Priya Saiprasad and Stephanie Geveda guide their firms into new investments while Vivianne Akriche is involved in the sale of a firm portfolio company
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 12, 2021
Priya Saiprasad leads SoftBank Investment Advisers into Skedulo’s $75M Series C round
Just weeks after leaving her role at Mayfield to join SoftBank Investment Advisers as a partner, Priya Saiprasad leads the firm’s Vision Fund 2 into a productivity software company – one she knows very well. SoftBank led Skedulo’s $75 million Series C round. Skedulo has also received backing from Blackbird, Costanoa Ventures and M12, Microsoft’s venture arm.
Two years ago while at M12, Priya led Skedulo’s $28 million Series B round and joined the San Francisco company’s board. Priya left M12 later in 2019 and joined Mayfield as a venture partner. Tamara Steffens, a managing director with M12, is now on Skedulo’s board.
Skedulo is focused on meeting the demand for solutions that can intelligently optimize and engage the deskless workforce – the 80 percent of the workforce who are not in a traditional office setting. Organizations that have used its platform include The American Red Cross, DHL and Sunrun. More than 35 million appointments have been booked through Skedulo’s platform.
In a statement, Priya said, “the pandemic dramatically accelerated the adoption of digital services for workers across many industries, including those who don’t work in a traditional office setting. Powered by AI and machine learning, Skedulo’s cloud-based software helps enterprises increase productivity by enabling them to intelligently manage and support deskless workforces.”
Stephanie Geveda guides Warburg Pincus into Food Safety Net Services
Stephanie Geveda guides Warburg Pincus into a provider of laboratory testing services for customers in the food & beverage end markets – a company that will merge with one of Stephanie’s portfolio companies. The amount invested by Warburg Pincus in Food Safety Net Services was not disclosed.
Based in San Antonio, Texas, FSNS serves a broad range of product categories within the broader food and beverage sector. In conjunction with the investment, FSNS will merge with Certified Group, a provider of testing and regulatory consulting services. The merger will create a national testing platform employing 1,580 across 20 states and provinces in more than 30 laboratories. Warburg and Tilia Holdings first invested in Certified Group in 2018. Stephanie serves on Certified’s board.
In a statement Stephanie said, “the investment in FSNS reflects our ongoing mission to invest in companies that help make the food supply chain safer for customers and address the growing market opportunity. FSNS’ strength in microbiology testing paired with Certified Group’s strong position in chemistry testing are highly complementary, providing meaningful cross-sell potential to clients.”
Stephanie, a managing director and head of business services, is also on the boards of 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.
Eurazeo’s Vivianne Akriche is involved with the sale of a firm portfolio company
Eurazeo’s Vivianne Akriche is involved with the sale of another firm portfolio company. Eurazeo said it has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell its 41 percent stake in Grandir to InfraVia, a French infrastructure investor. Terms were not disclosed, but Eurazeo is set to earn a two times return on its initial investment. Grandir is an operator of nurseries and schools in France, elsewhere in Europe and North America. During Eurazeo’s five years of ownership, Grandir grew the number of nurseries and schools it manages from 250 to 650 and its revenue from 140 million euros to nearly 400 million euros.
In a statement, Vivianne said Grandir “has transformed itself significantly over the last five years, thanks to the wonderful work of its teams, with Eurazeo at its side. Today, the company has all the cards in its hand, from the standpoint of human capital as well as organizational performance, to achieve continued growth in the early childhood education and care sector both in France and around the world.”
In May, Eurazeo said it was selling 49 percent of another of Vivianne’s companies – Trader Interactive – to Carsales in a transaction that values the company at $1.625 billion. A managing director based in New York, Vivianne has participated in the structuring and/or oversight of the firm’s investments in Rexel, Intercos, Moncler, Fonroche, Les Petits Chaperons Rouges, WordStrides and Sommet Education. With Eurazeo since 2004, Vivianne is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
Hollie Haynes’ Luminate Capital Partners invests in Compliance & Risks
Luminate Capital Partners, which was founded by Hollie Haynes, invests in a provider of market access and product compliance SaaS solutions. Terms of Luminate’s investment in Compliance & Risks were not disclosed, but C&R described it as “significant.”
Based in Cork, Ireland, C&R helps enterprises ensure their products get to market faster by staying compliant with global legislation. The company’s customers include Bose, Tesla, Unisys, Samsung and Fujitsu. C&R claims to have the world’s most comprehensive database of product regulations, standards and requirements. The investment will enable the company to rapidly expand its technology and service offerings.
