• StrictlyVC: June 11, 2014

    Happy Wednesday, everyone! Sorry for an abundance of typos in yesterday’s issue. StrictlyVC’s beloved children have discovered her early a.m. writing spot. [Sad trombone sound effect.]


    Top News in the A.M.

    Microsoft is resisting a government search warrant to compel the firm to turn over customer email data held in a server located overseas. Its fear, and that of other tech firms, too: that if the government prevails and can reach across borders, foreign individuals and businesses will flee to their non-U.S. competitors. The Washington Post has the story.


    This Was Going to Be an Interview with Arvind Sodhani

    I’d planned to run an interview with the president of Intel Capital, Arvind Sodhani, this a.m., but that exchange didn’t come together last night as planned. The good news (sort of): I’ll be interviewing Sodhani, along with SoftTech VC founder Jeff Clavier, at the IBF venture capital conference in San Francisco today. Looking forward to seeing some of you there!


    New Fundings

    EdgiLife Media, better known as LoveWithFood, a five-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that has evolved into snack delivery company à la NatureBox, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding. Among its investors: Kapor Capital500 StartupsTEEC Angel FundIronfire CapitalScrum Ventures and an AngelList syndicate led by Facebook Ads creator Yun-Fang Juan. The company has raised a little more than $2 million date. The WSJ has more here.

    Exabeam, a year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based big data security analytics startup, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Other investors in the round included Aspect Ventures and entrepreneur-investor Schlomo Kramer.

    Gill Business Systems, a four-year-old, Kiev, Ukraine-based inventory distribution system for passenger bus transportation carriers and online ticket sales, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from InVenture PartnersIntel Capital and FinSight Ventures.

    Handybook, a two-year-old, New York-based company whose app enables users to order housecleaning or other home repair services on demand, has raised $30 million in new funding led by Revolution Growth. Other participants in the round include earlier backers Highland Capital and General Catalyst Partners. The company has now raised $49 million altogether. Dealbook has more here.

    Homestay, a seven-year-old, Dublin, Ireland-based online travel booking platform, has raised $3 million in funding led by Delta Partners, with participation from Enterprise Ireland. The company has also acquired Berlin-based HomestayBookingreports FinSMEs.

    IndoorAtlas, a two-year-old company whose indoor mapping technology can reportedly determine locations inside a structure to within six feet, has raising $4.5 million in a round led by Mobility Ventures and the Finnish seed fund KoppiCatchreports the WSJ’s Deborah Gage. The company, which has offices in Finland and Mountain View, Ca., might have benefited from an extended profile in the New York Times last month that noted the “somewhat unorthodox” business plan of the company, which will “measure and store your building’s magnetic fingerprint in its computing cloud” but charge customers $99 per month per building to then keep that information private.

    Innovari, a three-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based interactive energy platform developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding from VantagePoint Capital Partners. The company, which operated in stealth mode until now, hasn’t publicly disclosed previous funding or investors.

    Krux Digital, a 4.5-year-old, San Francisco-based data management platform that helps brands understand consumers’ behavior, has raised $35 million in Series B funding from SAP VenturesTime Warner,Temasek, and Visionnaire Ventures, along with earlier investors Accel Partners and IDG Ventures.

    Light, a year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that’s says it’s re-imagining the art and science of photography, has raised a $9.7 million Series A round co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Charles River VenturesQualcomm also participated in the funding.

    Okta, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based identity management service that helps companies manage security across theirs and their employees’ applications, has raised $75 million in Series E funding led by Sequoia Capital. Earlier investors Andreessen HorowitzGreylock Partners, and Khosla Ventures also participated in the round, alongside new investors Janus Capital Group and Altimeter Capital. The company has raised $155 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

    Payoneer, a nine-year-old, New York-based financial services company that enables users to transfer and receive money through re-loadable MasterCards, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the investment arm of Ping An, a China-based insurance company. The company has raised at least $39 million in previous funding rounds, shows Crunchbase, including from Carmel VenturesSusquehanna Growth EquityGreylock IL and Vintage Venture Partners.

    Placed, a three-year-old, Seattle-based location-based analytics provider that lets users opt-in to online surveys, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Two Sigma Ventures, with participation from earlier investor Madrona Venture Group. The company had previously raised $3.4 million, shows Crunchbase.

