StrictlyVC: January 9, 2018

Happy Tuesday, all!



Top News


Shares in Eastman Kodak jumped as much as 77 percent this morning, after the former camera and film heavyweight said it would launch the Kodakcoin, “a photocentric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.” Bloomberg has more here. (At our StrictlyVC event in September, Cooley attorney Marco Santori predicted that nearly every recognizable brand will eventually have its own cryptocurrency, which sounded crazy at the time . . . )


An expensive, highly classified U.S. spy satellite is presumed to be a total loss after it failed to reach orbit atop a SpaceX rocket, according to industry and government officials. The WSJ has more here.



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Practice Fusion, Once Poised for a Blockbuster IPO, Sells at a Loss 


Practice Fusion, a 12-year-old San Francisco-based startup backed by the likes of Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, was written about several years ago as a company on the brink of going public. In 2015, JPMorgan, working with Practice Fusion, estimated that the company could be assigned a valuation of around $1.5 billion if it went public in 2016, a figure based off estimated revenue of $181 million for 2018.


Instead, Practice Fusion is selling for $100 million in cash to publicly traded Allscripts, it was announced yesterday. The amount, roughly two-thirds of the $157 million the company had raised over the years from VCs, is further “subject to adjustment for working capital and net debt.”


The news won’t come as a complete shock to anyone who has been following the electronic medical records company for the last couple of years. Despite backing from Founders Fund — along with Kleiner Perkins, ORIX Growth Capital, Artis Ventures and others — Practice Fusion had stumbled in recent years as bigger competitors like 38-year-old Epic Systems continue to gain market share.


In fact, despite raising a $70 million Series D round in 2013 led by Kleiner, Practice Fusion’s fortunes seemed to turn sharply by mid 2015.


More here.


New Fundings


Alkami, an eight-year-old, Plano, Tex.-based white-label service for power mobile services for banks and credit unions, has raised $70 million in Series D funding led by General Atlantic, with participation from earlier backers S3 Ventures andArgonaut Private Equity. TechCrunch has more here.


Canva, a five-year-old, Australia-based graphic design-as-a-service company, has raised $40 million in new funding at a $1 billion valuation led by Sequoia China, with participation from Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures. Bloomberg has more here.


Cityblock, a five-month-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based urban healthcare services startup focused on low-income patients, has raised $22 million in new funding led byMaverick Ventures, with participation from Thrive Capital and former parentSidewalk Labs. CNBC has more here.


Collibra, a nearly 10-year-old, New York-based maker of data governance software for business users, has raised $58 million in Series D funding co-led by Iconiq Capital and Battery Ventures. Earlier investors also joined the round, includingDawn CapitalIndex Ventures and Newion Investments. TechCrunch has more here.


eFounders, a seven-year-old, Paris- and Brussels-based startup studio focused on creating SaaS businesses, has raised €3 million ($3.6 million) led by Connect Ventures and investor Xavier Niel, says Axios. More here.

ElliQ, a two-year-old Israel-based maker of social robots for older adults, has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Samsung NEXTSPARX GroupGlory VenturesToyota AI VenturesiRobot and Bloomberg Beta. TechCrunch has more here.


Neurogastrx, a 5.5-year-old, Campbell, Ca.-based biopharmaceutical company that’s developing therapies for gastrointestinal disorders, has raised $45 million in Series A funding from 5AM VenturesOrbiMed and VenBio Partners. FierceBiotech has more here.

Red Points, a six-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based SaaS company focused around IP infringement detection and removal, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Northzone, with participation from Mangove Capital Partners andSabadell Venture Capital. TechCrunch has more here.


Skyword, a 7.5-year-old, Boston-based content marketing software and services company, has raised $25 million in growth funding from Rho Acceleration, a division of Rho Capital Partners. Xconomy has more here.


