Lynn, Schulman and Tyler make new investments while Mostatabi is involved in a sizable liquidity event
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 31, 2021
Canvas Ventures’ Lynn leads Tilled’s $11M Series A round
Canvas Ventures’ Rebecca Lynn backs a company that she sees having the ability “to fully transform the payments ecosystem.” Canvas led Tilled’s $11 million Series A round that also included Abhinav Tiwari, Henry Ward and such existing investors as Abstract Ventures, Peterson Ventures and Clocktower Technology Group.
Based in Boulder, Colo., Tilled enables software companies to monetize the payments flowing through platforms. Its technology enables software companies to be set up and running in a matter of weeks, with no upfront costs or additional headcount required, making it easy for them to take full advantage of the benefits of payment facilitation.
In a statement, Rebecca said, “Tilled has the opportunity to fully transform the payments ecosystem by allowing companies of all sizes – from small businesses to enterprise-level – to capture their own payments revenue. Through their PayFac-as-a-Service infrastructure, Tilled enables software companies to offer vertical payments, which ultimately opens up new revenue streams with little overhead and effort.”
With the investment, Rebecca joins Tilled’s board. Her portfolio also includes Airvet, Brace, Casetext, Gabi, Possible Finance and Vida Health, whose CEO is founder and CEO is Stephanie Tilenius. Rebecca has spoken at the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Leadership Unbound Summit.
Canvas earlier this year closed its third fund at $350 million.
Schulman leads Polaris Partners’ into Engine Biosciences’ $43M Series A round
Polaris Partners’ Amy Schulman invests in a company that she sees as having the potential to bring artificial intelligence to drug discovery. Polaris led Engine Biosciences’ $43 million Series A round that also included Invus and prior investors 6 Dimensions Capital, WuXi AppTec, DHVC, Baidu Ventures, Vectr Ventures, Goodman Capital, WI Harper, Nest Bio and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board whose CEO and president is Swee Yeok Chu.
Based in Singapore and San Carlos, Calif., Engine is deciphering genetic codes for new medicines through machine learning and next-generation combinatorial genetics. The company’s technologies enable researchers and drug developers to uncover the gene interactions and biological networks of underlying diseases orders-of-magnitude faster and more cost-effectively than conventional methods. The company also generates important insights for precision medicine applications. Engine has already been progressing its findings into drug discovery programs and proprietary small molecule inhibitors. It will use the capital to expand its portfolio of precision oncology therapeutics, prepare for its first clinical programs and scale its proprietary technology platform.
In a statement, Amy said, “the past year has reinforced the importance of rapid innovation and adaptation. Engine’s distinct combination of biology, technology, and drug discovery, as well as its global perspective, may well enable the company to be particularly capable of realizing the promise of artificial intelligence in drug discovery and tackling a wide variety of diseases.”
In conjunction with the financing, Amy joined Engine’s board. A managing partner with Polaris, Amy in 2020 saw portfolio company SQZ Biotech go public. She is also on the boards of Lyndra Therapeutics; Thirty Madison; Kallyope; Volastra Therapeutics; ByHeart, which was co-founded by Mia Funt; and Vico Therapeutics, a Dutch biotech company co-founded by Judith van Deutekom and Gail Mandel.
Vivo Capital’s Lu and Lilly Asia Venture’s Li help seed Rgenta Therapeutics
Vivo Capital’s Hongbo Lu and Lilly Asia Venture’s Judith Li help seed a company focused on developing RNA-targeted medicines for historically undruggable disease targets. Vivo and LAV participated in Rgenta Therapeutics’ $18 million seed extension found.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., Rgenta is pursuing small molecules against a range of RNA targets for oncology and neurological diseases. The new capital will help accelerate its pipeline toward clinical development and bring additional programs into its pipeline.
In a statement, Hongbo said, “small molecules targeting RNA regulation are an exciting new approach that can potentially unlock the therapeutic potentials of disease-causing genes that are undruggable at the protein level. We believe Rgenta has assembled a winning team to realize the potential of this novel modality.”
Also in a statement, Judith said, “we are very impressed with Rgenta’s unique target and lead discovery platform and expertise in developing RNA-targeting small molecules and the progress the Rgenta team has made in advancing their programs.”
In conjunction with the financing, both Hongbo and Judith joined Rgenta’s board.
