Getting DocuSign signed

Private equity competes for largest software buyout in months

Happy Wednesday. Here’s what we’ve got today…

  • A look at private equity’s pursuit of DocuSign

  • The deal sheet, plus HSR updates and a travel guide for Middle East fundraising


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Competition is heating up over the potential buyout of DocuSign—both among private equity suitors and their debt financing sources. Now trading at a market value of $12.8 billion, any deal for the provider of online signature solutions would be one of the largest buyouts of 2024 thus far.

Per Reuters, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are each in the final round of bidding for the company, which had launched a sale process in December. Blackstone was also said to have been involved in early talks, though is no longer in contention.

Lining up the Debt

Competitive pressures for this deal may be more intense for the lender process than the actual sale process. It’s the same story as most significant buyouts over the last 12 months: direct lenders want to continue taking share, while traditional banks are working hard to ensure their syndicated offerings stay relevant.

Should direct lenders win out, this would be the largest such deal by a margin of nearly $3 billion. It may be a more difficult win this time around, however. After what’s been a prolonged period of comparative market favorability for private credit, conditions may be opening up an opportunity for banks.

Syndicated loan and junk bond markets are more robust now than in months past, and banks are in a better position to line up a favorable package for Bain or H&F—providing lower borrowing costs and more attractive documentation.

Although, even if banks do lose out this time, they’re staying busy with overtures to sponsors who completed private credit-financed deals in 2022 and early 2023. After making it through the first 12 months of the term, lower prepayment penalties now open up the possibility of refinancing with cheaper syndicated debt (which wasn’t an option from the start for many of those deals, completed when credit markets had seized up).

The Future of DocuSign

DocuSign went public in 2018 at around a $6 billion valuation. After hitting pandemic-era highs, the business has steadily retrenched since 2021—partly a function of broader market turbulence, but more likely a response to what has now been ten consecutive quarters of decelerating growth.

Management’s longer-term goal is to move the business beyond its e-signature roots to become a broader document services cloud platform. That kind of change may be challenging to execute as a public company, but could set the stage for a strong private equity-backed inorganic growth story.


Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is preparing to sell Shields Health Solutions, a specialty pharmacy and health management services provider, for more than $4 billion, per Bloomberg.

Netflix acquired exclusive rights to a selection of World Wrestling Entertainment programming for $5 billion, paid over a 10-year period.

SIX Group is considering a bid for Allfunds, a fund distribution platform trading at a market value of $3.9 billion.

Cellnex is considering the sale of a minority stake in its Polish operations, which could reach a valuation north of $3.3 billion.

Olympus Partners is preparing to sell Rise Baking Co., a provider of premium baked goods, and has engaged Morgan Stanley to advise on a process that could bring in up to $2.5 billion.

Sanofi has agreed to acquire Inhibrx, a clinical-stage biotech focused on rare diseases and certain cancers, for $1.7 billion.

Motor Fuel Group, a gas station chain owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, is nearing a £2.5 billion deal to buy the gas station business of UK supermarket Morrisons (also owned by CD&R).

Bridgepoint acquired RoC Skincare from Gryphon Investors for $500 million.

Apollo Global Management is preparing to sell aluminum products supplier Arconic's China unit, with Goldman Sachs advising on a process that could bring in up to $300 million.

Cerberus Capital Management is in talks to acquire a portion of debt collector Intrum's portfolio for $785 million.

Fengate Private Equity acquired Saco Foods, a manufacturer of packaged consumer food products, from Benford Capital Partners.

Koch Equity Development Capital invested $400m into CPM Holdings, a supplier of engineered process equipment for animal feed and oilseed processing backed by American Securities.

Ceridian (NYSE: CDAY) agreed to acquire Eloomi, a Denmark-based provider of learning management and performance management software owned by Kennet Partners, Great Hill Partners and Denmark's Export and Investment Fund.

Fort Point Capital acquired Ice House America from Ulysses Management.

Angeles Equity Partners acquired Acieta, a provider of robotic automation solutions, from Mitsui & Co.

