StrictlyVC: September 4, 2015

Good Friday morning, everyone. Hope you have a wonderful, long Labor Day weekend. We have big ambitions to sit poolside and (finally) read Ashlee Vance’s wonderful biography of Elon Musk. We’ll see how that goes — wish us luck.:)

Also, you may have guessed this, but because of the holiday, we will not be publishing Monday.

See you soon.


Top News in the A.M.

Jessica Alba’s venture-backed business, The Honest Company, has just been smacked with a lawsuit that accuses five of its products of being “deceptively and misleadingly labeled.” Business Insider has more here.


New Fundings

Databox, a three-year-old, Boston-based company whose app acts as a personal data assistant, has raised $3.3 million in seed funding led by Founder Collective, with participation from Accomplice and other investors. More here.

Letgo, a nine-month-old, Barcelona-based marketplace app lets users buy and sell items locally, has raised $100 million in Series A funding from the South African media company Naspers. The funding is a kind of a shock, considering Letgo has two million users, but Naspers has also backed OLX, the last company of Letgo founder Alec Oxenford. TechCrunch has more here.

Virool, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based programmatic video marketing platform, has raised $5 million in funding from Flint Capital, reports Crunchbase, which shows the company has now raised $11.6 million altogether. More here.


New Funds

500 Startups, the Mountain View, Ca.-based venture firm, has closed its third global fund at $85 million, 15 percent below its original target after more than a year and a half of bumpy fundraising, founder Dave McClure tells VentureWire. The firm’s LPs include Tokyo-based Dentsu, Yahoo Japan and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad, a venture firm backed by the Malaysian government.



Amazon is acquiring Elemental Technologies, a nine-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based backend mobile video service. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The Information pegs the price at $500 million in cash. Elemental had raised roughly $45 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. Its venture investors include General Catalyst Partners, Voyager Capital, Steamboat Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Docstoc, an 8.5-year-old electronic document sharing service that was acquired by Intuit for an undisclosed amount in late 2013, is now being shut down by Intuit. TechCrunch has more here.

Good Technology, the nearly 20-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based mobile device management company that had repeatedly tried and not gone public, is being acquired by Blackberry in a $425 million cash deal. (That’s roughly the amount it raised from every VC in Siicon Valley over the years.) More on the ahead-of-its-time company and the broader deal here.

Microsoft is acquiring VoloMetrix, a four-year-old, Seattle-based service that specializes in analyzing organizational performance using anonymized data it gathers from across a company’s corporate communications systems. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. VoloMetrix had raised roughly $17 million from Split Rock Partners and Shasta Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.



Top mortgage analyst Abhishek Mistry has quit JPMorgan to work on his startup, Mixcity, which creates software for DJs. (It’s looking for funding, too.) Bloomberg has more here.

Sean Cunningham, a director at Intel Capital for 15 years, is joining Trident Capital Cybersecurity as a managing director; he joins other managing directors Alberto Yépez and Don Dixon.

Venture capitalist Ben Horowitz tells those who may be worried about a frothy market: “I’ll bet any bubble believer everything that I have that Nasdaq won’t drop 80 percent in the next 5 years.”

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet has resigned from the online fashion retailer she founded 15 years ago, just as it prepares to merge with Italian rival Yoox; she was to have been chairman of the combined company. The Business of Fashion has the story here.

Ian Rogers, who mapped out Apple’s online radio strategy then (seemingly) abruptly resigned in late August, just two months after the launch of its Beats1 radio service, has a new job. According to the WSJ, he is joining the French luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton as chief digital officer.

Howie Xu has joined Greylock Partners as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Xu was most recently a senior director responsible for all of Cisco’s Cloud Networking Service Group engineering team; earlier in his career, he was an executive at VMWare, too. More here.



Facebook is looking to hire yet another corporate development associate. The job is in Menlo Park, Ca.


Essential Reads

NASA has created a polymer that can heal itself in seconds—even from bullets.

The cheap phones quietly winning the U.S.



College kids prefer pot.

Filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new documentary about Steve Jobs, “The Man in the Machine,” is set for release today. You can catch the trailer here.

That chimp that attacked a drone with a stick? He planned ahead, researchers now say.


Retail Therapy

Lyonheart cars. [Sigh.]

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