StrictlyVC: April 21, 2015

H, everyone! So the good news: It looks like you received yesterday’s email. [Fist pump, karate kick.] The bad news (for us alone) is that our new email delivery partner is a bit more technical than what we’re accustomed to, so we spent much of yesterday figuring out what’s what. Put another way, no column. Hope you enjoy the rest, though.:)

Also, just a quick mention that our San Francisco-based May event (with Parker Conrad of Zenefits, Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners and other terrific guests) is coming up in just three weeks. Around 150 of you are already planning to attend. If you’ve RSVP’d but not purchased a ticket, you might want to do that before we reach capacity. (We’d also like to get your T-shirt orders in, give our caterers a final head count, etc.) Thanks again to our valued sponsors Personal Capital, Amazon Web Services, and Galvanize for helping make the evening possible!


Top News in the A.M.

Twitter just announced a crackdown on abusive language, unveiling a new feature designed to filter out threatening messages. More here.

Uber must defend against a lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against blind people by refusing to transport guide dogs, a federal judge has ruled. Among more than 40 instances cited by plaintiffs of drivers refusing to comply with the law, one Uber driver allegedly refused a blind woman’s plea to pull over once she realized he’d locked her guide dog in the trunk of his car.


New Fundings

eToro, an eight-year-old, Limassol, Cyprus-based social trading and investment platform that allows users to trade currencies, commodities, indices and stocks, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from CommerzVentures, Russia’s Sberbank and Ping An Ventures of China, bringing the total amount that the company has raised to date to $39 million. Last year, eToro raised $27 million from Ping An Ventures and SBT Venture Capital. (The company also reportedly has a $10 million credit line from Silicon Valley Bank.)Bringhub, a 2.5-year-old, L.A.-based e-commerce platform that enables digital media companies to add shopping-cart capabilities to their sites, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding, including from Capital Union Investments Hong Kong, BAM Ventures, Canyon Creek Capital, Rachel Zoe Ventures, and others. Women’s Wear Daily has more here.

Color Genomics, a two-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based company whose $249 saliva test kit for women  will check for 19 genetic variants known to be correlated with a higher risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, has raised $15 million led by Khosla Ventures and Formation 8, with participation from a long list of influential angel backers, including Laurene Powell Jobs,  Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, and Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston. Bloomberg has more here.
Dimension Therapeutics, a two-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that’s developing treatments for disorders associated with the liver, has raised $65 million in Series B funding led by New Leaf Venture Partners, with participation from Jennison Associates, Partner Fund Management, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, and Tourbillon Global Ventures, along with earlier backers Fidelity Biosciences and OrbiMed. The company has now raised at least $124.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Evoucher, a five-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based daily deals company, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding (its first outside capital) from Value in Technology Indonesia. The outlet e27 has more here.

Full Measure Education, a two-year-old, Washington D.C., company whose communications software for students aims to increase their engagement, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding led by Safeguard Scientifics, with participation from Bull City Venture Partners.

Glukos, a 10-year-old, Gresham, Or.-based natural performance energy foods brand, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by EIF Fund.The company, whose products are available in liquid form, gel, powder, tablet, gummy and bars, was founded by former Nike executive Mark Jensen; he and his CFO, Kurt Peterson, reportedly bought the company back from 30 investors in 2009 with the help of M&K Acquisitions, a company formed exclusively to buy it.

Grannus, a three-year-old, Tuscon, Az.-based producer of ammonia, urea, and other nitrogen fertilizer products, has raised $2 million in Series A funding from an undisclosed strategic investor. More here.

HealthKartPlus, a two-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based drug e-store, has raised $6 million in fresh funding, including from Omidyar Network, Intel Capital, Sequoia Capital, Kae Capital, and MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra,  The company had previously raised $5.5 million across two rounds. Tech in Asia has more here.

InTurn, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based marketplace that funnels excess inventory to retailers in private online showrooms, has raised $3.6 million in Series A funding led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Novel TMT Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, T5 Capital, Ariba cofounder Bobby Lent and earlier investor Beanstalk Capital.MyTime, a nearly four-year-old, San Francisco-based service for booking appointments online, has raised $9.3 million in Series B funding led by earlier backer Upfront Ventures, with participation from new investors Accelerator Ventures, Daher Capital, Khosla Ventures and Westfield Corp.

Music Messenger, a year-old, Herzliya, Israel-based company whose app enables users to create playlists from more than 100 million songs, as well as to send and receive full music tracks on their smartphone from anyone on their contact list, has raised $30 million in new funding led by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, with participation from record producers Tiesto and David Guetta; singers Nicki Minaj and; and others. The company had previously raised at least $5 million. (Forbes took a look at it in December.)

Pathar, a three-year-old, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based social media intelligence company, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding from the pooled angel investment fund Woodside O’Brien, with participation from OCA Ventures.

