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RIP to the Jets' Rodgers Era

Aaron Rodgers’ season is over after four plays as a Jet, Google argues that it hasn’t exhibited anti-competitive practices, central banks are thinking higher rates for longer to fight inflation, AI is reshaping iPhones and Apple Watches, Ford plans to double its F-150 hybrid pickup production, and BP’s CEO quit over work relationships.

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Good Morning,

Aaron Rodgers’ season is over after four plays as a Jet, Google argues that it hasn’t exhibited anti-competitive practices, central banks are thinking higher rates for longer to fight inflation, AI is reshaping iPhones and Apple Watches, Ford plans to double its F-150 hybrid pickup production, and BP’s CEO quit over work relationships.

Today’s sponsor, Mercury, published an article highlighting the metrics that VCs and investors are looking at when evaluating startups. Read the article here.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 9/12/2023 market close.


  • US stocks fell, led by tech stocks, as oil prices rallied and investors await today’s CPI report

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 1.04% decline

  • Oil prices rallied ~2% on a tighter supply outlook


  • What we're watching this week:

    • Today: Cracker Barrel

    • Thursday: Adobe, Lennar

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Apple’s iPhone 15 debut includes higher price on top model (BBG)

  • Google argues quality kept its search on top, defends billions paid (RT)

  • UBS lays out the best names to play the $2T clean energy transition (CNBC)

  • Central banks set for higher for longer to fight inflation (BBG)

  • House committee targets crackdown on US investment in Chinese tech, military development (CNBC)

  • AI quietly reshapes Apple iPhones, watches (RT)

  • Banks load up on $1.2T in risky ‘hot’ deposits (WSJ)

  • Ford to double F-150 hybrid pickup production as EV sales growth slows (CNBC)

  • Tesla got an $80B boost from analyst call, not everyone buys it (BBG)

  • Child poverty more than doubled in US after expanded tax credits, stimulus checks ended (CNBC)

  • Amazon says it’s boosting pay for contract delivery drivers (CNBC)

  • House speaker Kevin McCarthy launches formal Biden impeachment inquiry (WSJ)

  • BP CEO looney quits over past relationships with colleagues (BBG)

  • Decongestant in cold medicines found ineffective (WSJ)

  • It took 3 plays for the Jets’ Aaron Rodgers experiment to combust (WSJ)

A Message From Mercury

Investors are focused on these metrics. Startups should be too.

Investments are still being made — even in today’s challenging market. That’s because VCs and investors haven’t stopped looking for opportunities, they’ve simply shifted what they are searching for. Mercury shines a light on the metrics that matter more than ever to help startups like yours succeed.

By understanding the key metrics investors have their sights set on, early-stage startups can laser-focus their next investor pitch to land the funding necessary to realize their ambitions.

Read the full article to learn what investors are thinking and how to lean into these numbers today.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • EU regulators are seeking feedback from Microsoft’s rivals on its proposed remedies to UK regulators for its $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard (BBG)

  • The US government is looking to sell ~$13B worth of mortgage bonds from failed banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (BBG)

  • Smurfit Kappa Group agreed to acquire WestRock in an $11.2B deal to create an Irish-American packaging powerhouse (BBG)

  • T-Mobile will buy airwaves from Comcast for up to $3.3B cash, pending approval from the US Federal Communications Commission; the deal is expected to close in 2028 (BBG)

  • General Electric will sell a stake in aircraft leasing giant AerCap Holdings worth $2.4B through an underwritten public offering (RT)

  • China’s ENN Natural Gas will sell its entire stake in its coal mining business Xinneng Mining Industry for $915M to focus on natural gas (RT)

  • Dutch commodities trading firm Vitol is selling $459M worth of shares in Australian fuel retailer Viva Energy (RT)

  • Chevron acquired a majority stake in the ACES Delta, the largest proposed storage facility for hydrogen from renewable energy, from PE firm Haddington Ventures (RT)

  • Ithaca Energy will acquire the remaining 30% stake that it doesn’t own in Cambo oil field from Shell (BBG)

  • British discount retailer Poundland will buy up to 71 Wilko stores and convert the collapsed retailer’s sites into its own brand (RT)


  • Lyten, a lithium-sulfur battery startup, raised a $200M Series B led by Prime Movers Labs (TC)

  • Enfabrica, a startup building networking chips designed to handle AI workloads, raised a $125M Series B led by Atreides Management (TC)

  • ROME Therapeutics, a biotech company looking to use the dark genome to develop medicines, raised a $72M Series B extension led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Bristol Myers Squibb, and others (BW)

  • Actio Biosciences, a biotech company focused on genetics and medicine, raised a $55M Series A led by Canaan and DROIA Ventures (BW)

