StrictlyVC: September 8, 2016

Happy Thursday, everyone!


Top News in the A.M.

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple‘s iPhone 7 event yesterday.


NFX Guild Just Introduced 13 Buzzy Young Startups to Investors

The young Bay Area accelerator NFX Guildhosted its third “demo day” yesterday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, and the attendees were a veritable who’s who of venture and angel investing.

It wasn’t necessarily a surprise that roughly 200 top investors were sitting elbow to elbow to see the presenting companies. NFX Guild prides itself on being different that most accelerators in numerous ways, including that there’s no publicly available application process; startups are instead referred to NFX “scouts,” who happen to mostly be VCs. The last class, which passed through the program earlier this year, saw referrals from 42 people; this class involved 68 scouts.

NFX was also founded by a trio of well-regarded entrepreneur-operators, including James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy Weiss, who provide NFX companies with $120,000, along with 30 hours of programming, mentoring and investor introductions. NFX in turn gets 7 percent of their company. (If the company has already raised more than $750,000, NFX asks for 5 percent.)

Investors also seem drawn to NFX because its startups and teachings center around a narrow idea with very broad implications: the importance of network effects, a phenomenon when a product or service becomes more valuable to its users as more people use it.

As far as NFX is concerned, any company, at any stage, can “add” network effects to multiply the value of their company. And Brian O’Malley of Accel Partners, who was in the audience yesterday, suggested afterward that he agrees. “Network effects aren’t just for social applications. We’re seeing this across our portfolio, but it was highlighted in today’s demo day that blockchain, SaaS, labor markets and more can benefit from core network effects embedded in product.”

NFX-backed companies like the home remodeling and design platform Houzz and the event planning platform Honeybook are “nailing this model,” added another attendee, Jeff Richards of GGV Capital, saying, “We as a firm are betting big on this trend as well.”

Click here to check out the companies that presented yesterday.


New Fundings

Armune BioScience, an 11-year-old,  Kalamazoo, Mi.-based company that makes a blood test for prostate cancer, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Grand Angeles Venture Fund, among others. More here.

Dizzion, a nearly five-year-old, Denver, Co.-based provider of cloud-delivered desktops that enable users to access their data and applications from any device, has raised $6.4 million in new funding co-led by Grotech Ventures and Access Venture Partners. Other participants include Correlation Ventures and Point B Capital. The Denver Post has more here.

HashiCorp, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based datacenter management tools company, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by GGV Capital, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Mayfield and True Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

IDbyDNA, a nearly two-year-old, San Francisco-based precision medicine company focused on metagenomic approaches for infectious disease identification, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by ARTIS Ventures, with participation from ARUP Laboratories and other private investors. More here.

Nextail, a two-year-old, Madrid, Spain-based company whose technology helps retailers better manage inventory levels and (it says) sell at higher margins, has raised $1.6 million in funding from Nauta Capital, with participation from Realiza. TechCrunch has more here.

Octiv, a six-year-old Indianapolis, In.-based maker of sales productivity software, has raised $4.75 million in funding from GE Ventures, Greycroft Partners, High Alpha Capital and Allos Partners. More here.

OfferUp, a five-year-old, Seattle-based mobile used-goods marketplace for U.S. buyers and sellers (it’s among a growing number of companies trying to kill Craigslist), has raised $119 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus led the round. Other participants include GGV Capital, Altimeter Capital and earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, T. Rowe Price, Vy Capital and Coatue Management. TechCrunch has more here.

WSC Sports Technologies, an eight-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based developer of a real-time, customized video creation platform for sports broadcasts, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Intel Capital, with participation from existing and new investors including the Wilf family (owners of the Minnesota Vikings), the ownership of the LA Dodgers, and entrepreneur and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. VentureBeat has more here.



Glassdoor, the still-private employee review and job-search platform, has acquired Love Mondays, a startup based out of Sao Paulo that also lets workers post reviews of their workplaces. TechCrunch has more here.

Google announced today that it’s purchasing Apigee, an API management platform that went public last year. The price: $625 million or $17.40 a share. TechCrunch has more here.



Scott Belsky is no longer a general partner at the elite venture capital firmBenchmark, just seven months after taking the job. More here.

Eventbrite cofounder Kevin Hartz has joined Founders Fund as its newest partner. More here.

Longtime venture capitalist and First Round Capital cofounder Howard Morgan is stepping down as a partner with the firm at year end when First Round begins investing a new $175 million fund. Fortune has more here.


Essential Reads

Airbnb just instituted new rules to fight discrimination by its hosts.



Bank robbery suspect: I’d rather be in jail than home with my wife.

Trying to pick the fastest line? Get behind the people with the most items.


Retail Therapy

Apple Airpods. You’ll have to buy them at some point, right?

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