StrictlyVC: May 6, 2016

Good morning, everyone! You can click here for a better reading experience today (you’ll avoid some of the weird formatting issues below).
Top New in the A.M.
Vanity Fair takes on the great smartphone battle between Apple and Samsung.

“‘We’ve been ripped off.’ Christopher Stringer, one of the iPhone designers, looked at the Galaxy S in near disbelief. All that time, he thought, all that effort trying out hundreds of designs, experimenting with the size of the glass, drawing different icons and buttons, and then these guys at Samsung just take it?”
Founder Showcase
New Fundings

AirPR, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based tech platform designed to increase public relations performance, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Mohr Davidow VenturesCrosslink CapitalCorrelation Ventures and angel investors also participated in the round, which brings the company’s funding to date to $5 million.

Area 1 Security, a months-old, Menlo Park, Calif.-based cyber-security startup founded by three former NSA analysts, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding fromKleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersCowboy VenturesData CollectiveFirst Round CapitalAllegis CapitalRay Rothrock and Derek Smith.

Automattic, the nine-year-old, San Francisco-based company behind the popular blogging platform WordPress, has raised $160 million in new funding led by Insight Venture Partners. New investors Chris Sacca and Endurance also participated in the round, along with earlier investors True VenturesTiger Global Management,and Iconiq. In a post about the funding, company cofounder and CEO Matt Mullenweg writes that, “This is obviously a lot of money, especially considering everything we’ve done so far has been built on only about $12 million of outside capital over the past 8 years.” But “there was an opportunity cost to how we were managing the company toward break-even, and we realized we could invest more into WordPress and our products to grow faster.”

Drivy, a three-year-old, Paris-based peer-to-peer car rental platform, has raised $8.3 million in funding from Alven Capital and Index Ventures. To date, the company has raised roughly $10 million, shows Crunchbase.

Embibe, a two-year-old, Mumbai, India-based online education platform, has raised $4 million in funding from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox Ventures, reports Times of India. Initially, the company was backed by Sandeep Murthy, who led the India investments of venture firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. Recently Murthy with his partners launched Lightbox, a $90 million fund that StrictlyVC mentioned last week. (An interview with Murthy is coming.) Lightbox has absorbed six companies that Sherpalo and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers funded in India. Embibe is its first new investment, however.Flux, a new, San Francisco-based company that creates collaborative design software for the building construction industry, has raised $8 million in Series A financing led by DFJBorealis Ventures also participated in the funding. Flux was born out of Google’s moonshot factory, Google[x].

Guangzhou Xianhai Internet Technology, a China-based online game developer, has struck a deal with Beijing Enlight Media, one of China’s largest film and television content suppliers. Specifically, Enlight is paying $37 million in cash for a 20 percent stake in Guangzhou, a move should help Enlight expand into China’s online and mobile game industry and adapt its movies into online games.
NavInfo, a China-based digital mapping provider, will see an 11.3 percent stake in its business transfer hands from its state-owned parent, China Siwei Surveying & Mapping Technology Corp., to Tencent Holdings, Asia’s biggest Internet company, which is paying $187 million for the position. Alibaba Group Holding announced a similar deal earlier this year; it’s buying AutoNavi Holdings in a deal that values the mapping company at $1.5 billion.Optimizely, a nearly four-year-old, San Francisco-based web optimization platform, has raised $57 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Earlier backers Benchmark Capital and Bain Capital Ventures also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $88 million.

Orbotix, a four-year-old, Boulder, Colo.-based maker of smartphone-controlled robotic toy balls, has raised $15.5 million funding led by Shea Ventures and Grishin Robotics. Earlier investor Foundry Group also participated in the round, which brings the company’s funding to roughly $30 million.
Pear Sports, a  four-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based company that provides online fitness tracking and interactive coaching, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by earlier investors Innovate Partners and Nordic Ventures. Unnamed individual investors and TV maker Vizio also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $6.2 million, shows Crunchbase.
Perfecto Mobile, a 7.5-year-old, Woburn, Ma.-based testing and monitoring platform for mobile apps and websites, has raised $20 million in Series D funding led by FTV Capital. The found brings the company’s total funding to nearly $50 million. Others of its investors include Globespan Capital PartnersWaisbein FundCarmel Ventures, and Vertex Venture Capital. 
Planday, a year-old, Copenhagen-based maker of workforce scheduling and HR software, has raised $3.75 million from the Nordic VC Creandum.
QPID Health, a year-old, Boston-based electronic health records spinout from Massachusetts General Hospital, has received a $12.3 million investment led by New Leaf Venture Partners. The company has raised $16.3 million to date, including from Massachusetts General Physicians OrganizationMatrix PartnersPartners Innovation Fund, and Cardinal Partners.
Top Hat, a five-year-old, Toronto-based mobile and web-based classroom response and engagement tool, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Georgian Partners. Earlier investors Emergence Capital PartnersiNovia CapitalSoftTech VCVersion One Ventures and Golden Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $22 million, shows Crunchbase.
Smartsheet, a nine-year-old, Bellevue, Wash.-based company that makes collaborative work management software, has raised $35 million in funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures. Earlier investors Insight Venture Partners and Madrona Venture Group also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $65 million.UberMedia, a four-year-old, Pasadena, Calif.-based mobile ad targeting and social app company, has raised $8 million in funding led by Blue Chip Ventures and Gordon Crawford. The company has raised $25 million to date, including from Accel PartnersIndex VenturesLerer Ventures and Revolution Ventures.