Hongbo joined Vivo in 2020 as a managing partner after being at LAV. Earlier this year, she backed Ronovo Surgical, a Chinese company focused on innovating minimally invasive and digital surgery. A company on whose board Hongbo served, Terns Pharmaceuticals, went public earlier this year. She is also on the boards of PINS Medical, Inc., Elpiscience and Geneception.
Judith is on the boards of SciNeuro Pharmaceuticals, Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., Fortis and Gritstone Oncology, which is now public. Judith is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
Dandiguian guides Jeito Capital into Pulmocide’s $92M Series C round
Jeito Capital’s Sabine Dandiguian guides her firm into a company developing therapies for patients suffering from serious acute and chronic respiratory diseases – a company whose board includes SV Health Investor’s Kate Bingham and Fiona MacLaughlin, senior director, venture investments of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC. Jeito led Pulmocide’s $92 million Series C round that included Adjuvant Capital, Asahi Kasei Pharma and existing investors SV Health Investors, SR One, IP Group plc, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and Longwood Fund.
Based in London, Pulmocide will use the capital to advance its lead asset, a triazole antifungal specifically designed for use as an inhaled therapy, through a global phase III registration program in patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis who have failed prior therapy.
In a statement, Sabine said that Jeito “strongly believe(s) in the combination of Pulmocide’s first-in-class science, the robust commercialization strategy for PC945 and the experienced management team that hold a successful track record in this field. Pulmocide has the opportunity to deliver a potentially transformative treatment for patients suffering from respiratory aspergillosis.” In conjunction with the financing, Sabine joined the company’s board, which SR One Venture Partner Deborah Harland is an observer on.
Pulmocide is Jeito’s fourth investment since the firm – founded by Rafaèle Tordjman – launched last year. The other companies are Neogene Therapeutics, Inc., SparingVision and InnoSkel, which was founded by Elvire Gouze. It is looking to invest its 200 million euros fund in 15 drug startups.
Eka Ventures’ Dolan leads Paired’s $3.6M seed round
Eka Ventures’ Camilla Dolan connects with a relationship care app. Eka led Paired’s $3.6 million seed round, which also included Taavet Hinrikus, Harold Primat and the co-founders of Runtastic, according to TechCrunch.
Based in London, Paired provides the steps needed by couples to improve their relationship each day by providing partner quizzes, “relationship satisfaction” tracking and audio tips from experts to encourage a healthy relationship. Paired will use the funding to grow its user-base from 5,000 to 100,000 over the next 18 months.
In a statement, Camilla said, “despite relationship health being such an important and truly global part of our lives there is not currently an accessible and affordable way of supporting it — Paired has set out to change that.”
Camilla joined Paired’s board. She is a founding partner of Eka, which invests in consumer technology companies enabling sustainable consumption.
Spero Ventures’ Eshelman invests in Hyro
Spero Ventures’ Sara Eshelman invests in an adaptive communications platform using artificial intelligence. Hyro closed $10.5 million in Series A funding led by Spero, with participation from Twilio, Inc. and Mindset Ventures, and existing investors Hanaco Ventures, Spider Capital, and Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator.
New York-based Hyro features plug-and-play conversational AI and natural language automation, enabling enterprises to streamline their processes and messaging across their most valuable platforms, services and channels, including contact centers, chat solutions, SMS and more. Hyro will use the capital to hire top talent across all departments as it continues to build out its adaptive communications platform to enhance its customers’ web, mobile and call center solutions, while also expanding its presence across key industries where it is already experiencing strong traction.
In a statement, Sara said, “we are thrilled to back the Hyro team whose technology will fundamentally change customers’ expectations of the organizations they interact with. Why is it that I still spend 20 minutes on hold to find and schedule an appointment? Hyro’s plug-and-play infrastructure enables companies to automate those tasks in a matter of hours, unlike traditional intent-based systems that require extensive training and time-to-launch. As early users through Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC, Hyro initially felt like magic to us. That’s the effect of adaptive communications—and we’re betting that soon, people everywhere will expect the same.”
Sara, a principal with Spero, was involved in spinning the firm out of Omidyar Network.
Downing’s MacKenzie backs Tactus Group
Downing’s Judith MacKenzie backs a company specializing in gaming, education and entry level computing. Tactus Group secured what was described as a seven-figure investment from Downing, alongside a 10 million pound injection from Arete Capital Partners, which enabled Tactus to complete its acquisition of CCL, an e-commerce PC gaming specialist. It will also support future fundraising for the wider group as it targets more acquisitions across the U.K. and globally.
Based in Warrington, U.K., Tactus is a consumer technology company with strong relationships with leading corporate technology businesses, such as Microsoft and Intel.
