This week's action on Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange, and the London Stock Exchange
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 12, 2021
Vazquez-Ubarri is on the board of a TPG-sponsored SPAC that has gone public
TPG Partner Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri is on the board of a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by her firm that has gone public. TPG Pace Beneficial II Corp. raised $250 million by pricing 25 million shares at $10 a share. The SPAC is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol YTPG. It will now look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring it public. TPG Pace Beneficial II is focused on companies with a strong environmental, social and governance profile.
Anilu has served as TPG’s chief human resources officer since August 2018 and co-chairs the TPG Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council. She was previously Goldman Sachs’ global head of talent and chief diversity officer. Anilu is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
The SPAC’s board also includes Maryanne Hancock, who is the founding CEO of Y Analytics and leads impact assessment with The Rise Fund and TPG’s broader ESG performance management program, and Nancy Mahon, who is senior vice president for global corporate citizenship and sustainability at the Estée Lauder Companies.
Werewolf Therapeutics files to go public
Werewolf Therapeutics, whose board includes Deerfield Management’s Elise Wang and which once included UPMC Enterprises’ Jeanne Cunicelli, files to go public. Werewolf, which is developing immune therapies for cancer, has filed to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol HOWL.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., Werewolf has two lead candidates that are designed to selectively activate an immune response in the tumor microenvironment and is moving toward conducting Phase 1/1b trials in patients in 2022.
MPM Capital is the largest shareholder with a 20.75 percent pre-IPO stake. Deerfield owns 8.75 percent while UPMC holds 5.48 percent.
Elise joined Werewolf’s board in December and intends to step down prior to the company going public. Another company on whose board Elise sits, Terns Pharmaceuticals, went public earlier this year. The Foster City, Calif. company is developing a portfolio of therapy candidates to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, and other chronic liver diseases. Elise has been with Deerfield since 2010 and is a principal on the firm’s public structured finance group. She previously served on the board of Orchard, which went public in 2018.
Jeanne as recently as last year listed herself as a board member of Werewolf. It is unclear when she stepped down. Jeanne took over as president of UPMCE earlier this year. UPMCE is the innovation, venture capital and commercialization arm of health care system UPMC. In 2020, she led UPMCE into SparingVision, which was co-founded by Florence Allouche. Jeanne joined the company’s board and is also on the boards of BlueSphere Bio and Generian.
A portfolio company of RA Capital’s Stoppel and venBio’s Yamanaka files to go public
Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., whose board includes RA Capital Management’s Laura Stoppel and venBio Partners’ Yvonne Yamanaka, files to go public. The oncology company also received backing earlier this year from Cormorant Asset Management, whose founder and CEO is Bihua Chen. Artiva is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol RTVA.
Based in San Diego, Artiva is focused on delivering cancer patients highly effective cellular immunotherapies that are safe and immediately accessible. The company is doing so by developing and commercializing allogenic natural killer cell therapies. NK cells have innate anti-tumor biology and safety features. Artiva will use the capital to develop off-the shelf universal NK cells for use in combination with monoclonal antibody therapy and tumor targeting CAR-NK cell therapies.
Laura and Yvonne joined Artiva’s board during the summer of 2020 when they led their firms into the company’s $78 million Series A round. Laura is also an observer on the board of Vor Biopharma. She is an analyst on RA Capital’s investment team. Yvonne is a principal with venBio. She previously was a member of the venture creation team at Flagship Pioneering. Artiva’s board also includes Yu-Kyeong Hwang, who is head of R&D at GC LabCell, which seeded Artiva in 2019.
GC LabCell’s parent, Green Cross Holdings Corp., is Artiva’s largest shareholder, holding a 28 percent pre-IPO stake. venBio, 5AM Ventures and RA Capital all own 15.3 percent. Cormorant’s holdings were not disclosed. The Boston-based firm participated earlier this year in Artiva’s $120 million Series B round, which in addition to RA, venBio and GC LabCell included new investors Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Acuta Capital Partners, EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, RTW Investments, LP, Surveyor Capital and Wellington Management Company.
Cormorant also has at least two other companies in registration to go public: Rain Therapeutics, Inc. and Biomea Fusion. It has had at least five companies go public in 2021: VectivBio Holding (See Story Below), Design Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics, Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded, and Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.
The Honest Company files to go public
The Honest Company, which was co-founded by Jessica Alba, files to go public. The maker of non-toxic baby, skin and household products filed to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol HNST.
Jessica has served as the company’s chief creative officer since its incorporation 10 years ago and as chair of its board for the past three years. The Honest Company’s board also includes Katie Bayne, who is a senior advisor with Guggenheim Securities and a former longtime executive with The Coca-Cola Company. Additionally, Susan Gentile has been nominated to serve on The Honest Company’s board. She is chief financial and administrative officer at H.I.G. Capital Management, LLC., which is not an investor in the company.
