StrictlyVC, July 2, 2018

Hi, all! We’re having all kinds of connectivity issues today — burned cable on our block, intermittent WiFi at our coffee shop. We’re somewhere between laughing and screaming, along with everyone else in our neighborhood. (We can see the relief/frustration in their eyes, as they slowly drain their macchiatos.) Either way, we have to keep things a little shorter today.More tomorrow.
Top News
Controversial entrepreneur and engineer Anthony Levandowski is back with a new autonomous trucking technology company

Dell said today it will pay $21.7 billion in cash and stock to buy back shares tied to its interest in software company VMware, returning the computer maker to the stock market without an IPO.
Sponsored By . . .
Do you like to follow luxury real estate?  Check out the Gullixson Team and their incredible Silicon Valley listings.  Today’s highlighted property is a remarkable opportunity in Woodside, CA to build on the iconic horse property once owned by Daniel Jackling and most recently Jim Clark.  Approved custom plans by renowned architect Backen Gilliam Kroeger Architects are included. 
These 50 Founders and VCs Suggest 2018 May Be a Tipping Point for Women in Tech (Part Two) 
On Friday, we featured 25 founders and VCs who are having a notable 2018 — and who happen to be women. Herewith, 25 more who deserve some kudos for getting it done in the first half of this year. This list, meant to highlight the growing number of women with interesting companies or starting venture firms to watch, could easily be several times longer, we’re gleefully aware. Please feel free to tweet us or nominate in our comments section other women who’ve reached a particular milestone in 2018 and should be included in future profiles of female leaders who are on the rise, along with their organizations. 

Much more here.
New Fundings
Aikucun, a 1.5-year-old, China-based online platform that connects fashion brands and professional online shoppers to help brands reduce their inventories, has raised $87 million in Series B funding led by Legend Capital. Other participants in the round include Eastern Bell VC and C&D Corp. China Money Network has more here

Automation Anywhere, a 15-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based maker of robotic process automation software, today announced $250 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates and Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, with participation from General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab. The company is saying this is the largest Series A round on record for an enterprise software company. It also brings its post-money valuation to $1.8 billion. VentureBeat has more here

Califia Farms, an eight-year-old, L.A.-based maker of plant-based beverages — namely nut milks — raised over $50 million in new funding. Ambrosia Investments led the round, and was joined by earlier backers Sun Pacific and Stripes GroupMore here

Harper Wilde, a 1.5-year-old, Venice, Ca.-based company selling a curated selection of bras online, has raised $2 million in funding led by CRV. TechCrunch has more here

Oden Technologies, a four-year-old, New York-based analytics company that says it helps manufacturers monitor and optimize their production in real time, from any device, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Atomico. TechCrunch has more here

Trax, an eight-year-old, Singapore-based company that sells image recognition tech to consumer packaged goods brands, has raised $125 million in new funding led by Boyu Capital. According to its CEO, the company — previously backed by Warburg Pincus — is now valued at close to $1 billion. DealStreetAsia has more here.

Windward, an eight-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup in the business of providing maritime risk analytics, has raised $16.5 million in Series C funding led byXL Innovate, with participation from earlier backers Aleph and Horizons Ventures. Calcalist has more here.
Facebook is acquiring London-based Bloomsbury AI, a startup that has built natural language processing technology to help machines answer questions based on information gleaned from documents. According to TechCrunch’s sources Facebook plans to deploy the company’s team and tech to work on combating fake news and to tackle other content issues. Its sources further say Facebook will be paying $23 million and $30 million in a mixture of cash and stock for the company. More here

Quartz, the business and tech news organization owned by Atlantic Media, is moving to a new home after publicly listed Japanese business Uzabase acquired it in a deal worth up to $110 million. TechCrunch has more here

Suse, one of the longest-running commercial Linux distributors and a major player in the open-source infrastructure and management space, is being acquired by the private equity firm and venture capital fund EQT in a deal valued at roughly $2.5 billion. TechCrunch has the story here.
The Norway-based web browser company Opera has filed for an IPO in the U.S. According to its F-1 document, the company plans to raise up to $115 million after last year generating $128.9 million in operating revenue (and net income of $6.1 million). The company has had a tumultuous history, notes TechCrunch in its write-up about the offering. More here

Tenable, a 16-year-old, Columbia, Md.-based cybersecurity and compliance monitoring platform, has filed to raise $100 million in an IPO. The company has raised roughly $310 million in funding over the years, with its biggest shareholders being Insight Venture Partners and Accel Partners, which collectively own around 70 percent of the company. Business Insider has more here.
Sequoia Capital is adding to its investment team. The role will focus on growth-stage companies and will be based in the Bay Area. Responsibilities include identifying new opportunities, contributing to investment decisions, and building dent-making companies. The ideal candidate is curious, hungry, low ego, and team-first. Learn more here.
Tesla’s top engineer, Doug Field, is leaving the company for good after previously stepping away for what the company had characterized as a leave of absence. 

NBA veteran Jason Kidd just took his first swing at tech investing, backing a mobile app for golfers

Alex Lazarow has joined Cathay Innovation as a director in its San Francisco office. Lazarow had spent the last five years as a principal with Omidyar Network. 

Former President Barack Obama quietly visited the folks at Andreessen Horowitz late last week, suggests a photo that partner (and popular blogger) Andrew Chen posted on Twitter on Friday. The firm isn’t commenting on the visit, but The Tampa Bay Times flagged the tweet

The founder whose startup Yo only allowed users to send their friends the word “Yo” has a new company that does . . . more. TechCrunch has the story here.
Essential Reads
Mob lynchings fueled by WhatsApp messages are sweeping India

Tech’s dirty secret? The app developers sifting through your Gmail.
How one typeface took over movie posters

The soccer ball that survived the Challenger explosion

Too soon, NBA. 
Retail Therapy
Artist action figures.

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