Tuesday, November 24

Private Equity

Private Equity

Kudo Funded $6M for Enhancement Conference Platform
Private Equity

Kudo Funded $6M for Enhancement Conference Platform

Now 2020, the conference platforms that anything related to video chatting to facilitate remote work are genuinely in demand because of the pandemic. Kudo is a startup company in Manhattan for multilingual video chatting and conferencing tool with built-in support for translators and multiple audio streams. Kudo was funded $6 million led by Felicis Ventures, ID8 Investments, Global Founders Capital, Advancit Capital, and AirAngels. The fund will be using to grow the planning, product, and customer progress teams. Kudo also hopes to improve the superior security and user-friendliness that led the United Nations, the World Bank, Interpol, and other large multilateral organizations to choose it over more popular but less dependable web conferencing solutions. T...
When is AI not AI?
Private Equity

When is AI not AI?

Earlier this week, Forbes published a piece on ScaleFactor, a startup using AI to automate accounting, which shut down after raising $100m. Here’s the heart of the issue covered in the story: “Instead of [AI] producing financial statements, dozens of accountants did most of it manually from ScaleFactor’s Austin headquarters or from an outsourcing office in the Philippines, according to former employees. Some customers say they received books filled with errors, and were forced to re-hire accountants, or clean up the mess themselves.“ The piece triggered additional reactions from the press around the general theme of “AI and snake oil”. Here’s Erin Griffith from the NY Times: And here’s Lucinda Shen from Fortune: Couple of caveats: Those are per...
20VC: Brad Feld, Jerry Colonna and Tracy Lawrence on Depression and mental health, Why you cannot tie happiness to milestones & why Fear, anxiety and guilt are useless emotions
Private Equity

20VC: Brad Feld, Jerry Colonna and Tracy Lawrence on Depression and mental health, Why you cannot tie happiness to milestones & why Fear, anxiety and guilt are useless emotions

Brad Feld is a Co-Founder and Managing Director @ Foundry Group, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Zynga, Fitbit and Sendgrid to name a few. Brad is also a co-founder @ Techstars and prior to Foundry, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital.  Tracy Lawrence spent the last 8 years as Founder & CEO @ Chewse, the startup that it effortless for office managers to order delicious food for their teams.  Tracy grew the team to 300 people across 4 markets, raised millions in venture capital, and ultimately sold the business to Foodee. Jerry Colonna is the CEO of Reboot.io where he is now the professional coach to some of the world’s leading founders. Prior to his work with Reboot, Jerry was an early-stage VC co-founding Flatiron ...
Private Equity Investments in Manufacturing Companies
Private Equity

Private Equity Investments in Manufacturing Companies

Historically, manufacturing was the predominant industry of interest for private equity acquisitions. However, as PE firms increasingly looked for more scalable companies with lower CapEx requirements, over time, manufacturing acquisitions declined as a percentage of the total private equity investments. To be clear, the entire private equity market has grown considerably over this same time. Consequently, the absolute number of manufacturing acquisitions by private equity firms has grown, but not at the same pace as the private equity industry. Most recently, with the effects of the coronavirus, private equity investments in manufacturing companies has dropped from 15% of transactions in 2019 to 13% in 2020 YTD. The effects are likely more profound considering January and February of 20...
Private Equity Investment in Healthcare Sector on the Rise
Private Equity

Private Equity Investment in Healthcare Sector on the Rise

Private equity investments in the healthcare sector, as a percentage of total PE platform transactions, have effectively doubled over the last 20 years. The sharp upturn in 2020 reflects both the healthcare sector’s ability to weather the economic effects of the coronavirus, (even benefitting from it in some cases), as well as the fewer number of private equity transactions completed in other sectors in recent months. Sample Recent Transactions May 2020 – Waterland Private Equity acquired a significant majority stake in Integrated Medhealth Communication (London, England). Integrated Medhealth Communication (IMC) provides healthcare communication and consulting.   May 2020 – MVM Partners closed a growth investment in MDxHealth (Irvine, CA). MDxHealth is a healthcare company that provides...
Resilience Sells Brands to Scott’s
Private Equity

