September 5, 2019

Happy Thursday, all. We are beat after a day of marinating in content about enterprise startups, though we also learned a lot and also drank an inordinate of Diet Coke. If you missed the event and want to check it out, you can zip through some of the discussions here. More tomorrow.:)

Top News

It’s still a mystery, what’s causing the cluster of severe respiratory illnesses among people who’ve vaped, but investigators say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit.  

Data startup Palantir Technologies isn’t orchestrating an IPO any time soon, reports Bloomberg, which says the company, now 16 years old, is in talks to raise more money from private investors and may delay indefinitely a public offering.

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Massive Fundings  

BigID, a three-year-old, New York-based startup that’s been developing a privacy platform for the last several years, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Other investors in the round include FundComcast VenturesBoldstart VenturesScale Venture PartnersSalesforce Ventures, and ClearSkyMore here

Federated Wireless, a seven-year-old, Arlington, Va.-based wireless communications firm, has raised $51 million in Series C funding, including from earlier backers Allied MindsAmerican Tower, and GIC, along with new investors Pennant Investors and SBA Communications. Multichannel News has more here

Getaround, a 10-year-old, San Francisco-based used car marketplace, is raising $200 million in equity financing at a $1.7 billion post-money valuation, according to an estimate provided by PitchBook. The company is declining for now to comment on the round. TechCrunch has more here

Grove Collaborative, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform for natural home and personal care products, just raised $150 million in Series D funding at a $1 billion post-money valuation. Lone Pine CapitalGeneral Atlantic, and Glynn Capital co-led the round, joined by earlier investors Norwest Venture PartnersMayfield FundNextView VenturesMHS Capital, and Heron Rock Capital. The company’s previous round, a $35 million Series C round, had closed in January of last year. More here

Milkbasket, a four-year-old, Gurugram, India-based delivery startup that operates in Bangalore, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Hyderabad and which allows users to order their daily supplies until midnight then delivers them in the early morning hours, is reportedly in advanced talks to raise more than $50 million in Series C funding. The company has raised $26 million in the past from investors. TechCrunch has the story here

Nkarta, a four-year-old, South San Francisco-based developer of natural killer cell therapies to fight cancer, just raised $114 million in Series B funding. Investors include Amgen VenturesDeerfield ManagementLife Science PartnersLogos Capital and RA Capital Management, with participation from earlier investors NEANovo Holdings and SR One. FierceBiotech has more here

Repare Therapeutics, a three-year-old, Montreal-based precision oncology startup, has raised $82.5 million in Series B funding led by Cowen Healthcare Investments, with participation from OrbiMedRedmileBVF PartnersLogos Capital and earlier backers Versant VenturesMPM CapitalFonds de solidarité FTQ, and BDC Capital. Endpoints News has more here.

Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings  

BrightInsight, a two-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based IoT platform for biopharma and medtech, has raised $25 million in Series A funding co-led by New Leaf Venture Partners and Eclipse VenturesMore here

Cooks Venture, a year-old, New York-based agriculture technology company that partners with small farms to set up regenerative agricultural practices that use its intellectual property, has raised $12 million in funding from AMERRA Capital Management. TechCrunch has more here

Fyllo, a six-month-old, Chicago-based marketing tech platform for the cannabis industry, just raised $16 million in seed(!) funding. JW Asset Management and K2 & Associates led the round. Crain’s Chicago Business has more here.

iStar Medical, a nine-year-old, Belgium-based developer of ophthalmic implants to treat glaucoma, has raised €40 million in Series C funding co-led by LSP and GIMV, with participation from EarlybirdBNP Paribas Fortis PE and earlier investors Capricorn PartnersSRIW, and the Belgian Federal Investment FundMore here

Olivela, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based luxury fashion e-commerce platform, just raised $35 million in Series A funding led by Morgan Stanley International. Women’s Wear Daily has more here

Sight Sciences, a nine-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based developer of ophthalmic medical devices, has raised $31 million in Series D funding led by KCK Group. Mass Device has more here.

Terramera, a nine-year-old, Vancouver-based developer of an alternative pesticide product, has raised $45 million in Series B funding led by Ospraie Ag Science, with participation from S2G Ventures. TechCrunch has more here

Smaller Fundings  

Capcito, a four-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based financing platform for small and mid-size enterprises, has raised €7 million from Schibsted Growth, Ventech, SEB Venture Capital, and Collector Ventures. More here

CrowdBureau, a six-year-old, New York-based startup that has rolled out a peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding index, just raised $1.1 million in Series A funding led by Clydagh, Estuary Holdings and Alpama. More here

DappRadar, a year-old, Lithuania-based platform for discovering and analyzing blockchain-based decentralized applications, has raised $2.33 million in seed funding led by Naspers, with participation from Ventures and Angel Invest Berlin. More here

