Cormorant’s Chen and Baillie Gifford’s Record among those with IPOs this week

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 19, 2021

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A SPAC co-founded and led by Dinu files to go public

Another special purpose acquisition company co-founded and led by Raluca Dinu files to go public. GigInternational1 is seeking to raise $200 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol GIWWU. Once public, the SPAC will look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring it public. The SPAC will target the TMT, cybersecurity, privacy and sustainable industries.

Raluca co-founded the SPAC with her husband, Avi Katz, who previously co-founded and led GigPeak, which was acquired by Integrated Device Technology. Raluca previously held executive roles with GigPeak and Integrated Device Technology’s Optical Interconnects Division.

Avi and Raluca have also been involved with six prior SPACs, including two GigCapital5 and GigCapital6 – which are in registration to go public. Dorothy Hayes is on the board of all three SPACs. She is the former corporate controller and chief accounting officer of Intuit.

Raluca is also CEO and chair of GigCapital4, which went public in February and whose board also includes Dorothy. Raluca is also on the board of GigCapital3 which went public in May 2020 and has a pending merger agreement with Lightening eMotors. Additionally, she is CEO and chair of GigCapital2 which went public in June 2019 and has pending merger agreements with UpHealth and Cloudbreak Health. The first GigCapital SPAC merged in November 2019 with Kalyera.

Similarweb files to go public

Similarweb, whose board includes ION Crossover PartnersGili Iohan, files to go public. An Israeli web analytics provider, Similarweb is seeking to raise $100 million and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SMWB.

The Tel Aviv, Isreal-based company produces digital intelligence that enables customers to identify trends, competition, and business opportunities. In 2020, it had sales of $93 million. ION is one of the company’s major shareholders along with Anglo-Peacock Nominees Limited, Viola Group and NNV Holdings.

Gili, a general partner with ION, has been on Similarweb’s board since October. She recently joined the board of Aqua Security after ION led the cloud-native security company’s $135 million Series E round. Gili is also on the boards of Fiverr International, Ltd., which went public in 2019; and Varonis Systems, which is also publicly traded. She was CFO of Varonis prior to joining ION in 2018.

A portfolio company of Cormorant’s Chen has gone public

A company that Cormorant Asset Management’s Bihua Chen backed only four months ago has gone public. Biomea Fusion raised $153 million by offering 9 million shares at $17 a share. It is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol BMEA.

Based in Redwood City, Calif., Biomea is developing small molecule therapies for genetically defined cancers. The company was founded in 2017.

Bihua, who founded and leads Cormorant, joined Biomea’s board in December after Cormorant led the company’s $56 million Series A round. Cormorant, according to the filing, owned 11.5 percent of the company prior to the IPO. The largest shareholders prior to the offering were Biomea Healthcare, LLC – which is controlled by the company’s co-founders – and A2A Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Both owned 22.1 percent of Biomea. The Tavistock Group owned a 6.4 percent pre-IPO stake. Others who invested in its December round included Janus Henderson Investors, Rock Springs Capital, RTW Investments, LP, Aisling Capital, Point Sur Investors, Logos Capital and Clifton Capital.

Cormorant now has had at least six companies go public in 2021. The others are VectivBio Holding, Prometheus Biosciences, Inc., Design Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics and Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded.

Cormorant also has at least three companies in registration to go public, Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc.; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad; and another, Tango Therapeutics, which is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Tango’s CEO is Dr. Barbara Weber.

A portfolio company of Chen’s Cormorant and Qiming Venture Partners USA’s French files to go public

A portfolio company of Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management and Qiming Venture Partners USA’s Anna French, which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, files to go public. Talaris Therapeutics, Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol TALS.

The filing comes some six months after Cormorant and returning investor Qiming Venture Partners USA took part in the company’s $115 million Series B round. Qiming Venture Partners USA had previously taken part in the company’s $100 million Series A round. According to the filing, Blackstone is the largest shareholder with a 24.85 percent pre-IPO stake. Longitude Venture Partners holds 9.2 percent, while Qiming has 8.74 and Surveyor Capital and Viking Global Investors each had 7.83 percent.

The company’s board includes Sapna Srivastava, the former chief financial and strategy officer at Abide Therapeutics, Inc., which was acquired in 2019 by H. Lundbeck A/S.

