StrictlyVC: August 21, 2017

Hi and happy Monday, everyone! No column today. (It was the first day back to school in our house, so hectic. We’ve also been distracted by this stupefying solar eclipse, which we’re still watching online.)

In separate news: our upcoming event, Wednesday, September 27, in San Francisco, is nearly sold out. We have roughly a dozen seats and that’s it, alas. If you don’t have a ticket but know you want to come, don’t delay.

Thank you to Bolt and to Ballou PR and to Rosebud Communications for partnering with us; your support is invaluable. Thanks, too, to the wonderful Sarah McBride of Bloomberg, who will be leading the evening’s VC chat.

Top News in the A.M.

Bitcoin Cash is crashing.

Watch Google unveil the next version of Android, coming up live in a bit right here.

New Fundings

Capital Float, a four-year-old, Bangalore, India-based digital finance company that provides working capital and business loans to SMEs, has raised $45 million in Series C funding led by Ribbit Capital, with participation from SAIF PartnersSequoia India and Creation Investments. TechCrunch has more here.

Commonwealth Joe, a five-year-old, Arlington, Va.-based coffee roasting company, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Mendacre, with participation from Hammerstone Capital and Stroud Companies. DC has more here.

eMoov, a seven-year-old, Essex, England-based online real estate agency, has raised £9 million ($11.6 million) in funding led by JXC Ventures, with participation from Episode 1 VCMaxfield CapitalSpire and Startive Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Let’s Do This, a year-old, London-based online sports listing startup that wants to build the “Airbnb of endurance events,” has raised £1 million from numerous individuals in tech, banking, and sports. Business Insider has more here.

Magmode, a two-year-old, Beijing-based Chinese men’s fashion start-up, has raised $15 million in addition Series B funding led by the Sino-French private equity firm Cathay Capital Private EquitySinovation Ventures also joined the round. China Money Network has more here.

Monstar Lab, an 11-year-old, Japan-based software development firm, has raised $6.3 million in funding, including from YJ CapitalShinsei Corporate InvestmentSan-In Chuo Television Broadcasting CoFenox Venture Capital and Tanabe Corp. Tech in Asia has more here.

Prodigy Finance, a 10-year-old, London-based platform that helps students fund their studies by connecting them with alums who’ll loan them money based on their future earning potential, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. Index Ventures led the round, with participation from Balderton Capital and the African fintech accelerator AlphaCode. Business Insider has more here.

UangTeman, a three-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based online microlending platform, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by K2 Venture CapitalEnspire Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures, with participation from Draper Associates. DealStreetAsia has more here.

New Funds

Beoff Lewis, a partner at Founders Fund, is leaving to start his own fund, says Bloomberg. If that sounds familiar, it’s because he’s following a similar path as Luke Nosek, a Founders Fund cofounder who also recently left the firm to start his own fund. Nosek’s fund is called Gigafund, and its objective in part is to help Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, raise money. Meanwhile, Lewis reportedly plans to raise more than $100 million for his new fund, with Founders Fund as an anchor investor. More here.

The pan-Asian venture capital and growth equity firm Epsilon Venture Partners – which recently marked the first close of its $350 million fund – expects to hit its final close by early next year, it says. The firm, set up two years ago, was founded by Sudheer Kuppam, the former India and Asia Pacific managing director of Intel Capital; it plans to invest at least one third of its fund in Indian companies and the rest in North and Southeast Asian countries. DealStreet Asia talks with Kuppam here.


Cisco said today that it plans to buy Springpath, a five-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based software startup known for the development of a distributed file system for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems. Cisco is paying around $320 million, says ZDNet. According to Crunchbase, Springpath had raised $34 million from NEARedpoint VenturesSequoia Capital, and Stanford UniversityMore here.

Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch has acquired ClipMine, a three-year-old, Palo Alto-based video indexing platform that’s now being put to use to translate visual information in videos – like objects, text, logos and scenes – into metadata that can help people more easily find the streams they want to watch. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. ClipMine had raised $2.6 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Its backers included renowned investor Ram Shriram, former Facebook vice president Greg Badros, entrepreneur Amarjit Gill and Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tam. TechCrunch has more here.


Investor-operator Ellen Pao has published a new book about sexism in Silicon Valley. The Cut has an excerpt.

Over half a dozen residents of a San Francisco “castle” have become bitcoin millionaires. Business Insider takes a look inside.

Also Sponsored By . . .

Today’s StrictlyVC is also brought to you by the Financial Solutions Lab at CFSI, which selected Blueprint Income,, EverSafe, Grove, Nova, Point, Token Transit, and Tomorrow for this year’s Lab class. What makes these startups so special?


Rev1 Ventures, a Columbus, Oh.-based seed-stage venture firm, is looking to hire a director of investments.


The solar eclipse is reportedly costing companies at least $700 million in lost worker productivity. (To quote the characters from “Billions,” one of our favorite shows: worth it!)

Essential Reads

How hate groups forced online platforms to reveal their true nature.

Since Britain gave notice it was leaving the European Union in March, a growing list of British VC firms has been told they will not receive financial support from the European Investment Fund, the EU agency that provides almost half of the money for the region’s venture capital industry.

An inside look at Ford’s $1 billion bet on Argo AI.


The evolution of Drogon the Dragon, in “Game of Thrones.”

How your feelings affect your face.

Retail Therapy

Freak out a date (and anyone else who visits you).

VW is bringing back its Microbus, and it’s electric.

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