StrictlyVC: January 18, 2018

Hi, all, hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday.:)


Top News


The U.S. Senate today passed a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, overcoming objections from civil liberties advocates that it undermines the privacy of Americans.


Uber’s big SoftBank deal has officially closed.


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New Fundings


Apartment List, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based online rental marketplace for renters and landlords, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Passport Capital, with participation from Allen & CompanyCanaan PartnersIndustry VenturesMatrix Partners, Quantum PartnersTenaya Capital, and WTI. TechCrunch has more here.


Babblabs, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based speech processing startup, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Cognite VenturesMore here.


Baffle, a two-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based data encryption company, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Envision Ventures, with participation fromServiceNow VenturesThomvest VenturesIndustry Ventures and earlier investors True Ventures and Engineering Capital. SiliconAngle has more here.


Birch Finance, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that helps its users earn credit card reward points more effectively, has raised a $1 million seed round from AGP Miami, former Ebates CEO Kevin Johnson, and Alienware founder Frank Azor. TechCrunch has more here.


C3 IoT, a seven-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based AI and IoT software platform provider for digital transformation, has raised $100 million in funding. Investors include TPG GrowthBreyer CapitalSutter HillPat House, and founderThomas Siebel, and The Rise Fund. Business Insider has more here.


CareDox, a seven-year-old, New York-based pediatric healthcare startup focused on bridging the gap between K-12 schools, parents, and medical professionals (it engages parents about broader health events, for example, and makes sure they’re atop their kids’ immunizations), has raised $16 million in Series B funding. AI Life Sciences Investments and 7wire Ventures led the round, with participation from DigitalisProlog Ventures, StartUp Health, and Wanxiang Healthcare InvestmentsMore here.


Carmot Therapeutics, a nine-year-old, San Francisco-based developer of a Type 2 diabetes drug, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Horizon Ventures, with participation from The Column Group. FierceBiotech has more here.


Centerity, a 12-year-old, Newton, Ma.-based company that sells performance analytics and business services management, has raised $10 million from Merlin InternationalMore here.


Clover, a four-year-old, Toronto-based dating app, has raised $7 million in funding led by Jackson Investment GroupMore here.


Eyeota, an eight-year-old, Singapore-based company that sells audience data to advertisers around the world, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding led by the French private equity firm Jolt Capital SAS. TechCrunch has more here.


Go-Jek, a seven-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesian-based ride-hail company, is raising $1.2 billion in new funding from backers that include GoogleTemasek andMeituan-Dianping, says Reuters. More here.


Grove Collaborative, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based e-commerce company that’s selling natural home and personal care products, has raised $35 million in Series C funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from earlier investors, including Mayfield FundMHS CapitalBullpen Capital, NextView Ventures, and Serious Change. TechCrunch has more here.


Iris Automation, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based computer vision startup focused on collision avoidance for commercial drones, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Bee Partners. Techvibes has more here.


Ledger, a three-year-old, Paris-based developer of hardware wallets for cryptocurrency, has raised a whopping $75 million in Series B funding led by DFJ Esprit, with participation from FirstMark CapitalCathay InnovationKorelya Capital and earlier investors CapHorn InvestGDTRE and Digital Currency Group. Bloomberg has more here.


Ollie, a nine-year-old, New York-based company that connects renters with furnished micro-studios and shared suites, has raised $15 million to expand beyond New York and Pittsburgh. Aviva Investors Real Estate Capital Global Co-Investment Fund led the round. Other investors include Currency M and tech entrepreneur Justin Mateen. TechCrunch has more here.


PacketFabric, a 2.5-year-old, Culver City, Ca.-based connectivity-as-a-service platform and a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies (controlled by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong), has raised $25 million in Series B funding fromNantCapital (also controlled by Soon-Shiong). More here.


Pioneer Square Labs, a 2.5-year-old, Seattle based startup studio that partners with founders to create companies from scratch, has raised $15 in funding led byFoundry Group. Other, earlier venture firms that had supported the company, also re-invested, along with 60 angel investors. More here.


