StrictlyVC: May 15, 2017

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a terrific weekend.

We’re just off the stage at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in New York, where we chatted with investors Stuart Ellman of RRE Ventures, Maha Ibrahim of Canaan Partners, and Amish Jani of FirstMark Capital. (Thank you, each of you.) We touched on a lot of things — from how the Trump administration impacts their work, to sexism in the startup industry, to what happens if Uber fails or falls short of expectations. You can check out our sit-down here.

For a live-stream of the conference, click here.

More tomorrow!:)

Top News in the A.M.

The components of the global cyberattack that seized hundreds of thousands of computer systems last week may be more complex than originally believed, a Trump administration official said yesterday, and experts warn that the effects of the malicious software could linger for some time. In the New York Times.

Sponsored By . . .

StrictlyVC is being brought to you this week by DashDash is pioneering a data-driven approach to mobility and telematics, optimizing transportation industry operations. Its partners include companies like Ford, Johnson Controls and the Department of Transportation, as well as some of the world’s leading insurance companies. Its consumer products lead the industry, installed by nearly 400,000 drivers in 150 countries and winning awards from the White House and the Department of Energy. Read more: “Data is the new nitro.”

New Fundings

Akonni Biosystems, a 14-year-old, Frederick, Md.-based molecular diagnostics company that develops and manufactures advanced MDx systems, has raised $4 million in bridge financing from earlier investors, which includes the Maryland Venture Fund. More here.

BiomX, a two-year-old, Ness Ziona, Israel-based microbiome therapeutics company, has raised $24 million in Series A funding led by OrbiMed, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Takeda Ventures, with participation from Seventure Partners, MiraeAsset, SBI Japan-Israel Innovation Fund and other European investors. More here.

Invenia, an 11-year-old, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based machine learning platform that optimizes power grids and reduces harmful emissions, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Zetta Venture Partners. More here.

Mintigo, an eight-year-old San Mateo, Ca.-based enterprise AI platform for marketing and sales, has raised $10 million in funding from Glilot Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital IL, Adams Street Partners, Giza Venture Capital, Maverick Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners. More here.

Protect My Car, a 12-year-old, Clearwater, Fla.-based provider of extended warranty service contracts for vehicles, has raised $7 million in Series C funding from Great White Shark Opportunity Fund. More here., a 10-year-od, San Diego, Ca.-based marketplace for outsourced research, has raised $24 million in funding co-led by Boston-based Leerink Transformation Partners and 5AM Ventures. Other participants include Heritage Provider Network, Bootstrap Ventures and Jack Giarraputo. More here.

Terminus, a 2.5-year-old Atlanta, Ga.-based account-based marketing platform, has raised $10.3 million in Series B funding co-led by Atlanta Ventures and Edison Partners, with participation from earlier backers Hyde Park Venture Partners, Arthur Ventures, and Knoll Ventures, and new strategic investors HubSpot, High Alpha, Vine St. Ventures, and individual investors. More here.

WinView, a three-year-old, San Francisco and New York based second-screen live TV sports prediction platform, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Backers include Graham Holdings Company, Discovery Communications, Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and LionTree Partners. More here.

New Funds

We told you roughly a year ago that Trae Vassallo, a longtime partner at Kleiner Perkins, who left the firm in 2014, was teaming up with Neil Sequeria, a longtime partner at General Catalyst Partners who left the firm in the fall of 2015. Now, it looks they’re about to take the wraps off their new, early-stage, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm, While my old colleague Dan Primack had reported long ago that the duo was targeting $150 million, an SEC filing finally surfaced late last week, showing a $125 million target. You can get in touch with them here to learn more.

Silk Ventures, a 1.5-year-old, London-based venture firm that began life as a digital accelerator, has closed its debut fund with $500 million, thanks in part to financial backing from the Chinese government. The firm, which also has offices in Menlo Park, Ca., and Shenzhen, China, is reportedly focused on Series A stage startups, as well as more mature companies, and will center much of its attention on robotics and medtech companies. TechCrunch has more here.


QuantGroup, a financial technology company backed by Chinese movie stars, is planning a U.S. IPO that could raise about $200 million, according to Bloomberg, which notes that deal would add to the $1.9 billion in U.S. IPOs from Chinese companies in the past 12 months. QuantGroup operates, which generates and estimates credit ratings using user-provided information, internet and traditional data. More here.


Apple has paid $200 million for Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information, reports TechCrunch. The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago, says its source, and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company. More here.


A judge has ruled that Uber can continue working on its autonomous vehicle technology, but also that former Google employee and Otto founder Anthony Levandowski can no longer work on any projects that involve LiDAR technology. TechCrunch has more here.

Eighteen months after joining General Catalyst as a general partner, Phil Libin, who was previously CEO of Evernote, is no longer with the firm. Instead, Libin is heading up a new “studio” called All Turtles that will back entrepreneurs working in artificial intelligence, reports the Financial Times.

Retired MLB great Derek Jeter on why he started The Player’s Tribune.


On the heels of a disappointing first earnings report for Snap, a new report indicates the company’s trouble attracting new users deepened at the start of the second quarter. According to Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence data, downloads of Snapchat in April 2017 fell about 16 percent year-over-year on the App Store and Google Play combined. VentureBeat has the story here.

Essential Reads

Why Microsoft may be to blame for the largest ransomeware attacks in internet history.

Seattleites don’t want their city to become like San Francisco, says The Economist.


How to calculate how fast a plane is flying — while you’re on it.

The ridiculous Not Hotdog app from “Silicon Valley” is real.

Everything we know so far about how Facebook impacts your happiness.

Retail Therapy

New types of pink to drink this summer. Yummers.

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