StrictlyVC: April 7, 2016

Hi, everyone! Hope you’re having a good Thursday.


Top News in the A.M.

China has stanched, at least for now, the flow of money out of the country, new data suggests.


Luma, a Sleek WiFi Router, Raises $12.5 Million from Accel and Amazon

Finally, companies have begun to recognize a long overlooked opportunity to develop a next-generation router that looks sleek and is far more user-friendly than the networking hardware of yesteryear.

Some contenders are the established companies themselves, including Asus, D-Link and Netgear, all of which have now have bells and whistles like parental controls, the ability to prioritize traffic based on network and device, and apps that help users repair their home network via smartphone or tablet.

Newer entrants, including Google’s new OnHub router and two-year-old Eero, feature both more elegant designs and far greater ease of use, though OnHub gets mixed performance reviews. Meanwhile, Eero strongly suggests that users buy more than one, which can quickly become expensive. (The company says that each router covers roughly 1,000 square feet. A three-pack of Eero units costs $499.)

Luma, a two-year-old, Atlanta-based entrant, may give them all a run for their money.

For one thing, like the Eero, Luma’s glossy WiFi routers look like something Apple might have come up with. Luma, which like Eero, works best when sprinkled around the home, also offers more coverage and is more affordable by design. Each unit covers roughly 1,500 square feet, and a three-pack costs $299, compared with an individual unit, which costs $149. (Originally, Luma planned to feature pricing similar to Eero: $199 per unit and $499 for a three-pack.)

Perhaps most important, especially to parents: Luma features the kind of network controls you might find at a large company.

More here.


New Fundings

Airmap, a 15-month-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based startup that provides airspace information and services for drones, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Lux Capital (which led the company’s $2.6 million seed round last July), Social CapitalTenOneTen Ventures, Bullpen Capital, and the Pritzker Group. Tnooz has more here.

CloudOne, a 5.5-year-old, Fishers, Ind.-based company whose enterprise apps convert its customers’ IBM software into customized, on-demand SaaS services, has raised $9 million in Series E funding led by Plymouth Ventures, with participation from Hercules Technology Growth Capital and return backersBootstrap Venture Fund, Chatham Ventures, Elevate Ventures and Ryan Diem. More here.

Clutter, a three-year-old, L.A.-based on-demand storage startup, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital, which had also led the company’s $9 million Series A round back in October. TechCrunch has more here.

CrownPeak, a 15-year-old, L.A.-based SaaS company focused around web content management systems, has raised $50 million in new funding from K1. The investment follows a merger with London-based rival ActiveStandards. L.A. Biz has more here.

Electric Imp, a five-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based IoT platform that says it securely connects devices to advanced cloud computing resources, has raised $21 million in Series C funding led by London-based Rampart Capital. Other participants include company insiders and earlier investor Redpoint Ventures. The company has now raised $43 million altogether. More here.

Intercom, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose products cover everything from website chat to marketing to customer support, has raised $50 million in fresh funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Iconiq Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Social Capital. Intercom has now raised a total of $116 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Karamba Security, a nearly year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that makes cybersecurity software for the automotive industry, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by YL Ventures, with participation from GlenRock. TechCrunch has more here.

Kyulux, a year-old, Fukuoka, Japan-based advanced-materials startup focused on OLED display and lighting technology known as thermally activated delayed fluorescence, has raised $13.5 million in Series A funding led by Samsung Ventures, with participation from OLED panel manufacturers, including Samsung Display, LG Display, Japan Display and Joled. Unnamed Japanese venture funds and a Japan-government-affiliated venture fund also joined the round. More here.

LinkDoc Technology, a Beijing-based oncology-focused big data firm, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by the Hong Kong-based private equity firm China Broadband Capital. Other participants in the round include Ally Bridge Group, Cenova Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. DealStreetAsia has more here.

LiveSafe, a four-year-old Arlington, Va.-based mobile safety and security communications platform, has raised $5.25 million in Series B funding from an affiliate of Fred Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx, who is also joining LiveSafe’s board. FinSMEs has more here.

Lumos Pharma, a five-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for orphan diseases, has raised $34 million in Series B funding led by Deerfield Management Company, with participation from Clarus Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, and earlier investors New Enterprise Associates, Sante Ventures and the Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB. Austin Business Journal has more here.

