Wood and Liu see portfolio companies go public

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing June 14, 2021

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TPG Capital’s Wood has a portfolio company go public

For the second time in the past two weeks, TPG Capital’s Katherine Wood has a portfolio company go public. Convey Holding Parent raised $187 million by offering 13.3 million shares at $14 a share. It is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CNVY.

Known as Convey Health Solutions, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. company provides Medicare-focused software and service solutions. Founded in 2003, Convey generated $301 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31. Katherine joined the company’s board in September 2019 after TPG acquired Convey. The company’s filing with the SEC said that TPG owned 91.9 percent of Convey’s shares.

Convey’s IPO comes on the heels of another company on whose board Katherine’s sits, LifeStance Health Group, going public. It raised $720 million and is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol LFST. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based LifeStance was co-founded by Gwen Booth, who serves as chief operating officer.

A principal at TPG, Katherine is also on the boards of Kadiant, Ellodi Pharmaceuticals and Neogene Therapeutics. Last fall, another of her portfolio companies, AskBio, was acquired by Bayer AG for what could be as much as $4 billion. Katherine, in 2020, also saw another portfolio company, Adare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., acquired by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Frazier Healthcare Partners.

A portfolio company of Scale Venture Partners’ Liu goes public

A portfolio company of Scale Venture PartnersSusan Liu goes public. WalkMe raised $287 million by offering 9.3 million shares at $31 a share. It is trading on Nasdaq under the symbol WKME.

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, WalkMe has created an AI-powered enterprise customer engagement and business insight platform. It generated $157 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31.

WalkMe’s board includes Haleli Barath, who is managing partner of law firm BFP & Co. and general partner of venture firm Cerca Partners, and Michele Bettencourt, who previously was co-CEO of He Said She Said Productions NYC.

Susan, a Scale principal, is an observer on WalkMe’s board. She is also an observer on the board of Unbabel.

In addition to Scale, WalkMe received backing from Insight Partners, Greenspring Associates, Mangrove Capital Partners and Gemini Israel Ventures.

Qing Liu’s DiDi Chuxing files to go public 

Jean Qing Liu co-founded and serves as president of DiDi Chuxing, China’s largest taxi app operator that has filed to go public. Known formerly as Xiaoju Kuaizhi, DiDi is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol DIDI. However, IPO tracker Renaissance Capital estimates that it could raise $10 billion. For the 12 months ended March 31, DiDi reported a loss of $1.7 billion on $25.6 billion in revenue. DiDi currently operates in nearly 4,000 cities, counties and towns across 15 countries.

SoftBank is the largest shareholder with a 21.5 percent pre-IPO stake while Uber owns 12.8 percent and Tencent 6.8 percent.

Jean and company co-founder Will Wei Cheng are credited in DiDi Chuxing’s filing with the SEC with making the company the world’s largest mobility technology platform. Prior to joining the company, Jean was a managing director in the principal investment area in Goldman Sachs in Beijing where she was responsible for private equity investment, portfolio management and investor relationships in China.

Xu’s Capital Today Evergreen Fund sees Kanzhun go public

Xin Xu, founder of Capital Today Evergreen Fund, L.P., sees a company that the private equity firm is the largest institutional shareholder of go public. Kanzhun, a Chinese online recruitment platform, raised $912 million by offering 48 million American Depository Shares at $19 a share. It is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol BZ.

Based in Beijing, Kanzhun has created a platform that promotes direct chats between job seekers and enterprise clients. It generated $218 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31.

Capital Today Evergreen owned 14.7 percent of the pre-IPO shares, Image Frame Investment had 12.2 percent, Banyan Partners 9.4 percent and Ceyuan Ventures 8.7 percent.

Xin has served as a director of Kanzhun since April 2015. She founded Capital Today in 2005 after working at Baring Private Equity Asia, Ltd. Companies that she’s backed include JD.com, Meituan, Yifeng Pharmacy Chain Co., Three Squirrels, Inc. and BESTORE Co., Ltd.

A portfolio company of Sofinnova’s Katabi and Chen’s files to go public

A portfolio company of Sofinnova Investments’ A portfolio company of Sofinnova InvestmentsMaha Katabi and Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management files to go public and Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management files to go public. Aerovate Therapeutics, Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol AVTE.

Aerovate, a Boston biotech company, is focused on developing drugs that will improve the lives of patients with rare cardiopulmonary disease. Its lead product is an inhaled dry powder aerosol version of imatinib to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. The company said that an oral version of imatinib showed significant efficacy in a phase 3 trial as a disease-modifying therapy for PAH but was poorly tolerated by patients because of systemic side effects. Aerovate expects its version – which delivers medicine directly to the lungs – to decrease the systemic adverse effects.

Sofinnova in August 2020 led Aerovate’s $72.6 Series A round, which, in addition to Cormorant, included Atlas Venture, Surveyor Capital, Osage University Partners and RA Capital Management, which founded and incubated the Boston company.

RA is the largest shareholder with a 38 percent pre-IPO stake, while Sofinnova owns 23.6 percent, Atlas 17.8 and Cormorant 10.6 percent.

