StrictlyVC: August 28, 2017

Holy s, southeast Texas. Hang in there.

No column today (we’re not quite done with what we’re working on).

Top News in the A.M.

Uber has a new CEO: longtime Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Here’s an excellent look at his career, and what he and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick have in common.

Interestingly, Khosrowshahi may come with a price tag in the neighborhood of $200 million. At least, as Bloomberg notes, he holds unvested options at Expedia worth $184.4 million, and companies typically grant replacement awards to execs who forfeit unvested equity.

It’s going to be a big job, obviously. One of Khosrowshahi’s first tasks, says early Uber advisor Bradley Tusk, should be to implement the Holder report recommendations. Step two: Hire a management team.

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New Fundings

Access Vascular, a two-year-old, Bedford, Ma.-based medical device company that’s developing venous access devices to eliminate thrombotic risk, has raised $3.7 million in funding from unnamed individual investors and angelMD, an investment platform that connects medical startups, physicians, and investors. More here.

Athelas, a year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based startup that wants to change blood testing with a machine that promises precise results (yes, that sounds familiar), quietly raised $3.5 million million earlier this year led by Sequoia Capital. The company has raised $3.7 million altogether. Bloomberg kicks the tires here.

CF PharmTech, an eight-year-old, Suzhou, China-based specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and manufactures inhalation products, has raised $65 million in Series D funding led by Future Industry Investment Fund, a private equity fund managed by SDIC Fund Management Corporation. Other participants in the round include CCB InternationalYuanming CapitalLongmen Capital and Hengyutianze. China Money Network has more here.

Distinct Healthcare, a five-year-old, China-based private clinic franchise (a la One Medical), has raised $40 million in Series C funding, including from Matrix Partners ChinaTiantu CapitalChina International Capital Co.Qianhai Fund of Funds, and Shuimu Fund. China Money Network has more here.

Entefy, a five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company at work on a smart platform that uses AI to help users interact with people, services, and smart devices through what it has dubbed a “universal connector,” has raised $8 million in Series A funding from undisclosed investors. The company has now raised $17.7 million to date. More here (though its site is fairly cryptic).

Fangsiling, a two-year-old,  Nanjing, China-based startup offering rent installment payment options to young professionals in China, has raised $45 million in Series E funding. Mingdaojinkong led the round; other participants include 9F Bank9C CapitalWill Hunting Capital and China Money Network has more here.

Freenome, a three-year-old, South San Francisco, Ca.-based company focused on disease management and cancer detection through blood tests, has raised an additional $7 million in Series A funding. The new funding brings the company’s total funding to nearly $72 million, was led by Section 32 (Bill Maris’s new fund) and included the participation of 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki and other private and corporate investors. More here.

Hubble, a 10-month-old, New York-based direct-to-consumer contact lens brand, has raised $10 million in additional Series A funding from earlier investors FirstMark CapitalGreycroft PartnersFounders FundWildcat Capital Management and Two River. The company, which had closed on $16.5 million in Series A funding earlier this year, has now raised more than $30 million to date. More here.

IndoorAtlas, a five-year-old, Oulu, Finland and Palo Alto, Ca.-based developer of indoor positioning technology, has raised €3.6 million ($4.3 million) in Series B funding led by Yahoo! Japan, with participation from earlier investors Takoa Invest and Innovestor VenturesMore here.

MedGenome, a four-year-old, Foster City, Ca.-based genomics research and diagnostics company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia India and Sofina s.a., with participation from Zodius CapitalKris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys; and Lakshmi Narayanan, former CEO of Cognizant. More here.

Seven Senders, a three-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based e-commerce logistics startup that helps online shops ship to their customers, has raised €6.5 million ($7.8 million) in Series A funding led by btov Partners. EU Startups has more here.

Sherpa, a year-old, Naxxar, Malta-based price comparison sites for insurance products, has raised $2.3 million from InsurTech.VC and numerous angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.

TimePlay, a 13-year-old, Toronto-based company specializing in interactive experiences for mobile and other second screen devices, has closed the first tranche of its Series A, closing on $6.4 million in funding. The company comes from unnamed accredited investors. More here.

WhatsBroadcast, a two-year-old, Munich, Germany-based messenger service for enterprises, has raised €5 million (roughly $6 million) in Series A funding, including from Hightech GründerfondsMüller Medienmedia + more venturesWessel Management, and other, unnamed, parties. More here.


Hong Kong logistics company GoGoVan has agreed to a merger with 58 Suyun, the freight business of mainland Chinese online classifieds giant 58 Home, creating Hong Kong’s first startup that’s worth more than $1 billion. South China Morning Post has more here.

Gilead Sciences has acquired to buy acquire Kite Pharma, a publicly traded, Santa Monica, Ca.-based cancer immunotherapy company, for  $11.9 billion in cash, or $180 per share, which is a 29 percent premium over Friday’s closing price. Kite Pharma has a cell therapy treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma under review by the FDA that uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancerous cells. The L.A. Times has more here.


Since joining the Warriors in 2013, Andre Iguodala, 33, has quickly become part of the vanguard of NBA players and other athletes making financial forays into Silicon Valley. Bloomberg takes a look at his web of connections, and what he has funded so far.

Travis Kalanick filed a new document today arguing the case involving Benchmark should move to arbitration. This filing reiterates Kalanick’s earlier argument that Benchmark’s claims are subject to mandatory arbitration and that the Delaware Chancery Court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to settle them.

Boosted just landed a new CEO — Jeff Russakow — as the company tries to grow beyond electric skateboards.

Nice news: Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan welcomed their second daughter, August, he announced earlier today.

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American Family Insurance, a venture firm investing $200 million into startups in and around the insurance industry, is looking to hire a senior analyst. The job is New York.

Essential Reads

Apple is expected to announce three new iPhones at its September 12 event.

The retailers that can resist the Amazon onslaught.

In related news, Amazon’s its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods closed today, and the grocer is already rolling out discounts on select food items as result.


Why dating in your 20s is terrible.

(Better) understanding last night’s season conclusion to “Game of Thrones.”

Retail Therapy

Six places to visit with your unused vacation days.

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