StrictlyVC: June 27, 2017

Hi, dear readers, happy Tuesday!

Top News in the A.M.

Google was just slapped with a $2.7 billion fine by European antitrust officials for unfairly favoring some of its own services.

Facebook now has two beellion users.

And, crikey, a new ransomware attack is going global fast.

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StdLib Just Raised $2 Million to Connect Businesses via APIs

Six years ago, Keith Horwood was known in his native Toronto as a former graduate student who’d hacked into his school’s student union election site, changing candidates’ titles for comic effect. (He was given what’s called a conditional discharge after paying a fine and performing community service.)

He also determined that he’d rather become known in tech circles as an agent for good, and he seems to be working toward that end with StdLib, his roughly two-year-old startup that abstracts away infrastructure using “serverless” architecture, allowing developers to write everything from simple functions to complex business logic, then deploy their code as scalable, fully­ documented web APIs.

The idea: delivering web services and APIs is a complex problem, and plenty can go wrong between the birth of a business idea and the production implementation of a web service. StdLib is aiming to solve the problem by making it possible to deploy new updates that are uncoupled from a company’s infrastructure. (This way, if things go awry with that new function or update, users and customers needn’t know.)

The company has plenty of competition. Still, investors must think it has a chance at fighting through a growing field of upstarts.

StdLib first passed through the accelerator program AngelPad early last year; today, it’s announcing another $2 million in fresh seed funding led by BlueYard Capital, a Berlin­- based venture firm focused largely on the democratization of software development.

Other investors in the round include Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures; Aston Motes, who was Dropbox’s first engineer; Michael Dabrowski, president of the biotechnology company Synthego; and the Nordic Makers Venture Group.

Horwood says it wasn’t easy breaking into the Silicon Valley scene several years ago, where he first moved to work at Storefront, a company that likens itself to an Airbnb of retail, renting out short-term commercial space.

More here.

New Fundings, a newly launched, Bay Area-based startup that want to enable publishers to manage their user acquisition from a single place, has raised $2 million in funding from individual investors, including AdColony founder Jonathan Zweig and John Zdanowski, a former CFO at  Linden Lab. TechCrunch has more here.

Auth0, a four-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company that makes online identity verification and protections software, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Meritech Capital Partners. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo and Australia’s Telstra also joined the round, along with earlier backers Bessemer Venture PartnersTrinity Ventures, and K9 Ventures. GeekWire has more here.

Diffblue, a year-old, Oxford, England-based company whose core AI can apparently build an exact mathematical model of any code base with just a few examples provided, has raised $22 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, with participation from Oxford Sciences Innovations, and the Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund. TechCrunch has more here., a two-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based self-driving technology startup, has raised $50 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from GGV and previous investors, including Northern Light. TechCrunch has more here.

Flip, a two-year-old, New York-based company that enables users to sublet or escape their apartment leases, has just raised $2.2 million from Union Square VenturesTechstars New York City, and Collaborative Fund. The company had earlier raised $1.2 million from Joanne WilsonScott BelskyTechstars VenturesBuilt by Girls VenturesV1 Ventures and MetaProp NYC. TechCrunch has more here.

Glooko, a seven-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based diabetes data management platform, has raised $35 million in new funding led by Georgian Partners. Other investors in the round include Insulet CorporationMayo ClinicCanaan PartnersSocial CapitalMedtronic and Samsung NextMore here.

HealthLoop, an eight-year-old, SaaS platform that enables medical practices to monitor symptoms and communicate with patients during the recovery process, has raised $8.4 million in Series B funding. Investors include NextEquityLafayette General HospitalCanvas VenturesSummation Health Ventures, and iCarbonX, a Chinese health-related data mining and analysis firm. DealStreetAsia has more here.

JASK, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose technology  automates network monitoring and management for overtaxed security teams, has raised $12 million in funding led by Dell Technologies Capital and TenEleven Ventures. Earlier backers Battery Ventures and Vertical Venture Partners also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.

Klarna, the 12-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based e-commerce payments “unicorn,” has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Visa. TechCrunch has more on what the tie-up means here.

Oars & Alps, a two-year-old, Chicago-based e-commerce company that’s focused on “premium” men’s grooming and skincare products, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding, including from Breakout Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

PromoRepublic, a five-year-old, Helsinki-based SaaS business that helps freelance marketers and small businesses create content for social networks, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding, including from Howzat PartnersDigital Future and Spring Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Stashfin, a 1.5-year-old, Delhi, India-based online lending company, has raised $5 million in “pre-Series A” funding  from Snow Leopard Ventures and Alto Partners. The Economic Times has more here.

Stayawhile, a nine-month-old, New York-based collection of furnished apartments for guests who want to move freely between cities, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by New Enterprise AssociatesFounders Fund and Global Founders Capital also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.

