StrictlyVC: October 31, 2017


October 31, 2017


Happy Halloween! We’ll be in for a frightful afternoon if we don’t head out the door this second to show our support at a neighborhood parade for one zombie skateboarder and one football-playing zombie. In short, SVC is a little streamlined by necessity, but more tomorrow.


Also, we screwed up yesterday in a funding announcement, telling you thatCommon, a two-year-old co-living company, had raised money from Harriman Capital, a real estate fund. CEO Brad Hargreaves says Harriman has instead backed several projects to be managed by Common. We also reported that Common manages 482 million rooms across the U.S. — which would be a lot! We meant 482 as some of you may have guessed. Apologies for the confusion.



Top News in the A.M.


Apple, which is locked in an intensifying legal fight with Qualcomm, is reportedly designing iPhones and iPads for next year that will jettison the chipmaker’s components, according to the WSJ. More here.


Samsung just announced not one, not two, but three new CEOs. The Verge hasmore here.


Holy cow. A Chinese facial recognition firm called Face++ has raised $460 million in Series C funding led by China’s state-owned Assets Venture Investment Fund, with participation from Ant Financial and Foxconn Technology Group. The deal reportedly sets a new venture funding record for all AI companies globally. China Money Network has more here.



Sponsored By …


StrictlyVC is sponsored this week by “Intangibles” – a podcast designed to help founders understand the behavioral psychology behind success. Want to be more creative? Listen to the episode where actress Laura Linney talks about her creative process. The podcast is created and hosted by Antecedent Ventures. Season two is just underway; subscribe on iTunes.



New Fundings


Achates Power, 13-year-old, San Diego, Ca-based company that develops what it says are improved internal combustion engines, has raised $29.8 million in Series D funding. Backers include OGCI Climate Investments (the investment arm of The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative), Sequoia CapitalRockPort Capital Partners,Madrone Capital PartnersInterWest Partners and Triangle Peak Partners.More here.


Ada Health, a six-year-old, Berlin-based company whose iOS and Android app, called Ada, combines AI with expertise from actual doctors to help people understand and manage their health, has raised $47 million in funding led byAccess Industries, the global investment firm of billionaire Len Blavatnik. Other firms that invested in the round included June Fund and Berlin-based Cumberland VCWilliam Tunstall Pedoe, an entrepreneur who sold his AI-powered virtual assistant to Amazon, also joined the round. Business Insider has more here.


BondIT, a five-year-old, Herzliya, Israel-based fintech company focused on increasing sales and improving customer interactions for fixed income investment managers and advisors, has raised $14.25 million from Fosun International LimitedMore here.


HighLife Medical, a seven-year-old, Paris, France-based early-stage medtech company that’s developing a trans-catheter mitral valve replacement system to treat patients suffering from mitral regurgitation, has raised €12.3 million ($14.3 million) in funding. Sofinnova Partners led the round, with participation from LivaNova and Georg Börtlein, the CEO and founder of HighLife. More here.


Kymera Therapeutics, a newly launched, Cambridge, Ma.-based biotechnology company focused on targeted protein degradation — a way of tagging troublesome proteins for the cellular trash bin —  has raised $30 million in Series A funding led byAtlas Venture, which seeded and incubated the company. Other participants include Lilly Ventures and Amgen Ventures. Chemical & Engineering News hasmore here.


Remitly, a six-year-old, Seattle-based company that enables people in the U.S., U.K. and Canada to send money electronically to friends and family in developing countries across Africa, South America and Asia, is raising $115 million in Series D funding led by PayU, a division of media and internet powerhouse Naspers. Previous Remitly investors Stripes GroupDFJ, and DN Capital also participated. TechCrunch has more here.


Roli, an eight-year-old, London-based startup creating next-generation musical instruments, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams, who also joins the startup as its chief creative officer. The company had previously raised $43.5 million, shows Crunchbase. TechCrunch has more here.


Shippo, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based business shipping platform, says it quietly raised a $20 million Series B in the spring led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Union Square VenturesSoftTech VC and others. TechCrunch has more here.


TourRadar, a seven-year-old, Vienna, Austria-headquartered multi-day tour marketplace, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Endeit Capital, with participation from earlier backers Cherry Ventures and Hoxton VenturesMore here.


Trilio Data, a four-year-old, Boston, Ma.-based provider of OpenStack backup and recovery software, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by .406 Ventures.More here.


Waycare, a 1.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based AI-based transportation management platform that provides municipal agencies with a full mobility map of their roads and the ability to take action and mitigate traffic flow and improve traffic safety, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by Spider Capital and Innogy SE, with participation from Goldbell InvestmentsUpWest LabsjanomZymestic Solutions, and SeedInvestMore here.



New Funds


San Francisco-based CircleUp  which started out as a crowdfunding platform connecting food and beverage start-ups with accredited angel investors — has now also closed a $125 million quant-style fund called CircleUp Growth Partners, with backing from Singapore’s Temasek, former BlackRock executive Ken Kroner, and others. Its selling point: it will use its own machine learning software to sift through data on more than 1.2 million consumer companies and identify which to back. CNBC has more here.


Grove Ventures, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based early-stage venture capital firm, has raised $110 million for its debut fund, shows an SEC filing. Grove says it focuses on Israeli startups developing technologies and software around the Internet of Things, and big data, among other things. More here.



Sponsored By . . .


Angel Capital Expo is bringing together investors and entrepreneurs looking for funding. Hosted by Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel investing network in the world, the Expo will showcase 16 presenting early stage companies. The Keiretsu Forum angel investors have screened and hand-picked the presenting companies. If you want to connect with like-minded investors or find high-quality investment opportunities join us on November 16. Register today before prices increase. Apply promo code: StrictlyVC for 15% off.






The former CFO of a venture firm run amok — Rothenberg Ventures — has won his case against the firm’s founder, Mike Rothenberg. The ruling came down in favor of Haase in the Superior Court of California last week. Rothenberg must now pay the individual $166,000 for expenses and losses incurred during his employment at the firm, plus legal fees for the suit and services related to an SEC investigation of the firm. TechCrunch has more here.




The megabucks are back for Indian tech start-ups, reports The Financial Times. Last year, the funding environment darkened after two years of exuberant investment followed by warnings that growth forecasts had been far too optimistic. In 2016, unlisted Indian technology companies raised $4.4 billion, down from $7.9 billion in 2015. But fundings has come roaring back, with just shy of $10 billion raised by India-based startups so far in 2017 — comfortably an annual record with two months of the year still to go. More here.



Essential Reads


Facebook is still struggling to stamp out fake news.





Actor Andy Dick has also now lost a role over sexual harassment claims, begging the question: is Andy Dick still acting?


Do not eat your meals alone. (In related news, do not look at the New York Daily News’s “most popular” stories. Oof.)



Retail Therapy


Joe DiMaggio’s Upper West Side penthouse apartment is now for sale.


Bob Dylan’s townhouse, in Harlem, is also for sale.


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