• StrictlyVC: July 22, 2014

    Hello, dear readers, happy Tuesday! (Pst, here’s the email version of today’s newsletter; it’s easier to read.)


    Top News in the A.M.

    In China, more people now access the Internet from a mobile device than a PC.


    More Startups Seek Out “Step-Up” Candidates, Hike Pay

    Venture capitalists poured $13 billion dollars into startups in the second quarter of this year, the most money they’ve parted with since the first quarter of 2001.

    That wave of cash — part of a years-long buildup– is having a major impact on jobs. To better understand what’s going on with the high-tech employment market, we talked yesterday with Joe Riggione, cofounder of the executive recruiting firm True Capital. Our conversation has been edited for length.

    What’s the latest and greatest in high-tech hiring?

    We’re starting to see a lot of companies get fatigued in their [ongoing battle] to attract executives and keep them excited. There’s just so much noise. The number of VP of Marketing searches in the Valley right now is absurd, with everyone calling the same people. So people who are working a step below VP level are [becoming very attractive]. They maybe get a little less comp and a little less equity, but their incentive is the title and responsibility.

    And there’s no shortage of good people at the director level from which to choose?

    There are a lot of good senior directors or VPs of Product Marketing who right now report to the CMO, so there’s not a shortage, but it’s definitely competitive among search firms to find the best talent. A top-tier [venture] firm just retained us for about six months to make introductions to top product and marketing and CEO talent. It isn’t about specific opportunities . . . it’s about taking those people out for coffee.

    Is there a danger that companies are promoting people into roles for which they’re not equipped?

    Most of the time, these are people who’ve been with a company as it has scaled, so they might be at a director level but they’ve already run a team. Think of a director of product marketing at [the online storage company] Box or [the cloud telecom company] RingCentral. In many cases, these are people who work at companies that have already gone public or are about to, so it’s a much lower-risk hire than maybe a director who hasn’t led a team.

    What other trends are you tracking right now?

    The equity conversation is changing substantially; it’s moving from talk about percentages to value. Deals are more competitive than ever, and [recruits are better educated], so you can’t get away with a tricky cap table any more. Employees know the difference between 1 percent of a company that’s worth one thing and .75 percent of another company [that could prove to be more valuable].

    Is it harder to hire people into growth companies whose shares are already richly priced?

    Frankly, it’s easier than [recruiting at earlier-stage companies]. VCs are so well-networked that they know everybody already [to recruit into a young company]. When you’re in the growth-equity stage of things, they don’t, so it’s easier to get them excited about a good candidate versus [their] having a bias. They’re more open-minded.

    How has compensation changed over the last year? Have any stats for us?

    Our compensation data for 2013 versus 2014 so far shows that compensation is flat for VP of Engineering jobs. CEO pay has risen 11 percent in the last year; CFO pay has risen 14 percent; and VP of Sales jobs are up 13 percent.

    Why is CFO pay up so markedly?

    There’s a lot of demand for CFOs with public company experience. A lot of startups are getting out [onto the public market] or hope to.

    And CEOs? Same story?

    We recently had a CEO opportunity at a growth-stage company where the execs were trying to recruit a finalist candidate from one of the top four publicly traded software companies. The [hiring company] was willing to give this person a $1 million signing bonus, which isn’t commonplace. But his employer gave him even more to stay.


    New Fundings

    AppDynamics, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based company application performance management and monitoring software company, has raised $170 million in equity and debt at a valuation of more than $1 billion, reports Venture Capital DispatchSilicon Valley Bank has provided $50 million in venture debt; meanwhile the equity portion of AppDynamic’s round was led by Battery VenturesClearBridge Investments and Sands Capital. Earlier investors Greylock PartnersLightspeed Venture PartnersKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners also participated. The company has now raised $206.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.

    Cardiac Insight, a six-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based maker and distributor of cardiac monitoring equipment, has raised $7 million in Series B funding led by the medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn. As a part of the deal, Welch Allyn will be the sole global distributor of certain Cardiac Insight products and technologies. The company has now raised $10.5 million to date.

    Cotopaxi, a year-old, Cottonwood Heights, Ut.-based outdoor e-commerce company that ties a portion of every sale to a cause and does business as Global Uprising, has raised $3 million in funding from Forerunner VenturesNew Enterprise AssociatesLerer Ventures and numerous individual investors. More here.

    Dealflicks, a three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company that partners with theaters to sell movie tickets and concessions at a discount to help them fill empty seats, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from a long list of investors; they include 500 StartupsArcher GrayBe Great PartnersMogility CapitalRosePaul Ventures, Rubicon Venture CapitalSierra Maya Ventures and Wavemaker Partners.

    EGym, a four-year-old, Munich, German-based connected fitness company, has raised $15 million in funding led by Highland Capital Partners Europe, with participation from earlier investors Bayern Kapital and High-Tech Grunderfonds.

    Graphene Frontiers, a 3.5-year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based advanced materials and nanotechnology company, has raised $1.6 million in Series B funding led by a group affiliated with Trimaran Capital PartnersR2M Investments and return backers WEMBA 36 Angels also participated in the round.

