StrictlyVC: January 10, 2018

Well, hello!


Top News


Seven people had to receive medical attention after an iPhone exploded in a Swiss Apple store.


major power outage has hit CES, the consumer electronics show, in the latest bit of chaos to mar the Las Vegas event.


Ford just became the latest automaker to be accused of lying about its diesel efficiencies.


Sponsored By …


The best way to raise capital is to “run a process.” The best way to run a process is to use FoundersuiteFoundersuite makes the leading Investor CRM, used by startups to raise more than $500 million in seed and VC since Q1:16. Foundersuite’s platform also includes a searchable database of 50,000 angels and VCs, as well as an Investor Update tool to engage stakeholders and “warm up” prospective investors. StrictlyVC readers get a full 30% off for 6 months using code “StrictlyVC,” or email us to discuss volume pricing for your entire portfolio.


Goldman Clients are Giving This Startup $250 Million to Pour Into Commercial Real Estate Deals


Cadre, a three-year-old, New York-based online platform helping accredited investors delve into commercial real estate deals in what it claims is a far more transparent way, has received a big vote of confidence from Goldman Sachs.


According to CEO Ryan Williams, Goldman’s private wealth clients are committing $250 million to the platform, money that will get funneled directly into a portfolio of real estate stakes assembled by Cadre.


The move isn’t a complete surprise for numerous reasons, beginning with Cadre’s ties to Goldman. Williams spent a couple of years at the bank right after getting his undergraduate degree from Harvard. Goldman also participated in the company’s $65 million Series C round, which was led by Andreessen Horowitz and closed last summer.


Cadre, which was cofounded by Joshua and Jared Kushner, has also been amassing a star cast of executives, including, most notably, Michael Fascitelli, formerly the CEO of Vornado Realty Trust. Fascitelli, who’d written an early seed-size check to Cadre, took over Cadre’s investment committee as its chair and senior adviser a year ago and he now approves all deals.


Either way, for Cadre — which invests directly in real estate assets, then passes its investment on to its clients for an upfront fee and a recurring subscription rate — the tie-up is a major coup. Not only does Cadre benefit from brand association with Goldman, but Goldman’s investor pool helps it move into new phases of its business, one of which seems to be creating a secondary marketplace.


More here.


New Fundings


Arbour Group, a 27-year-old, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based maker of regulatory compliance software and services for the life sciences industry, has raised an undisclosed amount from funding from Keystone CapitalMore here.


Arctic Wolf Networks, a five-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based security operations center-as-a-service company, has raised $16 million in funding. Sonae Investment Management led the round and was joined Lightspeed Venture Partners,Redpoint Ventures and Knollwood Investment AdvisoryMore here.


Black Fish, a Nanjing, China-based consumer loan platform, has raised $145 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed China PartnersGobi Partners,Morningside Venture CapitalJAFCO AsiaFullcent Capital and founder Zhang Tao. China Money Network has more here.


CloudLex, a two-year-old, New York-based maker of cloud software for personal injury law firms, has raised $4 million in funding led by Aligned Partners. has a bit more here.


FieldIn, a five-year-old, Israel-based startup that integrates all data from a farming operation into one control center, allowing farmers to monitor how agronomic decisions were executed, has raised $4 million in funding co-led by Gal Venturesand Germin8 Ventures. Earlier investors Terra Ventures and the Israel Innovation Authority also joined the round. More here.


Igloo Software, a 10-year-old, Kitchener, Ontario-based maker of productivity software, has raise $47 million from Frontier CapitalMore here.


Ladder, a 2.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that sells instant life insurance, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by RRE Ventures, with participation from Thomvest Ventures and earlier backers Canaan PartnersLightspeed Venture Partners and Nyca PartnersMore here.


MOD Pizza, a 10-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based fast-growing casual pizza chain, has raised $73 million in funding. Investors include PWP Growth EquityFidelity Management & Research CompanyKeybanc Capital Markets,  SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Raymond James. Business Insider has more here.


Motosumo, a five-year-old, Denmark-based maker of smartphone software that enables far-flung gyms or gym members to conduct group training, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding, including from Vedere Ventures and Promentum Equity PartnersMore here.


NiYO Solutions, a two-year-old, Bangalore, India-based fintech startup for salaried employees, has raised $13.2 million in Series A funding from Social CapitalJS Capital (the family office of Jonathan Soros), and Horizons Ventures, with participation from earlier backer Prime Venture Partners. The company has now raise more than $14 million altogether. More here.


