StrictlyVC: July 13, 2016

Hi, happy Wednesday, everyone!

We’re back in San Francisco tomorrow, but we wanted to note that beginning this Monday, the popular and talented Semil Shah — investor, writer, father, horologist — will be taking over SVC’s daily column for a couple of weeks as we dial back for a bit of family time. He has some great interviews with numerous VCs and founders lined up, so stay tuned.:)


Top News in the A.M.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both closed at all-time highs yesterday. Marketwatch has more here.


Magic Leap Says Product Coming Out “Hopefully Soonish”

Anyone hoping that Magic Leap would share exact plans today about when it will debut its “mixed reality” technology was probably a little disappointed. At a Fortune conference in Aspen this afternoon, Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz and company CMO Brian Wallace called the company’s products “very real” and “not a research project anymore.” They also seemed to hint that they’ll release their tech this fall. But they stopping short from explicitly saying so.

Said Abovitz of the now 600-person company, which operates out of a former Motorola factory in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “We have production lines that look like aircraft carriers with class 100cleanrooms [which feature controlled levels of contamination]. That’s running right now. We’re debugging our high-volume production line. It’s [being] made in the U.S., this summer. So we’re in that go mode, and hopefully soonish, the public will see [our products].

Magic Leap has raised $1.4 billion from investors at this point, including Alibaba, Andreessen Horowitz, and Google. In fact, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sits on the company’s board. (It also counts director Peter Jackson as an advisory board member.)

Asked what’s so expensive, Abovitz — whose last company sold for $1.65 billion a few years ago — noted that Magic Leap is “building a full-stack computing company,” from its chip designs to sensors to software to much of its content. “We took on the whole problem, including the manufacturing [because] we wanted to deliver something that never existed before and there was no way to do it unless we created everything from scratch.”

The company’s technology, as both described by Abovitz and Wallace, certainly sounds nothing short of revolutionary, even while it has competitors in Microsoft’s HoloLens headset and Meta, another maker of an augmented reality headset.

More here.


New Fundings

Appthority, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based app risk management service, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity, with participation from U.S. Venture Partners, VenrockBlue Coat Systems and Knollwood Investment Advisory. More here.

Bay Dynamics, a 15-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of cyber-risk analytics software, has raised $23 million in Series B funding led by Carrick Capital Partners, with participation from Comcast Ventures. The company has now raised $31 million altogether. eWeek has more here.

FiveAI, a year-old U.K.-based startup that’s building AI-driven software to help accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles, has raised $2.7 million in funding led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Spring Partners and Notion Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Shyft Technologies, a year-old, Seattle-based company whose mobile app connects shift workers based on their employer and location so they trade and cover shifts, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Madrona Venture Group and numerous angel investors. Bloomberg has more here.

SirionLabs, a four-year-old, Gurgaon, India and Troy, Mi.-based company that uses tech to help companies manage their contracts and relationships with suppliers, has raised $12.25 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia India, with participation from QualGro ASEAN Fund and Canopy Ventures. The company has now raised $16 million altogether. More here.

True Fit, a six-year-old, Woburn, Ma.-based company that partners with big retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Kate Spade to help online customers order the right size and style for their measurements, has raised $25 million in funding led by Intel Capital, with participation from earlier backers Jump Capital and Signal Peak Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Fontinalis Partners, a seven-year-old, Detroit and Boston-based venture capital firm, has closed its second fund with $100 million. The firm was cofounded by Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., and it has been designed from the start to expressly fund next-generation mobility companies. Some of its newest bets include Elementum, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based cloud supply chain platform; nuTonomy, a three-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that makes software for self-driving cars; and TransLoc, a two-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based transportation app company whose products include a live regional transit map and a bus tracking mobile app. Fontinalis has now raised $165 million in committed capital altogether. More here.



Line, the Japanese mobile messaging app company, is seeing bids of 15 percent above its IPO price ahead of its market debut. Bloomberg has more here.



Google has made another small acquisition to help it continue building out its latest efforts in social apps. The search and Android giant has hired the team behind Kifi, a startup that was building extensions to collect and search links shared in social apps. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.



Skully co-founders Marcus and Mitch Weller have reportedly been kicked out of the company by investors. Skully has raised $14.95 million from two investments and an Indiegogo campaign over the last two years. More here.

Hyperloop One, the futuristic transportation company backed by $92 million in funding, looks like it could be mired in lawsuits for the foreseeable future. The The startup was cofounded by the venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar and Brogan Bambrogan, an early employee at SpaceX. But a couple weeks ago, Bambrogan abruptly left the company. Yesterday, the world learned that Bambrogan has filed a restraining order against the company’s former head of legal, Afshin Pishevar (who happens to be Shervin’s brother), alleging Pishevar left a noose at his desk, among other terribleness. Bambrogan and other employees are also suing the company, saying it has been “strangled by mismanagement.” You can scan the entire lawsuit here.

Vishal Lugani, who spent the last 3.5 years as a senior associate at Greycroft Partners in L.A.,  is moving to San Francisco to joins Aspect Ventures as an investor.


Essential Reads

Tesla‘s biggest Wall Street fan — Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley — think he’s worked out Elon Musk’s master plan. Bloomberg has more here.

Vine, Twitter’s three-year-old short-form video service, is no longer growing, and most of its top executives have left, reports Recode.



Detroit-made bicycles are taking over bike-share programs.

Forty-four-and-a-half years later, the FBI is finally giving up on the famed DB Cooper case.


Retail Therapy

Good news, bad news: a portable, collapsible fire hammock.

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