StrictlyVC: June 16, 2015

Happy Thursday, everyone! We are back! Well, in your inbox, but we mean in San Francisco, too. Thank you, United Airlines, for getting the job done last night. (Note: never try flying out of Denver on a summer’s evening. Lots of these.)


Top News in the A.M.

Netflix released its latest subscriber figures late yesterday during an earnings call, and the most up-to-date tally blew expectations out of the water, reports the Washington Post.


Meet BoardList, a Growing Database of 600-Plus Board-Ready Women

There are many in Silicon Valley who’d like to find better ways to integrate female operators and investors into the tech scene but who think it will simply take time – time for more women to enter engineering programs, time for more women to join tech startups, and time for more women to form their own venture firms, as some have begun to do.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is not one of those people. Yesterday afternoon, Cassidy took the wraps off an idea she’s been working on for the last couple of months called BoardList. In a nutshell, it’s an online repository of more than 600 women who are “board ready” and who, Cassidy believes, can and should be placed on the boards of early-stage startups.

Her argument is twofold: First, broadly speaking, most companies don’t think about an independent board member until they’ve hit their Series C (or even later) funding round. Until that point, they tend to rely heavily instead on advisers. But that’s a mistake, says Cassidy, who has held a variety of operational positions in Silicon Valley over the last 15-plus years and is today the founder and CEO of the venture-backed startup Joyus.

Continue reading here.


New Fundings

Accolade, an eight-year-old, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based consumer health engagement platform for large employers and insurers, has raised $22.5 million in strategic funding, including from a subsidiary of Independence Health Group and McKesson Ventures. The company had previously raised $53.7 million in venture and debt funding, shows Crunchbase.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based distributed storage company that’s planning to develop behind-the-meter storage systems in commercial and industrial buildings, has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by DBL Investors, the cleantech and sustainability focused firm founded by Nancy Pfund, who recently added longtime clean tech investor Ira Ehrenpreis to her team. Greentech Media has more here.

AeroFS, a five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company behind a file-sharing and syncing service that doesn’t require a user’s files to be loaded or stored on third-party servers, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Avalon Ventures and NHN Investment. More here.

Ampt, an eight-year-old, Fort Collins, Co.-based developer of power conversion technology for solar power plant optimization, has raised $20 million in Series C funding and $5 million in working capital led by Bohemian Investments, with participation from Ampt co-founder Doug Schatz. More here.

AnaptysBio, a 10-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based antibody development company, has raised $40 million in Series D funding, including from BVF Partners and its affiliates, BioMed Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Frazier Healthcare, HBM Healthcare InvestmentsLongwood Capital Partners, Novo A/S and additional undisclosed investors. According to Crunchbase, the company had previously raised $45 million over numerous venture and debt rounds. More here.

Cinarra Systems, a three-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based ad tech company, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank, with participation from Almaz Capital and Siguler Guff & Company. More here.

CrowdStrike, a four-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based cybersecurity company, announced a few days ago that it had raised $100 million in Series C funding led by Google Capital, with participation from Rackspace, along with earlier investors Accel Partners and Warburg Pincus. The company has now raised $156 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Eden, a five-month-old, San Francisco, Ca-based provider on-demand, in-home tech help, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding led by Canvas Venture Fund, with participation from Eniac Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Maven Ventures, Y Combinator, Box co-founder Dylan Smith and Tilt co-founder and CEO James Beshara, among others. More here.

Flipagram, a 1.5-year-old, L.A-based startup that lets people create and share photo slide shows set to music, has raised $70 million led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures. Flipagram didn’t disclose its valuation, but notably, veteran VCs John Doerr and Michael Moritz are both becoming directors, marking the first time they’ve joining the same board since Google. Bloomberg has more here.

Guidebook, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose mobile platform allows organizations to create mobile guides to better serve their customers (like event organizers and museums), has raised $10 million in seed and Series A funding, it disclosed this week. Backers include Mosaic Ventures and MHS Capital. More here.

Main Street Hub, a five-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based marketing platform for small businesses, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Vista Equity Partners. The round follows a $20 million debt round last February and brings the total the company has raised to $65 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Omaze, a four-year-old, L.A.-based charitable giving platform that raises awareness for causes by offering users the chance to win glamorous experiences (for a donation of just $10 or more), has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company, Vayner/RSE, Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa, Boulevard Capital’s Dave Leyrer, Crosscut Ventures, FFVC, and entrepreneur and philanthropist Adam Press. More here.

Plated, a three-year-old, New York-based cook-at-home meal service, has raised $35 million in new funding from earlier investors, including Greycroft Partners and Formation 8. The company had previously raised $21.4 million from investors, shows Crunchbase.

Readz, a four-year-old, Woodland Hills, Ca.-based online content-creation platform that helps marketers deploy interactive sites, web magazines, white papers and reports, has raised $7.15 million in funding from Belgium-basedParana Management. More here.

Rokk3r Labs, a three-year-old, Miami Beach, Fla.-based startup that partners with entrepreneurs to co-build companies, has raised $5 million in funding from data scientist and investor Jon Gosier and the New York City-based venture capital firm Scout Ventures, among others. The Miami Herald has more here., a year-old, San Francisco and Berlin, Germany-based roommate matching service, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Axel Springer Plug and Play, Grazia Equity Partners and International Business Angel Pool.

