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We’ve seen Hollywood take a plunge into minority and female-dominated casts in the form of “Black Panther,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “The Favourite,” in 2018.
That’s not been the same for Hollywood’s boards and executive teams that aren’t as directly consumer-facing.
Late last week, Endeavor, an entertainment giant valued at $6.3 billion that represents the likes of Emma Stone, Adele, Charlize Theron, and Oprah Winfrey, filed for an initial public offering that would extend the influence of the talent broker turned global entertainment giant.
But the blockbuster IPO highlights the lack of representation at the highest levels in Hollywood—even as the heart of the global movie industry continues a shakeup that stemmed from 2017 reports that Hollywood kingpin Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed numerous employees and women over many decades.
Endeavor has just one woman on its executive team and none on its board of directors. Among ten executives, directors, and one board nominee, named in the prospectus, 49-year-old Chief Human Resources Officer Kerry Chandler is the sole female.
Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel, for his part, has encouraged his employees to discuss “inclusion riders”—a clause in an actor or actress’s contract requiring proportionate representation in their projects. The firm also recently created a Chief Inclusion Officer position for Alicin Reidy Williamson.
“As a public company, we’ll continue… embracing diversity, inclusion, and equality across our platform—content, clients, and employees,” Emanuel writes in his CEO letter. “This company has been a catalyst for culture-defining content for more than a century. We have a great responsibility to carry this mission forward.”
When it comes to the board, it’s likely that at least one woman will be nominated following the IPO. Endeavor plans to staff its board of directors, a group meant to represent shareholder interests, with seven total. So far, five seats are spoken for—four members and one nominee. Two more will be appointed following the IPO. California law dictates that public companies based out the state must have at least one female director by the end of 2019, and three by 2021 for a board of Endeavor’s size. Though to be clear, that piece of regulation is also facing challenges, and may in fact be unconstitutional.
On average, in 2018 boards of Fortune 500 companies were 22.5% female.
Endeavor declined to comment, citing the quiet period that comes ahead of IPOs.
Broadly speaking, the numbers serve as a reminder that though 2018 was celebrated as a turning point that allowed minorities and women the chance to shine, the boards and C-suites of firms that helped take these films to market have been slow to change.
About 81% of board members in Hollywood are men according to 50/50 by 2020, a advocacy group that is imploring Hollywood’s decision makers in studios, talent agencies, and networks to create boards and departments representative of their movie-going public. In comparison, about 40% of the 100 top grossing films last year featured a female lead or co-lead, according to Women and Hollywood, while 51% of moviegoers were female, per the Motion Picture Association of America.
These statistics come at a time when major investors such as CalPERS push the funds they invest in, as well as companies, for greater diversity.
“There’s been very limited progress,” said Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women in Hollywood. “I think they are making some, but it is a long haul and it won’t happen overnight. The agencies have been a place where there have been a ton of issues with gender and inclusion. They are behind the times.”
Read the full story here.
In this era of relatively robust private funding, Robinhood is reportedly close to raising at least $200 million in fresh funding that would value it at between $7 billion to $8 billion, per Bloomberg.
That comes through incumbent players ramping up their consumer offerings that could threaten Robinhood’s growth: J.P. Morgan for instance offered a zero-fee stock trades to customers.
At the same time, players such as Charles Schwab have told Fortune they welcome the entrance of Robinhood because the retail investing space still has much to grow.
Remember that Kleiner Perkins once turned down Robinhood when it was valued at just $61 million.
Is there a glass cliff looming at Wells Fargo?
J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday commented that former CEO “Tim Sloan was doing a good job” at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Conference—noting that the ouster of Sloan was an irresponsible move for the consumer banking giant.
Adding: “It’s not responsible for a company — this is my own view — to have a CEO leave with no plan in place… I don’t personally understand that. And I’d be surprised if regulators wanted that to happen because it’s irresponsible.”
“I don’t know if it was a board-level decision, I don’t know if they felt pressure from whatever,” Dimon said, per CNN. “But it’s not the way to run the railroad.”
