Hectic morning here at Wire central, so just a few very quick hits:
*** A bunch of changes over at Altira Group, an energy-focused venture capital firm that’s been in business since 1996. Most notable is the addition of new partner Steve Foster, who had spent the past decade with TPG (including as co-founder of TPG Ventures). The firm also has promoted Hull McKinnon to partner, while existing partner Jan Boyer has quietly left for parts unknown.
All of this seems to be in preparation of Altira’s plans to raise a new fund, since it’s almost done adding new portfolio companies to a $175 million pool raised in 2007.
I spent a few minutes on the phone yesterday with McKinnon, who made some interesting observations about energy investing: (1) He does not believe an open IPO window is necessary to produce strong sector returns, given the industry’s historic reliance on M&A; and (2) He thinks that, 10 years from now, “We’ll look back and wonder why we thought the energy industry was changing so rapidly, becau! se it really isn’t.”
*** Interest Alignment: Founders Fund yesterday announced that it had raised $250 million for its third fund. Not announced was that over $58 million of the total was committed by the fund’s principals.
*** Interesting item in the SF Chronicle over the weekend. It’s about a proposed measure that would require all San Francisco city and county employees to contribute 9% of their pay toward their pensions. It also would double the cost of family medical coverage.
One of the proposals big financial backers is Sequoia Capital’s Mike Moritz (and his wife), who have contributed $245k to the cause. Local labor leaders have responded by asking Nancy Pelosi to oppose any federal funding for Sequoia portfolio companies (including DoE grants). No word yet from Pelosi.
I don’t yet know enough to support or oppose Moritz’s position, but… Several years ago, Sequoia was the first prominent VC firm to! stop accepting money from public pensions – including the University of California – due to more transparent disclosure policies. Kind of, ummm, interesting that So Moritz wants to dictate policy to the same pensions he previously refused to generate investment returns for…
*** peHUB Shindig Time: More than 180 of you already have tickets for our next peHUB SHindig, which takes place in two weeks from tomorrow night.
Tickets cost just $10 each, with proceeds going to a local nonprofit to be chosen by event attendees. Join us by going to:http://pehubatlanta.eventbrite.com
Big thanks to sponsors Womble Carlyle, Navigation Capital Partners and Grant Thornton.
DCM announced that it has raised $400 million for its sixth venture capital fund, anda RMB 200 million (approx. $30m) side-fund. The firm previously raised $505 million for its fifth fund in 2005. In other DCM news, the firm has added Sling Media co-founder Jason Krikorian as a general partner. It also promoted Tokyo-based Osuke Honda to partner.
Jive Software Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based maker of social business collaboration software, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was joined by return backer Sequoia Capital. Jive previously raised over $27 million.
Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) r! eportedly has reached out to private equity firms about a sale of its North American bakery business, which had $2.2 billion in 2009 sales.
Cara Therapeutics Inc., a Tarrytown, N.Y.-based biotech company focused on pain and inflammation, has raised $15 million in Series D funding. Rho Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backersAlta Biopharma, Ascent Biomedical Ventures, CT Innovations, Devon Park BioVentures, Healthcare Private Equity, Mitsubishi International Corporation and MVM Life Science Partners. The company previously raised $36.3 million.
Gazelle, a Boston-based “re-commerce” startup, has raised $12 million in Series C funding. Physic Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Venrockand RockPort Capital Partners.
Flipboard, a social magazine designed for the iPad, has raised $10.5 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures. Part of the proceeds were used to acquire real-time Web intelligence company Ellerdale.
Calient Technologies Inc., a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of photonic switching solutions, has raised $10 million in new funding. It also named Arjun Gupta, founder of TeleSoft Partners and an existing Calient shareholder, as chairman.
Actifio, a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of data management virtualization, has raised $8 million in Series A funding co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Greylock Partners.
TopSchool Inc., a Denver-based provider of student lifecycle management SaaS for higher education, has raised $8 million in Series C funding. MK Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Alsop Louie Partners and New World Ventures.
Trada, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup focused on the paid search optimization space, has raised $5.75 million in Series C funding. Google Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backer Foundry Group. The company previously raised $2.2 million.
Movitas, a Philadelphia-based provider of hospitality-focused mobile solutions, has raised $3 million in VC funding from undisclosed investors.
