A 180 Beauty, Wrong Number Two, Biased on Beirut Movie, Backpage Back to Jail and April Love

Good Friday Morning,

Daylight – As far as 180’s go, it’s a beauty. President Trump asked Larry Kudlow (just left CNBC) and a couple others to look into rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal he withdrew from within days of taking office. Why?

Economics – He’s trying to find ways to protect export-focused American farmers and ranchers, who are direct targets of China’s response to his new tariffs.

Culture – Kudlow joins the Trump staff as the happy warrior, while everybody else except Kellyanne Conway is walking around in a daze with their heads spinning – you’ve seen that team before?

By the way, I don’t think John Kelly is a good Number 2 who can do – too big of a resume to handle a mercurial leader. Like last night, Trump ordered a “Postal Financial Review” to tweak Jeff Bezos with his side-hobby, The Washington Post.  

M&A – WILsquare Capital, a private equity firm, acquired Quest Solutions, an insurance solutions firm.

SleepScore Labs, a joint venture between ResMed, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Pegasus Capital Advisors, acquired Sleep.ai.

Pacific Growth Investors invested in Conquest Firespray, a maker of fire-rated architectural goods.

Advent International acquired Clearent, a payments solution processor, as well as FieldEdge, an Atlanta-based field service management software provider.

Allegro Development acquired Financial Engineering Associates, a provider of risk analytics software for traders, risk managers, and quantitative analysts in commodity industries.

Kuvare acquired United Life, an insurance firm.

ABRY Partners acquired Sitelock, a security company.

United Rentals acquired Service Radio Rentals and subsidiary Industrial Blind Solutions from JMH Capital.

Style – Go see “Beirut,” in which a former American diplomat is swept up five years in the Lebanese Civil War. You will see why Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East, and I am totally biased on this movie – five great years after the civil war.

Word of the Day: Mercurial [mer-kyoor-ee-uh l] adjective

changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: a mercurial nature.

Live Rounds – Entrepreneurs fire back on my Facebook views via email and snail mail, so below are three quick hits of 300 or more pieces. I think the authors couldn’t care less if I use their names, but I don’t have time to call them so use your imagination.

– Perhaps listen to the March 27th Podcast of “Make Me Smart”

You and Kai Rysddal share a ‘caveat emptor’ view. However, this interview seemed to impact his views a bit, and may yours as well.

It’s okay to disagree, but citing Nanny Class as a reference to those who worry about a surveillance economy and Zuckerberg’s six consecutive (and therefore empty) mea culpas is decidedly divisive.

– Cliff, Anecdata. Word of the year.

100 percent with you on Facebook. Media is outraged because they didn’t like segmentation when it was used to support folks they don’t like. But, they don’t say a word when it creates an alternative outcome.

– Dude, I wrote to you when this first broke that this would be absolutely huge.

It will be the largest data scandal ever and we don’t even know the scope of it. Not even Mark knows…

Don’t run for the hills when you actually start to understand the damage of the world when they trust their privacy with one person.

Buzzard’s Roost – Carl Ferrer, the CEO of sex advertising site Backpage.com, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering, while the company pleaded guilty to human trafficking.

Investment Banking – Vector Capital, a PE firm, sold a minority stake of its firm to Dyal Capital Partners.

Hedge Funds – Ultimus Fund Solutions acquired Woodfield Fund Administration, a private fund administration firm. IPO – Run-

of-the-mill stuff.

Hot – A Colorado civic group is spearheading an effort to buy The Denver Post, which is in open revolt against the hedge fund that owns it. The 125-year-old paper excoriated the fund, Alden Global Capital, as “vulture capitalists” in an editorial last Sunday. Local civic investors called “Together for Colorado Springs” have raised $10 million, and they have lost their minds along with their money if they buy it.  

Venture Capital – Somatus, a kidney care company, raised $10 million.

RubrYc Therapeutics, a biotherapeutics discovery business, raised $10 million.

Aetion, a biopharma customer analytics firm, raised $36.4 million.

Instapage, a click-optimization firm for advertisers, raised $15 million.

Tentrr, a camping marketplace, raised $8 million.

Great Jones, a residential property management company, raised $8 million.

Billie, a female shaving firm, raised $6 million.

Farmwise, a developer of healthy foods, raised $4.5 million.

Wurk, a cannabis industry HR management firm, raised $3.2 million.

Koio, a luxury leather sneaker brand, raised $3 million.

Play by Play Sports Broadcasting Camps raised an undisclosed amount.

Truework, a background check firm, raised $2.9 million.

Sensoro, a technology service provider, raised an undisclosed amount.

Spotlight – Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool is smart, authentic and maybe a little mercurial like a few of us, but shares the April love when it’s real.

Just wanted to say thank you again sooooooooo much for connecting me with the Aprio folks.

I can’t even describe how responsive, energetic, and AMAZING Chris and Kerry have been, not to mention everyone else I’ve worked with.

Thanks again – I feel like we’ve finally (after 15 years of searching!) found the right team for us.

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff