StrictlyVC: May 8, 2015

It is Friday! Woot!

Before we let you go, a quick scheduling note about our next INSIDER event, coming up Wednesday: Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad has canceled, owing to a change in his travel schedule. The great news: Tom Fallows, Director of Global Expansion Products at Uber — and creator of the Google Express same-day delivery service — has joined the program. (Recode covered his poaching here). We are very excited to have him.

Thanks to those of you who are coming. Thanks very much, too, to our generous sponsors and partners in the evening, Amazon Web ServicesGalvanize, and Personal Capital.

No column today, but we hope you have a wonderful weekend — especially you, supermoms!


Top News in the A.M.

Uber has submitted a bid of up to $3 billion for the Nokia subsidiary Here, the main competitor to Google Maps, reports the New York Times. Its bid is reportedly competing with a consortium of German automakers that are are teaming up with the Chinese search engine Baidu on their own offer. Nokia is expected to announce the unit’s sale by May’s end, says the report.

According to the WSJ, the publicly traded, online reviews site Yelp is looking to sell itself. A couple of investment banking analysts have identified eight potential buyers.


New Fundings

Big Data Partnership, a three-year-old, London-based company that provides big data consulting, training and support for numerous industries, has raised £3.1 million ($3.5 million) in Series B funding from earlier backer Beringea, which had previously invested £1.25m in the company. More here.

Delvv, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose app promise users a personalized news feed to help them find the best events, apps, and articles, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding from undisclosed backers.

Dida Pinche, a year-old, Beijing, China-based carpooling app, has raised $100 million in Series C funding led by China Renaissance Capital Investment, with TBP Capital and earlier backers IDG Capital and Beijing-based auto information and marketing site Bitauto joining the round. The company had previously raised $30 million across its first two rounds, reports China Money Network. (This deal is interesting, given that Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, which merged back in February, control something like 99 percent of China’s market. But Dida Pinche has reportedly talked with Uber about some kind of tie-up.)

GaN Systems, a seven-year-old, Ottawa, Canada-based company that produces gallium nitride power switching semiconductors, has raised $20 million in new funding led by Cycle Capital Management, with participation from BDC Capital and Beijing-based Tsing Capital, as well as earlier backers Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and RockPort Capital. The company has raised funding across at least two prior rounds, though according to Crunchbase, it hasn’t disclosed how much it raised in those financings.

Iwjw, a 14-month-old, Shanghai, China-based company that helps people buy or rent apartments via its site and apps, has raised $120 million in Series D funding led by GGV Capital and Morningside Ventures, with participation from Shunwei Capital and Banyan Capital. The round values the young company at $1 billion, according to China Money Network.

Kymab, a six-year-old, Cambridge, England-based company that uses its antibody technology to form corporate partnerships and to develop its own drugs, has tacked on $50 million in new funding to its Series B round, bringing its total to $90 million. Its backers include Malin Corp. and Woodford Patient Capital Trust.

Lucid, an 11-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company whose cloud operating system connects a building’s hardware and software technologies with a single platform (and will soon focus on similarly connecting disparate buildings), has added capital to its Series B financing from GE Ventures. The round, which now amounts to $14.2 million, also includes participation from Formation 8Zetta Venture Partners, and Autodesk.

The Odyssey, a nearly six-year-old, New York-based millennial-targeted content platform, has raised $3 million in funding from ExactTarget cofounder Scott Dorsey; former ExactTarget CMO Tim Kopp; and Traci Dolan, ExactTarget’s chief administration officer.

Twistlock, a Herzliya, Israel-based company whose security suite aims to give enterprises the visibility and control they need over their container-based applications and data, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by YL Ventures.

Vedantu, a six-month-old Bangalore, India-based online tutoring platform, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management. TechCrunch has more here.

Wag, a five-month-old, L.A.-based app that connects dog owners with access to pre-screened, insured and bonded dog walkers, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Freestyle Capital, with participation from Greylock PartnersCrunchfund, Slow Ventures, Social Leverage, and RRE Ventures.

Webydo, a five-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based SaaS platform that enables designers to create and manage code-free websites for their clients, has raised $5 million in Series C funding led by Singulariteam, a venture fund headed by entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg of Mobli and Yo fame. The company has now raised $13.4 million altogether, including from OurCrowd and Magna Capital Partners.

Wish, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile shopping application, is looking to — or has — raised more than $500 million, according to filings obtained by VC Experts and shared with Forbes, whose sources say investors value the company at roughly $3 billion following its latest round. The WSJ reported that Wish was worth $400 million following a $50 million round led by Founders Fund last year. Wish’s other investors include Jerry Yang, GGV Capital, Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois, actor Jared Leto andFormation 8. Forbes’s story is here.



Fitbit, the eight-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of activity trackers — roughly 20 million of which it has sold over the years — filed yesterday to become a publicly traded company, as a growing number of competitors crowds into the fitness tracking business. According to an SEC filing, the company is offering up to $100 million in common stock. Fitbit has raised at least $83 million in funding from investors, including Foundry Group, True VenturesSoftBank CapitalSapphire Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Felicis Ventures. Foundry is the biggest shareholder, with a 28.9 percent stake; True is the second-biggest shareholder, with 22.4 percent ownership. The WSJ has more here.



The publicly traded meal delivery company Just Eat is acquiring Menulog, a nine-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based online food ordering service, for roughly $687 million. Three months ago, Menulog merged with rival EatNow. TechCrunch has the story here.

The Boston-area manufacturing software company PTC is paying $112 million to acquire ThingWorx, a six-year-old, Downington, Pa.-based company whose software platform allows developers to build and run machine-to-machine and “Internet of Things” applications. ThingWorx had raised at least $13 million in funding, including from Safeguard ScientificsMore here.

Tesla Motors has spent an undisclosed amount to acquire Riviera Tool, a Michigan-based company that specializes in constructing the type of machinery that stamps large sheets of metal into auto parts. Ironically, notes TechCrunch, Tesla still can’t sell cars in Michigan. Its governor signed legislation last fall that bans Tesla and any other carmaker from selling direct to consumers in the state.

Yahoo acquired an unnamed company for $23 million during the first three months of this year, according to a newly filed SEC form that was flagged yesterday by Business Insider. The filing provides few details about the transaction.



As Zappos switches to a self-governing management system called Holacracy (StrictlyVC talked with the consultant who dreamed it up here), 14 percent of its employees have opted instead to accept three-month severance packages. More here.

Are New York real estate prices peaking? Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú seems to think so. He’s selling a red-brick Beaux Arts style mansion at 1009 Fifth Ave. that he bought as an investment five years ago for $80 million. He paid $44 million for the property. Says his son-in-law to Forbes: “Back then it was a good time to buy, as we also believe it is a good time to sell now.”



Samsung Electronics is looking to add a senior director to its Global Innovation Center in New York. More here.


Essential Reads

A cybersecurity company, Tiversa, faked hacks and extorted clients to buy its services, according to an ex-employee. Its board includes the retired four-star U.S. Army General Wesley Clark.



The problem(s) with electric bicycles.

Walk in Shanghai.

Why CEOs are four times more likely to be psychopaths. (We’re not talking about you, of course. Hah, hah. Gulp.)


Retail Therapy

Pretty, though good luck determining what time it is.

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