StrictlyVC: June 13, 2016

Welcome back, everyone. What a terribly sad weekend.


Top News in the A.M.

Big news: Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The software giant is offering $196 per share in an all-cash transaction that’s expected to close by the end of the year. (Nice premium: LinkedIn’s shares were trading at $131 as of Friday.) Microsoft says that LinkedIn, which claims 433 million members, will continue to operate as an independent company with Jeff Weiner remaining in his role as CEO. The New York Times has more here.

Walgreens is officially terminating its relationship with Theranos. TechCrunch has more here.

Starting at 10 a.m. PST, Apple will be offering a sneak peak at changes to its mobile IOS operating system, its Apple Watch and the Apple TV (and maybe more). You can tune in here to watch it live.


Andreessen Horowitz Raises $1.5 Billion Again

In March, we told you that Andreessen Horowitz was targeting $1.5 billion for its fifth and newest fund. On Friday, the seven-year-old Sand Hill Road firm confirmed that it has closed on that amount, having secured the capital commitments from its previous investors.

The announcement comes a little more than two years after the firm closed its fourth, multi-stage venture capital fund with $1.5 billion.

The money also comes on the heels of a $200 million fund that the firm announced last November called the AH Bio Fund, a vehicle that’s being used to invest in mostly early-stage startups at the intersection of computer science and life sciences. (We wrote about its newest bet, Freenome, last week.)

Altogether, Andreessen Horowitz has now raised a somewhat stunning $6.2 billion. Managing partner Scott Kupor shared more about the fundraise and what’s changing (and not changing) in a chat Friday morning. Our conversation has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

How would you describe this fundraise?

It was a great raise. It took a relatively short period of time; we were oversubscribed. It’s consistent with our last funds in terms of size, based on the opportunity set we see in VR and artificial intelligence and core enterprise infrastructure, among other things.

Any changes to your mandate?

No, we’ll still do multistage investing in software companies, with about 70 percent of our bets going into early-stage stuff and the rest going into later-stage stuff.

What about seed-stage investing? Marc Andreessen had suggested a few years ago that the firm might dial back on this except for “fringe” technologies or products.

We’re still doing seed investing. Earlier on, we did a lot of small seed investments where we’d put in $50,000, but we realized that a better approach for us would be to take bigger positions and do fewer of them  . . . so a lot of our deals today range from $500,000 to $1.5 million where we’re not just part of a party round but a major investor and those companies become part of the full Andreessen Horowitz family, meaning they can [take advantage] of our [internal] service and networking groups.

You’d also kind of backed off of late-stage deals, the idea being that newer investors could mark up your deals. Has that changed or will it as those non-traditional investors back away? 

Yes, if there are greater opportunities or later-stage becomes more attractive. I’m not smart enough to know how to forecast it.

There has been some turnover at the firm. How many GPs do you have currently, and will that change with this new fund?

More here.


New Fundings

Aunt Bertha, a six-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based startup that enables individuals to find and apply for government and charitable social service programs, has raised $5 million in funding led by Techstars Ventures. SiliconHills has more here.

Carro, a year-old, Singapore-based online marketplace for buying and selling cars, has raised $5.3 million in Series A funding led by Indonesia’s Venturra Capital, with participation from Singtel Innov8, Golden Gate Ventures,Alpha JWC Ventures, Skystar Capital and GMO Venture Partners, among others. TechCrunch has more here.

Meta, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that makes special glasses that are part-AR viewer and part-VR simulator, has raised $50 million in Series B funding, including from Horizons Ventures, Lenovo, Tencent Holdings, Banyan Capital, Comcast Ventures, and GQY. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Commerce Ventures, a San Francisco.-based venture capital firm, has held the first close of its second fund at $ 25.6 million. According to an SEC filing, the firm is targeting $40 million. More here.

Vivo Capital, 20-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based healthcare investment firm, has closed a new, early-stage fund, Vivo PANDA Fund, with more than $100 million in capital commitments from unnamed financial institutions, corporate entities and family offices. The firm plans to plug the money into healthcare companies across the industry spectrum, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and diagnostics. More here.



Cloud communications software company Twilio plans to sell 10 million shares of its stock at a price of $10 to $12 per share. Priced in the middle of that range, the company would enjoy a market cap of $1.07 billion — slightly more than the valuation it was assigned during its last funding round. Fortune has more here.



Axel Springer has agreed to buy market researcher eMarketer for roughly $250 million as the German publisher continues its push into digital businesses and English-speaking markets. Advertising Age has more here.

Just two weeks after filing papers for an IPO, BlueCoat Systems, the cybersecurity company, is accepting a $4.5 billion takeover offer instead from the antivirus software giant Symantec. TechCrunch has more here.

OneLogin, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes cloud identity and access management software, is acquiring Portadi, a two-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based startup that helps its users control access to cloud apps. OneLogin has raised roughly $42 million from investors, shows CrunchBase. Portadi had raised an undisclosed amount from Microsoft Accelerator, shows CrunchBase. TechCrunch has more here.



The founders of Lyft talk Uber, Carl Icahn, and driverless cars.

Tom Rikert has been promoted from partner to general partner at Next World Capital, the San Francisco-based  early-revenue stage venture capital firm. Rikert joined Next World in 2014 from Andreessen Horowitz, where he was a partner on the investment team focused on enterprise startups.



Solar will become the cheapest source to produce power in many countries over the next 15 years, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Fortune has the numbers here.


Essential Reads

Amazon is preparing to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service, placing it squarely in competition with rival offerings from Apple and Spotify, according to a Reuters report. More here.

Uber backer China Life Insurance has also decided to back Uber’s biggest rival in China, Didi Chuxing. The WSJ has more here.

AT&T and Verizon are still in contention for Yahoo, reports Reuters, which says a consortium led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and backed by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett will also be invited to submit another bid. More here.

Snapchat just positioned itself for a colossal expansion on the advertising front. AdWeek dives in here.



Sweet story.

For two “Mindy Project” writers, plenty of plot twists.


Retail Therapy




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