StrictlyVC: August 8, 2016

Hello, dear readers! We flew back last night, and boy are our arms tired. (Hyuck, hyuck.) We didn’t have time to write a column, but we’ll have more for you tomorrow. Hope you had a fun weekend!


Top News in the A.M.

It’s official. Wal-Mart Stores said today that it’s buying year-old online retailer for about $3.3 billion in a deal that will help it to better compete with and other online retailers. Jet co-founder and CEO Marc Lore will continue to run Jet, as well as Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce operations after the acquisition closes, according to Recode.


New Fundings

Airbnb, the eight-year-old, San Francisco-based room-rental platform, is raising $850 million at a valuation of $30 billion. The company was valued at $25.6 billion last July. TechCrunch has more here.

Aligned TeleHealth, a four-year-old, L.A.-based telehealth healthcare company, has raised $12 million in Series A funding from SV Life SciencesMore here.

Alodokter, a two-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based health information portal, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding led by Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from earlier backers 500 Startups and entrepreneur Lim Dershing. The outlet e27 has more here.

ByBox, a 16-year-old, Oxfordshire, U.K.-based field service engineer logistics and supply chain technology solutions company, has raised £37.5 million ($48.9 million) in funding from LDC. More here.

CharityStars, a three-year-old, Milan, Italy-based online charity auction platform, has raised €2 million ($2.2 million) in Series A funding led by 360 Capital Partners, with participation from A.S. Roma soccer player Stephan El Sharaawy and LastMinute Group CEO Fabio Cannavale. TechCrunch has more here.

Cleave Biosciences, a six-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based biopharmaceutical company that’s developing therapies to treat cancer, has raised $37 million in Series B financing from Celgene, Nextech Invest and Arcus Ventures, along with earlier investors, including 5AM Ventures, Clarus Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Orbimed Advisors, U.S. Venture PartnersAstellas Venture Management and Osage University Partners. FierceBiotech has more here.

Columbia Asia, a 22-year-old, Bangalore, India-based company that’s focused on serving Asia’s growing middle class with more modern multispecialty hospitals that are located close to where patients live and work, has raised $101 million in funding from Mitsui & Co. The Times of India has more here.

Funding Societies, a year-old, Singapore-based marketplace lending startup, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia India. TechCrunch has more here.

Honor, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup focused on home care for older adults, has raised $42 million in Series B funding led by Thrive Capital, with participation from 8VC, Andreessen Horowitz, and Syno Capital. The company has now raised $62 million altogether. Business Insider has more here.

Igenomix, a five-year-old, Valencia, Spain-based in-vitro fertilization genetic testing company, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth funding led by Charme Capital Partners, with participation from Aleph Capital, Graham Snudden, and Amadeus Capital Partners. More here.

Kaltura, a nine-year-old, New York-based open-source video platform that enhances websites with customized video, photo, and audio functionalities, has raised $50 million in new funding from Goldman Sachs’s private capital investing group. Dealbook has more here.

Lophius Biosciences, an eight-year-old, Regensburg, Germany-based biotech company focused on the development of T cell-based diagnostic systems for early diagnosis and immunomonitoring in the fields of transplantation, infectious and autoimmune diseases, has raised €4.25 million ($4.7 million) in funding.VRD led the round, with participation from Bayern Capital, Wolf Biotech and WIC. More here.

Numares, a 12-year-old, Regensburg, Germany-based company engaged in commercial NMR-analytics, developing products for medical research, diagnosis and therapy monitoring, has raised €2 million ($2.2 million) in new financing, including from Bayern Capital. FinSMEs has more here.

TheWaveVR, a months-old, Austin, Tex.-based startup that aims to bring virtual reality to music performances, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from KPCB Edge, Presence Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, RRE Ventures,The VR Fund, Seedcamp, and angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.

TruRating, a three-year-old, London-based point-of-sale customer feedback platform, has raised £9.5 million ($12.6 million) in Series A funding led by Sandaire, an international investment office for families and foundations. TechCrunch has more here.

Vestaron Corporation, a 15-year-old, Kalamazoo, Mi.-based biological insecticide company, has raised $18 million in Series D funding from Pangaea Ventures, Anterra Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and Open Prairie Ventures.



LoopUp, a 13-year-old, London-based conference calling startup, will raise $11.7 million in an IPO on the London AIM. has more here.



Apple has acquired Turi, a three-year-old, Seattle-based machine learning platform for developers and data scientists, for roughly $200 million. According to CrunchBase, Turi had raised $25.3 million from Madrona Venture GroupNew Enterprise Partners, Opus Capital and Vulcan Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Bridgepoint Development Capital is acquiring, a U.K.-based online travel agent serving its local ocean cruise market, for £52 million ($67.8 million). The nine-year-old, 170-person company was originally part of Carnival Corporation; Risk Capital Partners is the seller.

Dentsu Aegis Network, a subsidiary of Dentsu, will acquire a majority stake in Merkle, a 45-year-old, Columbia, Md.-based data marketing company that had raised $123.5 million in funding from investors, including Technology Crossover Ventures. According to the WSJ, the deal has an enterprise value of $1.5 billion. More here.

Facebook has acquired the team from Eyegroove, a nearly three-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile video startup that had raised $3.5 million from investors, including renowned investor Roger McNamee. TechCrunch has more here.

Google has acquired Orbitera, a five-year-old, West Hollywood, Ca.-based company that has developed a platform for buying and selling cloud-based software. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. Last year, Orbitera raised $2 million in seed funding from Resolute Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

After 12 years of being a private, family-owned business, headphone maker V-Moda is being acquired by the electronic musical instrument manufacturer Roland. The Verge has more here.


The Washington Post shines a spotlight on Carmen Chang and Connie Chan, two “China whisperers” who help get the big deals done in Silicon Valley.

Politico executive Peter Cherukuri is leaving the company to become president and chief innovation officer for growing tech startup incubator 1776. HuffPo has more here.

Entrepreneur and investor Blake Krikorian passed away suddenly last week, the apparent victim of a heart attack. Krikorian was 48. We’d last talked with him in 2014 and, like many in the Bay Area, we’re very saddened by the news. Recode has more here.


Essential Reads

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has raided Amazon’s local office on suspicion of pressuring retailers to offer products on more favorable conditions than on rival sites.

When every company is a tech company, does the label matter?



Donald Trump meets Futurama.

What abandoned Olympic venues around the world look like now.

Cupping has its Olympic moment.


Retail Therapy

The not-so-invisible Invisible Backpack.

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