StrictlyVC: November 2, 2016

What a game last night! We weren’t so crazy about the outcome (especially after we’d talked trash to our native Chicagoan friends), but we’re excited to catch game seven tonight. Go, Tribe! Please!

No column today.


Top News in the A.M.

Microsoft unveiled its new Slack competitor this morning. You can learn more here.

It’s official. Broadcom bought Brocade Communications Systems today for $5.9 billion in an all-cash transaction, giving the company a strong offering in networking storage business — and providing Brocade shareholders with a tidy 47 percent premium over Brocade’s closing price on Friday.

Facebook is reporting its third quarter earnings today, and Wall Street’s expectations are waaay up here.

Uber just simplified its app.


New Fundings

Ando, a year-old, New York-based delivery-only restaurant founded by Momofuku chef David Chang, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led Forerunner Ventures, with participation from BoxGroup, Wildcat Venture Partners, and angel investors that include Jimmy Fallon, Aziz Ansari, Elizabeth Cutler and William Lauder. The New York Times has more here.

Atlas Recall, a 1.5-year-old, Seattle-based search engine for users’ entire digital life, has raised $20.7 million from Microsoft, Nathan Myhrvold, and Aspect Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Axonify, a five-year-old, Waterloo, Ontario-based next-gen corporate learning platform, has raised $27 million in fresh funding led by JMI Equity and BDC Capital. More here.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical, a two-year-old, New Haven, Cn.-based startup focused on treating orphan neurologic diseases, has raised $80 million in funding led by Venrock, with participation from RA Capital Management, Vivo Capital, Aisling Capital, Rock Springs Capital, and a long list of others. FinSMEs has more here.

Catapult Health, a six-year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based preventive healthcare practice that brings tech-enabled checkups to worksites across the country, has raised $10 million in Series B funding, including from UCHealth and earlier investors in the company, including Health Enterprise Partners. More here.

Fleetsmith, a 10-month-old, San Francisco-based company that manages apps, settings, and security preferences across a company’s fleet of Mac computers, has raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Index Ventures and Harrison Metal. Individual investors participating in the round include Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder of Dropbox; Kevin Mahaffey, founder and CTO of Lookout; Scott Cannon, co-founder of Mailbox; and Zane Lackey, co-founder and CSO of Signal Sciences. VentureBeat has more here.

Genos, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company that aims to build a large cohort of individuals with sequenced exomes and genomes and to make their data available to the research community for a fee, has raised $6 million in funding from Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks, says Fortune. More here.

Interana, a three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based behavioral analytics company, has raised $18 million in funding in a round led by Vertex Ventures, with participation from Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Allen Company, Fuel Capital, and Index Ventures. The company has now raised $46.2 million altogether. More here.

MiRagen Therapeutics, a nine-year-old, Boulder-based biotech company focused on treating cardiovascular and muscle diseases, has raised $40 million in funding from investors, including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Brace Pharma Capital, Atlas Venture, Boulder Ventures,JAFCO, MP Healthcare Venture Management, MRL Ventures, and Remeditex Ventures. MiRagen also announced has agreed to merge with publicly traded Signal Genetics, a Carlsbad, Ca.-based molecular diagnostic company, in a bid to go public. Xconomy explains how here.

Octane, a newly formed, San Francisco-based bot-generating startup (it plans to cater to businesses that don’t have developers adept at creating bots), has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst Partners. More here.

Otonomo, a 1.5-year-old, Tel Aviv-based connected car startup, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Bessemer Venture Partners and StageOne Ventures led the round, with participation from Maniv Mobility and LocalGlobe. VentureBeat has more here.

Relayr, a three-year-old, Berlin-based startup creating technologies for industrial customers to harness the Internet of Things (its sensors monitor equipment), has raised $23 million in funding led by Munich Re Group, with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Munich Venture Partners. The WSJ has more here.

Spongecell, a 10-year-old, New York City-based ad tech company, has raised $10.5 million in equity and debt financing. Earlier investor Safeguard Scientifics participated and was joined by venture debt company Pivotal Capital. FinSMEs has more here.

