StrictlyVC: February 7, 2017

Happy Tuesday! It was great to see those of you who came out last night to the Crunchies awards; that was fun (though we now have a pretty serious headache). Congrats to our colleagues at TC for throwing a great party.

We’re excited to see many of you at a much smaller party tomorrow night in San Francisco for SVC. Special thanks again to our sponsors Bolt, Crunchbase and Rosebud Communications for making the evening possible.:)

No column today.

Top News in the A.M.

Say what? Starting next month, the FBI will no longer accept Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by email. In lieu of its popular email service, the FBI suggests sending a fax or snail mail.

Twitter just unveiled three new updates to curb bad behavior and keep trolls off the platform.

New Fundings

Airsorted, a year-old, London-based Airbnb management company that handles everything from key exchanges and laundry to guest bookings and complaints, has raised £1.5 million in funding led by Concentric, with participation from 500 Startups and Pi Labs. TechCrunch has more here., a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose software records and transcribes conference calls in real time, flagging important action items and topics in the process, has raised $16 million in Series A funding led by Redpoint Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Comprehend Systems, a six-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company whose software aims to help clinical research teams improve the speed and quality of their work, has raise$15 million in Series C funding led by Eminence Capital, with participation by earlier backers Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has now raised $44.5 million altogether. More here.

Exabeam, a 3.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based big data security analytics company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Cisco Investments, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Icon Ventures and angel investor Shlomo Kramer. More here.

Fungible, a 1.5-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based company that aims to provide a full-stack solution for cloud data centers, has raised $32.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Mayfield, Walden Riverwood Ventures, and Battery Ventures, with participation from Juniper Networks. Fungible was cofounded by Pradeep Sindhu, founder of Juniper Networks, and Bertrand Serlet, a former Apple software engineering leader. More here.

Goat, a six-year-old, Culver City, Ca.-based mobile-only marketplace for collectible sneakers, has raised $25 million in funding led by Accel Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Lola, a 1.5-year-old, Boston-based on-demand, personal travel service for hotels, flights and more (its cofounder, Paul English, previously cofounded Blade and Kayak, among other companies), has added $5 million to its Series B round. The money, from GV and Tenaya Ventures, brings the round to $25 million altogether. More here.

Shansong Express, a 2.5-year-old, Beijing-based startup that provides intercity courier services across China, has raised $50 million in Series C  funding led by SIG Asia Investment and Yi Capital, with participation from Prometheus Capital. More here.

SnapRoute, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose open source software enables network engineers to customize commodity networking switches and routers to meet their exact requirements, has raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Lightspeed Venture Partners, AT&T and Microsoft Ventures also participated in the round. TechCrunch has more here.

Tenka Labs, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company that designs small blocks that operate as parts of circuits that connect to Lego bricks (the idea is to teach kids some of the early principles of engineering), has raised $2.1 million in seed financing from undisclosed investors. TechCrunch has more here.

TravelTriangle, a three-year-old, Singapore-based marketplace for finding and booking travel, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Singapore-based RB Investments, with participation from earlier investors SAIF Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Trax, a 6.5-year-old, Israeli-developed and Singapore-based retail image recognition platform, has raised $19.5 million in fresh funding led by the banking group Investec Bank. The company has now raised $97.5 million altogether. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Tucows, a 23-year-old, Toronto-based, publicly traded network access company, has raised an undisclosed amount of “substantial” funding from the early-stage venture firm Union Square Ventures. The firm explains its unusual bet here.

New Funds

Frontline Ventures, a four-year-old, London-based seed-stage firm focused on business-to-business startups, has raised €60 million ($64 million) for its second fund. TechCrunch has more here.


Kuaishou — a hot photo-sharing application in China — is reportedly planning to go public in the U.S. later this year. TechCrunch sources say the app has more than 40 million daily active users, 100 million monthly active users, and that it was most recently valued at around $3 billion. More here.


Hootsuite, the startup and platform that lets marketers manage a company’s interactions across a range of social media networks, has acquired AdEspresso, a three-year-old company that has built a set of tools to create, A/B test, and post advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. AdEspresso was originally spun out of an ad agency in Italy and went on to raise $3 million from a range of investors, including 500 Startups and the Vegas Tech Fund. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.


Twitter’s VP of diversity and inclusion, Jeffrey Siminoff, is leaving the company at the end of the month, and its chief human resources officer, Renee Atwood, has already left, TechCrunch has confirmed in a new report. It isn’t clear if the departures are related. More here.

Essential Reads

In what could become a long and costly battle, Uber is suing Seattle over a new law that allows drivers to unionize.

TV maker Vizio, founded 14 years ago in Irvine, Ca., will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit after it was shown that the company has been secretly collecting viewing data and selling it to third parties for years.

The 97-year-old ACLU just joined the incubator that gave us Airbnb and Dropbox. Now what?


Russian engineers have developed a way to cheat slot machines, and casinos have no way to address it.

Babak Hodjat believes humans are too emotional for the stock market. So he’s started one of the first hedge funds run completely by artificial intelligence.

Europe trolls Trump.

Retail Therapy

Logitech just started selling a $200 webcam that shoots 4K video. (We’re not sure you need to go that high-def when it comes to conference calls; on the other hand, it’s surprisingly affordable.)

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