Uncork Capital’s Palmeri, GSV’s Quazzo, Spark Capital’s Razavi, Partners Group’s Gerard and Prime Movers’s Kruse are among those involved in dish worthy deals this week
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 10, 2021
A portfolio company of Uncork Capital’s Palmeri and GSV’s Quazzo is set to be acquired
A portfolio company of Uncork Capital’s Stephanie Palmeri and GSV Ventures’ Deborah Quazzo is set to be acquired. Clever, an educational technology platform company, agreed to be acquired by Kahoot, a game-based online learning platform. Terms were not disclosed, but Oslo-based Kahoot will reportedly pay up to $500 million. Kahoot has raised more than $350 million in funding from such entities as SoftBank, Microsoft and Northzone.
Based in San Francisco, Clever has developed technology that enables learning software to be integrated with any school district’s information system. Clever, according to Crunchbase, raised $43.3 million in funding. Others who backed the company include Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Floodgate and Y Combinator.
Earlier this year, another of Stephanie’s companies, Poshmark, went public. Now a venture partner with Uncork, Stephanie has also backed such companies as ClassDojo, Cutback Coach, Fatherly, Merlin, Panorama Education, Pared, Phil, Upwave, Thanx, Wonderschool and Carrot. She is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
GSV in 2021 has also seen one portfolio company, Coursera, go public, and another, Nearpod, acquired by Renaissance Capital for a reported $650 million. The firm also closed its second fund at $180 million and has backed such companies Co-Learn; LEAD School, which was co-founded by Smita Deorah; and Disco, which was co-founded by Candice Faktor.
Spark Capital’s Razavi helps to turn Ada into a unicorn
Spark Capital’s Yasmin Razavi turns an automated customer service platform into a unicorn. Spark led Ada’s $130 million Series C round that included Tiger Global and existing investors Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Version One and Burst Capital. It now has raised $200 million. The financing valued the Toronto-based company at $1.2 billion, enabling it to achieve “unicorn” status for being valued at $1 billion or more.
Ada is a no-code platform that puts the benefits of AI into the hands of non-technical teams. Its automation-first approach introduces customer service employees to a new generation of skills in building bots, as well as managing and optimizing automated customer experiences.
In a statement, Yasmin said, Ada “has carved out an entirely new category in automated customer experience. Companies across all industries and stages increasingly see the quality of their customer experience and communication as a competitive advantage, and yet they are not able to efficiently scale their efforts to meet their customers’ needs. An easy-to-deploy, no-code automation tool such as Ada is game-changing for any business that aims to offer real-time brand interactions across all channels, products, geographies, and at all times.”
Yasmin, a general partner, is a member of the Spark’s growth stage team. Her investments include Deel, a payroll and compliance platform for international teams co-founded by Shuo Wang.
In 2020, Spark closed on $900 million for its growth fund and $450 million for its early-stage fund.
Daniels leads Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital into ValGenesis
Melissa Daniels, managing director at Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, backs a company focused on digitizing the validation lifecycle process. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital invested $24 million in ValGenesis, Inc.
San Francisco-based ValGenesis has developed a paperless validation lifecycle management solution that is used by life science organizations. Covering the entire validation lifecycle process, the platform delivers technology solutions that are validated, fully configurable, and rapidly deployable through a private secured cloud.
In a statement, Melissa said, “digitization of backend processes and workflow automation is a rapidly emerging area of growth for health care and life sciences companies. As a market leader, ValGenesis offers a fit-for-purpose platform for validation lifecycle management, resulting in significant cost and time efficiencies for global, compliance focused organizations.”
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital is the growth-focused private investment platform within Morgan Stanley Investment Management, targeting growth equity and credit investments within technology, health care, consumer, digital media and other high-growth sectors.
Atherton leads Temasek International into Forge Global’s $150M round
Temasek International’s Jane Atherton leads the Singapore investment firm into a private securities marketplace whose prior investors include Cyan Banister. Temasek participated in Forge Global, Inc.’s new $150 million round, which also included Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, LUN Partners Group and existing investor Deutsche Borse. In addition to Cyan, Forge has also raised capital from Peter Thiel, Draper Associates, Munich Re, BNP Paribas and TD Ameritrade.
In 2020, Forge Global paid $160 million for SharesPost, Inc., which, like Forge, enables the selling and buying of shares in pre-IPO companies. The company was founded in 2014 and has completed more than $9 billion in transactions in nearly 400 private companies.