That comes as Well Fargo seeks potential CEO successors—many of which are female—from firms such as J.P. Morgan. Notably, Marianne Lake, CFO and head consumer lending at J.P. Morgan, has been aired as a potential candidate to be poached.
Other names include Bridgewater co-CEO Eileen Murray.
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• Talkspace, a New York-based online therapy firm, raised $50 million in funding. Revolution Growth led the round.
• Kustomer, an SaaS platform for enterprise customer service, raised $40 million in Series D funding from Tiger Global Management and existing investor Battery Ventures.
• PayJoy, a San Francisco maker of smartphone technology promoting greater credit access in emerging markets, raised $20 million. Greylock Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Union Square Ventures, EchoVC, and Core Innovation Capital.
• AttackIQ, a San Diego-based startup focused on continuous security validation, raised $17.6 million in Series B funding. Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Telstra Ventures led the round.
• TriEye, an Israel-based firm focused on whose short-wave-infrared sensing technology, raised $17 million in funding. Intel Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies and Grove Ventures.
• Mission, a LA-based AWS managed services and consulting company, raised $15 million in funding from Great Hill Partners.
• Pillo Health, a Boston-based technology company for patients managing their health at home, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Stanley Black & Decker’s corporate venture capital arm led the round, and was joined by investors including Samsung Ventures.
• XStream Trucking, a Redwood City, Calif.-based firm focused on connected hardware for the commercial vehicle industry, raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. Autotech Ventures and Calibrate Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Uncork Capital, Root Ventures, FusionX, and Tandem Capital.
• Mindsay, a conversational A.I. startup, raised $10 million in funding led by White Star Capital.
• Crosscode Inc, a Maple Grove, Minn.-based enterprise software development company, raised $9.25 million in funding. The investors weren’t named.
• Outschool, a San Francisco-based marketplace of live online K-12 classes, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Union Square Ventures and Reach Capital led the round.
• JetStream Software Inc, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of cloud data protection, raised $7.7 million in Series A funding. Digital Alpha Advisors led the round and was joined by Illuminate Ventures.
• Roger.ai, an accounting automation tool, raised $7.35 million in Series A funding. QED Investors led the round, and was joined by investors including 9Yards Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Financial Venture Studio, BootstrapLabs, and Dan Wernikoff, former GM of QuickBooks and TurboTax.
• Crowdz, a blockchain-based b2b payments firm, raised $5.5 million. Barclays participated.
• SeedLegals, a London-based legal platform for startups,raised $4 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Kima Ventures, The Family, and Seedcamp.
• Kytopen, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech focused on gene-modified cell therapies, raised $3.6 million in seed funding from The Engine, Horizons Ventures and angel investors.
• Soda Says, a U.K.-based online marketplace for daily tech and sex tech products, raised $2.5 million from investors including LocalGlobe.
• Exer, a San Francisco-based maker of AI for computer vision and motion coaching, raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Signia Venture Partners.
• CareGuide, a Toronto-based online care services company for child care, pet care, elder care and home-care services, raised $2 million from CIBC Innovation Banking.
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• Vocus Group, an Australian telecom firm received an A$3.3 billion ($2.3 billion) bid from EQT Infrastructure. Read more.
• OpenSesame, a Portland-based e-learning employee training course provider, raised a $28 million in a growth equity round led by FTV Capital.
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• Moore Home Services, a portfolio company of CenterOak Partners, merged Service Champions and creating an Orange County, Calf.-based residential HVAC contractor. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
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• Eptam Precision Solutions, a portfolio company of New Heritage Capital, acquired Micro Molding Inc., a Phillipsburg, N.J.-based provider of injection molding and catheter tipping solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
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The Hilb Group LLC, a portfolio company of Abry Partners, acquired 360 Corporate Benefit Advisors, a Richmond, Va.-based employee benefits consulting firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
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• Arbor Investments hired Christopher Tuffin as a partner in the firm’s New York office. Previously, Tuffin was a director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
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