StrictlyVC: September 9, 2016

Friday! (Time to bust out some Super Disco Breakin‘.) Hope you have a most excellent weekend, everyone. We’ll be writing you on Monday from Disrupt; hope to see some of you there.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Why this bubble has legs.


New Fundings

Away, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based company that’s trying to sell high-quality luggage an at an affordable price point, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from Comcast Ventures, Accel Partners, and and Forerunner Ventures. More here.

Beeswax, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that offers what it calls a bidder-as-a-service — a set of customizable technologies that allows customers to participate in real-time bidding for ad inventory — has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Foundry Group and RRE Ventures. TechCrunch hasmore here.

BYJU’S, a nearly five-year-old, Bangalore, India-based edtech company that calls itself the largest in India (its learning app caters to children in grades 6 through 12), has raised $50 million in new funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, along with Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures, and Times Internet. The Business Standard has more here.

Celeno, an 11-year-old, Ra’anana, Israel-based company that’s making chips for high-speed WiFi, has raised $38 million in Series F funding led by Temasek-backed Red Dot Capital Partners. Other participants include Poalim Capital Markets, OurCrowd, and earlier backers Liberty Global, Cisco, Pitango83North, Miven and Vintage. The company has now raised $106.2 million altogether. GeekTime has more here.

Chrono Therapeutics, a 12-year-old, Hayward, Ca.-based company behind a digital smoking-cessation system, has raised $47.6 million in Series B funding led by Kaiser Permanente Ventures. Other new backers who participated in the round include Asahi Kasei, Cota Capital, Emergent Medical PartnersEndeavour Vision, Hikma Ventures, Mission Bay Capital and Xeraya Capital Labuan. Earlier backers 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, Fountain Healthcare Partners, GE Ventures and Mayo Clinic also participated. Chrono has raised about $80 million altogether. The WSJ has more here.

Didi Chuxing, the four-year-old, Beijing, China-based ride-hailing giant, has raised roughly $120 million in new funding from Taiwan’s Foxconn. Reuters has more here.

Fountown, a 17-month-old, Shanghai, China-based WeWork copycat, has raised $30 million in Series A funding led by CDH Investments, with participation from Gopher Asset Management and Huazhu Hotels Group. China Money Network has more here.

Salido, a four-year-old, New York-based startup that describes itself as “the restaurant operating system,” has raised $2 million in fresh funding from unnamed strategic investors. TechCrunch has more here.

SessionM, a five-year-old, Boston-based consumer loyalty and engagement platform, has raised $35 million in growth funding led by General Atlantic, with participation from Salesforce Ventures and earlier backers Causeway Media Partners, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. More here.

Shippo, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that aims to make shipping easy and affordable for ecommerce stores, with a developer-friendly API, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from SoftTech VC and Version One Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.

Signifyd, a five-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based startup that provides e-commerce businesses with fraud protection services, has raised $19 million in funding from Menlo Ventures, TriplePoint Capital and American Express Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

SmartAsset, a four-year-old, New York-based financial technology company that sells analytics and advice to its customers, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by IA Capital Group, with participation from TTV Capital,Contour Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, New York Life,Transamerica Ventures and Fitz Gate Ventures. New York Business Journal has more here.

Zenedge, a two-year-old, Aventura, Fla.-based cyber security company, has raised $6.2 million in Series C funding led by growth equity investor Pilot Growth Equity, with participation from Zoho Corporation and earlier backers TELUS Ventures and Yehuda Neuberger. The Miami Herald has more here.



Coupa, a 10-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that sells expense management systems and competes with the likes of Oracle and SAP, is looking to raise up to $75 million in an IPO, shows a new SEC filing. The company’s most recent financing, an $80 million round that closed in June of last year, valued the company at north of $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Airbnb‘s public debut won’t happen anytime soon as the company is still focused on growth and overcoming regulatory challenges, says Jeff Jordan, the Andreessen Horowitz partner on the board of the company.



Dell plans to eliminate between 2,000 and 3,000 redundant positions, mainly in administrative functions and across its supply chain operations. More here.

Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton just received her second largest donation of the election season, a $20 million infusion from Asana and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna. More here.

Brainiac Elon Musk is asking the Twittersphere for help in solving the “complex” riddle of SpaceX’s rocket explosion on Sept. 1. More here.

The U.S. government just appointed its first-ever cyber chief: retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Gregory Touhill. More here.



WestSummit Capital in Menlo Park, Ca., is looking to bring aboard a VP or principal.

Fidelity Investments, via one of its affiliates, is hiring an investment associate in Boston.


Essential Reads

Iconic Capital, the wealth manager to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other tech entrepreneurs, is starting a unit to invest in data centers to profit from growing demand for cloud-based services.

Honest Company, the personal care product company co-founded by the actress Jessica Alba, is in talks to sell the company, several sources tell Recode, saying likely buyers are big consumer products companies like Procter & Gamble or Unilever.

Snapchat has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to raise debt financing.

Inside iPhone 7: Why Apple killed the iPhone jack.



Wells Fargo opened more than 2 million fake accounts (and was fined $185 million for it yesterday). Bloomberg’s Matt Levine has a smart take on the dumbness that took place.


Retail Therapy

The world’s first folding electric bicycle, coming next year.

Satechi Bluetooth RGB LED IQ Strip. Probably not for the office (but maybe?).

All-electric go-karts!

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