Rokid, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose in-home robots deliver information and perform tasks via audio and visual interactions, has raised $100 million in new funding, according to Chinese media Reports. Temasek reportedly led the round, with participation from Credit Suisse,CDIB Capital and earlier backer IDG Capital. China Money Network has more here.


Roofstock, a nearly three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based marketplace for buyers and sellers of single-family homes that have tenants residing in them, has added $7 million to its Series C round, which had closed with $35 million in October. (We’d written about it here.) The new funding comes from Silicon Valley Bank and property investor Asia Pacific Land.


Sparta Science, a nine-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based sports tech company, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Playground GlobalMore here.


Tiki, a seven-year-old, Vietnam-based e-commerce company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding co-led by and the Vietnamese entertainment and social media firm VNG Corp, says Reuters. The outlet notes that Vietnam is the latest focal point in’s strategic push into Southeast Asia, where Alibaba and Amazon have also made significant investments in the past year. More here.


Unitas Global, an eight-year-old, L.A.-based company that designs, deploys, and manages its enterprise clients’ infrastructure, has raised $10 million in new funding led by Boathouse Capital, with participation from earlier investor MK CapitalMore here.


Urban Remedy, an eight-year-old, Point Richmond, Ca.-based “ultra fresh” food and juice company, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. General Mills’s venture unit, 301 INC, led the round. BevNet has more here.

Varo Money, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile banking app startup, has raised $45 million in Series B funding, including from Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund. (Perhaps notably: last summer the company applied for a national bank charter.) American Banker has more here.


New Funds


Venture capital firm Accomplice has closed its latest fund with $205 million in capital commitments, reports Axios, which says the capital will likely be invested primarily in Boston-area startups. More here.


Partech Ventures, the Paris-based private equity and venture capital firm, has closed on $70 million in commitments for its Partech Africa fund. It’s targeting $122 million in commitments altogether, says VentureBeat. More here.


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.





The home-security company ADT‘s IPO is likely to price below its expected range of $17 to $19 a share today, say people familiar with the deal. The company’s shares start trading publicly tomorrow. More here.




Coinbase, the white-hot cryptocurrency exchange, is bringing on more engineering talent to help it continue to capitalize on the crypto boom. The company has announced that it’s bringing on the engineering team from Memo.AI, a two-year-old startup that built a Slackbot for helping technical teams manage notes and instructions. TechCrunch has more here.




Facebook has added a new member to its board of directors: Ken Chenault, the CEO of American Express, who is set to retire from his post at AmEx in February. Chenault is the first new Facebook board member since WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum joined in 2014 after Facebook bought his messaging startup. Recode has the story here.


Matt Mazzeo has joined the private investment group of Coatue Management, says Axios. He was previously a managing director with Lowercase Capital.


Amazon has canceled three original series developed under ousted studio head Roy Price.


Snap has laid off around two dozen people in recent days, mostly in its content team, says The Information. The staff cuts, it notes, are the latest sign of how Snap is being cost-conscious amid struggles with slow user and revenue growth.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly shelled out big bucks — between $95 million and $150 million — to do the typical “business titan” type thing and buy a yacht. (Maybe he’s hoping he can sail away from paparazzi.)




Bolt, the hardware-focused venture firm, is looking to hire a full-time associate. The job is in San Francisco.




Nearly 240 cities applied to become the second headquarters of Amazon. But Amazon had just 20 roses to hand out. Here are the finalists still vying to win the juggernaut’s heart.


Essential Reads


The fall of Travis Kalanick was a lot weirder and darker than you thought, says Bloomberg.


Great news, stalkers: Instagram now shows when users were last active.




The ins and outs of raising a social media star.


Perfectly matching sweaters and backgrounds.


Two-term Republican Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who left office on Jan. 16, was reportedly just blocked from a VIP entrance he had used for eight years at Newark airport and directed to stand in TSA screening lines like everybody else.


Retail Therapy


The Panton Chrome Chair. Not for sitting unless you’re okay with completely ruining the aesthetic.


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