    Plex, a 19-year-old, Troy, Mi.-based software company that sells its ERP and automation software to manufacturers in a variety of industries, has raised $50 million in funding led by funds and institutional accounts managed by T. Rowe Price, as well as with earlier investor Accel Partners. The company has raised $86.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

    RebelMail, a months-old, Washington, D.C.-based company that makes an interactive email product, has raised a $2 million seed round co-led by Vaizra and Boldstart. Other investors include Lerer Ventures, David Tisch’s Box Group, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Vayner RSE, and angel investors. Business Insider has the story here.

    SourceClear, a year-old, Seattle-based software security startup whose analytics and machine-earning tools better protect popular development frameworks from hackers, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from individual investors.

    Stitch Fix, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based online retailer and personal shopping service, has raised $30 million in Series C funding from earlier investors Benchmark and Baseline Ventures. The company has raised $46.8 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

    TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a 1.5-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based rental manager that helps homeowners manage and rent out their space, has raised $3 million in seed funding from Silverton Partners and about a dozen angel investors from the online travel industry, including Rich BartonGregg Brockway, and Alexis de Belloy. TurnKey has raised $4.8 million altogether.

    Visier, a four-year-old, Vancouver-based analytics platform that helps HR professionals understand key data like which top talent is at risk of leaving and what’s driving turnover, has raised $25.5 million in Series C funding led by Adams Street Partners. The company has now raised $46.5 million, including from earlier investors Foundation Capital and Summit Partners.

    Weave, a months-old, Pleasant Grove, Ut.-based VoIP service for doctors that also helps manage patient records, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by A Capital, the new, early-stage fund of Ronny Conway. Other investors in the round include HomebrewSV Angel, and Y Combinator.

    Zaius, a two-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that simplifies how businesses collect, analyze and use data to improve customers’ digital experiences, has raised $6.3 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners.

    Zula, a two-year-old, New York-based team communication app cofounded by Vonage cofounder Jeff Pulver, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Mort Meyerson, the former CEO of EDS and Perot Systems. Other participants in the round included Ourcrowd, Microsoft Ventures, and other individual investors.


    New Funds

    Index Ventures, the 18-year-old, early-stage venture firm with offices in Geneva, London and San Francisco, has raised $543 million for its seventh and newest fund, the firm announced yesterday. The WSJ has more, including a look at Index’s seven exits over the last 12 months.

    Khosla Ventures is targeting about $1 billion for its fifth fund, reports peHUB. The firm closed Khosla Ventures IV in 2011 with $1.05 billion. According to peHUB, that fund charged a 2 percent management fee and a 30 percent carried interest rate and was generating a 1.08x total value multiple as of March.

    Lowercase Capital, a 6.5-year-old, Bay Area-based venture firm, is reportedly raising a new $25 million fund. With it, Lowercase’s founder and managing director, Chris Sacca, will be stepping away from day-to-day operations, too, reports TechCrunch, citing the tremendous success of the firm’s first two funds. (TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis observes that the value of Lowercase’s debut fund, an $8.5 million vehicle, has risen more than 100 times thanks to an early investment in Uber.) Much more here.

    Scrum Ventures, a Foster City, Ca.-based early-stage firm that backs mobile-technology startups looking for growth in Asian markets, has raised $4.3 million of a planned $20 million second fund, shows an SEC filing first flagged by VentureWire. Scrum was founded by Tak Miyata, a graduate of Waseda University in Tokyo who went on to launch two startups: Neven Vision, a biometric and photo recognition company acquired by Google in 2006; and J-Magic, another picture-based search company that was acquired in 2009 by Mixi, a Japan-based social network. Miyata remains CEO of Mixi America. Among the firm’s newest investments is EdgiLife Media (see above, in “New Fundings”).



    HealthEquity, a 12-year-old, Draper, Ut.-based custodian of health-savings accounts, has disclosed plans to raise up to $100 million in an IPO. The company has raised at least $12.5 million from investors, shows Crunchbase, including Berkley Capital.

    Minerva Neurosciences, a seven-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that develops treatments for central nervous system diseases, has revealed plans to price 5.45 million IPO shares at between $10 and $12. The company had filed for an IPO confidentially in February.



