StrictlyVC: April 2, 2015

Hi, happy Thursday!

Two quick programming items. A very persuasive seven-year-old dragged us off to an amusement park for all of yesterday. (We do not have a feature story is what we are saying.) Stay tuned; we have great stuff coming next week.

Also, note that we aren’t publishing tomorrow for Good Friday and Passover.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone!


Top News in the A.M.

The EU is reportedly laying the groundwork for antitrust charges against Google.

Stanford just expanded its family aid packages, making tuition free to students whose families earn less than $125,000 per year.

Airbnb is now available in Cuba.


New Fundings

Bica Studios, a two-year-old, Lisbon, Portugal-based gaming studio, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Portugal VenturesMore here.

CodeFights, a year-old, San Francisco-based startup that turns testing one’s programming skills into a game, has raised $2.4 million in seed funding from a long list of investors, including Felicis Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo. TechCrunch has more here.

Dianping, a 12-year-old, Shanghai, China-based restaurant review and group-buying service that’s often likened to both Yelp and Groupon, has officially closed on $850 million from investors, including smartphone maker Xiaomi, at a $4 billion valuation. (China-based press outlets had reported on the round earlier in the month, without noting Xiaomi’s involvement or the company’s valuation.) The company has now raised $1 billion altogether, including from FountainVest Partners, Temasek Holdings, Qiming Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, shows Crunchbase. The WSJ has more here.

Duriana, a two-year-old, Singapore-based mobile marketplace that allows users to buy and sell items, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding led by Beenos Asia, with participation from Alps Ventures. The company has now raised $3.3 million to date. DealStreetAsia has the story here.

Ello, the two-year-old, Burlington, Vt.-based ad-free social network, has raised $5 million in funding led by its earlier backers Foundry GroupTechStars, and FreshTracks Capital. The company has now raised $11 million altogether. (If you’re curious about its money-making strategy, it says it’s stealing a page from the gaming industry and developing a freemium model that will allow users to sign in for multiple accounts, invert the site’s color scheme, and so on, for nominal dollar amounts.) The Observer has the story.

Fyusion, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based developer of a new mobile photo app platform, has raised $13 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates and The University of Tokyo Edge Capital, with participation from angel investors. The company has now raised roughly $16.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. More here.

Honor, an eight-month-old, San Francisco-based company with big ambitions to help the elderly to live independently longer — via screened health-care professionals, an appliance that acts as a reminder about appointments and more, and an app that makes it easier for remote family members to keep tabs on what’s happening — has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Other participants include Kapor Capital, Ron Johnson, Max Levchin, Max Ventilla, Senator Bob Kerrey, Jeremy Stoppelman, Andrew Conrad, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren. The company was founded by veteran co- founders, including Seth Sternberg (Meebo), Cameron Ring (Plaxo), and Sandy Jen (Meebo). Forbes has more here.

Hudl, a nine-year-old, Lincoln, Ne.-based company whose platform and software provides video analysis and coaching tools for sports teams around the country, has raised $72.5 million in funding led by Accel Partners. Previously, the company had raised just $3 million in seed funding. TechCrunch has much more here.

HyTrust, a seven-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based cloud security automation company, just raised $25 million in Series D funding led by Accelerate-IT Ventures, with participation from Vanedge Capital, Trident Capital, Epic Ventures, Granite Ventures, Cisco, Fortinet, Intel and VMware. The company also secured up to $8 million in venture debt and credit facilities. HyTrust has raised $84.5 million in equity to date, shows Crunchbase.

Ola, the four-year-old, Bangalore, India-based taxi hailing service, is reportedly about to announce $400 million in financing led by DST Global, with participation from Accel Partners and the New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge. Times of India has more here. Ola’s earlier backers, including Tiger Global Management, Matrix Partners, and Steadview Capital, are also reportedly joining the round.

Oscar, the two-year-old, New York-based health insurance startup, is in talks to raise a new round of venture funding at a valuation of “significantly more than $1 billion,” according to Bloomberg. Oscar has already raised $150 million from investors, including Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Founders Fund and Thrive Capital (whose cofounder, Joshua Kushner, also cofounded Oscar).

Quartet Health, a year-old, New York-based health IT company whose platform allows medical and behavioral health clinicians to work collaboratively on shared treatment goals, has raised $7 million in new funding led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from Shulman VenturesFidelity Biosciences, Polaris Partners and numerous individual investors.

ReadyPulse, a 4.5-year-old, San Carlos, Ca.-based company that helps digital marketers find so-called brand ambassadors across social media, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Walden Venture Capital and Rally Ventures. The company has now raised $7 million altogether, including from Divergent Ventures.

Reformation, a 5.5-year-old, L.A.-based eco-friendly clothing company, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Stripes Group and 14W, with numerous individuals participating, including fashion model Karlie Kloss.

SupportPay, a four-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based child-support payment app, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from a New York-based venture firm called T5 Capital Partners, with participation from earlier backers. The company has raised $2.8 million to date.

Tapingo, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile ordering technology for campuses and campus dining, has raised $22 million in Series B funding led by Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from DCM Ventures, Kinzon Capital, and earlier backers Khosla Ventures and Carmel Ventures. The company has now raised $36 million altogether.

Via, a three-year-old, New York-based startup that offers SUV rides to groups of passengers with compatible destinations (in New York but soon to be elsewhere), has raised $27 million in new funding led by Pitango Venture Capital, with participation from Hearst Ventures, Ervington Investments, and 83North. Via has now raised $37 million altogether. VentureBeat has more here.