Showbox, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based online video editing platform for amateurs, has raised $8 million from investors, including Charles Petruccelli, the former president of American Express Global Business Travel; Brad Wechsler, chairman of IMAX; Wix co-founder and CTO Giora Kaplan; and TPG Capital senior partner Karl Peterson. TechCrunch has more here.

Sportlogiq, a year-old, Montreal, Canada-based company that uses feeds from broadcast cameras to track and analyze player movement and provide context to game analysis, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding led by investor-entrepreneur Tim Tokarsky, with participatiom from Mark CubanTandemLaunch, and Anges Quebec Capital S.E.C., along with numerous other angel investors.

StellaService, a six-year-old, New York-based company that evaluates and rates businesses based on the overall quality of their online customer experience, has raised $15 million in Series C funding led by Comcast Ventures, with participation from Toba Capital. The company has now raised $37 million altogether.

Sysdig, a two-year-old, Davis, Ca.-based container visibility company, has raised $10.7 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. (Bain had previously led the company’s undisclosed $2.3 million seed round in June 2013.) More here.

Trace Live Networks, a two-year-old, Venice Beach, Ca.-based maker of a camera that can autonomously lock onto and follow any subject (while live-streaming HD footage to social and content networks), has raised $7 million in Series B funding led by Salman Partners and Varo Capital. The company had previously raised $2.5 million in funding. More here.

TradingView, a three-year-old, Chicago, Il.-based online platform for amateur and professional investors and traders to share insights and ideas, has raised $3.6 million in Series A funding led by iTech Capital, with participation from other seed investors and angels. More here.

TrapX, a five-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based cybersecurity company, has raised $9 million in Series B funding led by earlier investors Intel Capital and Liberty Venture Capital. The company has now raised $14 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. More here.

VTS, a four-year-old, New York-based company whose cloud-based platform gives asset managers and leasing teams a single platform to track deals, manage space and collaborate, has raise $21 million in Series B funding led byOpenView Venture Partners. The Real Deal has more here.

Ziften, a six-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company that develops security software, has raised $24 million led by Spring Mountain Capital, with participation from earlier investor Fayez Sarofim. The company has raised $35.3 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.


New Funds

Entrepreneur First, a four-year-old, London-based startup accleration space that invests in technical talent from universities and companies before that talent has a team or an idea, has raised a £8.5 million ($13.3 million) fund that it plans to use to invest in and mentor roughly 200 people per year. Investors include Encore Capital, Singapore’s Infocomm Investments, and various angel investors, including Index Ventures’s partner Robin Klein and Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman. TechCrunch has the story here.



EBay has confirmed plans to sell its enterprise services business, eBay Enterprise, for $925 million to a syndicate of investors, including the private equity firms Sterling Partners and Longview Asset Management; the fulfillment company Innotrac; and undisclosed other parties. The unit specializes in developing and managing e-commerce sites for retailers with offline businesses. VentureBeat has more here.

Facebook’s Oculus division has made another acquisition, nabbing Pebbles, an Israel-based computer vision specialist, for a reported $60 million. The WSJ has more here. Pebbles had raised $11 million from investors, according to Crunchbase. Its backers include Robert Bosch Venture Capital, SanDisk Ventures, Share Capital Partners, Shunwei Capital, XiaomiiNetworks 360, Heliant Ventures, and Giza Venture Capital.



Billionaire investor Mark Cuban: “I don’t want [my kids] to be entitled jerks.”

Ben Kaufman, the chief executive of Quirky, has just $12 million in cash; here’s how he expects to save the two companies for which he’s responsible.

Jay Kidd has joined Wing Venture Capital in Menlo Park, Ca.,  as “Partner, Market Acceleration,” a role that will see him helping Wing’s portfolio companies identify and achieve product/market fit as fast as possible. Kidd previously held several executive positions at NetApp, including as CTO and CMO, and at Brocade, where he was CTO and VP of product management.

Runa Capital, a five-year-old, Moscow, Russia-based venture capital firm, has announced that partner Andre Bliznyuk will move to the U.S. to open an office in San Francisco. The firm has also hired Marcos Sanchez, formerly the VP of global communications for App Annie, to run its global communications from the new office, located in the China Basin area of San Francisco, across the street from AT&T Park. Runa Capital is just the latest Russia-based venture firm to open a Bay Area office, preceded by RTP Ventures and Target Ventures, among others. The outfit is in the process of raising its second fund, a $200 million vehicle. It hit the fundraising trail in late December 2013 and held a first close on an undisclosed amount last year.



500 Startups is looking to add a conference producer or content marketer to its business development and events team. The job is in San Francisco.

Harrison Street Real Estate Capital is looking to hire a venture capital associate to help it identity real estate tech-focused opportunities. The job is in Chicago.


Essential Reads

The Hollywood Reporter takes readers inside Amazon Studios for the first time.

To boost video views, Facebook is testing a “watch later” button.

An identity thief explains the art of emptying your bank account.



Children with older parents may have a leg up on their peers, suggests new research.

NFL salaries still trail those in the MLB and NBA by a wide margin.

Every Judd Apatow movie, ranked from worst to best.


Retail Therapy

Tron-Club packages. “Because you should learn about electronics, that’s why.”

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