About MScherzer

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far MScherzer has created 84 entries.

The Scherzer Deal Report: Nov 6-13, 2019


Here is this week’s Deal Report for private equity and venture capital activity for US-based PE and VC firms and portfolio companies, brought to you by Scherzer International.


Manage your Scherzer International subscription(s).

PE and VC Firms Fundraising Location Amount Description
Altas Partners Toronto, Canada $3B Second fund
Boldstart Ventures New York, NY $157M Fourth seed and early-stage fund and first opportunities fund
CVC Capital Partners Luxembourg $1.6M Second growth equity fund
Inspired Capital New York, NY $200M Debut fund
Newbury Partners Stamford, CT $1.75B Fifth fund
Norwest Venture Partners Palo Alto, CA $2B Fifteenth fund
Pathlight Capital  Hingham, MA $540M Debut fund
SK Capital Partners New York, NY $400M New fund
The Chernin Group Los Angeles, CA $700M Debut fund


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Industrial Growth Partners ASPEQ Undisclosed St. Louis, MO-based manufacturer of highly engineered electric-heating and thermal-management technologies
Gemspring Capital Crafty Apes Undisclosed New York, NY-based visual effects company 
Sverica Gryphon Networks Undisclosed Boston, MA-based provider of sales performance management and compliance software
General Catalyst, Emerson Collective, Iconiq Capital, Lead Edge Capital, Workday Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Next Play Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Felicis Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal Guild Education $157M Denver, CO-based education benefits platform focused on creating opportunity for America’s workforce through education
Advent International  Mariana Tek Undisclosed Washington, DC-based provider of business management software for the fitness market
Butterfly Equity Orgain Undisclosed Irvine, CA-based maker of organic and “clean” protein powders, shakes, and nutrition bars
Dyal Capital Owl Rock Capital  $500M New York, NY-based private debt lender
Main Post Partners  Sugared + Bronzed Undisclosed Beverly Hills, CA-based provider of sugaring and sunless tanning services
Apollo Global Management Tech Data $5.4B Clearwater, FL-based IT equipment distributor
Starwood Energy Group Third Coast Midstream Undisclosed Lavaca, TX-based gas gathering infrastructure


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Accel, Slack Fund 1Password $200M Toronto, Canada-based online password manager
Wellington Management, Fidelity, Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners ACV Auctions $150M Buffalo, NY-based wholesale auto auction site
Sequoia Capital, BV, Closed Loop Partners, Congruent Ventures, Sidewalk Labs AMP Robotics $16M Denver, CO-based developer of robots for sorting recyclable materials
Optum Ventures, Pritzker Group VC, Baird Capital, Math Ventures, Levy Family Partners, Illinois Ventures, Wintrust Apervita $22M Chicago, IL-based healthcare analytics platform
Atlas Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Tekla Capital, BioInnovation Capital Arkuda Therapeutics $44M Cambridge, MA-based biotech focused on dementia
RTW Investments, Cormorant Asset Management, CureDuchenne, Logos Capital, Partner Fund Management, Perceptive Advisors, ST Pharm, Alethea Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Boxer Capital, Brace Pharma Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Takeda Ventures Avidity Biosciences $100M La Jolla, CA-based biotech startup focused on rare muscle disorders
Generation Investment Management, T. Rowe Price, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, Durable Capital Partners, CapitalG, Lone Pine Capital Convoy $400M Seattle, WA-based marketplace that connects truckers and shippers
Index Ventures, Sussex Place Ventures, Contour Ventures, Partnership Fund for New York, Outrun Ventures Cutover $17M New York-based work orchestration and observability platform
Bessemer Venture Partners, Energize Ventures, AirTree, Emergence Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Uncork Capital DroneDeploy $35M San Francisco, CA-based drone mapping and analytics platform
GreatPoint Ventures, Pritzker Group VC, Lightbank, Shah Capital Partners Extend $16.4M San Francisco, CA-based extended warranties-as-a-service startup
Accel, CapitalG, Sequoia Capital Freshworks $150M San Mateo, CA-based provider of customer support software
Kairos Ventures, Bold Capital Partners GuRu Wireless $15M Pasadena, CA-based millimeter-wave technology startup
Insight Partners Hundred $8M New York, NY-based personalized vitamin brand
Founders Fund iSee $15M Cambridge, MA-based autonomous driving startup for trucks
Panorama Point Partners, Iron Gate Capital, DH Capital Liqid $28M Broomfield, CO-based composable infrastructure hardware and software platform
Battery Ventures LogRocket $15M Cambridge, MA-based startup focused on identifying and fixing software bugs
ICONIQ Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Sapphire Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, Comerica Bank Moveworks $75M Mountain View, CA-based provider of automated employee IT support services
Bain Capital Ventures, Venrock Nightfall $15.5M San Francisco, CA-based data loss prevention platform
Clearvision Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Invicta Growth, Bunge Ventures, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Tech Pioneers Fund, GV, Geodesic Capital, SKY Perfect JSAT, Intellectus Partners, Lux Capital Orbital Insight $50M Mountain View, CA-based provider of geospatial analytics solutions
Paychex founder Tom Golisano PostProcess Technologies $20M Buffalo, NY-based provider of automated finishing solutions for 3D-printed products
Blue Ox Healthcare Partners Sera Prognostics $36M Salt Lake City, UT-based prenatal diagnostics startup
CVC Growth Partners, Centana Growth Partners, Voyager Capital SheerID $64M Portland, OR-based marketing ID verification company
F-Prime Capital, Sequoia Capital, Freestyle Capital, Founders Fund Snapdocs $25M San Francisco, CA-based home mortgage closing platform
Spectrum Equity Spreedly $75M Durham, NC-based provider of digital payments optimization software
Shasta Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Steve Young Threekit $20M Chicago, IL-based developer of immersive product experiences for brands and retailers
Razor’s Edge Ventures, New York City Ventures, Paladin Capital Group, RRE Ventures, S&P Global Ursa $15M Ithaca, NY-based geospatial analytics-as-a-service startup
Foundry Group, Two Sigma Ventures, Accomplice, Thursday Ventures, Promus Ventures, SVB Whoop $55M Boston, MA-based maker of wearable fitness trackers
Redpoint Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Geodesic Capital, Battery Ventures, Storm Ventures Workato $70M Cupertino, CA-based automation platform for workflow management
Vulcan Capital, Marubeni Corp., Madrona Venture Group, Tenaya Capital Wrench $20M Seattle, WA-based on-demand vehicle repair service for consumers and fleets

