StrictlyVC: November 21, 2016

Hi, everyone, hope you had a wonderful weekend! Apologies for the late send. We were mixing work with Thanksgiving prep and can we just say: do not wait until Wednesday to get your act together. It’s getting scary out there already.

Top News in the A.M.

Why Trump’s pick for attorney general could be bad news for Silicon Valley.

This 18-year-old just raised $3.5 million to help developers easily add capabilities to their apps

RapidAPI, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that enables developers to find, test, and manage many of the APIs they want to integrate into their apps, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Martin Casado at Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from FundersClub, SV Angel, Green Bay Advisors, and 500 Startups, whose accelerator program it recently passed through.

The company is interesting for numerous reasons — not least of them its founder, Iddo Gino, an 18-year-old who was a high school senior in Haifa, Israel last year when he was “discovered,” so to speak. It happened at a local hackathon, where Gino caught the attention of Dov Moran. The renowned Israeli angel investor provided Gino with some early mentorship, as well as $250,000 in seed money that Gino — who studied briefly at the public research institute Technion – used to move to the U.S. in January.

Of course, RapidAPI’s mission — to enable developers to access and easily use publicly available APIs in a way that allows them to seamlessly communicate — is obviously of great interest to investors, too.

Gino likens these functional “blocks” that can be woven together, to pieces of plumbing, explaining that, “Each company has its own language. So [a developer] tries to learn how Facebook speaks then uses a dictionary to translate it back to English. And [he or she] has to do this every time” with every company and sometimes even across one company’s different divisions. RapidAPI has meanwhile created what are essentially big repositories of translator units, “so we don’t need an API company to change anything. We take care of turning everything into a single language.”

More here.

New Fundings

AdvisorEngine, a two-year-old, New York-based digital wealth management platform for investment advisors, has raised $20 million in Series A funding from WisdomTree Investments. FinSMEs has more here.

Cera, a five-month-old, London-based on-demand social care platform, has raised £1.3 million ($1.6 million) in seed funding from JustEat CEO David Buttress; former chairman of Lazard and UBS banks Ken Costa; and global head of digital at McKinsey & Co., Paul Willmott. More here.

Electric, a months-old, New York-based startup that provides automated IT support channel to small and mid-size companies, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Bowery Capital, with participation from Primary Venture Partners, Charge Ventures, Gunderson Dettmer, and Anchor Worldwide. More here.

Garmentory, a 2.5-year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based e-commerce marketplace for independent boutiques and designers, has raised $2 million in funding led by MHS Capital. WWD has more here.

Genalyte, a nine-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based diagnostics company whose lab-on-a-chip technology reportedly requires just one drop of blood to run 128 tests, just raised $36 million in funding from earlier backers Khosla Venturesand Redmile Group. TechCrunch has more here.

Joya Communications, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based creator of video messaging app Marco Polo, has quietly raised roughly $20 million at a post-money valuation of around $100 million valuation, says Recode. Benchmarkled the round. More here.

PatSnap, a nine-year-old, Singapore-based intelligence platform startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Shunwei Capital and Qualgro. China Money Network has more here.

Rapid Healthcare, a two-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based startup that makes mobile medical apps, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Watermark Venture Capital. More here.

New Funds

ARCH Venture Partners, a PE and VC firm that was originally spun out of the University of Chicago in 1986 and invests in a wide range of technologies from biotech to software, has raised $408.4 million toward a ninth venture capital fund, according to an SEC filing that shows a $550 million target. The firm’s previous fund closed with $410 million in 2014.

Hyperplane, a nearly two-year-old Boston-based venture firm founded by local investor Vivjan Myrto, is looking to raise $45 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filing. This time, too, it looks like Myrto has company, including new managing partners Jack Klink, formerly the head of global strategy at State Street, and John Murphy, who was formerly an associate at Point Judith Capital. More here.

IDinvest Partners, a 19-year-old, Paris-based investment firm, has closed on €250 million ($265.7 million) for a new growth fund. The firm reportedly hopes to raise upwards of $425 million before holding a final close.


Last month, BuzzFeed quietly acquired a budding e-commerce holding company called Scroll whose cofounder, Ben Kaufman, previously founded the now-shuttered business Quirky. The reason: Kaufman is helping BuzzFeed try out different forms of commerce. Fortune has more here.

In a deal that highlights consolidation in the semiconductor industry, Macom Technology Solutions said it will acquire Applied Micro in a deal valued at $770 million. Both companies are publicly traded. ZDNet has more here.

Oracle has acquired Dyn, an 18-year-old, Manchester, N.H.-based cloud-based Internet performance and DNS performance management company that suffered a massive DDoS attack last month. According to CrunchBase, Dyn had raised $88 million from investors over the years,  including Pamplona Capital Management and North Bridge Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Symantec has agreed to acquire LifeLock, a 12-year-old, Tempe, Az.-based identity theft protection services company, for $2.3 billion. LifeLock had gone public in 2013. Network World has more about Symantec’s ambitions to create the “world’s largest consumer security business” right here.


Amid reported struggles, Munchery, a venture-backed meal preparation and delivery service, has named James Beriker as its new president and CEO. Most recently, Beriker was the CEO of the job search engine Simply Hired (acquired in June by Recruit Holdings). Before that, he was a VP of display advertising at Yahoo, among other posts. TechCrunch has more here.

Michael (“Woody”) Sherwood, a Goldman Sachs vice chairman and co-head of its European division, will retire from the Wall Street firm at the end of the year. He’d previously been seen as a potential successor to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Dealbook has more here.

Sad news. Harry Weller, who long led the East Coast venture practice of New Enterprise Associates from Washington, D.C., passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Saturday night at age 46. Weller had joined the firm in 2002, not long after nabbing an undergraduate degree in physics from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard. In a statement, a shocked NEA described Weller as a “renowned technology investor, champion of innovation and true partner to entrepreneurs” who was “bold, brilliant, and passionate” and “equally remarkable for his kind heart and generous spirit.” More here.


Silverton Partners, an early-stage venture firm that invests primarily in Austin, Tex.-based startups, is looking to bring aboard a principal who has three to six years of experience at either a venture-backed startup or a venture firm. This position could lead to a partner role at the firm. The job is in Austin. To apply, write to


1,700. That’s how many millionaires are minted in the U.S. every single day, according to Boston Consulting Group. (Note: many of them are inheriting that wealth.)

Essential Reads

Apple has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue. Bloomberg has more here.

Hyperloop One, the futuristic transporation company that aims to shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour, says it has settled an ongoing lawsuit brought against it by its former CTO and cofounder, Brogan BamBrogan, and several former employees. Terms of the settlement aren’t being disclosed, unsurprisingly, but BamBrogan tells TechCrunch that he’s now “planning to build rad shit with rad people, starting with our take on Hyperloop. More to come in the near future.” More here.

Instagram has launched ephemeral live video that followers can watch only when it’s streaming, along with Snapchat-style disappearing private messages. TechCrunch has more here.

The IRS is on the hunt for people who used Bitcoin to evade taxes. On Thursday, it asked Coinbase — the largest Bitcoin exchange in the United States — for the records of all customers who bought virtual currency from the company from 2013 to 2015. Dealbook has more here.

Accel Partners recently cautioned its startups to play nice with traditional companies, noting that more non-tech businesses have been acquiring startups than otherwise. Bloomberg has more here.


This is going to be one interesting presidency.

Two websites you should always check before shopping at Amazon.

Friendship at first sight.

Retail Therapy

Tiny Clouds.

The accessory of the season.

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