Resilience Sells Brands to Scott’s

CR Brands, a portfolio company of Resilience Capital Partners, has sold its Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator (Biz) and Dryel product lines to publicly traded Scott’s Liquid Gold. The purchase price for the two product lines is $9.25 million including $1.2 million of finished inventory. An earn-out tied to the initiation of sales to a major retailer is also part of the agreement. In 2019 the combined sales of Biz and Dryel totaled $11.2 million with a gross profit of $4.7 million (a 42% gross profit margin). CR Brands was formed in 2006 by Allied Capital through the merger of ChemPro (brands included Mean Green, Pine Power, and Magnum Power) with Redox Brands (brands included Biz and Oxydol). Juggernaut Capital acquired CR Brands in 2009 and in September 2012, Resilience acquired CR Bra...
GHK Closes on Third Platform
Private Equity

GHK Closes on Third Platform

GHK Capital Partners has acquired Hasa, a producer and distributor of water treatment chemicals, from Peak Rock Capital. Hasa’s products are used to sanitize and maintain water systems, including swimming pools, water tanks and containment vessels in the recreational, industrial, and municipal end markets. Hasa serves customers in the western and southwestern US and operates out of facilities in California, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, and Texas. The company, led by CEO Chris Brink, was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in north of Los Angeles in Saugus, California. “We are eager to begin our partnership with Hasa, which over many decades has established a clear leadership position and a highly attractive, differentiated model in the pool chemical treatment space,” said Gil Klema...
Shamrock Closes Second Entertainment Content Fund
Private Equity

Shamrock Closes Second Entertainment Content Fund

Shamrock Capital has held a final closing of Shamrock Capital Content Fund II LP with $400 million of capital. New and existing limited partners in Fund II include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and foundations, family offices and financial institutions. “We are very pleased to announce the close of our second content-focused fund,” said Patrick Russo, a partner at Shamrock. “The market’s response to Fund II speaks to the strength of our strategy, particularly at a time when investors are seeking alternative investments with uncorrelated returns. We are grateful for the support of our many limited partners and look forward to continuing to successfully execute on this unique strategy.” Shamrock’s content strategy invests from $5 million to $50 million in entertain...
Graham Adds Horseradish Maker to Giraffe
Private Equity

Graham Adds Horseradish Maker to Giraffe

Giraffe Foods, a portfolio company of Graham Partners since December 2018, has acquired Lounsbury Foods. Toronto-based Lounsbury is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of horseradish (prepared, extra hot, mild sauce, and beet “red” horseradish), seafood cocktail sauce (mild, tangy, and extra hot), mint sauce, tartar sauce, and mustard. The company’s products are sold through the retail, private label, foodservice, and institutional channels. “We are extremely happy with our decision to complete a transaction with Giraffe Foods and feel confident that our customers, and our family legacy, are in good hands,” said Tim Higgins, president of Lounsbury. “Giraffe’s focus on innovation and quality will be a benefit to our customers and help to grow the combined business long-term.” Gi...
Incline Closes 16th Battery Add-On
Private Equity

Incline Closes 16th Battery Add-On

Continental Batteries, a portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, has acquired Battery Joe and Battery Solutions. Continental’s aftermarket batteries are distributed to the automotive, commercial, golf, marine and industrial markets. The company provides on-premise delivery to customers in major cities, as well as to those in regional and rural areas through its multi-location branch network. Continental was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Dallas. “We are proud to have become the acquirer of choice in the aftermarket battery distribution industry, having now completed 16 acquisitions in just under two years,” said Eric Royse, president and chief executive officer of Continental.  “Our value proposition to business owners remains strong, and we continue to receive a high v...