Based in Louisville, Ky., Talaris is focused on developing cell therapies that have the potential to induce durable immune tolerance across a range of indications. Talaris is seeking to eliminate the burden of chronic immunosuppression for organ transplant recipients as well as induce durable remissions in patients with severe autoimmune and immune-mediated disorders. The company’s lead candidate is currently being tested in a Phase 3 trial on first-time living donor kidney transplant recipients. Talaris is also testing its lead candidate in diffuse systemic sclerosis, a severe form of the rare autoimmune disease scleroderma.

Suzanne is Talaris’ chief scientific officer and a member of the company’s board. A transplant surgeon by training, Suzanne developed the FCR001 platform while at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics at the University of Louisville. She has devoted more than 30 years of her career to researching and developing approaches to induce immune tolerance in organ transplant recipients and to enable safer allogeneic stem cell transplant procedures between mismatched donor-recipient pairs.

Anna has been an observer on Talaris’ board. She is on the boards of Umoja Biopharma; WIndMIL Therapeutics; Auron Therapeutics, whose co-founder and CEO is Kate Yen; and Jasper Therapeutics, which was co-founded by Dr. Judith Shizuru and Susan Prohaska; and is an observer on the boards of Cadent Therapeutics and PlateletBio.

Cormorant also has at least two other companies in registration to go public, Rain Therapeutics, Inc. and Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., and another, Tango Therapeutics, which is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Tango’s CEO is Dr. Barbara Weber. So far it has had at least six companies go public in 2021: VectivBio Holding; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Biomea Fusion. (See Story Above).

A portfolio company of Baillie Gifford’s Record goes public

Recursion Pharma, which Baillie Gifford’s Marina Record led her firm into, has gone public. The Salt Lake City biopharma company raised $436 million by offering 24.2 million shares at $18 a share. Recursion is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol RXRX.

The company combines automated experimental biology with artificial intelligence to discover and develop at scale.

Baillie Gifford led Recursion’s $121 million Series C round in 2019. According to the company’s filing, Baillie Gifford owned 10 percent of the company prior to the offering. Lux Ventures was the largest shareholder with a 13.4 percent pre-IPO stake. Data Collective held 10.6 percent while Mubadala Investment Co. had 10.3 percent.

Recursion’s board includes Terry-Ann Burrell, who is CFO and treasurer of Beam Therapeutics.

Gyroscope Therapeutics files to go public a month after Katabi led Sofinnova into the $148M Series C round

Just weeks after investing in Gyroscope Therapeutics, Ltd., Sofinnova InvestmentsMaha Katabi sees the gene therapy company file to go public. Gyroscope is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol VISN.

The company is focused on treating diseases of the eye. Hertfordshire, UK-based Gyroscope’s lead investigational gene therapy is being evaluated for the treatment of geographic atrophy secondary to age-related macular degeneration. Geographic atrophy is an irreversible degeneration of retinal cells, causing a gradual and permanent loss of central vision. It results from dry age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over the age of 50. The therapy has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials.

The IPO filing comes on the heels of Gyroscope’s $148 million Series C round that was announced in March. In addition to Sofinnova, the round included Forbion’s Growth Opportunities Fund, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Teragon Financial Group, Ltd., Fosun Pharma, Cambridge Innovation Capital and founding investor Syncona. The ownership stakes of investors were not broken out in the filing, but Syncona is far and away the largest investor.

In conjunction with the filing, Maha joined Gyroscope’s board, which also includes Jennifer Cook, the former CEO of Grail, and Renée Galá, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Maha is also on the boards of Vera Therapeutics, Inc. which is developing treatments for immunological and inflammatory diseases; Aerovate Therapeutics, Inc., which is developing drugs that will improve the lives of patients with rare cardiopulmonary disease; Quanta, which is uncovering novel cancer therapeutic candidates; Amplyx, which is developing broad-spectrum antifungal agents; and NorthSea Therapeutics, a Dutch company focused on treating metabolic, inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

Maha joined Sofinnova in 2019 and was promoted in 2020 to general partner. She previously founded Oxalis and spent 10 years with Sectoral Asset Management. Maha was a speaker on a Perspectives Webinar.

Sagimet Biosciences files to go public

Sagimet Biosciences, on whose board Dr. Beth Seidenberg has served since 2007, has filed to go public. The San Mateo, Calif. biotech company will seek to raise $75 million and trade on Nasdaq under the symbol SGMT.

