StrictlyVC: April 6, 2018

Yesterday, we meant to write “tantalizingly.” We hate it when we make errors like that, largely because it’s then harder to poke fun at this monster. (Okay, fine, he’s mostly human! Maybe. Save your hate mail.)


Happy Friday, everyone.:)


Also, to our Greek peeps and other Orthodox readers, happy Easter!


Top News


TechCrunch reported last night that Facebook has retracted Facebook messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg and other executives from their recipients’ inboxes. Now Facebook tells TechCrunch it will turn the ability to “unsend” messages into a feature for everyone.


Sponsored By . . .


Let’s keep this short: If you’re a startup or nonprofit that offers a solution that could improve financial health — even early stage —  you should apply to the Financial Solutions Lab virtual accelerator before April 11. Selected startups get $250K + incredible resources. More: Lab Impact ReportLaunch BlogChallenge Details,Application. Hurry! Have questions? Email today!


Confirmed: Six Months After Leaving DFJ, Steve Jurvetson is Back with a New Venture Firm


Last year, renowned VC Steve Jurvetson  parted ways with his longtime firm, DFJ, in what appeared a painful split. Six months later, he’s back with a new firm, Future Ventures, Jurvetson tells us via email. (Recode was first to take notice of its new site.)


Says Jurvetson: “I am incredibly excited about the future — the future of entrepreneurship, disruptive technologies, and my [“future ventures”] to come. I strongly believe that mission-driven founders forge the future. At Future Ventures, we will support those passionate founders.


Jurvetson’s fast return to the venture scene isn’t a complete surprise. In November,we talked with numerous institutional investors who agreed that if they could invest behind a new Jurvetson effort, they would.


Largely, that interest ties to Jurvetson’s track record, which includes SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and the satellite company Planet, among other bets.


The circumstances around Jurvetson’s departure from DFJ appear to have provided an opening for his return, too.


More here.


New Fundings


BayoTech, a three-year-old, Albuquerque, N.M.-based maker of chemical reactors for the distributed production of hydrogen and fertilizers, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding from an undisclosed strategic investor and earlier investors Cottonwood Technology Fund and Sun Mountain CapitalMore here.


By Chloe, a three-year-old, New York-based plant-based fast casual restaurant concept, has raised $31 million in funding led by Bain Capital Double Impact, with participation from Kitchen FundCollaborative FundRiverPark Ventures and TGP International/Qoot International.


Nantero, a 17-year-old, Woburn, Ma.-based nanotechnology company developing next-generation memory using carbon nanotubes, has raised $29.7 million in funding, including from Dell Technologies CapitalCisco Investments,Kingston Technology CorporationCFT Capital, and SchlumbergerMore here.


Selina, a six-year-old, Panama-based hospitality company that aims to provide accommodations for budget and mid-range travel, has raised $95 million from Abraaj Group and WeWork founder Adam Neumann. TechCrunch has more here.


Spidr Tech, a nearly three-year-old, Manhattan Beach, Ca.-based startup that’s developing law enforcement technology, has raised $2.5 million from investors including Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk LabsBirchmere VenturesStage VenturesKairos AssociationHeartland Ventures, and No Name Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.


New Funds


Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is creating a venture capital arm, Coinbase Ventures, to invest in early stage companies in cryptocurrency and financial tech, it said yesterday. More here.


Unusual Ventures, an early-stage venture fund founded by John Vrionis, who’d previously spent more than 11 years with Lightspeed Venture Partners, has raised $150 million in capital commitments for its debut fund, says Axios. According to a new SEC filing, the fund is targeting up to $160 million.




Three weeks after disclosing a $55 million funding round, the nine-year-old, Brisbane, Ca-based anti-aging company Unity Biotechnology has filed to go public. The company is focused on stopping “cellular senescence,” which is when cells stop dividing and secrete proteins believed to damage nearby healthy tissue, and it has collectively raised $200 million toward that end so far. Xconomy has more here.




Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck, made famous after hackers made off with more than $400 million in digital token NEM, has been acquired. The company announced yesterday that the Tokyo-based online brokerage Monex Group will buy it in full. The transaction will see Coincheck become a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex. More here.




Controversial Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman “was fêted Wednesday at a Hollywood dinner hosted by power producer and director Brian Grazer and wife Veronica, plus WME-IMG boss Ari Emanuel,” reports the New York Post. Guests included Jeff Bezos, Bob Iger, Robert Kraft, Ron Howard, Evan Spiegel, Kobe Bryant, Dina Powell, and Shane Smith.


MSNBC is airing a new interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook at 8 p.m. EST.


Jared Fliesler, who spent a little more than three years with Matrix Partners, where he was a general partner, has joined reading subscription site Scribd as COO. Fliesler is the second partner to leave Matrix recently. Last month, as readers might recall, longtime general partner Josh Hannah also stepped down from the firm.


Aaref Hilaly later this year will step down as a general partner with Sequoia Capital, says Axios, which cites personal reasons related to a family matter. Hilaly had joined Sequoia in 2012


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg tells the Financial Times that she personally made “mistakes” and that the company had been too slow to respond after the discovery of a massive data leak to Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked for the Trump campaign. She also says Facebook still doesn’t know what data Cambridge Analytica has, and that Facebook “underinvested” in the platform’s safety and security.


Business magnate and philanthropist George Soros called cryptocurrencies a bubble in January. Now his $26 billion family office is planning to trade digital assets. According to Bloomberg, Adam Fisher, who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management, received internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months. More here.


Essential Reads


Holy s. A new headset developed by MIT called AlterEgo can read your mind, answering questions you ask without speaking them aloud.


Postmates and DoorDash have reportedly discussed a merger that would unite two of the largest restaurant-delivery startups in the U.S. in a bid to take on better-funded competitors like GrubHub, Uber and Amazon.





How to ripen an avocado, according to science.


The fascinating economics of massive cruise ships.


Fortnite on iOS made $15 million in its first three weeks in the App store.


Retail Therapy


Time Slippers. (Funky brand, great shoe.)


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