Nozomi Networks, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based cybersecurity startup focused around industrial control systems, has raised $15 million in Series B financing led by the Invenergy Future Fund, with participation from THI Investments. Earlier backers GGV CapitalLux Capital and Planven Investments also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $23.8 million. More here., an eight-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based clinical laboratory information and commercialization platform, has raised $1.85 million in funding co-led byStageDotO and Longfellow VenturesMore here.


Petal, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based credit card startup that’s targeting consumers without a credit history, has raised $13 million in Series A funding led byValar Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.


Reviver Auto, a nearly nine-year-old Foster City, Ca.-based company that produces a digital license plate (it’s trying to create a network of connected vehicles via the technology), has raised $11.1 million in funding. ACK Group led the round, with participation from WRV and other, unnamed individual investors. More here.


Sheprd, a 1.5-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based on-demand school bus, has raised $1 million in funding from InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm. More here.


SkySpecs, a five-year-old, Ann Arbor, Mi.-based automated infrastructure inspection company, has raised $8 million in Series B funding, including fromStatkraft VenturesUL VenturesCapital MidwestVenture Investors, andHuron River VenturesMore here.


TAI Diagnostics, a two-year-old, Milwaukee, Wi.-based maker of non-invasive diagnostics tests that monitor the health of transplanted organs, has raised $10 million in funding from  undisclosed investors. The company has now raised $21 million altogether. More here.


YieldStreet, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that packages and sells business loans to investors, has closed on $113 million in funding, including $12.8 million in Series A funding co-led by Greycroft Partners and Raine Ventures, and a revolving credit facility of $100 million from an unnamed New York-based family office. More here.


New Funds


The world’s largest automaker, Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi, has launched a $1 billion corporate venture capital fund to focus on investments in “new mobility” including electrification, autonomous systems, network connectivity and artificial intelligence. It’s called Alliance Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.


AngelList cofounder Naval Ravikant has raised $35 million for a new fund calledSpearhead that plans to groom tech investors and invest in very early-stage startups, according to The Information, which says Ravikant has personally invested in the new fund and that the Boston-based early-stage venture firm Accompliceput up 25 percent of the capital.


Parker Thompson, an alum of AngelList and 500 Startups’ accelerator, is also raising a fund of about $40 million to groom venture capitalists, reports The Information.


Sponsored By . . .


StrictlyVC is sponsored this week by Meld Valuation, a premiere independent valuation firm. We care about understanding the unique risk profile of your situation and most importantly making the quantitative reflect the qualitative story. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you with everything from cap table management to complex valuation engagements.




Twenty-year-old Akamai Technologies has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to explore a strategic alternatives, according to Bloomberg. The company has been under activist pressure from Paul Singer’s Elliott Associates, which holds a 6.5 percent stake.





Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world, begging the question: what good will he do with all that money?


Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has given two potential successors new high-profile titles at Berkshire Hathaway.


Kevin Harrington, a senior aide to the Trump administration who’d previously worked for Peter Thiel both at Clarium Capital and Thiel Macro, reportedly suggested withdrawing U.S. troops from Eastern Europe last year in a bid to gain favor with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Spits out coffee.]


Last week, Billboard reported Jimmy Iovine, who helped sell Beats to Apple in 2014, was set to leave Apple in August. Now Iovine is refuting those rumors.


Google Fiber, once one of the internet company’s most audacious projects, just lost another executive as the business struggles to gain traction: Gabriel Stricker, who joined the company from Twitter in late 2015, just joined the gaming company Niantic. CNBC has more here.




Aflac, the insurance giant, is looking to hire a senior associate. The job is in the Bay Area.


Sponsored By . . .


Founded by two MIT grads in 2014, Milwaukee-based Bright Cellars has exploded to 40+ employees and is carving a new path for venture-backed startups in the midwest. Bright Cellars’ subscription wine service uses questions like “what’s your favorite type of chocolate” to match members with wines that match their personal taste. Take the quiz to see your wine matches.


Essential Reads


The global power needed to create cryptocurrencies this year could rival the entire electricity consumption of Argentina. More here.


What’s Slack doing with your data?




Unpaid internships are back. (Sorry, college students.)


Five questions to ask at your next (paid) job interview.


The story behind the pole-dancing robots that everyone’s talking about at CES.


Retail Therapy


Harsh! The 2018 Audi S4 is a perfectly nice car if you aren’t looking to attract any attention to yourself, says Bloomberg.


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