Tech Weekly Newsletter: October 23, 2016

Last week today

  • 10/16 – Daphni, a Paris-based seed and Series A firm, has raised a $165M fund (TechCrunch)
  • 10/16 – K Fund has launched a new €50M venture capital fund to invest in early stage Spanish start-ups (TechCrunch)
  • 10/17 – Disney and Salesforce both dropped out of bidding for Twitter partially due to its image and concerns over hate speech (Bloomberg) (Business Insider)
  • 10/17 – Bloomberg has a detailed report on Apple’s plans to scale back its automotive ambitions over the course of the last few years (Bloomberg)
  • 10/18 – The reviews on Google’s new phone have been universally positive as the Company’s stock hits an all-time high (Business Insider)
  • 10/18 – Snapchat wants to pay its media partners upfront and keep the share of advertising revenue for themselves. This is the latest move by the Company that follows a path to becoming more like a television network (Re/Code)
  • 10/18 – Qualtrics has taken another step closer to its IPO by hiring a new COO, Zig Serafin, a 17 year veteran of Microsoft (Fortune)
  • 10/18 – Juicero, the maker of $700 dollar juicers that has raised $90M+, hired a new CEO. Jeff Dunn, formerly President of Coca-Cola North America, is taking over for founder and CEO Doug Evans (Business Insider)
  • 10/19 – Colin Powell’s hacked emails revealed a list of acquisition targets for Salesforce (where Powell is a board member) from May that included LinkedIn (listed as “In Exclusivity”), ServiceNow (“Meeting in Late May”) and Tableau (“In Play”). Interestingly, Box and Zendesk are listed as “CEO has no interest” (WSJ $) (PPT). Reuters also reported that Tableau had worked with an investment bank on a potential acquisition (Reuters)
  • 10/19 – Google has signed CBS and is in talks with other companies on its new web TV service (USA Today)
  • 10/19 – Messaging giant, Line, a little more than 3 months after its dual IPO, is beginning to target business users as its revenue slows (VentureBeat)
  • 10/20 – Mark Zuckerberg sent around an internal memo defending Peter Thiel and his right to support Donald Trump (Business Insider)
  • 10/20 – IT services firm, Wipro, is buying Appirio, which had raised $112M from a number of firms including Sequoia, GGV, General Atlantic and Fidelity, for $500M (below the last round valuation) (Fortune)
  • 10/20 – Jess Lee, the CEO of Polyvore, which Yahoo acquired for $230M, has agreed to become the first female General Partner at Sequoia (Bloomberg)
  • 10/20 – Qualcomm is said to be close to announcing the NXP deal that will value the Company at $34.7B (Bloomberg)
  • 10/20 – Lyft has had a major executive reshuffling with Raj Kapoor from Mayfield Fund joining as Chief Strategy Officer and Melissa Waters taking over as VP of Marketing. The Company is losing its CMO to Art.com, where Kira Wampler will take over as CEO (Fortune)
  • 10/20 – Venmo is on track to process $20B in payments this year according to Paypal CEO Dan Schmulman (Fortune)
  • 10/20 – Verizon is still evaluating what to do over the Yahoo hack (TechCrunch)
  • 10/20 – Trivago, the online hotel reservation company backed by Expedia, is expected to have its IPO in November. Analysts have estimated the Company to be worth $5B (Business Insider)
  • 10/21 – Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, told a crowd at a Vanity Fair event that he has never sold a single share of Uber (Business Insider)
  • 10/21 – Slack posted numbers, which showed the Company’s user growth slowing from 50% DAU growth for the 5.5 months through May 25th to 33% over the last 5 months (TechCrunch)
  • 10/21 – The board of Hampton Creek has hired a Big Four accounting firm to look into “every f*cking receipt that the Company has ever created” (TechCrunch)
  • 10/21 – Hackers shut down a number of internet sites (including Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, Paypal and The NYT) across the East Coast with a DDoS attack on Dyn, a DNS company (Bloomberg)
  • 10/21 – Twitter’s stock jumped 7% on rumors of a SoftBank acquisition although it’s difficult to pin down where exactly the rumor started (Yahoo)
  • 10/22 – AT&T has reached a $86B deal to acquire Time Warner according to a person familiar with the matter (WSJ $)
  • 10/22 – Airbnb is suing the City of New York, its Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Mayor Bill de Blasio after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that blocked the renting of apartments/rooms for less than 30 days (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 10/17 – Netflix stock rises 20% on huge subscriber growth numbers for the most recent quarter (TechCrunch)
  • 10/19 – Citrix’s beat on earnings and traded up 3% on the news (Seeking Alpha)
  • 10/20 – PayPal shares rose 3% on better than expected sales numbers (Fortune)
  • 10/21 – Proofpoint crushed its earnings with shares of the Company trading up 11% (Investors.com)
  • 10/21 – SAP posted earnings that beat on numbers with the stock rising 1.8% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 10/21 – Microsoft shares hit an all-time high, besting the previous mark hit during the dot com bubble after it announced earnings and traded up 4.8% on the strength of its cloud revenue. Microsoft Azure revenue was up 116% year-over-year (WSJ $, VentureBeat)

