StrictlyVC: December 10, 2015

And we are back! Happy Thursday, everyone.


Top News in the A.M.

It’s official: Yahoo isn’t spinning off its Alibaba stake after all.


Why It’s Harder to Be An Engineer in San Francisco

Hired, the San Francisco-based employment platform, has produced a short new report about engineering salaries that examines how they stack up in the Bay Area versus the rest of the country after the cost of living is factored in.

San Francisco, an increasingly expensive city in which to live, pays software engineers an average of $132,000 per year, for example. That may seem like a pretty healthy salary to the rest of the country, but using a standardized cost-of-living calculator, Hired reports that an engineer in Austin would need to make $195,000 in San Francisco to maintain the same quality of life.

In fact, it concludes that an engineer’s salary goes further in every city, with the exception of New York.

Here’s what software engineers are being paid yearly (on average) in other parts of the U.S., and what they’d need to make to live as they do in San Francisco.

In Seattle: $125,000.

Would need to make in SF: $164,000.

In L.A.: $122,000.

Would need to make in SF: $152,000.

More here.


New Fundings

AeroFarms, an 11-year-old, Newark, N.J.-based company that builds aeroponic vertical farms, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Wheatsheaf Group, with participation from earlier backers GSR Ventures, MissionPoint Capital and Middleland Capital. The WSJ has more here.

Allena Pharmaceuticals, a four-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based developer of nonsystemic oral protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases, has raised $53 million in Series C funding led by Partner Fund Management, with participation from Fidelity, Wellington Management and return backers Frazier Healthcare, HBM BioCapital, and Pharmstandard International.

Anodot, a 1.5-year-old, HaMerkaz, Israel-based company that’s developing machine learning algorithms for big data analytics, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Disrupt-ive Partners. Geektime has more here.

BlackBuck, a year-old, Bangalore, India-based online freight booking marketplace that helps businesses move full truckloads between cities, has raised $25 million in funding Tiger Global Management, Apoletto, and earlier backers Accel Partners and Flipkart. DealStreetAsia has more here.

CloudEndure, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based cloud-centered disaster recovery service, has raised $7 million in funding led by Indian consulting firm Infosys and previous investor Magma Venture Partners. The round brings the company’s funding to $12 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Curve, a six-month-old, London-based fintech startup that continues to operate in stealth mode, has raised $2 million in seed funding from TransferWise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus, Speedinvest, the pre-seed investor Seedcamp, and the Mayor of London’s London Co-Investment Fund. TechCrunch hasmore here.

Eargo, a two-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based maker of a nearly invisible in-ear hearing device, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates. More here.

GoEuro, a three-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based travel search platform for Europe, has raised $45 million in Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from Atomico, Yuri Milner, Tom Stafford, Klarna cofounder Sebastian Siemiatkowski and Supercell cofounder Ilkka Paananen. Earlier backers New Enterprise Associates, Battery Ventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures and Lakestar also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.

GroundFloor, a 2.5-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based real estate lending marketplace that’s open to non-accredited investors, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Fintech Ventures. More here.

Interlude, a five-year-old, New York-based digital media company that develops and markets interactive video technologies, has raised $18.2 million in funding from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Warner Music Group and Samsung, along with earlier backers Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital. More here.

ItsOn, a seven-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company behind a smart services platform for mobile device OEMs, OS developers, service providers and others, has raised $12.5 million in new funding led by Delta Partners Capital. Earlier backers Verizon Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Tenaya Capital also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to just less than $53 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Magic Leap, a four-year-old, Dania, Fla.-based company that promises its wearable technology will enable users to interact with digital devices in a visually cinematic way, is raising $827 million in new equity funding, based on documents filed in Delaware and uncovered by Fortune.

Palantir Technologies, the 11-year-old, data analytics firm that has overtaken downtown Palo Alto, Ca., has raised $129 million in new funding, it disclosed in a recent SEC filing. The capital is part of a round that now totals almost $680 million, reports TechCrunch.

Rubius Therapeutics, a new, Cambridge, Ma.-based biotech startup that’s focused on treating diseases by putting new genes into red blood cells, has raised $25 million in first-round funding from Flagship Ventures. (It incubated the company.) Forbes has more here.

Seerene, a 1.5-year-old, Potsdam, Germany-based analytics spinout from Germany’s Hasso Plattner Institute, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Earlybird Venture Capital. More here.

Server Density, a 6.5-year-old, London-based SaaS server monitoring startup that’s remained largely bootstrapped until now, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by SP Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

SnapLogic, a nine-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based integration platform allowing companies to connect any number of applications in the cloud and on-premise, has raised $37.5 million from Microsoft and Silver Lake Waterman, along with earlier backers Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners and Triangle Peak Partners. The company has now raised $96.3 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Tansler, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based vacation rental startup, has raised $1.3 million in funding from General Catalyst Partners, Karlani Capital and other, unnamed angel investors. The round brings Tansler’s total funding to date to $2.1 million. More here.

The Tab, a six-year-old, London-based hyperlocal news site aimed at young people and written primarily by unpaid student journalists, has raised $3 million from Balderton Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Vice Media, the nine-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based media company, has reportedly raised another $200 million in funding from The Walt Disney Co., which now owns roughly 10 percent of the company. The New York Times hasmore here.

Vitals, an eight-year-old,  Lyndhurst, N.J.-based physician review site, has raised $41 million in new funding from Goldman Sachs and undisclosed existing backers. More here.

Yumist, a 1.5-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based low-cost meal delivery service, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Unilazer Ventures, with participation from Orios VP and investor Steven Lurie. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Arrowroot Capital, a 1.5-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based growth-equity firm that’s focused on software companies, is raising upwards of $50 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filing.



Atlassian hit the public market this morning, the last big tech company to IPO before year end. It’s trading up, too.



TransUnion, a Chicago-based company that went public earlier this year, is acquiring Trustev, an Ireland-based e-commerce ID and fraud protection startup, in a $44 million deal. TechCrunch has more here.



Talent manager turned venture investor Troy Carter talks with Bloombergabout Lady Gaga, why he thinks Taylor Swift is wrong about streaming music, and he overcame his complicated childhood.

Donald Kaberuka, the former President of the African Development Bank Group, has been appointed a senior advisor at TPG/Satya. (That’s a partnership between TPG Growth and the Africa-focused investment firm Satya Capital to invest in growth-stage companies in Africa.)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just gave birth to baby twin daughters with husband (and investor) Zach Bogue. Mayer delivered the happy news herself on Twitter this morning.

In reaction to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for Muslims to be banned for the U.S., Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook yesterday: “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world . . . As the leader of Facebook, I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights.” More here.



J.P.Morgan is looking to add a junior analyst to its technology group in San Francisco.

Siemens is looking to hire an investment analyst. The job is in Palo Alto, Ca.



The widely held belief that 90 percent of venture industry performance is generated by just the top 10 firms is a “catchy but unsupported claim,” says a new report by Cambridge Associates, a top pension consulting firm.

The American middle class is losing ground, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. Based on government data that defines “middle-income” as those with annual household incomes between two-thirds and double the national median —  meaning from $46,000 to $126,000 — the middle class is now only 50 percent of the U.S. adult population, down from 61 percent roughly 40 years ago.


Essential Reads

Twitter is now targeting ads at logged-out users.



The popular podcast Serial is back!

The secret to getting other people to trust you quickly.

What your microbiome wants for dinner.


Retail Therapy

Ducati Scramblerti amiamo.

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