StrictlyVC: November 10, 2016

Hi, all, happy Thursday.:)

Top News in the A.M.

Why a Trump administration is expected to dismantle net neutrality.

And expand government surveillance.

Here are numerous other tech policies that Trump promised to implement as president.

Peter Thiel’s Big Gamble

Peter Thiel should rightly be admired for sometimes seeing what many others cannot. He understood the power of online money transfers well before most traditional financial institutions. He wrote Facebook a check when it was little more than an interesting startup from another Harvard dropout. Most recently, he anticipated what few of his peers predicted could possibly come to fruition: a Trump presidency.

Of course, Thiel more than recognized that Trump’s ascendancy was unstoppable. He spoke out publicly on Trump’s behalf, including in a keynote speech at the Republican National Conventional. He also donated to Trump’s campaign.

If Trump retreated back to the world of reality television and his real estate dealings after this year’s election, as was widely expected to happen, Silicon Valley and the rest of the business world would eventually forget about Thiel’s ringing endorsement of Trump. As distance grew between Trump’s political aspirations and his ability to initiate global annihilation, the tech community would have been increasingly willing to forgive and forget.

Instead, Trump is now President-elect of the United States of America. And no matter what your position on that outcome – whether you consider him a genius for acknowledging an angry republic and for cutting his way to the most powerful office in the world virtually single-handedly, or you deem him a shallow narcissist who has repeatedly displayed contempt for for women, minorities, civility, and critical thinking — he is wholly inexperienced as a politician. Things will be said that can’t be unsaid. Mistakes will be made. They will also serve as a persistent reminder of Thiel’s support for Trump.

More here.

New Fundings

Blackmoon Financial Group, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based online lending platform that connects balance sheet lenders with institutional investors looking to purchase new loans, has raised $2.5 million in funding from Target Global, A&NN Group, Flint Capital, and angels. More here.

Cape Analytics, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that sells geospatial structured data to the real estate industry, has raised $14 million in funding led by Formation 8, with participation from Data Collective, XL Innovate, Lux Capital, Khosla Ventures, Promus Ventures, and Montage Ventures. More here.

Crayon, a two-year-old, Boston-based marketing intelligence startup, has raised $3.35 million in seed funding co-led by Founder Collective and Baseline Ventures, with participation from BoxGroup, Converge Venture Partners, and angel investors, including Behance founder Scott Belsky and ex-HubSpot executives Mike Volpe and Yoav Shapira. More here.

Job Today, a 1.5-year-old, Luxembourg-based app for finding local jobs, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Flint Capital, with participation from earlier backers investors Accel Partners, Mangrove Capital, and Felix Capital, and with the participation of three European media companies: Astremedia, Channel 4, and German Media Pool VC. More here.

Neo Technology, a nine-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company whose open source-based “graph database”  can be used to map and discover relationships across various industries and use cases, has raised $36 million in Series D funding from new investor, London-based Greenbridge Partners. The company’s earlier backers also joined the round, including Creandum, Sunstone and Fidelity’s Eight Roads Ventures. More here.

Rappi, a year-old, Columbia-based on-demand delivery service, has raised $9 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Foundation Capital and Redpoint Ventures. More here.

RiskIQ, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based cyber security company, has raised $30.5 million in Series C funding led by Georgian Partners, with participation from Summit Partners, Battery Ventures, and MassMutual Ventures. More here.

SentiOne, a five-year-old, Warsaw, Poland-based startup that helps brands track online mentions about their products and services and engage in conversations with customers across the social web, has raised $3.5 million in funding from Venture TFI and Trigon TFI Group. More here.

Teamleader, a four-year-old, Belgium-based software company that helps companies manage data in their cloud, has raised €10 million ($10.8 million) in Series B funding led by previous backer Fortino Capital. More here.

Toast, a year-old, Singapore-based startup that helps make cross-border payments easier and cheaper for migrant workers living overseas, has raised $1.5 million in funding led by Aetius Capital, with participation from 1776 and the Australian financial services company Pepper Group. More here.

Zipline International, a five-year-old, Half Moon Bay, Ca.-based startup that builds drones that drop crucial medical supplies to clinics or hospitals in areas that aren’t accessible by land, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Visionnaire Ventures led the financing, joined by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Subtraction Capital and Jerry Yang. More here.

New Funds

Material Impact, a 1.5-year-old, Lexington, Ma.-bsed venture firm that aims to invest in small and mid-size “material technologies” in the healthcare and energy sectors, is targeting $100 million for its debut fund, shows an SEC filing. Material Impact was founded by Adam Sharkawy. He was most recently an SVP at The Medicines Co., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company that’s best known for an anti-clotting drug.


Adobe is acquiring the 10-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based ad tech company TubeMogul for roughly $540 million net of debt and cash. It’s buying TubeMogul’s outstanding common stock for $14 per share. TubeMogul had gone public in July 2014, surging in its debut before getting walloped by public market investors (alongside shares of other publicly traded ad tech companies). More here.

Yesterday, Nasty Gal, the retailer founded 10 years ago when founder Sophia Amorusa began by selling vintage fashion items on eBay, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Central District of California. The L.A.-based company has raised $65 million over the years, including from Index Venturesand renowned retail executive Ron Johnson. More here.


Adam Bain, Twitter’s chief operating officer, plans to leave the company. Anthony Noto, the company’s CFO, will replace him.

On Twitter this morning, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos congratulated Donald Trump on his win, saying he wishes him “great success in his service to the country.” Smart move. Bezos also owns the Washington Post and the space company Blue Origin. After Trump had attacked the Washington Post as a tax shelter for Bezos during his election campaign, Bezos offered to send Trump into space on one of his rockets.

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban apparently also feels compelled to change his public stance. Though he called Trump a “superstar liar” during the election, he urged his many Twitter followers yesterday to give Trump a chance.

One more: Asked his thoughts about the election results, Alphabet chairman and Hillary Clinton supporter Eric Schmidt said at a Dealbook conference today, “I think we should congratulate the next president of the United States. It’s a significant achievement . . . and it’s a pretty amazing story.”

As for 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, he’s not graciously accepting the outcome of the election. Instead, he had an impassioned “meltdown” over Trump’s win at a tech conference in Lisbon.

Essential Reads

The future of big mergers under Trump? Like much else, it’s unclear.

It’s “Singles Day” in China, and the annual event, pioneered by Alibaba in 2009 to encourage spending, just landed the company $1 billion in sales in the first five minutes in what looks to become a record-breaking sales day.


Regarding your reaction to my gluten-free diet.

Still feeling lousy? You’ll get over the election in about a week, says one out-of-touch study.

Retail Therapy

The best new luxury cars coming to next week’s L.A. auto show.

Hundreds of pieces from David Bowie’s art collection, which you can buy today.

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