Jane, a Temasek managing director, joined Forge’s board. Jane, who leads Temasek’s financial services investing efforts in the Americas, is also a director at C2FO and an observer on the boards of AvidXchange, Blend and Flywire.
Gerard is involved in Partners Group’s acquisition of Axia Women’s Health
Partners Group’s Sofia Gerard is involved in the firm’s acquisition of a women’s health care provider. Terms of Partners’ purchase of Axia Women’s Health from Audax Group were not disclosed.
Based in Voorhees, N.J., Axia runs about 80 care centers with 150 locations and serves more than 475,000 patients. The centers feature such specialties as obstetrics, gynecology, laboratory, mammography, urogynecology and fertility.
In a statement, Sofia said that “women’s health is an essential service impacting all parts of society and Axia’s prioritization of expanded patient care aligns with Partners Group’s focus on positive stakeholder impact at all levels. Axia plays a key role in offering an integrated model to support non-clinical operations and has the opportunity to further diversify its capabilities by broadening the women’s health services it offers.”
Sofia was involved last year in Partners’ acquisition of Wedgewood Pharmacy, whose CEO is Marcy Bliss. Wedgewood is one of the largest providers of compounded animal medications for acute and chronic conditions in the United States.
Zhang leads Grain Management’s acquisition of Tachus
Jenny Zhang, a principal with Grain Management, LLC, leads the firm’s acquisition of a fiber-to-the-home provider in Texas. Terms of Grain’s proposed purchase of Tachus, LLC from Crosstimbers Capital Group were not disclosed.
Based in The Woodlands, Texas, Tachus provides high speed, unlimited data services at a lifetime fixed rate to communities in the Houston area. In a statement, Jenny said that Tachus is “well-positioned to expand in Houston and beyond, where Tachus has been met with extraordinary demand from communities that need a better, faster Internet connection.”
Tachus is Grain’s first investment out of its third flagship fund, which closed at $2.25 billion. Based in Washington, D.C., Grain focuses on broadband infrastructure and technology companies that connect the world to the information economy. It was founded in 2007.
Morgan and Clough cut a deal for Stage to acquire Haystack Mountain Creamery
Stage’s Krista Morgan and Lauren Clough cut a deal for their firm to acquire a cheese making company. Based in Longmont, Colo., Haystack Mountain Creamery has a rich history as an artisanal cheese maker, pioneering a path for the local cheese industry and receiving many awards. Haystack’s prized cheesemaker is Jackie Chang, who has acquired fame for her relentless passion for cheese.
In a statement, Krista, a general partner at Stage said, “we could not be more delighted to bring Haystack into our portfolio. Supply chain issues during COVID-19 took a toll across the country but Haystack is well-equipped for a new season of growth and expansion.” Lauren, an operating partner at Stage, also in a statement added, “we are here to preserve and elevate a brand that has a storied history and loyal following. With the highest level of quality standards, Haystack will focus on continuing to serve the local markets while expanding our reach nationally so that more consumers can experience this exceptional product.”
Stage is a private equity firm based in Denver focused on acquiring controlling interests in companies undergoing a change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth.
Brightspark Ventures’ Forest invests Optable’s $3.6M seed round
Brightspark Ventures’ Sophie Forest invests in a provider of privacy-preserving data connectivity software. Brightspark led Optable’s $3.6 million seed round that also included a group of angel investors.
Based in Montreal, Optable is focused on the advertising ecosystem, which is undergoing a transformation in how audience data can be used as third-party cookies go away, mobile IDs experience an overhaul and new privacy legislation emerges. These factors are creating an immediate need for new solutions to enable advertisers, publishers and the entire adtech ecosystem to safely and securely compare and leverage audience data. The platform uses cryptography to ensure data can be safely compared, matched and activated. Users can securely receive audience matches from any partner, irrespective of whether they are using Optable’s solution.
In a statement, Sophie, a managing partner at Brightspark said, “the Optable team understands the media and advertising landscape better than anyone. Challenges the team has observed in the CTV space are increasingly seen in other environments. Fragmentation requires a new approach to data collaboration between partners. No other company is better equipped to bring this type of solution to market.”
Sophie’s investments include BuyBack Booth, PreVu3D, Jewlr, Protecode, Inc., Hopper and nGUVU. Brightspark last year held a third close on its new fund at 60 million Canadian. The firm has a 75 million Canadian target.
