September 26, 2019

Thursday! Ba-dum-bum.

Top News 

Shares of Peloton moved in the wrong direction today after the connected-fitness company held its IPO amid growing skepticism around buzzy tech names. Peloton opened at $27, $2 below its IPO price of $29, and eventually closed at $25.76, 11.2 percent lower than the IPO price. CNBC has more here

The performance was sufficiently concerning, says the WSJ, that Endeavor Group — which owns the Miss Universe Pageant, Ultimate Fighting Championship and the largest talent agency in Hollywood — decided this afternoon to pull the plug on its own IPO plans. (It had pulled its IPO off the table once earlier this year, too.) More here

Also, take note DoorDash customers: the food delivery company said in a blog post today that 4.9 million customers, delivery workers, and merchants had their information stolen by hackers back on May 4, owing to a “third party” flub. It added that customers who joined after April 5, 2018 are not affected by the breach. TechCrunch has more here.

Sponsored By …

In 1994, the average U.S. tech company went public four years after founding – recently, that number has grown to over 10 years! Fear not startup employees: EquityZen lets you take some chips off the table now by giving you the liquidity you deserve. Discover how much your employee equity is worth by listing your shares today.

At Pear’s Sixth Annual Demo Day, Weather Balloons, Branded Credit Cards, and Lots of Top Degrees 

Pear, a Palo Alto-based seed stage fund that has made its name through early bets on Guardant Health, DoorDash, Memebox, and Gusto, hosted its sixth annual demo day this week in what proved to be a scorchingly hot afternoon in Woodside, California — not that invitees were put off by the heat. 

Hundreds of investors showed up at a sprawling public estate and surrounding gardens to see the dozen teams that Pear spent the summer working with, each of them less than nine months old, according to Pear, and many incorporated only in recent months. (Each has also only received less than $200,000 so far from Pear and no other institutional investment.) 

While some are sure to evolve into other ideas or dissolve into other endeavors, the whole of the group gave those gathered food for thought and a first look at some very solid talent. 

Following are the companies that presented: 

1) Windborne: Founded by three Stanford grads and another from Harvard, this startup aims to improve the accuracy of weather data where it’s currently limited, like over oceans, by using weather balloons that could allow the team to do things like tell shipping companies which route to take to minimize fuel burn. CEO Paige Brown also says their system can fly 60 times longer than existing solutions and for the same price. The more specific claim: that in a single $350 flight, a Windborne balloon can fly for more than five days and travel a quarter of the way around the world, collecting direct measurements in places no one else can. 

The team apparently bonded as engineers in the Stanford Student Space Initiative and they’ve all worked at SpaceX. 

More here.

Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings  

BeyondPricing, a six-year-old, Bay Area-based company that promises owners of short-term and vacation rentals that they’ll make more money from their properties through its suite of tools, has raised $42 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here

Catasys, an 11-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based company that sells specialized health management services to health plans, employers and unions through a network of managed health care providers, has raised $45 million in funding from Goldman SachsMore here.

Divvy, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based fractional home ownership company, has raised $43 million in Series B funding co-led by GIC and Lennar, with participation from earlier backers  Andreessen HorowitzCaffeinated Capital, and Max Levchin. Crunchbase News has more here

Gatsby, a two-year-old, Bay Area-based platform that uses web technologies like React and GraphQL to help developers build better sites faster,  has raised $15 million in Series A funding. CRV led the round, joined by previous investors Trinity VenturesMango CapitalFathom Capital and Dig Ventures, along with some individual investors. TechCrunch has more here

TeamPay, a three-year-old, New York-based startup whose software requests, approves, and tracks company spending in real-time, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Tribe Capital. TechCrunch has more here

Terminal, a two-year-old, Bay Area-based company that builds and manages remote teams, raised $17 million in Series B funding. 8VC led the round, and was joined by investors including AtomicCathay InnovationCherubic VenturesCraft VenturesKleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.

Yerdle, a seven-year-old, Brisbane, Ca.-based startup that manages the resale platforms of other traditional brands, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. Investors include Three Cairns GroupCommerce VenturesDGNLPrologis VenturesPrelude VenturesClaremont Creek VenturesLybra, and The Westly Group. Business Insider has more here

Smaller Fundings  

Amava, a three-year-old, San Mateo, Calif.-based platform that connects retirees and empty-nesters with volunteer opportunities, flexible jobs and other experiences, just raised $6.2 million from RPM VenturesMore here

Axuall, a 1.5-year-old, Cleveland, Oh.-based digital network for verifying identity, credentials, and authenticity in real-time, has raised $3 million in seed financing led by JumpStartMore here

BEAT81, a two-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based  interactive outdoor group fitness experience, just raised €6.4 million ($7.01 million) in Series A funding led by EQT VenturesMore here

Fiddler Labs, a 1.5-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based “AI visibility” startup, has raised $10.2 million in Series A funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lux Capital led the round, joined by Haystack Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. SiliconAngle has more here