Flat, a five-month-old, New York-based company aiming to take the Opendoor real estate marketplace model across the Rio Grande, has raised $4.5 million in pre-seed funding. ALLVP, an active early-stage fund in Mexico, led the round. Liquid 2 VenturesNextBillion and a few angels also joined the financing. TechCrunch has more here

FPL Technologies, an eight-month-old, Pune, India-based startup that aims to build a full-stack solution to reimagine how people in India get their first credit card and engage with it, has raised $4.5 million from Matrix Partners IndiaSequoia Capital India, and others in its first-ever funding round. TechCrunch has more here

Let’s Do This, a three-year-old, London-based database of marathons, ironman triathlons, and other endurance events, has raised $5 million in seed funding, including from NFX, Serena Williams, and Usain Bolt. More here

PathoQuest, a nine-year-old, Paris, France-based startup focused on pathogen detection in biological samples, has raised €8 million from Norginer Ventures, Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Investiere, and Charles River Labs. More here

RippleMatch, a three-year-old, New York-based recruitment platform that helps organizations specifically connect with recent graduates from more diverse backgrounds that match their needs, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. G20 Ventures led the round, with participation from Work-Bench and earlier investors AccompliceBullpen Capital and AlleyCorp. TechCrunch has more here

Saltbox, a six-month-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based co-working space operator for companies that also need warehouse space, just raised $3.2 million led by Village Global. Curbed Atlanta has more here

Sourcewater, a five-year-old, Houston, Tex,-based startup that produces oilfield water intelligence software, just raised $7.2 million in Series A funding from Bison Technologies and Marubeni Corp., among others. The Houston Chronicle has more here

Superside, a nearly four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that wants to create a premium alternative to the existing crowdsourced design platforms (and which was formerly known as Knosus), has raised $3.5 million in new funding led by Freestyle Capital, with participation from High Alpha VenturesY Combinator and Alliance Ventures. TechCrunch has more here

Upflow, a two-year-old, Paris, France-based startup that tracks B2B companies’ outstanding invoices to help ensure they are paid on time, has raised $2.7 million in funding from Kima VentureseFounders and numerous angel investors. More here

Veralox Therapeutics, a year-old, Frederick, Md.-based preclinical stage company that’s developing therapeutics for two life-threatening diseases — Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) and HIT with Thrombosis (HITT) —  has raised a $5.4 million in seed funding. Investors include JDRF T1D FundSanofi Ventures, the Maryland Momentum Fund, the University of Vermont Health Network and TEDCO, among others. More here

Not-Saying-How-Much Fundings  

New Wave Foods, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s making a plant-based shrimp substitute, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. Tyson was also an investor in the company Beyond Meat prior to its IPO. TechCrunch has more here.


Alibaba will buy e-commerce business Kaola from Chinese gaming company NetEase for $2 billion, adding a platform that specializes in supplying luxury goods from abroad to Chinese consumers. Reuters has more here

OpenGov, the San Francisco-based  government performance management software company that earlier this week raised $51 million in Series D funding, has acquired ViewPoint, a permitting and licensing SaaS company that’s been around since 1995. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. ViewPoint does not appear to have been venture-backed, while OpenGov has raised roughly $140 million from investors to date. TechCrunch has more here.


Brendan Baker, formerly a director with the venture firm Greylock, has joined Ridge Ventures in San Francisco as a partner. Business Insider has more here

Greylock partner Reid Hoffman today posted a Hamilton-inspired rap battle video about cryptocurrency on LinkedIn. A spokesperson tells Business Insider that Hoffman “hopes the video gets more people talking about crypto and its evolving role in global commerce.” 

IVP, the late-stage venture firm, added three investors to its roster: James Black and Karthik Ramakrishnan, both formerly of Qatalyst Partners, and Becca Faust, formerly of Goldman Sachs. 

On stage in San Francisco today, Box CEO Aaron Levie sounded unconcerned about the activist hedge fund Starboard Value purchasing a 7.5 percent stake in the company, but Business Insider spoke to several analysts, and the consensus appears to be that Starboard’s most likely play is to pressure management into improving Box’s profit margins. Says its report: “That could, potentially, lead to Box having to cut costs, which could mean layoffs. Besides that, analysts say, Box could well end up get gobbled up by a larger tech company.” 

Nicholas Negroponte really did not fix things.

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Essential Reads 

The human cost of Amazon’s fast, free shipping

Facebook Dating has launched in the U.S.  

The We Company and its financial advisers are reportedly in talks to value the business at $20 billion to $30 billion in an IPO, well below the $47 billion valuation at which the company raised money most recently. “I can’t think of another I.P.O. where they halved the valuation,” Reena Aggarwal, a finance and business professor at Georgetown University, tells the New York Times. “This certainly shakes up confidence and makes people pause.”


The highest-ranked public colleges in this year’s Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking. 

Could there be a worse name for a company promising to securely transfer your files? 

Attending Burning Man or parenting a toddler?

Retail Therapy 

Gifts for beer lovers.

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