Greycroft’s Settle has a portfolio company agree to go public through a merger with a SPAC

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 31, 2021

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Chen’s Cormorant has a portfolio company go public

Cormorant Asset Management, which is led by Bihua Chen, has a portfolio company, that it just backed in January, go public. Centessa Pharmaceuticals raised $330 million by offering 16.5 million shares at $20 a share. It is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol CNTA.

Centessa’s board includes Mary Lynne Hedley, who previously served as president and CEO of TESARO, and Carol Stuckley, who was previously chief financial officer and senior vice president at Healthcare Payment Specialists.

Venture firm Medicxi was slated to be the largest shareholder after the offering, owning 19.9 percent. Index Ventures, which Medicxi spun-out of, was to hold 11.5 percent and General Atlantic was scheduled to own 9.4 percent. Cormorant’s holdings were not disclosed.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Centessa is a novel asset-centric pharmaceutical company. The company is focused on assembling best-in-class or first-in-class assets, each of which is led by specialized teams committed to accelerating development and reshaping the traditional drug development process. To launch the company, Centessa spun 11 private companies out of Medicxi and Index.

Cormorant took part in Centessa’s $250 million Series A round which, in addition to Medicxi and General Atlantic, included Vida Ventures, Janus Henderson Investors, Boxer Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Wellington Management Company, BVF Partners, EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital and LifeSci Venture Partners.

Cormorant now has had at least nine companies go public in 2021: The others are Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; VectivBio Holding; Biomea Fusion; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad.

Cormorant also has two companies in registration, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc. and Ambrx, 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.

Greycroft’s Settle has a portfolio company agree to go public through a merger with a SPAC

For the second time in the past month, Greycroft’s Dana Settle has a portfolio company agree to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Acorns has agreed to merge with Pioneer Merger Corp. Under the terms of the deal, the Irvine, Calif.-based company would go public at a $2.2 billion valuation and trade on Nasdaq under the symbol OAKS.

Acorns is the developer of a saving and investing app. In 2021, Acorns has acquired venture-backed Harvest Platform, whose co-founder and CEO was Nami Baral, and Pillar, which was a portfolio company of Kleiner PerkinsMonica Desai Weiss and Day One Ventures, which was founded by Masha Drokova.

Acorns has raised $207 million in known financing since its 2012 founding, according to Crunchbase. In addition to Greycroft, Acorns has received backing from Comcast Ventures, NBCUniversal, PayPal Ventures Bain Capital, Blackrock, eVentures, TPG, Sound Ventures and such individual investors as Jennifer Lopez and Dany Garcia.

Acorns’ board includes Gabrielle Sulzberger. Dana is a board observer.

Earlier in May, another of Dana’s companies, electric scooter provider Bird Rides, Inc., agreed to merge with Switchback II Corp. – a move that will enable Bird to go public on the New York Stock Exchange at a $2.3 billion valuation. Also this year, another of Dana’s portfolio companies, Bumble, went public. Whitney Wolfe Herd is the dating app’s founder and CEO. Additionally, a special purpose acquisition company that Dana chairs, also went public in 2020. In 2021, she has also backed Pacaso, which is democratizing second home ownership.

Dana helped found Greycroft and heads its West Coast office. She has backed such other companies as ANINE BING, Avaline, Goop, Happiest Baby, Merit, Prima, Scopely, Seed, Thrive Market, Versed and The RealReal, which is now publicly traded and is led by Julie Wainwright. Dana is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and spoke at this year’s Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit. Greycroft announced in October that it closed two new funds totaling $678 million.

Morgenthaler-backed Doximity files to go public

A company that Rebecca Lynn led Morgenthaler Ventures into and on whose board she previously served has filed to go public – a company co-founded by Shari BuckDoximity, an online platform for physicians, is seeking to raise $100 million and trade under the symbol DOCS. It has not selected an exchange.

Based in San Francisco, Doximity enables doctors to collaborate with colleagues, securely coordinate patient care, conduct virtual patients visits, read the latest medical news and research and manage their careers. It has more than 1.8 million members and booked $207 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31.

Doximity’s board includes Kira Wampler, who is venture chair of Redesign Health, Inc., and Dr. Regina Benjamin, who served as U.S. Surgeon General between November 2009 and August 2013 and is the founder and CEO of Bayou Clinic, Inc.

Founded in 2010, Doximity has raised $81.8 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase. According to the company’s filing, the largest shareholder prior to the offering is the Tangney Schweikert Family Trust, which is controlled by CEO Jefferey Tangney and his wife, Claudia Schweikert. Shari’s holdings are not listed. Among the venture investors, Emergence Capital Partners is the largest shareholder with a 15.1 percent pre-IPO stake. InterWest Partners owns 13.4 percent while Morgenthaler holds 10.7 percent.

Rebecca is now a co-founder and general partner of Canvas, which emerged from Morgenthaler. She and her Canvas co-founders have remained involved with their remaining Morgenthaler investments. Another of Rebecca’s portfolio companies, Luminar Technologies, Inc., went public in 2020 through a merger with Gores Metropoulos, Inc., a special purpose acquisition company. She recently led Canvas into Tilled. (See Story in Dish on the Deal).

Northpond’s Jackson replaces Kedar on the board of a firm portfolio company that has filed to go public

Northpond VenturesAndrea Jackson replaces colleague Sharon Kedar on the board of a firm portfolio company that has filed to go public. Codex DNA is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol DNAY.

Based in San Diego, Codex DNA makes an automated synthetic biology workstation and related solutions. The company’s platform is focused on addressing the bottlenecks across the multi-step process of building DNA and mRNA.

