StrictlyVC: October 13, 2017

Friday! [Breaks stack of wooden slabs with elbow.] Hope you have a terrific weekend, everyone.:)

(No column today. We have a few things cooking but none are done yet.)

Top News in the A.M.

Qualcomm just filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple so far in a bitter legal fight.

Sponsored By . . .

EquityZen. We operate a secondary market for company-approved transactions in pre-IPO stock. Founded in 2013, EquityZen has already closed over 2,500 investments in 75+ companies. For as low as $10K on your first investment, you can gain access to proven private companies like Spotify, Lyft, and more! Join for free and begin investing in the private markets:

New Fundings

Beauty Bakerie, a six-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based cosmetics brand, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Unilever Ventures, with participation from 645 Ventures and Blue Consumer CapitalMore here.

CastBox.FM, a 1.5-year-old, Beijing, China-based audio platform that allows users to listen, create, and share their favorite podcast content, has raised $12.8 million in new funding, including from IDG Capital and GSR Ventures. Bloomberg has more here.

Flont, a one-year-old, New York-based online platform that lets users rent fine jewelry via a membership model, has raised $5 million in funding, including from C VenturesMore here.

Groupize, a six-year-old, Boston-based company whose tech helps its customers manage their meetings, has raised $3.25 million in funding led by Thayer Ventures, with participation from Golden SeedsLaunchpad VenturesWayfare VenturesNTX Venture Fund and the Ace FundMore here.

ICX Media, two-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based video data intelligence platform, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding led by Grotech Ventures, with participation from NRVPoint Judith Capital and Avonlea CapitalMore here.

Meesho, a two-year-old, Bangalore, India-based e-commerce platform that enables small businesses to create an online shop quickly, has raised $3.4 million in Series A funding led by SAIF Partners. Earlier backers, including Venture Highway and Y Combinator, also participated in the round, which brings Meesho’s total funding to $3.7 million. TechCrunch has more here.

Omnyway, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose tech helps retailers stay connected to consumers through their phone during in-store shopping experiences,  has raised $12.75 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Nyca;CommerzVentures, the venture arm of Commerzbank Group of Germany; and CEFIF, the CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. TechCrunch has more here.

Supersolid, a five-year-old, London-based mobile games maker, has raised $4 million in funding led by Index Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.

Visual Vocal, a two-year-old, Seattle-based immersive productivity platform for team collaboration, has raised $3.6 million in seed funding led by Eniac Ventures, with participation from Scout VenturesSpider Capital, and the Alliance of Angels. GeekWire has more here.

VY Esports, a months-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based matchmaking platform for esports and brands, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Raine Ventures, with participation from Courtside Ventures and Elysian Park Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.

New Funds

M33 Growth, a Boston-based outfit founded by cofounded by former General Catalyst partner Brian Shortsleeve, has closed on $180 million in capital commitments for the firm’s debut fund, which will invest in growth-stage companies that are generating at least $5 million in revenue. More here.

The 13-year-old, Singapore-based, early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, has closed its second Southeast Asia-focused vehicle with $66 million in commitments. Temasek Holdings, World Bank Group’s IFC, as well as prominent companies and family offices from the region have reportedly invested in the vehicle. DealStreetAsia has more here.


Hayley Barna reportedly dropped almost $14 million on a Manhattan apartment, says WWD. Her new neighbors include Ben Stiller and Bon Jovi.

Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to address Google’s August firing of software engineer James Damore  while talking with a room full of students and would-be entrepreneurs in the U.K. yesterday. Asked how Apple encourages employees to challenge each others’ ideas, Cook said, “If you’re in a position where you’re deciding people’s future and you’re deciding in a biased way, you need to leave. But I think we have to allow for disagreement.” More here.

Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, has been suspended after disturbing allegations of sexual harassment were leveled at him (again). More here.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus this week that the company will be adding an African-American to its board of directors.

Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak today announced the formation of Woz U, a world-class digital institute to help fill the employment gap for high-paying technology jobs across the U.S. TechCrunch has more here.


Samsung is killing it.

Google‘s biggest acquisitions, dating back to its 2006 decision to acquire Youtube. (Thank you, CB Insights.)

Essential Reads

Facebook just announced a new feature that allows users to order food from local restaurants using its app. It’s partnering with startups like DoorDash for now.

Baidu expects to be in the business of mass producing autonomous cars by 2021, thanks to a partnership with BAIC Group, a Chinese automaker. TechCrunch has more here.

Tech giants, once seen as saviors, are now viewed as threats.


How norms change.

Reporter Jodi Kantor on breaking the Harvey Weinstein story.


Retail Therapy

Qvest, in Cologne.

Filed Under:

Don’t Miss Out!

Sign up today to receive a free daily email with everything you need to start your day. Plus, keep track of the companies and personalities that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Let StrictlyVC be your very own venture capital concierge.

StrictlyVC on Twitter