In a statement, Judith said “Tactus Group operates in an incredibly exciting market and we’re delighted to add them to our growing portfolio. The company is well positioned to capitalize on the opportunities in the gaming space, which has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing sectors in recent months, and we were pleased to be part of the CCL acquisition.” Downing’s investment, Judith said, will support CEO Scott Brenchley and “the wider team through organic growth and acquisitions, as well as using our experience and network to advise on future fundraisings.”
Downing is an FCA authorized and regulated investment manager.
HCAP Partners’ Shavdia becomes an observer on the board of AMFM Healthcare
Bhairvee Shavdia, a principal with HCAP Partners, joins the board of AMFM Healthcare as an observer after HCAP made a follow-on investment in the provider of intensive mental health treatment. The amount invested by the private equity firm in AMFM was not disclosed. The company will use the capital to support employee development and engagement programs as it expands operations in San Diego and metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Founded in 2000, HCAP provides mezzanine debt and private equity for underserved, lower-middle market companies throughout California and the Western United States.
Effrom leads Elephant into DataDome’s $35M Series B round
Elephant’s Julie Effron takes part in a deal to prevent bot-driven fraud. DataDome secured a $35 million Series B investment led by Elephant with participation from existing investor ISAI.
Based in New York, DataDome is a global provider of AI-powered real-time bot protection for websites, mobile apps and APIs with a mission to free the web from fraudulent traffic, so that sensitive data remains safe and online platforms can perform at optimum speed. The fresh capital will enable DataDome to scale its global sales, marketing, delivery and R&D teams and puts the company on track to double its annual recurring revenue and customer base.
In a statement, Julie said, “the global bot detection market is large and growing rapidly, driven by greater eCommerce penetration and increasingly sophisticated bots. We’re excited to team up with DataDome and help them build on their ambitious vision.”
Elephant is a venture capital firm that invests in the enterprise software, internet and mobile markets.
True Ventures’ Tyler pours capital onto Gridware
True Ventures’ Priscilla Tyler pours capital onto a company preventing suburban wildfires. Gridware raised $5.3 million in a seed round co-led by Fifty Years and True Ventures, with participation from Y-Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Wireframe Ventures, SOMA Capital, Anorak Ventures, and a fleet of outstanding funds and angels.
Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., Gridware’s sensing technology detects and predicts grid failures to empower utilities to prioritize upgrades and respond to incidents before they can lead to catastrophic wildfires. This financing round will support Gridware’s efforts towards deploying cutting-edge technology to solve one of the world’s most burning challenges. Spurred by California’s impending fire season, the company will use these funds to accelerate its engineering and R&D efforts and expand its utility partnership network.
In a statement, Priscilla said, “we’re investing in an increasing number of climate technologies that not only help to set the path for an environmentally conscious future but also help to reduce risk for humanity in the immediate term. Gridware’s technology is focused on a problem we have a responsibility to solve. It has the potential to be hugely impactful in reducing rampant wildfires, and the company aligns keenly with our experience of investing in SaaS-enabled hardware.”
True Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups.
Sinha Haldea’s Cebile Capital is set to be aquired
Cebile Capital, a private equity advisory firm founded and led by Sunaina Sinha Haldea, is set to be acquired. Terms of Raymond James Financial, Inc.’s purchase of Cebile were not disclosed.
Cebile provides fundraising placement services and also acts as an advisor on secondary transactions. Sunaina founded the London-based firm in 2011. It has advised on more than $39 billion in over 125 completed primary fund placements and secondary transactions.
The addition of Cebile Capital deepens Raymond James’ relationships within the private equity community and expands the related service offerings to include fund placements, general partner-led secondaries capabilities and limited partner-led secondaries advisory. Sunaina will continue to lead Cebile within Raymond James.
The Riverside Company’s McGrath takes part in two investments
Caitlin McGrath, an analyst with The Riverside Company, takes part in two deals done by the private equity firm. Terms of Riverside’s investments in Marine Fire Sales & Service, Inc. and in STACS DNA were not disclosed.
Based in Toledo, Ohio, Marine provides inspection, repair and maintenance services for existing fire and life safety systems as well as installation services for new construction and retrofits. The investment is an add-on to CertaSite, Riverside’s fire and life safety platform.
STACS DNA provides sample tracking and lab management software used by forensic DNA labs and health care organizations. It is an add-on to its InVita Technologies platform. It now has 12 companies under its umbrella.