November 15th, 2019|Scherzer Deal Report|

The Scherzer Deal Report: Oct 30-Nov 6, 2019


Here is this week’s Deal Report for private equity and venture capital activity for US-based PE and VC firms and portfolio companies, brought to you by Scherzer International.


Manage your Scherzer International subscription(s).

PE and VC Firms Fundraising Location Amount Description
Brookfield Asset Management Toronto, Canada $9B Fifth flagship private equity fund
KKR New York and London €5.8B Fifth European buyout fund
L Catterton Asia Singapore $1.45B Third fund
Modus Capital New York and Egypt $75M Fund targeting early and growth stage companies across the Middle East and North Africa
Peak Ventures Lehi, UT $75M Third fund for firm formerly known as Album VC


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Yellow Wood Partners Dr. Scholl’s  $585M Global foot-care products brand
BV Investment Partners EDCO Health Information Solutions Undisclosed St. Louis-based provider of automated unstructured data indexing software for healthcare providers
NGL Energy Partners Hillstone Environmental Partners Undisclosed Denver, CO-based provider of water pipeline and disposal infrastructure solutions
ICV Partners JK & T Wings Undisclosed Shelby Charter, MI-based franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants
Spectrum Equity Kajabi Undisclosed Irvine, CA-based platform that helps individuals and small businesses create online courses and training materials
First Reserve Lamons Undisclosed Houston, TX-based gaskets manufacturer
Gravity On Point Oilfield Holdings Undisclosed Permian Basin produced water midstream business
CVC Capital Partners Ontic Undisclosed Chatsworth, CA-based provider of OEM-licensed parts for aerospace platforms
CPPIB Pattern Energy Undisclosed San Francisco, CA-based renewable energy group
CI Capital Partners WTS International Undisclosed Rockville, MD-based spa design and management firm
Harvest Partners Yellowstone Landscape Undisclosed Bunnell, FL-based provider of commercial landscaping services


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
The Column Group, Vida Ventures, Samsara BioCapital, Nextech Invest A2 Biotherapeutics $57M Agoura Hills, CA-based developer of cell therapies for cancer
Palisades Growth Capital, Innov8, Asahi Kasei, Accelmed Growth Partners, SpringRock Ventures, Baird Capital, New Leaf Venture Partners, Pritzker Group, Biomatics Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, SVB AiCure $24.5M New York-based visual recognition platform for monitoring patient progress in clinical trials
H.I.G. BioHealth Partners, 7wire Ventures, SV Health Investors, Bluestem Capital Clarify Medical $18M San Diego, CA-based developer of a phototherapy device for treating psoriasi
Fresenius Medical Care, Wellington Partners, Bayer, Arch Venture Partners, Biomatics Capital, Alta Partners, Khosla Ventures eGenesis $100M Cambridge, MA-based gene editing biotech startup
SV Health Investors, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners Healthify $16M New York-based healthcare referrals platform
Zeev Ventures, Group 11, Menlo Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Stereo Capital HomeLight $63M San Francisco, CA-based platform for matching home-sellers with real estate agents
Community Investment Management Kenzie Academy $100M Indianapolis, IN-based software engineering apprenticeship school
Goldman Sachs LeaseQuery $40M Atlanta, GA-based provider of lease accounting software
Comcast Ventures, NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Pillar VC, Amdocs Neural Magic $15M Somerville, MA-based machine learning startup that leverages commodity CPUs, 
Insight Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, New Era Capital Partners, Dynamic Loop Capital Papaya Global $45M New York-based payroll and payment management platform
General Atlantic, General CatalystMerck, Bristol-Myers Squibb PathAI $75M Boston, MA-based computational pathology startup
Georgian Partners, Wells Fargo, Citi Ventures, Untitled Investments, Sapphire Ventures, Bain Capital, Primary Venture Partners Reonomy $60M New York-based commercial real estate data and analytics platform
Norwest Venture Partners Senreve $16.75M San Francisco, CA-based maker of luxury handbags
NEA, CureDuchenne Ventures Shape Therapeutics $35.5M Seattle, WA-based developer of RNA-editing gene therapies
Khosla Ventures, Mayfield, M12 Volterra $50M Santa Clara, CA-based provider of distributed cloud services

November 8th, 2019|Scherzer Deal Report|

The Scherzer Deal Report: Oct 23-30, 2019


Here is this week’s Deal Report for private equity and venture capital activity for US-based PE and VC firms and portfolio companies, brought to you by Scherzer International.


Manage your Scherzer International subscription(s).

