StrictlyVC: July 7, 2017

Friday! [Moonwalks.]

No column today, but before we go, a shout out on behalf of our colleagues over at TechCrunch: If you are a startup founder, or an investor who knows startup founders, know that TC is right now reviewing applicants for its newest Battlefield competition, being staged at TechCrunch Disrupt SF on September 18th through September 20th. What TC is looking for specifically: companies that are early stage, willing to launch something significant on stage, and have had limited to no press exposure. Any and all verticals will be considered. Startups needn’t be based in the U.S. Winners — and these have included Dropbox, Yammer, and Zenefits — receive $50,000 and a whole lot of attention from investors and corporates. (Finalists don’t do too shabbily on that front, either.) Apply here.

Hope you have a stellar weekend, everyone. See you in a few days.:)

Top News in the A.M.

Whoa: Waymo just dropped most of its patent claims in its fight with Uber. Bloomberg has more here.

Snack bar company Kind, whose products have become ubiquitous at tech startups — VC Chamath Palihapitiya’s related joke at a StrictlyVC event was so resonant, it went viral — is reportedly looking to sell a stake in its business at a $3 billion valuation. Reuters has more here.

New Fundings

Dashu Finance, a three-year-old, Shenzhen China-based online lender of unsecured loans to small and micro enterprises, has raised $17 million in Series C funding led by the Asian alternative investment management firm PAG and the China-focused private equity firm Primavera Capital Group. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Hudl, an 11-year-old, Lincoln, Ne.-based software platform that provides video analysis and coaching tools to sports teams, has raised $30 million in funding from earlier backers, including Accel PartnersJeff and Tricia Raikes, and Nelnet. VentureBeat has more here.

Jiguang, a six-year-old, Shenzhen, China-based startup that analyzes user activity for mobile app developers and marketers, has raised “tens of millions of dollars” of Series D funding led by Fidelity International, reports DealStreet Asia. More here., a two-year-old, L.A.-based company at work on a voice-controlled system for smart homes that includes hardware, has raised $11 million from undisclosed investors. TechCrunch has much more here.

Kangarootime, a two-year-old, Long Beach, Ca.-based maker of cloud-based software for early learning centers, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Skyview VenturesMucker Capital, and Tech Coast AngelsMore here.

Light Polymers, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based nanochemistry startup with domain knowledge of lyotropic liquid crystals (used in LCD and OLED flat panel displays), has raised $5 million in funding round led by Tsingda International Venture Capital and TEL Venture CapitalMore here.

MobileODT, a five-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of connected medical devices, has raised $6.8 million in Series B funding led by OrbiMed Advisors, with participaton from TristelMore here.

PointPredictive, a four-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company that helps lenders and online retailers stop fraud and reduce payment default losses, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Mosaik Partners, an expansion-stage venture capital fund. More here.

Side, a two-year-old, Paris-based marketplace that helps companies scale their workforces for product launches, peak seasons and more, has raised $5.7 million led by investor Xavier Niel. TechCrunch has more here.

Sol Voltaics, a 10-year-old, Lund, Sweden-based nanotechnology company focused on solar cell nanowire materials, has raised $21.3 million in fresh funding from Norway-based Watrium, alongside previous investors Kagra Gruppen, Nordic VC firm IndustrifondenFAM, Nano Future Invest, Blue Marlin and TeknoinvestMore here.

Squirro, a five-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based advanced context intelligence and insights software platform, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Orange Growth Capital, with participation from Salesforce Ventures and (unnamed) earlier backers. More here.

ThinkHR, a 12-year-old, Pleasanton, Ca.-based cloud-based HR platform that offers a unique combination of online compliance and employee training solutions, has secured a $5 million credit faciity from SaaS Capital, a lending outfit to SaaS businesses. It’s the second credit line SaaS Capital has provided to the company. More here.

Vidcode, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based startup that’s focused on teaching teens how to code and passed through the Y Combinator program last summer, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Backers include ZhenFundRethink EducationNYU VenturesCoVentureEvan Korth SyndicateStephano KimCherry Ventures, and BrainPOP. TechCrunch has more here.

New Funds

ICONIQ Capital, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based venture capital firm that somewhat famously manages the money of family offices that do (or did) include Mark Zuckerberg’s, has closed on $570.4 million for its third fund, shows an SEC filing.

Oakhouse Partners, a 10-month-old, San Francisco-based venture firm, is aiming to raise a $50 million debut fund, suggests an SEC filing. The firm was founded by Jason Portnoy, who’d previously cofounded four-year-old Subtraction Capital. Earlier in his career, Portnoy also served as the CFO of Clarium Capital, Palantir Technologies, and Practice Fusion. More here.


Biotech’s IPO uptick is nothing to fear, says Bloomberg.


DataGravity, a five-year-old, Nashua, N.H.-based data security and remediation services software company, has been acquired, though it hasn’t yet disclosed by whom or for what terms. According to Crunchbase, the company had raised $92 million from investors, including Accel PartnersAndreessen HorowitzCRV and General Catalyst Partners. The Register has more here.

Jawbone, the consumer electronics firm, is kaput, reports The Information. (We’d kind of seen this coming five years ago; we’re genuinely amazed-impressed that the company managed to slug it out for so long.)


Japanese mobile company Gree is ending its operations in the West, shutting down three studios, and cutting 125 jobs.

A government watchdog group yesterday filed a complaint with the Office of Government Ethics over White House adviser Jared Kushner‘s ownership interest in the real estate investment company Cadre.


Target Global, a venture firm focused on fintech opportunities, is looking to hire a senior associate. The job is in Moscow.

Viacom is looking to hire an SVP of digital business development. The job is in New York.

Essential Reads

Amazon reportedly threatened to kill its Whole Foods deal if the grocer started a bidding war. More in Recode.

The largest online black market for drugs, AlphaBay, has been down for nearly two days, raising questions about whether it was seized by law enforcement authorities or taken down in a swindle. Dealbook has the story here.


This deadly spider assassin is a-mazing.

Kafka’s joke book. (Still funny.)

How to fit two weeks’ worth of clothes in a carry-on, and other travel tips.

Retail Therapy

Off-road campers for when money is no object. also has some new stuff worth checking out.

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