In a statement, Hollie said, “we are thrilled to partner with the entire Compliance & Risks team in their next phase of growth and believe they are well positioned to address a large global market opportunity.” Luminate backed C&R out of its $1 billion third fund, which closed earlier this year.
The firm has used the fund in 2021 to also acquire a majority stake in Axonify, a provider of employee training software whose co-founder and CEO is Carol Leaman. Luminate also recently sold a company in its debut fund, AutoQuotes, to TA Associates. Hollie has spoken at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit, the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit.
A portfolio company of New Heritage Capital’s Melissa Barry gulps down an acquisition
Welcome Dairy Holdings, a portfolio company of New Heritage Capital’s Melissa Barry, gulps down an acquisition. Terms of Welcome Dairy’s purchase of North Star Processing were not disclosed.
North Star is a provider of spray drying services for the food ingredient industry. Welcome said the acquisition will further extend its capabilities and allow it to provide services spanning initial flavor formulation through full-scale ingredient manufacturing. Welcome offers a full spectrum of dairy ingredients to customers, including dairy flavors, dry blend and spray dried dairy and non-dairy seasonings, shelf stable and refrigerated sauces, and functional cheese products. New Heritage acquired the company two years ago.
In a statement, Melissa said that Welcome “has continued to demonstrate tremendous organic growth” and that New Heritage “is excited to be executing on our investment thesis and growing Welcome through the acquisition of North Star.”
Melissa, a partner, led New Heritage earlier this year into FMS Solutions, a provider of business process outsourcing services to independent grocers and multi-unit retailers. In addition to Welcome Dairy, Melissa is on the boards of Continental Services, Michigan’s largest food management company; Rhythmlink International, a manufacturer of disposable neurodiagnostic devices and consumables; and Covalent Health, an ambulance service that was known as ProTransport-1, LLC. New Heritage last year closed its third fund at $270 million.
Reach Capital’s Jennifer Carolan and Urban Innovation Fund’s Clara Brenner are now board members at BookNook
Reach Capital’s Jennifer Carolan and Urban Innovation Fund’s Clara Brenner are now board members at BookNook, a company that both Reach and Urban Innovation Fund have backed. Jennifer is a co-founder and general partner of Reach, while Clara is co-founder and managing partner of Urban Innovation Fund.
Based in Oakland, Calif., BookNook is seeking to ensure equitable access to rigorous and engaging instruction through technology innovation. Since its founding in 2016, it has partnered with hundreds of schools, school districts and nonprofits across 32 states. According to Crunchbase, both Reach and Urban Innovation took part in BookNook’s seed fund. The company has raised a total of $3.2 million to date. Other investors in the company include Kapor Capital, Impact Engine, Red House Education and Better Ventures.
Natasha Li guides Ares Management Corp. into an acquistion
Natasha Li, a partner with Ares Management Corp., wraps up the firm’s investment in a provider of custom label design and printing for a wide range of industries. Terms of Ares’ purchase of Resource Label Group, LLC from First Atlantic Capital and TPG Growth were not disclosed.
Based in Franklin, Tenn., Resource Label operates 19 manufacturing locations in North America and employs 1,400. In a statement, Natasha called Resource Label “an innovator and leader in one of the most attractive segments within the packaging industry.” She said that Areas believes the company “is poised for strong organic and inorganic growth due to its value proposition to its customers, its thoughtful business diversification and strong management team.”
Natasha is on the board of City Ventures and an observer on the board of The AZEK Company. Ares, which is publicly traded, has approximately $239 billion of assets under management.
Aya Peterburg lead S Capital into Silk’s $55M Series B round
S Capital Managing Partner Aya Peterburg guides her firm into a company that describes itself as the “database supercharger.” S Capital led Silk’s $55 million Series B round, which included Call Insurance, Bank HaPoalim, Meitav Dash, Menora Mivtachim and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Pitango, Globespan, Ibex, and Vintage.
Based in Needham, Mass., Silk has created a cloud platform that enables enterprises to migrate their mission critical applications to the cloud seamlessly, while increasing performance over on-prem environments. The platform makes cloud environments run ten times faster and the entire application stack more resilient to any infrastructure hiccups or malfunctions. Silk sits between the cloud infrastructure and the customer’s database. In doing so, it enables the database to optimize data without any changes.
