StrictlyVC: May 14, 2015

Hi, happy Thursday, everyone. Thanks so much to the many of you who came out to our San Francisco event last night! We loved seeing you. Thanks again to our terrific guest speakers Jeremy Liew, Dan Morehead, Bryan Schreier, Marco Zappacosta, Semil Shah, Charles Hudson, and Tom Fallows. Thanks, too, to sponsors Galvanize, Personal Capital, and Amazon Web Services for their generous help in putting the evening together.

We’ll be publishing stories and photos from the event in coming days. In the meantime, no column today. We’re still a little foggy this a.m.:)


Top News in the A.M.

PayPal will list on Nasdaq after spinning off from parent eBay, the company announced this morning. Its ticker, PYPL, is the same ticker it used before being acquired by eBay 13 years ago.


New Fundings

Actiance, a 17-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that makes compliance, security, archiving and eDiscovery software for critical business communications, has raised $28 million in growth funding from Golub Capital, along with earlier backers Credit Suisse NEXT Investors, JK&B CapitalScale Venture Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.

A.I. Nemo, a Chinese startup that produces what it calls a “robot companion” for homes, has reportedly raised more than $10 million in Series B funding from undisclosed investors. The companies earlier backers include Innovation Works and Lightspeed China PartnersMore here.

Ahalogy, a 2.5-year-old, Cincinnati, Oh.-based Pinterest-focused marketing company, has raised $8 million in equity and debt from JobsOhio and Silicon Valley Bank. The company had previously raised $4.8 million from CincyTechHyde Park Angels and others, shows Crunchbase.

Explain Everything, a five-year-old, New York-based maker of an interactive screencasting whiteboard, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Credo Ventures, with participation from New Europe Ventures and RTAventures. More here.

Face++, a 3.5-year-old, Beijing, China-based face recognition tech startup, has added $25 million to an earlier Series B financing, bringing the total round to $47 million. Participants in the round include Innovation Works and Ignition Partners. Tech in Asia has more here.

Gametime United, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose mobile app sells last-minute tickets to sporting events, has raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners, with participation from tech, media and sports executives, Box CEO Aaron Levie and one-time Yahoo president Jeff Mallett. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here.

Jumpshot, a nearly five-year-old, San Francisco-based marketing analytics platform, has raised $22 million in Series A funding led by Avast Software.

MDSave, a three-year-old, Brentwood, Tn.-based online health marketplace for cash-paying customers, has raised $12 million in funding from earlier investor MTS Health Investors. The company has now raised $19.4 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Mnubo, a three-year-old, Montreal, Quebec-based data analytics startup, has raised $6 million in new funding led by White Star Capital, with participation from McRock Capital. The company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.

Myomo, an 11-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based maker of myoelectric orthotics for people with neurological disorders, has raised $5 million in Series B-1 funding led by Mountain Group Capital. The company has now raised $12.6 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

Neumob, 1.5-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that promises to speed up users’ apps, has raised a $2.3 million in seed funding from a long list of investors, including Accel Partners, Lightbank, Menlo Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Shasta Ventures.

NuSirt Biopharma, an eight-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based developer of therapeutics for people with chronic metabolic diseases, has raised $6 million in Series C funding from Hatteras Venture Partners, Mountain Group Partners and TriStar Technology Ventures.

Paidy, a Tokyo, Japan-based cardless e-commerce payment and instant credit service from the non-bank lender Exchange Corporation, has closed its Series A with $8.3 million, including from Arbor Ventures, SIG Asia and MS Capital.

Percolate, a four-year-old, New York-based platform for enterprise marketing management, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from earlier investors Sequoia CapitalGGV Capital, First Round Capital and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

Pipedrive, a nearly five-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based maker of sales pipeline management software, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Paua Ventures and earlier investors Rembrandt Venture Partners and AngelPad. TechCrunch has more here.

Plancess EduSolutions, a months-old, Mumbai, India-based test preparation platform, has raised $2 million in funding. More here.

PlanGrid, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes productivity software for the construction industry, has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from investor Ron Conway, and Yammer founder David Sachs. Fortune has the story here.