StackShare, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based online community that invites developers to see all the best software tools and who’s using them, has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding led by e.Ventures, with participation Cervin Venturesand numerous angel investors. We’d written about the company’s $1.5 million seed round last summer. TechCrunch has more on its newest round here.

Wonderschool, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based network on in-home daycares and preschools, has raised $2.1 million in new funding from Omidyar NetworkBe Curious PartnersRethink EducationEdelweiss Partners and Learn Capital. TechCrunch has more here.



New Funds


Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the seven-year-old, New York-based venture firm, is looking to raise roughly $100 million for its sixth early-stage fund and $50 million for a second opportunities fund, show SEC filings. The firm had closed its fifth early-stage fund with $113 million in late 2015 and its first opportunities fund, for follow-on investments, with $28 million last June.


Neo, a new venture platform led by serial entrepreneur and longtime investor Ali Partovi, has raised $37 million for a new investment fund that’s tied to an exclusive professional organization. Wired has the story here.


Signia Venture Partners, a 5.5-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based early-stage venture firm, is targeting $100 million for its third fund, shows an SEC filing. The outfit had closed its second fund with $85 million in late 2016. More here.


Sonoma Brands, a two-year-old, Sonoma, Ca.-based health and food brand platform launched by Jon Sebastiani, has closed its second consumer brand-focused growth equity fund with $60 million. Forbes has more here.


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Alibaba Group will consider listing in Hong Kong, potentially providing a powerful boost to the financial hub which is preparing to allow dual-class share listings. Reuters has more here.


Aston Martin is going public and its looking for a valuation of roughly £5 billion (roughly $6.8 billion), says Bloomberg. The company is majority owned by the investment firm Investindustrial Advisors and Kuwaiti investors.


Exits, a company founded by Black Eyed Pea-turned-tech entrepreneur, has acquired headphone maker Earin, just five months after acquiring smart home hub maker, Wink. Terms weren’t disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.


Salesforce has acquired Attic Labs, the San Francisco-based creator of the Noms open-source decentralized database. Attic Labs had raised more than $8 million from investors, including Greylock Partners. TechCrunch has more here.


Viacom, the owner of MTV and Nickelodeon, is acquiring influencer marketing shopWhosay for undisclosed terms. Whosay, founded in 2010, had raised about $30 million in funding from investors, including Comcast VenturesGreylock PartnersAmazonPrimary Venture PartnersTencent and CAA. The WSJ has more here.




Sad news: James Dolan—one of the co-creators of SecureDrop —took his own life over the holidays. He was 36. More here.


In a tweetstorm yesterday, former Apple designer Tony Fadell publicly criticized Apple and other Silicon Valley firms for their role in device addiction, arguing that adults and children alike are slaves to their phones and social media.


Mike Novogratz, the Wall Street trader who became one of bitcoin’s most outspoken champions, is starting a merchant bank dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based ventures. And he intends to take it public.


Emily Weiss of Glossier, who spoke at one our StrictlyVC events last year, gets a nice write-up in New York magazine, which asks: How long does it take to become millennials’ Estee Lauder? About three years.




The Office of the Chief Investment Officer at the University of California is responsible for managing the University of California’s retirement, endowment, working capital, and cash assets, and it’s looking for an investment officer. The job is in Oakland, Ca.


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Essential Reads


Facebook is about to jump into the consumer hardware business in a big way with a video chat device named Portal that will put it in direct competition with Amazon’s hugely popular line of Echo voice-controlled devices.


A crypto website changes its data, and $100 billion in market value vanishes.


Internet ad firms are losing hundreds of millions of dollars following the introduction of a new privacy feature from Apple.





Trump-whisperer-turned-adversary Steve Bannon is “stepping down” from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News.


Toyota and Pizza Hut are teaming up to create what could eventually become autonomous-driving and pizza-making delivery cars. (Not a joke.)


“Alexa, draw me a bath, please.”


Retail Therapy


The Diptyque Valentine’s Day collection. (Hey, it’s coming up fast.)


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