StrictlyVC: December 8, 2015

Hi, everyone, hope your Tuesday is off to a great start. We’ve been having fun here at Disrupt in London (though we’re right now about to fall asleep on our laptop). If you’re interested in checking out some of the panel discussions you may have missed earlier — including an interview with Wallapop CEO Agustin Gomez — you can check out some of the ongoing coverage here.

Quick note: We’ll be on plane for most of tomorrow, and while we’d love to somehow publish StrictlyVC, we’re guessing it’s not going to happen. If true, we’ll see you back here Thursday when we’re back in San Francisco.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Google Life Sciences has debuted a new name: Verily.


Everwise, a Mentoring Matchmaker, Raises $8 Million

Everwise, a New York-based company whose online service connects executives willing to volunteer their time with people looking for mentorship — from new entrepreneurs, to budding sports coaches, to people looking to rise through the ranks of Fortune 500 companies — is taking the wraps off the bigger business that it’s been quietly building over the the past year. Now, the three-year-old, 40-person outfit has become what it’s calling an “integrated platform for talent development.”

The cornerstone of the technology has long worked by plugging data from a user’s LinkedIn profile — and from a personalized questionnaire that he or she answers — into an algorithm that essentially points that person to a more experienced executive from another company.

But Everwise has thrown a number of new bells and whistles into the mix. For example, a user is still assigned a mentor, but he or she is also provided with curated content from around the web based on the recommendations that Everwise mentors have made in the past, including which books to read and TED talks to watch. Customers can also be included in peer groups suited to their needs.

More here.


New Fundings

Backed, a year-old, New York-based peer-to-peer lending company, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, bringing the total of its seed capital to over $2 million. Backers include iAngels and Cyhawk Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

BitX, a two-year-old, Singapore-based bitcoin startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Venturra Capital. The company’s previous investors include Naspers and Digital Currency Group, a bitcoin-focused outfit founded by cryptocurrency stalwart Barry Silbert. Tech in Asia has more here.

Ematic Solutions, a three-year-old, Singapore-based software company that aims to help marketers improve their performance across digital marketing channels, has raised roughly $1 million in seed funding from 500 Startups, Wavemaker Partners and Convergence Ventures. More here.

GNS Healthcare, a 15-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based precision medicine company that uses machine learning to match health interventions to individual patients, has raised $10 million in Series C funding from Celgene Corporation, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, and Gi Global Health Fund. Earlier backers Cambia Health SolutionsCalifornia’s Heritage Provider Network, and Japan’s Mitsui & Co. also participated. More here.

GoNoodle, a two-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based maker of online videos and games that help teachers and parents get kids moving, has raised $5 million in funding from Children’s Health, a pediatric health care company.

Lemonade, a nine-month-old, New York-based peer-to-peer insurance startup founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Daniel Schreiber (formerly the president of Powermat) and Shai Wininger (a co-founder of Fiverr), has raised $13 million in first-round funding from Sequoia Capital and Aleph, the Tel Aviv-based venture firm. has more here.

Masabi, a 14-year-old, London-based mobile ticketing startup that caters to bus and train companies globally, has raised $12 million in funding from MasterCard, the French public transportation giant Keolis, the venture capital fund MMC Ventures, and the merchant bank Lepe Partners. The Telegraph has more here.

Moiiv, a two-year-old, Xiamen, China-based women’s healthcare mobile app, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding led by Cathay Capital Private Equity, with participation from Matrix Partners. The company reportedly raised $35 million in Series C funding last year. China Money Network has more here.

MD Revolution, a nearly four-year-old, La Jolla, Ca.-based company that makes end-to-end chronic care management and patient engagement software, has raised $23 million in new funding co-led by Chicago-based Jump Capital and an unnamed healthcare technology company. The company has now raised more than $30 million altogether. More here.

NowThis, a three-year-old, New York-based digital media company that distributes short video clips across social media networks, has raised $16.2 million in Series D funding led by the German media giant Axel Springer. Other participants include earlier backers Oak Investments, NBC News Group and SoftBank. The company, which previously raised $19 million, was founded by former Huffington Post executives Kenneth Lerer and Eric Hippeau. The WSJ has more here.

SocialFlow, a six-year-old, New York-based enterprise software company that aims to help brand optimize their reach on social media, has raised $7.5 million in new funding led by Gefinor Capital. Other participants in the round include Cayuga Venture Partners, Fairhaven Capital, Rand Capital andSoftBank. TechCrunch has more here.

Uphold, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company cofounded by former Cnet cofounder Halsey Minor, has raised $3.1 million on a crowdfunding platform called BnkToTheFuture that provides investors with some equity from the companies doing the fundraising. (The move by Uphold makes a kind of sense. As we reported years ago, Minor has had a long, fraught history with VCs.) Coinjournal has more on the new funding here.


New Funds

Nexus Venture Partners, a nine-year-old, India-based venture firm that has backed Snapdeal, among other companies — has raised $450 million for its fourth fund. TechCrunch has more here.



The software development tool company Atlassian increased its IPO targets yesterday and is now planning to raise up to $506 million when it goes public later this week. Silicon Valley Business Journal has more here.

Blue Coat Systems, a maker of Internet security software, is taking pitches from investment banks for an IPO just nine months after being acquired by private equity firm Bain Capital Partners, reports Bloomberg.



AOL is doing some trimming of its workforce, cutting 100 employees as it looks to eliminate overlap with its new owner, Verizon. TechCrunch has the scoop here.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (and probably plenty of others) would like to send Donald Trump into space.

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is starting another company next spring.

Verizon’s finance chief, Fran Shammo, said the wireless carrier could look to buy Yahoo’s core business – a deal that would include Mail, its news and sports sites, and advertising technology if it were to occur. AOL CEO and chairman Tim Armstrong meanwhile downplayed the possibility of a deal this morning in an on-stage interview at Disrupt.

A rogue Secret Service agent who stole from Silk Road dealers while investigating the site was just sentenced to nearly 6 years in the hoosegow. Ars Technica has more here.



Streaming video now accounts for 70 percent of broadband usage in North America.

China’s IPO logjam, mapped out.


Essential Reads

While the tech industry can’t block all terror content on the web, people who have battled other online threats say it could be doing more.

Facebook has killed its internal incubator, Creative Labs.

Why tech startup crowdfunding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.



The man in the C-3PO suit.

The most beautiful tech office of the year.

We why curse.


Retail Therapy

Now you can buy an Apple smart battery case that extends your phone’s battery by 25 hours. The integrated battery pack, which sells for $99, is the company’s first.

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