L Catterton is the largest shareholder, currently holding 37.5 percent of the company. IVP has a 13.9 percent stake, while Lightspeed Venture Partners owns 12.3 percent, Fidelity holds 9.3 percent and General Catalyst has 5.1 percent. Jessica owns 6.7 percent.
VectivBio goes public
VectivBio Holding, whose board includes Bpifrance Senior Investment Director Chahra Louafi, goes public – an event that comes some six months after Bpifrance and Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management took part in the company’s crossover financing round. The Basel, Switzerland company raised $128 million by offering 7.5 million shares at $17 a share. It is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol VECT.
VectivBio is developing a product to treat short bowel syndrome, which results from extensive intestinal resection due to chronic inflammatory bowel disease or events such as trauma, surgery or congenital abnormalities. Symptoms include diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. Patients with severe forms require intravenous delivery of essential nutrients, calories and fluids. An estimated 35,000 people are thought to suffer from SBS in the United States and Europe. VectivBio’s product is intended to increase the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients and minimize the burden of intravenous delivery of nutrients.
In October 2020, the company raised $110 million from a group, which in addition to Cormorant and Bpifrance, included Surveyor Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, Novo Holdings, Tekla Healthcare Investors and Cowen Healthcare Investments.
OrbiMed was the largest shareholder prior to the offering with a 15.2 percent pre-IPO stake. Versant held 15.1 percent while Novo Holdings had 9.9 percent and Bpifrance had 7.9 percent.
Chahra has been on VectivBio’s board since June 2019. She is also on the boards of GMP Orphan SA, Sensorion SA, MedDay Pharmaceuticals SA, Tissium SA, Invivox, Doctoconsult, Incepto and Inserm.
Cormorant is not listed as owning 5 percent. Cormorant also has at least three other companies in registration to go public: Rain Therapeutics, Inc., Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., and Biomea Fusion. It has had at least four companies go public in 2021: Design Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics, Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded, and Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.
A portfolio company of Insight’s Huizing and Vitruvian’s Bower-Straziota files to go public
Darktrace, which is led by Poppy Gustafsson and which is a portfolio company of Insight Partners’ Philine Huizing and Vitruvian Partners’ Sophie Bower-Straziota, has filed to go public. The Cambridge, UK cybersecurity company announced plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange. Published reports said it is looking for a valuation of around $4 billion. Darktrace has raised more than $230 million since its founding in 2013, according to Crunchbase. Its investors also include KKR, Summit Partners, TenEleven Ventures and SB ISAT.
Darktrace’s platform uses machine learning and AI algorithms to neutralize cyber threats across diverse digital estates, including the cloud and networks, IoT and industrial control systems. It serves more than 4,700 customers in more than 100 countries. For the fiscal year ended June 30, Darktrace reported a loss of $28.7 million on revenue of $199.1 million.
Poppy joined Darktrace in 2014 and has been CEO since 2016. The company’s board includes CFO Catherine Graham and Vanessa Colomar, who is a partner and co-founder of Invoke Capital, Darktrace’s largest shareholder.
Philine is a vice president with Insight. Her portfolio also includes Ambassador Labs, Kasten, Pcysys, Carbon Relay, Kaseya, Veeam, Recorded Future, LiveAction, and Automile.
Sophie, a partner at Vitruvian, leads the firm’s pharma services and software team efforts. Her investments include Phlexglobal, Pindrop, CFC Underwriting, CRF Health, TransferWise, OpenBet, RL360, Farfetch and Skyscanner.
The Bountiful Company files to go public
The Bountiful Company, whose board includes the Carlyle Group’s Anita Balaji and KKR’s Nancy Ford, files to go public. Previously known as Nature’s Bounty, the Ronkonkoma, N.Y. company is seeking to raise $100 million and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BTFL.
Founded in 1971, The Bountiful Company is a vertically-integrated supplier of branded vitamins and wellness products. Its brands include Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Osteo Bi-Flex, Pure Protein and Puritan’s Pride. KKR acquired majority control of the company in 2017 from the Carlyle Group, which retained what was described at the time as a significant stake. The Bountiful Company’s IPO filing did not disclose ownership stakes.
Nancy joined the company’s board upon KKR closing its investment. In 2020, she joined the boards of Coty, Inc. after KKR invested in $1 billion in the publicly traded company, and the Wella Company, which KKR spun off from Coty. Nancy is also on the boards of Upfield, Channel Control Merchants, Gibson Brands and Heartland Dental. She spoke earlier this year at the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and has spoken previously at the Women’s Private Equity Summit, which KKR is a longtime sponsor of. A managing director, Nancy joined KKR in July 2017 after serving as a managing director at FFL Partners.
Anita, a managing director with Carlyle’s U.S. buyout group, is also on the board of PurposeBuilt Brands, Inc., which earlier this year filed to go public.
