Portfolio companies of THL’s Preiner, Bain Capital Ventures’ Hummer and Energy Impact Partners’ Luger are set to go public

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 26, 2021

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THL’s Preiner has her third liquidity event of the year

Thomas H. Lee PartnersMegan Preiner has her third liquidity event of 2021. Agiliti, Inc., on whose board Megan serves, has gone public, raising $368 million by offering 26.3 million shares at $14 a share. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AGTI.

Based in Minneapolis, Agiliti provides medical equipment rental and maintenance services. Its customer base includes approximately 7,000 national, regional and local acute care hospitals, health system integrated delivery networks and alternative site providers. In 2020, it reported $773 million in revenue.

Megan, a managing director with THL, joined Agiliti’s board in January 2019 after a THL-sponsored special purpose acquisition company merged with the company – then known as Universal Hospital Services, Inc. However, the management teams of the SPAC and Agiliti agreed at that time that Agiliti would not become publicly traded.

THL recently agreed to sell another company on whose board Megan serves, Healthcare Staffing Services, to Cornell Capital, LLC and Trilantic North America. And in January, THL sold a 50 percent stake in another of Megan’s companies, CSafe Global, to Frazier Healthcare Partners.

Megan, who has been with THL since 2008, is also on the boards of Adare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Autism Home Care Holdings, Inc., Hospice Care and Senior Home Care Holdings, Inc.

Founded in 1974, THL has raised more than $25 billion of equity and invested in more than 150 companies and completed more than 400 add-on acquisitions.

Guaraná Carvalho will help lead a Crescera Investimentos-sponsored SPAC

Laura Guaraná Carvalho, a partner with Crescera Investimentos, Ltda., will help lead a special purpose acquisition company that the Brazilian investment firm is sponsoring. Crescera Capital Acquisition Corp. is seeking to raise $200 million and list on Nasdaq. Once public, the SPAC will look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring it public. Crescera Capital will look to combine with a Latin American company in the technology, education, health care or business and consumer services sectors.

Laura, who is the SPAC’s CFO, is responsible for Crescera Investimentos’ education platform. She has been with the firm since 2008 and is on the board of a publicly traded company, Afya, Ltd. as well as Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos.

The SPAC’s board will also include Denise Pauli Pavarina, who most recently was director of companies at Brazilian National Development Bank, and Rossana Isabel Sadir Prieto, who most recently worked at Amway do Brasil, Ltda.

A portfolio company of Bain Capital Ventures’ Hummer and Energy Impact Partners’ Luger is set to go public

A portfolio company of Bain Capital VenturesMerritt Hummer and Energy Impact PartnersLindsay Luger is set to go public. SmartRent.com, Inc., a smart-home company, will go public through a merger with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. Once the merger is complete, SmartRent will be valued at $2.2 billion, have $513 million in cash and trade on Nasdaq. The company’s existing shareholders, which include Bain Ventures and EIP, are expected to own approximately 73 percent of the pro forma company at close.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., SmartRent provides smart home automation for multifamily property managers and renters.

Merritt led Bain Ventures into SmartRent’s $32 million Series B round in 2019, which also included RET Ventures, UDR, Inc., Essex Property Trust and Starwood Capital. In making the investment, Merritt wrote in a blog post that SmartRent was focusing on a “massive segment” that the smart home industry “has long ignored”: apartment dwellers. There are, she said, more than 70 million Americans residing in apartments. Apartment owners had until recently shown little desire to install smart devices, but she wrote that is now starting to change. Merritt, who is on SmartRent’s board, then brought Bain back into the company’s $60 million Series C round that was done a year ago.

Lindsay, a partner with Energy Impact Partners, led her firm into SmartRent at that time, saying, “after years spent searching for a purpose-built solution to improve quality of life and drive energy savings in the multifamily market, we're excited to have found a partner in SmartRent.”

Other investors in the company include Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Spark Fund and Fifth Wall, which is sponsor of the SPAC that is merging with SmartRent. All told, according to Crunchbase, SmartRent has raised $101.5 million since its founding in 2017.

Merritt’s portfolio also includes Mirakl and Ribbon, while Lindsay is on the boards of Remix, CIMcCON Lighting, ecobee, SparkFund and Sense and an observer on the board of ViriCiti.

Wilson is on the board of a KKR-backed company that has gone public

KKR Senior Advisor Kara Wilson is on the board of a KKR-backed cybersecurity company that has gone public. KnowBe4, Inc. raised $152 million by pricing 9.5 million shares at $16 a share. It is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol KNBE.

Based in Clearwater, Fla., KnowBe4 has developed a security awareness platform that enables organizations to assess, monitor and minimize the ongoing cybersecurity threat of social engineered attacks. It had 37,000 customers as of Dec. 31.

In addition to KKR, KnowB4 has also received backing from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Tiger Global Management, Ten Eleven Ventures and Vista Equity Partners. KKR backed KnowBe4 in 2020 through its Next Generation Technology Growth Fund II.