NEA’s Landsman and Discord’s Atherton invest in Goody
New Enterprise Associates’ Liza Landsman and Discord executive Amber Atherton deliver funds to a gift-giving app. NEA led Goody’s $13.1 million Series A funding, which in addition to Amber included such other angel investors as Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.
Goody recently launched Goody+, which enables individuals and corporations to easily send gifts by text to one or 100 or more people. In a statement, Liza said, “New Enterprise recognizes the importance of fostering virtual connections after the events of the past year and when we were introduced to the founding team at Goody we were immediately onboard to back and work with them. Goody’s ability to simplify gift-giving will add joy to the e-commerce industry, particularly in the corporate world, where branded gifts are frequently wasted. New Enterprise is excited to assist Goody in their mission to optimize and personalize the gift-giving process.”
Liza, a general partner, has also backed such companies as Burrow; Mejuri; Flow; THE WELL, a wellness company whose founders include Rebecca Parekh and Sarrah Hallock; and New Wave Foods, a producer of plant-based shellfish which was co-founded by Michelle Wolf and Dominique Barnes and whose CEO is Mary McGovern.
NEA in 2020 closed its 17th fund at $3.6 billion and now has nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital.
Ambina Partners’ Blehle oversees the sale of a firm portfolio company
For the second time in recent months, Ambina Partners’ Christine Blehle oversees the sale of a firm portfolio company. Terms of Ambina’s sale of PeriGen, Inc. to Halma plc were not disclosed.
PeriGen provides perinatal health care software solutions. Halma, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange, is a group of life-saving technology companies. Ambina partnered with Atalaya Capital Management to invest in PeriGen in 2016. The investment enabled PeriGen to acquire a key competitor. Today, PeriGen serves more than 300 hospitals in the United States and its solutions are deployed across some 500,000 childbirths annually.
In a statement, Christine said, “PeriGen’s solution stood out from the beginning and working closely with an exceptional and determined management team to further gain market share has been a rewarding journey.”
Earlier this year, Christine guided the private equity firm’s sale of Washify to DRB Systems. Christine, a partner, joined Ambina in 2016 from XPV Partners.
Kruse guides Prime Movers Lab into Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals’ $27M Series A round
Amy Kruse, who joined Prime Movers Lab last fall, guides the firm into a company utilizing psychedelic-related medicines for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions. Prime Movers Lab led Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals’ $27 million Series A round that also included Noetic Psychedelic Fund, Gron Ventures, Route 66 Ventures, JLS Fund and Palo Santo Investors.
Based in New York, Gilgamesh is focused on using the pharmacology related to psychedelic drugs to make the compounds safe and broadly applicable to treating and curing conditions including depression, anxiety, substance use and stress-related disorders in an efficient way.
In a statement, Amy said, “we are truly in the era of a psychedelic renaissance with clinicians and researchers finding that psychedelic substances are not just treatments, they can be curative. We’re excited to partner with Gilgamesh and their industry-leading research around medicinal chemistry and neuropharmacology to develop transformative medicines that will make it into the lives of the people who need them most.”
Amy is a partner and the firm’s principal biologist. She most recently was chief scientific officer at Optios, an applied neuroscience company. She also served as the vice president and chief technology officer at Cubic Global Defense and as a government civilian program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where she created its first performance-oriented neuroscience programs.
Prime Movers earlier this year closed its second fund at $245 million. The Jackson, Wyo. firm focuses on backing breakthrough scientific startups.
BitGo set to be acquired for $1.2B in cash and stock
A company that Rana Yared led Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments Group into before joining Balderton Capital is set to be sold for more than $1 billion. BitGo, which Goldman backed in the fall of 2018, has agreed to be acquired by Galaxy Digital for $1.2 billion in cash and stock.
Based in Palo Alto, Calif., BitGo provides institutional investors with security, compliance and custodial solutions for blockchain-based currencies. The company, according to Crunchbase, raised some $70 million. In addition to Goldman, investors in the company include Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures, DRW, Redpoint Ventures and Galaxy Digital’s venture arm. In making the investment, Rana at the time said that security and regulated custody solutions are a requirement for greater institutional participation in the digital assets markets and that Goldman viewed BitGo “as an exciting opportunity to contribute to the evolution of this critical market infrastructure.”