Silversheet, a year-old, L.A.-based healthcare administration software platform that tackles physician credentialing, has raised $2.9 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from BAM Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, SV Angel, Slow Ventures, and Cyan and Scott Banister.

Slyce, a 3.5-year-old, Toronto, Canada-based visual product search platform, has raised $8.7 million in funding led by Salman Partners and Beacon Securities, with PI Financial participating. The round brings the company’s funding to more than $36 million.

Vouch, a nearly 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based social lending startup that loans customers money based on who and how may people “vouch” for that person, has raised $6 million in funding from Core Innovation Capital, Data Collective, Stanford StartX Fund and Cooley. The company has now raised $9.6 million altogether, including from First Round Capital, Greylock Partners, IDG Ventures, and AngelList.


New Funds

Aspect Venture Partners, the VC firm formed last year by former DFJ partnerJennifer Fonstat and former Accel Partners managing director Theresia Gouw, has closed its debut fund with $150 million in capital commitments,reports Fortune.

Redpoint Ventures, the 15-year-old, Sand Hill Road venture firm, has closed its sixth fund with $400 million (the same size as its predecessor), it announced in a blog post yesterday. More here.

A new £300 million U.K. fund has been set up to support high tech startups looking to spin out of the University of Oxford. TechCrunch has more here.



McKinsey & Co.,  the management consulting giant, is buying Lunar, the design consulting giant, for undisclosed terms. Wired explains why.

Samsung paid about $250 million earlier this year to acquire LoopPay, a startup whose technology will be used in the Samsung Pay mobile payments system when it launches later this year. LoopPay had raised more than $10 million from investors, including Visa. Recode has the news here.



Longtime VC Ifty Ahmed, who was accused by the SEC of insider trading, is now being accused of fraud by the SEC. Ahmed, an investor at Oak Investment Partners, allegedly transferred $27.5 million to accounts under his control “at the expense of investors in the Oak funds, including public pension investors,” according to the SEC. Oak provided the SEC with materials that led to this new, separate case against Ahmed, says Fortune. According to its report, Oak has also (unsurprisingly) fired Ahmed, who spent nearly a dozen years with the firm. Earlier in his career, Ahmed had worked as an associate at Goldman Sachs. He also spent several years as a senior associate with Fidelity Ventures.

Jérémie Berrebi is leaving five-year-old, Paris-based Kima Ventures, a fund he co-founded with French telco and media entrepreneur Xavier Niel in 2010.  Berrebi tells TechCrunch he plans to focus instead on building new startups, the first of which is a real-estate investment platform called He’ll also be doing some later-stage investing.

Rachel Whetstone, the longtime head of Google’s public policy and communications unit, is taking on a similar job at Uber as SVP of policy and communications, reports Recode. She replaces former political advisor David Plouffe, who will become a chief adviser to the company as well as a board member. Whetstone is one of a long list of ex-Google execs to join Uber. (StrictlyVC interviewed another, Tom Fallows, last night at our San Francisco event. More on that chat to come.)

Nick Woodman, GoPro‘s billionaire CEO, is $229 million dollars poorer after returning 4.7 million shares to the company this week, reports Bloomberg. The shares as part of an agreement he struck with the company for stock options that were granted to his college roommate Neil Dana, who attended the University of California at San Diego with Woodman, who was GoPro’s first employee, and remains GoPro’s director of music and specialty sales. Dana reportedly spent $3.6 million to exercise his options; they were valued at $229 million at the close of trading on Monday.



According to CB Insights, investment activity in on-demand mobile services rose 514 percent year-over-year to hit $4.1 billion in 2014. And a spate of huge rounds in recent months has funding on track to double that amount in 2015. You can check out the full report here.

The overarching ed-tech investment trend of 2015: More money, fewer deals. EdSurge has more here.


Essential Reads

Elon Musk’s space dream almost killed Tesla.

How Facebook’s new experiment changes the news — and how it doesn’t.



The most popular baby name in every state.

Your smartphone codependence, quantified.


Retail Therapy

The $65 million mansion atop Aspen’s “Billionaire Mountain.”

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