StrictlyVC: April 30, 2015

Happy Thursday, everyone! We interviewed a couple of folks yesterday — including the head of TPG Growth, Bill McGlashen —  and hoped to publish one of those chats today. We’re running a little late as it is, though, so stay tuned. McGlashen, in particular, had some interesting things to say about the way TPG Growth operates — and why he takes issue with one common perception about his group.

(Psst, web visitors, here’s an easier-to-read version of this morning’s email.)


Top News in the A.M.

Salesforce is working with financial advisers to help it field takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer, according to Bloomberg sources. ZDNet takes a look at some possible buyers.

Shares of the business ratings and reviews company Yelp have tanked more than 21 percent today, following a big miss on its first quarter earnings.


New Fundings

Beisen, a 13-year-old, Beijing, China-based maker of SaaS-based HR software, has raised $18 million in Series C funding led by Matrix Partners and another unnamed investor. The company reportedly raised roughly $10 million in Series B funding in 2013 from Matrix and Sequoia Capital.

Campus Job, a year-old, New York-based online marketplace for college students to find part-time jobs and internships, has raised $7.8 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Index Ventures, SV Angel, Slow Ventures, and others. Earlier backers Box Group and Lerer Hippeau Ventures also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $9.1 million.

Cintell, an eight-month-old, Boston, Ma.-based customer intelligence platform, has raised $800,000 in seed funding led by angel investor and entrepreneur Venkat Janapareddy, whose startup, Gozaik, was acquired by Monster Worldwide.

Circle Internet Financial, a two-year-old, Boston-based bitcoin brokerage firm, has raised $50 million in new funding led by Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners, with participation from all of its earlier backers. (Some of those include Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, Pantera Capital, and Oak Investment Partners.) The company, cofounded by by Brightcove founder Jeremy Allaire, has now raised $76 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. Reuters has more here.

Clarifai, a two-year-old, New York-based company whose image recognition software helps companies better handle certain kinds of data, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital and Osage University Partners. Other participants included Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Nvidia Ventures,Corazon Capital, LDV Capital and New York University. Crain’s New York has more here.

Femasys, an 11-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company that has developed a non-surgical female sterilization device that delivers biomaterial through a catheter-based system to block a patient’s fallopian tubes, has raised $10.2 million in funding led by Legacy Capital Partners, Salem Partners, and Mario Family Partners. The company has now raised $16.6 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Glu Mobile, the 14-year-old, San Francisco-based publicly traded games maker, has sold 21 million shares, or 14.6 percent of its outstanding shares, to the Chinese Internet giant Tencent for $126 million. Recode has more here.

Lyst, a four-year-old, London-based fashion e-commerce platform, has raised $40 million in Series C funding from Groupe Arnault, Accel Partners, Balderton Capital, 14W, DFJ and an unnamed New York based hedge fund. More here.

MD Insider, a three-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based healthcare platform that helps companies choose the best doctor networks for their employees based on experience, quality and cost, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by the company’s executive chairman, Jason Ader, with participation from Tim Ferriss and Bill Ackman.

Mobile Action, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based marketing platform that helps app publishers figure out how to better optimize their apps’ search result rankings, has raised $2 million in funding led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Streamlined Ventures500 Startups, 500 Mobile Collective, CrunchFund and numerous angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.

MX, a five-year-old, Provo, Ut.-based  personal finance startup, has raised $30 million in Series A funding led by a subsidiary of USAA, with participation from the Tokyo-based venture firm Digital Garage. The company has now raised $50 million altogether, including from Peak Ventures, Commerce Ventures, North Hill Ventures, and TTV Capital. (We’d mentioned this same deal early last week, though we didn’t know at the time who the new backers were.)

MyoKardia, a 2.5-year-old, South San Francisco-based company that’s developing precision therapies for genetic heart disease, has raised $46 million in Series B funding from an undisclosed public investment fund, Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Life Sciences, an affiliate of Cowen Group, and BridgeBio, with participation from earlier backer Sanofi.

NetBase, an 11-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based social media analytics company, has raised $9 million in Series E funding led by ORIX Ventures, with participation from return backer Thomvest Ventures. The company had earlier raised $24 million in Series E funding (announced in March). Altogether, Netbase has raised $84.6 million, shows Crunchbase.

PlateJoy, a two-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based meal-kit delivery startup, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Foundation Capital, Sherpa Ventures, HealthBox, 500 Startups, VaynerRSE, Bassett Investments, and angel investors Joanne Wilson and Jared Leto.

Rimidi, a three-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based digital health company focused on diabetes and other chronic conditions, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Cox Enterprises. The company had previously raised at least $1.4 million in seed funding, shows Crunchbase. More here.

Rocana, a year-old, Boston, Ma.-based company whose software helps IT professionals trace data center problems to their root cause, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Google Ventures, with participation from General Catalyst Partners, Toba Capital and Paul Sagan. The company, which has now raised $19.4 million altogether, was formerly called ScalingData.