Rana was a managing director with Goldman’s Principal Strategic Investments Group before leaving last year to be a partner with Balderton. Other companies she backed at Goldman included Nav, Zoomdata, Inc., Kensho, Context Relevant, New York Shipping Exchange and DataFox Intelligence, Inc.
Grit Ventures’ Coyne invests in ViaBot
Grit Ventures’ Kelly Coyne sees potential in a robotics startup bringing maintenance and management automation to large properties. ViaBot just launched following $6.1 million in funding from Grit, Baseline Ventures, Morado Ventures and SOSV. As part of the launch, ViaBot also disclosed a key strategic partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, which deployed ViaBot’s RUNO robots to properties in the Bay Area for sweeping and security services.
Based in San Francisco, ViaBot was founded by Gregg Ratanaphanyarat and Andre Ding when they observed that outdoor maintenance for consumers and commercial property managers alike was a yearlong problem, which would be ideally suited to robotics.
In a statement, Kelly said, “ViaBot has taken one of the least sexy industries in the world and brought it right into the future; facility management needed a reason to adopt technology and ViaBot was the solution that finally broke through the noise. ViaBot is already working with many of the largest real estate companies in the United States. It’s gratifying pulling onto a Fortune 500 campus and seeing RUNO sweeping, scanning license plates and more. And even more recently — ViaBot robots were able to take on additional hazardous duties, including sweeping at a vaccination site.”
Kelly founded Grit with Jennifer Gill Roberts. The firm’s investments include RIOS, a developer of AI-powered robots; Dishcraft Robotics, a dishware delivery service company co-founded by Linda Pouliot; and Diligent Robotics, Inc., which was co-founded Vivian Chu and Andrea Thomaz and is developing robots for hospitals. A venture capital and private equity firm, Grit invests in technologies to supercharge the world economy and increase overall productivity.
Quan Capital’s Wu backs Alebund Pharmaceuticals
Quan Capital’s Marietta Wu backs a company dedicated to treating renal diseases. Quan led Alebund Pharmaceuticals’ $60 million in Series B financing round that also included 3E Bioventures Capital, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and existing shareholders Lilly Asia Ventures and Med-Fine Capital. The company said it was the largest round ever raised by a nephrology-focused biopharmaceutical company in China.
Based in Shanghai, Alebund is dedicated to discovering and developing novel therapies and providing better clinical solutions to patients with kidney diseases and related chronic conditions. Proceeds will be invested in the research and development of pre-clinical assets, clinical programs, the construction of a manufacturing facility and the expansion of company’s talent pool.
In a statement, Marietta said, “Alebund and its leadership team have an outstanding track record and deep expertise in the field of nephrology. We are very impressed by the management team’s experience and ability to execute. Quan has long been interested in the field of nephrology, and we are fortunate to share the same therapeutic focus with Alebund. We hope our support will help Alebund further establish itself in the field of nephrology, facilitate the company’s long-term growth, and ultimately bring more innovative therapies to the broad population of renal patients.”
Marietta is on the boards of Citrine, Eluminex Biosciences, Ltd., Crescendo Biologics, Innoforce, Kira Pharmaceutical, MEDx Translational Medicine and Zidan Medical. Marietta formed Quan with Samantha Du and Stella Xu.
A portfolio company of Insight’s Liu-Doyle and Acrew’s Kolodny is set to be acquired for more than $2B
A portfolio company of Insight Partners’ Rebecca Liu-Doyle and Acrew Capital’s Lauren Kolodny is set to be acquired for more than $2 billion. Divvy has agreed to be purchased by Bill.com for $2.5 billion, which includes $625 million in cash and $1.875 billion in stock.
Based in Draper, Utah, Divvy has developed a secure financial platform for businesses to manage payments and subscriptions, build strategic budgets and eliminate expense reports. Bill.com automates complex back-office financial operations for small businesses. In acquiring Divvy, Bill.com said its expanded solutions will enable businesses to automatically manage accounts payable, accounting receivable and corporate card spending all in one place. Divvy raised $417.5 million, according to Crunchbase. In addition to Insight, the company’s investors include New Enterprise Associates and PayPal Ventures.
Rebecca is a principal with Insight. Her portfolio also includes such companies as Prose, Gtmhub, Imperfect Foods, Pathlight, Quantum Metric, Jellyfish, Finix, CUUP, Fridge No More, UserTesting, Epignosis, Tricentis, Mural, iSpot.tv, SonarSource, Ritual, Staffbase and PayIt. Rebecca joined Insight in 2016 after serving as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Lauren is a founding partner of Acrew, which she helped spin-out of Aspect Ventures. Her investments include Pie Insurance, Chime, Evident ID, Future Family, Tara.AI, Deserve, Kettle, Papaya, Gusto, Finix, HMBradley and La Haus.
