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The Expanding World of Accelerators

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In some ways, it is now difficult to imagine a world without accelerators. Many of the globe’s most well-known and disruptive startups were propelled from the hallways of legendary accelerators such as Y Combinator, TechStars, and 500 Startups. AirBnb, Dropbox, Zenefits, Stripe, DigitalOcean, Heroku, Optimizely, Intercom, Reddit, and hundreds of other startup success stories were all briskly brought to life through the indispensable tutelage and connections of the startup ecosystem’s newest member: accelerators.

And at just over a decade old, accelerators are barely new. Gust’s recent release of the Global Accelerator Reports covering the USA & Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, (as well as a Global roundup) shows accelerators from around the world have been flourishing since their 2005 inception in Cambridge with Y Combinator. (Indeed, Y Combinator started in Massachusetts!)  Since then, hundreds of new accelerators have entered the scene, helping tens of thousands of startups get to their next stage faster and more effectively.  

After surveying over 800 organizations across the globe, Gust and Fundacity qualified 387 as accelerators using Miller and Bound’s definition (2011), which defines accelerators as having the following five features:

  1. An application process that is open to all, yet highly competitive
  2. Provision of pre-seed investment, usually in exchange for equity
  3. A focus on small teams and not individual founders
  4. Time-limited support comprising programmed events and intensive mentoring
  5. Cohorts or ‘classes’ of startups rather than individual companies

The resulting data and reports depict a promising story for founders seeking the support and guidance of an accelerator. In 2015, nearly USD$200M was invested worldwide into 8,836 startups, with USD$90M coming from the USA and Canada. Europe came in second investing just over USD$41M, and Latin America was close behind at USD$31M.

accelerator-report-overview

New accelerators continue to form fueled by corporate sponsorship and, in some cases, successful exits or valuable long-term equity holdings. New and existing accelerators continue to branch out into diverse markets, often inspired by hot new industries such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or drones. In fact, IoT was the market that most accelerators expressed an interest investing in over the next 12 months.

As the infrastructure platform for the early-stage investment economy, Gust is delighted to see the vibrancy of accelerators continue to grow, as well as bring transparency to the market through the Global Accelerator Reports. 

Source: http://blog.gust.com/the-expanding-world-of-accelerators/

Private Equity

Alternative investments: Stronger than steel. Able to stop a speeding bullet. It’s super wood.

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Simple processes can make wood tough, impact-resistant—or even transparent. — https://getpocket.com/explore/item/stronger-than-steel-able-to-stop-a-speeding-bullet-it-s-super-wood?utm_source=emailsynd&utm_medium=social

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Source: https://sincityfinancier.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/20-october-2020-1336/

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Key Microsoft dealmaker jumps to PE

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Ant Group gets OK for Hong Kong IPO; Conoco set for $9.7B shale deal; Lee Fixel’s Addition raises $1.4B fund; Cerberus downsizes SPAC expectations
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Today’s Top Stories
Tech deals buoy private equity as the crisis recovery continues
Thanks to the coronavirus crisis, the rate of US private equity dealmaking in 2020 continues to lag well behind past years. But there are reasons to think the market is beginning to bounce back after bottoming out during the second quarter—a recovery that’s been driven in part by a stream of tech buyouts that not even a pandemic could halt.

Sponsored by UMB Fund Services and ON Partners, PitchBook’s Q3 2020 US PE Breakdown examines the industry’s insatiable appetite for tech deals, plus 2020’s ongoing SPAC frenzy and other trends defining this time of transition across private equity. Key takeaways include:

  • PE firms have capitalized on a swift recovery for public equity markets with a string of multibillion-dollar exits via IPO
  • New government guidelines and a potential change to the tax code could lead to an uptick in dealmaking
  • Current signs point to a feverish finish to the year for PE fundraising
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Key Microsoft dealmaker jumps to EQT
Swedish private equity giant EQT has hired seasoned tech dealmaker Marc Brown as a partner and head of its new growth unit, the latest sign of the firm’s ambitions for diversification in the wake of its initial public offering last year.

Brown was previously a vice president of corporate development at Microsoft, where he led more than 185 acquisitions for the tech colossus, including its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 and its $7.5 billion takeover of GitHub in 2018. More recently, Brown was involved in Microsoft’s ill-fated negotiations to acquire TikTok‘s US assets, according to Bloomberg.

EQT and some of the other biggest private equity firms in the world continue to display a building interest in both venture investments and tech deals, chasing the sorts of superior returns that earlier-stage investments can produce. In another notable recent hire, in August, Blackstone brought on Christine Feng as a senior managing director focused on tech investments; Feng had previously been a senior executive at Amazon focused on M&A.

For more on PE’s growing appetite for tech, check out our latest analyst note.

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A message from Deloitte Private
Iterative design to transform internal talent marketplaces
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Companies like yours are exploring a concept referred to as “the internal talent marketplace.” This relatively new talent operating model offers an innovative and flexible approach to talent acquisition, mobility and management. It connects employees with both internal and external opportunities, enables managers to promote varied roles, and helps organizations quickly deploy, motivate, develop and retain employees.