WealthEngine, a 23-year-old, Bethesda, Md.-based wealth research services firm (it helps its users find well-heeled prospects to target), has raised $7 million in Series B funding from earlier investors Novak Biddle Venture PartnersStreamlined VenturesHKB Capital, and others. The company has raised $15.7 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
New Funds
DH Investments, a 12-year-old, Beijing-based private equity and venture capital firm, is raising a third venture capital fund that is targeting $150 million, according to VentureWire sources. At $150 million, CDH Venture III will be much smaller than its predecessor, CDH Venture II, which totaled $500 million, and closer to the firm’s first, $200 million, venture fund closed in 2006. The firm’s areas of interest are broad; among some of its newer information technology bets are Lailaihui, an e-commerce site focusing on outbound travel sales in China; Gewara, an online movie ticket seller through which users can buy tickets at discounts and choose seats; and Wacai, a Chinese mobile app developer and the creator of a personal finance management mobile app.

CommonAngels, a well-known startup investing group of around 50 Boston-area angel investors, is looking to raise a $35 million new pooled fund and is nearly halfway there, according to a new SEC filing that lists the group’s managing directors, James Geshwiler and Maia Heymann. CommonAngels began raising the fund some time last year.

The real impact of Alibaba has yet to be felt here. But it’s coming. Re/code’s Kara Swisher counts the ways as it prepares to file its IPO.
TrueCar, an eight-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based car pricing information site, disclosed in a filing yesterday that it plans to sell 7.775 million shares at a range of between $12 and $14 a piece, which would give the company a valuation of just less than a billion dollars. The company had initially filed to go public about a month ago. Its biggest shareholders include Capricorn Management, which owns 16.02 percent of the company; Upfront Ventures, which owns 15.23 percent; Anthem Ventures, which owns 9.31 percent; Vulcan Capital, which owns 9.08 percent; and Peppy Capital Partners, which owns 6.62 percent.
Adchemy, a 10-year-old, Foster City, Ca.-based SaaS-based software company that helps marketers optimize their paid ad campaigns – has been acquired by WalmartLabs, the company’s Silicon Valley-based innovation lab and R&D center. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but TechCrunch hears this was mostly a talent acquisition, with 60 of Adchemy’s employees now expected to head off to WalmartLabs. Adchemy had raised nearly $120 million over the years, shows Crunchbase. August CapitalMayfield FundAccenture and Microsoft were among its investors.
BrandAds, a 2.5-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based application that measures the effectiveness of video advertising, has been acquired by Extreme Reach, a Needham, Ma.-based video platform for integrated TV, digital, and mobile video advertising. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. According to Crunchbase, BrandAds had raised just $180,000 in seed funding. Extreme Reach, meanwhile, has raised nearly $150 million from investors, including Greycroft PartnersVillage Ventures, and Spectrum Equity.
ClearEdge Power, an 11-year-old, Hillsboro, Or.-based fuel cell maker, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Last month, facing a cash shortfall, the company laid off 268 employees and closed two manufacturing hubs in South Windsor, Cn. ClearEdge had raised at least $144.3 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. Among its backers are Applied VenturesKohlberg VenturesSouthern California Gas Company, and Artis Ventures.

Lyfe Mobile, a two-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based mobile demand-side platform (DSP), has been acquired by the British video advertising company Blinkx in an all-cash transaction. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Lyfe had not disclosed any outside funding.

Nixter, a two-year-old, Santiago, Chile-based company whose mobile app promised to make it easier for users to access tickets, bottle service and RSVPs for nightclubs, has been acquired by Skout, a 6.5-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of a social networking app. Nixter had raised just $200,000 in angel fund; Scout has raised $22 million from investors, most of it from Andreessen Horowitz.
Testhub, a two-year-old, Berlin-based app testing outfit, has been acquired by its better-funded U.S. competitor uTest, which has been renamed Applause. Testhub had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from WestTech Ventures. Applause, founded in 2007 and based in Framingham, Ma., has raised about $80 million from investors, including Goldman SachsEgan-Managed CapitalQuestMark Partners,Longworth Venture PartnersScale Venture Partners, and MassVenture. Exact terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, though the companies said in a statement that it was a multi-million euro deal based on cash and equity.
An SEC filing flagged by 9to5 Mac gives some sense of the enticements that former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts received to join Apple as its new retail chief. (Think 113,334 Apple shares, which comes out to about $68 million at today’s price, though they won’t fully vest until 2018.)
If you live or work in Mountain View, Ca., expect some heavier-than-usual traffic on Thursday. President Barack Obama will be in town to attend that fundraiser at the headquarters of Y Combinator.
Fred Wilson of New York’s Union Square Ventures predicted yesterday that by 2020, the biggest tech company in the world – Apple – will likely cease to be the most important, and won’t even be in the top three. More here.
TechCrunch Disrupt continues. You can find its live stream here.
Job Listings
Rubicon Project, the newly public digital ad tech company, is looking for a VP of business development. The job is in L.A.
For what it’s worth, the NSA is also recruiting in its own unique way.
Chart of the day: Here’s who’s winning the smartphone market share war in China, according to the research firm Counterpoint.
Essential Reads
Looks like John McAfee is back from his wild adventures. His new project (or one to which he has lent his name, at least): an encrypted private messaging app called Chadder.
Roughly 22,000 new San Francisco residents are now hunting for apartments that don’t exist.
Michael Pollan on “nutritionism,” food culture, and unhealthy obsessions with healthy eating.
As you suspected: New research out of Yale and the Smithsonian provides fresh evidence that turtles are more closely related to birds and crocodiles than to lizards and snakes.
An open letter to your unreadable hashtag.
Larry Page’s Google business card, circa 1998.
Retail Therapy
Fifteen things to do at stunning tropical locations around the world.
The best airline seat that $21,000 can buy, ostensibly. (We’d have to confirm this directly — wink, wink — Etihad Airlines.)
“It’s so hard to describe just how incredible it is to drive this car at speed.”

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