Cherry GmbH makes its second acquisition since being acquired by Argand Partners
Cherry GmbH, whose board includes Argand Partners’ Heather Faust, makes its second acquisition since being acquired by Argand in September. Cherry, a designer and manufacturer of high-precision keyboard PC gaming mechanical switch technology, acquired Active Key GmbH, a manufacturer of hygienic, washable keyboards and mice for medical and industrial end-markets. Terms were not disclosed. In October, Cherry acquired Theobroma Systems Design and Consulting GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of embedded platform systems.
Heather, a partner and managing director, is also on the boards of Midwest Can, OASE Living Water, Sigma Electric Manufacturing, Industrea Acquisition Corp., Tensar Corp. and publicly traded Concrete Pumping Holdings, Inc. She is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
Argand, a New York private equity firm, was founded in 2015 by Heather and Castle Harlan colleagues, Howard D. Morgan and Tariq Osman. The firm has approximately $600 million under management.
Long’s BAI Capital leads Babel Finance’s $40M Series B round
BAI Capital’s founding and managing partner, Annabelle Long, backs a cryptocurrency financial service provider. BAI led Babel Finance’s $40 million Series B financing round that also included Zoo Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Dragonfly Capital, Bertelsmann, and Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors.
Based in Hong Kong, Babel offers crypto lending, asset management and prime financing to institutions and qualified investors globally. This investment marks a debut in Asia’s crypto finance industry for BAI. In a statement, Annabelle said “BAI focuses on investing in leaders of emerging industries, and crypto finance is an important sector under our fintech coverage. Babel is clearly a winning bet for us as showcased by its strong market know-how, financial innovation, and risk management.”
BAI has invested in such Asian fintech as now unicorns Linklogis, Lexin and Yixin.
Smith Thorne guides TPG Growth into Ideal Image
TPG Growth’s Heather Smith Thorne guides the firm into an aesthetics brand. The firm said it acquired a “significant” minority stake in Ideal Image. The Tampa, Fla. company will continue to be majority owned by L Catterton. Terms were not disclosed.
Ideal Image is seeking to make personal aesthetic and wellness services more affordable, accessible and effective. It has more than 800 specialists. In a statement, Heather said that Ideal Image’s “unique tele-consultation experience and broad point of care offering has proven to resonate incredibly well with clients. We can see from the performance of the business that Ideal Image’s clients are not only successfully achieving their personal care goals but are also frequently returning to take advantage of the company’s other aesthetic and wellness services.”
In 2020, Heather led TPG Growth’s acquisition of SmartSweets, a better-for-you candy brand founded by Tara Bosch. Heather who is a partner, leads consumer investing and strategy for both TPG Growth and TPG’s The Rise Fund. She joined the firm in 2019 from Swander Pace Capital where she was a managing director and partner. Heather is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG and has more than $12 billion of assets under management.
Ferreira joins the board of CognitOps after leading FirstMark Capital into CognitOps’ $11M Series A round
FirstMark Capital’s Beth Ferreira joins the board of CognitOps after backing the provider of AI-based warehouse operating applications. FirstMark led the Austin, Texas company’s $11 million Series A round that also included existing investors Chicago Ventures, Schematic Ventures, Haystack and CEAS Investments.
In a statement, Beth said that CognitOps “is tapping into a clear market need and is off to an explosive start. We believe they are at an inflection point to unleash the potential of the modern distribution center by leveraging artificial intelligence and data science at scale. The supply chain disruptions of the past 18 months have highlighted the pain points in the warehouse and have emphasized the market need for new, innovative solutions. CognitOps has only just begun to revolutionize warehouse operations and we are thrilled to be partnering with the team.”
Beth, a partner with FirstMark, in 2020, backed Workit Health, a telehealth addiction treatment company founded by Robin McIntosh and Lisa McLaughlin. Her investments also include Justworks, Inc., Tommy John, EvolutionIQ and Skylar, a perfume company founded by Cat Chen. Beth, who joined FirstMark in 2017, is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.
FirstMark, in 2020, closed its fifth early-stage fund at $380 million and its third opportunity fund at $270 million.
