StrictlyVC: April 3, 2018

Hi, happy Tuesday, all.


Top News


We wish very much this was not suddenly the top news, but: Gunshots were reported around 1 p.m. PST near the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California. Ambulances are at the scene and authorities have warned the public to stay out of the area. Roughly 10 minutes ago (as of this writing), parent company Google published the following on Twitter: “Re: YouTube situation, we are coordinating with authorities and will provide official information here from Google and YouTube as it becomes available.” Judging by what we’re seeing, a San Francisco hospital has confirmed reports that it’s starting to see patients from the shooting, though it hasn’t shared any numbers yet. We’d expect Google to release a statement shortly. More here in the meantime.


(Note: The rest of the newsletter was authored before this situation developed, so please forgive the casual tone. This suddenly feels like anything but a routine day in our world.)


Sponsored By . . .


In just three years, 26 visionary startups and nonprofits have been through the Financial Solutions Lab, and they’ve had an impact on Americans’ financial health. They have helped more than 2.5 million Americans improve credit scores, save more than $1 billion, and gain better control of their financial lives. Be part of this impact storyApply now for the Financial Solutions Lab (hurry — applications are due 4/11).


New Fundings


DeepScale, a three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based provider of deep learning perception software for use in mass-produced automated vehicles, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Point72 and next47, with participation from earlier backer Autotech Ventures and Trucks Venture CapitalMore here.


DriveWealth Holdings, a six-year-old, Chatam, N.J.-based fintech company, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Raptor Group HoldingsSBI Holdings, and Point72. Earlier investors, including Route 66 Ventures, also joined the round. Business Insider has more here.


Honey, a six-year-old, L.A.-based startup whose internet tool tells online shoppers whether there is an eligible coupon for their purchase, tells Recode that it’s in talks to raise in the neighborhood of $100 million in fresh funding. More here.


Qwil, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that helps companies track their independent contractors and get them paid more quickly, has raised $5 million in Series A funding, along with a whopping $102 million in debt funding. The Series A was led by Mosaik, with participation from NextGenReciprocal500 StartupsCantos, and Silicon Valley Bank. The debt round was led by Route 66 VenturesMore here.


Paytm Mall, an online shopping app controlled by the eight-year-old, Noida, India-based mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm, has raised roughly $450 million from SoftBank Group and earlier backer Alibaba Group in a new round of funding that will come in four tranches, reports LiveMint. More here.


Poseida Therapeutics, a 2.5-year-old San Diego-based company at work on a gene therapy for orphan liver diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics for several types of cancer, has raised $30.5 million in Series B financing. Longitude Capital led the round, with participation from new investors Vivo Capital, theTavistock Group, and earlier investor Malin CorporationMore here.


Red Balloon Security, a seven-year-old, New York-based developer of software that helps customers detect, mitigate and recover from a wide range of emerging threats to their embedded devices, has raised $21.9 million in Series A funding.Bain Capital Ventures led the round, with participation from GreycroftAmerican Family Ventures and Abstract Ventures. The company has now raised $23.5 million altogether. More here.


SalesLoft, a seven-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based startup that helps companies manage the contact phase of the sales process, just raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from earlier backers LinkedIn and Emergence Capital. The company has now raised $75 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.


Shine, a two-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based self-care app that offers audio tracks on how to handle toxic relationships and more, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Comcast Ventures, with participation from BetaworksFelix Capital and The New York Times Co. TechCrunch has more here.


Stackery, a two-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based startup that provides a governance and management layer for the relatively new concept of serverless architecture, has raised $5.5 million in seed funding led by HWVP (formerly Hummer Winblad Venture Partners). Other participants in the deal include Voyager CapitalPipeline Capital Partners, and Founders’ Co-op. The company has now raised $7.3 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.


Ubiquity6, a year-old, San Francisco-based augmented reality startup, has raised $10.5 million Series A funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from First Round CapitalKleiner PerkinsGradient VenturesLDVPA+E and WndrCo. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds


Eclipse, a Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm, is raising one big honking special purpose vehicle, shows an SEC filing that lists a $190 million target. More on Eclipse here.


Razor’s Edge Ventures, a Reston, Va.-based venture firm, is trying to raise $63.5 million for a new fund, according to an SEC filing.


