StrictlyVC: October 5, 2016

Hi, happy Wednesday, everyone. We have a shorter-than-planned edition of the newsletter for you this a.m. as we need to run out the door for a meeting but more tomorrow!


Top News in the A.M.

Yikes. A “hard Brexit” that would leave Britain with restricted access to the EU’s single market could cost the U.K. finance industry upwards of $48 billion, says a new report.


Metamorphic Ventures Has a $50 New Fund, and a New Brand

Metamorphic Ventures, a six-year-old, New York-based seed-stage fund, is officially taking the wraps off a $50 million fund — its third. The firm is also rebranding itself simply as Compound. (One-word names seem to be a growing trend; you might recall that Pejman Mar Ventures is now simply Pear.)

The name change is a nod to the way that the firm sees itself — as an element that works among others, including its founders, advisors, and investors. The fund size, which is smaller than the firm’s $70 million second fund, likely owes to the departure of Marc Michel, a longtime investor who cofounded Metamorphic with David Hirsch, who was Google’s second employee in New York and stayed eight years before diving into venture capital in 2009. (Michel left in January to start yet another venture firm called Runway Venture Partners, which focuses more narrowly on post-seed-stage e-commerce startups. Michel appears to be in fundraising mode currently. Hirsch says the split was “completely amicable.”)

We talked earlier today with Hirsch, who today runs Compound with Josh Nussbaum, a principal who has worked his way up from an analyst position in 2012. Among other things, he explained that the firm — which funds both East and West coast startups and originally invested primarily in digital media, commerce, payments, and ad tech — is now focusing on artificial intelligence and regulated industries like health care, among other newer areas of interest.

More here.

New Fundings

BEFORE Brands, a five-month-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based consumer products company aiming to bring proprietary nutritional products directly to families, has raised $13.1 million in Series A funding led by Gurnet Point Capital, with participation from a long list of individual investors, including Martha Goldberg Aronson and Dan Aronson, and Justine and John Arrillaga. BEFORE was co-founded by Ashley Dombkowski, a longtime healthcare investor who once served as chief business officer at the genome research company 23andMe. More here.

Clearpath Robotics, an eight-year-old, Ontario-based company whose self-driving vehicles autonomously move boxes and pallets around factories, warehouses and distribution centers, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by INovia Capital, with participation from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, RRE Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. TechCrunch has more here.

iwoca, a five-year-old, London-based finch startup that offers small businesses fast online credit, has raised £21 million ($26.8 million) in fresh funding from Prime Ventures, as well as existing investors Acton Capital Partners, CommerzVentures, Global Founders Capital, and Redline Capital. Business Insider has more here.

Money Forward, a four-year-old, Tokyo-based personal financial management and cloud-based accounting software service, has raised roughly $11 million in Series D funding from Mizuho Capital and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, with participation from earlier backers Fenox Venture Capital and Toho Bank. Tech in Asia has more here.

Ollie, a year-old, New York-based company that makes all-natural pet food for dogs, has raised $4.4 million in seed funding. Primary Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures led the round, with participation from other investors that included Canaan Partners. Business Insider has more here.

Payoneer, an 11-year-old, New York-based fintech company that helps businesses send and receive money across borders online, has raised a whopping $180 million in Series E funding from Technology Crossover Ventures. Business Insider has more here.

Wine n Dine, a year-old, New York-based meal review app that helps consumers decide where to eat, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Jordache Ventures, The Chetrit Group and Melo7 Tech Partners. TechCrunch has more here.



Coupa Software, the 10-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based corporate spend management platform, increased its IPO terms yesterday, reporting it will now offer 7.4 million shares at between $16 to $18 per share, up from its original plans to sell 6.7 milion shares at between $14 and $16. Business Insider has more here



Jack Dorsey is losing control of Twitter, reports Bloomberg. More here.

Pinterest has hired its first chief financial officer, Todd Morgenfeld, who was most recently vice president of finance at Twitter. TechCrunch has more here.

Fenox Venture Capital has put plans for its India focused fund on hold after a recently appointed general partner who was hired to lead that fund, Venktesh Shukla, hastily departed the firm. TechCrunch has more here.

A senior deal maker at Goldman Sachs, John Vaske, will retire from the investment bank after 28 years, the company announced yesterday. Dealbook has more here.



Scripps Network Interactive is looking for a VP of corp dev. The job is in New York.

seed+speed Ventures, an early-stage German venture capital firm, is looking to hire an associate who will help the firm plant a flag in the U.S. The job is in San Francisco.


Essential Reads

Chris Anderson’s 3D Robotics has laid off more than 150 people, burned through almost $100 million in venture capital funding, and completely changed its business strategy. Forbes reports on its woes here.

Open Whisper Systems, a maker of a widely used encryption app called Signal, received a subpoena in the first half of the year for subscriber information and other details associated with two phone numbers that came up in a federal grand jury investigation in Virginia. And it was told not to tell anyone about the information request for a year.

MailChimp and the un-Silicon Valley way to make it as a startup, in the New York Times.



How Americans rank on science knowledge.

We are not endorsing this clip. (We will note, however, that this particular video never gets old for us, no matter how many times it’s used.)

Retail Therapy

Countdown clock.

We would definitely live in this house FOREVER.

Filed Under:

Don’t Miss Out!

Sign up today to receive a free daily email with everything you need to start your day. Plus, keep track of the companies and personalities that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Let StrictlyVC be your very own venture capital concierge.

StrictlyVC on Twitter