Monday links: dozens of levers

MIB: Misinformation & the Overton Window

What range of ideas are tolerated in public discourse? How and why do previously forbidden ideas and behavior that were once verboten, become tolerated? Those were some of the questions that led Rex Sorgatz to write a book (that may have the longest title ever) “The Encyclopedia of Misinformation: A Compendium of Imitations, Spoofs, Delusions,… Read More The post MIB: Misinformation & the Overton Window appeared first on The Big Picture.

Enlightenment Capital forms EverWatch

Enlightenment Capital has launched Ashburn, Virginia-based EverWatch, a provider of advanced defense, intelligence, and deployed mission support to critical missions in the U.S. EverWatch was formed via the merger of four recent Enlightenment acquisitions in the defense and intelligence sector. PRESS RELEASE Chevy Chase, Maryland – October 15, 2018: Enlightenment Capital, an Aerospace, Defense & Government focused investment firm based in the Washington, DC area, announced the formation of the EverWatch platform, a government services company providing advanced solutions in defense, intelligence, and deployed mission support to our country’s most critical national security agencies. EverWatch was formed through the merger of four recent Enlightenment acquisitions in the Defense & Intel space, each bringing complementary technical capabilities, clients, and contracts under one unified platform to better serve its broader customer base. The company delivers specialized capabilities and tailored solutions through its over 400 employees in support of its customers’
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Auxo invests in Prestige Stamping

Auxo Investment Partners has made an investment in Michigan-based Prestige Stamping Inc, a maker of stampings for the fastener industry. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal that was done in partnership with the Rink family. PRESS RELEASE October 15, 2018 (Warren, Mich.) – Private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners announced today that it has partnered with the Rink family with its investment in Prestige Stamping, Inc., a Michigan-based high-speed niche manufacturer of custom engineered stampings for the fastener industry. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, marks Auxo’s fifth acquisition in 13 months and follows the September closing of the firm’s inaugural investment fund, Auxo Growth Holdings I LLC. Prestige is a dominant player in the market for high-volume, tight-tolerance washers and similar small stampings, and manufactures over a billion washers and metal stampings annually for more than 200 customers across a diverse set
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Evergreen sells Gene Juarez Salons & Spas to Transom

Transom Capital Group has acquired Seattle-based Gene Juarez Salons & Spas, a fashion and beauty brand, from Evergreen Pacific Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. O’Melveny was M&A counsel for Transom Capital on the deal while D.A. Davidson & Co. served as financial adviser to Gene Juarez. PRESS RELEASE SEATTLE – October 15, 2018 – Transom Capital Group (Transom), a leading operations-focused middle market private equity firm, today announced it has acquired Gene Juarez Salons & Spas, an iconic Seattle fashion and beauty brand, from Evergreen Pacific Partners. As Seattle’s first contemporary fashion salon, Gene Juarez introduced Seattle women to best in class service, artistry and innovative European haircutting techniques. Since its founding in 1971, through its commitment and dedication to clients, artistry and innovative education, Gene Juarez Salons & Spas has grown to 10 salon & spa locations. The company’s relentless focus on excellence, quality and service
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Zooming Out – Is A Major Market Top In?

One of the things I have focused on when examining the US market as well as other markets around the world is the tops that have been created in the last 20 years.  There are multiple ways to look at tops. Rear view mirrors are great, but more importantly, can you mark significant tops on a timely basis?
  • When do you actually get a sell signal?
  • What types of indicators help us see tops?
  • Is it showboating to call a top? What evidence?
  • If the economics are so bullish, can we still top?
The economists create a different vision of the world than technicians do. Most economists see a trend and it's bullish until it kicks down severely. Of course, for people following their portfolio value, that kicking and screaming moment is way too late as vast swaths of profits and capital have been significantly wiped out of their account. Yet if
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Digital pathology startup Deep Lens rakes in $3.2 mln seed

