StrictlyVC: February 17, 2016

Happy Wednesday, everyone! (It’s Wednesday, right?)

A quick note that our event early next Thursday night is now pretty much sold out. We could probably squeeze in another 10 of you, but that’s it. (The Autodesk Gallery doesn’t fool around with headcount, owing to insurance concerns.) Tickets are here.

We’re getting very excited to see a lot of our readers, both those of you we know and those who we’ll be meeting for the first time. Thanks again to our very generous sponsors Autodesk, AiBrain, Bolt, and Ludlow Ventures for making the evening possible!


Top News in the A.M.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the company will appeal a California judge’s order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooting.

Google is getting into the business of delivering fresh groceries.


RobinHealth Enters the Online Pharmacy Race

You’ve probably noticed; on-demand pharmacy services are springing up like daisies. New York-based Zipdrug, for example, is an online app that processes customers’ payments and dispatches messengers to pick up their medicine for a $10 delivery service fee. The company has so far raised more than $2.6 millionin seed funding from Notation Capital, Lux Capital, and Collaborative Fund, among others.

A better-funded upstart is PillPack, a full-service pharmacy that delivers pre-sorted pills packaged individually on a tape-dispenser-like roll to customers every two weeks. It has mostly operated as online platform, but after raising$50 million last year led by CRV, it’s opening small brick and mortar locations, too, where patients can consult with licensed pharmacists — and more people can learn of the company.

Online pharmacy ScriptDash formed around the same opportunity last spring.

None are stopping yet another new entrant from gearing up to compete with them. Instead, RobinHealth — a 10-month-old, San Francisco-based startup — has already raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding and is preparing to pitch investors at the March 1, invite-only demo day of NFX Guild, a Bay Area accelerator program that graduated its first batch of startups last summer. (We’ve written about NFX here.)

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, RobinHealth says that it’s different.

More here.


New Fundings

AQ Metrics, a 3.5-year-old, Dublin, Ireland-based company that makes legal governance, risk and compliance software for global financial services firms, has raised $3.25 million in funding led by Frontline Ventures, with participation from Bluff Point Associates and Enterprise Ireland. More here.

Bux, a 1.5-year-old, Amsterdam-based company behind a casual stock and derivatives trading app, has raised $6.9 million in new funding led by Holtzbrinck Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Cala Health, a two-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based Stanford spin-out whose wearable device treats hand and wrist tremors, has raised $18 million in funding according to an SEC filing turned up by MedCity News. According to CrunchBase, the company’s investors include Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., Lux Capital, and Lightstone Ventures. More here.

Grana, a 1.5-year-old, Hong Kong-based online clothing retailer, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from MindWorks Ventures and Bluebell Group. The company has now raised $6 million altogether. FinSMEs has more here.

Hometeam, a three-year-old, New York-based company that provides families with caregiver matching, custom iPads, and a team trained to promote healthy and active days, has raised $5 million in funding from Kaiser Permanente. Fortune has more here.

Makeable, a 3.5-year-old New York-based online marketplace for manufacturing, has raised $1.35 million in bridge funding from earlier backers ff Venture Capital and KEC Ventures. The company has also been renamed Gooten and named its CFO, Brian Rainey, as CEO. More here.

MindMaze, a 3.5-year-old, Lausanne, Switzerland-based company whose virtual reality products, including both wearables and training software, aim to reboot damaged parts of the brain, has raised $100 million in new funding at a premoney valuation of $1 billion led by India’s Hinduja Group. TechCrunch hasmore here.

PokitDok, a 4.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company whose cloud-based API platform is designed to make healthcare transactions more efficient and streamlined, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from McKesson Ventures. Silicon Valley Business Journal has more here.

Qualia, a five-year-old, New York-based SaaS marketing platform focused on mining “intent” data, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding co-led by S3 Ventures and earlier investor Verizon Ventures. AdExchanger has more here.

Rainforest QA, a San Francisco-based startup that sells quality assurance testing as a subscription, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Rincon Venture Partners, Industry Ventures and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. More here.

Sprout Social, a five-year-old, Chicago-based company that makes social media management software, has raised $42 million in Series C funding from Goldman Sachs‘s Merchant Banking Division and earlier investor New Enterprise Associates. TechCrunch has more here.

Synlogic, a 2.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based biotechnology company focused on the development of therapeutic microbes, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by OrbiMed, with participation from Deerfield Management and earlier investors Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates.

Wavecell, a five-year-old, Singaporean startup that creates APIs for communication tools, has raised $1.6 million in Series A funding led by Qualgro Asean Fund, with participation from Wavemaker Pacific. TechCrunch has more here.

Yello Mobile, 3.5-year-old, Seoul-based company that claims to be Korea’s fastest growing mobile Internet company, has raised $30 million in new funding at a $4 billion valuation from SBI Holdings, Japan’s largest Internet financial group. TechCrunch has more here.

YouAppi, a five-year-old Israel-based startup that helps companies acquire users through mobile ads and analytics, has raised $13.1 million in Series B funding from Hawk Ventures, Global Brain, Click Ventures, Digital FutureEmery Capital, Altair Capital, and earlier backers Glilot Capital Partners,2B Angels and Flint Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

ZeaKal, a five-year-old, San Diego-based plant science company, has raised $5.3 million in Series B funding led by Finistere Ventures, with participation from Middleland Capital. The company has now raised $9.1 million altogether.More here.


New Funds

NewSchools Venture Fund, the 18-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based philanthropic venture fund, launched a “virtual” accelerator program last summer called NewSchools Ignite. Its first batch of 15 startups was focused on science education. As of yesterday, it is now accepting applications for its second batch of startups, all of which should be focused on creating learning experiences, assessments and digital tools that further students understanding of middle and high school math. Grants range from $50,000 to $150,000. Applicants can apply here.

Burt’s Bees is getting into the accelerator business, too — sort of. Its Natural Launchpad is a new grant program for health and well-being entrepreneurs that will award 10 founders with a $10,000 grant, a day of coaching at Burt’s Bees headquarters in Durham, N.C., and access to a community of peers. Apply by April 30th if you want to be considered.



Amazon is acquiring the three-year-old, New Delhi, India-based payments company Emvantage for undisclosed terms. Emvantage enables online merchants to accept mobile, credit and debit card payments. It also offers services that allow merchants to establish their own branded pre-paid debit cards, which is very helpful in India, where few have an affiliation to a traditional bank. ZDNet has more here.

Bloglovin’, an eight-year-old, New York City-based service that helps users organize and discover their favorite blogs on mobile and desktop, has acquired the three-year-old marketing startup and monetization platform Swerve in a mostly stock deal. (No numbers are being disclosed.) TechCrunch has more here.

SAP has acquired the assets of Roambi, an eight-year-old Solana Beach, Ca.-based company that makes mobile reporting and analytics software. No financial terms were disclosed. According to CrunchBase, Roambi had raised $48.4 million from investors, including Sequoia Capital. More here.



Whups. Kanye West‘s new “Life of Pablo” album has already been pirated more than 500,000 times, positioning it to be one of the most ripped-off albums of all time.



The J. Paul Getty Trust is looking to hire an investment analyst to help it manage its private equity and venture capital portfolio. The job is in L.A.


Essential Reads

The death march of Yahoo‘s core products (goes on).



America,” inspired by Jeb Bush. (This is also pretty funny.)


Retail Therapy

Barbie’s dream house has become a smart-home. (She has also traded her Corvette for a hoverboard.)

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