Crescent House Publishing Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of multimedia technologies to the retail market, has raised an undisclosed amount of mezzanine funding from Huntington Capital.
GenNx360 Capital Partners has acquired Maine Machine Products Co., a South Paris, Maine-based maker of precision components and assemblies for the defense, oil & gas, and semiconductor industries. No financial terms were disclosed.
Harvest Partners has made a “major investment” in Seminole Energy Services LLC, a Tulsa-based provider of natural gas services. No financial terms were disclosed.
Primary Capital has completed its $31 million purchase ofstationary retailer Paperchase Products Ltd. from Borders Group (NYSE: BGP).
Ambow Education Holding Ltd., aprovider of educational and career enhancement services in China, has set its IPO terms to around 10.68 million American depository shares being offered at between $10 and $12 per share.The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol AMBO, with J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs (Asia) serving as co-lead underwriters. It reports $20 million in net income for 2009, on $132 million in revenue. Ambow shareholders include Actis, Macquarie, EdVenture, CStar Investment and! JAFCO Asia Technology Fund. www.ambow.com.cn
Camelot Information Systems Inc., a Beijing-based provider of enterprise application services and financial industry IT services in China, raised around $146.67 million in its IPO. It priced 13.33 million American depository shares at $11 per share (bottom of $11-$13 range). Camelot will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol CIS, with Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs (Asia) serving as co-lead underwriters. Citigroup Venture Capital held a 29% pre-IPO stake.
IntraLinks, a New York-based provider of SaaS solutions for securing managing and sharing content, hasset its IPO terms to 11 million common shares being offered at between $14 and $16 per share. It would have an initial market cap of over $788 million, were it to price at the ! high end of its range. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are serving as co-lead underwriters. TA Associates holds a 53.7% stake, based on a 2007 recapitalization. Rho Ventures holds a 34.4% stake via both the recap and prior investment. www.intralinks.com
Actelion Ltd. has paid €10 million for an option to acquire Trophos SA, a Marseille, France-based drug company focused on neurological disorders. The purchase price would be between€125 and €195 million. Trophos has raised VC funding from OTC Asset Management, CM-CIC Capital Prive, SGAM, Viveris Management, Turenne Capital Partners, Blue Medical and the Association Francaise contre les Myopathies.
Champ Private Equity has launched an auction for portfolio company Healthcare Australia, the nation’s largest nursing and aged care staffing business.
Eli Lilly & Co. has completed its acquisition of AlnaraPharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-! based developer of orally-delivered protein therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The deal is worth upwards of $380 million, including a $180 million up-ffront payment.Alnara had raised $55 million from MPM Capital, Third Rock Ventures, Frazier Healthcare and Bessemer Venture Partners.
Olympus NDT has acquired Innov-X Systems Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based provider of elemental analyzers to the industrial, transportation, security and energy end-markets. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Summit Partners, which invested $27 million in late 2006, Rand Capital Corp. and CEI Ventures.
PAI Partners said that it is open to offers for its 50% stake in French yogurt maker Yoplait, which is believ! ed to have an enterprise value of between €1 billion and €1.2 billion.
Yellowstone Landscape Group Inc., a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital, has acquired Forest Hills Lawn Service, a Dallas-based provider of landscape maintenance services for government and municipal customers. No financial terms were disclosed.
Firms & Funds
Veritas Capital has closed its fourth fund with $1.23 billion in capital commitments. The New York-based private equity firm focuses on the government services market.
Woongjin Capital of South Korea plans to raise upwards of $830 million for a smartphone fund. It would both acquire and invest in companies developing smartphone technology.
Aaron Davenport and Jim Marden have joined SK Capital Partners as managing directors. They previously were healthcare-focused partners with Arsenal Capital Partners.
Yuda Doron has joined Silver Lake Sumeru as an Israel-based senior advisor. He is a former Computer Associates exec who most recently served as an angel investor and consultant.
Pat Haden is stepping down as a partner with private equity firm Riordan, Lewis & Haden, in order to become athletic director at the University of Southern California. He will remain an invest! or in RHL funds and on the board of portfolio company Apothecary Shops.
Jeremy Holland has joined The Riverside Co. as a director of origination in the Western region. He previously was a principal with Vintage Fund Management.