StrictlyVC: June 20, 2016

Hi, everyone, welcome back!

Juggling one too many things today (thus the very late send!). Back on track tomorrow, when we’ll also have some exciting news for you about our next SVC event.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Francisco Partners and Elliott Management have agreed to acquire Dell’s software division. Elliott Management, Francisco Partners and Dell issued a joint press release confirming the acquisition this morning. More here.

Twitter has Periscope. Amazon has Twitch. Google has YouTube’s live streaming. And Facebook has Facebook Live. Now, Tumblr is getting into live video, too.


New Funding

Condeco, an 11-year-old, London-based startup that makes meeting scheduling software, has raised €27 million ($30 million) in Series A funding led by Highland Europe. TechCrunch has more here.

Plaid, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose software allows a variety of financial-technology startups to access their customers’ bank account information, has raised $44 million in new funding led by Goldman Sachs.

Rocketrip, a three-year-old, New York-based startup that helps customers reduce travel spending by providing employees with gift cards for beating their budget, has raised $9 million in funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, with participation from earlier backers Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

ShipBob, a two-year-old, Chicago-based startup that helps small businesses and sole proprietors with an outsourced packaging and shipping service, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Kellogg’s is launching a venture arm called eighteen94 Capital to invest in startups developing new ingredients, foods, packaging, and enabling technology. It’s committing about $100 million to the unit, which plans to focus on early-stage deals. TechCrunch has much more here.

Industry Ventures, one of the largest buyers of secondary shares, has raised about $700 million to purchase more equity from VCs, hedge funds, startup employees and others. About $500 million is for the secondary fund, and $200 million is separated into a special opportunities fund. TechCrunch has more here.



Twitter is acquiring Magic Pony Technology, a 1.5-year-old, London-based company that uses neural networks and machine learning to provide expanded data for images (to enhance a picture or video taken on a mobile phone, for example). TechCrunch sources say Twitter is paying $150 million for the company, which had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Entrepreneur First and Balderton Capital, among other possible investors. More here.



Flybridge Capital Partners is ramping up its presence in New York City, bringing on WeWork Labs’ cofounder Jesse Middleton as a full-time general partner. More here.

Facebook today held its annual shareholder meeting, and the group approved the formation of a new class of voting shares that will keep CEO Mark Zuckerberg in control as long as he’s with the company. It also re-elected its board of directors, including investors Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel. VentureBeat has more here.



Baxter Ventures, the venture arm of the drug and medical device giant Baxter, is looking for a senior manager. The job is in Deerfield, Il.

F50, a two-year-old syndication platform that tries to pair investors with vetted startups seeking funding, is looking for a principal. The job is in San Francisco.

Side note: A top event planner in SF who took a time-out for parenting is getting back in the game now that her children are entering kindergarten. Currently based in Los Altos, Ca., she’s a catch. Happy to put you in touch if you like.



Global M&A is down 20 percent from last year and 16 percent for U.S. targets specifically, according to new Thomson Reuters data cited by Fortune.


Essential Reads

Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it’s done in the past, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. Politico has more here.

Good news for FanDuel and DraftKings. The burgeoning fantasy-sports industry got a lift from the New York legislature, which passed a bill early Saturday that explicitly would legalize and regulate the practice in the state. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the bill. The WSJ has the story here.

A hacker on Friday siphoned more than $50 million of digital money away from an experimental virtual currency project that had been billed as the most successful crowdfunding venture ever. The New York Times has more here.

What’s next for artificial intelligence.



The science of selflessness.

Where to invest $10,000 right now.

LeBron James, king of narrative.


Retail Therapy

Unicorn floaty. Perfect for the startup investor’s pool.

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