Financings

  • 10/17 – Prelude, a comprehensive fertility startup founded by Martín Varsavsky, has raised $200 million in funding led by Lee Equity Partners.
  • 10/19 – Oblong Industries, a Los Angeles-based developer of visual collaboration software, has raised $65 million in growth equity funding. Greenspring Associates, Industry Ventures and UTIMCO were joined by return backers Foundry Group and Morgan Stanley.
  • 10/18 – Science 37, a Los Angeles-based provider of tech-enabled clinical research solutions, has raised $31 million in Series B funding. Lux Capital and dRx Capital co-led the round.
  • 10/18 – Veritas Genetics, a Boston-based genetic testing startup, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Trustbridge Partners and Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical were joined by return backer Lilly Asia Ventures.
  • 10/19 – Leanplum, a San Francisco-based mobile marketing startup, has raised $29 million in Series C funding. Canaan Partners led the round.
  • 10/18 – SecureKey Technologies Inc., a Toronto-based provider of identity and authentication solutions, has raised C$27 million in growth equity funding from BMO Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, Desjardins, Royal Bank of Canada and TD Bank.
  • 10/18 – Heal, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based provider of on-demand doctor house calls, has raised $26.9 million in Series A funding. Tull Investment Group led the round.
  • 10/18 – Baobab Studios, a Redwood City, Calif.-based VR animation studio, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Horizons Ventures led the round
  • 10/18 – SafetyCulture, an Australian provider of mobile workforce safety software, has raised US$23 million in Series B funding. Index Ventures led the round.
  • 10/20 –  EverQuote Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based insurance marketplace, has raised $23 million in Series B funding. Savano Capital Partners led the round.
  • 10/20 – Propeller Health, a Madison, Wis.-based provider of digital solutions for respiratory medicine, has raised $21.5 million in Series C funding. Backers include 3M Ventures, S.R. One, Limited, Hikma Ventures and return backers Safeguard Scientifics and Social Capital.
  • 10/17 – Snapsheet, a Chicago-based provider of virtual claims technology and services, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. F-Prime Capital and IA Capital Group co-led the round.
  • 10/18 – ContentSquare, a New York-based experience optimization platform for online and mobile businesses, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Highland Europe.
  • 10/20 – Feedzai, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of e-commerce fraud detection solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Citi Ventures.
  • 10/20 – MapD, a San Francisco-based provider of “GPU powered analytics for the enterprise,” has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from In-Q-Tel.
  • 10/19 – Zumper, a San Francisco-based home and apartment rental platform, has raised $17.6 million in Series B funding. Breyer Capital and Foxhaven Asset Management co-led the round.
  • 10/19 – Oryx Vision, an Israel-based developer of solid state depth sensing solutions for autonomous vehicles, has raised $17 million in Series A funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round.
  • 10/20 – Ladder, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of life insurance via digital channels, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round.
  • 10/20 –  Moov, a San Mateo, Calif-based developer of AI-enabled fitness wearables, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Mangrove Capital led the round.
  • 10/19 – EMS Drive Inc., developer of a MEMS optical image stabilization actuator for smartphone cameras, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Walden International.
  • 10/17 – KodaCloud, a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of cloud-based WiFi for enterprise customers, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Comcast Ventures, Celtic House Venture Partners and Voyager Capital.
  • 10/19 – Ibanfirst, a French provider of foreign exchange and other corporate banking services, has raised €10 million in VC funding led by Xavier Niel.
  • 10/20 – Nvoicepay, a Beaverton, Ore.-based provider of enterprise payment automation software, has raised $10 million in growth equity funding from Napier Park Financial Partners.
  • 10/21 – TravelBank, a San Francisco-based company offering a travel and expense system targeting small and medium businesses, raised $10 million in Series A funding led by NEA and Accel.