Deep Lens Inc, a digital pathology startup, has secured $3.2 million in seed financing. Sierra Ventures led the round with participation from Rev1 Ventures and Tamarind Hill Fund. In conjunction with the financing, Mark Shary, managing member of Tamarind Hill, and Dr. Jeff Elton, CEO of Concerto Health AI, will join the Deep Lens board of directors. Source: Press Release

Berkeley Lights snags $95 mln

Berkeley Lights Inc, a digital cell biology company, has closed $95 million in funding. Nikon led the round with participation from Sequoia Capital, Walden-Riverwood Ventures, Black Diamond Ventures, Paxion Capital, Cota Capital, KTB Network, Atinum Investment, Shangbay Capital, AJS BioTree Healthcare Fund and Varian. Source: Press Release

PWP recruits Brassart as MD for advisory business

Perella Weinberg Partners has named Jérôme Brassart as a managing director in its advisory business. Previously, he worked at Credit Suisse where he was most recently a managing director in the power, utilities and infrastructure group. PRESS RELEASE New York, Paris, London, October 15, 2018 – Perella Weinberg Partners (“PWP”) today announced that Jérôme Brassart will join the Firm as a Managing Director in its Advisory business. Mr. Brassart will lead the Firm’s Utilities and Infrastructure Sector effort within PWP’s Industrials team, helping to further develop its European business. He will join the Firm in January 2019 and will be based in London. This is PWP’s fourth European hire in six months, following the appointments of Alex Wilmot-Sitwell (Partner, London), Matthew Smith (Partner, London) and Cyrille Perard (Managing Director, Paris). Mr. Brassart has extensive utilities and infrastructure advisory experience, leading a broad range of merger and acquisition assignments, including several
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PE-backed IQ Brands buys Wheel House Designs

IQ Brands, a portfolio company of Huron Capital, has acquired Morrisville, Vermont-based Wheel House Designs, a maker of of novelty socks to specialty stores and boutiques. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE Detroit, MI – October 15, 2018 – Leading lower-middle-market private equity firm Huron Capital today announced its socks and apparel accessories platform, IQ Brands, has acquired Wheel House Designs, a producer of novelty socks to specialty stores and boutiques throughout North America. The deal marks the fourth add-on acquisition for the IQ Brands platform. Morrisville, Vermont-based Wheel House Designs has been designing and distributing more than 450 variations of novelty socks over the past 30 years. Gail Bourne, who founded Wheel House Designs in 1989, will remain active with IQ Brands after the acquisition. “We are excited to join the IQ Brands platform and work with Huron Capital’s team of industry experts,” said Bourne, who will continue
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Equistone-backed Group of Butchers acquires German meatball producer Hartmann

Group of Butchers, which is backed by Equistone Partners Europe, has acquired Hartmann GmbH, a German producer of meatballs and mince-based products. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE Munich/Tilburg/Warendorf-Milte, 15 October 2018 – Group of Butchers, the Dutch supplier of high-quality meat and mince-based products in which Equistone Partners Europe acquired a majority stake in January 2017, today announces the acquisition of Hartmann GmbH, a leading family-owned German producer of meatballs and mince-based products. The deal represents Group of Butchers’ first move into the German market and strengthens the company’s position as one of the leading producers of artisan meats by extending its product range to include a number of traditionally prepared mince-based products. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed and completion of the sale remains subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities. Hartmann GmbH was founded in 1984 in Warendorf-Milte, North Rhine-Westphalia,
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China’s Innovent Biologics looks to raise up to $422 million in HK IPO, say sources: Reuters

Chinese biotech firm Innovent Biologics is looking to raise up to $422 million in its Hong Kong IPO, three sources said, in what could be the biggest biotech IPO in the financial hub this year. Innovent, which is backed by mutual fund giant Fidelity and Singapore state investor Temasek, has set an indicative price range of HK$12.5-HK$14.00 ($1.59-$1.79) per share for its initial public offering (IPO), the sources said, giving the company a valuation of about $2 billion. It is the latest company looking to take advantage of new rules introduced by the Hong Kong stock exchange to woo early-stage drug developers, after Ascletis Pharma (1672.HK), Hua Medicine (2552.HK) and Nasdaq-listed BeiGene (6160.HK). Biotech firms with no profit or revenue are now allowed to go public in Hong Kong as the Chinese territory looks to attract more new-economy companies in its competition for
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PERQ grabs $4 mln

