StrictlyVC: November 12, 2015

Hey, hey, it’s Thursday, and not a minute too soon. Hope it’s off to a great start.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Credit Suisse just published its 2016 global outlook, and here are the two biggest threats to the global economy that it sees.


AngelPad “Graduates” 13 New Companies

AngelPad, a five-year-old incubator that twice a year chooses roughly a dozen startups to coach over a three-month period, held its ninth “demo day” yesterday in San Francisco. As has become routine, its founders presented to a densely packed audience of invite-only guests.

We weren’t surprised, walking onto the crowded scene. At this point, Angelpad, founded by husband-and-wife team Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas, has earned a solid reputation for finding interesting new entrepreneurs. (MoPub and Crittercism are two of its better-known discoveries.)

The outfit — which provides each company with a $55,000 convertible note and an addition $4,000 per founder in exchange for 7 percent of their startup — also seems to be attracting more sophisticated entrepreneurs. That, or else Korte and Magescas are getting better at identifying talent. As Magescas told us, while companies are “usually just getting off the ground here,” Angelpad’s current batch of 13 companies “has an enormous amount of traction already,” to the tune of $2.5 million in combined revenue. “That’s not intentional,” she says. “Some are just [taking off] earlier than we thought.”

Continue reading for an overview of the presenting companies.


New Fundings

Appcast, a 1.5-year-old, Lebanon, N.H.-based pay-per-applicant job marketplace, has raised $5 million in funding led by Point Judith Capital, with participation from IrishAngels and Baird Capital.

Eyefluence, a two-year-old, Milpitas, Ca.-based company that makes an eye tracking system for virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led by Motorola Solutions. Other participants in the round include Jazz Venture Partners, NHN Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, and other unnamed strategic and private investors. The company has now raised $21.6 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Fiverr, a 5.5-year-old, Tel Aviv-headquartered marketplace for skilled freelancers, has raised $60 million in new funding led by Square Peg Capital, with participation from earlier backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Qumra Capital. The company has now raised $110 million altogether; we’ll have more on the deal over at TechCrunch later today.

Flexe, a two-year-old, Seattle-based online marketplace that connects business in need of warehouse space, has raised $4.4 million in seed funding from Second Avenue Partners, SV Angel, Microsoft executive Hank Vigil and former Microsoft executive Fritz Lanman. More here.

NextVR, a six-year-old, Laguna Beach, Ca.-based live-action virtual reality broadcast technology company, has raised $30.5 million in Series A funding led by Formation 8, a firm that backed Oculus VR early on (and that recently alerted investors that it would not raise a planned third fund). Other investors in the deal include Time Warner Investments, Comcast Ventures, Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Gruber, RSE Ventures, the Madison Square Garden Company, and Dick Clark Productions.

Panaseer, a 1.5-year-old, London-based cybersecurity software company,  has raised $2.25 million in seed funding from investors, including Albion VenturesNotion Capital, Winton Technology Ventures, C5 Holdings, and Elixirr.

Shelfbucks, a two-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company that makes dynamic marketing platforms for retail stores and brands, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. The sources are undisclosed, but the round brings the company’s total funding to $11.5 million. Silicon Hills News has more here., a four-year-old, Shanghai, China-based online education startup that provides training courses for students preparing for entrance exams at overseas universities, has raised $60 million in Series C funding from Sequoia Capital and other undisclosed investors, according to Chinese media reports. The company had raised $29 million in Series B funding back in April from GGV Capital and Shunwei Capital.

Zola, a two-year-old, New York-based online wedding-gift registry founded by former Gilt Groupe employees, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led byCanvas Venture Fund, with participation from AOL’s BBG Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, and earlier backer Thrive Capital. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here.


New Funds

Elevar Equity, a 7.5-year-old, Seattle-based venture firm, has closed its third fund with $74 million from investors that include JPMorgan Chase, Omidyar Network, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Treehouse Investments. The firm invests in early-stage companies that are focused on providing financial services, education, housing and healthcare to low-income communities primarily in India and Latin America.



23andme cofounder Anne Wojcicki on her ex-husband and fellow entrepreneur, Sergey Brin: We’re still “very good friends.” [Bloomberg video.]



Novartis Venture Fund is looking to hire a principal. The job is in Cambridge, Ma.


Essential Reads

Uber struck a deal yesterday to use digital maps provided by the Dutch technology company TomTom in its smartphone applications. (As readers will recall, Uber, which is quietly tinkering with self-driving technologies in Pittsburgh, has been interested in alternatives to Google’s mapping technologies for some time.)

How Revolve became the trendiest, most profitable e-commerce startup you’venever heard of.

In-N-Out wants the food-delivery startup DoorDash to stop delivering its burgers because of concerns around quality, food handling and safety — and it has filed a lawsuit toward that end.



Why you’re always mishearing song lyrics.

This Brooklyn startup supplies the apartment, furniture, and roommates.

If politicians had man buns. (Last man bun link this week, promise!)


Retail Therapy

The Cezeta 506 electric scooter, for when you want to go old school.

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