StrictlyVC: April 12, 2016

Hi, everyone! Hope you have a terrific Tuesday.


Top News in the A.M.

Chatbots, live video, and virtual reality technology are all on the docket for Facebook’s F8 developer conference, and you can watch the livestream here beginning at 9:30 a.m. PST, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote starting at 10 a.m.


GGV Capital Just Raised $1.2 Billion; Here’s How It Plans to Invest It

Back in February, we told you GGV Capital was raising a more than a billion dollars from its investors.

This morning, the 16-year-old, cross-border venture firm is making it official. The final tally, says GGV, is $1.2 billion, including a $675 million main fund; a $225 million “Plus” fund to back its most promising companies as they mature; a $250 million “Discovery” fund that will focus largely on seed-stage opportunities in China; and a side, $50 million “Entrepreneurs” fund that consists largely of company founders as LPs and that will invest pro rata across the funds.

The firm has a lot of moolah to invest, in other words. To find out out where GGV plans to shop, we talked yesterday with managing directors Glenn Solomon and Jeff Richards, who are based in Menlo Park, but who travel to the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai offices frequently.

Aside from the amount you’ve raised, it looks like what’s newest here is your first dedicated seed-stage fund, 80 percent of which you intend to invest in China. You’ve always made bets of all sizes in China; why break this part of your business into a separate fund?

GS: Over the last five years, more than 70 percent of our investments have been Series B or earlier and many of them have been in China. But we thought the opportunity in China to do [seed] deals is really strong for us given our work on the ground and the entrepreneurial community that we’ve built up in China.

Is it fair to say this is largely a marketing tactic so entrepreneurs will be clearer about your intentions in China? 

GS: I was having dinner in Beijing with a CEO who we’ve backed in the past and in whose newest company we invested at the Series B, and when I told him about our plans to raise Discovery, he said, “Had I known you guys were doing seed investing, I would have called you first.”

Don’t underestimate how important [messaging] is. Also, for our limited partners, having a separate vehicle helps them look at our seed investing activity and judge how we’re doing [versus when it’s lumped in with later-stage bets].

How is competition at the seed level in China?

More here.


New Fundings

90 Seconds, a six-year-old, Singapore-based startup whose cloud-based platform lets users handle almost every part of the video production process in one place, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia India. Other investors in the round include pay television provider SKY TV New Zealand, Airtree Ventures, Beenext and Oleg Tscheltzoff, founder of stock image agency TechCrunch has more here.,  a three-year-old, Shanghai, China-based car finance lending platform, has raised $34 million in funding led by China Growth Capital, with participation from earlier investor Matrix Partners China. Asian Venture Capital Journal has more here (subscribers only).

Datera, a nearly three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based storage company for enterprise and service provider clouds that was designed with DevOps-style operations in mind, has raised $40 million in funding from Khosla VenturesSamsung Ventures and individual investors Andy Bechtolsheim and Pradeep Sindhu. More here.

Fleet, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace that lets companies compare quotes from logistics providers, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Hunt Technology Ventures, with participation from Placid VenturesDavid S. Hunt, 1517 Fund, Latam Partners, GrowthX Fund, NFQ, and Telegraph Hill Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Lazada, a four-year-old, Singapore-based e-commerce platform known as the Amazon of Southeast Asia, has raised $1 billion in funding from Alibaba in a deal that makes the China-based conglomerate Lazada’s controlling shareholder. The round includes $500 million in newly issued equity capital; it also includes stakes from Lazada’s earlier shareholders Rocket Internet, Tesco, and Kinnevik. Lazada is now valued at $1.5 billion, according to Rocket Internet, which founded the company. TechCrunch has more here.

Livongo Health, a 1.5-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based consumer digital health company focused on chronic conditions, has raised $44.5 million in Series C funding from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund; Cowen Private Investments; Sapphire Ventures; Zaffre Investments, which is he investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Wanxiang America Corp; and earlier investors General Catalyst Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DFJ, and 7wire Ventures. More here.


New Funds

Accel London, the 16-year-old, London-based venture fund that shares many limited partners (and deal flow) with Accel Partners in the U.S., has raised $500 million for its fifth fund, which will focus on Series A and B investments in Europe and Israel. Accel London’s last fund, a $475 million vehicle, closed three years ago. TechCrunch has more here.

Greycroft Partners, the L.A. and New York-based venture firm co-founded by legendary investor Alan Patricof, has seemingly raised a $20 million fund expressly to fund virtual reality gaming startups. The SEC filing is here. (H/T: Dan Primack.)



According to Bloomberg, IPO shares for stock exchange software operator Bats Global Markets are oversubscribed by more than five times, just three days before the sale is due to price. More here.

The gene-editing biotech startup Intellia has filed for a $120 million IPO. STAT has more here.



Arthur Ventures, a 7.5-year-old, Fargo, N.D.-based venture firm cofounded by Doug Burgum (he’s the chairman of Atlasssian, among other things), has hired a new partner: Ryan Kruizenga, who has worked previously as a senior associate at Summit Partners and as a VP at Mainsail Partners. Kruizenga, previously based in San Francisco, will work out of the firm’s Minneapolis, Mn., office.

Lady Gaga‘s startup, Backplane, backed by several high-profile investors, has officially crashed after struggling to raise more money.

Versant Ventures, a 17-year-old San Francisco-based healthcare venture capital firm, has promoted Jerel Davis to managing director and Carlo Rizzuto to partner. The firm also hired Luca Santarelli as venture partner. Davis, who joined in 2011, was previously as an associate at McKinsey & Co. Rizzuto joined Versant in 2012 from Novartis. Santarelli, who will be based in Basel, Switzerland, was most recently the senior vice president and global head of neuroscience, ophthalmology and rare diseases at Roche.



For life expectancy, money matters.


Essential Reads

When it comes to Indian startups, tenacity beats high tech.

The IMF says the global economy is in big trouble. Here’s why.



Kobe Bryant and Michael B. Jordan plan out Bryant’s biopic in a very funny Apple ad.

The emotional toll of ugly architecture.

Design features that sell your home faster, for more money.


Retail Therapy

You need this coffee mug. (We need this coffee mug.)

A new, ridiculous product for your dog.

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