StrictlyVC: December 6, 2017

Hello, dear readers, we know it’s the middle of the night for many of you, but it’s another day of planes and automobiles in our world as we head back to the U.S., so we have to publish now or else you’ll be getting this thing at dinnertime. More tomorrow.:)


Top News


A large Uber shareholder has made an investment in chief U.S. rival Lyft, part of the latest twist in what Recode aptly describes as “the entangled web of ride-sharing deals.” Lyft said yesterday that Fidelity is joining an expanded financing round that’s being led by Alphabet affiliate CapitalG and now values the company at $11.5 billion.


Bitcoin just zoomed past $12,000.


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New Fundings


ChemomAb, a six-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based biopharmaceutical firm, has raised $10 million in funding led by Peter Thiel and earlier investor OrbiMed Israel. Other backers in the round include SBI Japan-Israel Innovation Fundand Milestone Venture. Globes has more here.


Enveil, a year-old, Fulton, Md.-based data security company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from In-Q-Tel, with which it has also struck a strategic partnership. More here.


Guardian Optical Technologies, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based sensor technology maker for automobile manufacturers, has raised $5.1 million in Series A funding from Maniv Mobility and Mirai Creation Fund. Globes has more here.


Hellobike, a year-old, Shanghai, China-based bike-sharing outfit, raised $350 million in its latest funding round from investors that include Alibaba’s Ant Financial. China Money Network has more here.


LaunchDarkly, a three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based feature management platform, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Redpoint Ventures andVertex. CNBC has more here.


Leapmotor, a two-year-old, Hangzhou, China-based electric vehicle company founded by Dahua Technology, has raised an undisclosed amount of “pre-A” stage funding led by Sequoia Capital China. China Money Network has more here.


Noodle Partners, a four-year-old, New York-based startup that helps colleges create and manage online and hybrid programs, has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Owl Ventures. EdSurge has more here.


NS8, a 1.5-year-old, Herndon, Va.-based startup that helps aims to protect online companies from fraud, has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Arbor Ventures, and was joined by investors including TDF Ventures and Hanna Ventures. has a bit more here.


Pilotworks, a New York-based a community of food entrepreneurs formerly known as FoodWorks, has raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Techstars Ventures and Acre Venture Partners, with participation from other, unnamed investors. More here.


Rani Therapeutics, a five-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based biotech startup focused on converting injectable drugs into oral drugs, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the publicly traded biopharmaceutical company Shire as part of a broader research partnership. Rani previously raised around $100 million in venture funding. More here.


Simplus, a three-year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based startup that provides sales quoting and other related software for Salesforce users, has raised $9.3 million in Series B funding led by Epic Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Salesforce Ventures and Cross Creek Advisors. The company also secured $8.5 million in new debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. Utah Business has more here.


Stateless, a 1.5-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based firm allowing network functions to be consumed through an “as-a-service” model, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding led by Speedinvest, with participation from TechstarsEVO Venture Partners,PV Ventures, and Service Provider CapitalMore here.


WM Motor Technology, a three-year-old, Beijing, China-based electric vehicle startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from BaiduAmiba Capital and Susquehanna International Group. Reuters has more here.



New Funds


Jump Capital, a five-year-old, Chicago-based venture firm, has raised a $100 million venture fund, shows a new SEC formMore here.


Red & Blue Ventures, a Philadelphia-based seed fund focused on backing faculty, alums, and current students of the University of Pennsylvania , has raised $13.9 million for its inaugural fund, according to an SEC filing that shows a $20 million target. More here.


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Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first billion-dollar tech startup, has a ‘set plan’ to become a listed company, Chief Executive Officer Nadiem Makarim said. “We are definitely going to IPO,” Makarim said at Bloomberg’s Year Ahead Asia Conference in Jakarta Wednesday. The initial public offering is expected “hopefully within the next few years,” he said. Bloomberg has more here.


British car insurer Sabre has priced its IPO at the middle of its targeted range, a move that will give the company a market value of £575 million. “Conditional dealings” in the shares start  this morning, with full trading expected on December 11, says the Financial Times.


Hong Kong is on track to lose its much-coveted crown as the world’s top IPO market as the year draws to a close, with the latest figures showing that total funds raised in HK have dropped 48 percent compared with 12 months ago, leaving the city ranked third behind New York and Shanghai. South China Morning Post hasmore here.




It’s official. Mashable, the digital media publisher, has been sold to Ziff Davis, a digital media subsidiary of tech company J2, for less than $50 million, says Recode, adding that its new owners plan to lay off about 50 of the site’s employees.. More here.


Sprout Social, a seven-year-old maker of social media management, analytics and advocacy software, has acquired social analytics firm Simply Measured. Sprout Social has raised roughly $61 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. Simply Measured, which is also seven years old, had raised $29 million.




Baidu’s former M&A director, Peter Fang, has joined Sinovation Ventures as a partner, where he’ll focus on AI and other relevant technologies, according to a Sinovation announcement. Fang previously worked for Sinovation from 2011 to 2014. More here.


FirstMark Capital, the New York-based venture firm, has hired Beth Ferreira as a managing director. Ferreira was most recently a managing partner at WME Ventures. She is also, notably, the second female managing partner that FirstMark has brought aboard recently. Its first female MD, Catherine Ulrich — who was previously the chief product officer at Shutterstock and, before that, Weight Watchers — joined the firm exactly two months ago.


Suneel Gupta, a former Groupon VP turned founder whose nutrition coaching app, Rise Labs, sold last year to One Medical, is planning to run for Congress in Michigan.


Foursquare’s VP of business development, Mike Harkey, has left to join Google as its director of global product partnerships. Harkey had spent roughly five years with the social app company. More here.


Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Sherpa Capital and co-founder of Hyperloop One, is taking a leave of absence from both companies, as well as from his board responsibilities at Sherpa’s portfolio companies, following sexual assault and harassment allegations. More here.





Google is looking to hire a corporate development strategy and scouting principal. The job is in Mountain View, Ca.




A look at the ten best U.S. tech companies to work for, per Glassdoor.


Essential Reads


Google and Amazon are punishing their own customers in a bitter feud.


Yahoo’s new owner Oath — which, in turn, is owned by telecom giant Verizon — is now in a legal battle with browser company Mozilla over a search deal that was struck by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Recode has more here.





Which TV actors get paid the most?


The best books of 2017.


How the index card catalogued the world.



Retail Therapy


Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night Live . . . playing cards!


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