StrictlyVC: September 25, 2015

Hi, everyone! Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Some of you had asked to see that investor panel we moderated earlier this week, with Jeremy Liew, Dana Settle, Aileen Lee, and Bill McGlashan; here it is, with a wrap-up by TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler (if you’d rather not sit through the video).

It’s been a long couple of weeks, between StrictlyVC’s most recent event and Disrupt. If you’ve emailed us and we haven’t responded, please do write again. We’ll be in full form again next week, with interviews with Steve Jurvetson of DFJ and the inimitable Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, among other goodies.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Forcing suspects to reveal phone passwords is unconstitutional, a federal court has just ruled.

This morning, BlackBerry reported a wider second-quarter loss than analysts estimated.

The iPhone 6S hit store shelves today. If you’re still debating whether to elbow your way around an Apple store and nab one, here’s a teardown of the phone.


New Fundings

Amino, a four-year-old Boston-based company that makes mobile apps for niche communities, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding led by Venrock, with participation from earlier backer Union Square Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Auris Surgical Robotics, an eight-year-old, San Carlos, Ca.-based robotics company that has developed a dual-arm microsurgical system for ophthalmic surgery, just raised $150 million in new equity funding, according to an SEC filing flagged by MedCity News. Fortune says it was led by public-market investor at a post-money valuation of more than $600 million. Ealier backers include Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management, NaviMed Capital andHighland Capital Partners. More (though not much more) here.

LifeImage, a seven-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based company that has built a platform for the exchange of medical images, has raised $5 million in new funding from Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The funding follows a  $17.5 million round of financing lifeIMAGE received in May, led by Cambia Health Solutions. Finsmes has more here.

Replimune, a months-old, Oxford, England-based startup at work on a new approach to viral cancer therapy, has raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Atlas Venture, with participation from seed investors Forbion Capital Partners and Omega Funds. FierceBiotech has more here.

Revegy, a 10-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company that makes visual and configurable sales software to help teams collaborate more effectively, has raised $3 million in equity, shows an SEC filing that lists two (unnamed) backers. More here.

Wayin, a five-year-old, Denver-based social marketing startup founded by Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, has raised $15.4 million in new funding led by earlier investor U.S. Venture Partners. Other investors in the round include PeopleSoft founder David Duffield (who is also the chairman of Workday); SAP founder Hasso Plattner; and McNealy himself, who is Wayin’s chairman and CEO. More here.



Just one day after fantasy sports site DraftKings announced it would soon offer fantasy competitions around competitive video gaming, rival FanDuel announced the acquisition of AlphaDraft, a site that offers fantasy contests pegged to competitive video gaming. Terms were not disclosed. Recode says it sold for less than $25 million. According to CrunchBase, AlphaDraft had raised $5 million from a long list of investors, including Metamorphic VenturesAmplify.LA, Greycroft Partners, Upfront Ventures, and QueensBridge Venture Partners.



According to Fortune’s Dan Primack, Jordan Cooper, a partner in the first four Lerer Ventures funds, will not be part its next one. He plans instead to focus on Wildcard, a New York-based startup he co-founded last year that’s focused around a news app.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned yesterday that climate change will spark a refugee crisis of catastrophic proportions if no action is taken.


Esssential Reads

Two years after it closed an investigation into Google’s Internet search business, the FTC is spearheading an investigation of Google’s Android business.

Amazon’s app users are growing fast, according to new Morgan Stanley data.

Yale showed up Harvard yesterday, reporting that its endowment generated an 11.5 percent return for its most recent fiscal year. Harvard’s return, it announced Wednesday: 5.8 percent. More here.

Oakland to the tech community: Please don’t screw this up like last time.



In the sport of coding, there’s one superstar and lots of contenders.

Why very different-looking aircraft may be coming.

The 11(!) sets of twins attending one Long Island kindergarten.


Retail Therapy

You have dopp kits, sure. But do you have a tech dopp kit?

Samsung’s Gear VR 2015. Ships in November. Cost: Just $99.

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