PE and VC Firms Fundraising Location Amount Description
Crestline Investors Fort Worth, TX $360M Third Europe-focused opportunities fund
KKR New York, NY $2B Second tech-focused growth equity fund
Rise of the Rest Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA $150M Second seed fund
The Carlyle Group New York, NY €6.4B Fifth European buyout fund


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Anixter International Undisclosed Glenview, IL-based distributor of solutions for network & security, electrical & electronic solutions and utility power
Graham Partners Gatekeeper Systems Undisclosed Foothill Ranch, CA-based provider of intelligent shopping cart systems for retailers
SK Capital  GEON Performance Solutions Undisclosed Avon Lake, OH-based plastic compounded solutions group
The Carlyle Group Hilb Group Undisclosed Richmond, VA-based insurance brokerage
Rockbridge Growth Equity ProSites Undisclosed Temecula, CA-based online marketing firm
Granite Creek Capital Partners, Red Arts Capital  Sunset Pacific Transportation Undisclosed Chino, CA-based leasing logistics company


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Tiger Global, Accel, Vulcan Capital, Founders Co-op Ally $15M Seattle, WA-based goal-setting and business performance management software provider
Ampersand Capital Partners Arranta Bio $82M Watertown, MA-based microbiome contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO)
CRV, Formation 8, Ignition Partners, Liberty Global Ventures Aviatrix $40M Santa Clara, CA-based provider of networking and security services for multi-cloud enterprises
Evolution Ventures, Macy’s, Khosla Ventures, Peak State Ventures b8ta $50M San Francisco, CA-based retail-as-a-service startup
Volition Capital Burst Oral Care $20M Los Angeles, CA-based sonic oral care company
OMERS Ventures, Emergence Capital, Mayfield, Cowboy Ventures, Verizon Ventures Crunchbase $30M San Francisco, CA-based provider of private-company prospecting and research solutions
Forerunner Ventures Curated $27.5M San Francisco, CA-based personalized online shopping platform
Breakout Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures, Western Technology Investment Cytovale $15M San Francisco, CA-based developer of biomarkers for early detection of sepsis
ST Telemedia, Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Nextworld Capital, Citi Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners Datameer $40M San Francisco, CA-based big data analytics platform
Novo Holding, Access Biotech, Atlas Venture Disc Medicine $50M Cambridge, MA-based hematology startup
JAFCO, Goldman Sachs, NEC Corp DotData $23M San Mateo, CA-based data science automation startup
Intel Capital, Hearst Ventures, Team8 Duality Technologies $16M Newark, NJ-based provider of privacy-enhancing data science solutions based on homomorphic encryption
Guidepost Growth Equity Green Rabbit $31M Braintree, MA-based provider of cold chain e-commerce logistics for the food industry
Samsung Catalyst, Mubadala, ACME Capital, Airbus Ventures, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Tao Capital Partners, Correlation Ventures, A&E Investment, Amazon, NEA, GV, Osage University Partners IonQ $55M College Park, MD-based quantum computing startup
Point72 Ventures, Lululemon, LionTree, Spark Capital, Lerer Hippeau Mirror $34M New York, NY-based maker of at-home “mirrors” that stream studio fitness classes
Omega Funds, Aisling Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Baupost Group, Boxer Capital, EDBI, ECOR1 Capital, Fidelity, Pavilion Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Redmile Group, Surveyor Capital Nuvation $275M New York, NY-based stealth biotechnology company developing proprietary therapies for oncology
ATW Partners, SJF Ventures, Health Catalyst Capital, Inova Health Systems, RTI International, ARUP Labs PierianDx $27M St. Louis-based clinical genomics informatics startup
Greylock, Thomvest, Bain Capital Ventures, NFX, NYCA Ventures Ribbon $30M New York, NY-based home finance startup
TDM Growth Partners Rokt $48M New York, NY-based e-commerce marketing company
NewView Capital, CPPIB, Baillie Gifford, Greycroft, Revolution Growth, Sands Capital Ventures Scopely $200M Los Angeles, CA-based mobile gaming company
Companion Fund, TTV Capital, FJ Labs, Struck Capital Scratchpay $15M Los Angeles, CA-based provider of payment plans for veterinary care
Georgian Partners Shipwell $35M Austin, TX-based software platform for managing trucking logistics
SignalFire, NextWorld Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Hillsven Capital Stampli $25M Mountain View, CA-based accounts payable automation and communications platform 
Andreessen Horowitz, Westlake Village BioPartners, Gilead Sciences, UPenn, Be The Match BioTherapeutics, American Cancer Society Tmunity Therapeutics $75M Philadelphia, PA-based developer of T-cell immunotherapies
WestRiver Group, RNS Partner Toca Football $25M Costa Mesa, CA-based soccer training startup
Health Enterprise Partners, MemorialCare Innocation Fund Twistle $16M Seattle, WA-based healthcare process automation startup
Silver Lake Vacasa $319M Portland, OR-based vacation rental management company

November 1st, 2019|Scherzer Deal Report|

The Scherzer Deal Report: Oct 16-23, 2019


Here is this week’s Deal Report for private equity and venture capital activity for US-based PE and VC firms and portfolio companies, brought to you by Scherzer International.


Manage your Scherzer International subscription(s).

PE and VC Firms Fundraising Location Amount Description
Bloomberg Beta New York, NY $75M Third fund
Refactor Burlingame, CA $30M Second seed stage fund
TPG Sixth Street Partners San Francisco, CA $2.2B Capital Solutions fund


Private Equity Investors
Company
Amount
Description
SkyKnight Capital AeroCare Holdings Undisclosed Orlando, FL-based provider of home healthcare solutions for patients with chronic respiratory conditions
Lee Equity Partners Cosmetic Solutions Undisclosed Pompano Beach, FL-based contract manufacturer for skincare brands
LLR Partners, Parthenon Capital  DaySmart Software Undisclosed Ann Arbor, MI-based provider of business management software to the spa/salon, pet care, and tattoo markets
Power Digital Factorial Digital Undisclosed Asbury Park, NJ-based growth marketing and SEO agency
Anacapa Partners I4Pro Undisclosed São Paulo, Brazil-based provider of ERP software for the Brazilian insurance market
One Rock Capital Partners Innophos $932M Dallas, TX-based provider of furniture to off-campus student housing properties
Cerberus Capital Management Kellermeyer Bergensons Services Undisclosed Oceanside, CA-based industrial and commercial facilities management firm
Periscope Equity Mobile Solutions Undisclosed Centennial, CO-based SaaS mobile mobility management platform
One Equity Partners ORS MEDCO Undisclosed Deerfield, IL-based wholesaler of maintenance and repair focused non-discretionary and consumable industrial and automotive aftermarket products
Inmar OwnerIQ Undisclosed Boston, MA-based provider of self-support product information for consumers
Genpact Rightpoint Undisclosed Chicago, IL-based digital consultancy
Nautic Partners Spartech Undisclosed Maryland Heights, MO-based custom manufacturer of specialized acrylics and other engineered extruded plastics
Platinum Equity TruckPro Undisclosed Cordova, TN-based heavy-duty truck parts distributor