Caitlin in 2021 has also been involved in add-on acquisitions for Riverside’s Logically platform. She joined Riverside in 2020.
Mostatabi is involved in The Riverside Company’s sale of Greenphire
Sara Mostatabi, a senior associate with The Riverside Company, is involved in the firm’s sizable sale of a portfolio company. Terms of Riverside’s agreement to sell Greenphire to Thoma Bravo were not disclosed, but sources pegged it at $1.1 billion. It is, according to published reports, the largest ever sale of a portfolio company by Riverside.
Greenphire provides financial lifecycle management software for clinical trials. Riverside has owned the company for the past seven years.
Hummer leads BCV into Collectable’s $5.5M financing round
A sports memorabilia investment platform scores capital from a group that includes Bain Capital Ventures’ Merritt Hummer. BCV, Amplo and Fifth Down Capital led Collectable’s new $5.5 million financing, which also included Rose Park Advisors, Evolution VC Partners, and several individuals. The financing is part of Collectable’s Series A round.
Launched in September 2020, Collectable claims to be the only fractionalized ownership platform dedicated solely to sports memorabilia. It has attracted more than 35,000 users while completing nearly 100 sport collectable asset IPOs.
In a statement, Merritt said, “Collectable’s laser focus on sports cards and memorabilia has enabled it to build a rabid fan base around a shared love of sports. The number of people who want to own a piece of sports history is quite large, and Collectable is making that possible for both existing and new investors in this category.”
Merritt also recently led BCV into Ankorstore, a Paris company that connects independent brands with local retailers. A partner with BCV, Merritt has a portfolio company, SmartRent.com, Inc., which is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Merritt’s portfolio also includes Mirakl and Ribbon. She spoke at the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit earlier this year.
A portfolio company of GenNx360’s Dufresne purchases Keystone Turbine Systems
Precision Aviation Group, a portfolio company of GenNx360’s Daphne Dufresne, does its fourth acquisition since GenNx360’s 2018 purchase of the provider of products and services to the aerospace and defense industry. Terms of PAG’s purchase of Keystone Turbine Systems were not disclosed.
The Coatesville, Pa.-based KTS specializes in providing OEM-approved aftermarket maintenance, repair and overhaul services for operators of the Rolls-Royce M250 Series of gas turbine engines, along with Honeywell and Triumph accessories plus component, spare parts and field service support.
PAG’s acquisition comes on the heels of another of Daphne’s portfolio companies, GenServe, doing its fifth add-on deal. GenServe is a provider of power generator maintenance, repair and sales.
A managing partner at GenNx360, Daphne is a past speaker at the Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit and the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
CAI is set to sell a portfolio company whose board was chaired by McVicar
CAI Capital Partners, which is co-led by Tracey McVicar, is selling a portfolio company whose board Tracey chaired. Terms of CAI’s proposed sale of Feeney Utility Services Group to Artera Services, LLC were not disclosed.
Based in Boston, Feeney provides maintenance, repair and upgrade services to natural gas utilities in the northeastern United States. CAI invested in Feeney in July 2012.
In a statement, Tracey said, “the entire Feeney team have been tremendous partners and we are deeply appreciative of their contributions and friendship over the last nine years. We are excited to see them take the next step as part of the Artera organization.”
Tracey, one of three firm partners, also chairs the boards of Ansan Traffic Group, Ltd. and White House Design Company, Inc. and is a director of The Universal Group and Teck Resources.
A Vancouver, BC private equity firm, CAI closed its sixth fund in 2020 at 125 million Canadian. It also recently sold another portfolio company, Javelin Technologies, Inc., to TriMech.
Chen’s Cormorant helps lead NiKang Therapeutics’ $200M Series C round
Cormorant Asset Management, which is led by Bihua Chen, helps lead a sizable financing round for a company developing cancer drugs. HBM Healthcare Investments and Octagon Capital Advisors joined Cormorant in leading NiKang Therapeutics’ $200 million Series C round, which also included EcoR1 Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Pavilion Capital, BlackRock, RA Capital Management, Surveyor Capital, Samsara BioCapital, PFM Health Sciences, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital and existing investors CBC Group, RTW Investments, Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China and Casdin Capital.
Based in Wilmington, Del., NiKang will use the capital to advance highly differentiated small molecules that are addressing difficult-to-drug targets.
