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Public bickering wasn't part of the succession plan

Sequoia caught in board dispute at Klarna

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

  • A look at Sequoia infighting over Klarna board seats

  • The deal sheet, plus the market’s thoughts on NAV lending


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Sequoia Capital did a rapid about-face this week, asking its former chief Michael Moritz to resign from his role as chairman of Klarna’s board before retracting the request days later.

Instead, current Sequoia partner Matthew Miller, the director who had led the effort to remove Moritz, will vacate his own seat only two months after first joining Klarna’s board.

Sequoia now plans to name partner Andrew Reed as Miller’s replacement, despite having publicly acknowledged full support of Miller’s effort.

The Backstory

Moritz, who retired from Sequoia last year, led the firm’s initial investment in the “buy now, pay later” fintech Klarna in 2010. In the 14 years since, he’s developed a close relationship with co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski, who is said to view Moritz as a trusted mentor and member of his inner circle.

In January, Moritz left his Sequoia-appointed Klarna board seat but was asked to continue serving as chairman of the board in an independent capacity. Miller took on the role of Sequoia’s new representative.

Tensions flared shortly after as Moritz clashed with Miller over proposed changes to Klarna’s shareholder agreements ahead of a possible IPO, according to unnamed sources cited by The Information.

The ensuing attempt to oust Moritz prompted a quick defense from Siemiatkowski. The Klarna exec launched an internal campaign to save his seat, which included a flight to San Francisco for an in-person meeting with Sequoia leadership.

Founder Strife

As Siemiatkowski emerges victorious from his effort to protect Moritz, there’s some speculation that he may have sparked the situation himself.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg cited people close to the matter who said the real source of the Moritz-Miller conflict was rooted in a dispute between Siemiatkowski and his co-founder Victor Jacobsson.

The two are at odds over Jacobsson’s ongoing role at Klarna—while he’s stepped back from day-to-day operations, he still holds a 5 percent stake in the business and maintains influence through a board representative.

Siemiatkowski’s close relationship with Moritz, say Bloomberg’s sources, dragged the former Sequoia leader into the fray. The reasoning behind Miller’s positioning is less clear.

Patching Things Up

In the leadup to the drama, Sequoia had issued a statement calling for “a series of governance changes” at Klarna. Now, the firm says its “understanding of the situation was wrong” and that “upon a fuller assessment,” it supports Moritz's continued role as chairman.

It’s a rare public spat at Sequoia, which is itself navigating a period of transition that’s seen both leadership turnover and separation of the firm’s China operations.

Roelof Botha, Mortiz’s successor to the top job, apologized for “any distraction this may have caused the board, management team, and shareholders.” Notably, Andrew Reed, the Sequoia partner named as Miller’s board seat replacement, is known to be a long-time protégé of Moritz.

The More Important Task at Hand

Once Europe’s largest startup, Klarna’s 2021 valuation of $45.6 billion was slashed more than 85 percent to $6.7 billion in its following raise just one year later. Now, the fintech is gearing up for a potential IPO that it hopes can restore momentum.

At the time of Klarna’s down-round, Moritz offered a staunch defense of the business. “The shift in Klarna’s valuation is entirely due to investors suddenly voting in the opposite manner to the way they voted for the past few years,” he wrote. “Eventually, after investors emerge from their bunkers, the stocks of Klarna and other first-rate companies will receive the attention they deserve.”

Moritz now appears securely along for the ride at Klarna. His board involvement at Instacart, another important Sequoia investment, may be less sure after the week’s events.


Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and OMV AG have paused talks over a potential $30 billion merger of their chemicals businesses, citing disagreements over governance and listing requirements.

EQT and CPPIB are preparing to sell Nord Anglia Education, a global private schools operator that could be worth around $15 billion, per Bloomberg.

Chord Energy Corporation agreed to acquire Enerplus Corporation in a deal that creates an $11 billion combined company.

Zonda, a supplier of construction industry data backed by MidOcean Partners, acquired Builders Digital Experience (BDX) and its NewHomeSource.com platform, one of the largest listings sites for newly constructed homes.

Stonepeak agreed to acquire a $3 billion noncontrolling interest in Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.

Newmont is preparing to sell a collection of mines, which it expects to fetch around $2 billion.

JERA has agreed to acquire a 15.1 percent stake in Woodside Energy's Scarborough LNG project for $1.4 billion.

