StrictlyVC: February 5, 2016

Hey, hey, it’s Friday!

If you’re considering coming to our upcoming INSIDER event February 25th, you can still pick up a ticket right here. It’s now at standing-room-only capacity, but seating is open (i.e, move fast and get a seat). If you know the beautiful Autodesk Gallery, you also know there’s plenty of other space to relax and watch with a glass of wine and hors’ d’oeuvres in hand.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! (No column today; long day yesterday.)


Top News in the A.M.

LinkedIn reported fourth quarter earnings yesterday, and Wall Street really did not like what it heard.


New Fundings

BeON Home, a two-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based maker of a Bluetooth Smart-enabled home protection system, has raised $2.9 million in funding led by Jopeko LLC, with participation from earlier (unnamed) investors.The company has now raised nearly $5 million altogether. More here.

Riskmethods, a three-year-old, Munich-based maker of global supply chain risk management software, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by EQT Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Senovo, Point Nine and Bayern Kapital.

Fit Pay, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based payment platform for wearable devices, has raised  $3.1 million in seed funding led by Giesecke & Devrient, a supplier of mobile security products,  with participation from the startup accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center. More here.

Hobnob, a 1.5-year-old Honolulu, Hawaii-based event management and invitation platform, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding from Norwest Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners. Pacific Business News has more here.

PuzzleSocial, the five-year-old, New York-based company behind the popular daily digital crossword puzzle “Daily Celebrity Crossword,” has raised $5 million in a debt round led by earlier backer (and former HBO president) Thayer Bigelow. New York Business Journal has more here.

Receipt Bank, a nearly seven-year-old, London-based maker of bookkeeping automation software provider, has raised $10 million in growth capital from Kennet Partners. EU Startups has more here.

Symantec, the publicly traded company best known for its Norton antivirus software, says Silver Lake Partners has invested $500 million in the company through convertible debt. Reuters has more here.

Wevr, a five-year-old, L.A.-based virtual reality startup, has raised $25 million from strategic investors. Fortune has the story here.

WiSilica, a 2.5-year-old, Aliso Viejo, Ca.-based Internet of Things startup, has raised $3.35 million in funding from FirstFloor Capital, with participation fromAnchor Asia Management and angel investors. FinSMEs has more here.


New Funds

Saxo Bank co-founder and longtime co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen has set up a new venture capital firm in Switzerland called Seier Capital that he’s fueling with $350 million of his own money as available capital. He’s apparently interested in far more than fintech, too, with initial investments ranging from a fast-food burger restaurant to a Danish hockey team to numerous online startups. LeapRate has the story here.

General Catalyst Partners has raised $845 million for its eighth venture fund and a supplemental fund designed for follow-on investments. The firm now manages $3.75 billion. TechCrunch has more here.

Tony Lacavera, the founder of Canada’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, Wind Mobile, is looking to raise a $100 million venture fund.  CBC News has more here.

Terry Kawaja, a longtime media and tech banker, has launched a venture capital fund called Luma Partners that will be led by a pair of Intel Capital vets, reports Fortune. The SEC filing shows a target of $100 million.



Rocket Internet is selling food takeaway operations in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico to Just Eat for €125 million ($140 million), with the admission that they are all “non-core operations that are not market-leading”, in the words of Rocket. TechCrunch has some great analysis about the “takeout shakeout” here.



Elon Musk‘s next big idea could be an electric jet that takes off vertically. Answering a question at Texas A&M University earlier this week, Musk said he’s “been thinking about the vertical takeoff and landing electric jet a bit more. I think I have something that might close. I’m quite tempted to do something about it.” TheNextWeb has more here.

Justin Palmer recently joined Redpoint Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Palmer was most recently VP of data at LendingHome. More here.

Arjun Sethi, who sold his mobile messaging startup MessageMe to Yahoo in 2014, then worked to help Yahoo compete in the area of mobile chat apps, is leaving the company. Sethi’s next stop: Social Capital, the four-year-old venture firm cofounded by Chamath Palihapitiya. He’ll be focused on consumer Internet startups, reports the WSJ.



The Plug and Play Tech Center is looking to hire a business development associate. The job is in Sunnyvale, Ca.


Essential Reads

The Honest Company is working with banks on an IPO, reports Bloomberg.

Autodesk just laid off 10 percent of its workforce in a move to trim costs as it moves toward a subscription model.



The town of Colma, where San Francisco’s dead live.

Six steps to curb materialism in your kids.

Why we haven’t found aliens (yet).


Retail Therapy

We kind of like this crazy boat coffee table.

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