Cormorant’s 2021 investments include Numab Therapeutics, which is developing immunotherapies for cancer and inflammation; Interius BioTherapeutics, which is developing what it describes as a paradigm-shifting platform for vivo cell-specific gene delivery; Tyra Biosciences, which is developing compounds targeting drug resistant cancer cells; Pyxis Oncology, which is led by Dr. Lara Sullivan and which is focused on developing therapies aimed at defeating difficult-to-treat cancers; EpimAb Biotherapeutics, Inc., which specializes in bispecific antibody development; Graphite Bio, a next-generation gene editing company whose scientific co-founders include Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo; Neurelis, Inc., which has launched an epilepsy treatment; Ventyx Biosciences, Inc., which is advancing a pipeline of immune modulators to treat inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders; AgomAb Therapeutics, which is developing drug candidates to modulate regenerative pathways to induce functional organ recovery in acute and chronic diseases; BlossomHill Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology company founded by Jingrong Jean Cui; FogPharma, a precision medicine company co-founded by WeiQing Zhou; DTx Pharma, Inc., which is creating RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease; Ensoma, which is developing an in vivo approach to delivering off-the-shelf genomic medicines; Verve Therapeutics, which is developing gene editing therapies to permanently reduce risk of coronary artery disease in adults; Affinivax, Inc., which is developing vaccines utilizing its Multiple Antigen Presenting System platform; Immuneering Corp., which seeking to create better medicines through insights from bioinformatics; GH Research Ireland, Ltd., which is developing a drug for treatment-resistant depression; and Icosavax, Inc., which is seeking to develop vaccines against life-threatening respiratory viruses in older adults.
Cormorant has also had at least nine companies go public in 2021: Centessa Pharmaceuticals (See Story in Stepping Out In Public); 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.
The firm 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.
Y Combinator’s Hariharan invests in RevenueCat
Y Combinator Continuity Fund’s Anu Hariharan invests in a company enabling developers to quickly and easily monetize apps. Y Combinator led RevenueCat’s $40 million Series B round, which also included SaaStr, Oakhouse Partners, FundersClub, Tobias Balling and Nicolas Dessaigne. Based in San Francisco, RevenueCat manages subscriptions for mobile apps.
In an interview, Anu said RevenueCat “helps developers make more money, and that is powerful. When you are developing an app, there are usually credit stacks and you have to roll it out in 50 languages, but what RevenueCat has done can be turned on in minutes. We saw a lot of startups using it.”
In conjunction with the funding, Anu joined RevenueCat’s board. She also recently led Y Combinator back into Whatnot, a live stream shopping platform. Anu is also on the boards of Snapdocs, Brex, Inc., Convoy, Inc., Vouch Insurance, Monzo Bank, Faire and an observer on the board of Gusto. She joined Y Combinator in 2016 after being an investment partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
The $700 million Y Continuity Fund invests in Y Combinator alumni companies at the growth stage. Y Combinator is a Silicon Valley startup accelerator that was founded in 2005 and has backed more than 1,000 companies.
Reddy joins the board of Formlabs after guiding SoftBank into Formlabs’ $150M Series E found
SoftBank Investment Advisers’ Kirthiga Reddy joins Formlabs’ board as an observer after she helps guide the firm’s Vision Fund 2 into the Somerville, Mass. 3-D printing company. SoftBank led Formlabs’ $150 million Series E, a round which valued the company at $2 billion. Other investors were not disclosed. Formlabs has previously received backing from New Enterprise Associates, SOSV, Foundry Group, DFJ and Pitango Venture Capital. Dayna Grayson, in fact, originally led NEA into the company prior to forming Construct Capital. Danielle Lay, a principal with NEA, lists Formlabs as a company in her portfolio.
Formlabs is on a mission to expand access to digital fabrication, so anyone can make anything. To date, Formlabs users have printed more than 85 million parts, including tens of millions of nasopharyngeal swabs used on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies utilizing Formlabs to make parts for products include Ashley Furniture, Senheiser, Google, Mayo Clinic, Northwell Health and New Balance.
Kirthiga is also an observer on the board of Pear Therapeutics and is on the boards of Collective Health and WeWork, which is going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. A partner, Kirthiga joined Softbank in 2019 after holding executive roles at Facebook.
Rocket Doctor receives seed funding from f7 Ventures
f7 Ventures, which was formed by former Facebook female executives and is led by Kelly Graziadei and Joanna Lee Shevelenko, seeds a provider of direct-to-patient diagnostic kits. Rocket Doctor received $2.7 million in seed funding led by f7 and Dr. Irv Edwards.
