Zhang named CEO of Mission Bio

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 12, 2021

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Rider sells Lafayette Instrument to Branford Castle Partners 

Here’s the truth: Jennifer Rider has sold her polygraph systems maker to a private equity firm. Terms of Lafayette Instrument Co.’s purchase by Branford Castle Partners LP were not disclosed. Jennifer is investing in the transaction and will remain as CEO.

Based in Lafayette, Ind., Lafayette Instrument sells its polygraph products to federal law enforcement and government security agencies, as well as to state and local law enforcement agencies. The company also makes neuroscience equipment that is sold to research laboratories at universities and research institutes.

Dickison sees Home Helpers Home Care change hands

Home Helpers Home Care, whose CEO and president is Emma Dickison, has been sold by one private equity firm to another. RiverGlade Capital is acquiring H.H. Franchising Systems, Inc. – the company that operates Home Helpers – from Linsalata Capital Partners. Terms were not disclosed. Emma, who joined the company in 2007, will continue running the company.

Based in Cincinnati, Home Helpers is one of the largest franchisors of in-home senior care. Founded in 1997, it currently has more than 320 franchise territories in 41 states.

KKR has agreed to buy O’Loughlin-led Therapy Brands

KKR will reportedly pay more than $1 billion for a practice management and electronic health record software platform whose CEO is Kimberly O’Loughlin. KKR has agreed to acquire Therapy Brands from Lightyear Capital, Oak HC/FT and Greater Sum Ventures. PSG, an existing investor, is participating in the transaction and will continue to be a minority shareholder. Terms were not disclosed, but published reports put the sale price at $1.5 billion. The amount invested by the prior investors in 2018 was not disclosed.

Therapy Brands’ platform is used by mental, behavioral, substance use recovery, applied behavior analysis and physical rehabilitation health care providers. The Birmingham, Ala. Company’s suite supports the daily operations of more than 28,000 practices across the United States.

Kimberly joined Therapy Brands as CEO in February 2020. She was previously president of Greenway Health, a health information technology and services provider.

Cutcliffe's Pendulum Therapeutics raises $54M in Series C funding

A microbiome company co-founded and led by Colleen Cutcliffe lands additional capital. Pendulum Therapeutics, which was previously known as Whole Biome, raised $54 million in Series C funding from Meritech Capital and existing investors Sequoia Capital, True Ventures and Khosla Ventures, according to Crunchbase News. The San Francisco company now has raised $111 million, including a $35 million Series B round that closed in 2019.

Pendulum is developing a range of microbiome interventions targeting a variety of human health issues, starting with metabolic diseases, to help improve human health and wellbeing. The company in 2020 launched a medical probiotic, Pendulum Glucose Control, which is clinically shown to lower blood sugar spikes and reduce A1C. Pendulum sells the product for $165 a month.

Colleen founded the company in 2013 with John Eid, who is chief scientific officer, and James Bullard, who is chief technology officer. Colleen was previously a senior manager with Pacific Biosciences and held roles with Elan.

Scott-led Project Canary receives $10M from trio of firms

A trio of energy investment firms inject capital into a company led by Anna Scott that is focused on delivering emissions monitoring and environmental, social and governance data. Project Canary received $10 million from Quantum Energy Partners, Global Reserve Group and Energy Impact Partners.

Based in Denver, Project Canary provides data to energy, manufacturing and waste management companies that helps them make ESG decisions.

Schulenburg's Level E Research raises $1.2M pounds

Level E Research, a developer of artificial intelligence investment solutions founded by Sonia Schulenburg, has raised seed funding. Level E closed on 1.2 million pounds from a group of private investors.

Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Level E combines machine learning, data science and behavioral economics in order to enable institutional investors to develop, test and implement investment strategies.

O’Connor's Nth Cycle secures $3.2M in funding

A recycling technology company founded and led by Megan O’Connor secures funding. Nth Cycle raised $3.2 million from a group led by Clean Energy Ventures.

Based in Boston, Nth Cycle extracts critical metals – such as cobalt – from batteries, e-waste, low-grade ore and mine tailings. The company said its “electro-extraction” technology is a cleaner, lower-cost alternative to conventional pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy processes used by battery recyclers and mining companies to recover cobalt, nickel and manganese for battery manufacturing. Nth Cycle’s technology was developed at Harvard University and Yale University.

Keystone Capital sells Peak-Ryzex to Sole Source Capital

Peak-Ryzex, a provider of automatic identification, data capture and factory automation whose CEO is Juliann Larimer, has been sold by one private equity firm to another. Terms of Keystone Capital’s sale of the Columbia, Md. company to Sole Source Capital, LLC were not disclosed. Sole Source also acquired another provider of AIDC and factory automation solutions, Optical Phusion, Inc., and will be merging it with Peak-Ryzex. Juliann will lead the combined company.

Gregory's Specialty Pharmacy Nursing Network receives funding

Specialty Pharmacy Nursing Network, Inc., whose founder and CEO is Cherylann Gregory, receives backing from a private equity firm. The amount invested by HealthEdge Investment Partners, LLC in SPNN was not disclosed.

Based in Sarasota, Fla., SPNN provides outsourced solutions to specialty pharmacies and biopharmaceutical manufacturers for drug administration, patient education and training, clinical call support and patient outcome reporting. The company specializes in serving patients with rare, chronic and orphan disorders.

Cherylann, a registered nurse by training, has led SPNN since its founding in 2009. She’ll continue to lead the company following the investment.

Zhang named CEO of Mission Bio

Yan Zhang is tapped to lead a venture-backed provider of high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis. Yan was named CEO of Mission Bio. She joins the San Francisco company after 10 years at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where her roles included leading the commercial organization in China for genetic sciences and clinical next generation sequencing divisions and leading the reproductive health and microarray business as general manager. Her background also includes roles with Affymetrix, NuGEN Technologies and Molecular Devices.

Mission Bio seeks to accelerate discoveries and cures in oncology by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance response to cancer therapies. Founded in 2014, the company last year raised $70 million in Series C funding. Its backers include Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies and Mayfield Fund.

Renfrew's Beautycounter is being acquired by The Carlyle Group

Beautycounter, the clean beauty company whose founder and CEO is Gregg Renfrew, is being acquired by a private equity firm in a sizable transaction. The Carlyle Group is purchasing a majority stake in Beautycounter’s parent, Counter Brands, LLC, in a transaction that values the Santa Monica, Calif. company at $1 billion. Founded in 2011 and launched in 2013, Beautycounter has previously received backing from such investors as Mousse Partners and TPG Growth. Mousse is re-investing in this new transaction. Beautycounter previously had acquired a company started by Ali Hewson and brought aboard Ali and her husband, U2’s Bono, as investors.

Gregg’s mission has been to get safer products into the hands of everyone. It offers more than 100 products and sells through more than 65,000 North American retailers. Prior to founding Beautycounter, Gregg founded The Wedding List, which was sold to Martha Stewart, and was CEO of Tommy Hilfiger’s children’s retail group, Best & Co.

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