StrictlyVC: September 5, 2017

Hello! You are back! Hope you had a great break.:)

No column today. (We’re working on a couple of things but neither is done.)

Top News in the A.M.

President Trump just put in legal limbo one million people who consider themselves Americans. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, writing about the administration’s decision this morning, said what most of us are thinking right now: “This is a sad day for our country. The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.”

Microsoft says it will pay legal fees to fight its Dreamer employees’ deportation.

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CNN. TechCrunch. WSJ. Forbes. Bloomberg. Business Insider. These are a fraction of the outlets where our clients have appeared — and they’ve paid us a fraction of the price most PR firms charge them for our efforts. We’re Rosebud Communications. Find out just how scrappy we are, at

New Fundings

Acutronic Robotics, a year-old, Álava, Spain-based robotics development firm (it sells hardware products, engineering services and more to clients), has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Sony Innovation Fund. TechCrunch has more here.

Aifloo, a two-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based startup that combines hardware sensors and AI in a “smart” wristband designed to help care for the elderly, has raised €5.1 million ($6 million) in new funding. EQT Ventures led the Series A round. TechCrunch has more here.

Allbirds, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of eco-friendly wool shoes that have taken over the tech world, has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding, led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Elephant and earlier investors Maveron and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. The company has now raised $27.5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

Bitmain Technologies, a Beijing, China-based leading maker of chips and machines for mining bitcoin, is reportedly raising $50 million from several venture firms, including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital. Bloomberg has more here.

Classcraft, a four-year-old, Quebec- and New York-based startup that produces a free, online, educational role-playing game that teachers and students play together, has raised $2.8 million in funding led by Whitecap Venture Partners, with participation from Brightspark VenturesMaRS Catalyst Fund, and previous investors. More here.

Entasis Therapeutics, a two-year-old, Waltham, Ma.-based company that’s trying to develop a portfolio of cures for serious drug-resistant bacterial infections, has raised $31.9 million Series B-1 extension financing. New investors include Pivotal bioVenture PartnersSofinnova Ventures and TPG Biotech. The original Series B round had closed with $50 million in March of last year, led by ClarusMore here.

Event Pop, a two-year-old, Thailand-based digital ticketing startup, has raised more than $2 million in Series A funding led by InVent, a subsidiary of the parent of operator AIS, and Kasikorn Bank. TechCrunch has more here.

Fast Travel Games, a 1.5-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based VR games studio founded by industry veterans from Rovio, Electronic Arts and DICE, has raised $2.1 million in Series A funding led by Industrifonden, with participation from CreadesInbox Capital and earlier investor Sunstone Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Finaeo, a 1.5-year-old, Toronto, Canada-based sales platform for insurance advisors, has raise $2.25 million in seed funding led by Impression Ventures, with participation from 500 StartupsRobo VenturesiGan Partners, and unnamed angel investors. More here.

ForeverCar, a five-year-old, Chicago-based technology platform for the car repair industry, has raised $12 million in debt from City Capital Advisors, and $3 million in equity from earlier backers, including CMFG Ventures (the venture arm of CUNA Mutual Group). More here.

ForgeRock, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based identity management startup, has raised $88 million in Series D funding led by Accel Partners, with participation from KKRMeritech Capital Partners, and Foundation Capital. The company has now raised more than $140 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.

Lilium, a two-year-old, Munich-based aviation startup whose machine has been compared to a flying car (including, fine, by us), is announcing it has closed $90 million in Series B funding, including from Tencent HoldingsLGT, which is a private banking and asset management group; early investor Atomico; and Obvious Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

LookBookHQ, a five-year-old, Toronto-based intelligent content platform that aims to accelerate B2B purchase decisions, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Edison Partners, with participation from Hyde Park Venture PartnersMore here.

Metawave Corporation, a months-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup whose primary market focus is to build intelligent beamsteering radars for autonomous driving, has raised $7 million in seed funding from Khosla VenturesMotus Ventures, and Thyra Global ManagementMore here.