Venture Capital Investors Company Amount Description
General Atlantic, JMI Equity Benevity C$40M Canadian provider of corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software
Insight Partners, Accel Corelight $50M San Francisco, CA-based cybersecurity company
Andreessen Horowitz, Alkeon Capital Management, BlackRock, Coatue, Dragoneer, Geodesic, Green Bay Ventures, NEA, T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global Databricks $400M San Francisco, CA-based data analytics SaaS company
Northzone Disperse $15M London-based construction tech startup
Corner Ventures, Aleph, CPPIB, Innovation Endeavors, La Maison, Playground Ventures, Temasek Fabric $110M New York, NY-based innovative logistics company-based provider of automated retail logistics
Index Ventures, Spark Capital, Tribe Capital, SC Ventures, Glynn Capital, Greylock, NEA, Andreessen Horowitz Instabase $105M San Francisco, CA-based social platform for business data
GMAG Holdings, Winnebago Industries Motiv Power Systems $60M Foster City, CA-based electric truck chassis company
Mosaik Partners, Medici Ventures, Intuitive Venture Partners PeerNova $31M San Jose, CA-based provider of end-to-end digitization for financial institutions
DCVC Bio, The Column Group, M Ventures, CRV, Neotribe Ventures Plexium $28M San Diego, CA-based biotech focused on protein degredation
Redline Capital, MMC Ventures, GMG Ventures, Hearst Ventures Signal AI $25M New York, NY-based business intelligence and media monitoring startup
NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, a16z Cultural Leadership Fund, Green Bay Ventures Sisu $52.5M San Francisco, CA-based maker of diagnostic technology for structured data
Lux Capital, DFJ  Zoox $200M Foster City, CA-based self-driving automaker

October 25th, 2019|Scherzer Deal Report|

The Scherzer Deal Report: Oct 9-16, 2019


Here is this week’s Deal Report for private equity and venture capital activity for US-based PE and VC firms and portfolio companies, brought to you by Scherzer International.


Manage your Scherzer International subscription(s).

PE and VC Firms Fundraising Location Amount Description
BoxGroup New York, NY $165M Flagship vehicle ($82.5M) and an opportunities fund ($82.5M)
Craft Ventures San Francisco, CA $500M Second fund led by David Sacks
Day One Ventures San Francisco, CA $20M Third fund
Jackson Square Ventures San Francisco, CA $193M Third VC fund
KPS Capital Partners New York, NY $7B Fifth flagship buyout fund,($6B) and debut middle-market buyout fund ($1B)
M13 Los Angeles, CA $175M Second fund


Private Equity Investors Company Amount Description
Lovell Minnick Partners Billhighway Undisclosed Troy, MI-based provider of software and payment solutions to membership-based organizations
Whitney, Bradley & Brownn BRTRC Federal Solutions Undisclosed Vienna, VA-based provider of support services to U.S. military and intelligence agencies
The Carlyle Group Cepsa Undisclosed Spanish oil company
GHK Capital Partners Dura-Supreme Undisclosed Howard Lake, MN-based maker of semi-custom and custom cabinetry
Five Elms Capital FMX Undisclosed Columbus, OH-based provider of facilities and maintenance management software
The Carlyle Group HireVue Undisclosed Salt Lake City, UT-based provider of talent assessment and video interviewing software
KKR Hyperoptic Undisclosed British residential gigabit broadband provider
Blue Wolf Capital Partners Kirlin Design Build Undisclosed Rockville, MD-based engineering and construction company focused on large government and private-sector projects
Cornell Capital Lorom Undisclosed Taipei-based specialized cable manufacturing and assembly company
HGGC Monotype Imaging $825M Woburn, MA-based font licensor
Ampersand Capital Partners New England Peptid Undisclosed Gardner, MA-based provider of custom peptides and antibodies to the life sciences market
Lincolnshire Management Powerhouse Undisclosed Crowley, TX-based construction and facilities maintenance company
Baymark Partners Presidium Network Services Undisclosed Lakeland, FL-based IT services provider
Thoma Bravo Sophos Group Undisclosed British cybersecurity company
Cornell Capital Spectrum Automotive Undisclosed Fairfield, NJ-based agent, marketer and administrator of auto finance and insurance products
Revelstoke Capital Partners The Care Team Undisclosed Farmington Hills, MI-based provider of home health and hospice services
Rockbridge Growth Equity White Glove Undisclosed Birmingham, MI-based seminar marketing and planning company
Marlin Equity Partners Whitlock Undisclosed Richmond, VA-based provider of audiovisual and video collaboration solutions


