StrictlyVC: June 18, 2018

Aaaand, we’re back after a relaxing week off! (Lots of running around today, thus the latest send ever!) Back on track tomorrow. Hope you had a wonderful Monday.:)
Top News
In a rebuke of the Trump administration, the Senate voted today to reinstate tough penalties on ZTE, the Chinese telecom company accused in April of violating American sanctions. As the New York Times reports, the measure would undo an agreement the Commerce Department recently reached that would allow ZTE to remain in business in exchange for paying a $1 billion fine, replacing its senior leadership and installing American compliance officers. 

That was fast. Roughly one year after investment banker and hedge fund founder Marc Mezvinsky was brought into Social Capital, he is parting ways with the firm. So is Tony Bates, formerly the president of GoPro, who was also brought in a year ago. Also leaving the firmArjun Sethi. That’s at least four partners to leave the firm over the last year. Longtime industry watchers might recall that last summer, firm cofounder Mamoon Hamid left Social Capital for Kleiner Perkins while the firm’s third cofounder, Ted Maidenberg, was also said to be leaving (though he continues to list Social Capital as his primary affiliation on LinkedIn). Social Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya describes the continuing exodus from the firm as growing pains

Elon Musk emailed employees a bit ago about “extensive and damaging sabotage” by a Tesla employee. CNBC has more here.
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New Fundings
Capture Technologies, a month-old, L.A.-based company that’s launching a new app of the same name, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst, with participation from Kleiner PerkinsSocial CapitalDream Machine and Group, among others. Two of the cofounders had previously cofounded the art filter app Prisma. TechCrunch has more here

CHEQ, a four-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based cybersecurity company that aims to protect advertisers from negative content association and digital ad fraud, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Battery Ventures. TechCrunch has more here

Chowbotics, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based  company that makes a salad-making robot, has raised $11 million in Series A-1 funding led by the Foundry Group and Techstars. TechCrunch has more here

Cleo, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that acts as an extension of prenatal and postpartum care offered by employers to new and expecting parents, has raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. Greylock Partners led the round; the capital follows $2.25 million in seed funding that the startup raised last year from Felicis Ventures and Forerunner Ventures. Forbes has more here

Elucidata, a three-year-old, New Delhi, India- and Cambridge, Ma.-based data science company that’s developing tools and software solutions for drug discovery, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding. Hyperplane Venture Capital led the round. More here

Gamurs, a four-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based esports media network, has raised $2.2 million in funding, including from Alium CapitalMore here

Hipcamp, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based booking site for camping experiences, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Benchmark. Other investors include Affirm co-founder Max Levchin and former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. Forbes has more here.

Influential, a five-year-old, Las Vegas-based company that employs artificial-intelligence technology to match social-media stars and celebs with marketers, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Capital Zed and Europlay Capital Advisors led the round, with participation from WME. TechCrunch has more here, the publicly traded e-commerce giant, has taken $550 million from Google as part of a broader strategic partnership. JD shares opened up nearly 6 percent today, giving it a market cap north of $65 billion. TechCrunch has more here

Gospel Technology, a 1.5-year-old, London-based blockchain software startup that’s working with one of the U.K.’s biggest aerospace and defense manufacturers to develop a proof of concept to improve record keeping for its supply chain, has raised £1.4M from LocalGlobeMore here

Moxy, a new commercial airline startup from David Neeleman, who launched New York-based JetBlue nearly two decades ago, is reportedly raising $100 million in first-round funding, including from Neeleman himself. CNBC has more here.  

Panaseer, a four-year-old, London-based cyber security software company, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Evolution Equity Partners led the round with participation from Notion CapitalAlbion CapitalWinton Ventures, Paladin Capital Group and Cisco InvestmentsMore here

PatSnap, an 11-year-old, U.K.- and Singapore-based Euro-Asian company that offers patent and R&D platform and services, has raised $38 million in Series D funding led by earlier investors Sequoia Capital and Shunwei Capital, the investment firm founded by Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun. Southeast Asia’s Qualgro also took part in the round. All three backed the company in 2016 when it led an undisclosed Series C round. TechCrunch has more here

Photomyne, a nearly four-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based A.I.-powered app that helps bring users’ old photo prints online, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Luxembourg-based Maor. TechCrunch has more here.

