StrictlyVC: March 24, 2017

Friday! [Finger guns.]

We’re running off to a meeting, but first, some more great news about StrictlyVC’s next event, coming up May 4 in San Francisco. Venture geeks especially will be delighted to learn that Lightspeed founders and managing directors Barry Eggers and Ravi Mhatre are now joining our other guest speakers. What’s to talk about? An amazing winning streak for starters, thanks to the sale of AppDynamics, not to mention the IPOs of Nutanix, MuleSoft, Snap and, if reports are true, soon MapR. With the help of fellow investor Semil Shah, we’ll take a peek inside how this new Silicon Valley elite has gotten it so right — and whether it can maintain its hot hand.

It’s going to be a great night, so nab a seat before they’re gone. To partner with us on this event, just reply to this email.

Speaking of sponsorship news! Today’s StrictlyVC is brought to you by the L.A.-based PR firm Rosebud Communications, which is excited to announce its newest B2B SaaS client, RallyUp. To learn more about how Rosebud helped announce the company’s partnership with Nike and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, click here.

Top News Today

Apple is downplaying this threat, but you should probably change your iCloud password anyway.

New Fundings

Big Squid, a eight-year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based startup behind a predictive analytics and machine learning software platform, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Silverton Partners and Kickstart Seed Fund. More here.

Delhivery, a five-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based supply chain logistics company, has raised more than $100 million in funding from The Carlyle Group and earlier investors Tiger Global. Reuters has a bit more here.

Grab, the five-year-old, Singapore-based ride-hailing platform that has become Uber’s largest rival in Southeast Asia, plans to raise more than $1.5 billion in a new round backed by SoftBank Group, according to Bloomberg. Indeed, it says Softbank is pledging roughly $1 billion in a financing set to eclipse the $750 million round the company raised last September at a valuation of more than $3 billion. More here.

Paradata, an eight-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based SaaS startup that works with manufacturing companies and others to find, verify, and fix weak links in their supply chains, has raised $10 million in funding co-led by Richmond Global and PivotNorth, with participation from SAP.iO. More here.

SB Drive, a year-old, Tokyo-based self-driving startup spun out of Softbank (to create public transportation options, especially in rural areas), has raised $4.6 million from Yahoo Japan and Softbank. TechCrunch has more here., a four-year-old, New York-based ecommerce site for high-end baby and children’s clothing, has raised nearly $2.8 million in seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates and Thrive Capital. More here.

MarketsandMarkets, a 6.5-year-old, Pune, India-based industry research and consulting company that sells syndicated and custom research focused on high-growth and niche markets, has raised $56 million in funding led by FTV Capital, with participation from Zodius Capital. More here.

Quantexa, a year-old, London-based data analytics company, has raised $3.3 million in funding led by Albion Ventures and HSBC. More here.

UrbanSitter, the six-year-old, San Franciso-based platform matching families with babysitters, is raising up to $12 million in a new round and it’s $3.6 million toward that goal, shows a new SEC filing. The company had previously raised around $23 million, according to Crunchbase. Its backers include Canaan Partners, Aspect Ventures, and DBL Investors. CEO Lynn Perkins talked with the WSJ last month about her fundraising adventures.


Alteryx, a six-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based enterprise data analytics firm, listed on the NYSE this morning; it had priced its shares at $14 last night. They’ve risen around 11 percent so far this morning.


Online secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is looking for a buyer and they’re hoping to fetch a price of about $1.5 billion, TechCrunch has learned. According to its sources, the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is working with Morgan Stanley to unload the company, which could net a tidy profit for Vista a little over a year after acquiring it for about $850 million. TechCrunch has the story here.


Zozi, a startup that describes itself as an OpenTable for tours and activities, and that raised $30 million from Richard Branson and others back in 2015, has laid off 30 percent of staff. More here.

The man behind Ello, an “anti-Facebook” social network that made headlines in 2014 for its ad-free approach, is back with something new. More here.


Correlation Ventures is hiring an associate to add to its team. The job is in Palo Alto, Ca.

Costanoa Ventures is looking for a summer intern. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. The job is in Palo Alto.


Renters now rule half of U.S. cities.

Why American jobs have a higher risk of automation than jobs in Germany, the U.K. and Japan.

Essential Reads

Instacart will pay $4.6 million to settle a class action lawsuit with its workers. The startup also has to change how it describes a controversial service fee. Recode has more here.

Theranos plans to give additional shares — that would come from founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes’s personal stake — to investors who pledge not to sue the battered blood-testing company. The WSJ has the story here.

Twitter is mulling a premium service, because $$. Features to watch for: analytics and breaking news alerts. The Verge has more here.


“It does require a fairly dystopian strain of doublethink for a company to celebrate how hard and how constantly its employees must work to make a living.”

Behind the scenes at “Saturday Night Live.”

Wrong-number relationships.

Retail Therapy

10 Hubert Street, Manhattan, N.Y.

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