Vida Ventures, a year-old, Boston, Ma.-based life sciences venture firm, has raised $295 million for its debut fund. The firm, founded by Arie BelldegrunFred CohenLeonard PotterArjun Goyal, and Stefan Vitorovic, plans to both actively fund — and build — life sciences companies. More here.




21st Century Fox is willing to sell Sky News to The Walt Disney Co., it says. More here.


InVision App, a seven-year-old, New York-based digital product design platform, has acquired Wake, a collaboration tool for digital product designers. InVision has raised around $235 million in venture funding, shows Crunchbase. Meanwhile, Wake earlier this year raised $2.1 million via a SAFE offering. TechCrunch has more here.


Meituan Dianping, the China-based provider of on-demand services, is reportedly in talks to buy bike-sharing company Mobike for around $3.7 billion, which has raised just shy of $1 billion from investors to date, shows Crunchbase. TechNode has more here.


Japanese online broker Monex Group says it’s considering buying Coincheck, a local cryptocurrency exchange hit by a high-profile $530 million theft earlier this year. The company did not provide any details, but the Nikkei daily reports that the deal could be worth “several billion yen” and thinks an announcement is likely this week. CNBC has more here.


Nine years after spending $884 million to acquire Wind River Systems, which made software for embedded devices, Intel is selling the company to private equity firm TPG for undisclosed terms. ZDNet has more here.




GreenSky, a 12-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company whose lending platform enables retailers, health-care providers and home contractors to offer loans to their customers, has filed confidentially for an IPO, says the WSJ, whose sources say it could raise up to $1 billion at a valuation of roughly $5 billion. The company was in talks to go public through an acquisition by a “blank-check” company run by a former Blackstone Group partner but those plans fizzled, says the WSJ. More here.


Zuora, the 11-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based cloud subscription management platform, yesterday revealed plans to raise $100 million in an IPO of 10 million shares priced between $9 to $11 a piece. The company’s biggest outside shareholders include BenchmarkRedpoint VenturesShasta Ventures,Tenaya Capital and Wellington Management Company. Crunchbase News has more here.




The 36 women secretly breaking up Silicon Valley’s old boys’ club.


500 Startups is making its most meaningful governance change since founderDave McClure resigned from the role last year. In an unusual deal, the firm is selling an undisclosed amount of equity in its parent company, called Mothership, to the Abu Dhabi Financial Group, which will now help manage 500 Startups operations alongside the firm’s current head, Christine Tsai. Recode has more here.


Amber Baldet, a program lead who set up JPMorgan’s blockchain strategy and headed up its enterprise-focused Quorum blockchain, is leaving the bank to launch her own venture, JPMorgan said on Monday. Reuters has more here.


Two founders of a cryptocurrency firm that was endorsed by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather have been charged with carrying out a fraudulent ICO by the SEC. CNBC has more here.


The full Midas List, out today.




BET Networks, a division of Viacom, is looking to hire a senior digital business development director. The job is in New York.


Lead Edge Capital, a growth equity firm, is hiring a full-time associate. The job is in New York.




At least $2.4 trillion was raised privately in the U.S. last year, concentrating power amid a far smaller pool of backers with access to such deals — and raising concerns about oversight. The WSJ takes a look here.



Essential Reads


Spotify  opened on the NYSE today at $165.90, giving the company a market value of $29.5 billion(!). Spotify isn’t selling its shares on the stock market, meaning the company isn’t raising any money today. Instead, the event, known as a “direct listing,” is a collection of transactions from existing shareholders like employees and investors who are selling shares directly to stock market investors. TechCrunch has much more here.


Snapchat is rolling out group video chats — the same kind of group video chats that apps like Houseparty and Facebook Messenger offer.


MIT is cutting ties with Nectome, the Y Combinator-backed startup promising to preserve customers’ brains for the possibility of future digital upload.


According to Vanity Fair, Donald Trump wants the Post Office to increase Amazon’s shipping costs. According to Bloomberg, however, there are no active discussions happening inside the White House about turning the power of the administration against the company.





The first 3D printed steel bridge looks as futuristic as you’d imagine it would.


The untold story behind Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech.


An updated Sinclair Broadcast anchor script.


Retail Therapy


Designer fire extinguishers. These seem wrong, but don’t you want one?

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