Sagimet is developing fatty acid synthase inhibitors for the treatment of diseases that result from the overproduction of the fatty acid palmitate. Its lead candidate is being developed for liver diseases and cancers.

Sagimet was founded in 2006 and has raised nearly $300 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Beth backed Sagimet while a partner with Kleiner Perkins. She continues to work with her portfolio at Kleiner Perkins but has since founded Westlake Village BioPartners.

Sagimet’s board also includes Elizabeth Grammer, who is the chief legal and administrative officer of Ardeyx, Inc.

Kleiner Perkins is listed in the filing as owning more than 5 percent of the company’s shares. Other firms with such stakes include AP11 Limited, Baker Brothers, SGMT Holdings, Szhou Huimei Kangrui Management Consulting and New Enterprise Associates.

CompoSecure is set to go public through a merger with a SPAC

A private equity-backed provider of financial payment cards that was co-founded by and for a time led by Michele Logan is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. CompoSecure would be valued at $1.2 billion after combining with Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp. and would trade on Nasdaq. CompoSecure has been backed by LLR Partners since 2015. The company said that current equity holders will own approximately 60 percent of the pro forma company after the closing.

Based in Somerset, N.J., CompoSecure is also a provider of cryptocurrency storage and security solutions. Its customers include J.P. Morgan Chase and American Express. Michele helped start CompoSecure in 2000 and served as CEO from 2012 until May 2017. She then served as executive chairman until two months ago when she became a special advisor. Michele is still on CompoSecure’s board.

Board member Stamell Dobrin sees DoubleVerify go public

Lucy Stamell Dobrin, a principal at Providence Equity Partners, is on the board of a firm portfolio company that has gone public. DoubleVerify Holdings raised $360 million by offering 13.3 million shares at $27 a share. The company is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DV.

Based in New York, DoubleVerify produces a software platform for digital media measurement and analytics. In 2020, it booked $244 million in revenue.

Lucy has been on DoubleVerify’s board since September 2017 when Providence acquired a majority stake in the company. Laura Desmond has also served on DoubleVerify’s board since that time and even served last year as the company’s interim CEO. Laura is the founder and CEO of Eagle Vista Partners, a strategic advisory firm focused on marketing and digital technology. Her background also includes serving as chief revenue officer of Publicis Groupe and CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. DoubleVerify’s board also includes Teri List, who previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Gap.

DoubleVerify has also received backing from Tiger Global, Fidelity, BlackRock and Neuberger Berman.

Lucy is also on the board of She previously was director of EdgeConneX, which Providence sold to another private equity firm, EQT, for a reported $2.5 billion last year, and OEConnection, which was acquired by Genstar Capital in 2019. Lucy joined Providence in 2011 after working as an analyst in the financial sponsors investment banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

UiPath goes public

UiPath, a company that Luciana Lixandru led former firm Accel Partners into and whose board includes CapitalG’s Laela Sturdy, goes public. A provider of software for robotic process automation, UiPath raised $1.3 billion by offering 23.9 million shares at $56 a share. It is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PATH.

Founded in Romania but now based in New York, UiPath builds intelligent software robots that help businesses automate repetitive processes by utilizing computer vision technology. It has nearly 800 customers including Adobe, CVS Health and Uber Technologies.

In addition to Laela, UiPath’s board includes Kim Hammonds, who is the founder of Mangrove Digital Group and is the former group chief operating officer of Deutsche Bank AG, and Jennifer Tejada, who is the chairperson and CEO of PagerDuty, Inc. Luciana originally backed UiPath in 2017 and, in doing so, joined the company’s board. She stayed on UiPath’s board until early last year when she left Accel to become Sequoia Capital’s first European partner.

Prior to the offering, Accel owned 28.8 percent of the company’s stock. Earlybird Management held 11.4 percent and CapitalG – Alphabet’s growth equity fund – had 8.3 percent.

Laela led CapitalG into UiPath’s $153 million Series B round in 2018, which in addition to Accel and Earlybird also included Kleiner Perkins, Credo Ventures and Seedcamp.

Laela, a general partner with CapitalG, served as an observer on UiPath’s board until a month ago when she joined the board. In 2020, another of Laela’s companies, Multiplan, went public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Her investments also include Webflow, Unqork, Stripe, Gusto and Duolingo. Laela is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.


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