    Alibaba Group is buying all the remaining shares of mobile browser firmUCWeb in the biggest merger in Chinese Internet history. Reuters has more here.

    MobileSpan, a three-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based company that helps employees securely access content behind their company’s firewall, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by DropBox, which plans to shut down the company by year end. MobileSpan had raised $2.3 million from True Ventures and K9 Ventures, shows Crunchbase.

    Skybox Imaging, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based provider of high-quality satellite photos, has officially been acquired by Google for $500 million after weeks of negotiations. The company had raised at least $91 million from investors, shows Crunchbase, including Draper AssociatesAsset Management VenturesCrunchFundCanaan PartnersNorwest Venture Partners,Khosla Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Dealbook has more here.

    Singapore Telecommunications is acquiring two ad tech companies for $400 million, reports TechCrunchKontera, an 11-year-old, San Francisco-based company that sells its content marketing, social marketing, and analytics software to brands, is fetching $150 million. The company had raised $36.1 million from investors, including Sequoia CapitalCarmel VenturesTenaya Capital, and Globespan Capital Partners. SingTel is meanwhile paying $235 million for Adconion, a nine-year-old cross-channel digital advertising company with offices in Santa Monica, Ca., and London. Adconion had raised $114 million from investors, including Index Ventures and Wellington Partners.



    Ross Levinsohn has left his latest gig as CEO of Guggenheim Digital Mediareports Re/code. The former interim CEO of Yahoo and former president of News Corp.’s Fox Interactive Group had joined Guggenheim in January with a mandate that included acquiring new media companies. None of several attempts at deals — including to acquire Hulu — panned out, however. No word yet on Levinsohn’s next move, says Re/code, but it notes that Levinsohn’s famously debonair ‘do remains, as ever, “hairtastic.”

    Scott McNealy, the billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has four sons, and he spent part of this week playing caddy to one of them, a Stanford sophomore, at a Tuesday practice round at the U.S. Open. “I’ve been caddying for him – carrying car seats, luggage, food, his golf bag – since he was 1 years old,” McNealy joked to Golfweek.

    Jane Mendillo, who has served as the president and CEO of Harvard Management Company since 2008, made the surprising announcement yesterday that she is stepping down from her role at the end of this year. Mendillo worked for HMC for 21 years altogether. Harvard hasn’t yet released its performance for the latest fiscal year, which ends June 30, but according to the Boston Globe, the university estimates an average annual return of 11 percent to 12 percent for the past five years on Mendillo’s watch. “Harvard Management is in a really good spot now,” Mendillo told the Globe. “The company and the portfolio are firing on all cylinders.” Mendillo added that she has no immediate plans to take another job.

    Pinterest has made a couple of big hires, reports VentureBeatMichael Lopp, a former director at Palantir, as well as former senior engineering manager at Apple, has joined the company as its head of engineering. Meanwhile, Bob Baxley, the former director of design for Apple’s online store, is Pinterest’s new head of product design and research.

    Viryanet, a 26-year-old, Southborough, Ma.-based company that makes mobile workforce management software, has been acquired by Verisae, a 14-year-old, Minneapolis-based maker of cloud-based maintenance, energy, and sustainability management software. Verisae is paying roughly $18.8 million in cash for the company, which has been trading publicly, with a roughly $8.5 million market cap.


    Job Listings

    NewSchools Venture Fund, a 16-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based venture philanthropy firm, is looking to hire an associate partner.



    Tech immigrants: An excellent map of Silicon Valley’s imported talent.


    Essential Reads

    Uh oh, startups. Amazon is planning to launch a marketplace for local services later this year, and Reuters sources say that means access to everything from babysitters to handymen.

    The bitcoin app that could create a black market for leaked data.

    The young princes of L.A.’s tech scene.

    Two studies by researchers at Virginia Tech have found that even cars that aren’t fully autonomous but that automate some of the most dangerous aspects of driving could have as big an effect as seatbelts.



    tomato a day keeps the doctor away.

    The political memoir title generator.

    A letter written by John Steinbeck in 1958 to his love-struck son.


    Retail Therapy

    Paint-speckled furniture.

    Augmented reality glasses that will not make you look absurd. Comparatively.


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