StrictlyVC: February 4, 2014

110611_2084620_176987_imageHi, everyone, StrictlyVC ran out of time to write a column this a.m, but there’s lots of useful intel below, as well as some good stuff around the corner. Quick reminder, too, that to sign up for the email, you can click on this link right over here. Happy Tuesday!


Top News in the A.M.

Microsoft has a new CEO: Satya Nadella.

A new pair of bills have been introduced to the Senate and House to protect net neutrality after a circuit court ruling struck down the FCC’s previous rules earlier this month.


New Fundings

AccuVein, a seven-year-old, Huntington, N.Y-based company whose hardware-and-software scanning device helps medical practitioners locate veins, has secured an $8 million loan from Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. In 2011, the company had raised $22.5 million from MVM Life Science Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Flashnotes, a four-year-old, Boston-based ed tech startup, has raised $3.6 million in Series A funding led by Stage 1 Ventures, with Runa CapitalSoftBank Capital and Atlas Venture also participating in the round. Flashnotes’ platform enables college students to buy and sell course-specific study materials, such as their notes, flashcards and study guides. It has raised $6.9 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

Mojn, a four-year-old, Copenhagen, Denmark-based startup whose email product is designed for e-commerce marketers, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by NorthzoneNotion Capital, and Zoar Invest.

NanoPharmaceuticals, a months-old, Rensselaer, N.Y.-based startup that appears to be a spin-out of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has raised $2.6 million from investors, according to anew SEC filing. The Form D doesn’t list any non-executive directors.

Newgen Software, a 21-year-old, New Delhi, India-based company that sells business process management software and enterprise content management software, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding fromIDG Ventures India and Ascent Capital. In 2008, the company had raised $7.65 million from HSBC Private Equity and SAP Ventures.

PillPack, a year-old, Manchester, N.H.-based online pharmacy that aims to simplify medication management, has raised $4 million from Atlas Venture and Founder Collective. The company had previously raised $300,000 from Techstars.

Ravel Law, an 18-month-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that uses visualizations, analytics and collaboration tools to aid in legal research, has raised $8.1 million in funding led by early investors New Enterprise Associates and North Bridge Venture Partners, with participation fromThe Experiment Fund and Work-Bench. The company has raised $9.2 million to date.

Red Zebra Analytics, a 2.5-year-old, London-based loyalty start-up, has raised a seven-figure investment from the fin-tech venture firm SBT Venture Capital, whose principal backer is the Russian banking giantSberbank.

Remind101, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based online communication platform that gives teachers a way to text students and stay in touch with parents, has raised $15 million in Series B financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, which was joined by The Social+Capital Partnership and First Round Capital. Kleiner’s John Doerr has joined the board. The company has raised $18.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Spiceworks, an eight-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based social business network for IT managers, has raised $57 million round of funding that it expects to be its last before an IPO. The round was led by Goldman Sachs, which was joined by earlier investors. The company has raised $111 million altogether, including from Adams Street PartnersAustin Ventures,Institutional Venture PartnersShasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

Sqor, a year-old, San Francisco-based sports content platform and social media company that connects fans directly to more than 1,200 professional and amateur athletes, has raised $4.4 million from investors, shows an SEC filing that suggests the company is targeting $13.5 million. Among those listed on the Form D are legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who became a board member last year, andJohn Durham, CEO of the San Francisco-based marketing consultancyCatalyst SF.

TrackMaven, an 18-month-old, Washington, D.C.-based company that helps big brands benchmark, track, and improve their digital marketing, has raised $6.5 million in funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from earlier investors including Bowery Capital andAcceleprise Ventures. The company has now raised roughly $7.8 million altogether.

Zenput, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup formerly known as NextPunch, has raised $1.5 million for its mobile data collection for businesses with field employees, shows an SEC filingMHS Capital, a small, San Francisco-based venture fund, appears to be the lead investor.


New Funds

More evidence that VCs are gravitating to AngelList: Several new SECfilings show Assure Equity Partners, a venture firm in Salt Lake City, is raising money to participate in, if not lead, some deals in the platform.

Nano Ventures, a new, Williamston, N.C.-based seed-stage venture firm, has raised $2.8 million of an expected $7.5 million round, an SEC filing showsPeter Geiger, one of the directors listed, is currently a VP of finance at DSM, a Dutch-based multinational life sciences company.

Greenpoint Global Mittelstand Fund, a new, Madison, Wi.-based early-stage venture fund looking to back Midwest startups has raised $1.5 million, according to an SEC filing that shows it is targeting up to $30 million. Interesting/alarming backstory here: The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that until recently, the fund’s founders oversaw a fund called Wisconsin Funeral Trust that managed the money of customers who prepay their funeral costs. But it was placed into court-ordered receivership in September after state officials disclosed it had a shortfall of tens of millions of dollars. (Where do we sign up?)

