StrictlyVC: June 24, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone! No column today — we were busy figuring out what’s what at TechCrunch yesterday.

We did want to thank the many of you who’ve reached out to us about an internship here at StrictlyVC. You’re an impressive lot. We had a bit more interest than we were expecting (thank you); we’ll be looking at your resumes and other details and getting in touch soon.

One last note: More than a quarter of the tickets for our September 16 event sold yesterday. (In other words, you have time, but don’t wait until the last minute.) The agenda is here; tickets are available for purchase here. Also, if you are interested in partnering with us on the program as a sponsor, let’s talk!


Top News in the A.M.

Uh, oh, take note, Bay Area readers: ominous new cracks have been found in the rods on San Francisco’s new Bay Bridge tower.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is addressing investors this morning at a shareholder’s meeting. You can catch the live stream here.


New Fundings

Autho, a 1.5-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based “universal identity platform,” has raised $9.3 million in funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from K9 Ventures. More here.

Barkly, a two-year-old, Boston, Ma.-based endpoint security startup, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Sigma Prime Ventures. The company has now raised $17 million altogether. More here.

Belong, a year-old, Bangalore, India-based recruitment startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners and Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, the co-founders of Snapdeal, with participation from earlier backers Blume Ventures, Phanindra Sama, and Raju Reddy. More here.

Biodesix, a 10-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based molecular diagnostics company that  develops and commercializes blood-based tests for precision medicine in oncology, has raised $11 million in Series E  funding from earlier investors (whose names it has never disclosed). More here.

Calcivis, a three-year-old, Edinburgh, Scotland-based medical devices company whose tools enable dentists to better see and address tooth erosion, has raised roughly $7 million in new equity and grant funding from Archangel Investors, the Scottish Investment Bank, and the European Commission, under its Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme.

eFounders, a five-year-old, Brussels-based startup studio, has raised $6 million from Fotolia co-founder Oleg Tscheltzoff to build its next batch of software-as-a-service startups. TechCrunch has more here.

Frame, a three-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based service that allows users to run desktop programs like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel directly from their browser, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and SQN Venture Partners. The company had previously raised $2.5 million in seed funding. TechCrunch has more here.

Goodservice, a year-old, Mumbai, India-based company whose app aims to serve as a kind of virtual personal assistant to users, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital. More here.

HackerOne, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose bug bounty platform helps companies find vulnerabilities in their products, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from earlier backer Benchmark and a long list of prominent individuals, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. TechCrunch has more here.

Indix, a 4.5-year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based product intelligence company that provides analytics and insights to brands and retailers, has raised $15 million in funding from Nokia Growth Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Avalon Ventures.

MDLive, a six-year-old, Sunrise, Fla.-based telehealth company, has raised $50 million in new funding from Bedford Funding. The company has now raised at least $73.6 million altogether from investors, shows Crunchbase. Previous backers include Sentara Healthcare, Sutter Health, Heritage Group and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.

Palantir Technologies, the 11-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company specializing in software used in counterterrorism and the financial industry, is raising up to $500 million in new capital at a valuation of $20 billion, according to BuzzFeed News. The company raised money late last year at a $15 billion valuation; at a $20 billion valuation, Palantir would be the third-most-valuable startup in the U.S. behind Uber and Airbnb, notes BuzzFeed.

PromisePay, a two-year-old, Melbourne, Australia-based secure payment gateway company, has raised $2 million in funding from Cultivation CapitalReinventure, and numerous individual investors. The company had previously raised several hundred thousand dollars in seed funding. More here.

Squadrone System, a 1.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company behind an autonomous flying camera, has raised $3 million from Living Water Investment Corp. The company has now raised $5 million altogether. More here.

Soundtrack Your Brand, a two-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based service that allows retailers to manage in-store Spotify streams, has raised $10.9 million in Series B funding led by Telia Sonera, with participation from Creandum, Northzone Ventures, Play Networks, Wellington Partners and Spotify.

SQZ Biotech, a two-year-old, Boston, Ma.-based developer of a platform that enables the intracellular delivery of macromolecules, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Polaris Partners, with participation from 20/20 Healthcare Partners and others. More here.

Stockspot, a two-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based automated investment advisor and fund manager, has raised an undisclosed amount of capital from Rocket Internet and H2 Ventures, a new fintech venture capital fund. Australia’s Financial Review has more here.

TissueTech, a 14-year-old, Miami, Fla.-based regenerative tissue engineering company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from River Cities Capital Funds and Ballast Point Ventures.

VenueNext, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose tools aim to help guests and venue operators easily manage live events (from ticketing to parking and directions to loyalty programs), has raised $9 million in Series A funding from investors, including Causeway Media Partners, Live Nation and Twitter Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

ViraTherapeutics, a two-year-old, Innsbruck, Austria-based biopharmaceutical company developing cancer immunotherapies based on cancer-destroying viruses, has raised raised €3.6m (roughly $4 million) in the first closing of its Series A round. Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and EMBL Ventures co-led the financing, with participation from Austria Wirtschaftsservice.


New Funds

Blockchain Capital, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based micro venture firm, has held a first closing on its second fund with $7 million. The firm invests exclusively in blockchain-enabled technology companies. More here.

DBL Partners, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based firm founded by former J.P. Morgan exec Nancy Pfund, has announced a new, $400 million fund, as well as a new managing director in Ira Ehrenpreis, who spent the previous 19 years as a general partner at the firm Technology Partners. The firm aims to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, reports Venture Capital Dispatch.



Circa, the news app, is shutting down. The company just made the announcement.

The founders of GoFundMe, a five-year-old crowdfunding site, are selling a majority stake in their business to a syndicate of investors and stepping down from day-to-day operations. The investor group is led by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, and Rob Solomon, a former Groupon COO and Yahoo exec who joined Accel as a venture partner in 2013, will head up its new leadership team. The WSJ has more details about the company — valued in the deal at $600 million — here.



Space X‘s roughly 700 annual interns are reportedly compensated well, but the company wrings plenty of work out of them in return. According to a Bloomberg report, it’s standard for them to work 80 hours a week. More here.

It’s official. Google cofounder Sergey Brin and 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki have gotten divorced after eight years of marriage. They married in 2007 and have two children together. Business Insider has more here.

The “Silicon Valley 100,” which is Business Insider’s take on the “most amazing and inspiring people in tech right now.”



Hubspot is looking for a director of strategic partnerships. Candidates can be based in San Francisco, with quarterly travel to Cambridge, Ma., or vice versa.


Essential Reads

The real reason banks are happy to help startups stay private.

Box just announced a huge partnership deal with IBM. More here.

WPP, Snapchat and the Daily Mail have announced a new marketing agency that will create online brand-sponsored video and print content. The name: Truffle Pig. Bloomberg has more here.

After just one year, Alibaba Group is selling it U.S. website 11 Main to rival online marketplace OpenSky, with merchants saying they grew disenchanted with the company’s first experiment in American e-commerce. More here.

Startups are finding the best employees are actually employed.

How Uber takes over a city.



The man who created the plastic pink flamingo has died.

All treble, no base.” Why some men sound gay and others don’t.

A city accidentally tickets a truck sculpted in its honor. (Meter maids.)

A patient was just awarded $500,000 by a jury after his phone’s voice recorder, accidentally left on during a procedure, captured mocking comments his doctors made about him while he was under anesthesia(!).


Retail Therapy

The largest private tract of land in the world is on sale. Price: $375 million.

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