StrictlyVC: March 10, 2016

It is Thursday! (Right?) Hope you have a great one, everyone.

No column this morning.


Top News in the A.M.

Both Box and Square released better-than-expected results on earnings calls yesterday. More here and here.

Interesting: A startup backed by Sean Parker called The Screening Room is reportedly trying to sell Hollywood studios and exhibitors anti-piracy technology that would allow them to stream new releases to people’s homes on the the same day they hit theaters. Variety has the story here.


New Fundings

4Tech, a five-year-old, Galway, Ireland-based company that makes a transcatheter device designed to allow clinicians to repair a diseased tricuspid heart valve in a reproducible interventional procedure, has raised $29 million in Series B funding co-led by Valiance and RMM, with participation from NeoMed Management. More here.

Avametric, a five-month-old, San Francisco-based fashion software company at work on a technology to help online shoppers see how garment will fit on 3-D digital images of themselves, has raised $10.5 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.

Constant Therapy, a three-year-old, Boston-based company whose brain app is designed to help with stroke rehabilitation, traumatic brain therapy, and indications of Alzheimer’s disease, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Golden Seeds. Kapor Capital, Launchpad Venture Group, Pond Capital and Community Health Network of Connecticut also took part in the round. MedCity News has more here.

HealthTell, a four-year-old, Arizona-based blood diagnostics startup that can allegedly assess a patient’s immune response to 30 conditions with a single drop of blood, has raised $26 million in what looks to become a $35.5 million funding round, according to an SEC filing flagged by MedCity News. The company’s previous investors include Vital Venture Capital, Paladin Capital GroupAcadia Woods Partners, Cambridge Global Capital and the Broe GroupMore here.

Icertis, a seven-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company that makes enteprise contract management software, has raised $15 million Series B led by Ignition Partners. The company has now raised $21 million to date. TechCrunch hasmore here.

IndiaMART, a 20-year-old, India-based company that runs an online B2B platform for small and medium businesses that connects them with global suppliers, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding led by Amadeus Capital. WestBridge Capital and Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund also participated in the round, along with earlier backer Intel Capital. VCCircle has more here.

Julie Desk, a two-year-old, Paris-based startup whose virtual assistant software automates the email back-and-forth typically associated with scheduling meetings and appointments, has raised €600,000 in new funding from SIDE Capital, a venture firm that counts a number of prominent French entrepreneurs as board members, including Frederic Mazzella of Blablacar and Thierry Petit of Showroomprivé. TechCrunch has more here.

Justworks, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based benefits and payroll company that competes with Zenefits, has raised $33 million in Series C funding, bringing the total amount the company has raised to $53 million. Redpoint Ventures led the round, with participation from earlier backers Bain Capital Ventures,Thrive Capital and Index Ventures. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here., a months-old, San Francisco-based interactive video community and app for foodies that presents a mix of professional cooks alongside an open-ended platform that will let anyone direct, produce and host their own food show, has raised $4.7 million in funding from Cheryl Cheng of Blue Run Ventures, GV managing partner David Krane (but not GV itself), WI Harper Group, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, PSY, actor Jared Leto, chef Corey Lee and American restaurateur Ming Tsai. Nom was founded by YouTube cofounder Steve Chen. TechCrunch has more here.

Penrose Studios, a year-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing its own in-VR creation tools in a bid to become the Pixar of VR and tell stories in immersive worlds, has raised $8.5 million in seed funding. Accelerate-IT Ventures led the round; it was joined by TransLink Capital, 8 Angel, Suffolk Equity, and several angels. TechCrunch has more here.

Resolver, a 16-year-old, Toronto-based maker of risk and incident management software, has raised C$4 million (about $3 million) in new funding from earlier backer Klass Capital. FinSMEs has more here.

WeWork, the six-year-old, New York-based shared-office-space startup, has raised roughly $430 million in new funding led by the Beijing-based private-equity company Hony Capital and Legend Holdings, its parent company. WeWork executives tell the WSJ the company was assigned a valuation of about $16 billion with the financing. More here.


New Funds

Mucker Capital in L.A. has raised $45 million for its third fund, Mucker III. The 4.5-year-old firm said that it will continue to invest in software and services startups and continue to focus on the greater Los Angeles area. In addition, it will invest in seed and pre-seed stage companies through MuckerLab, a new accelerator program. TechCrunch has more here.



HoneyBook, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based event management platform, has reportedly spent a “few million” dollars to acquire AppMyDay, a 3.5-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based service focusing on event photography. The exact sum of the deal was not disclosed, but “it’s definitely enough to recoup AppMyDay’s investments from Firstime Venture Capital and Star Farm Ventures,” says Geektime. (According to CrunchBase, AppMyDay had raised $900,000.) More here.

Publicly traded Tableau Software has acquired HyPer, an early-stage German startup born in academia that has developed an advanced database technology. CrunchBase doesn’t turn up any funding for the company. TechCrunch has more here.



Vanity Fair has just now published photos by Annie Leibovitz from its New Establishment Summit, held in San Francisco last October. You know they are dated because beleaguered Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is seated in the middle of things smiling.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk isn’t crazy about the way an American Enterprise Institute meeting was characterized earlier this week, with an earlier report describing it as secretive brainstorming session for top minds to stop Donald Trump’s ascendancy. Tweeted Musk yesterday: “The AEI meeting wasn’t secret and I was only there for a few hours to talk about Mars and sustainable energy. Nothing to do with Trump.”

Take note, friends abroad. Google’s Eric Schmidt says driverless cars could hit U.K. streets, too.

Sonos, the smart home audio company, has announced that it will be laying off an untold number of employees as it moves into new directions, including voice recognition. More here.

Yahoo has appointed two new independent directors in advance of its meeting this week with Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund that’s led the push for the company to sell its core business. The two sides will discuss whether they can avoid a proxy fight for control of Yahoo.



Nokia Growth Partners is looking to hire an analyst for a two- to three-year commitment. Looks like you can work in either Geneva or Helsinki.



China’s country’s government-backed venture funds raised about 1.5 trillion yuan ($231 billion) in 2015, tripling the amount under management in a single year to 2.2 trillion yuan, according to data compiled by the consultancy Zero2IPO Group. That’s the biggest pot of money for startups in the world and almost five times the sum raised by other venture firms last year globally, according to London-based consultancy Preqin. Bloomberg takes a look at great tech startup experiment here.


Essential Reads

Ola, the India-based Uber rival, has closed its food and grocery ordering services less than one year after launching them. The company says it’s focusing squarely on mobility instead. More here.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post has become the latest casualty of China’s tightening grip on the media as internet censors shut down its microblogging accounts on Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and WeChat.

Stanford wins. Its scientists say they’ve created a renewable plastic from carbon dioxide and plants.



The incredible rise and final hours of fracking king Aubrey McClendon.

25 songs that tell us where music is going.

A most beautiful bike ride.


Retail Therapy

Frank Zappa’s house can be yours $9 million. (Bonus/Warning: You may still sense Zappa’s “electricity” there.)

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