CVC Capital Partners abandoned its pursuit of a stake in the media rights of DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga, the governing body of the German soccer league, due to fan protests over private equity involvement.

NTWRK, a digital retail platform, has acquired Complex, a media platform focused on pop culture and streetwear, from BuzzFeed for $108.6 million.

Aero Accessories & Repair, backed by ATL Partners, has acquired AOG Accessories, a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services.

Apollo Intelligence, a healthcare-focused data analytics firm backed by Frazier Healthcare Partners, has acquired GlocalMind, a specialized consulting firm focused on market access.

HGGC invested in Rimkus Consulting Group, a global forensic consulting firm.

L Squared Capital Partners acquired ERA Industries, Gen-El-Mec, and i3DMFG, three precision manufacturing companies specializing in aerospace, defense, and medical components.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners acquired USA Water, a provider of water and wastewater treatment services, from Warren Equity Partners.

Delinea, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm, agreed to acquire Fastpath, an identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions provider backed by Pamlico Capital.

POS Nation, a provider of point-of-sale solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses, has acquired GrazeCart, a provider of e-commerce solutions for farmers' markets and local food producers.

Kinzie Capital acquired Arctic Industries, a provider of industrial refrigeration systems, from Brown Gibbons Lang & Co.

Merit Capital Partners and P2G Capital acquired Circuit Check, a provider of high-precision test and measurement instrumentation.

UBS Group is considering a sale of Credit Suisse’s Turkey investment banking unit.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe acquired pharmacy services platform AssistRx, per Axios.

Nautic Partners acquired SurfacePrep, a provider of surface preparation solutions, from CenterOak Partners.

Siris Capital invested in Gigamon, a provider of network visibility and analytics solutions.


Reddit filed its S-1 with plans to list on the NYSE under ticker RRDT. Backers are hoping for a valuation above $5 billion, per the NYT.

Intermedia Cloud Communications, an enterprise communications provider, withdrew its planned IPO.


Tech, Vertical SaaS, & Misc. Enterprise

Crisp, a provider of brand and retail data solutions, raised $20 million in Series B extension funds and secured $30 million in debt financing. Blue Cloud Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Spring Capital, and 3L participated. TriplePoint Capital provided the debt.

PermitFlow, a provider of construction permitting software solutions, raised $31 million in Series A funding. Kleiner Perkins led, with participation from Felicis, Altos Ventures, Initialized Capital, YCombinator, and ConTech.

Highway 9 Networks, developer of a cloud-based mobile network, raised $25 million in new funding led by Mayfield. General Catalyst, Detroit Ventures, and unnamed enterprise customers also participated.

Synadia, a developer of open-source cloud and edge-native software products, raised $25 million in Series B funding. ForgePoint Capital led, with participation from Singtel Innov8, LDVP, and 5G Open Innovation Lab.

Orkes, a developer of a microservices orchestration platform, raised $20 million of Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures and Vertex Ventures US.

VectorShift, a developer of generative AI application development platforms, raised $3 million in seed funding led by 1984 Ventures, with participation from Defy.vc, Formus Capital, Y Combinator, Soma Capital, 468 Ventures, and Pioneer Ventures.


AlTi Global, a wealth management platform, raised $450 million in new funding from Allianz X and Constellation Wealth Capital.

Eigen, the developer of a staking infrastructure service for Ethereum, raised $100 million from Andreessen Horowitz.

Uhnder, a company focused on digitizing radar sensors, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Acme Capital led, with participation from Magna, Qualcomm Ventures, and El Camino Capital, among others.

Napier AI, a provider of financial crime compliance software, raised £45 million from Crestline Investors.

dub, a social investment app designed around copy trading, raised $17 million in seed funding. Tusk Venture Partners led, with participation from Slow Ventures, NeoScribble Ventures, Alumni Ventures, K5 Global, Graph Ventures, and Dorm Room Fund.

Helius, a crypto-native developer platform for the Solana blockchain, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Foundation Capital led, with participation from Reciprocal Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, and Chapter One.

Varaha, a climate tech startup specializing in carbon quantification and trade, raised $8.7 million in a round led by RTP Global, with participation from Omnivore, Orios Venture Partners, and Norinchukin Bank.

Spektr, a Copenhagen-based startup developing an AI-driven compliance platform, raised €5 million in seed funding from Northzone, PreSeed Ventures, and Seedcamp.

