Intuit Buys TSheets, Crystal Ball Sees Monster Deals, Al Franken Resigns Today, Porsche Meeting Feb. 2

Good Thursday Morning,

Daylight – With some fresh tracks in the mud, like the tax bill passing and CVS Aetna mega merger deal, time to pull out the crystal ball for business.

M&A – 2018 will be the biggest year ever for M&A with more co-mega mergers, second cousin marriage deals like CVS and Aetna. The bankers got one done, and they are putting some wild ones on Wall Street drawing boards right now.

Actually, the Amazon/Whole Foods deal was the first flicker of a deal that will change M&A with monster deals, and then they will unwind most where Wall Street will make as much money bringing them down as it did taking them up. The business benefits of the tax bill and a strong tail wind of M&A will keep the economy roaring in 2019 and re-electing Trump in 2020. 2021 – Hell to pay.

Intuit agree to acquire TSheets, a platform that businesses use to automate time tracking and scheduling for them and their workers, for $340 million.

More fresh tracks – Broadcom has gone hostile in its $100 billion bid to buy Qualcomm.

TMT Crypto Fund raised $60 million from LPs investing cash and investments via crypto-tokens.

Style – CONQUERING CHINA: The Chinese market graveyard is full of bodies – Twitter, Facebook and Uber to name three DOAs. Sole Survivor looks to be Airbnb. Impressive growth for three straight years and looks to turn first profit within five.

Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk said the team wasn’t sure if their model would even work in China. “We had heard the stories about other tech companies and how hard it is to succeed in China, so we weren’t sure whether to make it a priority or focus on other things that were more straightforward.” The magnet is sheer size of country.

The numbers speak for themselves. China is home to 730 million Internet users. It accounts for 40 percent of global retail e-commerce, and its mobile payment market is a whopping 11 times the size of the U.S. market.

Economics – Bitcoin frenzy in South Korea pushes payment premiums to 23 percent – Buying spree, including by children, comes despite government TV warnings over dangers.

ASX chooses blockchain for equities clearing – Australian bourse becomes first big exchange to commit to the technology.

$22 Billion – Market value of Dollar General, which has seen profits soar off growth in rural areas where supermarkets like Piggly Wiggly and Ingles have been displaced. Dollar General has been steadily gaining ground in the parts of the country that other retailers do not want to open new spaces in, and the more the rural U.S. struggles economically, the more customers Dollar General can chase. Walmart walked away from these customers.

Live Rounds – A great bet right now would be to take the LA Chargers to win the Super Bowl. Odds have closed from 50 to 1 to 25 to 1, and the team is right where it needs to be – playing on the verge of being out of control and surging with a 6 and 6 record after losing the first four games. By the way, Atlanta Falcons have 33 to 1 odds of winning the Super Bowl and a do or die game tonight against New Orleans.

Buzzard’s Roost – More tracks – Senator Al Franken from Minnesota will resign today from the US Senate. Kept way under radar.

Hot – Christmas tree prices have spiked this year as supply is down. The number of growers in the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association dropped from 524 members in 2009 to 275 members this year.

Investment Banking – $98,750,067,000,000 – That’s the total value of companies listed on the world’s stock markets, just a hair under a hundred trillion dollars.

Culture – It’s the biggest Starbucks in the world, and it’s in Shanghai, a sign of the major investment the company is making in China. The 29,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery has a staff of 400. Chinese trend change from tea – older generation – to coffee = 25 and younger.

IPO – Newmark Group, a real estate brokerage firm, plans to raise $615 million in an IPO of 30 million shares priced between $19 to $22.

Venture Capital – Fetch Robotics Inc., a firm, raised $25 million.

Earny, a personal financial service, raised $9 million.

Kespry, an aerial intelligence solution provider, raised $33 million.

Spotlight – Yesterday, we met Cambridge Analytica with our members from Charleston, Atlanta and Virginia on how data analytics is moving to data behavior – what customers need, which nudge to take action. Cambridge is credited with telling the Trump campaign what street to run which ads, particularly in Wisconsin. Could be worthy of an Entrepreneur Briefing in 2018. By the way, yesterday, Porsche moved our Entrepreneur Briefing date to Feb. 2 to accommodate us on the racetrack and provide C-Suite space for internal meeting. We will get more details out.

Speaking of meetings, our Aptonet CEO – CIO dinner had highest RSVP attendance at 96 percent and on a rainy dreadful traffic evening. 70 percent would have met normal record.

ScreenTimes: Jodie Foster and Rosemarie DeWitt
New York City
Monday, Dec. 11
7 to 8:15 p.m.
Spend an evening with the Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning actor and filmmaker Jodie Foster and Obie Award-winning actor Rosemarie DeWitt. Ms. Foster and Ms. DeWitt will discuss their creative processes, their commitment to supporting women in Hollywood and their upcoming project – the Emmy Award-winning fourth season of “Black Mirror,” which is directed by Ms. Foster and stars Ms. DeWitt.