SimplyInsured, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based online health insurance platform for small businesses (it offers them comparison pricing and plan details and handles the paperwork involved in group health insurance), has raised roughly $1.8 million in seed funding from Starling Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Altair, NerdWallet co-founders Jake Gibson and Tim Chen, and others, including Y Combinator. More here.

Spirox, a three-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based company that makes medical devices for the surgical repair of nasal obstructions, has raised $18.5 million in Series B funding led by Aisling Capital and Venrock. Earlier backers Aperture Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures and Western Technology Investment also participated in the round. Spirox had previously raised at least $4 million, shows Crunchbase.Stringify, a year-old, Los Gatos, Ca.-based Internet of Things (IoT) startup that’s still operating in stealth mode, has raised $6.3 million in seed funding led by Artis Ventures, with participation from OurCrowd and other unnamed angel investors. Stringify was cofounded by Mike Yurochko, who previously ran the digital user experience team at JPMorgan Chase.

Tal Medical, a four-year-old, Boston, Ma.-based clinical-stage medical device company that’s developing a new, non-invasive neuromodulation treatment for depression and other psychiatric disorders, has raised $14 million in funding from an unnamed institutional investor, several unnamed individual investors, and earlier backer PureTech, a Cambridge, Ma. firm that conceived the company. BetaBoston has more here.
Tradegecko, a three-year-old, Singapore-based software-as-a-service startup that helps business owners manage inventory and orders, has raised $6.5 million in Series A  funding led by NSI Ventures and Jungle Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Zhiguoguo, a young, Beijing, China-based company that provides its customers with free trademark registration, as well as (not free) legal services, has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners China, with participation from earlier backer Legend Star. Tech In Asia has more here.
New Funds
Brandon Capital, a nine-year-old, Melbourne, Australia-based life sciences venture capital firm, has raised a new, $200 million Australian dollars ($154.7 million) fund, the largest life science venture fund ever to be raised in Australia, it says.
CMEA Capital, the 26-year-old, San Francisco-based IT, life sciences, and energy-focused venture firm, has restructured several previously raised funds into a new investment vehicle and will relaunch it with the name Presidio Partners, it tells VentureWire. (The firm has moved into San Francisco’s Presidio park and former military base, where numerous other firms have set up shop over the last decade or so, including Founders Fund and IDG Ventures.) The firm says its original name, short for Chemical and Material Enterprise Association, is no longer representative of its identity. Presumably, the firm is also eager to move beyond a sexual harassment lawsuit that was brought against it in 2013 by three former employees. CMEA agreed last year to settle that case.

The Michigan Angel Fund, a 95-member, Ann Arbor, Mi-based fund focused on early-stage companies located in Michigan, has closed its second fund with $2 million. The outfit backs startups that are seeking between $250,000 to $2,000,000.  It used its debut fund to back eight startups, including Arborlight.



Blueprint Medicines, a seven-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based preclinical biotech that’s developing inhibitors for cancer and genetic diseases, revealed plans yesterday to raise $115 million in its IPO by offering 7.2 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17. At the midpoint of the proposed range, the company would have a market value of $421 million. Blueprint was founded with the help of Third Rock Ventures, which remains one of its largest shareholders.



WatchDox, a seven-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based document-centric security platform that helps organizations control their critical documents via mobile devices, has been acquired by Blackberry for $150 million. The company had raised last least $35.8 million, shows Crunchbase, including from Blackstone GroupGemini Israel Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and entrepreneur-investor Shlomo Kramer. Geektime has the story here.



Billionaire Paul Allen has joined the ranks of the those looking to make spaceflight more affordable and efficient with Vulcan Aerospace. Geekwire has more here.When the NBA Clippers sold 11 months ago to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, it acquired a “loud and proud leader,” reports the New York Times. “I didn’t know what to expect,” Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ coach, said. “The guy’s worth $24 billion. I have to think if I had $24 billion I probably would be different. I hope not, but I probably would be. He’s the most normal $24 billion guy I know.”

Matthew Melymuka has cofounded a new, New York-based growth-stage firm focused on enterprise software companies called PeakSpan Capital. Melymuka previously spent seven months as a senior associate at Greycroft Partners and several years as an associate with the growth-stage venture firm Investor Growth Capital. You can learn more about PeakSpan here.

Jeff Maters, a longtime VP at Chicago-based Pritzer Group Venture Capital (and an investor and analyst before that, including at UBS, GMV Capital, and Lehman Brothers), has left the firm. Maters didn’t respond by our press time regarding his next moves.
Kapor Capital is looking for a partner of portfolio services, a new role at the firm. The job is in Oakland, Ca.
Essential Reads
Google will now let you see everything you’ve ever searched.Twitter has begun allowing users to receive direct messages from other users, regardless if they follow each other.

How click farms have inflated social media currency.

The most luxurious airport lounges in the world.Why people love a good shower-cry.

How an octopus controls its very complicated movements.

Retail Therapy
The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger, when hiking boots aren’t your thing.  (H/T: Bryce Roberts)Good enough for a coffee shop but built for your house, should you want a $7,000 espresso machine.



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