StrictlyVC: June 7, 2018

Hi, there, happy Thursday! We’re racing out the door again this morning, but a quick reminder that StrictlyVC will *not* go out to readers next week; we’ll happily be resuming operations on June 18th, so hang tight.:)
Top News
It’s official: The U.S. has struck a deal that gets ZTE back in business.
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Coinbase is Looking to Trade Startups’ Digital Tokens Now, Too 
Every day, tech investors and reporters are pitched on new services that intend to generate digital tokens that its creators expect will trade . . . somewhere.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coinbase,  known currently for trading a handful of the largest cryptocurrencies, wants to be that somewhere. To that end, it’s acquiring securities dealer Keystone Capital, a California-based FINRA-registered broker-dealer that, according to the WSJ, can operate as a registered investment and run an alternative trading system.

Coinbase said the move sets it on a path to “offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter trading.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Coinbase will need regulatory approval to operate under the Keystone licenses, and its COO Asiff Hirji told the WSJ that it expects to take several months after those approvals are obtained to integrate Keystone’s operations.

More than $13 billion has been raised by startups via so-called initial coin offerings since the beginning of last year — a whopping $6.3 billion of that raised in just the first three months of 2018. That represents a huge opportunity for a company like Coinbase, particularly as more startups submit to regulatory oversight and, as a result, produce what are called “security” tokens. 

More here.
New Fundings
10% Happier, a two-year-old, Boston-based meditation app company, has raised $3.7 million in seed funding, including from Khosla VenturesTrinity Ventures and Correlation VenturesMore here

Avi Networks, a six-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based intent-based application services development platform, just raised $60 million in funding from CiscoDAG VenturesGreylock PartnersLightspeed Venture Partners and Menlo VenturesMore here

Caroobi, a three-year-old, Berlin-based platform that connects auto mechanics with consumers and parts suppliers, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by NGP Capital, formerly known as Nokia Growth Partners. TechCrunch has more here

Danke Gongyu, a three-year-old, Beijing-based apartment leasing platform, has raised a $70 million Series B+ round led by New York-based Tiger Global Management. Other investors in the round include China Media Capital, Gaorong CapitalJoy CapitalVision Plus CapitalBertelsmann Asia Investments and Shenzhen Youjin Investment Management. DealStreetAsia has more here

Devo, a seven-year-old, Burlingame, Ma.-based data operations platform that helps companies extract intelligence from their streaming and historical data (and was formerly known as LogTrust), has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Kibo Ventures. The investment brings the company’s total funding to $71 million. TechCrunch has more here

DocAuthority, a five-year-old, Ra’anana, Israel-based data management startup, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Raine Ventures, with participation from Greycroftff VCDifferential VC2B Angels and Plus VenturesMore here

The Honest Company, the six-year-old, L.A.-based personal care and baby product business co-founded by Jessica Alba, has sold a minority stake in its business for $200 million to the private equity firm L Catteron. Honest had raised $297 million from its six prior funding rounds, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource. The company was valued at $1.7 billion in 2015, but lost its so-called unicorn status as issues with products arose. The WSJ has more here

Kittyhawk, a nearly 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based drone innovation company, has raised $5 million in funding led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation fromBoeing HorizonX VenturesFreestyle Capital, and Kluz Capital. GeekWire has more here

LendStreet, an eight-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based online consumer debt restructuring and consolidation platform, has raised $7 million in Series A funding co-led by Prudential Financial and Radicle Impact. Earlier backers existing investors Accion, the Center for Financial Services InnovationSerious ChangeCrunchfundKapor Capital, and Cross Culture Ventures also joined the round. More here

Meesho, a three-year-old, Bengalaru, India-based Indian “social selling” startup, has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia India, with participation from SAIF PartnersYC and Venture Highway. The company has now raised $15 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.  

Metacrine, a three-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based biotech company centered around treating diabetes, steatohepatitis and other metabolic and liver disorders, has raised $65 million in Series C funding led by Venrock. Other participants in the round include Franklin Templeton InvestmentsDeerfield Management, Arrowmark PartnersInvusLilly Asia VenturesVivo Capital and others. FierceBiotech has more here

Nash Work, a five-year-old, Beijing, China-based co-working space operator, has raised $78 million in Series B funding led by Sino-Ocean Capital, with participation from China Huarong Asset ManagementDeutsche Bank and Clearwater Capital. China Money Network has more here

NextInput, a six-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company that markets a set of proprietary touch technologies, has raised $13 million in Series B financing, including from earlier backers Sierra VenturesCota Capital and UMC Capital. More here

Obligo, a year-old, New York-based fintech startup that offers an alternative to the security deposit needed traditionally by renters, has raised $5 million in seed funding. 83 North led the round, and was joined by investors including Entree CapitalHFZ Capital, and Viola Credit. Calcalist has more here

Packlane, a 3.5-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based manufacturer that works with brands to make customized packaging, has reportedly raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Breakout Capital, with participation from Draper Associates among other investors. More here

Panorays, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that automates third-party security management, has raised $5 million led by Aleph. Calcalist has more herePodium, a four-year-old, Lehi, Ut.-based customer communication platform for local businesses, has raised $60 million in Series B funding led by IVP, with participation from AccelSummit PartnersGV, and Y CombinatorMore here