  • 3D-printed prefab home startup Mighty Buildings raised a $52M round at a $300M+ valuation led by Waed Ventures and Bold Capital (TC)

  • FloLive, a startup building an IoT and localized cellular tech platform, raised a $47M Series C led by Greenfield Partners and 83North (TC)

  • GPU-based big data analytics platform SQream raised a $45M Series C led by World Trade Ventures (TC)

  • Druid, a conversational AI platform for enterprises that integrates ChatGPT, raised a $30M Series B led by TQ Ventures (TC)

  • Kale Logistics Solutions, a provider of a cloud-based cargo management software, raised a $30M round led by Creaegis Advisors (FN)

  • Elsa, a startup using ML and speech recognition tech to teach English, raised a $23M Series C led by UOB (FN)

  • Pulsora, an all-in-one platform for enterprise sustainability management, raised a $20M Series A led by Galvanize Climate Solutions (BW)

  • Treasury4, an enterprise software platform for finance and treasury professionals, raised a $20M Series A led by WestCap (BW)

  • Binalyze, a digital forensics and incident response startup, raised a $19M Series A led by Molten Ventures (FN)

  • BioLamina, a startup developing recombinant proteins, raised an $18.3M round led by LauxeraCapital Partners (FN)

  • Zenity, an Israeli startup providing a platform for securing low-code/no-code development, raised a $16.5M Series A led by Intel Capital (FN)

  • Optera, a provider of an ESG and carbon management software platform, raised a $12M Series A led by Next Frontier Capital (FN)

  • Climate tech startup Spiritus raised an $11M Series A led by Khosla Ventures (FN)

  • Cleafy, a Milan-based startup focused on banking fraud prevention, raised a $10.8M round led by United Ventures (FN)

  • Site Technologies, a startup using AI and drones to gather property data, raised a $10M Series A led by Prologis Ventures (FN)

  • Identity SecOps platform AuthMind raised an $8.5M seed round led by Ballistic Ventures (TC)

  • Mythic Protocol, a Singapore-based entertainment company developing games, media, and platforms, raised a $6.5M seed round led by Shima Capitals (FN)

  • Lumber, a workforce management platform for construction, raised a $5.5M seed round led by Carbide Ventures (FN)

  • Robotics startup Ascento raised a $4.3M pre-seed round led by Wingman Venture and Playfair (FN)

  • Mjuk, a Finnish furniture re-commerce platform, raised $2.7M in funding from Trind VC, Alliance VC, Superhero Capital, Lifeline Ventures, and angel investors (FN)

  • Cybersecurity startup Goldilock raised a $1.7M seed round from HBSAANY and NYA angels (BW)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Chip designer Arm will fetch as least a $54.5B valuation in its IPO (RT)

  • German footwear maker Birkenstock, which is owned by PE firm L Catterton, filed for an IPO (BBG)

  • Lineage Logistics, a large REIT specializing in temperature-controlled warehouses, is preparing for a potential IPO (BBG)

  • German defense contractor Renk aims to price its IPO in early October (RT)

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Arabia’s largest airline, and another shareholder will list a 30% stake in cargo firm SAL Saudi Logistics Services in its Riyadh IPO (BBG)


  • A group of banks led by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase launched a $4.4B debt sale to fund GTCR’s purchase of a majority stake in in payment processor Worldpay (BBG)

  • Legends Hospitality, which is backed by Sixth Street Partners, is in talks with a group of private credit firms led by KKR and Ares Management for a $1.9B debt package to finance a potential acquisition of venue and events management company ASM Global (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • French cleaning and facility management firm Atalian is in talks to restructure debt as $1.3B of debt repayments loom (BBG)

  • Noble House Home Furnishings, an Amazon and Target furniture supplier, filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell its assets, citing inflation (BBG)


  • H.I.G. Capital raised $6B for its latest middle-market leveraged buyout fund, exceeding its initial $5B target (BBG)

  • BV Investment Partners, a Boston PE firm focused on software and tech, closed BV Investment Partners Fund XI at $1.75B (FN)

Crypto Corner

  • The CEO of Binance.US departed the exchange, along with 100 other employees, as a third of its workforce was cut (BBG)

  • SBF lost a bid to be released early from jail to better prepare for his October 3 fraud trial (RT)

  • Co-founder of $4B crypto fraud scheme gets 20 years in prison, ‘Cryptoqueen’ partner remains at large (CNBC)

Exec’s Picks

  • Brex’s Shai Goldman compiled a chronological list of all new VC funds that raised $200M or less.

  • Founders Podcast host David Senra joined Patrick O’Shaughnessy for a fun conversation about insights gained from studying some of the world’s brightest minds.

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