StrictlyVC: April 26, 2017


Bullish, a StrictlyVC sponsor and self-described creative venture firm (that we’re seeing recently received a nice write-up in Adweek, btw), has five last tickets to release to readers who want to join them — and us — next Thursday night at NextWorld Capital in San Francisco.

To land them, just let us know in one or two sentences: what’s one consumer product you can’t do without, and one you wish would go away. (We’d probably say our iPhone for obvious reasons, and tropical shirts, also for obvious reasons, though Brad Feld pulls these off quite nicely.)

Our other partners in the evening include: Square1Bank, the bank for entrepreneurs and investors; L.A.-based Rosebud Communications, PR for growing number of startups, and Haystack, seed-stage capital for innovators. Thank you all — we’re excited for this.:)

Top News in the A.M.

Instagram says it’s growing faster than ever and now has 700 million users.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is reportedly nearing an agreement to raise $5 billion to $6 billion in a deal that would make it the most valuable startup in China.

And, it’s now official: the ride-hailing app Gett has acquired New York rival Juno. The price? $200 million. More here.

A Word from Our Sponsor . . .

This week’s StrictlyVC is brought to you by Greenbrier. Scandal; injury; breach; litigation; presidential tweet. Crises can damage your corporate brand, personal reputation, employee morale and have lasting financial impacts. That’s why you need Greenbrier. We provide crisis planning, strategic advice and tactical execution to clients facing complex image, marketing, branding, media, legal and political challenges. With more than 30 years experience predicting, mitigating, managing and building resilience against reputational risks, Greenbrier can help.

New Fundings

AIdoc Medical, a year-old, Israel-based company that has built what it describes as an AI that can spot visual abnormalities in medical scans, has raised $7 million in funding led by TLV Partners, with participation from previous investors, including Magma Ventures and Emerge. TechCrunch has more here.

EverFi, a nine-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based education software startup, has raised $190 million in funding — one of the biggest ed tech rounds ever — including $120 million from Rise, the social impact investing fund established last year by TPG Growth. Other investors include TPG Growth (which kicked in another $30 million), MainStreet Advisors, and numerous earlier investors, including Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt. Fortune has more here.

Huddly, a three-year-old, Oslo, Norway-based startup whose camera for remote company meetings (or huddles) aims to help managers glean better data from those meetings, has raised $10 million in Series B funding from undisclosed sources. More here.

Ivalua, a 17-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based web-based spend management software company, has raised $70 million in growth equity minority funding from KKR, with participation from earlier investors, including Ardian. SiliconAngle has more here.

MarcoPolo Learning, a 4.5-year-old, New York-based mobile-based early childhood education company, has raised $8.5 million in a first round of funding led by Boat Rocker Ventures, a division of Boat Rocker Media. Other investors in the round include Horizons Ventures, Seedcamp, the managing partners of DST Global, and numerous other individual investors. VentureBeat has more here.

OverOps, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based application reliability and log intelligence company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by earlier investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from another earlier investor, Menlo Ventures. The company has now raised $52 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Oyo Rooms, a four-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based online hotel booking platform, is reportedly closing a $250 million round that will value the company at $850 million, led by earlier investor Softbank Group. Earlier investors aren’t pleased, reportedly. The Economic Times has more here.

Quovo, a seven-year-old, New York-based company behind an API management toolkit for individual financial managers and financial services companies, has raised $10 million in new funding from F-Prime Capital and Napier Park Global. TechCrunch has more here.

Robinhood, the four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based stock brokerage that allows customers to buy and sell U.S. stocks and ETFs without paying commission fees, has raised $110 million in Series C funding at a $1.3 billion valuation. DST Global led the round, with participation from Thrive Capital, Greenoaks Capital, and earlier backers New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures, and Ribbit Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Tmon, a seven-year-old, Seoul-based mobile e-commerce company whose verticals include a grocery shopping service and travel meta-search platform, has raised $115 million in funding from Simone Investment Managers, with participation from earlier shareholders, including a number of sovereign wealth funds. VentureBeat has more here.