Venture Capital Investors Company Amount Description
Accelled, Salesforce Ventures Algolia $110M San Francisco, CA-based search-as-a-service startup
Bond, General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, Blackbird, Sequoia China Canva $85M Australian design software company
Prelude Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Moore Strategic Ventures, Next47 Citrine $20M Redwood City, CA-based materials data and AI platform
Tiger Global, Sequoia India CleverTap $35M Mountain View, CA-based mobile marketing and customer analytics platform
Novo Holdings, Venrock, DROIA Oncology Ventures, Osage University Partners, Lightstone Ventures, Celgene Cyteir Therapeutics $40.2M Lexington, MA-based cancer therapy startup
Union Grove Venture Partners, Ajax Strategies, Crosslink Capital, March Capital Partners Descartes Labs $20M Santa Fe, NM-based satellite imagery analytics startup
Edison Partners, Allos Ventures, Cultivation Capital Emplify $15M Indianapolis, IN-based employee engagement improvement startup
The Chernin Group Exploding Kittens $30M Los Angeles, CA-based maker of card games
e.ventures, Evolv Ventures, Poseidon Flowhub $23M Denver, CO-based provider of cannabis retail management software
Accel Galileo Financial $77M Salt Lake City, UT-based provider of backend software for fintech companies
Foundry Group, Lerer Hippeau, Kickstart Ventures, Gingerbread Capital Havenly $32M Denver, CO-based interior design platform
H.I.G Growth, Upfront Ventures, Accel, Morgan Stanley Invoca $56M Santa Barbara, CA-based provider of call tracking and conversational analytics software
Tiger Global Lattice $25M San Francisco, CA-based employee management platform
Walmart, Hut 8 Ventures, Lennar Level Home $71M Redwood City, CA-based smart-lock developer
White Star Capital, FirstMark Capital, Amplo, Alpha Edison Partners, Arkitekt Ventures, Galaxy Digital Parsley Health $26M New York, NY-based personalized holistic health services startup
Sapphire Ventures, General Atlantic, Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Meritech Capital, FirstMark, Geodesic Capital, Cross Creek Pendo $100M Raleigh, NC-based customer analytics platform
HP Enterprise, Lightspeed Venture Partners Pensando $145M San Jose, CA-based developer of new edge services models of enterprise and cloud computing
Contour Venture Partners, Core Capital Partners Radius Networks $15M Washington, DC-based provider of physical customer traffic analytics
IAC, Slow Ventures, AXA Venture Partners, Open Ocean Thimble $22M New York, NY-based provider of short-term insurance to small businesses and freelancers
DBL Partners Wheels $50M Los Angeles, CA-based dockless e-bike rental company

October 18th, 2019|Scherzer Deal Report|

Ninth Circuit Defines “Standalone, Clear and Conspicuous” Disclosure for Obtaining Employment-Purpose Background Checks

On January 29, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC instructed employers about the importance of complying with background check disclosure requirements found in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Pursuant to the federal statute, employers who want to obtain a consumer report (commonly referred to as a background check report) on a job candidate must provide to the candidate a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” about the report in a document that consists “solely of the disclosure.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A).

But when Desiree Gilberg applied for a job with CheckSmart Financial, she received something different. First Gilberg completed a three-page form containing an employment application, a math screening and an employment history verification. She then signed a separate form entitled, “Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation.”

The one-page form included the required FCRA disclosure as well as mandated state disclosures for California, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.

Gilberg worked for CheckSmart for five months before voluntarily leaving the job. She then filed a putative class action against the company, alleging that it failed to make proper disclosures as set forth in both the FCRA and California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).

A district court sided with the employer and dismissed the case. The judge agreed with CheckSmart that its disclosure form complied with both statutes. Gilberg appealed to the Ninth Circuit. She argued that the standalone requirement didn’t permit the combination of state and federal disclosures as CheckSmart had tried.

Considering the issue, the Ninth Circuit recalled a 2017 decision in Syed v. M-I, LLC. In that case, which also involved the standalone requirement, the federal appellate panel held that a prospective employer violated the FCRA when it included a liability waiver in the same document as the mandated disclosure. The statute means what it says, the court emphasized: the required disclosure must be in a document that “consist[s] ‘solely’ of the disclosure.”

In an effort to distinguish its disclosure from that in the Syed case, CheckSmart told the court that the additional information in its form actually furthered the FCRA’s purpose.

“We disagree,” the court wrote. “Syed’s holding and statutory analysis were not limited to liability waivers; Syed considered the standalone requirement with regard to any surplusage. Syed grounded its analysis of the liability waiver in its statutory analysis of the word ‘solely,’ noting that FCRA should not be read to have implied exceptions, especially when the exception – in that case, a liability waiver – was contrary to FCRA’s purpose. Syed also cautioned ‘against finding additional, implied exceptions’ simply because Congress had created one exception. Consistent with Syed, we decline CheckSmart’s invitation to create an implied exception here.”

Plain meaning trumps purpose, the Ninth Circuit said, rejecting the employer’s contention that its disclosure form was consistent with the intent of the FCRA. Since the surplus language included disclosures required by various state laws that were inapplicable to Gilberg, the court was unable to understand how the CheckSmart form comported with the purpose of the federal statute.

“Because the presence of this extraneous information is as likely to confuse as it is to inform, it does not further FCRA’s purpose,” the court declared.

“Syed holds that the standalone requirement forecloses implicit exceptions,” the panel wrote. “The statute’s one express exception does not apply here, and CheckSmart’s disclosure contains extraneous and irrelevant information beyond what FCRA itself requires. The disclosure, therefore, violates FCRA’s standalone document requirement. Even if congressional purpose were relevant, much of the surplusage in CheckSmart’s disclosure form does not effectuate the purposes of the FCRA.”

In addition to ruling that the district court erred in concluding that the employer’s disclosure form satisfied the FCRA’s standalone document requirement, the Ninth Circuit also held that CheckSmart’s disclosure form was not “clear and conspicuous” under either FCRA or ICRAA.

The court grudgingly found the form to be “conspicuous” (despite characterizing the font as “inadvisably” small and cramped) but held it was not “clear.” The disclosure contained language a reasonable person would not understand, the court said, and its content would confuse a reader with the combination of federal and state disclosures.

