StrictlyVC: September 23, 2015

Hi, everyone! It’s Wednesday and the last day of Disrupt. If you haven’t been checking it out, you can pore through tons of interesting coverage and conversations here.

We’re on the move and in a rush, but we’ll see you back here tomorrow . . .


Top News in the A.M.

The case against Dropbox.


Arielle Zuckerberg, Zuck’s Youngest Sister, is Joining Kleiner Perkins

Arielle Zuckerberg, the youngest sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is joining Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers next month in a bid by the venture firm to inject youth and diversity into its line-up of partners.

More here.


New Fundings

Atigeo, a 10-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based developer of a big data analytics platform, has raised $18.4 million in growth funding from Ascension Ventures, among others. More here.

Blue Jeans Network, a nine-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company that provides cloud-based video conferencing services, has raised $76.5 million in Series E funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Glynn Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, and Quadrille Capital. Jeter Ventures, a new fund launched by MLB all-star Derek Jeter, also participated. More here.

NoviCap, a 1.5-year-old, London-based marketplace that (interestingly) invites small businesses to sell their invoices to professional investors at a discount in return for working capital, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Partech Ventures, Techstars Ventures and Cabiedes & Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

SevOne, a 10-year-old, Boston-based infrastructure software company, is raising as much as $60 million in new funding at a valuation approaching $1 billion, reports VentureWire. According to its report, Westfield Capital Management is now backing the company, along with current investors Bain Capital Ventures, Brookside Capital, Osage Venture Partners and HarbourVest Partners. To date, the company has raised $153.5 million, including a $150 million round announced in 2013.


New Funds

Ignite Farm, a Walnut Creek, Ca.-bsaed venture firm that targets consumer packaged goods and digital media opportunities, is looking to raise $50 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filing first flagged by Fortune. Ignite had targeted $10 million for its debut fund last year, raising $2.3 million toward that end as of May 2014.



Quirky, a 6.5-year-old, New York-based company that produced new consumer products by pairing its online global community with its product design staff, filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The company had raised $185 million from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, General Electric, Norwest Ventures Partners, RRE VenturesLowercase Capital, and Village Ventures. More on the story here.



On stage at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday, John Doerr opted not to attempt to pronounce the names of two new junior employees — Muzzammil Zaveri and Swati Mylavarapu, who were hired to invest out of the firm’s latest early-stage fund.  He said instead, “We have two new partners who are so diverse that I have a challenge pronouncing their names.” After being called out on Twitter for the gaffe (as noted one VC, “diversity is not a marketing ornament”), Doerr apologized in a tweet, saying “It was an unfortunate joke that was not funny. I have deep respect for my partners Swati and Muzzammil.”

Investor-entrepreneur Reid Hoffman kicked off his “Blitzscaling” course at Stanford yesterday and according to one of our sources who was there, “people climbed in through the windows” to get into the classroom.

Akash Garg, Twitter’s senior director of engineering, growth, and international team, announced yesterday on Twitter that he’s heading to Uber to lead its mobile and web platform teams. More here.


Essential Reads

A new technique that finds all known human viruses in your blood.

Instagram says it has hit 400 million users, just nine months after reaching 300 million users.

Uber just shook up the Bay Area real estate market with a massive deal to take over a former, 330,000-square-foot Sears in Oakland.



Stephen Colbert’s lifestyle brand. Because he’s a celebrity.

Wherever you go, your personal cloud of microbes follows.

RIP, Yogi Berra.


Retail Therapy

six-pack of tablets.

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