StrictlyVC: July 8, 2016

Love dem short work weeks! Hoping you have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Quick mention: We leave insanely early on Monday for Fortune’s Brainstorm conference in Aspen, so we won’t have a chance to send out the newsletter; we’ll be back with a good story or two for you on Tuesday.:)


Top News in the A.M.

It actually happened. Elizabeth Holmes, chief executive of Theranos, has been banned by U.S. regulators from owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years.

The Dallas police force used a bomb-defusing robot equipped with an explosive device to kill a shooting suspect last night, police chief David Brown revealed today at a press conference. Bomb-defusing robots have been used by police forces in the past, but this may be the first time one has been use to kill a person. More here.


Where Today’s Tech Can, And Can’t, Replace Humans

This morning, McKinsey & Co. is releasing a new look at the impact automation is likely to have across various sectors of the economy and, ultimately, the workplace. Its findings are based on analysis of 2,000-plus work activities across more than 800 occupations and includes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The good news, says the report, is that automation will “eliminate very few occupations entirely in the next decade.” It adds that automation will eventually affect “portions of almost all jobs to a greater or lesser degree.”

Whether you see this as a good or bad thing could depend on how much of your job involves physical activity or operating machinery.

For example, if even current technologies were broadly adopted, says McKinsey, fully 78 percent of “predictable physical activities” across manufacturing, retailing, and food service and accommodations could be automated. The study notes that working on an assembly line is a “highly predictable” physical activity, whereas forestry or raising outdoor animals is much less so. Either way, as tech grows more advanced, expect that percentage to rise.

What else could be far more automated if current tech was adopted more widely? Plenty of so-called white collar occupations, particularly those that involve collecting and processing data. And it’s not just entry level workers who will be impacted, notes McKinsey. For example, it notes that “stock traders and investment bankers live off their wits, yet about 50 percent of the overall time [in their field] is devoted to collecting and processing data . . .”

Ditto insurance sales agents. McKinsey’s estimate for how much of these jobs could be automated: about 43 percent of workers’ time.

More here.


New Fundings

Airwallex, a seven-month-old, Melbourne, Australia-based startup that specializes in cross-border transactions, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Chinese investment firm Gobi Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

SmartNews, a four-year-old, Tokyo, Japan-based news aggregation app, has raised $38 million in Series D funding led by the Development Bank of Japan, with SMBC Venture Capital and Japan Co-Invest L.P. participating. The company has now raised $90 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-share giant, has raised $1.15 billion from a new high-yield loan, according to the WSJ. The company has now raised more than $15 billion in debt and equity. More here.



The videoconferencing company Polycom has abandoned plans to sell itself to the Canadian telecommunications company Mitel and is instead selling for $2 billion to the private equity firm Siris Capital. That’s a 14 percent premium over Mitel’s offer. Bloomberg has more here.

Google is getting deeper into the tech side of the video and broadcasting business. The company yesterday announced that it has acquired Anvato, a platform for encoding, editing, publishing and distribution video across platforms. More here.

The six-year-old, New York-based media valuation platform Integral Ad Science is unveiling some new steps to combat ad fraudsters, including the acquisition of a bot detection company called Swarm. TechCrunch has more here.



LinkedIn is selling to Microsoft because it couldn’t keep pace with the world’s biggest tech companies, cofounder and executive chairman Reid Hoffman told CNBC yesterday. More here.


Essential Reads

Facebook is shying from substantive policy questions in the aftermath of a gruesome but important Facebook Live video. Buzzfeed has more here.

The IRS is suing Facebook over asset transfers to Ireland. Fortune has more here.

Aaaand, Facebook Messenger is adding end-to-end encryption in a bid to become your primary messaging app. TechCrunch has more here.



1001 blistering future summers.

How silence benefits the brain.


Retail Therapy

Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 Low Premium 08 NRG.

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