StrictlyVC: July 6, 2018

Friday! [Reverse dives off board.] Hope you have a terrific weekend, everyone. 

If you’re looking for a podcast to dip into, we sat down yesterday with our pal Alex Wilhelm of Crunchbase News and Jai Das, managing director of Sapphire Ventures, a late-stage investor and lively guest, as it turns out. We collectively shared our half-baked observations about the Lyft-Motivate deal, Airbnb’s new compensation structure, Automation Anywhere’s giant Series A round, and why Tiger Management thinks Juul is so cool.
Top News
Donald Trump just threatened to impose tariffs on every single Chinese import into America. China is hitting back hard, too
Sponsored By . . .
Today the Gullixson Team presents an iconic Atherton property.  Formerly owned by Larry Ellison, this home and property offer an exquisite expression of the guiding principles of Japanese aesthetics. Situated on a 1.78 acre lot, this property includes a traditional tea house and a series of ponds linked by stone footbridges. For questions about this or any of the fabulous listings you’ve seen this week, you can learn more here.
This Startup’s Software Makes it Easier for Attorneys to  Conduct Pro Bono Work, Including for Immigrants 
Felicity Conrad and Kristen Sonday were on very different paths until three years ago. Conrad was an associate at the powerhouse law firm Skadden Arps. Meanwhile, Kristen Sonday, a Princeton grad and the first person in her family to go to college, was reflecting on the several years she’d spent with the U.S. Department of Justice in Mexico City, working to extradite fugitives.

As it happens, both were coming to similar conclusions about the U.S. legal system, including that it’s especially challenging for people who don’t speak English.

More here.
New Fundings
21Buttons, a three-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based social fashion shopping app, has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Idinvest Partners, with participation from earlier investors Kibo VenturesBreegaJME VC360 Capital PartnersSabadell VC, and Samaipata. The company has now raised $31 million altogether. has more here

Bitmain, the five-year-old, Beijing, China-based bitcoin mining giant, has reportedly closed a Series B round that values the firm at roughly $12 billion. With a B. Bitmain had raised $50 million in Series A funding last year led by Sequoia Capital China and IDG Capital. Coindesk has more here

Dynacure, a two-year-old, Strasbourg, France-based biotechnology company developing new treatments for numerous orphan disorders, has raised roughly $55 million in funding led by Andera Partners (formerly Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners), with participation from PontifaxBpifrance,  Kurma Partners and IdInvest PartnersMore here

Savioke, a nearly five-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based developer of an indoor service robot that works in public environments like hotels and hospitals, has raised $13.4 million in Series B funding, including from Brain CorpSwisslog Healthcare, NESIC, and Recruit. The company has now raised $31 million altogether. Robotics & Automation News has more here

Starry, a four-year-old Boston-based wireless internet service, is bulking up with a $100 million in fresh funding, shows an SEC filing. With the new capital, Starry has now raised a total of $163 million from investors, including KKR, FirstMark Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The Boston Globe has a bit more here.
Uber and Lyft appear to be pursuing a crowdsourced bus startup calledSkedaddle,  the latest indication that the ride-hailing companies want to build businesses that cover every mode of transit. TechCrunch has the skinny here.
Sonos, the smart speaker company that markets its high-end speakers to audiophiles — and is increasingly threatened by smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa — has filed for an IPO. TechCrunch has more here.
OpenView Venture Partners is hiring an associate. The job is in Boston.
“I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible.” — Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin, speaking at a TechCrunch event in Zug, Switzerland earlier today.  

Responding to a question on Facebook yesterday, billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio wrote that artificial intelligence and automation are improving productivity but also causing such a dramatic wealth gap that “a national emergency should be declared.” 

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s tech empire goes way beyond smartphones

Elon Musk was lashing out at the media again yesterday.
Three times more cryptocurrency was stolen from exchanges in the first half of 2018 than all of 2017, with a corresponding boost in money laundering related to crypto, according to a report released earlier this week by CipherTrace. American Banker has more here.
Essential Reads
An Alzheimer’s drug thought to be a failure may work after all

The dark side of the Silicon gold rush.

Why country clubs are on the wane.  

RIP, Saman Gunan.
Retail Therapy
The Beekman, a “New York staple” since 1761.

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