Teforia, a two-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company that makes an internet-connected tea infuser that can brew teas from the company’s own line of pre-packed “Sips,” or from loose leaf teas, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Translink Capital. Other investors include Mousse Partners, Correlation Ventures, and earlier backers Upfront Ventures and Lemnos Labs. TechCrunch has more here.

Turnstone Biologics, a 1.5-year-old, Ottawa, Ontario-based biotech company that develops viral immunotherapies to treat cancer, has raised $41.4 million in Series B funding led by OrbiMed, with participation from F-Prime Capital Partners, and earlier backers FACIT and Versant Ventures. More here.

ValiMail, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that helps enterprises protect their inboxes by making it easier to authenticate incoming emails, has raised $12 million in Series A funding by Shasta Ventures, with follow-on investments from Flybridge Capital and Bloomberg Beta. The company has now raised $13.5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Voyager Labs, a four-year-old, Israel-based artificial intelligence company, has emerged from stealth mode with $100 million in funding from investors that include OCAPAC Holding Company, Horizons Ventures, and angels, including British investor Sir Ronald Cohen and Lloyd Dorfman, who founded the Travelex foreign currency retailer. Haaretz has more here., a four-year-old, Beijing-based booking website for daily rental and short-term rooms, has reportedly raised $65 million in previously undisclosed Series C and Series D funding, including from Capital Today, Joy Capital, Bertelsmann Asia Investments, Morningside Ventures, and Heyu Capital. DealStreetAsia has more here.



Spotify, the music streaming service, has acquired four-year-old, San Francisco-based Preact, a cloud-based platform and service developed for companies that operate subscription models to reduce their churn and build up their numbers. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. Preact had raised roughy $13 million from investors, including Trinity Ventures, Launchpad LA, and Atlas Venture. TechCrunch has more here.

Talkshow, an app that launched in April to allow anyone to exchange text messages in front of an audience, is being shut down. Founder (and former Twitter VP of product) Michael Sippey raised $2.3 million from investors last year, and sources hint he has more left for other projects. More here.



Gawker founder Nick Denton reflects on the “hard peace” he just negotiated with Hulk Hogan. Denton doesn’t dive into details, but court documents show Gawker is paying Hogan $31 million to settle the case against it, plus part of the proceeds of Gawker’s $135 million sale to Univision. CNBC has more here.

There are leadership changes afoot at Highway1, the hardware accelerator arm of PCH. Co-founder Brady Forrest is stepping down from his role as the accelerator’s top banana and transitioning into an advisor role. (Sounds like he has other projects lined up.) Meanwhile, Kurt Dammermann, co-founder of PCH Lime Lab, the company’s design/engineering division, will begin leading Highway1 beginning next month. More here.

Investor Chris Sacca had some rather harsh words about Peter Thiel on Twitter yesterday. (I think it’s safe to assume we won’t see these two teaming up anytime soon.)

Forget headphones and earbuds. wants to put buttons in your ear.



Chain, a two-year-old, blockchain platform for enterprises that has raised around $43 million, including from RRE Ventures, is looking to hire a VP of corporate development. The job is in San Francisco.



Accenture says one-third of all corporate cyber attacks succeed, according to a new survey of 2,000 security officers representing large companies around the world. More here.


Essential Reads

Grab CEO Anthony Tan is bracing for a fight of “biblical proportions” with Uber.

Amid concerns about a slowdown in the growth of the Chinese economy, Alibaba is showing that — for now — business on its platforms is holding steady.

Free shipping is a top priority for online shoppers, but many merchants are struggling to keep up with the costs.



The thrilling competence of Joe Maddon and Terry Francona.

On Wall Street, a high-ranking few still eschew email.

Apparently, we’ve been treating appendicitis wrong for years. (Wish we’d known this when we were 18!)


Retail Therapy

Tailgating will never be the same with Shaze, the ultimate lounge chair.

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