StrictlyVC: July 23, 2014

Good morning, everyone! We ran out of time to write a column today, but we’ll see you back here tomorrow. (Email version is here. Sign up is here.)


Top News in the A.M.

Apple is now growing faster in China than anywhere else in the world.

Deaf advocacy groups to Verizon: Stop invoking us to kill net neutrality.

Flipkart will announce “possibly as early as next week” that it has raised more than $1 billion in new funding — the biggest round ever raised by an Indian e-commerce company, says the Economic Times. (As Quartz is noting this morning, the round would be second biggest round ever, after Uber’s recent $1.2 billion round of funding.) According to the Economic Times report, half the funding is coming from the company’s earlier backers, including Tiger GlobalDST Global and Accel Partners; the rest is flooding in from new investors. As Quartz observes,  the Economic Times has been “overenthusiastic” in its reporting of Flipkart fundings in the past, so stay tuned.


New Fundings

Airware, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of a hardware, software, and cloud services platform for commercial drone development and operation, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital also participated in the round, which brings Airware’s total funding to $40 million.

Anomo, a two-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based location-based social discovery app, has raised $800,000 in seed funding in a round led by Maveron and Orca Bay Capital. The company has raised $1.4 million to date.

AvantCredit, a two-year-old, Chicago-based company offering personal loans and lines of credit products online, has raised $75 million in Series C funding led by Tiger Global Management. The company also secured $200 million credit facility led by Victory Park Capital. To date, AvantCredit has raised $129 million in equity funding, including from August Capital and QED Investors, shows Crunchbase. VentureWire has much more here.

Beanstalk, a months-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based online tax platform for small-to-medium sized businesses and their advisors, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by New Enterprise AssociatesEPIC VenturesDeep Fork Capital, and former Wall Street executive Jim Engebretsen also participated in the round.

BEW Global, a 12-year-old, Denver-based company that provides managed security services to protect business-critical information, has raised $14 million from Frontier Capital.

bitFlyer, an eight-month-old, Tokyo-based site that allows anyone with a Japanese bank account to buy and sell bitcoin, has raised $1.6 million from an unnamed Japanese venture firm. The outfit, founded by former Goldman Sachs trader Yuzo Kano, is currently looking to raise more cash from overseas investors so it can expand the service beyond Japan, Kano tells Bloomberg.

Crowdcube, a four-year-old Exeter, England-based crowdfunding platform, says it just used its own platform to raise roughly $2 million from 141 investors in a record 16 minutes. The company announced last week that it raised $6.5 million from Balderton Capital, adding that it planned to turn to its community of users for the rest of the round. Growth Business has more here.

Daoxila, a four-year-old, Shanghai-based Chinese wedding e-commerce platform, has raised “tens of millions” of dollars in Series B funding led bySequoia Capital and earlier investor Fidelity Asia Venturesaccording to China Money Network. The company received “tens of millions” of dollars in Series A funding from Fidelity and New Access Capital in 2012, says the outlet.

EdgeWave, a 19-year-old, San Diego-based cybersecurity firm, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from TVC Capital, a San Diego-based growth equity firm.

FreshBooks, an 11-year-old, Toronto-based maker of cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, has raised $30 million in its first outside funding. Oak Investment Partners led the round. Atlas Venture and Georgian Partners also participated.

iCix, an 11-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that makes software to automate food safety, has raised $25 million in new funding from Vertical Venture Partners, previous investors DFJ and Starfish Ventures, and Wesfarmers, a diversified holding company in Australia. iCix has raised $59.2 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

NextImmune, a 2.5-year-old, Gaithersburg, Md.-based developer of immuno-therapeutics for a variety of cancers and other diseases, has raised $3 million in venture funding from New Enterprise AssociatesPfizer Venture Investments, and Amgen Ventures. The company had previously raised $300,000 in seed and debt financing.

Privacy Analytics, a seven-year-old, Ottawa-based company that sells software that protects the privacy of personal data used for analysis and research, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Vanedge Capital, with earlier investor BDC Capital and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research participating. The company has raised $4.9 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

Social Point, a seven-year-old, Barcelona-based mobile games developer, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Highland Capital Partners Europe, with earlier backer Idinvest participating. The company has now raised $44.7 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

SimpleReach, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based content marketing platform, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by MK CapitalAtlas Venture, along with earlier investors Village Ventures and High Peaks Venture Capital, also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $10.6 million.

