CEO is Charu Thomas; and Coterie, which produces baby personal care products.
Insight Partners’ Rebecca Liu-Doyle invests in SEDNA
Insight Partners’ Rebecca Liu-Doyle invests in a Vancouver, B.C.-based intelligent communications system for high-performance teams. SEDNA raised $34 million in Series B funding from a group which, in addition to Insight, included prior investors Stride.VC, Chalfen Ventures and the SAP.iO fund.
SEDNA’s intelligent communication system allows companies to break down silos and work across their organization within a single digital workspace, improving certainty and promoting seamless collaboration across teams doing complex, multi-party work. Within SEDNA’s digital workspace, individuals can seamlessly collaborate and execute with increasing speed while delivering a single source of truth for the whole organization through one integrated system The financing enables SEDNA to develop its product, data science and go-to market functions and work toward its goal of becoming the leading intelligent communication system where global businesses get work done with speed, context and clarity.
As part of the investment, Rebecca joins the company’s board of directors. Earlier this year, one of her portfolio companies, Divvy, agreed to be purchased by Bill.com for $2.5 billion. Rebecca is a principal with Insight. Her portfolio also includes such companies as Prose, Gtmhub, Imperfect Foods, Pathlight, Quantum Metric, Jellyfish, Finix, CUUP, Fridge No More, UserTesting, Epignosis, Tricentis, Mural, iSpot.tv, SonarSource, Ritual, Staffbase and PayIt.
Omega Funds’ Michelle Doig co-leads Artios Pharma’s $153M Series C round
Omega Funds’ Michelle Doig puts capital into a U.K. based company developing a pipeline of product candidates for the treatment of cancer – one whose board includes Pfizer Ventures’ Barbara Dalton. Omega and TCG X co-led Artios Pharma, Ltd.’s $153 million Series C round with participation from Avidity Partners, Invus, Deep Track Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Tetragon Financial Group, RTW Investments LP, Soleus Capital, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, CaaS Capital Management and Schroders Capital.
Artios is a DNA damage response company exploiting a broad platform and small molecule drug discovery capabilities to develop a diverse pipeline of product candidates for the treatment of cancer. In a statement, Michelle said, “Artios’ deep expertise in DNA damage response and novel approach to drive the search for new and better cancer treatments is an ideal match for Omega Funds. Supporting Artios in its mission to advance its portfolio of best-in-class and first-in-class small molecule DDR programs, including its DNA polymerase theta inhibitor, which is poised to enter the clinic, is a welcome addition to our portfolio of life science investments targeting our world’s most urgent medical needs.”
In connection with the financing, Michelle joined Artios’ board. Earlier this year, a special purpose acquisition company that she is leading, Omega Alpha SPAC, went public. Last year, one of her portfolio companies, Nuvation Bio, went public through a merger with a SPAC. Omega Funds is an international investment firm that creates and invests in life sciences companies that target the world’s most urgent medical needs.
Lara Markham takes part in Graphite Capital’s acquisition of Wonderbly
Graphite Capital’s Lara Markham takes part in the firm’s acquisition of U.K. based publishing platform for personalized children’s books. Terms of Graphite’s purchase of Wonderbly were not disclosed.
As a digital, direct-to-consumer publisher, Wonderbly sells its books in more than 150 countries. The company’s proprietary software enables it to render personalized images and manage orders from customers across the world with short delivery times.
Graphite Capital is an independent private equity investor focused on the U.K. mid-market.
B Capital Group’s Rashmi Gopinath leads Pendo’s $150M Series F round
B Capital Group’s Rashmi Gopinath takes part in a sizable financing for a company that accelerates successful product adoption. B Capital led Pendo’s $150 million Series F round, which also included Silver Lake Waterman and such existing investors as Battery Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, Sapphire Ventures, General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, FirstMark Capital, Geodesic Capital, IDEA Fund Partners and Contour Venture Partners.
Raleigh, N.C.-based Pendo will use the capital to fund global expansion, strategic acquisitions and continued innovation of its platform which helps product and IT teams drive adoption of the software that they build for customers or their own companies. Pendo has now raised $356 million and is valued at $2.6 billion. It also recently surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue.
In a statement, Rashmi said, “Pendo is a pioneer and clear leader in the field of software for product teams, which we’ve seen become increasingly important to enterprises as they grow. Pendo’s fundamentals, growth and ever-improving product suite further position them for success and global expansion.”
Earlier this year, Rashmi led B Capital into Phenom, whose aim is to help a billion people find the right job. Rashmi, a general partner, joined B Capital in 2020 from M12, Microsoft’s venture arm. At B Capital, she has also taken part in the firm’s investments in Synack and Armory. B Capital, in 2020, closed its second fund at $820 million to invest in growth-stage start-ups.
Preeti Rathi guides Icon Ventures into At-Bay’s $185M round
Icon Ventures’ Preeti Rathi joins the board of At-Bay after guiding her firm into the cyber insurance company’s sizable Series D round. Icon and Lightspeed Venture Partners led the San Francisco company’s $185 million financing that also included existing investors Khosla Ventures, M12, Acrew Capital, Qumra Capital, Munich Re Ventures and Glilot Capital. At-Bay has surpassed $160 million in annual recurring revenue and is now valued at $1.35 billion.
In a statement, Preeti said, “what this team has been able to achieve in less than five years is truly astonishing. Not only has At-Bay quickly emerged as a leader in the industry, but they’ve also redefined the role of security within the cyber insurance space.”
Earlier this year, Preeti joined the board of Aiera after leading Icon into the company that has developed a platform that automates tasks, actions and workflows for employees and customers. She is also on the board of Confluera, which has created a platform that utilizes autonomous detection and response capabilities to deal with cyber attacks. Preeti joined Icon Ventures in 2020 as a general partner. She previously had been a partner with Ignition Partners.