  • 10/20 – Notion, an Ann Arbor-based company that creates apps using AI to organize and manage email, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Drive Capital and Accel.
  • 10/18 – Zipwhip, a Seattle-based business texting solutions startup, has raised $9 million in Series B funding. Voyager Capital led the round.
  • 10/21 – Verdigris, a San Francisco-based developer of AI solutions for smart buildings, has raised $6.7 million in new VC funding. Jabil led the round.
  • 10/20 – Hangar, an Austin, Texas-based developer of autonomous data capture using drone technology, has raised $6.5 million in seed funding led by Lux Capital.
  • 10/19 – Chorus.ai, an AI platform for improving sales conversations, has raised $6.3 million in first-round funding led by Emergence Capital.
  • 10/19 – Workspot, a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of enterprise mobility and remote access solutions, has raised $6.2 million in Series B funding. Presidio Ventures led the round.
  • 10/20 – Finrise, a Burlingame, Calif.-based online lending company for on-premises healthcare expenses, has raised $5.4 million in seed and venture debt funding. Backers include Mayfield, NFX Guild and WTI.
  • 10/19 – Vertical Mass, a three-year-old, L.A.-based data management platform and marketplace built specifically for the music, entertainment and sports industries, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Greycroft Partners, Formation 8, Sierra Wasatch, Canyon Creek Capital, Magnetar Capital and the San Francisco 49ers.
  • 10/20 – Securly, a four-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company that makes a cloud-based web filtering system for K-12 schools across the U.S., has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Owl Ventures.
  • 10/17 – VMRay GmbH, a German provider of agentless threat analysis and detection solutions, has raised $3.9 million in Series A funding from eCapital Entrepreneurial Partners and High-Tech Gründerfonds.
  • 10/18 – CloudLex Inc., a New York-based provider of software for the U.S. civil litigation industry, has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding led by Aligned Partners.
  • 10/20 – Ritual, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based women’s vitamin startup, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Forerunner Ventures led the round.
  • 10/20 – Pay By Group, a white-label e-commerce conversion tool that enables cost-splitting, has raised $3.4 million in seed funding led by SparkLabs Global Ventures.
  • 10/20 – Undo, a UK-based provider of software debugging tools, has raised $3.3 million in Series A funding led by Cambridge Innovation Capital.
  • 10/19 – Ravelin, a London-based machine-learning fraud detection startup, has raised £3 million in new VC funding. Playfair Capital led the round
  • 10/19 – TravelTek, a Scottish provider of dynamic tour pricing technology, has raised £5.3 million in VC funding from YFM Equity Partners.
  • 10/20 –  Tribe, a San Francisco-based group messaging app, has raised $3 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital, Ludlow Ventures, Partech Ventures and Kima Ventures.
  • 10/21 – Joymode, a year-old, L.A.-based startup that rents gear to people so they can organize things like beach parties and backyard barbecues, has raised $3 million in venture funding led by Homebrew.
  • 10/18 – Joy, a San Francisco-based “interactive photo album that allows you to curate and share your favorite photos with friends and family,” has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Obvious Ventures, BoxGroup, The Chernin Group and Maywic Select Investments.
  • 10/21 – Atipica, a San Mateo, Calif.-based talent discovery engine, has raised $2 million in seed funding. True Ventures led the round.
  • 10/17 – Aramisauto, a French online used-car marketplace, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from PSA Group.

Random, long reads
The Official Coming-Out Party (ESPN) – For two decades, NBA ref Bill Kennedy was hiding in plain sight — watched by millions but never truly seen. Then came the biggest game-changer of his life, the call he had to make.

We Salted Nannie. A Real-Life Southern Ghost Story (Bitter Southerner) – In September of 2014, Tom Maxwell moved with his family into a large, historic home just outside Hillsborough, North Carolina. With its affordable rent and lush surroundings, it seemed too good to be true. Nine months later, they broke their lease, loaded up the truck, and ran away as fast as they could from the spirits and apparitions that had tortured them. Only afterward would Maxwell learn about the 300 years of bad mojo that had piled up in the house they called Nannie.

