Private Equity

New York’s programming ed tech startup, General Assembly, sells to Adecco for $413 million

The European human resources services company Adecco Group said that is acquiring the New York-based, programming, design, and management training startup General Assembly for $413 million. With the acquisition, Adecco adds to its ability to provide job training and re-skilling services for businesses. It’s proof that General Assembly’s own business has come a long way since its early days as a startup offering continuing education or training programs for new entrants into the tech-enabled white collar workforce. General Assembly was worth $440 million after its last, $70 million investment round, according to a report in Axios, which means that early stage investors will see a nice return on their investment while many later stage backers — including Wellington Management and Fresco Capi...

Lessons from cybersecurity exits

Dear F0und3r: What a month this has been for cybersecurity! One unicorn IPO and two nice acquisitions – Zscaler’s great debut on wall street,  a $300 million acquisition of Evident.io by Palo Alto Networks and a $350 million acquisition of Phantom Cyber by Splunk has gotten all of us excited. Word on the street is that in each of those exits, the founders took home ~30% to 40% of the proceeds. Which is not bad for ~ 4 /5 years of work. They can finally afford to buy two bedroom homes in Silicon Valley. Evident.IO Investment Rounds and Return estimates Date Select Investors Round Size Pre Post Dilution Estimated Returns / Multiple of Invested Capital Sep 2013 True Ventures $1.5m $5.25m $6.75 m 22% 44X Nov 2014 Bain Capital $9.8 m $18.1m $28.0 m 35% 10.7X Apr 2016 Venrock $15.7 m $35.0 m $50...

Here are the top Midwestern states and cities for startups

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Here are the top states and cities for startups in the South Where did venture capitalists go to college? The American Midwest has a long history of making stuff. During the 20th century, it was the manufacturing center for the nation, and indeed much of the world. It’s still where a surpassing majority of agricultural commodities are grown and processed. But is it also a major producer of technology startups? Maybe not as much as the coasts, but the Midwest’s bustling metropoli and vast expanses of rural land prove to be fertile ground for quite a bit of startup activity. And that’s what we’re going to take a look at here. In a similar vein to our recent a...

Hip hop finds its beat in the startup scene

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor What does it take to be a startup that raises huge sums quickly? Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items Hip hop stars are taking their reputations to Wall Street and Sand Hill road. Unlike their rock star brethren, who’ve historically been disinterested in dabbling with startups, quite a few hip hop artists have amassed good-sized portfolios. They’ve seen a few big hits too, most recently including a massive up round for zero-commission stock trading platform Robinhood, which counted Jay-Z, Nas and Snoop Dogg among its earlier backers. But just how deep does the hip hop-startup relationship go and where is it headed? To shed some light on that question, we put together a review of Crunchbase data...

Southern California needs to find its hub for it to develop its own tech ecosystem

Recognizing the tens of billions of dollars that the Southern Californian region leaves on the table, because it hasn’t taken its rightful place in the American technology industry, a new group called  the Alliance for Southern California Innovation has just released a report to analyze how SoCal can work to assume its pole position. Through interviews with 100 leaders of the technology ecosystem and an analysis of venture capital funding for the region, the organization has concluded (with the help of the Boston Consulting Group) that the promise of a regional rival to Northern California’s silicon valley won’t be fulfilled without the establishment of a geographic hub and a willingness to overcome regional differences. Founded by Steve Poizner last year to accelerate the growth of a star...

Late-blooming startups can still thrive

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor What does it take to be a startup that raises huge sums quickly? Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items It seems like startup news is full of overnight success stories and sudden failures, like the scooter rental company that went from zero to a $300 million valuation in months or the blood-testing unicorn that went from billions to nearly naught. But what about those other companies that mature more gradually? Is there such a thing as slow and successful in startup-land? To contemplate that question, Crunchbase News set out to assemble a data set of top late-blooming startups. We looked at companies that were founded in or before 2010 that raised large amounts of capital after 2015, and we also ...