In a statement, Aya said, “as companies increasingly move their business-critical workloads to the cloud, it is more important than ever that their cloud infrastructure offer them the performance these workloads demand. The Silk Platform is perfectly poised to enable the cloud vendors to meet this demand and deliver on their promise of fast and easy cloud.”
Aya is on the boards of Zesty, Oolo, Oribi, Pecan, Deep AI Technologies, Salt Security and Run:AI. S Capital is comprised of original Sequoia Capital Israel founders. Aya, a firm founder, spent time as an associate with Sequoia Capital. Her background also includes serving as director of strategy at CAPITOLIS and being an angel investor.
Maureen Spivack joins the board of Paradigm Health
Maureen Spivack, a senior advisor with Havencrest Capital Management, joins the board of Paradigm Health after Havencrest invests in the provider of hospice and palliative care. The amount invested by Havencrest in the Indianapolis company was not disclosed. In a statement, Maureen said she is “thrilled to partner” with the company’s management “to help them grow Paradigm efficiently and thoughtfully.”
Maureen retired after a 30-year career in health care investment banking. She most recently was managing director and co-head for KPMG Corporate Finance’s Healthcare Investment Banking Group. She also served as a managing director in the health care investment banking group at Morgan Keegan, managing director in the global health care investment banking group at UBS, managing director and head of the health care strategic advisory group at Merrill Lynch and partner and head of the National Health Care Corporate Finance Practice at Ernst & Young. She also serves as senior health care industry partner for another private equity firm, New State Capital Partners.
Havencrest is a Dallas-based health care private equity firm.
Olivia Steedman oversees Ontario Teachers’ investment in a portfolio company of Renegade Partners’ Roseanne Wincek
Olivia Steedman oversees the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s sizable investment in a portfolio company of Renegade Partners’ Roseanne Wincek. Ontario Teachers’ led Coda’s $100 million Series D round through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, which Olivia leads. Coda said its existing investors also participated. The company has previously raised capital from such firms as Greylock, Kleiner Perkins, Madrona Venture Group, General Catalyst and Renegade, which Roseanne founded with Renata Quintini and made Coda its first investment.
Based in San Francisco, Coda has developed a document collaboration platform that brings data and teams together. It is used by companies to run websites, internal wikis and their business. In a statement, Olivia said, “we’re excited by the power and possibilities Coda offers through its all-in-one doc solution, especially at a time when many companies worldwide are looking for new ways to bring teams together.”
Ontario Teachers’ investment in Coda comes on the heels of it recently leading sizable rounds for Motif FoodWorks, ApplyBoard and Beamery. It also this year backed Tanium. Olivia, who is senior managing director, TIP, has been with Ontario Teachers’ since 2002. Launched in 2019, TIP makes late-stage venture and growth equity investments in companies using disruptive technology. TIP’s past investments include Graphcore, Pony.ai, ComplyAdvantage, Attabotics and SpaceX.
Ontario Teachers’ is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan. It had 221.2 billion Canadian assets under management as of Dec. 31.
Core Innovation Capital’s Kathleen Utecht backs Assured Allies
Core Innovation Capital’s Kathleen Utecht backs a company seeking to radically reset expectations for aging. Core and New Era Capital Partners led Assured Allies’ $18.3 million Series A round that also included Wilton Re and existing investors LionBird Ventures and Harel Insurance.
Located in Boston and Tel Aviv, Israel, Assured Allies has developed a platform of technology and services that can predict and shift the aging trajectory, reduce the risk of age-related decline and help people get the most out of life. The company will use the capital to accelerate delivery of its Age Assured program and continue to develop new aging innovations, including a new category that combines wellness with financial products.
In a statement, Kat said, “addressing successful aging is more than a business imperative. It’s a commitment to creating a better society. Assured Allies is uniquely positioned to bring innovative, tech-driven approaches to market, with the perspective to design solutions that provide value to both consumers and financial partners focused on the retirement years.”
A managing partner, Kat is on the boards of HealthSherpa, Pando, Pairity.ai, Gerry and Gourmet Growth. Core, an early-stage venture firm, focuses on financial services and insurance technology.