The greatest role of Bill Murray’s life has been playing Bill Murray (The Washington Post) – Bill Murray is receiving this year’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor, but he is a unique actor who combines comedy and drama into the same character. The Post’s Geoff Edgers sifts through Murray’s body of work and pulls out six of his best performances.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: October 10, 2016

Last week, today

  • 9/30 – Facebook is launching another Snapchat competitor, this one in the Facebook Messenger app (TechCrunch)
  • 9/30 – BlackLine, a private equity-backed provider of accounting and finance software, has filed for an IPO after posting revenue of $56M for the first half of 2016 (over $38M in the first half of 2015) and a net loss of $17M (up from a net loss $11M in the same period). Sumeru Equity (formerly Silver Lake Sumeru) owns 47% of the Company, while Iconiq owns 23% (WSJ $)
  • 9/30 – Carbon Black, an endpoint security company that has raised $175M including a recap in 2007, filed confidentially for an IPO (WSJ $)
  • 10/2 – American Airlines is in the process of migrating its IT infrastructure and said it is really pleased with how it has gone so far, including no cancelled flights or disruption due to the IT shift (WSJ $)
  • 10/2 – Blue Apron is on pace to pass $1B in revenue over the course of the next 12 months according to a report by Re/Code citing people familiar with the Company.  The Company is also in talks with a number of banks about a potential IPO (Re/Code)
  • 10/3 – Facebook launched a marketplace, which is being positioned as a friendlier version of Craig’s List (TechCrunch), but it was quickly flooded with the sale of drugs and adult services due to a “technical issue” (Business Insider)
  • 10/3 – Salesforce has acquired Krux, a DMP-focused business that had raised $50M from the likes of Accel, Founder’s Found and Sapphire Ventures, for $700M (WSJ $)
  • 10/4 – Twitter was expected to field its initial rounds of bids this week and Marc Benioff was building his case to investors that Salesforce should be a buyer. Benioff reportedly saw Twitter as an “unpolished jewel” with untapped potential in advertising, e-commerce, and other applications (WSJ $). Salesforce’s stock did not react well to the news, trading down 7% (Seeking Alpha) and Marc Benioff did nothing to squash rumors in an interview with Jim Cramer saying “if you look back at my track record as a CEO, I think you’ll find that while I look at a lot of things, I actually pass on most” (CNBC). Re/Code reported that Google, Apple and Disney are unlikely to be bidders in the Twitter process (Re/Code and Seeking Alpha) and early Twitter investor/cowboy shirt wearer, Chris Sacca, said he is selling shares and is disappointed in the Company (Bloomberg), while Bloomberg reported that Jack Dorsey is losing control of the Company (duh) (Bloomberg). The news of all the buyers dropping out of the process caused the stock to fall 20% (TechCrunch) and Twitter was apparently finally left without an suitors (Bloomberg) and so Jack Dorsey sent around a memo to rally the Company behind a standalone strategy (Bloomberg). And because this note isn’t long enough.. Salesforce apparently is still thinking about a bid because… whatever (Reuters)
  • 10/4 – As expected, Google launched a host of new hardware products include the Pixel and Pixel XL phone, a virtual reality headset, a new Chromecast, a Google Home connected speaker and an easy-to-use WiFi router (Business Insider)
  • 10/4 – Pinterest has hired its first CFO, Todd Morgenfeld, who is joining from Twitter, where he served as VP of Finance (Business Insider) and also it leaked that the Pinterest finished 2015 with $100M in revenue vs. the original plan of $169M (TechCrunch)