As “CheckSmart’s disclosure form was not both clear and conspicuous, the district erred in granting CheckSmart’s motion for summary judgment with regard to the FCRA and ICRAA ‘clear and conspicuous’ requirements,” the panel wrote. The Ninth Circuit reversed dismissal of Gilberg’s complaint and remanded the case to the California district court. (As of this writing, there is a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc pending before the 9th Circuit.)

For employers, the Ninth Circuit opinion could not be more clear: ensure that the FCRA disclosure form provided to job candidates contains no extraneous or surplus language. The decision also provides an important reminder about keeping disclosures forms clear and conspicuous in order to comply with both federal and state laws.

Pursuant to the federal statute, employers who want to obtain a consumer report (commonly referred to as a background check report) on a job candidate must provide to the candidate a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” about the report in a document that consists “solely of the disclosure.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A).

But when Desiree Gilberg applied for a job with CheckSmart Financial, she received something different. First Gilberg completed a three-page form containing an employment application, a math screening and an employment history verification. She then signed a separate form entitled, “Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation.”

The one-page form included the required FCRA disclosure as well as mandated state disclosures for California, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.

Gilberg worked for CheckSmart for five months before voluntarily leaving the job. She then filed a putative class action against the company, alleging that it failed to make proper disclosures as set forth in both the FCRA and California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).

A district court sided with the employer and dismissed the case. The judge agreed with CheckSmart that its disclosure form complied with both statutes. Gilberg appealed to the Ninth Circuit. She argued that the standalone requirement didn’t permit the combination of state and federal disclosures as CheckSmart had tried.

Considering the issue, the Ninth Circuit recalled a 2017 decision in Syed v. M-I, LLC. In that case, which also involved the standalone requirement, the federal appellate panel held that a prospective employer violated the FCRA when it included a liability waiver in the same document as the mandated disclosure. The statute means what it says, the court emphasized: the required disclosure must be in a document that “consist[s] ‘solely’ of the disclosure.”

In an effort to distinguish its disclosure from that in the Syed case, CheckSmart told the court that the additional information in its form actually furthered the FCRA’s purpose.

“We disagree,” the court wrote. “Syed’s holding and statutory analysis were not limited to liability waivers; Syed considered the standalone requirement with regard to any surplusage. Syed grounded its analysis of the liability waiver in its statutory analysis of the word ‘solely,’ noting that FCRA should not be read to have implied exceptions, especially when the exception – in that case, a liability waiver – was contrary to FCRA’s purpose. Syed also cautioned ‘against finding additional, implied exceptions’ simply because Congress had created one exception. Consistent with Syed, we decline CheckSmart’s invitation to create an implied exception here.”

Plain meaning trumps purpose, the Ninth Circuit said, rejecting the employer’s contention that its disclosure form was consistent with the intent of the FCRA. Since the surplus language included disclosures required by various state laws that were inapplicable to Gilberg, the court was unable to understand how the CheckSmart form comported with the purpose of the federal statute.

“Because the presence of this extraneous information is as likely to confuse as it is to inform, it does not further FCRA’s purpose,” the court declared.

“Syed holds that the standalone requirement forecloses implicit exceptions,” the panel wrote. “The statute’s one express exception does not apply here, and CheckSmart’s disclosure contains extraneous and irrelevant information beyond what FCRA itself requires. The disclosure therefore violates FCRA’s standalone document requirement. Even if congressional purpose were relevant, much of the surplusage in CheckSmart’s disclosure form does not effectuate the purposes of the FCRA.”

In addition to ruling that the district court erred in concluding that the employer’s disclosure form satisfied the FCRA’s standalone document requirement, the Ninth Circuit also held that CheckSmart’s disclosure form was not “clear and conspicuous” under either FCRA or ICRAA.

The court grudgingly found the form to be “conspicuous” (despite characterizing the font as “inadvisably” small and cramped) but held it was not “clear.” The disclosure contained language a reasonable person would not understand, the court said, and its content would confuse a reader with the combination of federal and state disclosures.

As “CheckSmart’s disclosure form was not both clear and conspicuous, the district erred in granting CheckSmart’s motion for summary judgment with regard to the FCRA and ICRAA ‘clear and conspicuous’ requirements,” the panel wrote. The Ninth Circuit reversed dismissal of Gilberg’s complaint and remanded the case to the California district court. (As of this writing, there is a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc pending before the 9th Circuit.)

For employers, the Ninth Circuit opinion could not be more clear: ensure that the FCRA disclosure form provided to job candidates contains no extraneous or surplus language. The decision also provides an important reminder about keeping disclosures forms clear and conspicuous in order to comply with both federal and state laws.

March 2nd, 2019|Employment Decisions, Judgment|

Independent contractors and the FCRA

Must employers provide the protections required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to prospective independent contractors? 

Not according to a new decision from an Iowa court (see Smith v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, No. 4:17-cv-00443 (S.D. Iowa Oct. 4, 2018)) which grappled with the question in the context of a lawsuit filed by an individual against an insurance company where he applied to contract as a salesperson but was rejected because of a falsely reported felony in his background check. The plaintiff accused the insurance company of violating the FCRA by failing to provide him with the statutorily required prior notice that the background check resulted in his not being hired.    

The insurance company asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the FCRA only requires such notice when an applicant seeks to be hired as an employee, and not as an independent contractor. Since the plaintiff applied for an independent contractor position, he was not entitled to the protections of the statute, the insurance company argued. 

The plaintiff countered that he was applying to be an employee of the insurance company and that it was too early to dismiss the case, as further discovery was needed. In the alternative, he argued that the FCRA should still govern his relationship even as an independent contractor.