Sticky, a six-year-old, New York-based online eye-tracking analytics platform for content publishers, advertisers and agencies, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Dawn Capital, with participation from previous investors Northzone and Conor. More here.

SwitchedOn, a year-old, Singapore-based company behind a team messaging app, has raised $300,000 from 14 angel investors. More here.

TripleMint, a four-year-old, New York-based online real estate brokerage, has raised $1.65 million in seed funding from Dominion Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Kima Ventures, Archangel Ventures, and individual investors, including Fabrice Grinda. TechCrunch has more here.

Visidraft, a four-year-old, Cheverly, Md.-based augmented reality startup that’s developing a communications and design platform for architecture and construction work, has raised $250,000 in seed funding led by Hivers & Strivers. DCInno has more here.

Warby Parker, the five-year-old, New York-based online glass retailer, has raised $100 million in new funding led by T.Rowe Price, with participation from Wellington Management and earlier backers Tiger Global Management and General Catalyst Partners. The round reportedly values the company — which has now raised $215 million altogether — at $1.2 billion. The WSJ has the story here.

XOEye Technologies, a 4.5-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based maker of work-related wearables, has raised $1.9 million in Series A funding led by IncWell, an early-stage venture firm founded by former Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda. More here.

Zooppa, a Seattle-based company that crowdsources advertising creative through online contests, has raised $3.4 million in a new round of funding, according to an SEC filing. GeekWire has more here.


New Funds

Catalyst Investors, a 15-year-old, New York-based growth equity firm, has closed its fourth fund with $377 million.

Slow Ventures, a four-year-old, seed-stage firm, has raised $65 million for its fourth fund. Business Insider has more here.



Blueprint Medicines, a seven-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based developer of experimental cancer therapies that was originally formed by Third Rock Ventures, sold 8.15 million IPO shares at $18 apiece last night, bringing in nearly $147 million. The company began trading on Nasdaq today. Along with Third Rock, which owned 41.8 percent of the company before the IPO, Blueprint’s biggest shareholder is Fidelity, which owned 13.4 percent. Xconomy has more here.



Amazon has acquired ClusterK, a 1.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that can run apps on Amazon Web Services at 10 percent off the regular price, reports VentureBeat. According to its report, Amazon paid between $20 million and $50 million for the company, which had raised one undisclosed round of seed funding.

Secret — the 16-month-old, anonymous social app that made headlines around the world in the months after its controversial debut— is closing shop, having lost the interest of users, BuzzFeed News reported yesterday. Secret had raised more than $37 million from investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersS-Cubed CapitalIndex VenturesRedpoint VenturesGoogle Ventures and Matrix Partners. Cofounder David Byttow declined to address questions from BuzzFeed regarding how much of that capital would be returned, including the $6 million in restricted stock he and his co-founder, Chrys Bader, sold and split last summer. (Byttow, who’d bought a red Ferrari with the proceeds, has since sold it, a source tells the New York Times.)

You might want to know: Twitter paid $532.6 million in stock for the ad targeting company TellApart, whose acquisition it revealed in an earnings call on Tuesday. The number was first reported by Business Insider, which dug up a new, related SEC filing yesterday.



Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading to Silicon Valley – the first sitting Japanese leader to do so – in the “hopes of rekindling that innovative spark,” reports Reuters. Scheduled stops include meetings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang, and California Governor Jerry Brown.

Daniel Hoffer and Shashi Seth have joined the eight-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based seed fund Tandem Capital as partners. Hoffer cofounded the startup CouchSurfing; Seth has spent the last 16 months as the president of Tribune Digital Ventures.

Looks like Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is set to deliver his first commencement speech next week, for undergraduates at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Mark Troughton, a former president at Wonga and Green Dot, has joined the three-year-old, L.A.-based anonymous social network Whisper as president, reports Recode. Whisper — whose primarily competitor, Secret, just went out of business — also just disclosed that there are now 10 million people using the app every month. Recode generously suggests that both pieces of Whisper news, coming out this week, could be a coincidence rather than what they kind of look like — a way to elude inquiries into the health of Whisper’s own viability.



Launch Angels, a New England-based venture capital firm that helps alumni, universities, and other affinity groups create early-stage venture funds, is looking for managing directors interested in raising (and helping fund) alumni venture funds.



From Silk: A ranking of the leading AngelList syndicates, as of March’s end.

Corporate venture groups accounted for 19 percent of all venture deals in the first quarter. (That’s $2.2 billion across 196 deals, though a big slug of that total, $900 million, centered on Google Ventures’s January investment in SpaceX.) The NVCA has more here.


Essential Reads

Twitter has a huge problem, and it’s all in your head.



Compare conditions in your own country with another country. (H/T: Business Insider.)

Watch the first test flight of Jeff Bezos’s mysterious new rocket.

Based on a study of reader comments at each NFL team website, Redskins fans can’t spell very well, reports the WSJ, which insists there is no correlation between fan exasperation and grammatical errors. (Indeed, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns fans were tied for the best spelling.)


Retail Therapy

The unstainable white shirt. We don’t care what it’s made of. We’ll take four.

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