StrictlyVC: April 14, 2015

Hi, happy Tuesday, everyone!

We know some of you didn’t receive yesterday’s email or else had trouble opening the links. (Sorry.) Our ESP suffered a denial-of-service attack early in the day. For those who missed the latest about our May 13 event in San Francisco (and other bits, including a job listing you might want to check out), click here.


Top News in the A.M.

Qualcomm has rejected a call for its break-up by activist investor Jana Partners, saying that “synergies provided by our business model create more value for stockholders than could be created through alternative corporate structures.”

Bad news for Google: Apple has managed to sell more Apple Watches in a single day than the number of Android Wear smartwatches sold in an entire year.

Rakuten‘s shopping spree looks to continue. According to TechCrunch, the Japanese conglomerate may soon shell out $580 million for the online celebrity news site PopSugar. According to Crunchbase, the nine-year-old company has raised roughly $46 million from investors, including NBC Universal, Sequoia Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners.


Duo Security Raises $30 Million More, Led by Redpoint

Duo Security, a five-year-old, 100-person company that sells its cloud-based two-factor authentication software to thousands of organizations, including Facebook, Twitter, Nasa and Uber, has just raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Redpoint Ventures, with participation from Benchmark, Google Ventures, Radar Partners and True Ventures. (The Ann Arbor, Mi.-based startup has now raised around $50 million altogether.)

Last week, we chatted the Duo Security’s cofounder and CTO, Jon Oberheide, about how his company is using mobile devices as a second form of authentication, and what comes next.

Some major company’s information is breached every week it seems, yet there are also other two-factor authentication services out there tackling the problem. What makes yours different?

First, we think the existing security is broken. Underlying information technology has shifted out underneath existing security technologies and they aren’t relevant anymore. In the past few decades, your security model was built within the physical walls of your organization, then people began accessing the same device but they weren’t necessarily in the building, which made phishing for those employees’ names and passwords easy. Poor hygiene across multiple sites was the problem we were trying to solve, and we succeeded in ensuring that your identification couldn’t be stolen.

Then mobile devices came along and now everyone uses their own favorite products.

Yes, and those mobile devices aren’t under the control of an IT administrator. You have these cloud services that are being controlled by third parties. IT departments have gone from saying “no,” to partnering with [various parties] to ensure their [devices’] secure enablement.

And you have a new edition that you say works even better than what your customers have been using. How so?

Our new platform edition allows companies to establish what security policies are acceptable and customize protection at the point of entry. It can stop break-ins regardless of whether hackers have a user’s name or password by analyzing a company’s policies for each log-in attempt, including the location of the user, the reputation of the IP address, and what level of device health they want to admit into their enterprises. It addresses, for example, the employee who might forget his phone at the bar. A company can require that a full encryption and screen lock [are activated] to prevent someone else rom picking it up and trying to access corporate information. Or, if you’re a domestic company whose employees primarily log-in from Starbucks, you might want to block access to China or Russia, where a lot of hackers come from. You just click a box and it’s done.

How much more will this new edition cost customers?

On a per user, per month basis, we currently charge $3; our platform edition wil cost $6 per user per month because we’re providing a lot more value to companies that we think justifies [the price hike].


New Fundings

Adallom, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based SaaS-based security company focused on auditing user activity and protecting users from threats in real time, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Hewlett-Packard Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners, with participation from Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures.

Alfred Club, a 20-month-old, San Francisco-based startup that pairs people needing work with people wanting their errands handled, has raised $10 million in new funding led by New Enterprise Associates and Spark Capital, with participation from Sherpa Ventures and CrunchFund. Spark also led Alfred’s previous $2 million round.

CapriCoast, a months-old, Bangalore, India-based online furniture store that connects its customers with manufacturers directly, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by Accel Partners. DealCurry has more here.

Commeasure, a year-old, Singapore-based company that helps hotels develop their direct booking systems, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by the Singapore-based early-stage investor Jungle Ventures. VCCircle has more here.

Docker, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose open platform enables developers and system administrators to create distributed applications, has raised $95 million Series D funding led by earlier investor Insight Venture Partners. Other investors in the round include Coatue, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust and previous investors Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures. More here.

Eaze, a 10-month-old, San Francisco-based medical marijuana on-demand delivery platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by DCM Ventures, with participation from Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital (of course), 500 Startups, and earlier backer Fresh VC. Eaze had previously raised $1.5 million in a seed funding.

FinalCode, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company that makes file-encryption software, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from Japan’s Digital Arts. CRN has more here.