Strom sees The Riverside Company agree to sell a company that she originally sourced
The Riverside Company has sold a company that Cheryl Strom originally sourced for the private equity firm. Riverside and Norgate Holdings have signed an agreement to sell Bentley Laboratories to THG PLC. Terms were not disclosed.
Bentley is a developer and manufacturer of prestige skincare and haircare products. The company was founded in 2002 and Riverside invested in 2017. Over the past four years, Bentley has launched more than 700 new products, including 325 clean beauty formulas developed in 2020 alone.
Riverside recently invested in another deal that Cheryl sourced, Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning, which Sarah Casebier co-owns and leads with her husband, Brad. Cheryl, an origination principal, also recently sourced add-on deals for the firm’s Logically and fire and life safety platforms and for portfolio company Omnigo Software.
Echo Health Ventures’ Zeaske pumps capital into a portfolio company of .406 Ventures’ Agrawal Divakaran
Echo Health Ventures’ Jessica Zeaske pumps capital into a portfolio company of .406 Ventures’ Payal Agrawal Divakaran that is focused on improving heart health. Echo Health led Heartbeat Health’s $20 million round, which included DaVita Venture Group and such existing investors as .406, Optum Ventures, Kindred Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Designer Fund and Max Ventures. Payal joined Heartbeat Health’s board last year after .406 and Optum led the company’s $8.2 million Series A round.
Based in New York, Heartbeat delivers a virtual cardiovascular care management solution supported by a network of providers. By combining health risk assessment data with a telehealth platform, the company is able to connect patients with appropriate diagnostics and clinicians and track ongoing care. Heartbeat has delivered care to more than 20,000 patients nationwide.
In a statement, Jessica said that Heartbeat’s focus on “evidence-based care, patient outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and clinical tools for cardiologists built by cardiologists” has enabled it to emerge “as a market leader in a new model of patient-focused care for heart health.”
In conjunction with the financing, Jessica joined Heartbeat’s board. Earlier this year, Jessica joined the board of Vericred, which is seeking to simplify the exchange of quoting enrollment and eligibility data between health insurance carriers and technology partners. Jessica also serves on the boards of Avalon Healthcare Solutions, Wildflower Health and Genome Medical, whose founder and CEO is Lisa Alderson. Jessica is also an observer on the board of Abacus Insights.
Yao leads EQT Ventures into Airkit’s $40M Series B round
EQT Ventures’ Laura Yao invests in a digital customer experience platform. EQT led Airkit’s $40 million Series B funding round that also included Accel, Emergency Capital, Salesforce Ventures and existing shareholders. The Palo Alto, Calif. company will use the capital to accelerate product development and go-to-market.
Airkit aims to enable brands to build personalized digital customer experiences for sales, service and support. In a statement, Laura said, “it’s incredibly exciting when you come across a company that understands and empowers brands at such a highly personalized level, and through the hyper-growth market of low-code.”
Laura was promoted earlier this year to partner at EQT. She joined the firm in 2018 and is on the boards of Netlify and Darkstore and has backed Standard Cognition. EQT has more than 1.2 billion euros under management and offices in Stockholm, London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and San Francisco.
Andreessen Horowitz’s Agarwala backs Memora Health
Andreessen Horowitz’s Vineeta Agarwala backs a company focused on making patient care more accessible, affordable and available. Andreessen Horowitz led Memora Health’s $10.5 million financing, which included Martin Ventures, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, Sachin Jain, Operator Partners, Edward Elmhurst Health, B Capital and Aaron Szekel.
Based in San Francisco, Memora provides virtual care delivery, patient navigation and complex care management by leveraging machine learning to build the operating system for modern care delivery. In a statement, Vineeta said, “the digital health industry is experiencing growth like never before, and yet the vast majority of our sickest patients – and our healthcare dollars – will continue to flow through established health systems and plans. Expectations are being reshaped across our industry, and Memora is bringing the very best technology infrastructure to the healthcare organizations that are delivering the most complex care.”
In conjunction with the financing, Vineeta joined Memora’s board. Vineeta earlier this year joined the board of BigHat Biosciences after backing the developer of an antibody design platform whose founders include Peyton Greenside and Theresa Tribble.
Vineeta is part of the team that is investing Andreessen’s $750 million bio fund that closed last year. The fund focuses on technology startups that are impacting drug discovery and the entire patient experience. Vineeta joined Andreessen Horowitz in 2020 after being a venture partner at GV.
