StrictlyVC: September 13, 2016

Hi, all, happy Tuesday! We have been a’swamped today, so this is going to be short (in addition to very, very late!). We will say that here at TechCrunch Disrupt, there has been be a string of amazing speakers throughout the day. This morning, we watched Sebastian Thrun reveal that his online education startup will build its own self-driving car as part of the program, as well as watched Marc Benioff announce Salesforce’s first-ever chief equality officer. (Benioff also asked — not for the first time — for more San Francisco-based CEOs to adopt their neighborhood public schools and invest their time and resources in them.)

In fact, we just hopped off the stage not long ago with David Sacks of Zenefits, who sat through our questions about the past eight months and argued (fairly persuasively) that the company is now well-positioned for the future.

If you happen to open today’s SVC *right now* (5:40ish PST), you can catch NBA player Steph Curry on stage, too.


Top News in the A.M.

Warren Buffett saw $1.4 billion wiped from his fortune today after Wells Fargo fell 3.3 percent as fallout continues from revelations that bank employees opened more than 2 million accounts without clients’ approval.


New Fundings

Claroty, a months-old, New York-based network protection startup, has raised $32 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Innovation Endeavors, Marker LLC, ICV, Red Dot Capital Partners and Mitsui & CoMore here.

Digg, an early and popular mover in social media-based, online content aggregation, is raising a round totaling “single digit millions” of dollars from strategic investor Gannett, the longtime local news publisher and owner of USA Today. TechCrunch has more here.

Industrious, a three-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based WeWork competitor that offers workspace to entrepreneurs, has raised $37 million in Series B funding led by Riverwood Capital, with participation from Outlook Ventures andMaplewood. The Real Deal has more here.

Point, a year-old, Palo Alto-based startup that buys home equity, has raised $8.4 million led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Bloomberg Beta and Ribbit Capital. The company has raised $15.4 million altogether, including venture debt financing. Forbes explains how the operation works here.

Sourcery Technologies, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose software helps restaurateurs and corporate kitchens order from vendors, keep track of their inventory, and figure out the appropriate prices for different ingredients, has raised $5 million in funding led by Marker LLC, with participation from Steadfast Venture Capital and the company’s earlier backers, including Palantir and others. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds

Razer, an 18-year-old, San Diego-based maker of high-end gaming products, has announced zVentures, a new, $30 million fund that the company plans to invest across a wide range of startups in areas like IoT, big data analytics, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and Android games TechCrunch has more here.

TPG Growth is planning to raise a new social impact fund called Rise Fund that it hopes will eventually use to invest more than $1 billion in companies. The New York Times has more here.


Avocarrot, a four-year-old, Bay Area-based native mobile ad startup, has been acquired for $20 million by the adtech company Glispa Global Group. TechCrunch has more here.

Concur, the corporate travel giant, is acquiring the six-year-old, consumer flight- and hotel-metasearch site Hipmunk. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hipmunk had raised roughly $55 million from investors, including Oak Investment Partners, IVP, and Ignition Partners. Skift has the story here.



GGV Capital, the nearly 20-year-old cross-border venture firm, has brought aboard Jason Costa as an entrepreneur-in-residence, and Denise Peng, as a venture partner. Costa spent the last three years as a product manager at Pinterest and the two previous years working on Twitter’s platform. Peng spent nearly a dozen years with the Chinese online travel company Qunar, including as its COO. More here.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden makes his case to the Guardian why President Obama should pardon him.

In the year since rap mogul Jay Z took control of Tidal, the music-streaming service has more than doubled its losses, burning cash at a rapid rate and testing the depth of its owner’s pockets, says the WSJ.

YC just named new leadership as it reinvents itself again.

How Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might attack the affordable housing crisis.


Two years after graduation, men generally earn more than women who have been in the workforce for six years, shows new analysis from the think tank Center for American Progress. Fortune has more here.


Essential Reads

Airbnb has been working on a new program that will let building owners sign up to work with Airbnb and tenants on allowing home-sharing on their properties per whatever rules make them comfortable. Fortune has more here.



If you’ve been ending your texts with periods, everyone you know probably thinks you’re a jerk.


Retail Therapy

By year end, your car could be driving itself, too.

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