Done right—through iterative design—the internal talent marketplace can deliver a broad range of benefits across talent acquisition, mobility and management, transforming the workforce and improving organizational agility.

Learn more

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Conoco expands shale footprint with $9.7B Concho deal
A ConocoPhillips refinery in Ponca City, Okla.
(John Elk III/Getty Images)
ConocoPhillips has agreed to purchase fellow oil and gas company Concho Resources in an all-stock deal that values Concho at $9.7 billion and would create a combined entity with an enterprise value of about $60 billion. Investors will receive 1.46 Conoco shares for each Concho share, representing a 15% premium to Concho’s closing stock price on Oct. 13.

The deal expands Houston-based Conoco’s footprint in the Permian Basin and would result in the production of more than 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The combination would also represent the largest US oil deal since the pandemic began affecting the energy markets, and would create the largest independent oil company in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Conoco’s planned acquisition of Concho follows a string of energy company consolidations amid low oil prices and weak demand. Chevron closed a $5 billion all-stock deal for Noble Energy earlier this month. And, in late September, Devon Energy agreed to buy WPX Energy for a price tag of $2.6 billion.

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2006 Vintage Global Debt Funds
VC Deals
Hyperscience hauls in $80M Series D
Unit21 picks up $13M
Solarea Bio collects $11M+ Series A
PE Deals
Pretium, Ares value home-rental business at $2.4B
Partners Group set for $2.4B Telepass deal
I Squared inks $2.15B infrastructure pact
HIG to buy hospice provider from Vistria
Kainos set to scoop up Nutrisystem
Thoma Bravo invests in financial software
Portfolio Companies
Nextdoor mulls options for going public
Exits & IPOs
Ant Group gets approval for Hong Kong listing
Networking companies connect with $450M deal
Cerberus reduces expectations for telecom SPAC
Billtrust to go public in SPAC deal
Vestar set for Woodstream exit
Fundraising
LLR Partners sees 50% size step-up
Lee Fixel’s Addition lands $1.4B
Eureka tops $200M
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EU nears approval of Google’s Fitbit deal
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VC Deals
Hyperscience hauls in $80M Series D
New York-based startup Hyperscience has raised $80 million in a round led by Tiger Global, with Bond and Bessemer Venture Partners also participating. The company makes software to automate routine business tasks. Earlier this year, Hyperscience raised a $60 million Series C and announced a threefold year-over-year increase in revenue.
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Unit21 picks up $13M
Unit21, the creator of an API-based platform that helps companies identify and investigate money laundering and fraud, has raised $13 million in a round led by A.Capital Ventures. Other participating investors include Gradient Ventures, Core VC and South Park Commons. Founded in 2018, the San Francisco-based company’s customers include Coinbase, Intuit and Gusto.
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Solarea Bio collects $11M+ Series A
Solarea Bio, a developer of microbiome-based therapeutics that use bacteria, fungi and prebiotic fibers to help treat inflammatory diseases, has raised more than $11 million in a round co-led by S2G Ventures and Bold Capital Partners. Founded in 2017 and based near Boston, the biotech company is valued at around $20 million, according to PitchBook data.
Additional Investors:
Gisev Family Office, Viking Global
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PE Deals
Pretium, Ares value home-rental business at $2.4B
Investors Pretium and Ares Management have agreed to acquire Front Yard Residential in a deal valued at $2.4 billion, with the price of $13.50 per share representing a nearly 36% premium to Front Yard’s closing share price on Friday. Based in the US Virgin Islands, Front Yard is an owner of single-family rental homes that currently manages more than 40,000 properties.
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Partners Group set for $2.4B Telepass deal
Swiss investor Partners Group has agreed to buy an equity interest in Telepass, giving the Italian provider of toll-collection services an enterprise valuation of around €2 billion (about $2.4 billion). Partners Group will assume a 49% stake, according to Bloomberg, taking joint ownership of the business alongside current backer Atlantia, an Italian infrastructure specialist. Telepass processes some €7 billion worth of annual transactions across 14 European nations.
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I Squared inks $2.15B infrastructure pact
Infrastructure investor I Squared Capital has agreed to purchase the infrastructure division of Virginia-based cloud networking specialist GTT Communications for $2.15 billion. The unit provides fiber network and data-center infrastructure services to clients across Europe and North America.
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HIG to buy hospice provider from Vistria
HIG Capital has agreed to purchase St. Croix Hospice, a Minnesota-based provider of hospice care services in the US Midwest. The deal is worth some $580 million, according to PE Hub. Vistria Group has owned St. Croix Hospice since 2017.
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Kainos set to scoop up Nutrisystem
Kainos Capital has agreed to acquire direct-to-consumer weight management company Nutrisystem from Tivity Health for $575 million. Kainos teamed with MSD Partners on the transaction, which comes less than two years after Tivity acquired Philadelphia-based Nutrisystem in a deal worth $1.3 billion.
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Thoma Bravo invests in financial software
Thoma Bravo has acquired a controlling stake in AxiomSL, a developer of risk management and regulatory software for bankers, investment managers and other financial professionals. Based in New York, AxiomSL raised prior backing from TCV in 2017.
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Portfolio Companies
Nextdoor mulls options for going public
