StrictlyVC: June 30, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! If you’re heading out of the town in advance of July 4th, safe travels. So you know, we will be publishing StrictlyVC next week except on Tuesday; it might be a little more compact, depending on what’s happening in startupland.

See you back here soon.:)

Top News in the A.M.

Social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts within 24 hours under a law passed on Friday. The New York Times has more here.

Sponsored By . . .

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Binary’s Investors Just Accepted Jonathan Teo’s Resignation

Earlier this week, following the resignations of Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck and a more recent addition to the team, Matt Mazzeo, Binary co-founder Jonathan Teo offered to resign his position, as well.

Late yesterday, the firm’s limited partners — including WeatherGage, Legacy Venture, UNC and UCLA — accepted Teo’s resignation.

According to sources, the firm’s portfolio companies will now report directly to these limited partners with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, these institutional investors have committed to coming up with a new brand for the entity and to finding a new general partner to assume control of the stakes in Binary’s $125 million debut fund.

Binary had closed a second fund last year with $175 million, but it had yet to call down the vast majority of that capital. The companies in that portfolio will also be managed by the incoming general partner.

Binary’s investors were torn over whether or not to allow Teo to continue managing the firm’s investments, according to one source close to the situation. Not all were in agreement that he was culpable for the failings of Caldbeck, who was revealed in an explosive report last week to have harassed or preyed upon numerous female founders who’d met with Caldbeck in a professional capacity over the years.

When revelations about Caldbeck were initially made public last week by The Information, Caldbeck and Teo initially denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations a “few examples which show that Justin has in the past occasionally dated or flirted with women he met in a professional capacity.”

On Sunday, after Caldbeck was pressured to step down from his post, Teo issued a statement calling the “predatory behavior” of Caldbeck “deplorable” and insisting that “there will be zero tolerance at our firm of any conduct that is demeaning to women.”

The company’s portfolio CEOs evidently didn’t buy it, banding together and telling Binary’s LPs that it was either their way or the highway. Specifically, we’re told, nearly all of the CEOs presented or obtained legal documents with which to buy back their shares from Binary unless the LPs agreed to accept Teo’s resignation, too.

New Fundings

ArangoDB, a five-year-old, Cologne, Germany-based distributed open-source database, has raised €4.2 million ($4.8 million) in funding led by the Munich-based venture capital firm Target PartnersMore here.

Babyscripts, a four-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based virtual care platform for obstetricians, has raised $5.7 million in new funding led by Ysios Capital, with participation from Chemo GroupCG Health VenturesAurora Health Care Ventures, and P5 Health VenturesMore here.

Danke Apartment, a two-year-old, Beijing-based online apartment rental platform, has raised $14 million in fresh Series A funding led by JOY Capital, with participation from co-working space start-up UrWork and earlier investor Kaiwuhuadeng. China Money Network has more here.

Rong Cloud, a three-year-old, Beijing-based cloud-based instant messaging service provider, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led by GP Capital, with participation from other firms, including Tianxing Capital. China Money Network has more here.

Kakao Mobility, a ride-hailing Korea-based app business that’s been spin out of Kakao, the country’s top mobile messenger company, has raised roughly $437 million in funding from TPG. As some readers may know, TPG’s portfolio includes Uber, which is Kakao Mobility’s most visible rival in Korea. TechCrunch has more here.

Mirexus Biotechnologies, a nine-year-old, Ontario-based natural nanomaterials company, has raised $12 million funding led by GEL Tech, with participation from the GreenSky President’s Club, an Ontario-based group of angel investors. More here.

Swift Navigation, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based tech company that’s building centimeter-accurate GPS technology to power autonomous vehicles, has raised $34 million in Series B funding led by Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates, with participation from earlier backers Eclipse and First Round CapitalMore here.

Trax, a seven-year-old, Singapore-based computer vision company that’s trying to transform how in-store retail data is collected, viewed and analyzed, has raised $64 million in funding from private equity giant Warburg Pincus. China Money Network has more here.

Unchained Labs, a two-year-old, Pleasanton, Ca.–based life sciences company that provides new tools to biologics researchers, has raised $13 million in Series C financing including from Novo VenturesCanaan Partners and TPGMore here.

Vector, a year-old, Tucson, Az.-based micro satellite launch company, has raised $21 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company — founded by aerospace engineer Jim Cantrell, who was part of the original Space X team — has now raised $31 million altogether. Bloomberg has more here.

Work Truck Solutions, a four-year-old, Chico, Ca.-based commercial truck sales platform, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by Autotech Ventures. Earlier backers Belle MichiganWakestream VenturesMoneta Ventures and Golden Seeds also joined the round. More here.


Delivery Hero rose as much as 8.6 percent in its first day of trading, giving the Berlin-based takeout company a market capitalization of 4.7 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in a successful debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Bloomberg has more here.

Enterprise cloud company Tintri is finally out, after lowering its price last night to $7 per share (down from an initial targeted range of between $10.50 to $12.50). The shares, which began trading this morning, are up the slightest bitas of this writing. More here.

ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance, China’s first internet-only insurer, has filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong worth up to $1.5 billion. Reuters has more here.


Designer Tony Fadell sees a screenless future.

Not all is Zen at Headspace, as layoffs hit the app-based mindfulness startup.

Nokia has nabbed Samsung’s North America CEO, Gregory Lee, to lead its consumer-focused technologies division.

Palmer Luckey, who created the Oculus headset, is now pledging money to a project that allows users to play Oculus-exclusive games on competing products.

Elon Musk says he’s revealing more details about the Tesla 3’s release this Sunday.

Retired VC Chris Sacca says he hasn’t always been so great to women founders, either.


People who post 50-plus times per day are likely sharing spam or false news, Facebook says, and it plans to demote those links.

Essential Reads

If you missed the Female Founders Conference yesteday, you can watch it here.

How teens really use Snapchat, Instagram, and other apps.

Here’s when you should buy bitcoin and ethereum.


The man who drew Eloise.

A new planet has just been discovered at the edge of the solar system. At least, that’s what everyone is hoping it is.

Retail Therapy

Neat,  an app that connects you with real-life photo editors who can clean up your snaps.

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