Toronto and San Francisco-based Rocket Doctor is a telemedicine marketplace that enables physicians to bring an advanced doctor’s office directly to patients’ homes. The company intends to use the new funding to expand across the United States and Canada, add to the engineering team and develop the company’s go-to-market strategy.
f7’s investments include Fireflies.ai, an AI assistant developer; Planet FWD, a developer of climate-friendly food products founded by Julia Collins; and Roshi, which was co-founded by Celia Carter and makes inventory management software for cannabis manufacturers.
Kessler leads 3L into PartnerStack’s $29M Series B round
3L’s Jodi Kessler backs a Canadian company whose board includes Real Ventures’ Janet Bannister and which has had four consecutive years of triple-digit revenue growth. 3L led PartnerStack’s $29 million Series B round that also included Whitecap Venture Partners, HarbourVest and existing investor RRE Ventures.
Based in Toronto, PartnerStack has developed a platform that is designed to create new revenue channels for SaaS businesses. The company employs 136 people and was founded in 2015 through Y Combinator. Over the past year, PartnerStack said its network of more than 65,000 active partners has driven more than $120 million in revenue and more than 1.6 million new customer signups for companies hosting their partner programs on the platform.
In a statement, Jodi said, “we increasingly see businesses in our portfolio and across the industry doubling down on channel partners as a major growth lever, and we see PartnerStack as the only company that has built a platform, marketplace and payments layer that powers indirect software distribution.”
Jodi, who has been with 3L for four years, was promoted to partner earlier this year. She is also on the board of firm portfolio company AvantStay. 3L has offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Imbach and Levy-backed Foko Retail has been acquired
A company that angel investors Sarah Imbach and Ellen Levy backed has been acquired. Foko Retail, a provider of retail communication and task management software, has been purchased by WorkForce Software. Terms were not disclosed. Sarah and Ellen, both of whom were former LinkedIn executives, took part in Foko’s seed rounds in 2014. Other firms that backed the Gatineau, Quebec company included BDC Capital and Real Ventures.
Sasidharan leads L Catterton into Zenyum’s $40M Series B round
L Catterton’s Anjana Sasidharan brushes capital onto an Asian company treating complex teeth alignment problems. L Catterton led Zenyum’s $40 million Series B round that also included existing investors Sequoia Capital India, RTP Global, Partech, TNB Aura, Seeds Capital and FEBE Ventures.
Based in Singapore, Zenyum partners with hundreds of dentists to provide 3-D printed invisible braces across seven markets in Asia. Every patient has an in-person consultation with a dentist from Zenyum’s large network of local dentists who will conduct a thorough examination, as well as an X-ray and 3-D scan, to develop a treatment plan specifically customized to each patient’s needs. Zenyum’s app provides patients with monitoring and guidance throughout the process and serves as a touchpoint for patients during their dental journey, ultimately reducing chair time in clinics.
In a statement, Anjana said, “fueled by aesthetic-conscious millennials, the affordable dental cosmetics market in Asia is growing rapidly, and Zenyum has the potential to become the regional champion in this category. Zenyum’s differentiated business model gives it a strong competitive advantage, and we are excited to partner with the founder management team to help them realize their growth ambitions.”
In conjunction with the financing, Anjana joined the company’s board. She joined L Catterton earlier this year as head, India and South East Asia growth investments. Anjana spent nearly a decade with Sequoia Capital, leaving a year ago.
A consumer-focused private equity firm, L Catterton has more than $27 billion of equity capital and 17 offices around the world. It is a sponsor of the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
EQT Growth’s Brochado takes part in backing Bought By Many
EQT Growth’s Carolina Brochado takes part in backing a digital-first European pet insurance provider. Bought By Many raised $350 million in a Series D round led by EQT.
London-based Bought By Many provides a fairer, more transparent and digital-first pet insurance experience. EQT Growth will leverage its global advisory network and extensive local presence in the U.S. and all major European countries to support Bought By Many’s international expansion.
In a statement, Carolina said, “Bought By Many’s digital-first approach is unrivalled in pet insurance, a market that is large and underpenetrated in most European countries and the US. It benefits from secular tailwinds such as the humanization of pets and higher spend on pet care and is also uniquely positioned to benefit as global digitalization continues to gather pace.”
Carolina joined Bought By Many’s board. Carolina recently did her first investment since joining EQT last year, leading the firm into Vinted, Ltd., a second-hand fashion company which was co-founded by Milda Mitkute. She joined EQT as a partner from the SoftBank Vision Fund and has helped create the firm’s Growth Initiative.