StrictlyVC: June 6, 2015

Hi, good Monday morning, everyone! No column today.


Top News in the A.M.

French tax authorities are seeking roughly $400 million in unpaid taxes from, a unit of Priceline Group. It’s the latest multinational to be investigated in France’s widening crackdown on tax avoidance.


Top News in the A.M.

Bitauto Holdings, a 16-year-old, Beijing, China-based publicly traded company that operates a giant car marketplace, as well as invests in transportation startups, has raised $300 million from Baidu, Tencent Holdings, and, each of which is investing $50 million in the company. The company is also issuing up to $150 million in convertible bonds to PA Grand Opportunity Limited. TechCrunch has more here.

Cloudability, a five-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based maker of cloud cost management software, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by Foundry Group. The company has now raised $40 million altogether, including from Techstars, 500 Startups, Trinity Ventures and First Round Capital.More here.

EarlySense, a 12-year-old, Israel-based startup that’s developing an electronic device for remote monitoring and follow-up of patients, has raised $25 million in Series G funding led by Bank Hapoalim, with participation from earlier backers Pitango Venture Capital and JK&B Capital. GeekTime has more here.

goPuff, a three-year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based on-demand convenience store delivery service, has raised $5 million in venture funding, led by existing investor Anthos Capital. The company has now raised $8.25 million altogether.

Metamason, a three-year-old, L.A.-based healthcare-focused 3D scanning and 3D printing company, has raised $3 million in seed funding from 3P Equity Partners, a manufacturing-focused private equity firm in San Jose, Ca.; and Tsing Capital, a cleantech venture capital firm in China. The round also included unnamed angel investors. More here.

Qadium, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company that continuously scans servers, routers, CCTV cameras, power plant control systems and any other device connecting to the public internet, then reports back vulnerabilities to customers before malicious hackers get there first, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Forbes has more here.

Recharge, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose app enables users to book a stay in a hotel for just 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour, has closed on $2.3 million in seed funding. Binary Capital led the round, with participation from Floodgate, entrepreneur Rick Marini, Eniac VC, Expansion VC, entrepreneur-investor Scott Banister and early Google engineer Harry Cheung. More here.

Vedanta Biosciences, a six-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that’s developing a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, has raised $50 million in new funding from Rock Springs CapitalInvesco Asset Management, Health For Life Capital (Seventure) and PureTech. Xconomy has more here.


New Funds

New York-based ff Venture Capital, which recently raised $54 million for its fourth fund, is looking to raise up to $150 million for its first opportunity fund, shows an SEC filing. The idea is to invest in roughly 15 of the best-performing companies in the firm’s existing portfolio of roughly 85 companies.

State of Mind Ventures, a new Israeli venture capital firm, has closed its debut fund with $75 million. SOM was co-founded by Pinhas Buchris and Yuval Baharav, both of whom have  backgrounds in technology and business. DealStreetAsia has more here.

 _Underscore, a new Boston-based firm, has so far raised $75 million for its debut effort from children’s hospitals, academic institutions, global foundations and other limited partners. The outfit is inveseting in early-stage companies that focus on cloud-based services and applications and is being led by former North Bridge partner Michael Skok, former New England Venture Capital Association President C.A. Webb and former Demandware CEO John Pearce. BostInno has more here.



Medium, the San Francisco-based publishing platform founded by Ev Williams, has acquired Superfeedr, an API for improving management of RSS and other feeds. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. Seven-year-old, San Francisco-based Superfeedr had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Betaworks and billionaire Mark Cuban, shows CrunchBase.



Nest cofounder Tony Fadell stepped down as CEO of the company late Friday afternoon, a move we saw coming. In the meantime, his departure has the industry wondering: Can his successor get Nest back on track, or will he try to get the company sold?

Suddenly, millennials are dying to work on Wall Street again. (Nearly 250,000 of them applied to work at Goldman Sachs this summer.)

WeWork, the shared workspace startup, is cutting about 7 percent of its staff and plans to temporarily pause hiring.

This weekend, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberg‘s Pinterest and Twitter accounts were hacked. More here.


Essential Reads

Softbank makes another move to reduce its debt.

A back-office blunder at T. Rowe Price has cost its clients $190 million. Now the mutual fund giant is looking to figure out a way to compensate them.

Verily Life Sciences, Google’s biotech venture, reportedly has outside experts wondering if its science is a fiction. Much more here.



A low-budget comedy machine for the internet age.

Foreign students are apparently more likely to cheat on their university tests.

Don’t be an evhole.


Retail Therapy

QuietComforts, without the wires.

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