Inco, a developer of privacy-focused security software for blockchains, raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by 1kx, with participation from Circle Ventures, Robot Ventures, Portal VC, Alliance DAO, and Big Brain Holdings.

Rock Rabbit, developer of a home energy incentive management platform, raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Powerhouse Ventures, with participation from Better Ventures, MUUS Climate Partners, and Berkeley SkyDeck.

Media & Consumer

Empowerly, an education technology company specializing in college admissions coaching, raised $15 million in a round led by Conductive Ventures.

Loora, an AI-tutoring startup, raised $12 million in Series A funding. QP Ventures led, with participation from Hearst Ventures, Emerge, and Two Lanterns Venture Partners.

Ziplines Education, a developer of digital learning programs, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Jackson Square Ventures led, with participation from existing backers Wildcat Venture Partners and WGU Labs.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Medical Microinstruments, a robotics company focused on surgical micro-instruments, raised $110 million of Series C funding led by Fidelity.

Frontier Medicines, a biotech focused on chemoproteomics drug development, raised $80 million in Series C funding led by Deerfield Management and Droia Ventures, with participation from Galapagos NV and existing backers DCVC Bio, MPM Capital, and RA Capital.

Fabric, a developer of AI-enabled health software, raised $60 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst, with participation from Thrive Capital, GV, Salesforce Ventures, Vast Ventures, BoxGroup, and Atento Capital.

Pozitivf, an operator of fertility clinics, raised $20 million in growth funding led by MonCap.

Blackbird Health, specializing in therapy and care for youth with mental illnesses, raised $17 million in Series A funding. Define Ventures led, with participation from Frist Cressey Ventures and GreyMatter.

Power, a clinical research company focused on patient recruitment, raised $11.9 million in Series A funding. Kin, Contrary, and Footwork co-led the round.

UnityAI, a developer of autonomous patient flow optimization technology, raised $4 million in seed funding. Max Ventures led, with participation from Whistler Capital Partners, Nashville Capital Network, and Company Ventures.

Elektra Health, a digital health platform focused on menopause care, raised $3.3 million in an extended seed round led by UPMC Enterprises, with participation from Wavemaker 360, Flare Capital Partners, and Seven Seven Six Fund.

Axle Health, a developer of workforce management and scheduling software for home health providers, raised $4.2 million in seed funding from TRAC VC and Pear VC.

Industrials, Greentech, & Other

Antora, a provider of zero-emission industrial heat and power solutions based on thermal battery technology, raised $150 million in Series B funding led by Decarbonization Partners, with participation from Emerson Collective, GS Futures, The Nature Conservancy, NextEra Energy Resources, Trust Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, BHP Ventures, Overture VC, and Grok Ventures.

rPlus Energies, a developer of utility-scale renewable power and storage assets, raised $460 million from Sandbrook Capital and Gardner Group.

DustPhotonics, a developer of silicon photonics technology for data center and AI applications, raised $24 million in Series B follow-on funding. Existing investors Sienna Venture Capital, Greenfield Partners, and Atreides Management led, with participation from new investor Exor Ventures.

Hohm Energy, a South African clean energy provider, raised $8 million in seed capital led by E3 Capital and 4DX Ventures, with participation from Breega Capital, E4E Africa, TO.org, Tekton Ventures, Sunu Capital, Musha Ventures, and Climate Capital Ventures.

Haomo, a Chinese developer of advanced driver assistance systems, raised RMB 100 million in Series B1 funding from Chengdu Wufa.

HelloHive, an equitable recruitment platform, raised $3.4 million in Series A funding led by The Tisch Family, with participation from The Pearl Fund.

Clairity Technology, a direct air carbon capture startup, raised $6.75 million in seed funding from Lowercarbon and Initialized.


Crow Holdings raised $3.1 billion for its 10th real estate fund.

Keystone Capital raised $630 million for its third fund.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management raised $600 million from wealthy individuals for a new European private credit fund.

Mark Wills, formerly of Elliott Management, is launching hedge fund Cisu Capital Partners with up to $300 million in committments.

ORI Capital raised $260 million for its second life sciences-focused venture fund.

Hack VC raised $150 million for its debut crypto-focused fund.

Golden Ventures raised $100 million for its fifth early-stage fund.

Definition raised $80 million for its debut venture fund.


1. Insights on the NAV lending market.

• Proskauer shares the results of its 2023 lender-focused NAV financing survey. — Proskauer


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