StrictlyVC: July 15, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone. It’s our last day up here in Aspen and we’ll be sorry to leave it, though we’re pretty zonked at this point. Big thanks to Battery Ventures for hosting a very fun dinner at the end of a long day yesterday, one that included an equally lively cocktail party hosted by venture capitalist Gary Lauder and his wife, Laura. It’s been great seeing so many StrictlyVC readers, especially those of you we hadn’t met in person previously.:)


Top News in the A.M.

More Americans are getting their news on Facebook and Twitter, according to a new Pew survey.


Bill Maris on Rising Valuations, Biggest Misses, and More

At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference yesterday, senior editor Dan Primack hosted a panel of investors who were asked to share their thoughts on the current – and future – state of the venture market.

The VCs covered a lot of ground. We happened to focus in on what Bill Maris of Google Ventures had to say. You can find some notes from the discussion here.


New Fundings

CircleBack, a three-year-old, Vienna, Va.-based contact intelligence platform, has raised $12 million in new funding led by TDF Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Grotech Ventures, Syncom Venture Partners, and CNF Investments.

Credit Benchmark, a three-year-old, London-based company that operates a contributed data model that’s focused on gathering credit risk information from major global banks, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Balderton Capital. Index Ventures, which led the company’s $7 million Series A round last year, also participated in the funding. More here.

Crew, a two-year-old, Montreal, Quebec-based curated platform connecting designers and developers with vetted clients that need website, mobile app, or other design work done, has raised $8.5 million in funding led by Accomplice (formerly Atlas Venture), with participation from iNovia Capital, Real Ventures, Boldstart Venture Capital, BDC Capital, AngelList, Launch Capital, and LDV Capital. The investment brings Crew’s total funding to date to $11 million. More here.

DataCamp, a two-year-old, New York-based online data-science learning platform, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by Accomplice. The company had raised $300,000 in seed money previously. More here.

Delphix, a seven-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based “data-as-as-service” startup, has raised $75 million in new funding led by Fidelity Management and Research Company. Other participants in the round include Credit SuisseThe Kraft Group, and returning investors Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Icon Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $119.5 million. TechCrunch has more here.

DemandBase, a nine-year-old, San Francisco-based marketing software company, has raised $30 million in fresh funding led by SageView Capital, with participation from earlier backers Adobe Systems, Altos VenturesCostanoa Venture Capital, Greenspring Associates, Salesforce VenturesScale Venture Partners, and Sigma West. The company has now raised $90 million altogether. Fortune has more here.

Freshly, a three-year-old, New York-based company that delivers ready-made, gourmet meals inspired by the paleo diet to customers’ doors, has landed $7 million in Series A funding led by Highland Capital Partners, with White Star Capital and Jason Finger, a co-founder of Seamless, participating. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here.

HackerRank, a three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based technical talent platform used by programmers to hone their skills, has raised $7.5 million in funding from Recruit Holdings. The company has now raised $19.9 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. More here.

HopSkipDrive, a year-old, San Francisco-based “Uber for kids” that let’s parents set pre-scheduled pick-up times for their kids with vetted drivers (it competes directly with another startup called Shuddle), has raised $3.9 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from FirstMark Capital, Maveron, BBG Ventures, and Joanne Wilson among others. TechCrunch has more here.

InVision, a four-year-old, New York-based company whose prototyping tools allow designers to build interactive, high-fidelity, realistic web and mobile mockups and prototypes, has raised $45 million in Series C funding led by Accel Partners, with participation from earlier investors FirstMark Capital and Tiger Global ManagementMore here.

Mobikon, a six-year-old, Singapore-based company that makes cloud-based software to help restaurants manage almost all aspects of their businesss, has raised $2.3 million in new funding led by returning investor Jungle Ventures. It has now raised $5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Picwell, a three-year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based predictive recommendation engine focused around health plan selection, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by MassMutual Ventures. More here.

Rescale, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud simulation platform company, has raised $6.4 million in funding from a long list of big-name investors, including Sam Altman, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Paul Graham, Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, and Peter Thiel. TechCrunch has more here.

Scratch, a year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based online and mobile shopping service that connects consumers with “experts” who send recommendations for things like gifts, clothing, home decor and other items, has raised $3.6 million in seed funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg. More here.

Spoon University, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based  website to share recipes, health and lifestyle stories, restaurant reviews, quizzes, and other food-related content, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by SoftTech VC, with participation from Joanne Wilson, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Box Group,Vayner RSE, BBG Ventures, MATH fund, Howard Morgan, Project Mayhem Ventures, Kosinski Ventures, and RuggedVC. More here.

Ticketfly, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based software company that runs a ticketing platform for all kinds of live events, has raised $50 million in Series D funding led by the private equity firm Riverwood Capital. The company has now raised at least $87 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. More here.

Zesty, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based food-delivery startup that offers an office catering program, has raised $17 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Founders Fund and previous investor Forerunner Ventures. The company has now raised $20.7 million in funding altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Zeta Interactive, an eight-year-old, New York-based big data and marketing analytics company, has raised $125 million in new equity funding from GSO Capital Partners and Franklin Square. The company has now raised $205 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. Fortune has more here.



Wish, a well-funded four-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile commerce platform, has acquired Locket, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that makes lockscreen apps for Android handsets. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Locket had raised $3.2 million from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Turner Broadcasting and Tyra Banks. TechCrunch has more here.



Brad Feld of Foundry Group guts a venture firm and a co-founder who were formerly business partners of Foundry over a recapped seed round. Interesting stuff.

Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce company, is making two tech hires from West Coast: Yahoo’s VP of analytics, Eric Lange, and Dan Rawson, who has been serving as the general manager of North America Fulfillment at Amazon. Flipkart’s chief product officer Punit Soni “is building his team A, [and] there will be more talent coming from the Valley,” says a source, talking to the The Economic Times.

Uber has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a 6-year-old girl who died in a San Francisco car accident, according to court filings. Reuters has more here.


Essential Reads

Google has confirmed that a buy button is coming soon to mobile search results.

OkCupid‘s founders want to bring encyrpted email to the masses (and Andreessen Horowitz has given them $10.8 million to try).

Twilio, the startup that lets developers integrate voice, text and other communications services into mobile and web apps by way of a set of APIs, is offering early shareholders liquidity via a repurchase offer. TechCrunch has more here.



Six super weird potential side effects of the California drought.


Retail Therapy

1964 904 GTS Porsche. Wowza.

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