Indianapolis-based PERQ, a provider of online consumer engagement and shopping behavior solutions, has secured $4 million in funding. Elevate Ventures led the round. PRESS RELEASE INDIANAPOLIS (PRWEB) OCTOBER 15, 2018 PERQ, experts in online consumer engagement and shopping behavior, today announced it closed a $4 million funding round to fuel the expansion of its award-winning Artificial Intelligence-driven SAAS solution for big ticket retailers into multiple verticals. The funding comes exclusively from Indianapolis technology leaders and is led by Elevate Ventures. PERQ’s online guided shopping solution boosts website conversion by dynamically changing existing websites to deliver the next best step in each buyer’s shopping journey. It’s currently used by over 1,000 businesses in the automotive, multifamily and home furnishing verticals where it is generating significant increases in lead generation, closing ratios and gross profits. The solution is driving company growth, including an over 72% increase in new clients and a
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TRI inks funding

UK and Raleigh, North Carolina-based TRI, a provider of risk-based monitoring solutions for clinical trials, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The investor was Octopus Investments, a subsidiary of the Octopus Group. Source: Press Release

Glilot raises $110 mlm for third fund

Glilot Capital Partners, an Israeli venture firm focused on early-stage startups, has closed its third fund at $110 million. As with the previous funds, Glilot III will invest in Israeli early-stage startups in artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security. PRESS RELEASE TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Glilot Capital Partners a Venture capital fund which invests in early-stage startups, has announced the closing of its third investment fund, Glilot III, at $110 million. Like the earlier funds (Glilot I and Glilot II), Glilot III will specialize in investing in Israeli early-stage startups in artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security. Glilot focuses on startups in the seed and A stages. Apart from capital investment, the fund offers entrepreneurs support, guidance and direct access to international players, drawing on the fund leaders’ extensive experience and the expertise of a dedicated team to add value to the funded
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Arcapita invests in Saudi Arabian women’s fitness chain NuYu

Arcapita has made an investment in NuYu, a women’s fitness chain in Saudi Arabia. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE MANAMA, Bahrain, October 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ –Arcapita – a global leader in Shari’ah-compliant alternative investments – has invested in NuYu, a leading chain of women-only boutique gyms in Saudi Arabia. Arcapita’s capital will help NuYu deploy over SAR 250 million ($67 million) to grow its network of boutique gyms from seven to over 30 across the Kingdom. The new centers are expected to create hundreds of jobs, as well as provide women access to fitness outlets in currently underserved locations. The investment will enable the company – with five boutique gyms in Riyadh and one each in both Khobar and Dammam – to capitalize on the significant market opportunity arising from a landmark decision by the General Sports Authority to grant licenses for female boutique gyms. This follows
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Yottaa nabs $11 mln

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Yottaa Inc, a SaaS platform for accelerating ecommerce, has raised $11 million in funding. DN Capital led the round. In addition to the fundraising, Yottaa has appointed Jim Morrone as new vice president of worldwide sales. Source: Press Release

The Growth Stage launches funding platform

UK-based The Growth Stage is launching its first funding platform for private growth companies to raise capital from institutional investors. The Growth Stage is focusing on scale-up rather than start-up situations where private companies are raising more than $10 million. The company is planning on raising several funding rounds in 2018. PRESS RELEASE LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Growth Stage, a UK based company, is launching today the world’s first funding platform for private growth companies to raise capital from regulated institutional investors (pension funds, retail funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices), who have over $4tn of assets under management. The Growth Stage has been created to satisfy the increasing demand from institutional investors to invest in high growth, scale-up companies. It has no joining fee for private companies or institutional investors, and charges only 1% of funds raised – challenging the traditional funding model, and providing private companies with
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