  • 10/4 – Criteo is buying HookLogic, a company that helps brands place ads on e-commerce sites, for $250M. HookLogic expected gross revenue of $130M in 2016, double the year’s before total and had raised $40M from a host of firms (Re/Code)
  • 10/4 – Akamai has made two purchases for an undisclosed amount – Soha Systems, which had raised $9.8M from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Menlo Ventures, and Concord Systems (TechCrunch)
  • 10/4 – Union Square Ventures becomes the latest venture firm to endorse Hillary Clinton (TechCrunch)
  • 10/4 – Reuters is reporting that Yahoo (the company that literally will not go away) secretly scanned emails of its users for US government intelligence (Reuters)
  • 10/5 – Theranos said that it’s closing down clinical labs and Theranos Wellness Centers, cutting 340 employees or 43% of the workforce (VentureBeat)
  • 10/5 – Netflix traded up 8% on speculation that either Disney or Apple will acquire the business (Seeking Alpha)
  • 10/5 – VMware is announcing a partnership next week with AWS. All details thus far are hazy at best but the two companies were once self-described as mortal enemies (Fortune)
  • 10/5 – Samsung acquired Viv, an AI assistant that was built by the creators of Apple’s Siri and had raised $30M from a number of firms including Iconiq Capital (TechCrunch)
  • 10/5 – Ebay has acquired visual search engine Corrigon for $30M (TechCrunch)
  • 10/5 – Metamorphic Ventures has raised a new $50M round and rebranded itself as Compound (TechCrunch)
  • 10/6 – Shares of Coupa* surged in initial trading with the Company’s stock going up over 85%, giving Coupa a market cap of $1.6B in its debut on the Nasdaq (Reuters)
  • 10/6 – Snapchat is reportedly working on an IPO that could value the Company at $25B or more (WSJ $)
  • 10/6 – Spotify and Apple Music just went live with the most prominent feature from SoundCloud – the ability to listen to unofficial single-track remixes (TechCrunch)
  • 10/6 – Bloom Energy, once a high flying alternative energy start-up that has raised $1.2B and was once valued at $2.9B, has confidentially filed for an IPO (WSJ $)
  • 10/6 – Two months after going live, Instagram’s Stories feature 100M daily active viewers (Seeking Alpha)
  • 10/7 – The New York Post is reporting that Tim Armstrong of Verizon/AOL wants a $1B discount to its $4.8B acquisition of Yahoo due the Company’s lack of disclosures around the hack in 2014 that impacted 500M usernames and passwords (NYP)
  • 10/7 – Twilio has filed paperwork for a $400M secondary offering, which caused the stock to drop 6% (VentureBeat)
  • 10/7 –  GitHub is reportedly raising a secondary round that may value the Company at $1.5B, which would be below the $2B that it raised $250M at last year. There is also a rumor that Microsoft is now sniffing around the Company for an acquisition (TechCrunch)
  • 10/7 – The CEO of Backpage.com, a website probably best known for escort ads, was arrested for conspiracy and pimping a minor (NYT)
  • 10/7 – Oracle is suggesting it will end the deal with NetSuite after concerns were expressed by T. Rowe that the offer was too low (WSJ $)
  • 10/9 – Samsung and their Galaxy 7 phone continues to be a f’ing disaster (NYT)
  • 10/10 – Former Twitter VP of Corp Dev, Rishi Garg, is joining Mayfield as a venture partner (TechCrunch)
  • 10/10 – Cynanogen, the company behind its own alternative/forked version of the Android operating system has placed COO Lio Tal as its CEO, as current CEO Kirt McMaster will transition to Executive Chairman (TechCrunch)

