Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Scherzer Deal Report: March 22-26, 2021

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.


PE and VC Firms

New York, NY
Third fund
New York, NY
Third fund
Zug, Switzerland
Fifth secondaries vehicle focused on midmarket PE fund interests
San Francisco, CA
Ninth VC secondaries fund
Los Angeles, CA
Debut fund
New York, NY
Debut fund
New York, NY
$200M for second flagship fund and $100M for other funds
Boston, MA
New “continuation fund” to its fifth vehicle
St. Louis, MO
Fifth fund
New York, NY
The sixth fund focused on European lower mid-market companies

Private Equity Investors

New Harbor Capital
Pontiac, MI-based at-home respiratory care company
Crescendo Capital Partners
Provider of concrete repair, restoration, and installation of fluid-applied flooring systems
Serent Capital
Torrance, CA-based provider of cloud software to professional services firms
Thoma Bravo
San Francisco, CA-based provider financial markets software
RLG Capital and Trinity Private Equity
American Fork, UT-based online learning platform
Great Hill Partners, Centana Growth Partners, Millennium Technology Value Partner
Palo Alto, CA-based identity verification company
Encore Consumer Capital
New York, NY-based provider of women’s health and wellness products like supplements and OTC suppositories
Susquehanna Private Capital
Charlottesville, VA-based franchisor of home improvement brands

Venture Capital Investors

Third Rock Ventures, Boxer Capital, Invus, MBC Biolabs, YC
South San Francisco, CA-based developer of targeted immunotherapies for cancer
Matrix Capital Management, Surveyor Capital, Rock Springs Capital, Adage Capital Management, Velosity Capital, Medicxi, Advent Life Sciences, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Arix Bioscience, Chiesi Ventures, Ysios Capital, Columbus Venture Partners
Cambridge, MA-based developer of VDC therapies for cancer
Spark Capital, Canaan Partners, Ten Eleven Ventures, Cyberstarts
San Mateo, CA-based zero-trust network access company
Accel, LinkedIn, Upfront Ventures, Ryan Smith, Omar Johnson, Michael Johnson
Palo Alto, CA-based enterprise event platform
Paradigm, TIME Ventures, Addition, Ribbit Capital
New York, NY-based blockchain analysis company
Eclipse Ventures
Cambridge, MA-based headless commerce startup
Define Ventures, Frist Cressey Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, SpringRock Ventures, Providence Ventures
Renton, WA-based healthcare access optimization startup
Spectrum Equity, Centana Growth Partners, Propel Venture Partners, Freestyle Capital, Compound Ventures, Upside Partnership
$41MSan Francisco, CA-based HR and benefits platform
Qatar Investment Authority, Charlesbank Capital Partners, Vulcan Capital
San Francisco, CA-based maker of plant-based eggs
OMERS Growth Equity, Kaiser Permanente Group, McKesson Ventures, B Capital Group
San Mateo, CA-based health data analytics platform
KKR, Sapphire Ventures, Citi Ventures
San Mateo, CA-based provider of anti-fraud tools to financial services companies
Mithril Capital
Mountain View, CA-based developer of AI chips for edge computing
Advocate Aurora Health
San Francisco, CA-based telenutrition startup
Thomas H. Lee Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Volvo, Zebra Technologies, August Capital, CEAS Investments, Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures
Chicago, IL-based supply chain visibility platform
Blackstone Growth
San Francisco, CA-based provider of online mental health services
Redpoint eventures, Pearson Ventures, Daphni, Imaginable Futures, Reach Capital, Trinity Ventures
San Francisco, CA-based coding startup
Insight Partners
Seattle, WA-based provider of fresh food safety and traceability software
CRV, SuperSet, Ridge Ventures, Acrew Capital, SVB
Business data privacy and compliance automation platform
Tiger Global, Casdin Capital, Iconiq Growth, Andreessen Horowitz, SVB Capital
San Francisco, CA-based healthcare insights platform
Soros Fund Management, S&P Global,
New York, NY-based enterprise crypto portfolio management software
Newton, MA-based maker of automatic pill dispensers
Fifth Wall, Tony Xu, Scott Cutler, Andreessen Horowitz
Lehi, UT-based self-storage marketplace
Canapi Ventures, CapitalG, Citi Ventures, Wells Fargo, True Bridge Partners, Camber Creek, Ludlow Ventures, NAR’s Second Century Ventures, Fifth Wall
Boston, MA-based remote online notarization platform
General Catalyst and Vivo Capital, First Round Capital, Manta Ray Ventures, XYZ Capital
San Francisco, CA-based developer of stem cell therapies for blood and immune diseases
Greycroft, Global Founders Fund, Acrew Capital, First American Financial, Shea Ventures, Amazon’s Jeff Wilke
second homeownership platform
Allianz, Acrew Capital, Greycroft, SVB Capital, SiriusPoint, Elefund, Moxley Holding
Provider of workers’ comp insurance for small businesses
8VC, Menlo Ventures, Conversion Capital, Meritech Capital, Fifth Wall, Base10 Partners
San Francisco, CA-based provider of the mortgage industry
SaaSIndex Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Madrona Venture Group
Seattle, WA-based social gaming platform
General Catalyst, FirstMark Capital, TQ Ventures, Altimeter, Baupost, Dragoneer, Shawspring, Radcliff, 776, SignalFire, Torch, BoxGroup
New York, NY-based DTC pharmacy and primary care platform for men’s health
Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital Global, H.I.G. Growth, Arena Holdings, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dragoneer, Durable Capital Partners, ICONIQ Growth, Index Ventures, T. Rowe Price
Los Angeles, CA-based provider of software for tradespeople
Coatue, Trinity Ventures, Matrix Partners, Sapphire Ventures
San Francisco, CA-based real estate brokerage platform
Ping An, Pivot Investment Partners, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Intact Ventures, Tola Capital, Commerce Venture
Chicago, IL-based provider of claims management software
Fountain Healthcare Partners, Longwood Fund, Lumira Ventures, Sofinnova Investments, LSP
Malvern, PA-based developer of gene therapies for advanced coronary artery disease
March 30th, 2021|Scherzer Deal Report|


Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits continue to rise with the number of complaints filed in federal courts showing a +5.3% increase in 2020 over 2019[1]. This continues a trend for FCRA litigation as it has consistently shown year-over-year growth since 2010. An issue that garners much attention in FCRA litigation is whether an employer’s disclosure and authorization forms violate the FCRA. Two federal appellate decisions address this issue and provide important guidance for employers on how to draft FCRA disclosure and authorization forms.

FCRA Disclosure and Authorization Forms

Employers that want to obtain a background check report about a job applicant or current employee must comply with the FCRA and provide to the individual a standalone document with a clear and conspicuous disclosure of the employer’s intention to do so, and obtain the individual’s authorization. By way of background, the principal appellate opinion on disclosure and authorization forms is the Ninth Circuit’s Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC, No. No. 17-16263 (January 2019). The Gilberg opinion made clear that any extraneous information in an FCRA disclosure form violates the FCRA’s requirement that the disclosure must be “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure” (the standalone requirement). The employer in Gilberg was found to have violated the standalone requirement by:

  1. Combining the authorization and disclosure into one document; and
  2. Including several state-related disclosures in the form.

Two important cases from 2020 that further addressed the requirements and limitations for the content of an FCRA disclosure form were issued by the Ninth Circuit in Walker v. Fred Meyer, Inc., No. 18-35592 (March 20, 2020) and Luna v. Hansen & Adkins Transport, Inc., No. 18-55804, (April 24, 2020).

In Walker v. Fred Meyer, the court indicated that background check disclosures may contain some concise explanatory language, but there is a limit to what is explanatory and what is unlawfully extraneous. Among other allegations, the plaintiff in Walker claimed that the FCRA disclosure violated the standalone requirement because, in addition to mentioning consumer reports, it also mentioned investigative consumer reports (a type of consumer report). The Ninth Circuit rejected this claim and ruled that mentioning investigative background checks in the disclosure does not violate the FCRA’s standalone requirement because investigative consumer reports are a subcategory or specific type of consumer report and as long as the investigative background check disclosures are limited to (1) disclosing that such reports may be obtained for employment purposes and (2) providing a very brief description of what that means.

