StrictlyVC: August 18, 2014

And we’re back! (Web visitors, you can find an easier-to-read version of this, today’s email, right here.)


Top News in the A.M.

The Daily Telegraph’s recent campaign to document all of its stories that were removed from Google under the EU’s so-called right to be forgotten ruling, took a strange turn on Friday when the Telegraph itself removed three stories about removals. More here from Marketing Land.


New Fundings

Comprehend Systems, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company whose cloud-based, real-time cross-data source visualization and analytics tools bring together disparate data produced by clinical trials, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Earlier investor Sequoia Capital also participated in the round. The Y Combinator alum has now raised $30.6 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Lybrate, a 1.5-year-old, New Delhi, India-based online doctor directory service akin to ZocDoc, , has raised $1.23 million in funding, shows an SEC filing first flagged by VentureBeat. More here.

Medallia, a 13-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose software helps corporations track their customers’ experiences by integrating data from call centers, social media, and so on, has raised $50 million in fresh funding from previous backer Sequoia Capital. In fact, Sequoia is Medallia’s sole institutional investor and now committed $105 million to the company over three rounds. The WSJ’s Deborah Gage has a great write-up about the company, and its rare relationship with Sequoia, here.

Nirmidas Biotech, a year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based diagnostic research company whose technology aims to significantly boost the ability to detect disease biomarkers, has raised $2 million in seed funding from an unnamed VC firm, a life science angel investor, and the Stanford-StartX Fund.

OKpanda, a two-year-old, New York-based company whose English learning platform that largely targets the Asian market, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Resolute Ventures led the round, joined by East VenturesBeenos and earlier investors Innovation EndeavorsKapor Capital500 Startups and others.

Rethink, a seven-year-old, New York-based maker of web-based learning and care management tools for children with autism and other behavioral health disorders, has raised $10 million in Series C funding co-ed by Beringea and Arboretum Ventures. Earlier investors also participated in the round.

ScriptRock, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based enterprise software company whose platform gives developers and operations visibility into the state of their server systems, has raised $8.7 million in Series A funding led by August Capital, with participation from earlier investors, including Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital.


New Funds

CircleUp Network, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based equity crowdfunding startup, looks to be raising a $25 million “growth capital” fund, shows an SEC filing first flagged by VentureWire. CircleUp is itself venture-backed, having raised $23 million to date from Rose Park AdvisorsCanaan PartnersGoogle VenturesUnion Square Ventures, and Maveron, among others.

CircleUp has also partnered with Collaborative Fund to invest $4 million into certified B Corps. The WSJ has more here. Collaborative Fund is committing $1 million to the effort through a new Special Purpose Vehicle that StrictlyVC wrote about a few weeks ago.

Ribbit Capital, a two-year-old Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm that focuses on financial services startups, has raised $125 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filing. In January of last year, Ribbit Capital closed its inaugural fund with $100 million. The firm, whose investors include Silicon Valley Bank and the Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, was founded by serial entrepreneur Micky Malka, who remains its sole general partner.

United Internet, a 16-year-old, German Internet service provider, is investing 435 million euros ($582 million) for a 10.7 percent stake in the Internet investing juggernaut Rocket Internet, which is expected to list its shares in Frankfurt this fall, according to reports. The deal values Rocket at 4.3 billion euros. It also makes United Internet the company’s fifth shareholder, reports Reuters, noting that Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company acquired a 10 percent stake in Rocket for 333 million euros earlier this month; the Swedish investment firm Kinnevik holds an 18.5 percent stake; Access Industries owns 8.5 percent, PLDT owns 86 percent and the Samwer brothers’ investment vehicle, Global Founders Fund, owns 53.7 percent.



Shareholders of the e-commerce company Zalando and Rocket Internet, the investment firm that helped launch Zalando, will be watching the Alibaba offering very closely next month, suggests the WSJ. Their concern? That “hitches with its flotation could demo their own [IPO] prospects.”

Wayfair, the 12-year-old, Boston-based online home goods retailer, plans to raise up to $350 million in an IPO, the company revealed in an SEC filing processed Friday. The company has raised roughly $360 million from investors over the years. According to its S-1, its biggest outside shareholders are Battery Ventures, which owns 6.15 percent of the company; Great Hill Partners, which owns 11.43 percent, and HarbourVest Partners, which owns 7.03 percent.



Artspace, a nearly four-year-old, New York-based online marketplace for contemporary art, has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by Phaidon Press, which publishes and distributes art books and digital products. Artspace had raised $12.2 million from investors, shows Crunchbase, including Canaan PartnersFelicis VenturesMetamorphic VenturesAccelerator Ventures, and individuals Dick Kramlich and Alex Lloyd., a 10-year-old, Riga, Latvia-based Q&A service that allows users to anonymously ask questions to others, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by, an IAC company that’s making its “first significant push into social networking” with the acquisition, says the New York Times. Much more on the deal here.

ClarityRay, a two-year-old, Israel-based company whose software helps publishers identify fraudulent ads, has been acquired for an undisclosed amount (rumored to be in the $15 million range) by Yahoo. The deal marks the second Israeli company to be acquired by Yahoo in recent months. In May, it acquired the video streaming company RayV for $40 million. More here.

Jetpac, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based iPhone app for crowdsourcing city guides from public Instagram photos, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. Crunchbase shows the startup had raised at least $2.4 million from investors, including Khosla VenturesMorado Venture Partners, and AME Cloud Ventures., a 1.5-year-old, Lausanne, Switzerland-based startup that had been developing technology to organize photos, has been acquired by EyeEm, a Berlin, Germany-based photography and community-centric platform on iOS, Android and the web. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in a new announcement, but LinkedIn shows it took place back in February. had raised just $30,000, reports TechCrunch.



Meet Kathleen Moriarty, a 61-year-old attorney who has spent nearly two decades ushering in new financial products. Her latest project: the Winkelvii’s Bitcoin Trust.

Alexis Ohanian, Reddit cofounder and now, Y Combinator partner, on why he can no longer party like a student.


Job Listings

Liberty Mutual Group, which makes both venture capital and buyout investments, is looking for an investment associate. The job, a “pre-MBA position,” is in Boston.



CB Insights has published new data about which U.K.-based venture firms have been the most active over the last five years. TechCrunch breaks it down here.



Y Combinator’s Demo Day is coming up tomorrow at the Computer History Museum.


Essential Reads

Investment banks are being marginalized in the latest boom in technology deals. Dealbook explains what’s happening here.

Twitter’s latest experiment inserts tweets favorited by others in users’ timelines and it’s not such a big hit.



The first jobs of tech’s biggest rock stars.

The wonderful, weird economy of Burning Man.

It isn’t your imagination. Incompetent managers don’t want to hear your ideas.

A cat, in a shark suit, riding a vacuum.


Retail Therapy

Now you can try an Hermes tie with your shirt before buying.

Holy cow. (More here.)


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