StrictlyVC: April 28, 2015

Happy Tuesday, everyone! No column today. We had a strange Monday, including having our car towed (while parked legally, as we were volunteering at a school, no less!). Mostly, we’re sorry we missed an outing at San Francisco’s AT&T park that Rothenberg Ventures organized yesterday. Sounds like it was a hit (no pun intended).


Top News in the A.M.

Apple’s announcement yesterday that it would dole out the biggest chunk of cash to shareholders in history—$200 billion of capital will be returned to investors through March 2017—means one thing and one thing only, says Time: The market has topped.

After three years of testing, Amazon is rebranding its business offerings and unveiling a new site around them. The WSJ has more here.

Watch out, Skype. Facebook just introduced video calling in its Messenger platform.


New Fundings

Babajob, a nearly eight-year-old, Bangalore, India-based jobs marketplace, has raised $10 million in new funding from SEEK, an Australia-based online employment marketplace. The company had raised an earlier, undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by GrayGhost Ventures and Khosla Impact. The outlet e27 has more here.

Beijing Weiying, a year-old, Beijing, China-based company that provides online booking and payment for movie tickets via mobile apps based on Tencent’s Wechat and QQ platforms, has raised $105 million in Series B funding from Tencent Holdings, Dalian Wanda Group, and other investors. China Money Network has more here.

Benefit, a 2.5-year-old, Grand Rapids, Mi.-based pre-paid mobile wallet application that sends a percentage of each transaction to the cause of a user’s choice, has raised $900,000 in seed funding led by Start Garden, an early stage venture capital fund. The company had previously raised $550,000 in seed funding across two rounds, shows Crunchbase.

CareCloud, a six-year-old, Miami, Fla.-based company that makes practice management and electronic health records software, has raised $15 million in funding from previous investors. The company also appointed a new CEO. The company has now raised roughly $100 million altogether, shows Crunchbase, including from Tenaya Capital, Intel Capital, and Norwest Venture PartnersMore here.

DataTorrent, a three-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based data analytics software company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Singtel Innov8, with participation from GE Ventures and all of its previous investors. The company has now raised $23.8 million altogether, including from Morado Venture PartnersAugust Capital, and AME Cloud Ventures., a year-old, Ashburn, Va.-based live streaming broadcast site for professional and aspiring gamers, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from the London-based venture firm Black Green Capital. More here.

DocDoc, a three-year-old, Singapore-based online service providing ratings about doctors in Southeast Asia, along with booking services, has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Raymond Choong Yee How, CEO of the Malaysian banking conglomerate Hong Leong Financial Group. Sparklabs Global Ventures also participated in the round. DocDoc had previously raised $2.6 million in seed funding. TechCrunch has more here.

Icertis, a six-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company whose software lets corporate customers manage contracts from the cloud, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners and Fidelity Growth Partners India. The company had previously raised roughly $500,000 in seed funding.

Loop Commerce, a 2.5-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based online gift card startup, has raised $16 million in Series B funding co-led by investor Oren Zeev and Wicklow Capital. The company has now raised roughly $30 million altogether. Venture Capital Dispatch has much more here.

Naaptol, a seven-year-old, Mumbai, India-based online store selling a wide variety of items, has raised $21.4 million in Series C funding led by the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., with participation from earlier backers New Enterprise Associates, Canaan Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. The company has reportedly raised around $76 million altogether. Tech-Portal has more here.

Refinery29, an 11-year-old, New York-based fashion and style site, has raised $50 million in new funding led by Scripps Network Interactive and the ad giant WPP. The company, which has raised $80 million to date — including from Floodgate, First Round Capital, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures — is reportedly now valued at $290 million. Recode has more here.

SensorSuite, a three-year-old, Toronto, Ontario-based wireless sensor and cloud analytics platform, has raised $550,000 in seed funding from Extreme Venture Partners, BDC Capital, and unnamed angel investors. TechVibes has more here.

Smava, a 10-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based social lending platform, has raised $16 million in funding led by Phenomen Ventures, with participation from existing investors Earlybird Ventures and Neuhaus Partners. The company has now raised $29.1 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

UBeam, a four-year-old, L.A.-based wireless power startup that transmits power over-the-air to charge electronic devices, is reportedly in talks to raise $50 million or more in Series B funding, at a valuation of $500 million or more. The company has raised just $13.2 million to date, from a long list of investors that includes Crunchfund, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. TechCrunch has the story here.

Validic, a five-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based company whose mobile health API connection enables healthcare companies to access data from clinical and remote-monitoring devices, sensors, fitness equipment, wearables and other applications, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, SJF Ventures and Greycroft Partners. The company had previously raised $5.9 million over numerous rounds, shows Crunchbase.

Windward, a five-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that has developed maritime tracking and predictive technology, has raised $10.8 million in Series B funding led by Horizon Ventures, with participation from earlier backer Aleph. The company had previously raised $5 million in Series A funding.

New Funds

Scale Up Ventures Fund, a new, Ontario-based venture fund, has received $25 million from the Government of Ontario that will be matched with $25 million from private investors — all to provide capital to Ontario-based start-ups. The fund is expected to begin operations in summer. More here.

Saama Capital, a three-year-old, Bangalore-based venture firm whose team previously worked together at SVB Financial Group, is raising its third fund, shows an SEC filing that doesn’t list a target. More here.

Yet2Ventures, a five-old, Wilmington, De.-based secondary shop that buys stakes from venture funds looking to liquidate some of their holdings, has raised roughly $12 million for its newest fund, shows an SEC filing. Yet2Ventures was cofounded by Ben DuPont, a member of the Du Pont family.



Drug company Celgene Corp. is acquiring the six-year-old, San Francisco-based biotech startup Quanticel Pharmaceuticals for $100 million cash, with another $385 million in payouts contigent on certain milestones being met. Quanticel, a Stanford University spin-off, had entered into a multi-year deal with Celgene in 2011 and was provided with $45 million in return.

Loqate, a five-year-old, San Bruno, Ca.-based company that provides location-based intelligence and data to other apps, has been acquired for $13.4 million by GBGroup, a U.K.-based identity intelligence firm. Silicon Valley Business Journal has more here.

Skava, a 13-year-old, San Francisco-based e-commerce company focused on mobile and in-store platforms for big-box retailers, is being acquired by an affiliate of the Indian tech services giant Infosys for $120 million. The San Francisco Business Times has more here.



Facebook and Twitter are gearing up to battle the gender discrimination and harassment claims that have been brought against them recently. According to The Recorder, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s powerhouse partner Lynne Hermle, who represented Kleiner Perkins in its recent case, is defending Twitter. Meanwhile, Facebook has hired Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner Melinda Riechert to defend itself against claims brought by a former employee.  More here.



Google is hiring a corporate development associate. The job is in Mountain View, Ca.



In the first quarter of of this year, 166 Israeli high-tech companies raised $994 million, according to a survey conducted by IVC and KPMG. The total marks the second-highest quarterly amount in the last decade; it also represents a 48 percent jump up from the $673 million raised by 160 companies in the corresponding quarter of 2014. Globes has the story here.

Apple is crushing it in China (chart).


Essential Reads

When it comes to real-estate related tech firms (and many others), Europe is playing catch-up with the U.S., reports the WSJ.

The astonishing, untold story of Silk Road.



Art by roller skate.

The 25 business schools with the best social life.

Good news? The chore gender gap (kind of) evens out after retirement.


Retail Therapy

A bike cruiser that can land you a speeding ticket. (Well, if you’re biking through a school zone anyway.)

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