StrictlyVC: October 27, 2015

Hi, everyone, happy Tuesday!


Top News in the A.M.

The European Union just rejected legal amendments that would firmly establish and protect the concept of net neutrality in Europe.

Skype, Spotify, and others have created European Tech Alliance, a lobbying group designed to influence policy-making; it’s being spearheaded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström.


Construction App Fieldwire Raises $5.5 Million Led by Formation 8

Fieldwire, a San Francisco-based mobile and web platform designed to make collaboration on construction projects more efficient, has raised $5.5 million in fresh funding led by Formation 8. Other participants in the round included Trinity Ventures and earlier backers Bloomberg Beta and AngelPad, the investment fund and accelerator where the company first gained investors’ attention in the fall of 2013.

Including earlier seed funding, the company has now raised $6.6 million altogether.Because Fieldwire is part of an increasingly crowded, if nascent, group of startups that are zeroing in on the same market, we decided to talk last week with cofounder Yves Frinault to learn more. Our chat has been edited for length.

One of your better-known competitors is PlanGrid. How do your companies differ?

At our core, we’re a task management platform, working on tasks and collaboration, including with the foreman, the subcontractors, and labor; PlanGrid is more focused on digitizing and storing blueprints and construction documents. We’re more like Asana for construction; they’re more like Box. It’s tasks versus files.

How big is Fieldwire at this point?

We were five people. We’ve doubled in the last four months to meet demand, but we could have been a lot more; we believe in dense, focused teams. As for [our clients], there are currently 35,000 projects on the platform [owned by] 1,000 companies.

So these are big clients.

When you operate a typical SaaS company, you usually start in mid-market and go up market. In construction, it’s different. The top line, half-a-billion-dollar companies are the ones driving the projects, so we found ourselves working with those guys — the large general contractors and specialty contractors — right away.

More here.


New Fundings

ArtLifting, an online art marketplace for homeless, disabled and other disadvantaged people to sell their artwork, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, angel investor Joanne Wilson, author and entrepreneur Eric Ries, the social impact accelerator Tumml, and others.

Cato Networks, a months-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based network security company co-founded by Shlomo Kramer, who famously cofounded Check Point Software and founded Imperva, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Aspect Ventures and  U.S. Venture Partners. The company’s software will be available next year; it’s currently accepting beta customers. More here.

Convoy, a year-old, Seattle-based startup whose platform aims to make it easy for shippers to quickly connect with nearby trucking companies to book jobs, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from a long list of investors, including Bezos Expeditions, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Omidyar Technology Ventures, KKR CEO Henry Kravis, entrepreneur-investors Hadi and Ali Partovi, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. TechCrunch has more here.

DirectScale, a five-month-old, Provo, Ut.-based company that makes cloud-based software for the direct sales industry, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Kickstart Seed Fund and publicly traded NetSuite. More here.

SourceClear, a two-year-old, Seattle-based company whose software helps development teams to visualize vulnerabilities across all their projects in real time, has raised $10 million in funding from Index Ventures and Storm Ventures. More here.

Sportradar, a 12-year-old, St. Gallen, Switzerland-based sports data company, has raised $44 million (€40 million) in new funding led by Revolution Growth, with participation from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and basketball great Michael Jordan. TechCrunch has more here.

Zebit, a four-year-old, London-based company that provides zero-interest credit to shoppers who work but don’t yet have access to traditional credit cards, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Crosslink Capital, with participation from Correlation Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures and Wildcat Venture Partners.


New Funds

VC Brad Harrison is planning to launch a $40 million Australian division of his seven-year-old, New York-based seed stage venture firm Scout Ventures, reports Financial Review. Harrison was formerly a director of media strategy and develoment at AOL. More here.

Singapore state-fund Temasek Holdings’ wholly owned investment arm –Vertex Venture Holdings – has garnered commitments of more than $200 million for its third China fund, a top executive with the firm tells DealStreetAsia. More here.



Cisco is acquiring Lancope, a 15-year-old, Alpharetta, Ga.-based company that detects malicious activity on corporate networks. The purchase price is $452.5 million in cash and equity, with Lancope’s team becoming part of the Cisco Security Business Group. Over the years, Lancope had raised $24.6 million from investors shows CrunchBase, including Canaan Partners, GMG Capital, HIG Partners and Council Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.



DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is crediting Tesla’s Elon Musk with saving his life following a recent car crash.



In the past nine months, angel investors and venture capitalists have poured an unprecedented amount of money into Indian startups. Between January and September, $7.3 billion was invested across 639 deals. YourStory has much more here.


Essential Reads

More bad news for Theranos; Over the last year, multiple news outlets have reported that Theranos earns a portion its income from large pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. But according to representatives from both companies who spoke to the Financial Times, that information is incorrect. “I cannot find any evidence that we’ve done business with them in recent years,” a spokesperson for GSK tells the outlet.

At the payments company Square, quarterly losses are mounting and sales growth is slowing, it revealed in an amended SEC filing yesterday. (The filing also disclosed that Vinod Khosla, who joined the board in 2011, has stepped down.)

Slack, the workplace chat tool, has just reached a new milestone, according to CEO Stewart Butterfield: recently, one million users signed into the service at the same time.



How the world’s 50 best restaurants are chosen.

The best time to schedule a job interview.

Why some U.K. firms are recruiting nameless applicants.


Retail Therapy

Slaughterhouse Beach House. (You have to take the virtual tour.)


Filed Under:

Don’t Miss Out!

Sign up today to receive a free daily email with everything you need to start your day. Plus, keep track of the companies and personalities that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Let StrictlyVC be your very own venture capital concierge.

StrictlyVC on Twitter