Kara, who has advised KKR since October 2019, joined KnowBe4’s board in January 2020. Kara is also on the boards of two other KKR-backed companies, Corel and OneStream Software, LLC. Another company on whose board she served, Calabrio, was sold by KKR to Thoma Bravo. Kara also serves on the board of publicly traded Paychex, Inc.

Prior to KKR, Kara held marketing leadership roles with Rubrik, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., SuccessFactors, Inc., PeopleSoft, Inc., Okta, Inc. and FireEye, Inc.

A portfolio company of Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management goes public

A company that Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management backed roughly six months ago has gone public. Rain Therapeutics, Inc. raised $125 million by offering 7.4 million shares at $17 a share. It is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol RAIN.

Based in Newark, Calif., Rain is developing targeted therapies for patients with cancer. The company’s pipeline includes a small molecule MDM2 inhibitor licensed from Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited.

Rain’s board includes Stefani Wolff, who was previously chief development officer at Principia Biopharma, Inc.

Cormorant took part in Rain’s $63 million Series B round that was announced last September. According to the filing, Cormorant owned 12.5 percent of the company prior to the offering. BVF Partners was the largest shareholder with a 21.4 percent pre-IPO stake. Boxer Capital held 16.7 percent while Perceptive Advisors had 10.7 percent.

Cormorant now has had at least seven companies go public in 2021. The others are VectivBio Holding, Biomea Fusion, Prometheus Biosciences, Inc., Design Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics and Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded. It also has at least two companies in registration to go public, 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.

Tao is CEO and chair of a SPAC that has filed to go public

Sophie Tao, who until earlier this year was with a Chinese private equity firm, is leading a special purpose acquisition company that has filed to go public. Sophie is CEO and chair of SPK Acquisition, which is seeking to raise $50 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol SPKU. Once public, the SPAC will look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring that company public. SPK will look to combine with an Asia-based TMT business.

Sophie was a partner with Hanfor Capital Management from 2016 until earlier this year. Her investments while there included SpaceX, 360 Finance, Inc., Ningmeng Pictures and Tricorn Technology Company.

Vera Therapeutics files to go public

In January, Vera Therapeutics, Inc. launched with $80 million in Series C financing and Dr. Beth Seidenberg and Sofinnova InvestmentsMaha Katabi as members of its board. Now, some three months later, the South San Francisco, Calif. biotech company has filed to go public. Vera is seeking to raise $86 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol VERA.

Vera is developing treatments for immunological and inflammatory diseases. The company has been focused on advancing its lead clinical candidate – a novel inhibitor of B cells and plasma cells – in patients with IgA nephropathy. The lead candidate, ataciept, was in-licensed from Merck KGaA.

Although Vera did not publicly announce its presence until earlier this year, Beth, as a general partner with Kleiner Perkins, has been on its board since 2016. Maha joined the board in October 2020. According to a filing, Kleiner Perkins owns 8.3 percent of Vera’s shares prior to the offering while Sofinnova is one of four firms that owns 13.5 percent prior to the offering. The others with that same size stake are Abingworth Bioventures, Fidelity and Longitude Venture Partners.

Beth has continued to support her portfolio at Kleiner Perkins even though she founded another firm, Westlake Village BioPartners in 2018. Another company that Beth backed at Kleiner Perkins, Sagimet Biosciences, is in registration to go public.

Maha has another portfolio company, Gyroscope Therapeutics, Ltd., in registration to go public. Another of her portfolio companies, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is poised to be acquired. (See story in Women Investing in Women). Maha is on the boards of Aerovate Therapeutics, Inc., Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., NorthSea Therapeutics and Quanta Therapeutics, Inc.

Longwood Fund’s Hachigian sees TScan Therapeutics file to go public

TScan Therapeutics, which Longwood Fund’s Lea Hachigian was involved in founding and leading and whose board includes the Novartis Venture Fund’s Nandita Shangari, files to go public. The Waltham, Mass. biotech company is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol TCRX.

Founded in 2018, TScan is developing engineered T cell cancer therapies to treat hematological and solid tumors. Baker Brothers is the largest shareholder with a 24.7 percent pre-IPO stake. Novartis Ventures owns 10.4 percent while Longwood has 6.6 percent – the same as Bessemer Venture Partners. 6 Dimensions Capital holds 9 percent and Hillhouse has 7.4 percent.

Lea, who is an entrepreneur in residence with Longwood, served for a time as president of TScan. She was also involved in founding firm portfolio companies Be Biopharma, ImmuneID, Inc. and Immunitas. She served as CEO of ImmuneID, president of Immunitas and is vice president of strategy at Be Biopharma.

Nandita, a principal with the Novartis Venture Fund, is also an observer on the boards of GentiBio and Immunitas Therapeutics.

TScan’s board also includes Katina Dorton, who is chief financial officer of Nodthera, Ltd.

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