In (geographically) related news: a venture capital fund that prominent Milwaukee-area investors Tim Keane and Trevor D’Souza had been trying to pull together since 2012 isn’t going to come together, Xconomy has learned. More here.

Tribeca Ventures Partners, the 2.5-year-old, New York-based seed and early-stage investment firm, has raised it second fund, closing on $10 million, shows an SEC filing. The firm’s managing partners are Brian Hirsch and Charles Meakem. Hirsch was previously a managing partner at GSA Venture Partners. Meakem was a managing director with Kodiak Venture Partners.Their newest publicly disclosed investment was made in the textbook publishing business Flat World Knowledge, which announced a $9 million round last week.



Brazil’s Investimentos e Participações em Infra-Estrutura SA will delay its IPO until the second quarter, a source tells ReutersInvepar, which operates toll roads and a subway road, among other things, is hoping to raise around $833 million. But it would face a highly tumultuous market right now. “Rising borrowing costs, weak growth, a presidential election, and the withdrawal of monetary stimulus in the United States have left investors skittish,” notes Reuters. Over the last 13 months, Brazil’s Bovespa stock index has fallen 23 percent, and investors have withdrawn roughly $12.6 billion from domestic financial markets, adds its report.

Zalando, a five-year-old, Berlin-based online clothing retailer, has lined up three banks to advise it on what is expected to be Europe’s biggest Internet IPO. The company, incubated by the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet, has raised more than $200 million in equity and debt. Its investors include Investment AB KinnevikDST GlobalJPMorgan Chase, and Quadrant Capital. As of last June, the company’s implied valuation was roughly 2.9 billion euros.



Scott Belsky, founder of Behance — a platform to showcase and discover photography, graphic design, illustration, and fashion that Adobe acquired for $150 million in 2012 — has joined the Founder Collective as a “founder partner.” Belsky is also keeping his day job at Adobe, where he has been vice president of products and community since Behance’s sale. Fortune’s Erin Griffith has more here.

Ben Horowitz participated in a “fireside chat” with fellow VC Mark Susterlast night, and shared some of the questions Andreessen Horowitz asks entrepreneurs during a pitch meeting. He also said of the firm name: “It had to be Andreessen Horowitz and Andreessen had to come first. Marc had all the name recognition. He was Beyonce and I was Kelly Rowland.”

Y Combinator‘s Jessica Livingston says the popular incubator has just funded its most diverse class ever — and that she may have director David Fincher to thank. “We honestly saw an increase in applications after the movie ‘The Social Network’ came out,” Livingston tells Forbes. “It sounds so silly, but just having parents see doing a startup as an option for their kid makes it more normal. When we first got started we had parents who were like, ‘Wait, you got into Stanford grad school. You’re not doing this thing called Y Combinator!’ But now starting a startup is becoming more mainstream, so we’re seeing different types of people doing it.”

Neill Occhiogrosso has joined the two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based, early-stage venture firm Costanoa Venture Capital as its second partner. In a statement, firm founder Greg Sands said that it “felt like the right time to double down…” Occhiogrosso joins Costanoa from an evergreen fund called Investor Growth Capital (IGC). Before joining IGC, he spent four years at Highland Capital Partners, focused on enterprise investments.

Ben Veghte is the new vice president of communications for the National Venture Capital Association. Veghte was previously a longtime director of strategic communcations at The Glover Park Group in Washington, D.C.


Job Listings

Greylock Partners is looking for an associate or senior associate to join the firm’s enterprise software team. Apply here (quickly).



500 Startups is hosting an invite-only Demo Day in Mountain View, Ca., tomorrow for the startups in its current accelerator batch. You can learn more here.


Essential Reads

Last month, Google last month launched a free catamaran service to carry Googlers back and forth between San Francisco and the South Bay. Next week, the company will test out a new route, ferrying workers from Alameda, Ca., to Redwood City.

Speaking of Google, it has to move its mystery barge from an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay because the permits aren’t in order, a state official said Monday. He added that the company can resolve the issue by moving the barge to a fully permitted, nearby construction facility.

How much equity should a chief marketing officer get? You might be surprised.

In corporate America, there’s no question over whether economic inequality is deepening. Businesses that appeal to the middle class are shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.

Looks like teens are using Facebook after all. At least, according to new findings by the Pew Research Center73 percent of Americans ages 12 to 17 are on the platform, compared with 57 percent of all U.S. adults (the majority of whom visit Facebook daily).



What $2,800 a month in rent will get you in New York City.

Reflections on a culture that rejects boys’ need for privacy.

Robert Frost: Real estate addict.


Retail Therapy

The game “Clue” now comes in a luxury edition that features “exquisitely furnished” Victorian rooms in a stately wooden cabinet. Can you think of a better way to spend $200? (Oh, you can? Hundreds of better ways, you say? Okay, then. )


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