PhishMe sold to private equity consortium at $400 million valuation

PhishMe, a seven year old startup that helps companies train employees to avoid phishing scams, announced today that it has been purchased by a consortium of private equity firms at a valuation of $400 million. That wording doesn’t give the exact price and a company spokesperson was careful in her response when we requested clarification. “This is an acquisition by a consortium of investors. The wording is really a reflection of the fact that there were a number of parties involved.” It could also be referencing the enterprise valuation, which is a combination of factors such as a company’s debt and its cash on hand, rather than an actual purchase price. The company confirmed a Fortune report that the consortium consisted of two private equity firms, BlackRock and Pamplona Capital Manageme...

Startups are (still) making weird name choices

If the latest seed-funded startups have their way, this is what your future will look like. You’ll find your mortgage through a company named Morty, refill your contact lenses with Waldo and get your cannabis news from Herb. (Which is not to be confused with Bud, the startup that handles your banking.) Later, you can use Cake Technologies to pay the bar tab, cover fertility treatments with Carrot Fertility and get your workers’ compensation through Pie Insurance. Afterward, rent your neighbor’s stuff with Fat Lama, manage your cloud services with LunchBadger and network your way to a better career with Purple Squirrel. Notice any patterns here? Yes, first names, foods and animals have been quite popular lately with founders choosing startup names. Those are a few of the top naming trends C...

Scaling a bootstrapped business is next frontier of entrepreneurship for Evan Frank

Evan Frank was five years old when he first knew he was going to be an entrepreneur. While attending kindergarten, Frank crafted books and sold them to his teacher at a nickel to a dime a piece. “There was always this desire to build stuff,” he explained to me, and also clearly a desire to make some money on those projects, to boot. Frank, who lives in New York City, was a co-founder and eventual CEO of onefinestay, which sold in early 2016 to AccorHotels for $170 million. Now, he is embarking on the latest of his entrepreneurial endeavors, as the new CEO of Context Travel, a company that specializes in deeply researched tours in cities around the world. Until recently, the 14-year-old company was bootstrapped by its founders Paul Bennett and Lani Bevacqua, before raising $5 million in pri...

Wells Fargo Aside, Washington Is Getting Friendlier to Banks

Wells Fargo & Co.’s unprecedented punishment that bans it from growing seems at odds with the pro-business agenda that is sweeping through Washington under President Donald Trump. But some analysts were quick to point out that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive enforcement action against the scandal-ridden bank — announced after markets closed Friday — shouldn’t be taken as a sign that regulators are getting cold feet about rolling back rules. “No one should conflate regulation with enforcement,” said Ian Katz, an analyst at Capital Alpha Partners LLC in Washington. “There’s a deregulatory effort that is going on and it is going to continue.” By Monday, investors seemed to conclude that Wells Fargo’s pain was unique to Wells Fargo. It fell as much as 10.3 percent in New York ...

Chinese-Backed Buyout Firm Sours on U.S. After Trump Snubs Deal

Bloomberg News February 5, 2018, 4:00 PM EST At a time when Chinese investors are going out of their way to play down government connections, one private equity fund is openly proud of its links to the state. Canyon Bridge Capital Partners LLC sees its government backing as a unique selling point in deals, a way to show targets that it can hook up companies to customers in China. After being blocked by President Donald Trump on a deal, it’s now opening up to new investors as it backs small and medium-sized technology companies outside the country. Trump killed Canyon Bridge’s $1.3 billion offer for Lattice Semiconductor Corp. on security concerns, acting on the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. That’s led the fund to seek deals in other parts of the world, s...

What Silicon Valley tech VCs get wrong about consumer investing

Ryan Caldbeck Contributor Ryan Caldbeck is the founder and chief executive of the consumer and retail investment marketplace CircleUp. More posts by this contributor: When I began fundraising for CircleUp six years ago, I encountered many investors whose eyes would glaze over when I mentioned “consumer.” These investors would fidget uncomfortably or drop their gaze when I explained that our platform would only provide capital to small CPG companies. I would often hear the skeptical comments, such as, “an energy bar company can’t really get that big,” “baby food isn’t scalable,” and my personal favorite, “I can’t name a single consumer company” (real quote from a VC). Today, of course, the tone is much different. Scroll through tech news and you’ll see everything from Greylock Partners sing...

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