Lorin Wolfe is involved in L2 Capital Partners’ acquisition Ecotone
Lorin Wolfe is involved in L2 Capital Partners’ acquisition of an ecological restoration service provider. Terms of the private equity firm’s purchase of Ecotone, Inc. were not disclosed. Based in Forest Hill, Md., Ecotone provides ecological restoration-focused design, engineering and construction services in the Mid-Atlantic. It employs more than 70 employees and since its founding in 1988 has restored more than 33 miles of streams and riverine environments and 1,250 acres of wetlands and habitats.
In a statement, Lorin said that Ecotone “is well positioned to continue its evolution as a leading environmental restoration services provider. L2 Capital’s depth of experience in the sector, passion for Environmental, Social, and Governance and positive purpose businesses, and partnership-based approach will help the company achieve outsized levels of growth. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with the entire Ecotone team to advance their mission of being the most trusted brand in the space.”
Lorin, who joined L2 in 2019, is a partner and the firm’s chief operating officer. She is on the boards of Jurassic Quest and Aspekt Solutions. Prior to L2, Lorin was president and CEO of Acco Material Handling Solutions, a KKR portfolio company.
Lisa Lambert’s National Grid Partners has a portfolio company acquired by Microsoft
National Grid Partners, whose founder and president is Lisa Lambert, has a portfolio company acquired by Microsoft. Terms of RiskIQ’s purchase by Microsoft were not disclosed, but published reports put the price at more than $500 million. An online security company, RiskIQ received a total of $83 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase. NGP, the investment and innovation arm of National Grid plc, took part in the $15 million Series D round that RiskIQ did a year ago. Other investors in the company include Battery Ventures, Summit Partners, Georgian, Akkadian Ventures and MassMutual Ventures.
RiskIQ helps companies and government agencies manage their attack surfaces by enabling them to discover unknowns and investigate threats outside the firewall – where the vast majority of cyber attacks originate. Its customers include Amazon, Facebook, Disney and eight of the U.S.’s 10 largest financial institutions.
RiskIQ is at least the third company that NGP has had acquired. Aporeto, Inc. was purchased in 2019 by Palo Alto Networks for $150 million and Pixeom was bought by Siemens, also in 2019. NGP earlier this year received $150 million in fresh capital from National Grid.
Lisa, who is also National Grid’s chief technology and innovation officer, joined NGP in 2018 after being a managing director with the Westly Group. Previously, she was a longtime managing director with Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s venture arm.
One Equity Partners is selling a portfolio company of Inna Etinberg
One Equity Partners is selling a portfolio company of Inna Etinberg in what Inna described as a “successful exit.” Terms of OEP’s sale of OneLink Holdings to Webhelp were not disclosed.
OneLink provides business process outsourcing and customer relationship management solutions. It operates 17 call centers through a network of 14,000 agents. The company’s customers include e-commerce, consumer, payments, technology and travel and leisure businesses. Webhelp provides customer experience and business solutions. OEP acquired OneLink in 2017.
In a statement, Inna said, “our successful exit reflects OEP’s strengths in partnering with businesses such as OneLink and transforming them into market leaders. OneLink’s business was resilient throughout the pandemic and, as the world returns to normal, we are confident that OneLink will continue to succeed in supporting a complete range of digitally-enabled CX, BPO and technology needs.”
Inna served on OneLink’s board. A principal with OEP, Inna is also on the boards of AMT, PS Logistics and The Results Companies and an observer on the board of AdaptHealth. Inna joined OEP in 2013 from the investment banking division of JPMorgan. OEP, a middle market private equity firm, was spun-out of JP Morgan in 2015.
Triton Partners is selling a portfolio company of Nadia Meier-Kirner
Triton Partners is selling a portfolio company of Nadia Meier-Kirner. Terms of Triton’s sale of Polygon Holding AB to AEA Investors LP were not disclosed. Polygon focuses on preventing, controlling and mitigating the effects of water, fire and climate for its customers. It generated 743 million euros in sales in 2020 and employs 5,500 in 16 countries on three continents. Polygon was carved out from Munters and acquired by Triton in 2010.
In a statement, Nadia said that “Polygon, its employees and management team have successfully created a European market leader in property damage restoration by serving a range of sectors including insurance, property management, government, and industrial clients. The company now has a sustainable and decentralized business model and is well positioned to accelerate its growth based on best-in-class services and digital enabled technologies. We are thankful that Polygon will find its new home with AEA, and confident that they are the right partner to continue the journey.”
