Lots of news and snow today, which means I’m running behind schedule. So just a few quick notes:
*** Private equity played almost no part of last year’s North American Auto Show. This time, around, however, it’s unavoidable. Not only Cerberus with Chrysler, but also Khosla Ventures backing alternative fuel-based auto startups, and GM taking a stake in Coskata Inc., a VC-backed developer of technologies for processing biorefuse into ethanol. Coskata had previously raised 17 million from Khosla Ventures, GreatPoint Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures. Maybe I should have spent my weekend in Detoit… On the flipside, layoffs at Tesla Motors.
*** Maven Venture Partners appeared to have gone kaput. The Valley firm is no longer in the office listed on its website, and its voicemail now directs over to a personal VM of firm co-founder Jennifer Gill Roberts (who sppears to be advising early-stage startups). Maven had been trying to raise $150 million for its debut fund. No reply to requests for comment left with Gill Roberts, her father/partner Jack Gill or firm CFO Laura Gwodsen.
*** In semi-related news, former Maven partner Marc Friend (who left in the early days) has quietly turned up as a venture partner with Partech International.
*** Jeff Tollefson has left Crescendo Ventures, where he was a general partner (still on the website, though). Crescendo poobah David Spreng says that the move had been “planned for many years,” as Tollefson hadn’t made a new investment since 1998. Spreng adds that Crescendo will, indeed, raise another fund, “when the time is right.”
*** peHUB First Read
*** Tickets for this Thursday’s peHUB Shindig in Philly sold out on the first day, so we decided to add some extra capacity (we now have the second and third floor of Moriarty’s on Walnut Street). Waiting list folks were informed Friday, and I also noted the tix release yesterday at peHUB and on the peHUB Facebook group. There are still about a dozen left, so get them quick.
*** No, I had no particular reason for launching a peHUB Facebook group. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Over 240 members so far. Speaking of Facebook, my new rule is that I will only accept you as a friend if we actually know each other (as opposed to the peHUB group, where anyone can join). If you’re just looking to network through me, feel free to do so via my LinkedIn account (as more than a thousand fellow readers already have).
Bain Capital has agreed to acquire Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: BFAM), a provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education and work/life solutions. The total deal is valued at $1.3 billion, with Bright Horizons stockholders to receive $48.25 per share in cash. Goldman Sachs has committed debt financing, while Goldman and Evercore Group advised Bright horizons on the deal.
NComputing, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of desktop virtualization software and hardware, has raised $28 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Scale Venture Partners and Daehong Technew Corp. of Korea.
LogMeIn Inc. (f.k.a. 3am Labs), a Woburn, Mass.-based provider of user remote connectivity and support services, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol LOGM, with Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan serving as co-lead underwriters. LogMeIn has raised around $20 million in VC funding since 2004, from firms like Prism VentureWorks (23.98%), Polaris Venture Partners (21.16%), 3TS Capital Partners (15.96%), Integral Capital Partners (8.98%) and Intel ! Capital (5.47%). www.logmein.com
DigitalBridge Communications Corp., an Ashburn, Va.-based provider of broadband service to underserved communities, has raised around $23 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Paladin Capital was joined by return backers like RedShift Ventures, CNF Investments and Novak Biddle Venture Partner. The company had previously raised $11 million in Series A funding and $6.25 million in venture debt. www.digitalbridgecommunications.com
InPhase Technologies Inc., a Longmont, Colo.-based developer of holographic data storage technology, has raised $20 million in Series D funding, according to VentureWire. Backers include ALPS Electric Co., Bayer Material Science, Hitachi Maxwell Ltd., Japan Asia Investment Co., Nanotech Partners, New Venture Partners, Signal Lake and Yashuda Enterprise Development Company. www.inphase-technologies.com
NetStreams, an Austin, Texas-based maker of networked entertainment systems based on IP technology, has raised $18.2 million in Series B funding from return backer Austin Ventures. www.netstreams.com
FirstRain Inc., a Foster City, Calif.-based provider of real-time business intelligence solutions, has raised $13.58 million in Series AAA funding, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include Oak Investment Partners, Diamondhead Ventures and Ampersand Ventures. The company has now raised around $65 million in total VC funding since 2000. www.firstrain.com
Dune Networks, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based maker of networking devices, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Alta Berkeley Ventures, Aurum Ventures, Cipio Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Pitango Venture Capital and undisclosed strategic investors.
