StrictlyVC: December 2, 2016

Hello from beautiful, chilly London, where we arrived a bit ago. Apologies for the abbreviated newsletter, but we’re just in the hotel thawing out for a minute before running out the door again for a networking event.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you back here Monday, right after a couple of on-stage interviews at Disrupt, including with Skype and Atomico founder Niklas Zennstrom and, a little bit later on, with Fabrice Grinda of FJ Labs, Beezer Clarkson of Sappire Ventures, and John Doran of TCV. (Hopefully, we’ll have lots of useful stuff to report back to you.) More soon!

Top News in the A.M.

Researchers have found a bug that can be used to bypass Apple‘s iPhone and iPad Activation Lock and gain access to their home screens.

New Fundings

AttackIQ, a three-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based cybersecurity company, raised $8.8 million in Series A funding from Index Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Telstra Ventures. The San Diego Business Journal has more here.

ConnectedYard, a 2.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company behind a smart pool monitoring system called pHin, has raised $7 million in Series A funding, including from Lonza, a supplier to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets, as well as returning investors Playground Global and Tandem Capital. More here.

Core Diagnostics, a four-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based clinical laboratory that provides specialized diagnostics services, has raised $12 million in new funding from Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital Partners, and earlier backer Artiman Ventures. VCCircle has more here.

Exotec Solutions, a year-old, Paris, France-based startup that builds a collaborative mobile robot, has raised €3.3 million ($3.5 million) from 360 Capital Partners, Breega Capital and undisclosed previous investors. has more here.

Fidzup, a five-year-old, Paris, France-based maker of digital marketing software for retailers, has raised $3.7 million in funding from Cap Horn and Turenne Capital, among others. More here.

Get Smart Content, a five-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based marketing company whose software helps marketers to provide site content and messaging based on a visitor’s profile and web-based interactions, has raised $1.75 million in funding led by Origin Ventures. More here.

Nova Lumos, a 4.5-year-old, Amsterdam-based maker of pay-as-you-go solar power systems in Nigeria, has raised $90 million from a mix of private equity investors and development banks. Bloomberg has more here.

SendGrid, a seven-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based company that sells email and other marketing software services to businesses, has raised $33 million in Series D funding from earlier backers. Bain Capital Ventures led the round; Foundry Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, and SoftTech VCparticipated.

VictorOps, a four-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based maker of real-time monitoring software for IT teams, has raised $12.2 million in Series B funding led by Shea Ventures, with participation from earlier investors Foundry Group and Costanoa Venture Capital. BizWest has more here.

New Funds

Bullpen Capital, a six-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based venture firm that specializes in post-seed stage deals, has closed its third fund at $75 million. The firm invests in companies that previously closed a seed round of investment but have been dubbed too early for traditional VCs. Its previous fund closed with $35 million in 2012. TechCrunch has more here.


China’s Meitu, built on the selfie, could be worth $5.23 billion in an IPO. Dealbook has more here.


AppFormix, a three-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based cloud operations management and optimization startup, is being acquired by the publicly traded networking company Juniper Networks. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but according to TechCrunch, AppFormix had raised $7 million in a round led by August Capital. More here.

Yes, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose apps aimed to connect people “in real life and from afar,” has been acquired by Twitter, and its CEO, Keith Coleman, a former director of product management at Google, is becoming Twitter’s VP of Product. Meanwhile, Yes is shutting down its apps. TechCrunch has more here.


Yoky Matsuoka, who joined Apple in May as an executive to help run health technology initiatives, has left the iPhone maker, says Bloomberg. More here.

President Barack Obama has been discussing a post-presidential career in digital media and is considering launching his own media company, according to Policy Mic. More here.

Harry Stebbings, a 20-year-old whose podcast, “The Twenty Minute VC,” has become a favorite with the investors it covers, has joined the early-stage venture firm Atomico. Wired has more here.

Essential Reads

Facebook finds inspiration again in Snapchat; now it’s working on a feature that’s similar to Snapchat Discover.

Product Hunt, acquired this week by AngelList, sold for $20 million, Recode is reporting. (In case you were wondering.)


How fake news tricks people.

The fallacy that keeps people in unhappy relationships.

The economic benefit of a tree in New York.

Retail Therapy

Lamborghini Exhaust Speaker. (As if its mere existence weren’t ridiculous enough, it costs $26,000. Still, you kind of have to see it.)

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