Token, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that helps financial services companies comply with EU regulations, has raised $15.7 million in Series A funding from EQT Ventures, Octopus Ventures and OP Financial Group. has more here.

Token (yes, a separate Token), a year-old, New York-based gift recommendation app that offers end-to-end service for customers, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Slow Ventures and Human Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Twistlock, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of cloud container security software, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Polaris Partners, with participation from earlier backers YL Ventures, TenEleven and Rally Ventures. More here.

WiBotic, a two-year-old, Seattle-based company that develops wireless charging platforms specifically for robots, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Tsing Capital, with participation from Comet Labs, Digi Labs, and earlier investors W Fund, WRF Capital and Wisemont Capital. More here.


Gojimo, a eight-year-old, London-based app that helps U.K. high school students prepare for exams, has been acquired by Telegraph Media Group, the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph newspapers. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed; Gojimo is believed to have raised roughly $3 million, including from Index Ventures and JamJar Investments. TechCrunch has more here.

Infor, a privately held software company in San Francisco, has acquired Birst, a San Francisco-based business intelligence platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the price has been pegged at $100 million. According to Crunchbase, Birst had raised $129 million in funding across three rounds, including from Sequoia Capital, DAG VenturesWellington Management, and Northgate Capital. Infor has raised at least $2.5 billion. Fortune has more here.

Spotify has acquired the Brooklyn-based blockchain startup Mediachain, whose team will join the company’s office in New York where they will work on developing better technology for connecting artists and other rights holders with the tracks hosted on Spotify’s service. Terms aren’t being disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Mediachain had raised just $1.5 million in seed funding, including from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. More here.

Vantiv, a Cincinnati, Oh.-based publicly traded payment tech company, is acquiring Paymetric, a 19-year-old, Roswell, Ga.-based electronic payments software company. Terms aren’t being disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Paymetric had raised $30.5 million from investors, including Palomar Ventures, Francisco Partners, and Austin Ventures. ZDNet has more here.


Sergey Brin is (of course!) working on his own secret airship. (Remember, this has been a fascination for the Google cofounder since way back when.)

Advisors representing Gawker Media are now exploring whether they can bring a lawsuit against Peter Thiel.

Investor Chris Sacca says he’s getting out the startup investing game.

Ivanka Trump tells Axios that she plans to launch a fund that will benefit female entrepreneurs around the globe, and she says the capital will come from both countries and companies.

Uber is being sued by the widow of an engineer who killed himself after working for the company for just five months. Her lawyer says his death was prompted by work-related stress.

The cast and creators of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” explain how they keep the show fresh.


Palantir Technologies will pay $1.66 million to settle a hiring discrimination complaint brought by the U.S. Labor Department. The payment is designed to cover back wages, stock options and other compensation for Asian engineers who applied for, but didn’t receive jobs at the data analytics startup. The company has also agreed to extend job offers to eight people who were unfairly denied jobs, according to a statement by the Labor Department. Bloomberg has the story here.

Also Sponsored By . . .

StrictlyVC is also sponsored today by the Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, which is accepting applications for its next class until tomorrow, April 27. “Winning companies receive $250,000 in capital, plus access to incredible fintech resources. If you’re a fintech innovator with a solution that can help more Americans achieve financial health — or know someone who is — apply today.  Applications are due tomorrow, so hurry!

Essential Reads

Uber is making it easier to see your rider rating.

Silicon Valley hires the most alumni of these 10 universities, and none of them are in the Ivy League.

A Waymo filing relating to its suit against Uber has revealed details about its lidar technology. You can learn more here.


Don’t call me a millennial.

If you’re going to ask rapper Action Bronson about his glass collection, well, you’ll see what happens.

Retail Therapy

Bali Resort Hotel.

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