Nextdoor is exploring options to go public, which include an IPO, direct listing or a reverse merger with a SPAC, according to Bloomberg. The social network for neighbors is reportedly seeking a valuation of $4 billion to $5 billion. Nextdoor was valued at $2.1 billion in 2019 after raising $170 million, according to PitchBook data; its investors include Benchmark Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global.
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Exits & IPOs
Ant Group gets approval for Hong Kong listing
Ant Group has received the go-ahead from Chinese regulators for the Hong Kong portion of its dual IPO, according to reports. Approval for the Chinese fintech company’s Shanghai registration is still outstanding, although a decision is expected soon, according to Bloomberg. Ant Group is reportedly seeking a $280 billion valuation and hopes to raise some $35 billion with the dual listing, potentially resulting in the largest-ever IPO.
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Networking companies connect with $450M deal
California-based Juniper Networks has agreed to pay $450 million for 128 Technology, a fellow networking specialist. Based near Boston, 128 Technology has raised prior funding from investors including G20 Ventures and Montlake Capital, reaching a valuation of nearly $166 million in 2018, according to PitchBook data.
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Cerberus reduces expectations for telecom SPAC
A special-purpose acquisition company sponsored by Cerberus Capital Management has downsized plans for its coming IPO, now aiming to raise $300 million instead of the $400 million target it initially registered. The blank-check company, called Cerberus Telecom Acquisition Corp., still plans to use the proceeds of the listing to conduct a reverse merger with a target in the information and communications technology sector.
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Billtrust to go public in SPAC deal
Billtrust, a payments software provider, has agreed to a reverse merger with South Mountain Merger, a special-purpose acquisition company. The deal values the combined business at $1.3 billion; upon closing, the company will change its name to BTRS Holdings and trade on the Nasdaq.
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Vestar set for Woodstream exit
Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to sell Woodstream, a maker of various products focused on pest control, animal containment and lawn care, to Bansk Group, a private investment firm that targets growth companies. Based in Pennsylvania, Woodstream has been part of Vestar’s portfolio since 2015.
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Fundraising
LLR Partners sees 50% size step-up
LLR Partners has closed its sixth flagship fund on $1.8 billion, with plans to use the capital to pursue lower-middle-market deals in the healthcare and technology sectors. The fund will chiefly target investments of between $25 million and $100 million. LLR Partners closed its fifth fund on $1.2 billion in 2018.
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View 272 investments »
Lee Fixel’s Addition lands $1.4B
Addition, the venture firm formed by Tiger Global veteran Lee Fixel, has brought in a $1.4 billion fund, according to the Financial Times, less than four months after Addition raised $1.3 billion for a separate vehicle. The firm’s portfolio includes Lyra Health and Snyk. Last year, Fixel departed Tiger Global to branch out on his own after more than a dozen years with the firm.
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View 17 investments »
Eureka tops $200M
Eureka Equity Partners has closed its fourth flagship buyout fund with a little more than $200 million in commitments, surpassing a predecessor that closed on $175 million in 2014. Based in Philadelphia, Eureka primarily pursues investments in the business and healthcare services, manufacturing and consumer products sectors.
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Investors
Colonial Consulting rebrands as Crewcial Partners, CEO steps down
Colonial Consulting, an investment advisory firm for philanthropies and other nonprofit investors, has rebranded itself as Crewcial Partners. The New York firm, which was founded in 1980, also announced that chief executive Charlie Georgalas will step down. Dine Grullon, the firm’s chief operations officer, was named interim CEO.
Corporate M&A
Alibaba lines up $3.6B supermarket deal
Alibaba has agreed to take a majority stake in Sun Art Retail Group, an operator of supermarkets and hypermarkets in China. The Chinese tech giant will acquire a nearly 71% interest in A-RT Retail, which owns 51% of Sun Art’s equity interest, valuing A-RT at approximately HK$28 billion (about $3.6 billion). Alibaba will control a roughly 72% stake in Sun Art upon the deal’s completion.
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EU nears approval of Google’s Fitbit deal
Google has made new concessions designed to alleviate European antitrust concerns related to its planned $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit, adjustments that should allow the deal to win approval from the EU, according to Reuters. The EU’s regulatory arm has also reportedly delayed its deadline for approving the deal from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8. It has been nearly a year since Google and Fitbit first announced plans for a takeover.
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View 18 competitors »
Chart of the Day
“Breaking down activity via region shows the UK & Ireland continued to account for the lion’s share of capital raised and fund count proportions, accounting for 66.6% and 39.1%, respectively, with London dominating fund locations.”

Source: PitchBook’s Q3 2020 European PE Breakdown

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Source: https://sincityfinancier.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/key-microsoft-dealmaker-jumps-to-pe/

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Ontario Teachers buys into Warburg Pincus-backed Princeton Digital amid new investment from private equity major

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The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan has agreed to lead a $360m investment in Singapore-based data centre business Princet

Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/deal-news/ontario-teachers-buys-into-warburg-pincus-backed-princeton-digital-amid-new-investment-from-private-equity-major.html

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