In ruling on the FCRA issue, Judge John Jarvey began with the language of the law. The FCRA is a broad statute, Judge Jarvey said, and some of its most stringent protections apply when a background check is being obtained “for employment purposes.” 

The definitions section of the FCRA, at 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(h), states that “[t]he term ‘employment purposes’ when used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.” This text “makes clear that the pre-adverse action notice requirement only applies when a consumer report is used for employment purposes,” Judge Jarvey wrote. “The meaning of ‘employment purposes’ is specifically defined in the statute, and it is defined as being ‘used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.’”  District courts in Ohio and Wisconsin have reached the same conclusion, Judge Jarvey noted, citing the decisions for support. 

Notably, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its 2011 staff report entitled “40 Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act” provided a seemingly contrasting interpretation. The FTC stated that “the term ‘employment purposes’ is interpreted liberally to effectuate the broad remedial purpose of the FCRA and may apply to situations where an entity uses individuals who are not technically employees to perform duties. Thus, it includes a trucking company that obtains consumer reports on individual drivers who own and operate their own equipment; a title insurance company that obtains consumer reports on individuals with whom it frequently enters into contracts to sell its insurance, examine title, and close real property transactions; or a nonprofit organization staffed in whole or in part by volunteers.” 

The FTC’s view can be reconciled with that of Judge Jarvey’s by taking the approach that the applicability of FCRA’s requirements depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular relationship, rather than the formal designation of someone as an independent contractor. 

Given the still remaining disputed issue of whether or not the plaintiff would have been an employee or an independent contractor for the insurance company, the court ordered limited discovery on the issue and declined to dismiss the suit. 

January 2nd, 2019|Employment Decisions, FCRA, Judgment|

New Draft Guidelines Attempt to Clarify Territorial Scope of the GDPR

Since the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union (EU) in May 2018, businesses established outside of the EU have grappled with the question of whether the GDPR’s strict rules apply to them. Many commentators have noted that the GDPR provisions and recitals do not have an easy answer. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recently attempted to provide some clarification by publishing draft guidelines that include a commentary on the territorial scope of the GDPR. The EDPB’s guidelines also address the related issue of whether a non-EU company subject to the GDPR must have an EU-based representative.

GDPR’s Targeting Criteria

Arguably the most significant change to the regulatory landscape affecting an individual’s data privacy is the territorial scope of the GDPR’s Article 3 (2). Generally described as the GDPR’s “targeting criteria,” your business must be GDPR compliant if it engages in processing activities of an EU individual’s data (data subject) related to (1) offering goods or services to data subjects, or (2) monitoring data subjects’ behavior. Although the EDPB’s guidelines state that the targeting criteria is applied on a case-by-case basis, the guidelines provide several examples showing how the targeting criteria can be applied that clarify some basic points, such as:

  1. The data subject’s nationality or citizenship is irrelevant. The GDPR protects data subjects geographically located within the EU, without regard to the data subject’s nationality or citizenship. Conversely, data subjects outside of the EU, including EU citizens, are not protected by the GDPR.
  2. Geographic allocation and timing are critical. For purposes of applying the GDPR, thedata subject’s geographic location is assessed atthe moment when your activity occurs; e.g., when your goods or services are offered, or your monitoring of the datasubject’s behavior begins.
  3. Charging for services is irrelevant. The GDPR protects data subjects regardless of whether your services are free.
  4. Cookies are considered monitoring. TheGDPR protects data subjects that your business profiles or undertakes someanalysis by using cookies or similar technologies.

GDPR Compliance and an EU-based Representative

A significant point clarified by the EDPB’s guidelines is that a non-EU company subject to the GDPR must appoint an EU-based representative, even though the not have a physical location within the EU. A company’s Data Protection Officer, who can be an existing employee of the company under the GDPR, cannot fulfill the requirements for an EU-based representative. The purpose of the requirement is to ensure that a qualified individual or entity is located within the EU to whom regulatory authorities can address compliance issues. The guidelines also make clear that the EU-based representative can even be held liable for any non-compliance, including being fined or otherwise sanctioned.

Consultation Period

The territorial scope and appointment of an EU-based representative poses two of the most critical issues that a non-EU based company faces regarding GDPR compliance. The EDPB’s draft guidelines address several other GDPR issues in addition to these, and a full version of the guidelines can be found here. The EDPB is taking public comments on the draft guidelines until January 18, 2019. Comments should be sent to the EDPB at EDPB@edpb.europa.eu.

December 12th, 2018|Educational Series, International, Legislation, Social Media|

How to consider sex offender registry records in California

For California employers concerned about hiring sex offenders, there are a few important points to keep in mind.

 

An employer has a duty to keep the workplace free of sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination under state law. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employer can face significant liability if it knowingly employs a sex offender and fails to take actions to protect its other employees from unlawful behavior by that person.

 

To avoid this problem, employers would like to know if they are hiring a registered sex offender. But how can they find out?

 

Since 2005, the state has operated a Megan’s Law website with a database to obtain access to the state’s list of more than 100,000 registered sex offenders. Created to help state residents better protect their families by being able to search for an individual registrant or by geographic location, the site (https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/Default.aspx) contains the sex offender’s name, aliases, age, gender, race, address, physical description and, in some cases, a photograph.

 

While the site would appear to be a boon for employers, state law expressly forbids use of the state’s sex offender registry information for employment purposes. California Penal Code section 209.46(l)(2)(E) prohibits the use of information disclosed on the website for purposes relating to health insurance, insurance, loans, credit, education, housing and employment, among other uses.

 

Statutory exceptions provide for use “to protect a person at risk,” a term not defined by the Penal Code, as well as for employers required by law or authorized to request criminal history from the California Department of Justice. Examples of businesses that meet this standard may include child care centers, financial institutions and governmental agencies.