Norwest’s Sonya Brown puts capital into MAËLYS
Norwest’s Sonya Brown puts capital into a results-driven, personalized body care brand. The amount invested in MAËLYS by Norwest was not disclosed. Norwest joins current shareholders Barinboim Group, Leumi Partners and MAËLYS’ founders.
Based in New York, MAËLYS is known for formulating solutions to help shape, lift and firm a woman’s body, no matter her size, shape, or skin type. The company is helping redefine the traditional body care market with an expanding range of products that produce real results. The capital will be used to support the company’s international growth, help scale operations to meet increasing consumer demand, launch new products and expand the team globally. Sonya is joining the company’s board of directors.
Sonya’s investments also include Jolyn, Junk King, Kendra Scott, SENREVE and SmartSign. Sonya is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit, the Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit and the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
Norwest is a venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital.
Lee’s Cowboy Ventures has a portfolio company acquired
Cowboy Ventures, which was founded by Aileen Lee, has a portfolio company acquired. LightStep, Inc. was purchased by ServiceNow. Terms were not disclosed.
Based in San Francisco, LightStep provides application monitoring and observability. In addition to Cowboy, LightStep received backing from Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Harrison Metal.
Aileen earlier this year backed The Landing, a home furnishing platform co-founded by Ellie Buckingham and Miri Buckland.
KPS Capital Partners tees up the sale of TaylorMade Golf
KPS Capital Partners tees up the sale of TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc., whose board includes co-managing partner Raquel Palmer. Terms of KPS’ sale of the maker of golf clubs, balls, bags and accessories to Centroid Investment Partners were not disclosed. However, WSJ Pro Private Equity said the deal is valued at $1.7 billion and that KPS will stand to generate at least 18.5 times its original investment in 2017.
TaylorMade’s products are used by such professionals as Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Sung Hyun Park. KPS acquired the company from adidas AG and invested heavily in equipment technologies and in the introduction of new products. As a result, TaylorMade went from material operating losses between 2015 and 2017 to substantial growth in profitability.
Raquel is also on the boards of KPS portfolio companies DexKo Global, Howden, AM General, Autokiniton Global Group, Briggs & Stratton, C&D Technologies, Life Fitness and Lufkin Industries. Raquel has spoken at both the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
KPS had more than $12.3 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31.
Eurazeo is selling a portion of one of Akriche’s portfolio companies
Eurazeo is selling a portion of one of Vivianne Akriche’s portfolio companies. The global investment firm said it is selling 49 percent of Trader Interactive to Carsales in a transaction that values the company at $1.625 billion. As a result, Eurazeo said it and its affiliates will receive pre-tax proceeds of $280 million – $190 million of which will go to Eurazeo.
Based in Norfolk, Va., Trader Interactive provides online advertising and marketing solutions to the powersports, recreational vehicle, commercial truck and equipment industries. The new investor, Carsales, is an online automotive advertising platform in Australia with a growing presence in Latin America and Asia. It has an option to acquire the remaining 51 percent of Trader Interactive. Eurazeo invested in Trader interactive in June 2017.
In a statement, Vivianne said, “Carsales has a strong track record of building valuable international partnerships in vertical marketplaces. We are very excited to partner with Carsales for Trader interactive’s next chapter and are convinced that combining our respective experiences will further accelerate the company’s transformation and growth.”
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.
Oliva’s 1315 Capital agrees to acquire miraDry
1315 Capital, which was co-founded by Adele Oliva, strikes a deal to acquire a business from a publicly traded medical aesthetics company. 1315 Capital has agreed to acquire Sientra, Inc.’s miraDry business. Terms were not disclosed.
The miraDry system is the only FDA cleared device to reduce underarm sweat, odor and permanently reduce hair of all colors. The non-invasive procedure has a proven commercial and clinical track record. There are currently 1,600 such systems installed.
In a statement, Adele said, “our team has been actively evaluating the aesthetics capital and consumables space for several years as an investment theme, and we are excited by the demonstrated efficacy and growth potential of miraDry. We look forward to investing behind miraDry and expanding its reach to help provide relief to patients with sweat concerns all over the globe.”
Adele is on the boards of Colorscience, Greenbrook TMS, Innovative Health, Onkos Surgical and TELA Bio. She has spoken at both the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.
1315 Capital has more than $500 million under management and provides expansion and growth capital to commercial-stage healthcare services, medical technology and specialty therapeutics companies.