Pulumi, a year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based cloud application development company, has raised $5 million in seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from Tola Capital. More here.

RideOS, a year-old, San Francisco-based stealth tech platform designed to accelerate the roll-out of self-driving vehicles, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Graph Ventures and SV AngelMore here

TenantBase, a 4.5-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based tech-enabled commercial real estate brokerage, has raised $10.7 million in new funding led by Stonecutter Capital. OC Startups Now has more here.  

Tessian, a five-year-old, London-based startup that’s deploying machine learning to improve email security, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. Balderton Capital led the round and was joined by investors including AccelAmadeus Capital PartnersCraneLocalGlobeWinton Ventures, and Walking VenturesMore here

Toss, the largest payment app in South Korea, has raised $40 million in fresh funding from the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Sequoia China. TechCrunch has more here

Xiaozhu, a Beijing, China-based rival to Airbnb, is in talks with investors to raise $100 million, according to The Information. The company was valued at $1 billion in its previous round in November when it raised $120 million from investors, including Yunfeng Capital, a private equity fund backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma. More here.

Zenaton, a year-old, Paris-based cloud-based developer tool company focused on workflows, has raised $2.35 million in seed funding co-led by Accel and Point Nine Capital, with participation from Slack Fund and Kima Ventures. TechCrunch hasmore here.
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New Funds
Firstminute Capital, a London, U.K.-based early stage venture capital firm, has officially closed its first seed fund with $100 million in commitments. The firm was formed last year by Brent Hoberman and Spencer Crawley and focuses on European early-stage tech companies. TechCrunch has more here

Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi is creating a $400 million fund to invest in European technology companies. Reuters has more here

Primary Venture Partners, a New York-based, seed-stage venture capital firm that’s focused on New York-based startups, has closed on $100 million in capital commitments for its second fund. TechCrunch has more here

True Ventures is fundraising again, according to SEC filings flagged last week by Crunchbase News. The venture firm is raising a sixth early-stage flagship fund that’s targeting $325 million; it’s also raising its third “Select” fund, which aims to make later-stage investments in breakout companies in its early-stage portfolio. More here.
BitTorrent, an early mover in concept of building a business around decentralized computing architecture to distribute and store data, is being sold for $140 million in cash to Justin Sun and his blockchain media startup Tron, TechCrunch has learned. More here

Microsoft acquired Flipgrid, a nearly four-year-old, Minneapolis, Mn.-based social learning platform, for undisclosed financial terms. Flipgrid had raised approximately $17 million in funding from venture investors, including Arthur Ventures andBrightstone Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
The online polling firm SurveyMonkey has filed confidentially to go public

Domo, the business software company founded by serial entrepreneur Josh James and last valued at $2.28 billion, could go public at a valuation of just $511 million.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and the blood-testing firm’s former president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, were indicted on Friday by federal grand jury that alleged the pair engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients.  

Khosla Ventures has hired Dan Levin, the longtime No. 2 at Box. Recode has more here

Travis VanderZanden, the founder of the 10-month-old e-scooter company Bird, has already sold some of his shares, reports The Information

Investor Mike Rothenberg and others allegedly shared a former employee’s Social Security number in a public blog, according to a lawsuit filed last week. The SJ Merc has more here.
Lower demand for leather has left the beef industry with a glut of hides.
Essential Reads
India is probing whether Sequoia Capital had any role in an alleged money laundering case involving a former minister’s son, according to Bloomberg.  

CryptoKitties, a startup that raised $12 million in March to build out its digital feline project, has hit the skids. Fortune has more here

A group of Amazon shareholders is asking CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling and marketing pattern-recognition technology to governments after civil liberties groups warned of the potential for abuse.
The World Health Organization has recognized “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition

Texas Senator Ted Cruz defeated Jimmy Kimmel in charity basketball game on Saturday. Speaking for both men, Kimmel said: “We apologize to the game of basketball.”
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