StrictlyVC: June 7, 2017

Wednesday! Also, game three of the NBA Finals(!) Warriors fans, we live in San Francisco; we love them, too, in the regular season. Tonight, our allegiance is to King James. (Can. Not. Wait!)

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Top News in the A.M.

Coursera, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based online education company, is apparently prancing toward unicorn status. It just raised $64 million in Series D funding at a post-money valuation of $800 million, reports TechCrunch. Investors include earlier backers GSV Asset ManagementNew Enterprise AssociatesKleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, and Learn Capital, along with new investor The Lampert Foundation. The company has now raised $210 million altogether. More here.

Variety has reviewed Apple‘s first TV offering, “Planet of the Apps,” and its review is not kind. Writer Maureen Ryan likens the show to “something that was developed at a cocktail party, and not given much more rigorous thought or attention after the pitcher of mojitos was drained.”

Cadre Collects $65 million in Series C Funding

Cadre, a three-year-old, New York-based real estate startup, has raised $65 million in Series C funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Famed VC Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital also joined the round, along with the Ford Foundation, General Catalyst Partners, Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, and Thrive Capital.

Ryan Williams, a Goldman Sachs and Blackstone alum, cofounded Cadre along with Joshua Kushner and Jared Kushner. The brothers are part of a renowned New York real estate family; Joshua is now a full-time venture capitalist and Jared is now better-known as the son-in-law of, and White House senior advisor to, President Trump.

Cadre, which aims to make it easier for family offices, endowments and other moneyed investors to invest in real estate using technology, had closed its Series B round with $50 million in January of 2016. It had raised $18.3 million in Series A funding in 2015.

Williams appeared on stage at TechCrunch’s New York Disrupt event several weeks ago.

More here.

(Other) New Fundings

Autopilot, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based marketing automation startup, has raised $12 million in new funding from investors, including Blackbird Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and earlier investor Rembrandt Venture Partners. The company has now raised $32 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Chewse, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based office catering company that serves both restaurants and business managers, has raised $7.3 million in Series B funding led by Foundry Group, with participation from Telegraph Hill Capital, Rocketship VC and Galvanize. The company has raised $15 million altogether so far. TechCrunch has more here.

Coocaa, an 11-year-old, Shenzhen, China-based smart TV unit of Chinese TV maker Skyworth Digital Holdings, has sold a 7.7 percent stake in its business to Tencent Holdings for $44 million. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Digital Pharmacist, a 6.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company that helps pharmacies engage with their patients over their mobile devices, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding led by Activate Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners. More here.

High Brew Coffee, a three-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company that makes cold brew coffee products (including in “dark chocolate mocha” and “creamy cappuccino” flavors), has raised $17 million in fresh Series B funding. Colorado-based Boulder Investment Group Reprise led the round, with participation from the firm CAVU Venture Partners, which had led the company’s $4 million Series A round last year. Daily Coffee News has more here.

Illumio, a four-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that provides protection for data centers and cloud services, has raised $125 million in Series D funding led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners, 8VC, Accel Partners and Data Collective all participated, alongside other unnamed new and earlier investors. The round brings the company’s total funding to $267 million. More here.

Klarna, a 12-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based payments company that’s valued at upwards of $2.25 billion, has sold roughly 10 percent of its business to Brightfolk, controlled by fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen. This is a secondary deal, says TechCrunch; specifically, Povlsen is buying shares from earlier backers General Atlantic, DST Global and co-founder Niklas Adalberth, all of whom still retain stakes as Klarna shareholders. More here.

Lung Therapeutics, a nearly four-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that’s developing therapeutics for orphan drug indications in fibrosis, lung injury and disease, has raised $14.3 million in Series B funding. Bios Partners, a life-sciences private equity firm based in Dallas, led the round, with participation by earlier investor, the UT Horizon Fund. The company has now raised $17 million altogether. More here.

Mercadoni, a two-year-old, Colombia-based grocery delivery app and service that also operates in Argentina and Mexico, has raised $6.2 million in Series A funding. Axon Partners Group and Grupo Pegasus led the round, with participation from numerous unnamed individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.

Minerva Labs, a three-year-old, Petah Tikva, Israel-based company that makes advanced malware protection software, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding round led by Amplify Partners, with participation from StageOne Ventures and Webb Investment Network. More here.

Misterb&b, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s building an apartment-renting platform focused on the LGBTQ community, has raised $8.5 million in funding from Project A and Ventech. More here.

neoSurgical, a 10-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based medical technology company focused on advancing surgical wound healing, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding from earlier (undisclosed) investors, with participation from the San Antonio, Tex.-based outfit Targeted Technology Fund. The company expects to raise another $1.75 million before closing the round. More here.

Neuronetics, a 14-year-old, Malvern, Pa.-based medical device company focused on transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, has raised $15 million in Series G funding round from its existing investor base, along with new investor Ascension Ventures. More here.