 

An employer who runs afoul of the Penal Code’s prohibition can face actual and exemplary damages, attorneys’ fees and a civil fine. Legislative history explains that the website attempts to protect the public while not inflicting additional punishment on registrants.

 

For employers trying to walk the fine line of protecting other employees and third parties, such as customers, from potential sex offender registrant employees while not violating the Penal Code, two alternate avenues exist to try to find out information about a sex offender: conviction records and employee/applicant self-disclosure.

 

Following applicable state and federal law, employers can conduct a criminal background check on applicants and employees and learn of a sex offense conviction. (However, convictions past the seven-year cut-off date in California may not appear on a background check report while the individual may still appear in the sex offender registry). An applicant or employee may also self-disclose a conviction.

 

Providing another wrinkle for California employers, the state’s Fair Chance Act took effect on January 1, 2018, mandating that employers with five or more employees must wait until after a conditional offer of employment has been made to ask any questions about criminal history. This includes inquiries about convictions, running a background check or other efforts to find out about an applicant’s criminal past.

 

If the employer decides not to hire the applicant, it must conduct an individualized assessment of the conviction at issue to evaluate whether it has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position.” Other legal requirements, based on both state and federal law, must also be satisfied if an employer takes an adverse action on the basis of the background check (see our prior blog post (https://www.scherzer.com/reminder-to-california-employers-about-requirements-when-taking-adverse-action-based-on-a-criminal-record/) for more details).

 

What if an employer learns that an employee is a registered sex offender from another employee’s perusal of the Megan’s Law website? This situation could trigger liability under section 290.46 and employers should be careful to take action only after evaluating any potential risk the sex offender employee may pose to coworkers or customers, considering all the facts and circumstances.

October 30th, 2018|Employment Decisions, Legislation|

California’s overlapping background check laws

For many years, employers have struggled with California’s overlapping statutes governing the use of background checks. Now, the state’s highest court has weighed in, ruling that compliance with the requirements of both laws is mandatory, even where the laws overlap.

A little history is necessary to understand the situation. In 1970, Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The law defined the term “consumer report” to include an individual’s “credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living.” The FCRA distinguished between consumer reports that contained information obtained by personal interviews and consumer reports gathered by other means.

The California legislature responded with two state analogues in 1975: the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA). Modeled on the FCRA, the statutes had similar purposes and were intended to serve complementary goals.

As originally enacted, the ICRAA applied to consumer reports that included character information obtained only through personal interviews. It defined an “investigative consumer report” as one “in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through any means.” The statute requires that the person procuring the report provide the consumer a “clear and conspicuous disclosure in writing” and that the consumer in turn provide a written authorization for the report’s procurement.

Lawmakers took a slightly different approach with CCRAA, which defined a “consumer credit report” as “any written, oral or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, which is used or is expected to be used … for … employment purposes.” The definition excluded “any report containing information solely on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on, or others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.”

In 1998, the California legislature amended ICRAA to eliminate the personal interview limitation and expand the statute’s scope to include character information obtained under CCRAA or “obtained through any means.”

Since then, CCRAA continues to govern consumer reports that include character information obtained from a source other than personal interviews, as long as those reports contain information “bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity.”

What does all this mean for employers? And how did the California Supreme Court get involved?

The two statutes came to the attention of the court when a group of current and former school bus drivers filed suit against their employers, First Student and First Transit, as well as the investigative consumer reporting agency (ICRA) that conducted background checks on the drivers. Eileen Connor led the class action.

After First Student acquired the company where Connor worked as a driver, it requested that the ICRA run background checks to confirm that Connor and the other workers were properly qualified to perform their job duties. The background reports elicited information about the employees’ criminal records, sex offender registries, address history, driving records and employment history.

Prior to conducting the background checks, First Student sent Connor a “Safety Packet” booklet. The booklet included an “Investigative Consumer Report Disclosure and Release” that provided authorization for the ICRA to prepare a consumer report or investigative consumer report. The notice included a checkbox that generally described Connor’s rights under ICRAA, informed her that she could check the box if she wanted to receive a copy of the report and released First Student from all claims and damages arising out of or relating to its background investigation if the box was checked.

Connor filed suit, arguing that the notice failed to satisfy ICRAA’s specific requirements and that First Student neglected to obtain her written authorization to conduct the background check, as required by ICRAA.

First Student asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that ICRAA is unconstitutionally vague as applied to the lawsuit because it overlaps with CCRAA and that the notice satisfied CCRAA.

The California Supreme Court found that while the statutes overlap to some degree, achieving compliance with both did not render ICRAA unconstitutional. The two statutes were not intended to be exclusive of each other, the court said, and potential employers can comply with both statutes without undermining the purpose of either.

“If an employer seeks a consumer’s credit records exclusively, then the employer need only comply with CCRAA,” the court explained. “An employer seeking other information that is obtained by any means must comply with ICRAA. In the event that any other information revealed in an ICRAA background check contains a subject’s credit information and the two statutes thus overlap, a regulated party is expected to know and follow the requirements of both statutes, even if that requires greater formality in obtaining a consumer’s credit records.”

First Student complained that because the ICRAA and CCRAA cover the same subject matter, it was unclear which statute applied in the context of employment background checks. But the court disagreed. Connor’s report, for example, fell within the scope of both statutes and “such a duality does not make legal compliance particularly difficult, must less impossible,” the court said.

“Any partial overlap between the statutes does not render one superfluous or unconstitutionally vague,” the court wrote. “They can coexist because both acts are sufficiently clear and each act regulates information that the other does not.”

The California Supreme Court opinion was a loss for First Student and the ICRA, as the court found the defendants had no excuse for not complying with both statutes. For employers more generally, the decision sends an important message: compliance with the requirements of both ICRAA and CCRAA is mandatory, even where the two statutes overlap.

October 1st, 2018|Employment Decisions, Legislation|