When Maha backed the company and joined its board, she said she was “excited” about the potential of Aerovate’s product “because the core molecule, imatinib, has shown real efficacy for this use, including cases of hemodynamic remission in severely ill PAH patients.” She said that given experience of the company’s management, the product “may progress quickly and successfully through trials.”

Maha, who joined Sofinnova in April 2019, had another portfolio company, Vera Therapeutics, go public earlier this year. Another of her companies, Gyroscope Therapeutics, Ltd., also filed to go public, but then withdrew. Maha is also on the boards of Northsea Therapeutics B.V., Quanta Therapeutics, Inc. and Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which earlier this year was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. Maha spoke during a Perspectives Webinar.

Cormorant now has at least five companies in registration: Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., Ambrx, Inc., GH Research Ireland, Elevation Oncology and Graphite Bio, whose scientific co-founders include Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo. It also has 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.

Cormorant has also had at least nine companies go public in 2021: Centessa Pharmaceuticals; Rain Therapeutics, Inc.; VectivBio Holding; Biomea Fusion; Prometheus Biosciences, Inc.; Design Therapeutics; Edgewise Therapeutics; Pharvaris, which Anne Lesage co-founded; and Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., which was founded by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad.

Ng-led Ocean Biomedical files to go public

Ocean Biomedical, whose CEO is Elizabeth Ng, files to go public. The Providence, R.I. company is seeking to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol OCEA.

Ocean is developing therapies for cancer, infections and other diseases. It seeks to bridge the so-called “bench-to-bedside” gap by utilizing research universities to license and develop technologies. Ocean is currently pursuing preclinical programs that have been licensed directly or indirectly from Brown University, Stanford University and Rhode Island Hospital.

Elizabeth has served as CEO since the company’s inception in 2019. Her background includes executive roles with Bioelectric Devices, Inc., BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Gilead Sciences.

Ocean’s board also includes Dr. Michelle Berrey, who served as president and CEO of Chimerix.

A portfolio company of RA Capital Management’s Laura Stoppel files to go public

RA Capital Management’s Laura Stoppel now has two companies seeking to go public. Acumen Pharmaceuticals filed to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol ABOS.

Charlottesville, Va.-based Acumen is developing a monoclonal antibody for Alzheimer’s disease. The company believes it is developing a novel approach to the disease by targeting soluble amyloid-beta oligomers, which are globular assemblies of amyloid-beta that it believes are a key underlying cause of the disease.

RA is the largest shareholder with a 23.3 percent pre-IPO stake. PMG Capital Group holds 16 percent and Sands Capital Management has 11 percent.

Laura is also on the boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Artiva Biotherapeutics. Artiva is also in registration to public. Laura is a principal on RA Capital’s investment team.

A company on whose board Domain Associates’ Kamdar has served for 10 years files to go public

A company on whose board Domain AssociatesKim Kamdar has served for the past 10 years files to go public. Sera Prognostics is seeking to raise $75 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol SERA.

Based in Salt Lake City, Sera is developing diagnostic tests for pregnancy complications. Its commercial product, the PreTRM test, is the only broadly validated, commercially available blood-based biomarker test that accurately predicts the risk of premature delivery. The test is given to pregnant women during weeks 19 or 20 of gestation and provides a prediction of the mother’s risk of delivering spontaneously before 37 weeks.

Sera’s board also includes Elizabeth Canis, vice president, emerging businesses & partnerships at Anthem.

Since its founding in 2008, the company has raised $250 million, according to Crunchbase. Domain has a 9.9 percent pre-IPO stake, Blue Ox Healthcare Partners is the largest shareholder with a 17.1 percent pre-IPO stake, ATH Holding Company holds 11.9 percent while InterWest Partners has a 9.8 percent stake.

Just last month another of Kim’s companies, Singular Genomics Systems, went public on Nasdaq. Kim is a partner with Domain, but also last year joined Adjuvant Capital as a partner. She also serves on the boards of Epic Sciences, Truvian Sciences, Inc., Alume Biosciences, Pleno, Inc. and Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., which was co-founded by Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson; and two publicly traded companies, Evofem Biosciences and Obalon Therapeutics.

Li’s LinkDoc flies to go public 

A venture-backed Chinese health care data company co-founded by Liping Li files to go public. LinkDoc Technology will seek to raise $100 million and list on Nasdaq under the symbol LDOC.

Based in Beijing, LinkDoc has developed a platform that structures cancer patient data to enable precision medicine and personalized care. The company’s platform has cared for more than 3.5 million patients over the past six years. It has booked $157 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31.

The largest shareholder is Digital Medical Technology, Ltd., which owns 19.7 percent and is controlled by Tianze Zhang, who co-founded the company and is CEO. Esta Investments, which is controlled by Temasek Holdings, owns 11.7 percent. New Enterprise Associates owns 10.2 percent while China Broadband Capital has 9.2 percent and Alibaba Health Technology Company, Ltd. has 8.4 percent.

In addition to Tianze, Liping co-founded LinkDoc in 2014 with Ligang Lu, who is the company’s chief technology officer and chief operating officer. Liping is an executive vice president with LinkDoc. She previously served as a senior project manager at RPS Medical Corp. and a senior supervisor at China Medical System.

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