Monomoy Capital Partners acquired EnviroTech Services, a distributor of road surface products.

BlackRock provided a $500 million equity commitment to Recurrent Energy, a solar project developer owned by Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ).

TTDS, backed by Gryphon Investors, has acquired Proheat, a distributor of industrial temperature management products.

PSG Equity has invested €100 million in Visit Group, a provider of software solutions for the events and meeting industries.

Kering has acquired 715-717 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan for $963 million.

Summit Group, backed by Sovereign Capital Partners, is nearing a deal to acquire Sanctuary, a provider of tax advisory services.

Main Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Buchner, a German software platform for therapists.


Kallyope, a biotech using its gut-brain platform to target metabolic conditions, is considering a near-term IPO, per Bloomberg.


Tech, Vertical SaaS, & Misc. Enterprise

Silverfort, an identity security company, raised $116 million in Series D funding. Brighton Park Capital led, with participation from Acrew Capital, Greenfield Partners, Citi Ventures, General Motors Ventures, Maor Investments, Vintage Investment Partners, and Singtel Innov8.

TravelPerk, a Barcelona-based travel management platform, raised $104 million in new funding. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led, with participation from Kinnevik and Felix Capital.

Qdrant, the developer of an open-source vector search engine and database, raised $28 million in Series A funding. Spark Capital led, with participation from existing investors Unusual Ventures and 42CAP.

Torq, a cybersecurity automation platform, raised $42 million in an extension to its Series B round. GGV Capital, Insight Partners, Greenfield Partners, and Evolution Equity Partners participated.

Clerk, a developer of user authentication and authorization software, raised $30 million in Series B funding. CRV led, with participation from Stripe, Andreessen Horowitz, and Madrona.

Morressier, a platform for scholarly content, raised $16.5 million in Series B funding. Molten Ventures led, with participation from Redalpine, Owl Ventures, and Cherry Ventures.

Packmatic, a digital packaging marketplace, raised €15 million in Series A funding led by EQT Ventures, with participation from HV Capital and xDeck.

Norm Ai, an AI-powered compliance automation platform, raised $11.1 million in seed funding. Coatue led, with participation from Haystack, M13, Basis Set, Expa, and Atypical.

OpenDialog, a conversational AI platform customized for regulated industries, raised €7.3 million ($8 million) in Series A funding from Albion VC and Dowgate Capital.

Deeploi, a provider of IT-as-a-service for SMBs, raised $6.5 million in seed funding. Atomico led, with participation from Cherry Ventures.

Bulk Exchange, an online marketplace for construction bulk materials, raised $4.5 million in seed funding from a group of construction industry executives.


ModernFi, a cloud-based deposit management platform for community banks, raised $18.7 million in Series A funding. Canapi Ventures led, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Remarkable Ventures, Huntington National Bank, First Horizon, and Regions.

Ozone API, an open banking platform, raised £8.5 million in Series A funding led by Gresham House Ventures.

Bluesheets, an AI-enabled financial data automation platform, raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. Illuminate Financial led, with participation from Insignia Ventures Partners, Antler, and 1982 Ventures

Consumer & Media

Bilt Rewards, a provider of renter loyalty programs, raised $200 million at a $3.1 billion valuation. General Catalyst led, with participation from Eldridge, Left Lane Capital, Camber Creek, and Prosus Ventures.

Daytrip, a door-to-door transfer platform, raised $10 million in Series B funding. Taiwania Capital led, with participation from Euroventures, J&T Ventures, and N1.

ForthStar, a Manchester-based mobile game studio, raised $10 million in seed funding from Griffin Gaming Partners and Ibrahim Hafeez.

Artisse AI, a developer of an AI photo generator, raised $6.7 million in seed funding led by The London Fund.

Talofa Games, a "healthy gaming" studio focused on building fitness games, raised $6.3 million of seed funding. Chamaeleon led, with participation from A16Z Games Speedrun, Basis Set Ventures, Insight Partners, and 1Up Ventures.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Compass Surgical Partners, a developer and operator of ambulatory surgery centers, raised new funding from TPG and Health Velocity Capital.

