StrictlyVC: June 1, 2018

Ugh, our Cavs had a brutal night, but that was a great game. We love this time of year.

Speaking of, we have to send out an abbreviated version today — it’s “field day” up the road at our kids’ school. This means we’ll spend the rest of this morning making sure no one breaks a leg during tug of war (the parents are especially high risk).
Top News
Facebook is shutting down its sometimes-problematic “trending” news section after four years.
SV Angel Says It Won’t Be Raising Another Fund from Outside Investors
SV Angel, the seed-stage investment firm, announced yesterday that it’s getting out of the traditional venture business. At least, going forward, its founders — meaning famous angel investor Ron Conway and his son Topher — will be investing their own money in startups, they say.

In an email exchange, Topher Conway explained that several of the firm’s most recent checks, including to the chatbot startup Hugging Face, the hormone-testing company Modern Fertility, and to the electric skateboard company Boosted Boards, came from SV Angel’s existing, outside-investor-backed funds. He added that those existing funds will no longer make new investments, but that SV Angel  will continue to invest in follow-on rounds in its existing portfolio companies.

The outfit had closed its last fund with $53 million in late 2016. Partners Brian Pokorny, Kevin Carter and Robert Pollak will now become advisors to SV Angel. Meanwhile, Ron and Topher Conway will be writing smaller initial checks than they have in recent years — $25,000 to $100,000, they say —  to “align” themselves better with the “thousands of firms and individuals” who are now investing in seed rounds.

As SV Angel hints at in a related new post (and has come up increasingly in our discussions with seed-stage investors), it is challenging these days for any one outfit to write big checks to the most promising seed-stage companies. There’s simply too much money sloshing around. SV and its outside investors may also have simply grown weary, with the small outfit going through several iterations over time, some of them more challenging than others.

More here.
New Fundings
Chime, a 5.5-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile banking startup known for its lack of fees, has raised $70 million in Series C financing led by Menlo Ventures. The round — which also included earlier backers Forerunner VenturesAspect VenturesCathay InnovationNorthwestern MutualCrosslink Capital, and Omidyar Network — brings the company’s total funding to more than $100 million and values the business at around $500 million. TechCrunch has more here

CyberInt, a nine-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based cybersecurity detection and response services company, has raised $18 million in funding led by Viola Growth, with participation from existing investors. More here

Emagispace, a three-year-old, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company with a physical product for the construction of interior spaces, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by Alpha Edison. We’d written about this company back in July of last year if you want to learn more. 

Honest Buildings, a six-year-old, New York-based maker of a project management platform built for real estate owners, has added $5 million to a previously closed Series B financing, bringing  the total round to $30 million. The newest capital infusion came from First Capital Realty. Others of the company’s Series B investors include Brookfield Property PartnersOxford Properties GroupThe Durst Organization, and a bunch of others. The company has now raised $48 million altogether. More here

Protean Electric, a 10-year-old, Troy, Mi.-based automotive technology company, has raised $40 million in Series E funding led by Weifu High-Technology Group and Oak Investment PartnersMore here

Virtru, a six-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based security startup that came out of research at the NSA, has raised $37 million in Series B funding led by Iconiq Capital. TechCrunch has more here

Weights & Biases, a six-month-old, Bay Area-based startup that’s building new tools for machine learning developers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding fromTrinity Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. TechCrunch has more here.
New Funds
Bessemer Venture Partners is launching a $10 million early-stage seed program to back new startups. TechCrunch has more here

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange based on daily trade volumes, just announced a $1 billion fund to back blockchain and crypto startups. Capital for the fund is reportedly coming from Binance’s own reserves as a way to contribute to the industry ecosystem. TechCrunch has more here

Nexus Venture Partners, a cross-border venture firm with two offices in India and an American outpost on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, is looking to close its fifth fund with $450 million, according to a newly processed SEC filing. Crunchbase News has more here.
Box announced today that it has purchased Progressly, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based startup that focuses on workflow. All of Progressly’s dozen employees will be joining Box. The purchase price isn’t being disclosed, but for what it’s worth, Progressly had raised $6 million, according to Crunchbase data. TechCrunch has more here.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon thinks the nine-year economic recovery is far from over, telling attendees at an investor conference in New York today that “we’reprobably in the sixth inning.”
Twenty takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 294-slide internet trends report.
Essential Reads
The terrifying lessons of a pandemic simulation.
The best British shows on Netflix. 

A new study that casts the famous marshmallow test into doubt

Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani became the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion yesterday after 12-year-old Naysa Modi misspelled the word “Bewusstseinslage” in the first championship round (which, pardon us as we look that one up). The L.A. Times has more here.
Retail Therapy
Katz’s Delicatesen, the iconic Jewish deli in New York, just launched a monthly subscription service. It isn’t cheap, but when you have to have your pastrami . . .

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