    Intent Media, a six-year-old, New York-based ad server for travel companies, has raised $22.7 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners. Earlier investors Matrix Partners and Redpoint Ventures also participated in the round, along with First Analysis, a Chicago-based private growth-equity investor. Intent Media has now raised roughly $51 million to date, shows Crunchbase.

    LogRhythm, an 11-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based maker log management, security information and event management software, has raised $40 million inner funding, led by Riverwood Capital, with participation by existing investors Adams Street PartnersAccess Venture Partners and members of senior management, along with new investor Piper Jaffray. The company has raised roughly $76 million to date.

    Miyabaobei, a Beijing, China-based e-commerce company that specializes in infant care products, has raised $20 million in Series B funding from Sequoia Capitalreports Tech In Asia. Earlier investors Zhen Fund and China Renaissance K2 Ventures also participated in the round. Reportedly, the company had previously raised $1.6 million in Series A funding.

    Solexel, a nine-year-old, Milpitas, Ca.-based company that makes solar cells with silicon gas, has raised $31 million in Series D funding from new investor GAF, a large roofing materials manufacturer, along with earlier investors SunPowerKleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersTechnology PartnersDAG VenturesGentry VenturesNorthgate CapitalGSV CapitalJasper Ridge Partners, and Spirox. Greentech Media has morehere.

    Taulia, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company that provides cloud-based invoice, payment and discount management software to large buying organizations, has raised $27 million in Series D round at a valuation around $200 million, according to Venture Capital DispatchQuestMark Partners led the round; earlier investor Trinity VenturesMatrix PartnersLakestar and DAG Ventures also participated. To date, the company has raised $62.7 million, shows Crunchbase.

    XMOS, a nine-year-old, Bristol, England-based chip designer, has raised $26.2 million from three global chip partners, Robert Bosch Venture CapitalHuawei, and Xilinx Technology Venturesreports the EE Times. The company has raised $57.4 million thus far, shows Crunchbase, including from Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ EspritPrelude Trust andFoundation Capital.


    New Funds

    Tango, the five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-company behind the popular mobile messaging app of the same name, has announced a new, $25 million fund dedicated to games, reports The Next Web. In March, Tango raised $280 million in fresh funding, led by China’s Alibaba. The company has raised roughly $370 million altogether and says its new fund will mostly be used to pay for marketing and promotions for companies that build games for the Tango platform.

    A new fund getting underway has called itself Unicorn Venture Capital. (It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it?) The outfit focuses on early-stage technology deals in India, Singapore and Southeast Asia and its cofounders include Vispi Daver, who’d previously spent eight years with Sierra Ventures in Silicon Valley and in India, and Murli Ravi, who was the head of South Asia investments for JAFCO Asia for the last five years. (StrictlyVC had interviewed Ravi last fall on the scene in Singapore.) You can learn a bit more here.



    Mobileye, a 15-year-old, Har Hotzvim, Israel-based company whose software algorithms and camera-based technology helps drivers see and manage traffic risks, said yesterday that it has launched a road show for its U.S. IPO of around $500 million. Some of the company’s biggest shareholders include Goldman Sachs, which owns a 17.5 percent stake; Fidelity, which owns 7.8 percent; Enterprise Holdings, which owns 7.1 percent; and Blackrock, which owns 5.7 percent. Reuters has more here.



    Flurry, a nine-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile app analytics company, is being acquired by Yahoo for an undisclosed amount thatTechCrunch sources peg at between $200 million and $300 million. Kara Swisher of Recode calls the deal “an interesting one for Yahoo, which has been trying to up its mobile efforts, in the face of a quickly declining display advertising and PC-based business.” Flurry had raised $73.3 million, shows Crunchbase; its investors include Borealis VenturesCrosslink CapitalDFJDraper RichardsFirst Round CapitalInterWest PartnersMenlo Ventures, and Union Square Ventures.

    Gentris Corp., a 13-year-old, Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of pharmacogenomic testing and biorepository services, has been acquired for $4.75 million by the publicly traded company Cancer Genetics, a provider of DNA-based cancer diagnostics focused on developing genomic-based oncology tests and services.



    An Airbnb host can’t get a squatter out of her Palm Springs condo.

    Omid Kordestani, who has just temporarily replaced Nikesh Arora as Google’s chief business officer, is joining the board of Spotify, reports Recode. More here.

    Ousted Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam finally speaks, telling a reporter that he’s writing a book (sans clothing) and plans to invest the proceeds in bitcoin.

    Bradford SmithMicrosoft’s general counsel, is reportedly “one of the most influential voices inside Microsoft, partly because he has been in his job since 2002, which makes him the longest serving member of the senior leadership team.” The New York Times profiles him here.


    Job Listings

    AMD, the semiconductor giant, is looking for a senior associate or principal to join its venture unit in Sunnyvale, Ca.


    Essential Reads

    Facebook has introduced a read-it-later option.

    Google might be bringing WiFi to New York City pay phones.



    Researchers have published a fascinating tool that shows how gender, weight, and state of mind alter the way we walk. (H/T: New York magazine.)

    The 10 richest counties in America, per newly released IRS data.

    Why the Citroën DS is collectable.


    Retail Therapy

    The driven executive’s nap tie.

    A yoga mat that’ll confirm that you are, in fact, doing it wrong.


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