Accent Therapeutics, a biotech focused on precision cancer therapies, raised $75 million in Series C funding, led by Mirae Asset Capital Life Science, with participation from Bristol Myers Squibb, J&J Innovation, The Column Group, Atlas Venture, Droia Ventures, GV, EcoR1 Capital, AbbVie Ventures, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, and Timefolio Capital.

Elephas Biosciences, a biotech developing an oncology immunotherapy response prediction platform, raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Venture Investors Health Fund.

Turquoise Health, an end-to-end healthcare pricing platform, raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Adams Street Partners, with participation from Yosemite, Andreessen Horowitz, and BoxGroup.

Ansel, an insurtech providing simplified health plans, raised $20 million in funding led by Portage.

Motif Neurotech, a developer of implantable devices for treatment-resistant depression, raised $18.75 million in Series A funding.

Industrials, Greentech, & Other

Instagrid, a developer of portable energy storage solutions, raised $95 million in Series C funding led by led by Teachers’ Venture Growth (part of Ontario Teachers’), with participation from Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Energy Impact Partners, SET Ventures,, and High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Monta, a developer of electric vehicle charging management software, raised €80 million in Series B funding led by Energize Capital, GreenPoint Partners, and Denmark's Export and Investment Fund.

Vertical Aerospace, a developer of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, secured $50 million in funding led by founder Stephen Fitzpatrick.

AiDash, using AI-enabled satellite tech to prevent power-line-induced wildfires, raised $50m in Series C funding led by Lightrock, with participaton from SE Ventures, Venture Partners, Benhamou Global Ventures, National Grid Partners, Edison International, and Shell Ventures

Welligence, a platform focused on energy market data and analytics, raised $41 million in new funding led by Elephant, with participation from Veriten and EDG Group.

BlueWhite, an agricultural robotic automation provider, raised $39 million in Series C funding led by Insight Partners, with participation from Alumni Ventures, LIP Ventures, Entrée Capital, Jesselson Family Office, and Peregrine Ventures.

Dedrone, a provider of counter-drone technology, raised $39 million in Series C funding. Backers included NightDragon, Telekom Innovation Pool, and existing investors Armat Group, Menlo Ventures, and Marubeni.

Albedo, a developer of Earth observation and intelligence solutions, raised $35 million in Series A-1 funding. Standard Investments led, with participation from Booz Allen Ventures, Cubit Capital, Bill Perkins, and existing investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Shield Capital, Initialized Capital, Y Combinator, Giant Step Capital, and Republic Capital.

Aniai, a South Korea-based self-cooking hamburger robotics startup, raised $12 million in Pre-Series A funding. InterVest led, with participation from SV Investment, Ignite Innovation, and Capstone Partners.


• Franklin Templeton’s Benefit Street Partners raised $4.7 billion for its latest private credit fund.

I Squared Capital raised $1.2 billion for a new climate-focused fund.

Plural raised €400 million for its second venture fund.

Alto Partners raised €273 million for its latest Italy-focused middle market buyout fund.

AC Ventures raised $210 million for its fifth fund.

Propeller raised a debut fund of $117 million for new climate-focused venture investments.

Myriad Venture Partners, a spin-out of Xerox Ventures, raised a debut fund of $100 million.

Cordillera Investment Partners raised $62 million for a fund focused on whiskey barrel acquisitions.

LDV Capital raised $31 million for its fourth early-stage fund.


1. Your travel plan for Middle East fundraising.

• The Information’s (paywalled) guide for investors and founders heading to the Persian Gulf. — Where Tech Leaders Network, Stay and Eat When Fundraising in the Middle East, The Information

2. Add-ons get a little easier.

• The FTC adjusts the HSR threshold, raising the minimum size for reportable acquisitions to $119.5 million starting in February. — Annual HSR Threshold Adjustments Announced for 2024, Latham & Watkins


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