Nadia, a partner, is co-head of business services. She has been with Triton since 2006. Triton focuses on medium-sized businesses headquartered in Europe. The 48 companies in its portfolio have combined sales of around 17.5 billion euros and employ around 100,000 employees.
Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management is among those taking part in Prime Medicine’s $200M Series B round
Cormorant Asset Management, which is led by Bihua Chen, is among those providing significant backing to a company pioneering “search and replace” gene editing. Cormorant took part in Prime Medicine’s $200 million Series B round along with Casdin Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Redmile Group, Samsara BioCapital, T. Rowe Price and existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, GV and Newpath Partners. The round comes nine months after the Cambridge, Mass. company raised $115 million in Series A funding.
Prime Medicine’s gene editing technology aims to address the fundamental genetic causes of disease, restore normal gene function and potentially provide patients with long-lasting cures. Known as prime editing, the technology acts like a DNA word processor to “search and replace” disease-causing genetic sequences at their precise location in the genome, without resulting in double-strand DNA breaks that cause unwanted cellular changes. It is versatile, with the potential to address more than 90 percent of known disease-causing mutations and works in a variety of dividing and non-dividing primary human cells, as well as in animals. Prime editing has been shown by multiple independent laboratories to make genome edits with high fidelity, making edits precisely at the desired location with minimal or no editing in other parts of the genome. Together, these features overcome several technical barriers attributed to earlier gene editing technologies.
Merit Webster and JoAnne Kruse take part in TZP Group’s recapitalization of Force Management
Merit Webster and JoAnne Kruse take part in TZP Group’s recapitalization of a provider of sales force training solutions to the tech sector. Terms of TZP’s investment in Force Management Holdings Company, LLC were not disclosed.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Force Management offers multiple complementary programs, powered by its proprietary curriculum. It also offers software services through its learning management system. Merit and JoAnne were among those who supported TZP’s Dan Gaspar in doing the transaction, according to a statement by TZP.
Merit, a senior associate joined TZP earlier this year and is focused on impact investing and ESG. She was previously an assistant vice president at BBH Capital Partners. JoAnne joined TZP in 2019 as partner, talent. She previously served as the chief human resource officer of American Express Global Business Travel. A multi-strategy private equity firm, TZP manages approximately $2 billion.
Sequoia Capital China’s Lynn Yang invests in ProfoundBio
Sequoia Capital China’s Lynn Yang invests in a company developing antibody-based therapies for cancer patients. ProfoundBio closed an over $55 million Series A financing round led by Lilly Asia Ventures and co-led by LYFE Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital China and Oriza, as well as previous investors K2VC, Gaorong Capital and Chang'an Capital.
Based in both Seattle and Suzhou, China, ProfoundBio is developing novel antibody-based therapeutics with curative potential for patients with cancer. Built on technology platforms, ProfoundBio has developed a pipeline consisting of multiple solid tumor-targeting drug candidates that are currently in discovery and preclinical development stages. ProfoundBio will use the proceeds to accelerate development and implementation of novel technology platforms for therapeutics and to advance a portfolio of differentiated therapeutics into clinical development.
In a statement, Lynn said, “healthcare has been a key sector of investment since Sequoia Capital China’s establishment. We hope ProfoundBio will continue creating value for society by helping more patients in their recovery.”
Lynn’s investments include HiFiBiO Therapeutics, a biotherapeutics company whose president and CEO is Liang Schweizer.
Suzanne Yoon’s Kinzie Capital Partners has a portfolio company make an add-on acquisition
Kinzie Capital Partners, LLC, whose founder and managing partner is Suzanne Yoon, has a portfolio company make an add-on acquisition. Colony Display, LLC, which Kinzie acquired in 2019, bought Braeside Displays, an independent point-of-purchase display manufacturer. Terms were not disclosed.
Colony makes fixtures and displays for the home improvement, retail and hospitality industries. In a statement, Suzanne said, “we believe the addition of Braeside will help Colony advance the strong trajectory of their business and enhance their services for customers.” Suzanne spoke at both the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and the Virtual Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit.
Kinzie is investing from its inaugural $20 million fund which it closed in 2019. But because the fund is structured as a co-investment vehicle, Kenzie has up to $50 million to deploy. The Chicago firm makes equity investments in lower middle-market companies going through transitions. In 2020, it acquired Chelsea Lighting NYC, the largest independent lighting and lighting controls distributor in the New York City market.