Contact MR Editor Amethyst Bush for details to attend.

Deal Stream>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Exits – Onex Corp acquired IntraPac International Corp, a Mooresville, N.C.-based maker of rigid packaging solution for $120 million from CI Capital Partners.

Crane Co. agreed to acquire Crane & Co., Inc., a micro-optic security technology maker, from Lindsay Goldberg, members of the Crane family, and other shareholders for $800 million.

QualTek agreed to acquire Velocitel, a wireless network services company, from Willis Stein Private Equity.

The Chamberlain Group agreed to acquire Systems Holdings, a maker of hydraulic, pneumatic, and mechanical loading dock leveling equipment, from Huron Capital.

ERT agreed to acquire iCardiac Technologies, a laboratory for cardiac safety biomarkers, from Norwest.

AEA Investors closed its previously announced acquisition of Excelitas Technologies, the provider of photonics technology solution from Veritas Capital.

Venture Capital – Indigo Ag, Inc., a firm helping farmers sustainably feed the planet, raised $47 million after a $156 million closing in late September.

Sonim Technologies, a smartphone maker raised $37 million.

NGDATA, a customer experience management solutions firm, raised $19 million.

honeygrow raised $18 million.

Simplus, a provider of quote-to-cash solutions, raised $9.3 million.

HealthiPASS, a healthcare payments technology provider, raised $7.2 million.

VirtualHealth, a provider of population health and care management technologies, raised $7 million.

PatientPay, a Raleigh, N.C.-based patient payments partner for specialty care, raised $6 million.

Integrated Biometrics, a Spartanburg, S.C.-based a maker of FBI-certified fingerprint sensors, raised $2 million.

LaunchDarkly, a feature management platform, raised a $21 million.

Noodle Partners, a firm that helps colleges decrease the cost of online higher education, raised about $14 million.

Pilotworks, a community of food entrepreneurs formerly known as FoodWorks, raised $13 million.

NS8, an ecommerce fraud prevention provider, raised $7.5 million.

VirtualHealth, a provider of population health and care management technologies, raised $7 million.

Powerful, a Miami-based food and beverage company, raised $4 million.

Stateless, a firm allowing network functions to be consumed through the “as a service” model, raised $1.4 million.

Black Dog Venture Partners acquired a ten percent stake in Wobbl3 Entertainment, a video game developer.

Private Equity – Investors include Oaktree-managed OCM Growth Holdings invested $275 million in Runway Growth Credit Fund Inc, a provider of term debt to companies seeking an alternative to raising equity.

Oak Spring Holdings and Wentworth acquired Purshe Kaplan Sterling, an Albany, financial services firm. Monroe Capital provided $43.5 million in financing to support the acquisition.

Growth Catalyst Partners and PSP Capital acquired a majority stake in Beachfront Media, an Ormond Beach, Fla.-based mobile video monetization company.

Shamrock Capital acquired a minority stake in Branded Cities, an out-of-home media company.

In-Q-Tel (IQT) invested in Enveil, a data security company.

Shire invested in Rani Therapeutics, a maker of robotic pills that will enable injected drugs to be taken orally.

Zeta Global acquired Disqus, an audience engagement platform.

RESIDE Worldwide acquired ABODA, a provider of housing solutions.

Oasis Outsourcing acquired Staff One HR, Dallas-based based provider of human resources services.

China Broadband Capital invested in investment in Payoneer, a digital payments company.

H.I.G. Capital acquired Velocity Solutions Inc, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based provider of software and solutions to financial firms.

Bain Capital Ventures and Silversmith Capital Partners acquired Swift Prepaid Solutions Inc, a provider of prepaid solutions for global incentive and reward programs.

ABRY Partners acquired a majority stake in Breakthrough Technology Group, a private cloud service provider.

VPI Holding Co acquired Aware Products, a beauty industry branding firm.

Pandion Energy agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in two North Sea fields from oil firm Aker BP.

TPG Capital amended its deal to acquire Exactech, a Gainesville, Fla.-based orthopedic implant maker, for $49.25 per share rather than the previous amount of $42 per share.

Munch Supply acquired O’Connor Company, a HVAC company.

Great Range Capital led a group of investors that including The Bradley Family Office to acquire Labor Source, a professional staffing company.

Nellson Nutraceutical acquired Genysis Brand Solutions, maker of functional powders.

Water Street acquired Alliance Life Sciences and Health Strategies Group, life sciences commercialization firms.

Procare Software acquired KidReports, a provider of real time reporting technology and services to child care providers.

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff