StrictlyVC: July 26, 2018

Thursday! Woot. We’re a little car sick as we write this en route to San Francisco from Marin, where we just finished up a discussion on public finance that was super interesting. More on that to come.  

In the meantime, we’re headed to TC headquarters to help record this week’s “Equity” podcast with the ever interesting Alexis Ohanian of Initialized Capital and, before that, Reddit.

Yes. We also want to ask a million questions about his amazing wife, who has more newly become an advocate for parental leave and is a *monumental* inspiration for working mothers. We probably will not, but more on that to come, too.:)
Top News
Facebook just suffered its worst day ever as a public company. 

Meanwhile, Amazon just announced that it killed, again, with earnings up a whopping 39 percent over the first quarter.
Root Ventures, a Young Firm Focused on “Hard Tech,” Just Raised a Much Bigger Second Fund
Root Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture firm that closed its debut fund with $30 million in 2015, has raised a second fund, closing it with $76.7269 million dollars in capital commitments. Why? Because Root is proudly composed of engineering nerds, and 767.269 miles per hour is the speed of sound. In dry air. At 20 degrees Celsius. 

Of course, more mathematically significant to its investors is how the firm is faring, and on that front, Root’s backers must like what they see. 

Though Root’s investments are mostly too new to judge yet — its debut fund took stakes in 27 companies — it can easily back up claims that it invests in “deeply technical founders” who are tackling “interdisciplinary engineering problems,” including in robotics, machine learning and software for physical industries. 

Among Root’s many interesting bets to date: Creator, a hamburger-making robot that can craft a burger from start to finish in five minutes; Nautilus Labs, which sells machine learning-based analytics to maritime shipping companies, including to help them reduce their fuel costs; NordSense, whose ultra low-cost sensors sit inside garbage bins to monitor how full they are; and Wild Type, a young startup focused on creating lab-grown meat. 

Firm co-founder Avidan Ross tells us that with the firm’s new fund, he and investing partners Chrissy Meyer and Kane Hsieh will be writing slightly larger initial checks, ranging from $1 million to $2 million, up from the $500,000 checks it was writing with its first fund. He adds that the firm plans to stay firmly rooted (ahem) to its mission of supporting seed-stage founders whose companies may ultimately require a lot of resources, yet which Root can help because of its collective engineering and investing muscle. 

More here.
New Fundings
Beddr, a two-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based sleep improvement startup, has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding led by Three Leaf VenturesMore here.

Chartbeat, a nine-year-old, New York-based content intelligence platform for publishers, has raised $7 million in new funding led by North Atlantic Capital. More here

Flywire, a nine-year-old, Boston-based company that enables big institutions like colleges, hospitals, and other businesses to be paid in foreign currency, has raised $100 million in Series D funding led by Temasek, with participation from F-Prime Capital Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. Forbes has more here

Groundspeed Analytics, a two-year-old, Ann Arbor, Mi.-based startup that sells automation and analytics services to commercial insurers and brokers, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Oak HC/FTMore here

Healx, a four-year-old, U.K.-based biotech that’s focused on drug matching for rare and genetic diseases, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Balderton Capital, with participation from other backers, including Amadeus Capital PartnersMore here

Inversago Pharma, a three-year-old, Montreal-based drug developer focused on metabolic diseases, has raised C$7 million ($5.4 million) in Series A funding co-led by Genesys Capital and Amorchem, with participation from JDRF T1D Fund,Accel-RxAnges Québec CapitalAnges Québec and Tarnagulla Ventures. More here

LeoLabs, a three-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based startup that builds and operates radars to track satellites and the debris that threatens them, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. WERU Investment and Airbus Ventures co-led the round, with participation from Space Angels and Horizons Ventures. SpaceNews has more here

New TV,” a roughly year-old, L.A. -based mobile video platform that will reportedly feature long-form content broken up into shorter segments and which back in January snagged Meg Whitman as its CEO, has reportedly raised $1 billion in funding. With a B. According to CNN, investors include Disney21st Century Fox, Warner BrosEntertainment One and other media companies, along with (still unnamed) institutional investors in both the U.S. and China. More here

ODX, a Mataki, Philippines-based blockchain-based data marketplace hoping to help solve for internet access in emerging economies, has raised $60 million in funding, including from Pantera Capital, BlockTower CapitalDNA FundKenetic CapitalWavemaker Genesis and Strong VenturesMore here

OpenInvest, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based digital investment advisor for socially responsible investing, raised $10.4 million in Series A funding. QED Investors led the round, and was joined by investors including Andreessen HorowitzSYSTEMIQWireframe VenturesYard Ventures and Abstract VenturesMore here

The RealReal, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace for authenticated luxury goods that its users and shop owners consign, has raised $115 million in Series G funding led by PWP Growth Equity, with participation from Sandbridge Capital and Great Hill PartnersScandit, a nine-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based enterprise barcode scanning company, has raised $30 million in Series B funding co-led by GV and NGP Capital. TechCrunch has more here

Snap40, a four-year-old, Edinburgh, Scotland-based maker of a monitoring wearables that helps detect when the wearer’s health is deteriorating, has raised $8 million in new funding led by ADV, with participation from MMC VenturesMore here.
New Funds
Hippocrates Ventures, a new, physician-funded, social impact, venture fund focused on digital therapeutics opportunities, is launching a debut vehicle that it expects will be no smaller than $10 million in size. Already, 250 physicians are involved. Laurence Girard founded the outfit. The former pre-med student is also the CEO and founder of Fruit Street, a digital health tech startup focused on diabetes prevention. More here.
Ascletis Pharma, a five-year-old, Hangzhou, China-based biotech, has raised $400 million after pricing its IPO in the middle of its expected range, according to Reuters. The outlet notes that Ascletis’s IPO is the first such Hong Kong listing under rules designed to attract early-stage biotech firms. More here

Tenable, a Columbia, Md.-based cybersecurity and compliance monitoring platform, raised $251 million in its IPO yesterday. The company priced 10.9 million shares at $23, compared with its original plans to sell 9.2 million shares at between $17 and $19. The shares, which began trading on the Nasdaq this morning, still jumped almost immediately by 40 percent. CNBC has more here

We’ll have more on the performance of two China-based companies that just went public in the U.S. — Cango and Pinduoduo — for you tomorrow.
Facebook has acquired Redkix, an email startup that combines email, messaging and calendar features into one app, the company said. Facebook made the purchase in hopes of building out its own communication features inside Workplace, the enterprise version of Facebook that it hopes to compete with Slack. No word yet on terms of the deal.  Redkix has raised $17 million from investors. Recode has more here.
Felix Capital is looking for a “highly motivated and talented individual” from a top-tier university with at least three or four years of relevant work behind him or her to join its team as an investor. The job is in London.
Via Bloomberg: The U.S. housing market appears to be running out of steam. Existing-home sales dropped in June for a third straight month. Purchases of new homes are at their slowest pace in eight months. Inventory, which plunged for years, has begun to grow again as buyers move to the sidelines, sapping the fuel for surging home values. Prices for existing homes climbed 6.4 percent in May, the smallest year-over-year gain since early 2017, and have gained the least over three months since 2012, according to the Federal Housing Finance AgencyMore here.
Essential Reads
Facial recognition technology made by Amazon, which is being used by some police departments and other organizations, incorrectly matched black lawmakers, including representative John Lewis of Georgia, with people who had been charged with a crime, the American Civil Liberties Union reported this morning. More here and here

Qualcomm has dropped plans to acquire Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductorafter failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval. The companies’ CEOs lamented the development afterward via private texts
Amelia Earhart’s pleas for help may finally have been discovered

The untold story of Otto Warmbier, American hostage. 

Pranks and masculinity in “Who is America?”
Retail Therapy
Colored speakers, going fast.

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