StrictlyVC: September 25, 2017

Hi, happy Monday, everyone! Ours could be better: we had one of those rare but horrible mornings when we hit the save button to publish the newsletter and poof, all of our work magically disappeared. Longtime readers know this happens to us roughly once a year. Screaming for a long while into a pillow helps.

Top New in the A.M.

China has largely blocked Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app, the latest move by Beijing to step up surveillance ahead of a big Community Party gathering next month. The app has been banned before, so this may prove temporary.

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New Fundings

Accelo, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based startup selling software designed for cost-sensitive, project-driven businesses, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Level Equity led the round, with participation from Fathom Capitaland earlier investor Blackbird Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

Analytical Space, a 1.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company at work on an optical communication data relay network, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding co-led by The Engine and Space Angels. Other investors in the deal include Flybridge Capital PartnersShasta Ventures, Yard VenturesDream Incubator, Dorm Room Fund and earlier investor NXT VenturesMore here.

Dazzling Star, an eight-year-old, Beijing, China-based children’s animation production company, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Yunfeng Capital, with participation from Sea of Stars CapitalMore here.

Deep Genomics, a three-year-old, Toronto-based platform that uses deep learning-based technology to help geneticists, molecular biologists, and chemists develop therapies, has raised roughly $13 million in fresh funding led by Khosla Ventures. The company had earlier raised $5 million led by True Ventures. BetaKit has more here.

Deliveroo, the five-year-old, London headquartered restaurant food delivery startup, has raised $385 million in new funding at a post-money valuation of more than $2 billion, says the company. The Series F round was led by U.S. fund managers T. Rowe Price and Fidelity, and included participation from earlier backers DST GlobalGeneral CatalystIndex Ventures, and Accel Partners. The company has now raised $860 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.

DispatchHealth, a four-year-old, Denver-based company that provides mobile urgent care, has raised $30.8 million in funding co-led by Alta Partners and Questa CapitalMore here.

FEops, an eight-year-old, Gent, Belgium-based company that says it can improve transcatheter valve procedures based on personalized computer simulations, has raised €6 million ($7.1 million) in funding led by Valiance, with participation from Capricorn and PMVMore here.

Inkitt, a three-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based digital publishing platform that says it uses a computer algorithm to predict book success based on reader behavior,  has raised $3.9 million in seed funding led by Redalpine, with participation from Frontline Ventures and Speedinvest. TechCrunch has more here.

IsoPlexis Corporation, a Branford, Cn.-based life science company, raised $13.5 million in Series B funding led by Spring Mountain Capital, with participation from Connecticut InnovationsNorth Sound Ventures, and Ironwood CapitalMore here.

Jopwell, three-year-old, New York-based recruiting startup focused on diversity, has raised a $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Cue Ball Capital in a round that brings its total funding to $11.75 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Picfair, a four-year-old, London-based photo marketplace, has raised £1.5 million ($2 million) in funding led by Claverley Group. TechCrunch has more here.

Renrenche, a 3.5-year-old, Beijing-based used car marketplace, has raised $200 million from ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, says China Money Network, which notes that in China, used car trading platforms remain competitive and fragmented. More here.

SpringWorks Therapeutics, a months-old, New York-based company spun out of Pfizer to work on potential new treatments for underserved patient communities, has raised $103 million in Series A funding from Bain Capital Life SciencesBain Capital Double ImpactOrbiMedPfizer, and LifeArc. Xconomy has more here.

Symphony Communication Services, a five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based messaging startup taking on Bloomberg LP in a key part of its business, is in talks to raise at least $100 million from new investors, CEO and founder David Gurle tells The Information. The company had previously raised $230 million, including from BlackrockCitigroup, and Credit Suisse, among other banks. More here.

Synup, a three-year-old, Bangalore, India-based startup that helps marketers monitor where their brands are mentioned online, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Vertex Ventures, with participation from Prime Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Tempus Labs, a two-year-old, Chicago-based company that says it’s building the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data — along with an operating system to make that data accessible and useful — has raised $70 million in funding, shows an SEC filing. Tempus was founded by Eric Lefkofsky, the serial entrepreneur who also cofounded the daily deals site Groupon and the venture firm Lightbank, among other things. More here.

New Funds

London and Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures, which counts Deliveroo and Showpad in its portfolio, last week closed a new $95 million fund to invest in tech startups at the late seed and Series A-stage companies. TechCrunch has more here.

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RISE Education, a 10-year-old, Beijing-based education company providing English lessons, filed for an IPO of $100 million Friday. Bain Capital had acquired 90 percent of the outfit in 2013. More here.

Southeast Asia-based games and e-commerce firm Sea, formerly known as Garena, has filed for a much-anticipated U.S. IPO. The company, which is valued at over $3.75 billion, will list on the New York Stock Exchange as ‘SE’ and is looking to raise $1 billion. TechCrunch has more here.

Switch, a 17-year-old, Las Vegas-based provider of colocation and cloud services for large enterprises, is planning an IPO wherein it will sell 31.25 million shares at between $14 and $16 per share. Assuming it raises the roughly $500 million it’s targeting, it will become the third-biggest tech IPO of the year, notes Bloomberg. More here.


FatWallet says it’s shutting down. The comparison shopping website was acquired by eBates in 2011. (eBates was itself acquired by Japan’s Rakuten in 2014 for $1 billion.)

SAP, the German enterprise software giant, says it’s acquiring Gigya, a firm that helps online properties manage customer identities and profiles. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed officially, but TechCrunch is reporting that the deal is valued at $350 million. More here.


Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahiapologized in an open letter today, after the transport authority of London said on Friday that it won’t renew the company’s license to operate in the city.

Per Axios’s Dan Primack on the continuing saga over at Binary Capital, the venture firm whose cofounder, Justin Caldbeck, was forced to resign earlier this year over a bevy of sexual harassment claims and whose future remains uncertain: “It looks like It looks like [Caldeck’s cofounder] Jonathan Teo isn’t going down without a fight. Axios has obtained a letter sent on Friday to limited partners in Binary Capital’s second fund, which ‘constitutes notice of the General Partner’s intent to dispute the validity of its purported removal.’ It adds that the removal ‘shall be deferred’ until the outcome of an arbitration process. No comment yet from Teo.”


According to the mayor of Mountain View, Ca., Silicon Valley created nearly 300,000 jobs between 2010 and 2016, while while only 48,000 new housing units were permitted.

Essential Reads

Apple just switched from Bing to Google for Siri web search results.

The struggles of a breast-pump startup underscore VCs’ blind spot when it comes to women and babies.

North Korea says Donald Trump’s tweets are a declaration of war. Twitter won’t say if tweets that might spark armed conflict violate its rules.


What the media gets wrong about Trump, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

Street views of 1980s New York.

The best places to punch someone, according to science.

Retail Therapy

Tyme fast food. When you aren’t above eating lunch out of jar. (We fit into this category.)

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