StrictlyVC: September 30, 2015

Hi, all, happy Wednesday! We are racing off to an aquarium with 22 six-year-olds, but we’ll see you back here (bedraggled, we’re guessing) tomorrow.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Erm. Some Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot models consume around 50 percent more fuel than official results, a new study reveals.


AboutLife Raises $3 Million Series A from Kleiner

There’s no shortage of services trying to drive traditional financial planners into extinction. Think Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Betterment and Intuit-owned, among them.

Today, another company personal finance tools company is publicly joining the fray: aboutLife, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based eight-person startup that quietly raised $3 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers some time ago.

Founder and CEO Rajat Kongovi — a former project leader at Boston Consulting Group who later served as COO of the social network hi5 — says he decided to create the company after having his second daughter a few years ago.

More here.


New Fundings

Avant, a three-year-old, Chicago-based online marketplace for consumer loans, is raising $325 million in new equity funding at a valuation well north of $1 billion, reports Fortune. General Atlantic is lead the round, with participation from Balyasny Asset Management and earlier backers Tiger Global Management, August Capital, RRE Ventures and DFJ Growth. More here.

Adyen, a nine-year-old, Amsterdam-based multichannel payment company that outsources payment services to international merchants (customers include Facebook, Uber and Netflix), has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Iconiq Capital that values the company at $2.3 billion. TechCrunch has more here.

Base CRM a nearly six-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based sales platform, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Tenaya Capital, with participation from return backers, including Index Ventures. More here.

BeneStream, a four-year-old, New York-based company that moves qualified employees onto free government health insurance, has added $2 million to a previously closed Series A round from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Sandbox Advantage Fund. The round total is now $6.26 million.

Credible, a three-year-old, San Francisco-base multi-lender marketplace for student loans, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Soul Htite, founder and CEO of and cofounder of LendingClub; with participation from Prosper president Ron Suber; and investor Scott Langmack. TechCrunch has more here.

Farmigo, a six-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based online consumer marketplace that invites users to order farm-fresh groceries, then pick them up from local “food communities” like nearby schools or offices, has raised $16 million in new funding led by Formation 8, with participation from earlier backers Benchmark Capital and Sherbrooke Capital. Farmigo has now raised a total of $26 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Ibotta, a four-year-old, Denver, Co.-based mobile savings app, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by billionaire Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape. TechCrunch has more here.

InfoWorks, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based automated big data management company, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Knoll VenturesMore here.

Nuzzel, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that allows users to see the news that their friends share, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a long list of new investors, including Matter, the media-focused startup accelerator and fund backed by Knight Foundation; Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal; Arturo Duran, managing partner at IVA Ventures, and Craig Forman, partner at NextNews Ventures. Nuzzel had previously raised roughly $3.4 million from investors, shows CrunchBase data.

Origami Logic, a three-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based marketing data analytics platform, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Next World Capital, with participation from DAG Ventures and return backers Accel PartnersIcon Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has now raised $49.3 million in total funding altogether.

PaperG, a seven-year-old, New Haven, Cn.-based company whose dashboard matches the creative content of advertisements to various ad formats, has raised $5 million in new funding from KLP EnterpriseWavemaker PartnersWI Harper Group and AppNexus CEO Brian O’KelleyMore here.

PhageTech, a 1.5-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based maker of biosensors for the early detection of cancers, has raised $2.4 million in Series A funding co-led by Mark IV Capital and Black River InvestmentsMore here.

ShopFully, a five-year-old, Italy-based app that helps drive consumers to physical retail stores via the digital equivalent of paper fliers, has raised €10 million ($11.1 million) from Highland Capital Partners. The company has now raised €20 million ($22.3 million) altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Swarm64, a three-year-old, Berlin-based company whose technology powers cloud-based computing, like real-time analytics and games, has raised € 7.1 million ($7.9 million) in new funding from Alliance VentureTarget Partners and InvestinorMore here.

Teridion, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud-based networking company that aims to delivers a super-fast internet experience, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from JVPMagma Venture Partners and Singtel Innov8. The company has now raised $20 million altogether. More here.

Therachon, a Nice, France-based biotechnology company aiming to treat achondroplasia, a genetic disease that is the leading cause of dwarfism in children, has raised $35 million in Series A funding. OrbiMed led the round, with participation from New Enterprise Associates and earlier backers Inserm Transfert Initiative and Versant Ventures. More here.

Triplebyte, an eight-month-old, San Francisco-based technical recruiting platform for Y Combinator startups, has raised $3 million in funding from Initialized Capital, Caffeinated Capital, SV Angel, Felicis Ventures and more than a dozen individual angels. TechCrunch has more here.

Tru Optik, a 2.5-year-old. Stamford, Cn.-based digital media audience intelligence company, has raised $1.7 million in funding from Progress Ventures and Alex Blum. More here.



Google co-founder Sergey Brin said yesterday that Google is open to self-driving cars that can also be driven manually. “[I] think there’s always going to be pleasure in being able to hit the open road and enjoy that.” He then stressed that humans are the most unsafe part of driving and that the company’s intends to largely remove humans from the process.

Instacart, the three-year-old, grocery delivery startup – which hit “unicorn” status late last year when it raised $220 million at a reported $2 billion valuation – has hired a CFO for the first time in Ravi Gupta, long of KKR. More here.

Elon Musk says Tesla cars will reach 620 miles on a single charge “within a year or two,” and be fully autonomous in “three years.”

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Twitter yesterday.

The Syfy channel has pulled “Bazillion Dollar Club” from its schedule one week after it premiered, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The show, starring 500 Startups’ founding partner Dave McClure and Highway1 Vice President Brady Forrest, was scheduled to run six weeks. (The show joins a surprisingly long list of shows canceled after one episode.)



The research firm Tractica is forecasting that the enterprise VR market will grow from $114 million last year to more than $4.5 billion by 2020. More here.


Essential Reads

YouTube will soon let you buy stuff you see in anyone’s videos.

How Google changed the smart phone: a deep history of the Nexus phone.



Cloning your dog, for a mere $100,000.

Inside Japan’s disposable housing market.


Retail Therapy

$1,800 Gucci slippers that are reportedly “selling out like crazy.” (Oh, people.)

And, this is interesting: the Skarp Laser Razor.

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