Tremor Media, a New York-based online video advertising network, has raised $11 million in Series B funding. Return backers Canaan Partners and Masthead Venture Partners co-led the round. Tremor previously raised an $8.64 million Series A round in September 2006.
Innotas Inc., a San Francisco, Calif.-based provider of project portfolio management software, has raised $6 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include ArrowPath Venture Partners, ComVentures and Cedar Circle. www.innotas.com
Autonomic Technologies Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based maker of neurostimulators, has secured $3 million of a $5 million Series A round, according to a regulatory filing. The capital came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, while The Cleveland Clinic is also listed as a shareholder. www.kpcb.com
AmpiMed Corp., a Tucson, Ariz.-based oncology drug startup, has secured $5 million of a $22 million Series C round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include BioMed Venture Partners, Biotech Insight Ventures, Solstice Capital and Valley Ventures. www.amplimed.com
Big Tent Design Inc., a San Francisco-based social networking company for family-friend groups, has raised around $5 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Menlo Ventures was joined by return backer Mohr, Davidow Ventures. www.bigtent.com
The Jellyvision Lab Inc., a Chicago-based provider of interactive conversation applications, has raised $5 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Sigma Partners led the deal, with Greg Gretsch of Sigma taking a board seat. www.jellyvision.com
ReachForce Inc., an Austin Texas-based provider of on-demand software and data services for sales lead generation, has raised $5 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Greenhill SAVP was joined by return backer G-51 Capital.
Aushon Biosystems Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based developer of enabling technologies for life science research, drug discovery/development and clinical diagnostics, has secured $4 million of a $7 million Series B round, according to a regulatory filing. Return backer North Bridge Venture Partners is the only institutional shareholder listed. www.aushonbiosystems.com
Clinipace Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based provider of clinical research software, has raised $2.6 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Hatteras Venture Partners and Emergent Growth Fund. www.clinipace.com
Zmags, a Copenhagen-based provider of online publication solutions, has raised $2.3 million from NorthCap Partners
NovaMin Technology Inc., an Alachua, Fla.-based developer of a compound that provides mineral enrichment to strengthen teeth, has raised around $2.5 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Intersouth Partners and U.S. Biomaterials Corp. www.novamin.com
ProtAffin Biotechnologie AG, a Graz, Austria–based developer of anti-inflammatory therapeutics that act by targeting cell-surface glycan structures, has raised €1.35 million in additional Series A funding from The Entrepreneurs Fund BV. This follows a €2.65 million first close from Aescap Venture Management and Z-Cube. www.protaffin.com
SpendView Inc., a Web 2.0 startup that helps users track personal spending, has raised $2 million in Series A funding from Meakem Becker Venture Capital, according to a regulatory filing. www.spendview.com
Freepath Inc., a Folsom, Calif.-based developer of digital content sharing tools and communities, has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding. Velocity Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by individual members of Strategies Early Ventures, Sacramento Angels and Sierra Angels.
Coskata Inc., a Warrenville, Ill.-based developer of technologies for processing biorefuse into ethanol, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from General Motors. It previously had raised $17 million from Khosla Ventures, GreatPoint Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures. www.coskataenergy.com
Khosla Ventures has made an investment in EcoMotors, an automotive company focused on fuel efficiency, low emissions and cost effective solutions for developing markets.
Jab Wireless Inc., a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based provider of fixed wireless solutions, has raised $15 million in venture debt from Hercules Technology Growth Capital.
Goodman Global Inc. (NYSE: GGL) shareholders have approved a $25.60 per share buyout offer from Hellman & Friedman. The $2.65 billion deal is expected to close by the end of Q1. Senior credit facilities have been committed by Barclays Capital, Calyon New York Branch, GE Commercial Finance and GSO Capital Partners. GSO also has committed $500 million in senior subordinated financing. Goodman Global is a Houston, Texas-based manufacturer of residential and light commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. It was advised on the deal by Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities.