SmartZip, a five-year-old, Pleasanton, Ca.-based company behind a predictive marketing platform, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Crest Capital Ventures of Houston, with participation from existing investors Claremont Creek Ventures and Intel Capital. The company has raised $18.6 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

Synlogic, a 10-month-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based biotechnology company focused on the development of therapeutic microbes, has raised $29.4 million in Series A funding led by Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates.

Sunrise, a 1.5-year-old company that makes a free calendar app, is raising $6 million in Series A funding from Balderton Capital and earlier investors, reports TechCrunch. When the round is closed, the company will have raised $8.2 million altogether.

Supersonic, a five-year-old, San Bruno, Ca.-based mobile advertising platform technology company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by the China-based venture firm SAIF Partners in order to expand its business into China, Japan and India. Earlier investor Greylock Partners also participated in the round, which brings Supersonic’s total funding to roughly $23 million. The Globes has more here.

Timehop, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based app that aggregates updates, statuses and photos of from social networks and sends them to users’ email, has raised $10 million in new fund led by Shasta Ventures. Earlier investors, including Spark CapitalO’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures and numerous angel investors, also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $14.1 million.

VisiQuate, a five-year-old, Santa Rosa, Ca.-based enterprise software company, has raised $6 million in Series C funding led by First Analysis. The company has raised $10.1 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

WHILL, a two-year-old, San Carlos, Ca.-based company that creates personal mobility products that look an awful lot like modern wheelchairs but are meant to be used by anybody, has raised $6 million as part of an $11 million round, shows a new SEC filing. The company had earlier raised $1.9 million in seed funding, including from Bridge Global Ventures500 StartupsItochu Technology VenturesKAMIAMUFJ Capital, and VegasTechFund. It also ran a small, successful campaign on Kickstarter, which you can still see here.

Yuantiku, a two-year-old, Beijing-based question-and-answer education site designed to help students pass various tests, has raised $15 million in Series C financing from existing investors Matrix Partners China and IDG, at a valuation of roughly $125 million, says TechNode. The company had previous raised roughly $10 million.


New Funds

Australian investor Mark Carnegie has teamed up with fixed income dealerFIIG to create Alternate Debt Services, which will link privately held high-growth companies with debt from investors ­chasing yield. More here.

Leading Edge Ventures, a new, Newark, De.-based early-stage venture fund, has announced that it will begin making investments in young startups in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region. Leading Edge is backed by First State Innovation, an organization whose mission is to accelerate entrepreneurial activity in Delaware and the surrounding region.



Bizo, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based market platform that helps B2B marketers identify and reach their target audiences online, has been acquired by LinkedIn for $175 million in cash and stock (90 percent cash; 10 percent stock). The company had raised $28.5 million from investors, including VenrockCrosslink CapitalBessemer Venture Partners,Vulcan Capital, and Ascent Venture Partners.

DrawElements, a six-year-old, Helsinki-based computer graphics company, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. More here.



Prince Harry is down on Twitter, as in, “I really quite hate Twitter.”

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman sits down with Charlie Rose to talk about his new book and answer a host of questions, including how he’d characterize the maturation of social networking. “I’d say it’s still in the first three innings,” says Hoffman.

Chris LaRosa, YouTube’s product manager in charge of music, is leaving Google at week’s end to join a startup, reports the WSJ. It’s a “huge loss,” a colleague of LaRosa tells the outlet. More here.

David Rubin, who spent the last 13 years at Unilever, has left his VP job with the consumer goods giant to head up global brand marketing forPinterest. It’s a newly created post, reports AdAge.


Job Listings

CalPERS, the pension fund giant, is still looking to fill a whole bunch of openings, including several investment officer roles.


Essential Reads

Engadget reviews the Amazon Fire and concludes that you’re “better off waiting for the sequel.”

Apple delivered a snooze of an earnings report yesterday. Here’s what you might have missed.



We meant to tell you sooner: The tendency to procrastinate may be genetic.

A new study shows that people are “perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man.”

Eek. June was the hottest month on record, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (May was the hottest on record, too.)


Retail Therapy

You can now spend $1,260 for a pair of sunglasses. Who says you have to  wear Glass to look like a glasshole? (Kidding!) H/T: InsideHook.

Fuut hammocks.

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