Coinbase goes public through a direct listing
Coinbase Global, Inc., whose board includes Andreessen Horowitz’s Katie Haun and whose backers include Katie Jacobs Stanton, is now a publicly traded company. The digital currency company went public through a direct listing. Nasdaq set a reference price of $250 a share. At that price, Coinbase was valued at about $65 billion. It is trading under the symbol COIN.
Coinbase’s board also includes Kelly Kramer, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Cisco. Andreessen Horowitz took part in the San Francisco company’s $300 million Series E round in October 2018 along with Tiger Global Management, Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management and Polychain.
Earlier this year, Katie Haun helped lead a16z into Eco, which is reimaging money. She is also on the board of HackerOne. In 2020, Andreessen Horowitz closed its second crypto-focused fund at $515 million – a fund that Katie co-leads with Chris Dixon. She joined a16z in 2018 as the firm’s first female general partner.
Katie Jacobs Stanton is now leading Moxxie Ventures. A former Twitter executive, Katie co-founded #Angels, an angel investing group led by a group of former and current female Twitter executives. Katie has backed some 40 companies in recent years, which in addition to Coinbase include Lambda School, Modern Fertility, Threads and Carta.
Coinbase’s backers also include Bracket Capital, which was co-founded by Yalda Aoukar.
Hong Clayton is on the board of a TPG-sponsored SPAC that has gone public
Julie Hong Clayton, a partner with TPG, is on the board of a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by her firm that has gone public. TPG Pace Solutions Corp. raised $285 million by offering 28.5 million shares at $10 a share. It is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TPGS. The SPAC will now look to merge with a private company and, in turn, bring it public. It is focused on underperforming mature businesses.
TPG Pace’s board also includes Kathleen Philips, who is an advisor to Zillow Group, Inc. and Wendi Sturgis, who is a strategic advisor at Yext. Julie, Kathleen and Wendi are also on the board of one SPAC, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities II, which is registration to go public, as well as another, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities, which went public in October and has agreed to combine with Nerdy, Inc., an online tutoring company.
Julie has led TPG Capital’s equity capital markets across its private equity platforms since 2013. She is also a capital markets advisor to TPG Pace Group, which is the sponsor of these SPACs. The Pace Group is TPG’s dedicated initiative to provide permanent capital solutions for companies.
Tango Therapeutics set to merge with a SPAC and go public
A portfolio company of Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management, whose CEO is Dr. Barbara Weber, is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Tango Therapeutics is set to be valued at $353 million after combining with BCTG Acquisition Corp., which was formed by Boxer Capital of the Tavistock Group. The Cambridge, Mass. oncology-focused company will receive approximately $353 million in proceeds from the transaction, including $186 million from a financing that includes Cormorant. Once the deal is completed, Tango will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol TNGX.
Tango is focused on discovering and developing novel medicines designed to target cancer vulnerabilities beyond mutated oncogenes to deliver transformational new therapies. The company is utilizing advances in DNA sequencing and CRISPR-based target discovery to generate medicines that will provide more benefits than today’s therapies and extend the benefit of available immuno-oncology agents. Tango has raised a total of $165 million.
Cormorant invested in the company during its $60 million Series B round that was done in early 2020 and which also included Boxer Capital, Third Rock Ventures and Casdin Capital. Third Rock launched Tango in 2017 with $55 million in funding. The company also received a $50 million upfront payment in 2018 as a result of a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences.
Barbara also is a venture partner with Third Rock. She joined the venture firm in 2015 after serving as senior vice president and global head of oncology translational medicine at Novartis. Her background also includes serving as vice president of three groups at GlaxoSmithKline and being a professor of medicine and genetics at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Tango’s board includes Lesley Ann Calhoun, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Aligos Therapeutics.
Cormorant also has at least three other companies in registration to go public: Rain Therapeutics, Inc., Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., and Biomea Fusion. It has had at least five companies go public in 2021: VectivBio Holding, Design Therapeutics, Edgewise Therapeutics, Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded, and Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.
AppLovin goes public
AppLovin, whose board includes KKR Director Cathy Sun, goes public. The Palo Alto, Calif. company raised $2 billion by offering 25 million shares at $80 a share. A developer of a platform for marketing and monetizing mobile games, AppLovin is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol APP. Founded in 2012, the company reported a net loss of $126 million on revenue of $1.5 billion in 2020.
AppLovin’s software reaches more than 410 million mobile game users daily. It also has a portfolio of more than 200 free-to-play mobile games that are run by 12 studios. Over the past three years, AppLovin has completed 15 acquisitions and partnerships. Last year, for instance, it acquired Machine Zone in a transaction that was reportedly valued at more than $500 million and Adjust for close to $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.
KKR invested in the company in 2018 and was listed as one of its biggest shareholders prior to the offering. Cathy joined the board in November 2019. She also is on the board of Internet Brands, Inc. Cathy joined KKR in September 2016 from TPG Capital.
AppLovin’s board also includes Margaret Georgiadis, who until December 2020 was president and CEO of Ancestry. She joined AppLovin’s board in January.