Sumo Logic, a seven-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based cloud-based log analysis platform, has raised $75 million in funding led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from Accel PartnersDFJ GrowthGreylock PartnersInstitutional Venture PartnersSequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures. The company has now raised $235 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

View, a 10-year-old, Milpitas, Ca.-based maker of internet-connected windows that can be made more or less transparent, eliminating the need for blinds, has raised $200 million in fresh funding from TIAA and earlier investor BlackRock, which had previously provided the company with $70 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Your.MD, a five-year-old, London-based AI-driven health information service delivered via a bot, has raised $10 million in new funding. The round was led by Orkla Ventures, the venture arm of Orkla, a supplier of branded consumer goods to the health, pharmacy, and grocery sectors in the Nordics, Baltics and parts of Central Europe. Earlier backer Smedvig Capital also participated. TechCrunch has more here.

New Funds

Capnamic Ventures, a five-year-old, early-stage venture capital firm based in Berlin and Cologne, has closed its newest fund with €115 million in capital commitments, including from corporate investors Axa GermanyCisco, and several media companies. The firm plans to invest in the primarily German-speaking regions of Europe, with a focus on “B2B solutions, digital infrastructure, and digital transformation.” TechCrunch has more here.

Cloudflare, an eight-year-old performance and security company that provides online services to protect and accelerate websites online, just announced a $100 million fund, which it has created with the help of its own investors. (These include NEA, Union Square Ventures, and Fidelity Investments.) The idea is to back developers whose apps take advantage of the Cloudflare ecosystem. TechCrunch has more here.

DayTwo, a two-year-old, Israel-based microbiome-health management startup, has raised $12 million in Series A funding from Johnson & Johnson InnovationSeventure Partners and the Mayo ClinicMore here.

The South African bank Investec is planning to put together a new €75 million venture capital fund to support early-stage, high-growth Irish companies. The Irish Times has more here.

Ludlow Ventures, an eight-year-old, early-stage venture firm in Detroit, has closed its second venture fund with $45 million in capital commitments, founder and managing partner Jonathon Triest tells us. Ludlow’s team, which includes partner Brett deMarrais and associate Blake Robbins, was originally targeting $40 million; its investors, or limited partners, include four institutions, along with numerous family offices and high-net-worth individuals. TechCrunch has more here.

Pantera Capital, an investment firm that for years has focused exclusively on digital currencies, has now raised $23.5 million from 28 investors to expressly to back initial coin offerings. The SEC filing, which doesn’t state a target, is here.

Trend Micro, a 29-year-old, Japan-based cybersecurity company that trades publicly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at a $7.5 billion market cap, is jumping into corporate VC. Specifically, it unveiled a $100 million corporate fund today that will invest in internet-of-things opportunities, among others. TechCrunch has more here.


Calyxt, a seven-year-old, New Brighton, Mn.-based company that’s developing a pipeline of genetically altered food crops that it’s betting will be desirable to consumers, has filed to raise $50 million in an IPO.The company is a subsidiary of an already publicly traded company called Cellectis. More here.


It’s looking like Apple has acquired SensoMotoric Instruments, a Germany-based company that make seye-tracking tracking software, for undisclosed terms. MacRumors has more here.

Fiverr, a seven-year-old, Tel Aviv-based freelance marketplace, has acquired, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based video production marketplace that had raised roughly $1 million in seed funding from Marker LLC and UpWest Labs. Terms were not disclosed.

CastAR, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based gaming system company, has reported laid off a significant amount of its workforce and shuttered a recently acquired internal development studio called Eat, Sleep, Play. According to the outlet Polygon, the company has been unsuccessful in locking down Series B funding, and earlier backer Playground Global, which has provided the company with $15 million in 2015, isn’t coughing up anything more. More here.


For tennis great Serena Williams and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, it was a love match from (nearly) the start, says a new profile in Vanity Fair.

Frustrated founders say they’d like to hear from those institutions that funded Binary Capital, the venture firm that is imploding right now over sexual harassment issues and whose LPs haven’t spoken publicly about whether they will continue to support the firm in any form. In the meantime, Lightspeed Venture Partners, which used to employ disgraced VC Justin Caldbeck, has issued a statement on Twitter, acknowledging that it should have “done more” when it had the chance.


Point72 Ventures, an early-stage venture capital group funded exclusively by billionaire investor Steve Cohen and eligible employees of Point72 Asset Management, is looking to hire an associate. The job is in Palo Alto, Ca.


The global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 billion last year, according to a new report from app analytics firm App Annie. More here.

Essential Reads

Fake news of a fatal car crash wiped out $4 billion in ethereum’s market valueyesterday.

The all-seeing surveillance state feared in the West is now the reality in China.

Another day, another e-commerce business that’s moving to open brick-and-mortar stores.


Under Antarctica.

Wanted: jurors for the fraud trial of Martin Shkreli who don’t think he’s a “snake,” “the most hated man in America,” or “the face of corporate greed.”

Retail Therapy

$19 million party pad just hit the New York market. (Past guests include Mick Jagger and Michael Douglas.)

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