N&Q: Family office deals; Family business corporate venturing, PE/family business deals

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Family office deals

The most interesting deal this week was done by PremjiInvest, the family office of Azim Premji, one of India’s best-known businessman. PremjiInvest was the lead investor in YapStone, a California-based tech group specializing in online and mobile payments. YapStone is taking on PayPal and has big ambitions. It’s also backed by Tom Villante, who launched YapStone back in 1999. Villante used his own private investment group, Villante Capital Partners, as seed capital. PremjiInvest is the lead investor with three other institutional investors in the Series C funding round worth $71 million.

Pritzker Group Venture Capital, the venture capital part of the Pritzker Group, which manages the money of Tony and J.B. Pritzker, has invested in CultureIQ, a culture management platform for companies. PGVC invested with two other investors in a venture round worth $2.3 million.

Feik Enterprises, the family office for John W. Feik, has invested in Infocyte, a cyber security company based in Texas. Feik was part of a Series B funding round with two other investors worth $5.2 million.

Family business corporate venturing

Thai investment group and conglomerate B.Grimm controlled by the Link family has invested in a local startup called masii, which compares insurance and credit cards costs. B. Grimm was involved in Series A investment with one other investor.

Bertelsmann, the big German publishing group controlled by the Mohn family, through an Asian investment fund it controls, has invested in a Beijing-based startup called Club Factory, which describes itself as a multinational e-commerce corporation. The fund invested with three other investors in a Series C funding round worth $100 million.


Private equity family business investing

New Heritage Capital, a Boston-based private equity group, has invested in Flying Colours Corp., a Canadian family business specializing in the aviation service sector. New Heritage will take a minority stake in Flying Colours. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has taken a majority stake (60%) in American Greeting Corp, owned by the Weiss family. The family, descendants of Jacob Sapirstein, who founded the company in 1906, will retain a 40% stake in the designer, manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards, gift packaging, party goods and stationery products.