Mednition, a five-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based maker of decision-support software for ER nurses, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Concord Health Partners. Crunchbase News has more here

NTWRK, a 1.5-year-old, Los Angeles-based youth culture e-commerce and content platform, has raised $3 million from Foot Locker. The WSJ has more here, a four-year-old, Chicago-based network of finance and accounting professionals that it matches with incoming projects, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Sierra Ventures. TechCrunch has more here

Summer, a two-year-old, New York-based advisory platform for student loan borrowers, just raised $10 million in Series A funding led by QED Investors. TechCrunch has more here

Tacalyx, a three-month-old, Berlin, Germany-based biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel anti-TACA cancer therapies, has raised $7.6 million in seed funding. Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Kurma Partners co-led the round, joined by investors including Idinvest PartnersHigh-Tech Gründerfondscoparion and Creathor Ventures. EU Startups has more here

Not-Saying-How-Much Fundings  

Noom, an 11-year-old, New York-based maker of mobile health coaching software, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Serena VenturesMore here.

New Funds 

Maven Ventures, a 10-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based, seed-stage venture firm founded by Jim Scheinman and co-run with his partner, Sara Desphande, has closed on $65 million in capital commitments for its third fund. Forbes has more on the firm, whose early stakes include in Zoom and Cruise, here.  

PICO Venture Partners, a four-year-old, Israel-based early-stage VC firm, has raised $80 million for its second fund. TechCrunch has more here

Project A, a Berlin-based venture firm that backs startups in Europe at the seed and Series A stage, has raised a new $200 million fund that brings its total assets under management to $486 million. The fund is the outfit’s third. TechCrunch has more here.


Oportun Financial, a seven-year-old, San Carlos, Ca.-based provider of installment loans to people with a limited credit history, last night priced its IPO and today it began trading, ending the day pretty much where it started. Forbes has more hereFidelityGreylock, and IVP were the company’s biggest outside shareholders sailing in to the offering.


App Annie, a go-to source for mobile app market data and analytics, is expanding its platform with the acquisition of a 30-person mobile analytics startup called Libring. The deal will allow App Annie to present its mobile app market data side-by-side with advertising analytics data in order to paint a more complete picture of an app’s performance and revenue. TechCrunch has more here

Logitech, which already makes widely-used gaming peripherals and streaming gear, has agreed to acquire Streamlabs, which makes the popular live streaming app Streamlabs OBS, for approximately $89 million in cash. Streamlabs OBS helps streamers set up their streams, track donation alerts, set up stream overlays, follow their chats, and more. The Verge has more here

Veeva Systems, a key life sciences industry cloud player, is acquiring Crossix, makers of a patient data and analytics platform used by pharmaceutical marketers. The $430 million cash deal is meant to bring more expertise in patient data and data science into Veeva. ZDNet has more here.


Two WeWork executives with close ties to former CEO Adam Neumann are leaving the embattled co-working company, reports Bloomberg: Chris Hill, the company’s chief product officer and CEO of WeWork Japan (and Neumann’s brother-in-law), and Michael Gross, the company’s large-living vice chair. (He spent $28 million on a place in L.A. this past summer, as Variety earlier reported.) More here

Brett Wilson has joined Trinity Ventures as an executive in residence focused on digital advertising. Wilson previously was co-founder of TubeMogul, a Trinity portfolio company acquired in 2016 by Adobe. More here

Sponsored By …

Wizeline is a development and design services company headquartered in San Francisco with nearshore operations in Mexico (and in 6 countries and 10 cities around the globe). Because we started as a product company, we understand that companies of all sizes need to build better products faster. We compiled our knowledge of design, development, and marketing to create The Ultimate Guide to Digital Product DevelopmentDownload your free copy and reach out to us at to learn more about our solutions.

Essential Reads 

The pressure is off: Facebook is officially starting to hide Like counts on posts, beginning tomorrow in Australia. 

The FTC is just not that into Match Group, announcing today it is suing the owner of just about all the dating apps — Match, Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyofFish and others — for fraudulent business practices. Specifically, it says Match didn’t just turn a blind eye to a massive bot and scammer problem; it knowingly profited from it, and it made deceiving users a core part of its business practices. 

WeWork is selling a Gulfstream G650 it purchased last year for $60 million and that was a corporate-governance red flag in the lead-up to the company’s IPO. Business Insider has more here.


Note: The “OK” hand gesture, commonly seen as a way of indicating that all is well, has now been classified as something else — a symbol of hate

The baffling disappearance — and even stranger reappearance — of YouTube beauty star Michelle Phan

The new wellness aristocracy.

Retail Therapy 

Sunrise scene Himalayan salt led lamp with wireless charger. For someone with a *very* specific aesthetic.

Filed Under:

Don’t Miss Out!

Sign up today to receive a free daily email with everything you need to start your day. Plus, keep track of the companies and personalities that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Let StrictlyVC be your very own venture capital concierge.

StrictlyVC on Twitter