Philly Special, Another Number 2 Disaster, Soothe Buys Melt and Rebranding Korea as Peace Legacy

Good Monday Morning,

Daylight – Superbowl LII was a Philly Special (actual name of play called in the huddle where QB Nick Foles caught the TD pass) that lifted the curse on the city of brotherly love. What I saw was a great game where a younger QB made some throws and a catch that the older one couldn’t. Slight difference. Philly Entrepreneurial lesson: Stay aggressive and go for it. By the way, I hope Philly does not get carried away and think this a prelude to an Amazon kiss.  

M&A – Motorola Solutions will buy Avigilon for $978 million in cash.

Soothe acquired Melt, an on-demand massage company.

Shutterfly agreed to acquire Lifetouch, a company focused on school photography, for $825 million in cash.

Broadcom has raised its bid for Qualcomm to about $146 billion including debt, as the chipmaker tries to raise the stakes for its hostile takeover attempt. The sweetened offer of $82 a share – up from $70 – includes a higher than usual “break fee” to be paid to Qualcomm if the deal falls apart in a sign of confidence that the combination will win regulatory approval.

Style – Tumeric is the new health agent of the month among the Santa Barbara, California clique. It is one of the few plants on earth with attributes to activate and awaken the gallbladder along with a big dose of fiber, potassium and vitamins.

Mix it with warm lemon water and you have the closest thing to a quick health fix that exists. Lemons contribute to cutting down infections and provide moisture to the digestive tract. By the way, lemons and limes have far greater concentrations of vitamin C than oranges. By the way, Emergen-C with “1000mg of vitamin C” is all marketing – body does not metabolize it like biting into a lemon which is 1000x better.

Economics – Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, who earned his economics degree from Georgetown is the NFL’s leading devotee of using statistical analysis. The team is a client of of EdjAnalytics, founded by Frank Frigo and Sean O’Leary.  

Buzzard’s Roost – Another Number 2 Who Can’t Do Disaster – Airbnb’s CFO Laurence Tosi flew the co0p last week after he was passed over for the COO job. Airbnb named Belinda Johnson to the job. Airbnb had hired Tosi with great fanfare from Blackstone where he served as finance chief of one of the world’s largest asset managers – a much different business than renting rooms and houses. Here is the scoop – Tosi spent all day long talking to investors instead of digging into the business, which will now delay the planned IPO this year.  

Live Rounds – Airbnb founder Brian Chesney found himself in a bind as he needed a COO to run the day-to-day operations and found Tosi never getting his hands dirty. Although Tosi was vocal about wanting the more “strategic job,” as he called it. By the way, Tosi had negotiated in his employment agreement if a COO was named other than him – it triggered all his stock options to automatically vest on that day and he could leave the company with a big severance. Lesson – tell CFOs before they are hired – that they can talk to investors on the way home in their car.

Culture – The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, start on Friday, so know the “obscure desolate town” is one of the most unlikely hosts of the Games in Olympic history. (It’s also frequently confused with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea). The little city, as they call it in South Korea, lost its first bid for the 2010 games, as did a second bid to host the 2014 games. Then, local leaders decided to rebrand the original spelling “Pyongchang” by adding an extra letter to its name and capitalizing the C in the middle, and then recast the debate on the concern of it being 50 miles from North Korea, the hottest militarized border in the world.

Hot – PyeongChang claimed it was an Olympic opportunity to bring peace to the world and reunite the Korean countries as one. North and South Korea will field a combined women’s hockey team. By the way, a Kenyan man from United Nations has already flown to Pyongyang by mistake.

Ice Skating is eating up all the buzz as the sport to watch in this Olympics. “I, Tonya,” the newly released movie about the tumultuous life of Tonya Harding and her sporting scandal with rival Nancy Kerrigan was surprisingly the best dark comedy I have seen since Fargo. No doubt this well-written script and superb cast is helping with this year’s Olympic skating buzz. By the way, the oldest skates that anyone has found so far were made in Finland 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. By the way, Allison Janney playing Tonya’s mom is the worth price of admission. She should win best supporting actress at the Oscars.

Investment Banking – Sentinel Capital Partners sold Huddle House, an Atlanta-based franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast.

Hedge Funds – Sunstone Partners made an investment in ProgenyHealth, a company focused on neonatal intensive care unit.

IPO – FTS International, a Fort Worth, Texas-based fracking firm, raised $351 million in an IPO of 19.5 million shares priced at $18 a piece, at the high end of its range.

Venture Capital – Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology firm that is developing drugs that work on a genetic messaging system that is essential to all living cells, raised $500 million.

Harmless Harvest, a progressive food & beverage company, raised $30 million.

Figma, an open design platform, raised $25 million.

Convercent, a company that provides ethics and compliance software to businesses, raised a $25 million.

Spotlight – Member Carl Townsend and founder of InService America from Virginia described Friday’s event best when he said, “Home Run.” Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, lit it up like never before with a presentation of compelling substance and style. Many times I have had members tell me – best Event ever attended anywhere. A smattering of pictures below.  

Here are some photos from the Porsche Event last Friday.

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

Exits – Advanced Energy Industries acquired Tre, a designer and manufacturer of high voltage power supplies and electrostatic measurement tools used in the semiconductor, aerospace, automotive and medical, applications, for approximately $12 million.

Venture Capital – Owl, a developer of an automobile security camera, raised $18 million in funding.

Igneous Systems, a provider of hybrid cloud backup and archive solution for unstructured data, raised $15 million.

Joymode, an item rental subscription service, raised $14.4 million.

Honeycomb, an observability provider for software engineers, raised $11.5 million.

Blueday, a provider of the Store Revenue Management system for retail, raised $6 million.

Prodigy, an automotive company that offers a new system of transaction for modern car dealership, raised $5.4 million.

SaaSOptics, a Peachtree Corners, Ga.-based B2B subscription management platform, raised $5 million.

CanvasPop, a provider of canvas printing and photo gifting services for photographers, digital artists, interior designers and consumers, raised $3.3 million.

Private Equity – Regatta Medical Holdings invested in Resonetics, a medical device contract manufacturing company.

Agiletech Partners acquired Quisitive, a digital technology consulting firm.

PeopleAdmin acquired Performance Matters, a provider of education software.

Bomgar acquired Lieberman Software, a provider of privileged identity and credential management software.

IntegriChain acquired Medical Communication Technologies, a provider of government pricing and contracting software and services.

Pamlico Capital acquired Connexin Software dba Office Practicum, a provider of electronic health records.

Marlin Equity Partners acquired Baazarvoice, a provider of consumer-generated content, advertising and personalization solutions.

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff