StrictlyVC: December 22, 2015

Happy Tuesday, everyone! StrictlyVC happens to be working out of a Starbucks in Washington, D.C. today where things just got a little too real (customer brawl). But did we jump up, leave, stop writing StrictlyVC? We did not! (We should have left. We’re getting out of here right now, in fact. No column today.)


Top News in the A.M.

You can register your drone now.


New Fundings

4Tech, a six-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based medical device company focused on the treatment of tricuspid valve disease, has raised $26.4 million, shows an SEC filing. The company had previously raised at least $7 million previously.

eFFECTOR Therapeutics, a 3.5-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based biopharmaceutical company developing translation regulators for the treatment of cancer, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Altitude Life Science Ventures, with participation from AbbVie Biotech VenturesBioMed Ventures and earlier backers Abingworth, Novartis Venture FundSR One, The Column Group, US Venture Partners, Astellas VenturesOsage University Partners and Mission Bay Capital. More here.

Foursquare, the 6.5-year-old, New York-based startup focused on local business recommendations and discovery,  is reportedly in the process of raising capital in a down round, says TechCrunch. TC doesn’t list an exact dollar amount but suggests that Microsoft, which joined a previous financing round, is looking to participate in its current round. More here.

MapAnything, a 6.5-year-old, Charlotte, N.C.-based company that provides mapping and geoanalytics to Salesforce users, has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners, with participation from Harbert Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures and individual investors Michael Lazerow and David Stern. More here.

MJ Freeway, a five-year-old, Denver, Co.-based company that makes “seed-to-sale” tracking software for legal cannabis businesses, has raised $8 million in Series B funding from investors including longtime VC Roger McNamee and Tao Capital Partners. More here.

Nuvo Logistics, a year-old, Gurgaon, India-based company that provides hyper-local grocery delivery services its online platform, has reportedly raised $15 million in its fourth round of funding this year. Investors in the newest financing include Russia’s Ru-net, the Japanese private equity firm JAFCO and Beenext. Earlier investors Sequoia India and SAIF Partners also joined the round. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Shuttl, an eight-month-old, Delhi, India-based startup that enables commuters find a route, buy their ticket and take one of the company’s air-conditioned mini buses by ordering a seat via its smartphone app, has raised $20 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Uber-investor Times Internet. TechCrunch has more here.

Siteimprove, a 12-year-old, Copenhagen, Denmark-based maker of web governance software, has received a  $55 million minority investment from global growth equity firm Summit Partners. More here.

The China business of  Uber, the six-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-hailing business, has taken a strategic investment from Chinese automaker GAC Group (Guangzhou Automobile Group). Terms are undisclosed, but Uber China said that the tie-up will also include partnerships around “auto sales, services, financing, and marketing, with a particular emphasis on promoting new energy vehicles.” TechCrunch has more here.

WorkFusion, a 5.5-year-old, New York-based platform for automating the sourcing and structuring of data by pairing machine learning with online human intelligence, has raised $14 million in Series C funding led by Nokia Growth Partners, with participation from Mohr Davidow Ventures, Greycroft Partners, iNovia Capital and RTP Ventures. More here.


New Funds

Colle Capital Partners, a new, New York-based early-stage venture firm, has raised $9.4 million for a fund that’s targeting $20 million, shows an SEC filing.Victoria Grace is the firm’s founding partner. She was previously a partner at Wall Street Technology Partners, a mid-stage tech fund, and a director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Private Equity Group.



Developers are always looking for the next big distribution model and right now, they seem to be betting on messaging platforms. Slack is one big target. So is China’s hugely popular WeChat. In another indicator of the trend, the Canada-based popular messaging app Kik yesterday acquired a small company behind one of the most successful apps on its service, Blynk. Terms weren’t disclosed, but TechCrunch has much more here.

Microsoft has acquired Talko, a Boston-based startup dedicated to helping workgroups (or families or other sets of associates) collaborate using their smartphones. Terms were not disclosed. Talko was founded by Lotus Notes founder and former Microsoft executiveRay Ozzie. Fortune has more here.

The publicly traded storage hardware company NetApp has acquired the five-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based flash storage hardware startup SolidFire for $870 million in cash. SolidFire had raised roughly $150 million from investors, including Greenspring Associates, Samsung Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. VentureBeat has more here.

Vivendi, the French media conglomerate, has acquired a 64.4 percent stake inRadionomy, an 8.5-year-old, Brussels-based online radio services company that owns Winamp, Shoutcast, and the online radio ad marketplace Targetspot. Variety has more here.



Jeff Bezos, founder of both Amazon and rocket company Blue Origin, took a little dig at fellow billionaire and rocket company owner Elon Musk yesterday.More here.



China Oceanwide USA Holdings, a newly established investment company with headquarters in Beijing, China, is looking to hire a venture capital analyst. The job is in San Francisco.



According to a new study from UBS and PwC, only 44 percent of global billionaires in 1995 maintained that status through 2014. That means 56 percent of the billionaires in 1995 lost a comma — and sometimes more — in roughly 20 years. More here.


Essential Reads

SpaceX successfully launched and then landed a Falcon 9 rocket yesterday; previous attempts had ended in explosions.

Google and Ford will create a joint venture to build self-driving vehicles with Google’s technology, reports Yahoo.

Vanity Fair on the “piercing of the Millennial bubble.”



Understanding the lust for colored diamonds.

Longevity lessons from Ikaria, Greece.

Nicolas Cage just returned a stolen dinosaur skull he’d purchased. (Oh, Nicolas Cage.)


Retail Therapy

Now this is a Japanese supercar.

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