StrictlyVC: May 20, 2016

Friday, we meet again! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, everyone! See you soon.


Top News in the A.M.

Tesla just raised $1.46 billion in fresh capital, money it will use toward the high volume production of its Model 3.

Bids for Yahoo‘s core business are expected to come in at between $2 billion and $3 billion, says the WSJ.


New Fundings

ConceptDrop, a three-year-old, Chicago, Il.-based startup that connects enterprises with freelancers for design and marketing projects, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by Network Ventures, a new Chicago-based seed stage firm created by former Pritzker Group venture capitalist Jeff Maters, with participation from 500 Startups, M25 Group, G2T3V, Fulcrum Investing, and angel investors. Crain’s Chicago Business has more here.

Convene, a seven-year-old, New York-based workplace hospitality platform, has raised $20 million in fresh Series B funding, adding to an earlier close of $15.5 million. The round brings the Series B to more thn $35 million altogether and the company’s total funding to $51.2 million. The newest capital comes from Brookfield Property Group and Arrowpoint Partners. Other investors in the round include Conversion Capital, Boathouse Capital, and Sunrise Capital Partners.

Kateeva, an eight-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based company that makes production equipment for OLED displays, has raised $88 million in Series E funding from BOE, Cybernaut Venture Capital, Shanghai GP Capital,Redview Capital and TCL Capital. Earlier investors also re-upped, including Samsung Ventures, Sigma Partners, Spark Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, DBL Partners, New Science Ventures and Veeco Instruments.More here.

Kite Hill, a four-year-old, Hayward, Ca.-based company that makes a line of artisanal nut milk cheeses and yogurts, has raised $18 million in funding led by 301 INC, which is General Mills’s new venture arm, and Cavu Venture Partners, a consumer growth equity firm.

Springbuk, a seven-year-old, Indianapolis, In.-based employer health analytics platform, has raised $3.75 million in Series A funding led by Lewis & Clark Ventures. More here.

Staq, a four-year-old, New York-based automated reporting and integrations platform for the digital advertising market, has raised $5 million in funding led by Pereg Ventures, with participation from Core Capital, Genecast, Kinetic Ventures and Revel Partners. Digital NYC has more here.

Terramera, a six-year-old, Vancouver-based company that produces plant-based alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides and fertilizers, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Seed 2 Growth VenturesACA Investments, a unit of Sumitomo Corp.; Bold Capital Partners,Renewal Funds and Maumee Ventures. More here.


New Funds

Paul Bragiel, a founder of I/O Ventures (and somewhat famously, a former Olympic hopeful), is looking to raise up to $10 million for a new venture firm that he has cofounded with is brother Dan called Bragiel BrothersMore here.



VC Marc Andreessen and entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan talked to Stanford students on Wednesday about a range of things, including why they should stay in school. More here.

Jungle Ventures, the Singapore-based venture firm that launched a $100 million fund last year, has recruited three new operating partners to its team. Michael Smith comes from streaming service HOOQ, where he was chief product officer; he joins recent recruits Gabriel Lundberg, ex-Spotify, and Tiang Lim Foo, who led Evernote business development in Asia Pacific. TechCrunch has more here.

VC Chris Sacca has a bone to pick with a particular U.S. presidential candidate.

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the CEO of Chinese media giant LeEco, has said he’s a “personal investor” in the new electric car company Faraday Future, but filings show he owned a whopping 94 percent of it as of mid March.



Uber has found people are more likely to pay for surge if their cell phone is almost out of battery — up to 9.9 times more.

The Pew Research Center published new data yesterday morning shows that 72 percent of Americans have used some type of shared or on-demand service, but just 15 percent have so far used a ride-hailing app. More here.


Essential Reads

Google has created an in-house startup incubator called Area 120 to formalize its approach to letting employees tackle new ideas. Forbes has the story here.

Bloomberg takes a look at why selling Uber shares may be tougher than you think.



A 15-year-old’s self-curated museum of Apple products.

Etch-A-Sketch masterpieces.

Considering the four-point shot with Larry Bird and Reggie Miller.


Retail Therapy

In search of summer real-estate love.

TrainerBot ping pong robot. Beep boop beep.

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