StrictlyVC: January 27, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! We have a super streamlined version for you today as we’re racing around this a.m. Hope you have a restful weekend. Keep your blood-pressure down; stay off Twitter.:)


Top News in the A.M.

Microsoft‘s market capitalization topped $500 billion this morning — for the first time since 2000.


New Fundings

Biscayne Neurotherapeutics, a Miami, Fl.-based clinical-stage biotechnology company that was spun off from Biscayne Therapeutics to focus on treatments for neurological disorders, has raised $3 million in Series B funding led by Quark Venture, with participation from Mesa Verde Venture Partners of San Diego and earlier backers. More here.

Koru Kids, a year-old, London-based nanny sharing platform, has raised £600,000 ($752,000) in seed funding from Global Founders Capital, 7pc Ventures, Gumtree founder Michael Pennington, and Alice Bentinck and Matthew Clifford of the accelerator and fund Entrepreneur First. More here.

UberCloud, a 2.5-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based cloud marketplace for engineers, scientists and service providers to discover, try, and buy computing on demand, has raised $1.7 million in funding led by Earlybird Venture Capital. More here.

WorkFusion, a 6.5-year-old, New York-based startup that combines crowdsourcing with artificial intelligence to tackle business processes that corporations want to outsource, has raised $35 million in Series D funding led by Georgian Partners, with participation from existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, iNovia, Nokia Growth Partners, Greycroft Partners and RTP Ventures. The company has now raised $71 million altogether. Business Insider took a longer look at the company last spring.


New Funds

Nyca Partners, the venture capital firm launched by Lending Club chairman (and former Visa president) Hans Morris, successfully closed fundraising for its second fund to invest in financial technology startups. The company said today it has gathered more than $125 million in commitments for the new fund and that it will focus on backing young companies in sectors such as alternative lending, digital investment advice and financial infrastructure. The WSJ has more here.



As part of its ongoing globalization push, Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is acquiring the publicly traded U.S. payments firm MoneyGram for $880 million. Ant Financial is paying $13.25 per share, premium over its $11.88 trading price Wednesday. TechCrunch has more here.

Germany’s Daimler is closing in on a deal to acquire Taxibeat, a profitable ride-hailing app based out of Athens, for a price of around €40 million ($43 million). Taxibeat had raised under $7 million, according to Crunchbase, representing a good return for its investors, which include Hummingbird Ventures and Openfund. TechCrunch has more here.



Why Marissa Mayer‘s team may be looking to get fired from Verizon.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has published a lengthy post on her Facebook page noting the “terrible consequences” Trump’s abortion policy could have for women around the world.

PR tips from Margit Wennmachers and Kim Milosevich.



Clocktower Technology Ventures, the 1.5-year-old, fintech-focused venture arm of the asset management firm Drobny Capital, is looking to hire an associate. The job is in Santa Monica, Ca.


Essential Reads

Airbnb turns profitable (and plans to stay profitable).

Amazon and PayPal have been talking payments.

How a 29-year-old built Odyssey, a vast network of college students who are happy to fuel multi-million dollar marketing campaigns for peanuts.



How to leak information to the press.

Why succeeding against the odds can make you sick.

Hollywood’s most under-the-radar couples. (What? You’re curious, admit it!)


Retail Therapy

Mia Visits Carrara.

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