Qumulo, a six-year-old, Seattle-based file storage company, has raised $93 million in Series D funding led by funds managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners.Goldman Sachs and Western Digital also participated in the round, along with many of Qumulo’s early backers, including Highland Capital PartnersKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Madrona Venture Group, and Valhalla Partners. Vator has more here

Sirnaomics, an 11-year-old Gaithersburg, Md.-based company that’s developing anti-fibrosis and anti-cancer RNAi therapeutics, has raised $25 million in Series C1 funding. Yuexiu New Industrial Investment led the round, and was joined by investors including Sangel Biomedical Venture CapitalHuaKong Equity Investment and Qianhai Shenghui Investment. The WSJ has more here

Starship Technologies, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes hotel-room-refrigerator-size last-mile delivery robots, has raised $25 million in fresh funding from earlier backers Matrix Partners and Morpheus Ventures and new investors who include Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, Skype founding engineer Jaan Tallinn and others. TechCrunch has more here

Stocard, a six-year-old, Mannheim, Germany-based digital wallet company that invites users to store their loyalty cards on its app, has raised $20 million in funding led by Macquarie CapitalMore here

Sunlight Financial, a four-year-old, New York- and Charlotte, N.C.-based company that provides point-of-sale, structured consumer funding for customers of solar, battery and roofing companies in the U.S., has raised a $50 million investment from FTV Capital, the growth equity investor. More here

Taft, a three-year-old, Provo, Ut.-based men’s footwear brand, has raised $5 million in seed funding led by Kickstart Seed Fund, with participation from M3 Ventures,Fifth Wall Ventures, and Peterson PartnersMore here

Tiantianpaiche, a three-year-old, Chinese used car auction site, has raised $100 million from Autohome, a Chinese automobile online platform. China Money Network has more here

Unchained Capital, a year-old, Austin, Tex.-based crypto-finance company that lends cash to long-term crypto-investors, has raised roughly $3 million in seed funding from numerous individual investors, including former Wall Street trader Michael Komaransky, and Trunk Club cofounder Brian SpalyMore here

Verity Studios, a four-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based developer of indoor drones used to film indoor events, has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by Fontinalis Partners, with participation from Airbus VenturesSony Innovation Fund and Kitty HawkMore here

Xtraction Services, year-old, Clermont, Fl.-based maker of CO2 extraction equipment, has raised $2.8 million in funding, following a $5 million round the company had closed last fall.  Archytas Ventures, an L.A.-based holding firm that specializes in cannabis businesses, led the round. Other investors include Quinsam Capital and Ollerhead CapitalMore here

Zebra Medical Vision, a four-year-old, Israel-based medical imaging startup that uses machine and deep learning to build tools for radiologists, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by health technology fund aMoon Ventures, with participation from Aurum, Johnson & Johnson InnovationIntermountain Health and artificial intelligence experts Fei-Fei Li and Richard Socher. TechCrunch has more here.
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New Funds
Camber Creek, a New York- and Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm focused on real estate tech, has closed its second fund with $30 million in capital commitments. The firm was formerly known as Berman Venture Capital, having started life as the corporate venture arm of Berman Enterprises, a real estate development firm. More here

Drugmaker Pfizer said yesterday that it plans to pour $600 million in its venture capital fund, a quarter of which will be earmarked for research on neuroscience. The new funding will bring total assets managed by Pfizer Ventures to over $1 billion, the company said in a statement. Six months ago, Pfizer said it was abandoning research to find new drugs aimed at treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases after a string of costly trials yielded disappointing results. Reuters has the story here

Valo Ventures, a new, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm founded by Scott Tierney, who’d cofounded Google’s late-stage investment arm, CapitalG, is raising a $250 million debut fund, shows an SEC filing that was first flagged yesterday by Axios. Crunchbase News has more here.
Electrocore, a 13-year-old, Basking Ridge, N.J.-based migraine device maker, is planning to raise $65 million in an IPO that prices its shares between $14 to $16 apiece. Nasdaq has more here

Marley Spoon, a four-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based meal kit company that operates globally, has filed for an Australian IPO that could give it a market cap of around$152 million. It has raised more than $40 million from investors, including Quasar Discovery VenturesLakestarKreos CapitalWestTech Ventures and TA Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
GM president Dan Ammann has left Lyft’s board, the latest sign that the automaker and ride-hailing company are looking more like competitors than allies. Ammann’s departure comes just two years after GM formed a partnership with Lyft that included a $500 million investment and a board seat. Fortune has more here

Jonathan Bush, Athenahealth’s CEO and co-founder, resigned Wednesday following reports of inappropriate behavior. Bush, a “nephew of one president and cousin of another, stepped down as chief executive of Athenahealth under intensifying pressure from Elliott Management, which last month made a hostile takeover offer for the company,” reports the New York Times

Former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is starting a new company with two ex-Qualcomm executives that will focus on next-generation wireless technology.The new company doesn’t interrupt Jacobs’ plans to take Qualcomm private, reports CNBC.
Essential Reads
Coinbase is Looking to Trade Startups’ Digital Tokens Now, Too  is throwing its servers in the sea to keep them cool

The “gig” economy has actually shrunk since 2005. 

Instagram is preparing to unveil a home for longer-form video

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said his company wants to become the “Amazon of transportation.” Now Lyft is following that lead. Recode explains here.
Golden State’s terrifying (to Cavs fans) Plan B

Why so many sitcoms look the same

The world’s highest-paid athletes.
Retail Therapy
Danish Fuel. We dig.

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