ALL BETS ARE ON
Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
Welcome to America — where sports betting is now legal.
In a 6-3 ruling, The Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting, striking down a 1992 federal law that had banned the practice in most states.
Justice Samuel Alito explained that this issue has long divided Americans. He said:
The legalization of sports gambling is a controversial subject. Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the States and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports.
The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.
This is huge news for daily fantasy sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, as sports gambling will account for a big chunk of their business. Ironically enough, both companies have long argued that daily fantasy sports, in which users can win cash prizes in exchange for cash entry fees, is legal because it’s technically a game of skill, not a game of chance.
Now, they’re changing their tune. Last week, FanDuel CEO Matt King told Term Sheet that he’s “excited about the future whatever the decision is.” Yesterday, he said he expects sports betting revenue to eclipse fantasy sports revenue at some point.
“We have exciting ideas from a game features standpoint that we will embed into our current experience,” he said. “What users will see is a simple integrated experience in our core app.”
What does such a product look like? It’ll likely allow users to gamble on the outcome of games or point totals.
Annually, illegal sports betting amounts to an approximately $150 billion industry, and FanDuel isn’t waiting too long to start taking bets from its users. The company plans to launch its sports betting offering as soon as this NFL season.
But where there is huge opportunity, there is also huge competition. When asked if he was worried about daily fantasy sports rival DraftKings, King said, “I’m always worried. I’m always constructively paranoid about the competition.”
He added that a market expansion like this one is bound to attract many new competitors as well. “We have a tremendous foundational business, but we need to execute really, really well.” he said. “I’m optimistic but also very realistic that it’ll be quite the battle.”
Meanwhile, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins is also excited about the Supreme Court ruling, also plans to debut his sports betting platform during NFL season, and is also aware of the competition. Robins said he’s “pretty comfortable with our market position at the moment.”
The ruling could have a big windfall for investors, too. Tusk Ventures’ Bradley Tusk, who invested in FanDuel, told Term Sheet that he expects another 25 to 30 states to legalize sports betting. “As an investor, I couldn’t be happier.”
It’s easy to see why. Tusk told ESPN that the decision likely doubled the value of the firm’s equity stake. “And once states start legalizing sports betting and it becomes common practice, it could be more like 5 times,” he added.
ONE MORE THING: Uber announced that it would end its policy for forced arbitration for individual sexual assault and harassment claims. It will also allow people to settle these claims with Uber without a confidentiality requirement covering the facts of their experience.
Just three weeks ago, 14 women who claim their Uber drivers sexually assaulted or harassed them wrote to Uber’s board to insist that their class-action lawsuit be allowed to go forward in open court.
“Secret arbitration takes away a woman’s right to a trial by a jury of her peers and provides a dark alley for Uber to hide from the justice system, the media and public scrutiny,” according to the letter.
Uber also committed to publishing a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• Google Under Fire for Allegedly Secretly Tracking Users (by David Meyer)
• How Saks and Lord & Taylor’s CEO Dealt With a Massive Data Hack a Month Into Her Job (by Valentina Zarya)
• Ex-JPMorgan Chase Blockchain Duo Unveil New Startup (by Robert Hackett)
• Coinbase Launches ‘Prime’ Service for Big Investors (by Jeff John Roberts)
• Beam Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of precision genetic medicines through base editing, raised up to $87 million in Series A funding. F-Prime Capital Partners and ARCH Venture Partners led the round.
• Saildrone, Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based provider of high-resolution ocean data collected via a fleet of unmanned surface vehicles, raised $60 million in Series B funding. Horizons Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Lux Capital, Social Capital, and The Schmidt Family Foundation.
• Good Eggs, a San Francisco-based online market that delivers fresh groceries, raised $50 million in funding. Benchmark led the round, and was joined by investors including Index Ventures, Obvious Ventures, S2G Ventures, DNS Capital, Uprising and Collaborative Fund.
• Metawave Corporation, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of beamsteering automotive radars, raised $10 million in funding. Investors include DENSO, Toyota AI Ventures, Hyundai Motor Company, Asahi Glass, Motus Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Autotech Ventures, Bold Capital, SAIC Capital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), and Alrai Capital.
• PegEx, Inc., a Fitchburg, Wisc.-based hazardous waste removal online platform raised $8 million in Series B funding. Plymouth Growth Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Capital Midwest Fund and WISC Partners.
• AnyDesk, a Germany-based remote desktop offering, raised $7.7 million in Series A funding. EQT Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Chris Hitchen and Andreas Burike.
• Choosy, an on-demand social shopping platform, raised $5.4 million in seed funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by investors including Forerunner Ventures, Innovation Global Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, XFactor Ventures, Supernode Ventures, and Bryan Rosenblatt.
• Prisma, a Berlin and San Francisco-based startup focused on GraphQL, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Kleiner Perkins led the round.
• Rael, a Buena Park, Calif.-based feminine care products startup, raised $2.1 million in pre-Series A funding. SoftBank Ventures Korea and Thrive Market Ventures co-led the round.
• Printify, a San Francisco-based print-on-demand platform, raised $1 million in funding. The lead investor was Gokul Rajaram.
HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES DEALS
• Celsius Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company translating single-cell genomic insights into precision therapeutics for autoimmune diseases and cancer, raised $65 million Series A funding. Third Rock Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including GV, Heritage Provider Network, Casdin Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• BJ Beltram, Inc., a portfolio company of Trivest Partners, acquired Louis Wohl and Sons Inc, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of equipment, supplies and design services to the food service industry. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• River Associates Investments LP acquired GAHH, a North Hollywood, Calif.-based maker of aftermarket convertible tops, Jeep tops, seat covers and vehicle interiors. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• KKR and Oaktree Capital Management LP acquired ProServ, a U.K.-based energy services company, for $50 million.
• Fulcrum Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Liberation Way, a Yardley, Penn.-based drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• The Halifax Group invested ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education, a provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• PluralSight, a Farmington, Ut.-based cloud-based learning platform, says it plans to raise $269.1 million in an IPO of 20.7 million shares priced between $12 to $14, up from a previously stated range of $10 to $12. Insight Ventures Partners (53% pre-offering), ICONIQ Strategic Partners (9.3%), and Keith Sparkjoy (7.4%) back the firm. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriters in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “PS.” Read more.
• MeiraGTx, a New York City-based gene therapy firm, filed for an $86.3 million IPO. The firm has yet to post a revenue. Kadmon Corp. (17.7%), Perceptive Advisors (16.1%), and Alexandria Equities (8.2%) back the firm. BofA, Barclays, and Evercore ISI are joint bookrunners in the deal. The firm plans to list on the Nasdaq as “MGTX.” Read more.
Edison Partners sold its stake in Billtrust, a Hamilton, N.J.-based provider of payment cycle management solutions, to W Capital Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Sun European Partners acquired ESIM Chemicals, an Austria-based chemical maker, from Ardian. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• OpenView, a Boston-based expansion-stage investor, raised$296.75 million for its fifth fund.
• Unusual Ventures, a Menlo Park-based seed-stage venture capital firm, raised $160 million for its first fund.
• Silverton Partners, an Austin, Texas-based venture capital firm, raised $108 million for its fifth fund.