Runtime, a three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.–based startup that provides IoT device management and monitoring, has raised $7.5 million in funding from New Enterprise AssociatesFoundation Capital, and DHVC.

SinoVision Technologies, a five-year-old, Beijing, China-based medtech start-up developing computed tomography (CT) scanners, has raised $29 million in new funding from HG CapitalQiming Venture Partners and a little-known Chinese healthcare investment firm called Yili Fuyi Daohe. China Money Network has more here.

Wizer, a three-year-old, New York-based AI-powered consumer research company, has raised $4 million in funding led by State of Mind Ventures, with participation from Nielsen InnovateMore here.

Yi+, a three-year-old, Beijing, China-based start-up developing machine vision technology for content marketing (it specializes in object recognition and facial recognition technology), has raised $14 million in Series B funding. Investors include Haitong SecuritiesBairongjun Group and The Bank of Beijing. China Money Network has more here.

Zomato, the nine-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based food ordering and restaurant discovery platform, is reportedly in talks with China’s payments giant Ant Financial Services Group to raise between $100 and 200 million in a deal that could value the company at between $800 million and $1 billion. LiveMint has more here.

New Funds

Eight Roads Ventures, a 22-year-old, venture firm, has launched its first dedicated China healthcare fund, and it’s targeting $250 million in capital commitments. Eight Roads is the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International and it has offices in China, India, Japan and the UK. China Money Network has more here.

StageOne Ventures, a Tel Aviv, Israel, and Palo Alto, Ca.-based early stage venture capital firm that focuses on Israel-related tech startups, has closed its third fund with $110 million in capital commitments. StageOne specializes primarily in IT infrastructure deals. The firm closed its second fund with $65 million in 2015. More here.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been mostly known in recent times for selling off pieces of its business, but it has quietly been buying up cloud companies in an attempt to build out a hybrid cloud business, notes TechCrunch. In fact, in what marks its fifth acquisition (at least) this year, the company said it’s buying Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based cloud consulting firm. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. More here.

Huddle, the enterprise software startup that was once considered the hot competition against Box and Dropbox, has quietly confirmed an effective sale to San Francisco private equity firm Turn/River. Business Insider has more here.

Nasdaq is buying eVestment, a 17-year-old, Marietta, Ga.-based investment analytics provider, for $705 million, says Reuters. More here.


Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish maker of the “Angry Birds” games, said today that it will go public in Helsinki. Dealbook has more here.

Also Sponsored By . . .

Today’s StrictlyVC is brought to you by the Financial Solutions Lab at CFSI, which would like to tell you about Tomorrow. Serial entrepreneur Dave Hanley founded Tomorrow to help you do the things you need to do today — like a will — to take care of your family’s financial future (tomorrow). It’s financial security, simplifiedLearn more about Lab companies.


Inside billionaire Reid Hoffman‘s well-funded, semi-secretive campaign to seed a national political movement.

Ted Rheingold, a widely known and loved Bay Area entrepreneur, has passed away. Rheingold had been writing with grace about his battle with stage four metastatic carcinoma throughout the year.


Emergence Capital Partners is looking to hire an associate. The job is in San Mateo, Ca.


According to the China Internet Network Information Center, a government agency, China is now home to 724 million mobile internet users. Relatedly, 96 percent of Internet users are mobile. (H/T/ Benedict Evans.)

Essential Reads

It’s not always property owners who post rentals on Airbnb; they’re the ones getting fined, though.

Google is teaming with Xiaomi to resurrect its Android One smartphone programfor India, in a bid for more users in emerging markets.

The lonely lives of Silicon Valley conservatives.


How to set up your iPhone for a kid.

The 13 scariest evil movie clowns . . . so far.

Retail Therapy

Paul Newman’s rare Rolex is being auctioned off late next month on Park Avenue in New York, and vintage watch dealers have out their popcorn.

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