ZappRx, a three-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that automates the prescription refilling process, has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding from return investors Atlas Venture and SR One.


New Funds

Correlation Ventures, the four-year-old, San Diego-based venture firm that says it uses predictive analytics in its investment decisions, is raising a second fund, shows an SEC filing that states the first sale has yet to occur. The firm is targeting $170 million. Correlation closed its debut fund with $165 million in early 2012.

Index Ventures, the 19-year-old venture firm, with offices in Geneva, London, and San Francisco, has just raised $706 million for a new growth fund, according to an SEC filing. Last year Index, which focuses on both tech and life sciences companies, closed a $542 million fund for early-stage startups. VentureBeat has more here.

Lux Capital, the 15-year-old venture firm, with offices in New York and Menlo Park, Ca. , has closed its fourth fund with $350 million to invest in early-stage science and technology ventures. The fund was meaningfully oversubscribed from the firm’s initial target of $245 million, the firm says. Dealbook has much more here.



GoDaddy’s IPO by the numbers.



Blekko, an eight-year-old, Redwood Shores, Ca.-based web search engine and social news platform, has been acquired by IBM for undisclosed terms. The company had raised roughly $60 million from investors, including SoftTech VC, Baseline Ventures, PivotNorth Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Capital, and Yandex. Silicon Angle has more here.

Chango, a seven-year-old, Toronto-based programmatic ad platform, has been acquired by the publicly traded, L.A.-based ad company Rubicon Project for a reported $122 million. According to Crunchbase, Chango had raised $18.6 million from investors, including iNovia Capital, Rho Canada, Metamorphic Ventures, Extreme Venture Partners, and Mantella Venture Partners. More here.

Embrane, a five-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based startup with an architecture for virtualized network appliances, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Cisco, which was an investor in the company. Altogether, says Crunchbase, Embrane had raised $32 million, including from Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Presidio Ventures.

Two of the many investors in Flipkart, one of India’s largest e-commerce companies, have reportedly cashed out of their investments. Helion Venture Partners has sold its entire stake to secondary buyers; meanwhile IDG Ventures has sold part of its holdings, says DealCurry.More here.

Lacoon Mobile Security, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile threat management platform, has been acquired by Check Point Software Technologies for undisclosed terms that earlier reports pegged at $80 million. Lacoon had raised $8 million from Index Ventures and numerous individual investors., a three-year-old, New York-based company that recently pivoted to build mobile websites for events, has been acquired by publicly traded site builder Wix for $10 million, reports TechCrunch. According to Crunchbase, had raised $3.2 million from Blumberg Capital and SingTel Innov8., a startup and iOS app of the same name that surfaces insights about people in your networks right before you meet them, has been acquired by LinkedIn for undisclosed terms. (TechCrunch is calling it a talent and technology acquisition.) Crunchbase shows the company had raised $10 million from investors, including Haystack, Foundation Capital, CRV, and Redpoint Ventures.

TenXer, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose productivity tool helps programmers analyze their performance, has been acquired by Twitter for undisclosed terms. The company had raised $4.7 million from investors, including Webb Investment Network, Khosla Ventures, Radar Partners, and True Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.

Toopher, a 3.5-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based two-factor authentication startup, has been acquired by Salesforce for undisclosed terms. The company had raised roughly $3 million, shows Crunchbase. Its venture backers include Alsop Louie Partners and Corsa Ventures. VentureBeat has the story here.



A growing list of Silicon Valley CEOs, VCs and other leaders have signed a statement demanding that states considering so-called religious freedom legislation also pass laws banning discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. In an interview with Recode, entrepreneur Max Levchin, who is leading the effort, hints that states that don’t act may have more to worry about than a statement. “I am asking all CEOs to evaluate their relationships and investments in states that do not specifically protect LGBT people from discrimination.”

Motionloft founder Jon Mills — who was accused of defrauding investors and spending their money for his lavish personal use — has been found guilty on two counts of wire fraud, and ordered to serve 24 months in jail, reports TechCrunch. Mills was also ordered to cough up $6,000 in fines and to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $572,039. More here.

Nebula, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company that promised its customers the ability to easily build a massive private computing cloud from hundreds or thousands of inexpensive computers, has gone out of business. Nebula had raised nearly $40 million from investors, including Webb Investment Network, Comcast VenturesKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Highland Capital Partners. Business Insider has the story here.



StrictlyVC’s next INSIDER event is suddenly just six weeks away. Information is here. Tickets are here. Space is limited. Much thanks to our terrific sponsors, Amazon Web Services, Personal Capital, and Galvanize for helping us put together what’s going to be a great night.


Essential Reads, among China’s largest e-commerce companies, is branching out into crowdfunding for startups. The site isn’t the first startup crowdfunding site in China, but with its resources, it claims to already be the largest.

The inside story of the Apple Watch: the people who made it, why it’s important, and just how much Apple has riding on it.

Meerkat, the live broadcasting startup, better have another trick up its sleeve. A week after snatching up $14 million in funding, the company’s popularity is suddenly plunging.



The 19 hottest property markets in the world.

Norwegians, soaring through the air at 60 miles per hour on their skis.

Entertainer Chris Rock is taking a selfie every time he gets pulled over by police.


Retail Therapy

This chainless, folding, electric bike is cool. Maybe not quite as cool as its promotional video suggests(!), but pretty cool.

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