The Ninth Circuit reviewed the employer’s disclosure in Walker in detail, which consisted of five paragraphs, and held that the first three paragraphs did not violate the standalone requirement, but that the last two paragraphs did because they may pull the individual’s attention away from their privacy rights protected by the FCRA. Here are the offending paragraphs in their entirety:

“You may inspect GIS’s files about you (in person, by mail, or by phone) by providing identification to GIS. If you do, GIS will provide you help to understand the files, including communication with trained personnel and an explanation of any codes. Another person may accompany you by providing identification.”

“If GIS obtains any information by interview, you have the right to obtain a complete and accurate disclosure of the scope and nature of the investigation performed.”

The plaintiff in Walker also claimed that the language of the employer’s authorization form, which was in a separate document was confusing and underscored the confusing and distracting nature of disclosure form, thus violating the FCRA’s standalone requirement. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument because it found that the authorization form is not relevant to the FCRA disclosure form’s standalone requirement where the authorization is not included in the disclosure and is in a separate authorization form.

In Luna v. Hansen, the plaintiff claimed that the FCRA’s physical standalone requirement for hard-copy forms was a temporal one, i.e., the disclosure form should be presented to the individual separate from all other employment-related forms. The plaintiff in Luna had received one packet containing all forms. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument and held that as long as the background check disclosure itself is in a standalone form, it can be presented with and at the same time as other employment documents.

Key Takeaways

Given the steady uptick in FCRA litigation, it is advisable for employers to review their FCRA disclosure and authorization forms on at least a yearly basis, or whenever important appellate opinions are issued, to ensure compliance with the FCRA. The attached forms from the Gilberg and Walker opinions provide clear examples of what to avoid in FCRA disclosure forms. In general, the guidance provided in the above-referenced opinions indicate that:

  • background check disclosure forms may contain some concise explanatory language, but there is a limit to what is explanatory and what is unlawfully extraneous;
  • background check disclosure forms may be presented at the same time as other materials, including application materials, as long as the background check disclosures are on a separate form; and
  • language in a separate authorization form has no impact on the disclosure form’s compliance with the FCRA standalone requirement.

Disclaimer: This communication is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No recipient should act, or refrain from acting, based on any information provided here without advice from a qualified attorney licensed in the applicable jurisdiction.

Digital Spring Cleaning

Spring is traditionally a time when people do a deep cleaning of their homes. Have you thought about taking this one step further and doing a digital security deep clean? We recommend reviewing at least every quarter to minimize the risk of identity theft. Here are four steps to get you started to protect your personal data. 

  • Change your passwords. Your company probably automatically asks you to switch passwords every 4-6 weeks. But when is the last time you changed your passwords on your personal social media accounts, subscriptions, or places you shop? You should consider updating these passwords, too. In fact, old passwords can be easy ways for hackers to steal your identity. Delete old accounts you no longer use. You might be surprised to find that some of those are decades old with easily guessed passwords. When you choose your new passwords, do not repeat them across various accounts. You’re just making it easier to get hacked.
  • Review your social media accounts. Have you been cloned on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms? Take a moment and search for yourself on these sites and see if you appear more than once. Don’t wait for your friends to send you a text saying, “I just got a friend request from you, but we’re already friends.” If you’ve been cloned, report it and change your passwords.
  • Avoid oversharing. Think twice before you overshare information or play a social media game that asks you to list personal information about yourself. These simple activities are ways that hackers gather your data. The latest high-risk trend is sharing a picture of your COVID vaccination record with your full name and date of birth clearly visible. Instead, consider sharing a photo of an “I got vaccinated” sticker. 
  • Have you been hacked? A cybersecurity FBI agent once told me, “It used to be a case of not if, but when you’ve been hacked. Now it’s a case of you’ve been hacked, and you either know it or don’t know it yet.” HaveIBeenPwned is one of several free sites where you can check if you’ve been caught up in a security breach.

These four steps will help you do a simple yet effective spring cleaning of your digital presence and protect your online identity. 

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