GTCR has made a $250 million equity commitment to form Aspire Brands Inc., a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based acquisition platform focused on branded consumer products. It will be run by Richard Conti, former VP of specialty products and international for The Clorox Company.
Exact Software shares rose 20% in early Euronext trading, following reports that it is being auctioned off for approximately $1 billion. Possible bidders include Candover, HgCapital, Hellman & Friedman and Providence Equity Partners. CIBC and Fortis are running the process. Exact Software makes back-office software. www.exactsoftware.com
Northern Rock PLC shares dropped more than 4% today, on rumors that the troubled UK bank will be nationalized, rather than sold to a private investor.
Reliant Renal Care Inc. has launched as an outpatient dialysis provider, with a $50 million private equity commitment led by Ferrer Freeman & Co., with DW Healthcare Partners also participating. In conjunction with the financing, RRC acquired a majority interest in four dialysis centers in central Michigan from McLaren Healthcare Corp., in exchange for RRC stock.
Zagat Survey LLC has retained Goldman Sachs to explore strategic opportunities, including a possible sale of the company. The New York Times reports an asking price of approximately $200 million.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc., a North Hollywood, Calif.-based network of hospitalist physicians, has set its IPO terms to 4.7 million common shares being offered at between $15 and $17 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol IPCM, with Credit Suisse and Jefferies & Co. serving as co-lead underwriters. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $243.3 million, were it to price at the high end of its range. Shareholders include Scale Venture Partners (31.79% pre-IPO stake), Morgenthaler Ventures (25.46%), Bessemer Venture Partners (17.41%) and CB Health Ventures (14.88%). www.ipcm.com
SeaCastle Inc., a Wilmington, Del.-based lessor of intermodal equipment used in global containerized cargo trade, has set its IPO terms to 20 million common shares being offered at between $15 and $17 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol SC, with Bear Stearns serving as lead underwriter. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $2.2 billion, were it to price at the high end of its range. Fortress Investment Group holds a 97.4% ownership position, pre-IPO.
Somerfield, a UK grocery store chain, has received takeover interest, according to Dow Jones. The company’s current owners – Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and Robert Tchenguiz – have not yet decided whether or not to enter negotiations. Somerfield was taken private in late 2005 for Gbp1.1 billion. www.somerfield.co.uk
The Jordan Company is merging portfolio company ICMS Holdings with fellow chemical management services provider Haas TCM Inc. No financial terms were disclosed.
Zenith Products Corp., a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, has acquired India Ink, a maker of bed and bath accessories. No financial terms were disclosed. MHT Securities advised Zenith on the deal. www.zenith-interiors.com
Firms & Funds
Oakcrest Capital Partners is targeting $150 million for its debut fund, according to LBO Wire. The small-cap buyout fund is based in Washington, D.C., and is run by former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts and former Pacesetter Capital Group partner Linda Roach.
Silicon Valley Bank has formed a dedicated cleantech practice.
Nick Sanai has joined Lehman Brothers Venture Capital, as a vice president in the firm’s new Boston office. He previously was a senior associate with Polaris Venture Partners, and also interim vice president with Polaris portfolio company GreenFuels. LBVP recently closed its fifth fund with $365 million. www.lehman.com
Pascal Feucher has joined VCM Capital Management, a German fund-of-funds manager, as a managing director and head of a newly-opened Paris office. He previously worked for Natixis in trade and leveraged finance in Asia and France. .
Bessemer Venture Partners announced that its Mumbai-based affiliate has made two promotions: Anil Sarin to managing director and Vishal Gupta to vice president. Both men joined in 2006.
M/C Venture Partners has promoted Gillis Cashman and Brian Clark to general partner, and Robert Savignol to partner. Cashman focuses on telecom and media infrastructure, and joined the firm in 1999. Clark focuses of cellular/PCS, wireline and broadband wireless, and joined in 2001. Savignol joined in 2004, and focuses on opportunities in Europe.
Insight Equity of Dallas has made three promotions: Connor Searcy to partner, Brandon Bethea to principal and Robert Strauss to principal. www.insightequity.com
Rebecca Mitchell has joined MFC Capital Funding as a senior associate. She previously was a commercial loan officer with LaSalle Bank.