Luxe, a nearly three-year-old, San Francisco-based on-demand valet parking and car services company, has officially raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Hertz Global Holdings, with participation from earlier backers Redpoint Ventures and Venrock. TechCrunch and The Information had reported late last month that Luxe was raising roughly $50 million in funding led by Hertz.

Mizzen + Main, a four-year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based company that makes moisture-wicking men’s apparel, has raised $3 million in Series B funding from a group of individual investors, including Thomas Morstead, a Super Bowl winning athlete with the New Orleans Saints; Ben Nash, the co-founder and CEO of PCS Wireless; and others. TechCrunch has more here.

RiskRecon, a year-old, Boston-based startup that helps companies make objective security assessments of third-party cloud vendors, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from several unnamed private investors. TechCrunch has more here.

Sweetch Health, a three-year-old, Jerusalemn-based health tech company whose platform helps identify individuals who are at risk of developing diabetes and coaching them on its prevention, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding co-led by the health tech company Philips and OurCrowd, the equity crowdfunding platform. Earlier investors Pontifax and Lionbird also joined the round. More here.

Twiggle, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based company that collects data from the across the product web, organizes it, and make it actionable, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by the Internet conglomerate Naspers, with participation from Yahoo Japan, State of Mind Ventures (a returning investor), and Sir Ronald Cohen. The company has raised $14.7 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.

Veriflow, a three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based network breach and outage prevention startup, has raised $2.9 million in private and public funding from New Enterprise Associates, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense. ChicagoInno has more here.


New Funds

David Prager, a founder of the early digital entertainment network Revision3, has cofounded a new, Oakland, Ca.-based micro venture fund called Monstro Ventures with just less than $5 million in capital commitments. Investors include Revision3 cofounder Kevin Rose, Nuzzel CEO Jonathan Abrams, and Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca, among others. TechCrunch has more here.

Elevation Partners, the private equity firm co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, is still winding down. But in the meantime, three members are starting a new group and they’ve raised $100 million for the effort, called NextEquity. Bloomberg has the story here.



Amazon has quietly acquired Orbeus, a Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that was founded in 2012 and produced scalable image and face recognition tools that software developers could add to their own products. No financial terms were disclosed. According to CrunchBase, Orbeus had raised roughly $1.5 million including from investors. According Bloomberg, the deal closed last fall.

Smartling, a seven-year-old, New York-based translation tech company, has acquired Jargon, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes tools for mobile developers who want to localize heir apps for different international markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Jargon had raised a nominal amount of seed funding, shows CrunchBase; Smartling has raised $63 million, inluding from Tenaya Capital and Iconiq Capital. TechCrunch hasmore here.

Twist Bioscience, a San Francisco-based startup focused on synthetic DNA, has acquired Genome Compiler, an Israel-based startup that makes software for genetic engineers and molecular and synthetic biologists. No financial terms were disclosed. More here.



General Catalyst Partners has promoted four people on its team. The announcements come just weeks after the 16-year-old venture firm, which has offices in Cambridge, Ma.; New York;  and Palo Alto, Ca., closed on $845 million in new capital commitments from its investors. Deepak Jeevankumar, who joined the firm almost six years ago was made a partner in the firm’s newest funds. Spencer Lazar, who joined the firm three years ago, was made a partner. And Gabe Ling, who has been both a principal and a venture partner at General Catalyst in recent years, is now a partner. General Catalyst has also promoted longtime principal-turned-venture partner Niko Bonatsos to managing director. We talked with Bonatsos yesterday about the news, andwhere he’s shopping now.

Ryan Negri has joined IronYard Ventures, a four-year-old, Greenville, S.C.-based accelerator, as managing director. Negri will be focused on the outfit’s Las Vegas-based programs. More here.

Unlike Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, serial CEO Elon Musk says he won’t read speeches from a teleprompter.


Essential Reads

Yik Yak, the once hot messaging platform at college campuses, has cooled considerably; it has also lost numerous high-level employees, including its CTO, reports TechCrunch.



In the words of investor Marc Andreessen, “They’re making this up. Right?

When First Ladies meet.

Tesla versus Boeing.


Retail Therapy

Hermes bands for your Apple watch (coming in new colors).

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