StrictlyVC: January 4, 2016

Happy New Year, dear readers! Hope 2016 has wonderful things in store for you.

As for us, we’re just back in town and excited to get back to work. Toward that end, a quick mention: We’re headed to the World Economic Forum in Davos in a couple of weeks as part of our role with TechCrunch. (We’re excited, though probably still ill-prepared for how insanely c-c-cold it will be.)

If you’re headed there, too, please let us know. We’ll be helping out with video and print interviews throughout the week and looking to talk with top CEOs and other smart people in tech and academia about a wide range of things, from driverless cars, to the future of work, to Paul Graham’s controversial new essay.

(No column today.)


Top News in the A.M.

World stock exchanges are falling.


New Fundings

Athletigen, a nearly two-year-old, Halifax, Nova Scotia-based sports genetics startup, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Exponential PartnersMore here.

BionX Medical Technologies, a nine-year-old, Bedford, Mass.-based company that makes bionic prosthetic devices, has raised $17 million in Series E funding led by ZGC Shiner Investment, with participation from earlier backers, including Gilde Healthcare. The company has now raised roughly $70 million to date. More here.

DipJar, a three-year-old, New York-based provider of digital tip jars and donation boxes for credit cards, has raised $2.4 million in seed funding from Corazon Capital, Charge Ventures and individual angels, along with earlier backers Bolt and Project 11. More here.

Geniee, a five-year-old, Tokyo, Japan-based ad tech startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding led by Fenox Venture Capital. Tech in Asia has more here.

HealPros, a four-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based mobile telemedicine triage service company that focuses largely on diabetic retinopathy eye examinations, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Sopris CapitalMore here.

Hometeam, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based in-home-care company that promises personalized care planning, caregiver matching, and proactive case management, has raised $27.5 million in Series B funding led by Oak HC/FT. Earlier backers Lux Capital, IA Ventures and Recruit Strategic Partners also joined the round. More here.

Lyft, the 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based rideshare company, has closed $1 billion in Series F funding, half of it from General Motors. Other participants in the round include Saudi Prince Al-Waleed’s Kingdom Holding CompanyJanus Capital Management, and previous investors Didi, Rakuten, and Alibaba. TechCrunch has more here.

Movinga, a year-old, Berlin, Germany-based online relocation services startup, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from earlier backers, including Earlybird VC, Heilemann Ventures, and Global Founders Capital (the venture arm of Rocket Internet). TechCrunch has more here.

Phytech, a five-year-old, Hayyin, Israel-based company whose mobile platform combines agricultural analytics and data management to help growers in their farming decisions, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from earlier backers Syngenta Ventures and Mitsui & Co. More here.

Quartzy, a seven-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based lab supplies marketplace, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Eminence Capital, with participation from Khosla Ventures (which led its Series A), along with the YC Continuity fund, A Capital, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Binary Capital, Scribd and Parse co-founder Tikhon Bernstram, and Factual founder Gil Elbaz. TechCrunch has more here.

RapidMiner, an 8.5-year-old, Cambridge, Mass.-based company behind a predictive analytics platform, has raised $15 million in new funding, according to an SEC filing first flagged by Fortune. The company’s earlier backers include Ascent Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital and Open Ocean Capital. More here.

Scholar Rock, a Cambridge, Ma.-based drug developer focused on new biologic therapeutics, has raised $36 million in Series B funding led by Fidelity, with participation from Cormorant Asset Management and earlier backers Polaris Partners, Timothy Springer, ARCH Venture Partners, EcoR1 Capital and The Kraft Group.

Silvercar, a 3.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based startup that rents out silver Audi cars as part of its airport rental car business, has raised $28 million in Series C funding led by Audi. Previous investors Austin Ventures and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin also participated in the new round. TechCrunch has more here.

Zipnosis, a 6.5-year-old, Minneapolis, Mn.-based online diagnosis and treatment platform for common medical conditions, has raised $17 million in Series A funding led by Safeguard Scientifics, with participation fromAscension Ventures and earlier investors Fairview Health Services, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Arthur Ventures, Waterline Ventures and Omphalos Ventures. More here.


New Funds

Former Earlybird Venture Capital investors Ciarán O’Leary and Jason Whittier have raised a $120 million debut fund for their new firm, BlueYard Capital. The fund is based in Berlin but plans to make investments across Europe. More here.

Healthquest Partners, a 2.5-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based med-tech venture capital firm founded by former Sofinnova Ventures partner Garheng Kong, is looking to raise up to $175 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing. The firm closed its debut fund with $110 million in 2014.



Alibaba-backed Paytm has acquired Shifu — a smart consumer behavior prediction platform — in a deal reportedly valued at $8 million. The Tech Portal has more here.



Vinnie Lauria, a cofounder of the three-year-old venture firm Golden Gate Ventures, tells TechCrunch, “Most people have invested in China and India, but they’ve seen the market get way too overvalued. Southeast Asia is the next opportunity.” More here.

Blythe Masters, a former star banker at JPMorgan Chase, has reportedly been struggling to raise money for her blockchain start-up, Digital Asset Holdings, after potential investors learned that JPMorgan was being given better terms than others.

April Underwood, who joined Slack in June after nearly five years as Director of Product at Twitter, has been named VP of Product.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, known for announcing a personal challenge for himself each year, has divulged his goal for 2016: to “build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man.” More here.



Comcast Ventures is looking to hire an associate. The job is in San Francisco.



The best-paid U.S. executives don’t work on Wall Street. (Chart.)


Essential Reads

Tesla is ramping up its hiring, as rivals loom.

Spotify has been hit with a $150 million class action lawsuit.

Why Alibaba wants Chinese shoppers to buy American.

What does virtual reality do to your mind and body?



A bar inspired by Seinfeld’s George Costanza.

What Exactly Are My Obligations in a Situation Like This?


Retail Therapy

For sale: One 48.6-acre development site in Santa Clara, Ca.

Movi, a neat little camera for filming live events.

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