Illumio, a two-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based cybersecurity company, has raised $100 million in Series C funding from BlackRock and Accel Partners, with participation from earlier backers Formation 8Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst Partners. To date, the company has raised $142 million altogether. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here.

Movidius, an 8.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based fabless semiconductor company that designs compact, high-performance, ultralow power, computational imaging and vision processing chips and reference designs, has raised $40 million in Series E funding led by Summit Bridge Capital, with participation from ARCH Venture Partners, Sunny Optical Technology Group, and earlier backers Atlantic Bridge Capital, AIB Seed Capital Fund, Capital-E, DFJ Esprit and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. The company has now raised $86.5 million altogether. Silicon Angle has more here.

Npm, a 16-month-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company that makes software for JavaScript developers, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Planet Labs, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that aims to cover the Earth in tiny satellites, has raised $118 million in Series C funding led by the the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank. Other participants in the round include Data Collective, and earlier backers Yuri Milner, DFJ, Capricorn Investment Group,O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Founders Fund, First Round Capital,Innovation Endeavors, AME Cloud Ventures, Industry VenturesFelicis Ventures, Lux Capital, and Ray Rothrock. TechCrunch has much more here.

Pocket, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based service that lets users save content from across the web to read or watch later, has raised $7 million in fresh funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Sound Ventures, a fund announced by actor Ashton Kutcher and talent manager Guy Oseary last month. Pocket has now raised $14.5 million to date. VentureBeat has more here.

PrimeRevenue, a 12-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company that sells multi-bank supply chain finance services to buyers and suppliers worldwide, has raised $80 million led by BBH Capital Partners and Battery Ventures. The company had previously raised $11.6 million, including from Battery and RRE Ventures, shows Crunchbase.

ResiModel, a two-year-old, New York-based service that aggregates, standardizes and analyzes financial data for transactions in multifamily properties, has raised an undisclosed amount of money that brings its total amount of backing to $3.5 million. The company had previously raised nearly $2 million in debt, shows Crunchbase.

Take Eat Easy, a two-year-old, Paris, France-based company that, like DoorDash, invites users to order food online from restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out and delivery service, has raised €6 million ($6.4 million) in Series A funding from Rocket Internet, DN Capital, and Piton Capital. More here.

Tiantian Yongche, an eight-month-old, Beijing, China-based carpool and ridesharing app, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding led by Baidu, with participation from Sequoia Capital. The company claims its valuation is now close to $200 million. Baidu has been playing catch-up in the taxi app race. It has also recently invested in in 51yongche, another carpooling app, and in December, it invested in Uber, the car-booking giant. Tech in Asia has more here.

Tonara, a 6.5-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based startup behind the eponymous interactive sheet music app, has raised $5 million from Chinese Internet giant Baidu and earlier backer Carmel Ventures. The company had previously raised $4.8 million, shows Crunchbase. Techcrunch has more here.

WhatWeLike, a a 15-month-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based social shopping startup that focuses on local fashions, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures. Tech in Asia has more here.

Zomato, the seven-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based online restaurant guide, has reportedly raised roughly $24.9 million from Info Edge as part of a $50 million fundraise. Zomato had also raised $60 million from Vy Capital, Info Edge and Sequoia last November. Altogether, it has raised $163 million in funding until now, reports the Economic Times.

ZopNow, a four-year-old, Bangalore, India- based online grocery startup, has raised $10 million in new funding led by San Francisco-based Dragoneer Investment Group, with participation from earlier backers Accel Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Times Internet. Inc42 has the story here.


New Funds

Yesterday, 500 Startups announced a new $10 million carveout fund, called the DistroFund, aimed at helping early-stage companies with both financial backing and support services when they are trying to land Series A funding. PandoDaily has more here.



Twitter’s former head of investor relations, Nils Erdmann, has a new job as a partner at the young secondary shop Battery East Group. TechCrunch asks him about the move here.

Eight VC firms, including Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Accel Partners, Shasta Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures, have opened or are opening offices in San Francisco’s South Park. “It’s Sand Hill, but with street art and better burritos,” Redpoint’s Ryan Sarver tells Recode.



Of the 56 current “unicorns,” just four are led by women (and just three if you exclude Good Technology, whose path continues to appear uncertain). Almost two-thirds of the companies don’t have a woman on the board, either. Silk has the data story here.


Essential Reads

As vertical marketplaces rise, Craiglist is reportedly losing market share at long last.



How not to be a jerk while wearing the Apple Watch.

Why everyone went nuts over Hillary Clinton’s new logo.


Retail Therapy

Whoops. Looks like Johnny Walker hired the wrong branding agency.

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