StrictlyVC: February 23, 2018

Friday! [Tumbles over jump rope.] Have a great weekend, everyone.:)


Top News


Dropbox has finally filed for its long-awaited S-1. You can start learning about what’s what here.


In the meantime, more here on the biggest winners, including: cofounder and CEO Drew Houston (he owns 25.3 percent), Sequoia Capital (it owns 23.2 percent), cofounder and CTO Arash Ferdowski (he owns 10.3 percent), Accel Partners (it owns 5 percent), and T. Rowe Price (it holds 3.5 percent).


Interestingly, Dropbox will be the first Y Combinator company to go public.



Sponsored By . . .


Today’s StrictlyVC is sponsored by Siftery Track. As a reader, get free early access to Track and easily optimize your team’s software expenditures. Simply sync your credit card or accounting system, and Siftery Track will automatically create beautiful visualizations of your historic and forecasted spend. You’ll also get alerts for new products, duplicate charges, unexpected increases in spend, and more.


Jeremy Fiance, the 26-Year-Old Founder of House Fund, Ups His VC Ambitions


A little less than two years ago, we reported on Jeremy Fiance, a then 24-year-old recent UC Berkeley graduate who’d just taken the wraps off his new firm, The House Fund. It had secured $6 million in capital commitments from an array of individual investors, many of them venture capitalists, to fund startups coming out of UC Berkeley.


At the time, Fiance argued persuasively that the school — known for its academic rigor —  has largely and unwisely been overlooked by angel investors and VCs alike, sometimes owing simply to proximity. (Many investors live in communities that are closer to Stanford, roughly 40 miles away.)


He further sold himself on his own unique abilities to spot talent at UC Berkeley, including because as a freshman, in 2010, he’d brought to campus Kairos Society, a now 11-year-old organization that encourages budding entrepreneurs to tackle global-scale social challenges.


His salesmanship may be paying off. According to a three-month-old SEC filing spied earlier today by Axios, Fiance’s ambitions have already grown eightfold. At least, according to the filing, the House Fund is now raising upwards of $50 million for its second fund. (We’ve reached out Fiance for more information and will update this post if we hear more.)


Whether he can gather as much in capital commitments remains to be seen, but the diverse portfolio he has assembled suggests that Fiance — who counts VC and Cal alum Jeff Brody of Redpoint Ventures among his advisors — has made connections across the startup industry.


More here.


New Fundings


Amino Payments, a year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based payments company that says it combines technologies from blockchain, payments, and advertising to bring transparency to online advertising, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. First Round Capital led the round and was joined by investors You & Mr Jones Brandtech VenturesNyca Investment Fund, and Tessera Capital Partners, among others. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more here.


Anchor Labs, a stealthy startup planning to provide digital asset custody services to institutional investors, has raised an undisclosed amount of money from Andreessen Horowitz, says Axios’s Kia Kokalitcheva. AH is also an early investor in the digital currency exchange Coinbase and according Kokalitcheva, Coinbase held acquisition talks with Anchor Labs before unveiling its own plans to provide a similar custody service to institutions late last year.


Complai, a 16-month-old, Austin, Tex.-based maker of a travel-spend tracking tool, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding led by Moonshots Capital, with participation from other investors, including Capital FactoryMore here.


Eventcore, a 33-year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based company maker of event planning and management software, has raised $4.1 million in funding led by East Seattle Partners. GeekWire has more here.


Feature Labs, a three-year-old, Boston-based company that automates feature engineering for machine learning and AI applications, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Flybridge Capital Partners, with participation from First Star Ventures and 122 West Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.


LegUp Computing, a nearly three-year-old, Toronto, Ontario-based cloud platform that enables software developers to program, deploy, and manage FPGA devices, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Intel CapitalMore here.


Ordermark, a year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based startup that simplifies online order management for restaurants, has raised $2.35 million from TenOneTenAct One, and MuckerMore here.


PROCEPT BioRobotics, a nine-year-old, Redwood Shores, Ca.-based surgical robotics company, has raised $118 million in funding led by Viking Global Investors, with participation from Perceptive Advisors and CPMG. More here.


QuasarDB, a 10-year-old, Paris-based developer of technologies to handle real-time data primarily for financial markets, raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Partech Ventures, with participation from other investors, including OroliaMore here.


RecargaPay, an eight-year-old, Sao Paulo, Brazil-based mobile payments platform and wallet, has raised $22 million in Series B funding, including from IFCTheVentureCity, and VentechMore here.


Serial Box, a three-year-old, New York-based digital publisher of serial fiction, has raised $1.65 million in seed funding led by Boat Rocker Media.


Split, a nearly three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based maker of tools for testing software features, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Harmony Partners. TechCrunch has more here.


Correction: Earlier this week, we told you about a $1.3 million seed round for Intello, a SaaS optimization startup. We also told you it was some months old and based in Queensland, Australia, but that’s another Intello. The newly seed-funded Intello is based in New York and it’s a year old. Apologies to cofounder Barak Kaufman, who received many confused emails from friends.:)


(Other) New Funds


SkyDeck, a startup accelerator program at UC Berkeley, has just closed a $24 million fund, more than twice its original target $10 million, it said in a release issued yesterday. Its investors include Sequoia CapitalAlibaba Holdings, and alumni through various investment vehicles. More here.




Eden, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based office management and tech support platform that has raised $15 million from investors, has acquired OrgOrg, an eight-year-old, social network for office managers to recommend, discuss, and review vendors and products. The terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.


Momo, a Chinese location-based social networking app, has acquired Tantan, a Chinese dating app, for $600.9 million in an all-cash deal that may help the two outfits better compete with WeChat. TechCrunch has much more here.





Elizabeth Cain has been promoted to partner at OpenView, where she was previously a VP.


Famous VC Vinod Khosla is now trying to persuade the Supreme Court to take up his case against surfers and other beachgoers who want public access to the beach outside his beachfront property.


Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is poised to become one of the highest-paid U.S. executives for 2017, thanks to a $636.6 million stock grant he received when Snap company went public.





Playground Global, the early-stage venture firm cofounded by Android’s co-creator Andy Rubin, is looking to hire a full-time associate. The job is in Palo Alto, Ca.



Essential Reads


Secretive data-analytics company Palantir must turn over internal files to one its early investors who has accused it of improperly blocking his efforts to sell his shares. The judge presiding over the battle said this week that “Palantir’s serial failure to convene annual stockholder meetings is problematic’’ because it raises questions about whether shareholders are getting information about the private firm’s operations. Bloomberg has more here.


The National Venture Capital Association announced yesterday that it has released a set of model documents and resources aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the industry.


The myth of the “hacker proof” voting machine.




Some of those instant pots that terrify people could be recalled. (They’re melting.)


Where top chefs go to eat out in London.


What you need to get into the 1 percent.


Retail Therapy


Beer bong syringe. (Submitted without comment.)

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