StrictlyVC: June 28, 2016


No column today.


Top News in the A.M.


The EU is taking steps that could lead to a third antitrust complaint against Google, this time over its lucrative advertising services, says Bloomberg.

Lyft has reportedly hired Qatalyst Partners, a boutique bank that helps tech companies find buyers. (Lyft could also be seeking new funding.) The WSJ has the story here.

Volkswagen just has agreed to pay more than $15.3 billion in a settlement with U.S. regulators over pollution caused by its diesel vehicles. Reuters has more here.


New Fundings

Anki, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based entertainment robotics company, has raised $52.5 million in funding led by J.P. Morgan. Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures also joined the round, along with hedge fund Two Sigma. Fortune has more here.

Ayla Networks, a six-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based IoT company, has raised $39 million in new funding co-led by design manufacturer 3NOD andAnts Capital. Geektime has more here.

Boon + Gable, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sends a personal stylist to customers’ homes with a curated selection of clothes to try on, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. CrossCut Ventures led the round, with participation from Crosslink Capital, Female Founders Fund, Maveron,Fresco Capital, Structure Capital and 500 Startups. TechCrunch has more here.

Employment Hero, a two-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based cloud-based employee management platform, has raised roughly $2.2 million (in U.S. dollars) led by OneVentures, with participation from AMP New VenturesMore here.

FabHotels, a year-old, Gurgaon, India-based online aggregator for hotel rooms that aims to provide standardized services at affordable rates, has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners and RB Investments. Livemint has more here.

Lendingkart, a two-year-old, Mumbai, India-based startup that provides working capital finance to small and mid-size businesses, has raised $32 million in funding ($20 million in equity and $12 million in debt). Bertelsmann India Investment led the round, with participation from Darrin Capital Management and earlier backers Mayfield India, Saama Capital and India Quotient. Livemint has more here.

LOFT, a 7-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company whose technology turns two-dimensional images into 3D models, has raised $13 million in Series B funding led by Antimeridian, with participation from Bertoia. More here.

Modern Meadow, a five-year-old, Brooklyn-based startup that “biofabricates” leather and aims to become a top source for the world’s makers of fashion and accessories, luggage, sporting goods, and furniture, has raised $40 million in Series B funding. Horizons Ventures and Iconiq Capital led the round, joined by ARTIS Ventures, Temasek, Breakout Ventures, Red Swan Ventures,Collaborative Fund and Nest Labs cofounder Tony Faddell. The company has now raised $53.5 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Lightspeed China Partners has closed Lightspeed China Partners III with $260 million in committed capital. The firm has held a “substantial closing” on its first RMB fund, which has a target of 500M RMB. More here.

The Paris-based venture firm Partech Ventures has closed its growth fund with $440 million, reports TechCrunch. More here.



Cisco is spending $293 million in a mix of cash and equity to acquire CloudLock, a cloud-based security provider that uses APIs to let enterprises apply and monitor security on documents and other content that they share and store in cloud-based applications. CloudLock had raised $35 million in funding, including from Cedar Fund, Salesforce, and Bessemer Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.



Just weeks after hackers gained access to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts, those same hackers say they have claimed another prominent victim: Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Fortune has more here.

At a TechCrunch event in Shanghai yesterday, Flexport CEO Ryan Peterson said that, had he known investor Peter Thiel would be supporting Trump, Flexport might not have accepted capital from Thiel’s venture firm, Founders Fund. “I don’t think that supporting Donald Trump is an acceptable position, honestly,” said Peterson. “For our business, it would be disastrous.”

LendingClub has named Scott Sanborn as its permanent CEO and announced that it’s cutting 12 percent of its workforce, or 179 jobs, “in light of lower loan volumes in the second quarter and recognizing that fully restoring investor confidence may take time.” The WSJ has much more here.

Steven Trieu has stepped down as VP of finance at Quora, the question-and-answer site that he joined in late 2011 from Facebook. According to Fortune, Trieu was the person tasked with overseeing private financings for the company and creating a widely praised long-term option exercise program. Trieu writes on Facebook that he hasn’t taken time off across his last five jobs and just wants to enjoy his baby and the rest of his family for now. Last month, Quora’s head of business and community, Marc Bodnick, also left the company.



Americans still watch a ton of TV: 4 hours and 31 minutes per day in the first quarter of the year, says Nielsen, and just north of five hours a day if you count DVR viewing. Recode has more stats here.

A (graphical) look at the merging worlds of technology and cars. Courtesy of Bloomberg.


Essential Reads

Airbnb sued San Francisco yesterday over a new regulation requiring short-term rental companies to list on their websites only legal housing listings. The San Francisco Examiner has more here.


The indispensable guide to early American murder.

Longboarding through Seoul, with Ko Hyojoo.

If at first you don’t succeed . . .


Retail Therapy

This summer, treat your guests to a cool refreshing drink, with a side of personality testing.

Filed Under:

Don’t Miss Out!

Sign up today to receive a free daily email with everything you need to start your day. Plus, keep track of the companies and personalities that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Let StrictlyVC be your very own venture capital concierge.

StrictlyVC on Twitter