December 15, 2015

Hello, dear readers, happy Tuesday. Hope it’s off to a good start.

No column today; too many funding announcements (still, with just three weeks to go!).


Top News in the A.M.

Apple has opened a secret laboratory in Taiwan to develop new screens,reports Bloomberg.

Facebook is taking on Angie’s List and Yelp with a new site for finding top-rated local businesses, says TechCrunch.


New Fundings

Afanti, a 1.5-year-old, Beijing, China-based study mobile app that provides real-time answers and assistance to primary and middle school students, has raised $60 million in Series B funding from Shenzhen Capital GroupFenghuang Xiangrui Internet Investment Fund, and Lang Ma Feng Venture Capital. The company has now raised at least $78 million altogether. China Money Network has more here.

AltheaDx, a six-year-old, San Diego-based company whose molecular medical tests aim to help identify the best cancer drugs for patients, has raised $30 million in Series C funding, including from WuXi Healthcare Ventures, Ally Bridge Group, ALMA Life Sciences and WuXi PharmaTech. More here.

Azalead, a 2.5-year-old, Paris, France-based company that’s building a platform for account-based marketingj, has raised $5 million (€4.5 million) from Idinvest, with earlier backer Aurinvest also participating. TechCrunch has more here.

Dashu Finance, a 1.5-year-old, Shenzhen, China-based online lender of small and micro loans, has raised $77 million in Series B funding led by the Asia-focused alternative investment firm PAG, with participation from earlier backer Sequoia Capital. China Money Network has more here.

DealStreetAsia, an 18-month-old, Singapore-based site covering financial investment news, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a range of investors, including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Alibaba-backed payments company PayTM ; the Singapore Angel Network; and the Indian media group Hindustan Times. More here.

Edumedics, a Louisville, Ky.-based company that makes chronic disease management software, has raised $4.2 million in Series A funding led Lunsford Capital, with participation from OCA Ventures and individual angels.

Giroptic, a 7.5-year-old, Lille, France-based company that makes a 360-degree camera, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding, including from 360 Capital Partners, C4 Ventures, the Finorpa Group, Partech Ventures, and SOS Ventures. has more here.

iKongJian, a year-old, Beijing-based startup that provides cheap home renovation services that can be ordered up online, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Shanghai Greenwoods Investment Management, with participation from Share Capital, earlier backer Shunwei Capital, and others. China Money Network has more here.

iPrice, a 1.5-year-old, Kuala Lumpur-based e-commerce startup that sends traffic to numerous e-tailing services in seven countries, has raised $1.2 million in new funding from earlier backer Asia Venture Group, with participation from 500 Startups, IMJ, Venturra, F2 Capital, and Startstrike Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

KAHR Medical, a 10-year-old, Israel-based biopharmaceutical company at work on a lymphoma treatment, has raised $12 million in a Series B round that’s expected to close with $15 million altogether. Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, and DSC Investment have already participated, along with earlier backer Flerie Invest AB. More here.

Padloc, a five-year-old, Natick, Ma.-based company that connects shoppers to retailers with its in-store tablet systems, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding from Romulus Capital. With the funding comes a name change, to Aila Technologies.

PointGrab, a seven-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based machine learning and computer vision startup, has raised $5 million in new funding from ABB Technology Ventures, EcoMachines Ventures, and Flex Lab IX. More here.

Pramata, a 10-year-old, Brisbane, Ca.-based maker of customer relationship intelligence software, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Volition Capital, with participation from earlier backers Argosy Capital and Peninsula Ventures. More here.

Sundar, a year-old, New York-based company whose online platform connects pros in the apparel industry with materials and vendors around the world, has raised $1.3 million in funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Techstars Ventures, Correlation Ventures and undisclosed angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.

Trulioo, a four-year-old, Vancouver-based maker of global identity verification software for the online payments industry, has raised C$15 million ($10.9 million) in new funding led by American Express Ventures, with participation from earlier investors BDC Capital, Blumberg Capital and Tenfore Holdings. Business Vancouver has more here.

Vayyar, a four-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based company whose technology uses radio waves to create 3D mappings of hard-to-access things like root systems and underground piping, has raised $22 million in Series B funding led byWalden Riverwood. Vayyar’s earlier backers, including Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners, also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $34 million. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

A Capital, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco and Menlo Park, Ca.-based early-stage fund managed by Ronny Conway (son of famed investor Ron Conway), is looking to raise upwards of $140 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filing. Conway closed the outfit’s debut fund with $51 million in February 2014.

OrbiMed Advisors, the 26-year-old, New York-based investment firm, is looking to raise $300 million for its second Israel-focused fund, shows an SEC filing that states the first sale has yet to occur.

USVP, the 34-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based venture firm, says it just closed its eleventh fund with $300 million. More here. The capital pool was a year-and-a-half in the making, suggest SEC filings; USVP closed its previous fund with $625 million in 2008.


Exits, the New York-based site that offers discounts on high-end apparel, is reportedly in talks to be acquired for $250 million by Hudson’s Bay, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue. The WSJ has the story here.

Kahala Brands, the Scottsdale, Az.-based parent company of numerous fast-food chains, has purchased Pinkberry, a Santa Monica, Ca.-based frozen yogurt chain. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Pinkberry had raised at least $27.5 million from Maveron.

McKinsey & Co. has purchased QuantumBlack, a London-based data-crunching consulting firm. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Fortune has more here.

Salesforce has acquired MinHash, a young, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that was co-founded by two data science engineers formerly with eBay and Avaya. More here.

Yahoo Japan, the joint venture between SoftBank and Yahoo, has launched a bid to buy Ikyu, a popular, publicly traded, Japan-based online travel and restaurant reservation platform, for around $830 million. TechCrunch has more here.



Ashley Madison users are now receiving blackmail demands in the mail.

Yahoo had an end-of-the-year party for employees, and it sounds like no expense was spared.


Jobs, backed by Google Capital, is looking for a VP of business development. The job is in New York.

The research firm Gartner is looking for a VP of corporate development. The job is in Stamford, Ct.


Essential Reads

Fortune examines Facebook’s governance problem.

The Financial Times looks at the former Wall Street titans who are shaking up banking with their fintech companies.

European teens under age 16 could be barred from Snapchat and Instagram.



mansion, a shell company, and resentment in Bel Air.

China’s top bankers who “disappeared,” were detained, or died unnaturally this year.

Whoa. In Flint, Michigan, there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency has been declared.


Retail Therapy

Sweden’s Ice Hotel.

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