Pinterest, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based social pinning site, has raised $150 million in venture funding from a group of existing investors at the same share price as two years ago, with Bloomberg citing the company’s inability to keep pace with internet rivals as the reason. The last fundraising round was in April 2015, valuing the business at about $11 billion; because the number of shares in the company has grown over time, its new valuation is $12.3 billion. More here.

Plynk, a two-year-old, Dublin, Ireland-based money messaging app founded by a former Facebook manager and a former Wonga engineer, has raised $28 million from a Swiss investment trust. The team claims it’s the biggest ever Series A round for an Irish software startup. Business Insider has more here.

Quantifi, a year-old, Indianapolis, In.-based company whose software helps marketers perform digital ad experiments at scale, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding from High Alpha Capital, Router Ventures and numerous early customers, including The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More here.

Scout RFP, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that helps companies streamline their supplier selection, centralize their data, and ostensibly make more informed purchasing decisions, has closed on $15.5 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from New Enterprise Associates, which had led the company’s Series A round. The round brings its total funding to $27.25 million. More here.

Shortlist, a two-year-old, San Francisco- and New York-based talent management platform, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, including from Impulse VC, FundersClub, and Alchemist Accelerator. TechCrunch has more here.

Stem, a two-year-old, L.A.-based financial platform that aims to simplify payments for musicians and content creators, has raised $8 million in Series A funding co-led by Evolution Media and Aspect Ventures, with participation from earlier backer Upfront Ventures. A long string of individual investors, including numerous music managers, also joined the round. More here.

Tractable, a three-year-old, London-based insurtech start-up that specializes in computer vision, has raised $8 million in Series A funding, led by Ignition Partners, and earlier investor Zetta Venture Partners, among others. U.K. Startups has more here.

Upbeat, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose cloud-based PR platform aims to automate how companies handle their public relations, has raised $1.5 million in funding from a long list of investors that includes Draper Associates, Maverick Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, FirstRock Capital, UpHonest Capital, Quest Venture Partners, SV Angel, 500 Startups, Stanford-StartX Fund, and Y Combinator. More here.

Wavecell, a seven-year-old, Singapore-based cloud communications platform, has raised $8.2 million in Series B funding co-led by venture firm Qualgro and MDI Ventures, the venture unit of Telkom Indonesia. Earlier backer Wavemaker Partners and other, unnamed new investors also joined the round. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Yubico, a 10-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that sells authentication and encryption hardware, has raised $30 million through the sale of primary and secondary shares, including from New Enterprise Associates; the Valley Fund, a Menlo Park-based venture capital firm; and Bure, a Swedish growth equity firm. More here.

New Funds

Chinese venture capital firm Legend Capital has raised $448 million for its seventh China-focused venture capital fund, a vehicle that hit the road to raise funds more than a year ago. Legend Capital, the investment arm of Chinese technology company and Lenovo’s owner Legend Holdings, had raised $500 million in May 2014 for its previous vehicle. DealStreetAsia has more here.

A Richmond, Va.-based venture capital firm, NRV (formerly known as New Richmond Ventures), has raised $33 million to invest in early-stage businesses in the Richmond region and throughout Virginia. More here.

Also Sponsored By . . .

StrictlyVC is also being brought to you this week courtesy of Dreamit UrbanTech. Its message to readers (and founders of breakthrough startups, particularly):

The Dreamit UrbanTech Accelerator Program is officially accepting applications for their Fall 2017 cycle through June 23rd. Participating startups will benefit from unprecedented access to Dreamit’s national customer and investor network, including a chance to interface with the $3 billion Tampa Bay Urban Redevelopment Initiative being led by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investments. The Dreamit UrbanTech accelerator seeks startups that use digital solutions to make urban areas more livable, sustainable, connected and efficient. We’re looking for startups working in real estate tech, construction tech, IoT, smart cities, clean energy, agriculture, transportation, and AI to join our 14-week growth-focused program. Apply before June 23!


ShotSpotter, whose gunshot detection is used in law enforcement, has raised $30.8 million in an IPO that, ahem, hit its target. Silicon Valley Business Journal has more here.


The leader of the U.S. government’s leading patent agency, Michelle Lee, has unexpectedly resigned from her post, according to Recode. Lee, a former lawyer for Google, took over the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during the Obama administration, and many in the tech industry expected Trump to renominate her to the post. More here.

Michael Segal, who joined Bessemer Venture Partners’ New York office in 2009, has been promoted to vice president. Segal took time away from the firm from 2011 until 2015 to launch and run a company, Skylight, a consumer IOT platform.

Uber informed employees yesterday that it has fired 20 people, following a company-wide investigation into harassment claims. More here.


Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, is looking to bring a director of investments (a junior position) into its corporate venture unit. The job is in Cambridge, Ma.

Essential Reads

Amazon is going after Walmart with a 45 percent discount on Prime for lower-income shoppers.

It’ll take a few more years before Tesla officially launches the Model Y, but we now kinda, sorta know what it could look like.

The newest Fortune 500 list is out.


The “insane” private island resort where Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel honeymooned.

How Russian propoganda spread from a parody website to Fox News.

What elite athletes can teach you about time management.

Retail Therapy

The big trend in sunglasses this summer is right above your nose.

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