Codex DNA generated $8 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31. Northpond is the largest shareholder, owning a 43.5 percent pre-IPO stake. GATTACA Mining, LLC owns 27.8 percent, BroadOak has 10.8 percent, DH Life Sciences 10.6 percent and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. 5.7 percent.

In addition to Andrea, Codex DNA’s board includes Christine Tsingos, who previously served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., and Jami Nachtsheim, who previously held a series of leadership roles with Intel Corp.

Andrea joined Northpond in March 2020 and serves on the boards of such companies as Current Health, NanoView Biosciences, Octave Bioscience, Scitara Corp., Syapse, Inc., VieCure, Vizgen and Outcomes4Me, Inc., whose founder and CEO is Maya Said.

Sharon founded Northpond in 2018 with Dr. Michael Rubin. The firm has offices in Cambridge, Mass.; Bethesda, Md.; and San Francisco, and has in excess of $1 billion of committed capital.

A portfolio company of ICONIQ Capital’s Xie and Chu-led EDBI files to go public

ICONIQ Capital’s Caroline Xie and EDBI, whose CEO and president is Swee Yeok Chu, have a portfolio company file to go public. Sprinklr is seeking to raise $100 million and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CXM.

Based in New York, Sprinklr provides customer experience management software for enterprises. It has 1,179 customers, including more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100. It generated $405 million in sales for the 12 months ended April 30.

ICONIQ owns 10.8 percent of Sprinklr prior to the offering. Hellman & Friedman is the largest shareholder with a 24.8 percent pre-IPO stake and Battery Ventures holds 19.1 percent. EDBI’s holdings were not listed. EDBI is the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

A general partner, Caroline has also invested in such other companies as Unite Us, Komodo Health, Datadog, Braze, GitLab, InVisionApp, Apttus and Smartling.

Sprinklr’s board includes Yvette Kanouff, who is a partner and chief technology officer of JC2 Ventures, LLC.

Stoica is on the board of a Silver Lake portfolio company that has filed to go public

Bianca Stoica, a principal with Silver Lake, is on the board of a firm portfolio company that has filed to go public. First Advantage is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol FA.

Based in Atlanta, First Advantage provides technology solutions for screening, verifications, safety and compliance related to human capital. It had more than 30,000 customers in 2020 and generated $530 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31. Silver Lake acquired First Advantage in 2019. Bianca joined First Advantage’s board in 2020. She has been with Silver Lake since 2015. First Advantage’s board is also slated to include Judith Sim, Oracle Corp.’s former chief marketing officer, and Susan Bell, a retired Ernst & Young partner.

Novo Ventures’ Hong, Venrock’s Bracken and Lightstone’s George are on the board of a company that has filed to go public

Novo VenturesKaren Hong, Venrock’s Racquel Bracken and Lightstone VenturesJean George are on the board of a company that has filed to go public. Cyteir Therapeutics, Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol CYT.

Lexington, Mass.-based Cyteir is developing synthetic lethal therapies for cancer. The company work is based on the biology of DNA repair and synthetic lethality, which is based on the premise that diseased cells have greater levels of DNA damage than healthy cells and thus more acutely rely on DNA repair for survival and growth.

Novo is the largest shareholder with a 16.9 percent pre-IPO stake. Venrock and Droia Ventures each hold 12 percent while Lightstone and Osage University Partners each hold 9 percent. Earlier this year, Cyteir raised an $80 million Series C round, which in addition to Novo, Venrock, Lightstone and Droia included RA Capital. Karen, Raquel and Jean all joined Cyteir’s board when they brought their firms into the company’s $75.2 million Series B round, which had closings in March 2018 and October 2019. Cyteir’s board also includes Susan Molineaux, who is CEO, president and co-founder of Calithera Biosciences.

Karen joined Novo Ventures – the venture arm of Novo A/S – in 2019 from Takeda Ventures. She also spent nearly 15 years at ProQuest Investments. Karen is on the board of StrideBio, Inc., a gene therapy company co-founded by Mavis Agbandje-McKenna.

Racquel, a partner with Venrock, is also on the boards of Federation Bio, which she co-founded and whose CEO is Emily Drabant Conley, and Prothelia Therapeutics.

A general partner with Lightstone, Jean is also on the boards of Calithera Biosciences. and Gemini Therapeutics. Last year, Jean saw one portfolio company, Disarm Therapeutics, purchased by Eli Lilly & Co. in a deal that could pay out $1.225 billion, and another, Tizona Therapeutics, agree to have Gilead Sciences purchase 49.9 percent for $300 million and an option to purchase the rest for $1.25 billion.

Another company backed by Chen’s Cormorant has filed to go public

Another company backed by Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management has filed to go public. Ambrx, Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AMAM.

Based in La Jolla, Calif., Ambrx is focused on developing precision biologics using an expanded genetic code. The company’s board includes Katrin Rupalla, who is senior vice president, global regulatory strategy, research and development quality and medical information at Lundbeck, and Olivia Ware, who previously was senior vice president, BTK franchise head at Principia Biopharma, Inc., which was acquired last year by Sanofi.

Ambrx first filed to go public in 2014, but then withdrew and was acquired by a consortium of Asian pharmaceutical and private equity firms in 2015. Last year, it did a $200 million crossover round whose participants included Cormorant, as well as Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Adage Capital Partners and Suvretta Capital Management.

Cormorant, according to the filing, owns 5.7 percent of Ambrx’s shares prior to the offering – the same amount as HBM. HOPU Reunion Company, Ltd. is the largest shareholder with an 18.1 percent pre-IPO stake. Entities affiliated with WuXi own 13.6 percent.

Cormorant has had at least nine companies go public in 2021: Centessa Pharmaceuticals (see story above); Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; VectivBio Holding; Biomea Fusion; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad.

Cormorant also has two companies in registration, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc. and Ambrx, 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.

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