Earnings
None of note this week.

Financings

  • 10/6 – Payoneer, a New York-based company focused on helping businesses send and receive cross-border payments, has raised $180 million in new growth equity funding. Technology Crossover Ventures led the round.
  • 10/4 – Apttus, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of quote-to-cash solutions, has raised $88 million in Series D funding. GII led the round, and was joined by K1, ICONIQ Capital and KIA.
  • 10/4 –  GoEuro, a Berlin-based travel platform for trains, buses and flights across Europe, has raised $70 million in new equity funding co-led by Silver Lake Kraftwerk and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
  • 10/4 – Rover.com, a Seattle-based network of pet sitters and dog walkers, has raised $40 million in Series E funding. Foundry Group and Menlo Ventures were joined by fellow return backer Madrona Venture Group.
  • 10/6 – Welltok, a Denver-based health optimization platform, has raised $33.7 million in Series E funding. Backers include New Enterprise Associates, Bessemer Venture Partners, Georgian Partners, Emergence Capital, InterWest Partners, Sigma Partners, HLM Venture Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Trustmark, Qualcomm Life Fund, Hearst Health Ventures, EDBI, Okapi Venture Capital and Miramar Ventures.
  • 10/5 – Clearpath Robotics, a Canadian developer of unmanned vehicles for industrial applications, has raised $30 million in new VC funding. iNovia Capital led the round.
  • 10/6 – CognitiveScale, three-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based startup specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning, has raised $25 million in funding including a strategic investment from Microsoft Ventures.
  • 10/7 – Financeit, Toronto-based point-of-sale financing provider, has raised US$17 million in new VC funding co-led by The Pritzker Organization and DNS Capital.
  • 10/6 – Twyla, an Austin, Texas-based platform for buying and selling limited-edition artwork, has raised over $14 million in Series A funding. Google Ventures led the round.
  • 10/4 –  Social Tables, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of web-based SaaS solutions for hospitality professionals, has raised $13 million in Series B funding. QuestMark Partners led the round.
  • 10/6 – OpenGamma, a London-based provider of derivatives risk analysis, has raised $13.3 million in VC funding from Accel and ICAP.
  • 10/6 –  Gridco Systems, a Woburn, Mass.-based provider of grid infrastructure solutions for electric power distribution system operators, has raised $12 million in VC funding. Backers include General Catalyst, Lux Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners and Mashinenfabrik Reinhausen.
  • 10/3 – Smava, an 11-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based consumer lending platform connecting borrowers to investors, has raised $34 million in fresh funding from Runa Capital, Verdane Capital, mojo.capital and earlier backers, including Earlybird
  • 10/3 –  CarForce, a SaaS solution that provides car dealerships with real-time connected car telematics, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Digitech, Seed Sumo and Jason Calacanis.
  • 10/6 – Factom Inc., an Austin, Texas-based blockchain startup that “secures data via decentralization,” has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Tim Draper.
  • 10/7 –  Lulalend, an online business lending platform in South Africa, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding. Accion Venture Lab led the round.
  • 10/4 –  Restless Bandit, an automated resume sorting startup, has raised $8 million in Series A funding from GGV Capital and Toba Capital.
  • 10/4 – Tannico, a Milan-based wine retailer, has raised €3.8 million in Series A funding led by Italian venture firm P101.
  • 10/6 – HappyCo, a San Francisco-based mobile inspection platform, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Backers include 500 Startups, Flight Ventures and SaaS Syndicate.
  • 10/3 –  Simplus, a Salt Lake City-based provider of Salesforce quote-to-cash implementations, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Epic Ventures led the round.
  • 10/4 – Tock, a two-year-old, Chicago-based company whose software helps restaurants sell and manage bookings in advance, has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Origin Ventures.
  • 10/4 –  Source(d), a Spanish startup that leverages AI for matching developers with jobs, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from firms like Otium Venture and Sunstone Capital.
  • 10/6 – Madefire, a New York-based maker of a motion book tool for content creators, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. Plus Capital led the round.
  • 10/6 – Cybric, a Boston-based software security startup led by former Yahoo chief information officer Mike Kail, has raised $6.3 million in second-round funding, according to Fortune. Capstone Ventures led the round.
  • 10/4 – Anchore, a software container security startup, has raised $5 million in seed funding, according to Fortune. Backers include Doug Carlisle (Menlo Ventures) and Andreas von Blottnitz (ex-Citrix).
  • 10/5 – Moxe Health, a Madison, Wis.-based platform for “bi-directional flow of information between healthcare payers and providers,” has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding led by Safeguard Scientifics.
  • 10/3 –  Payzer, a Charlotte, N.C.-based maker of a mobile and cloud-based financial tool for specialty trade contractors, has raised $4.25 million in Series B funding from Route 66 Ventures, Grotech Ventures and IDEA Fund Partners.
  • 10/6 – Ollie, a New York-based premium petfood startup, has raised $4.4 million in seed funding. Primary Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures co-led the round.
  • 10/7 – Code Climate, a New York-based provider of automated code review solutions, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. Backers include Union Square Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Fuel Capital and Trinity Ventures.
  • 10/4 – Paperspace, a two-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup that aims to bring the virtual desktop experience to the enterprise, has raised $4 million in funding from Ludlow Ventures, Data Collective and Initialized Capital.
  • 10/4 – Roomex, a Dublin, Ireland-based hotel booking platform for business travelers, has raised €3.5 million in Series A funding led by Frontline Ventures.
  • 10/6 –  TapFwd, a San Francisco-based mobile data marketplace, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Partech Ventures led the round.
  • 10/5 – Wine n Dine, a New York-based “food-centric social discovery app” for restaurants and dishes, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Jordache Ventures, The Chetrit Group and Melo7 Tech Partners.
  • 10/5 – DiCentral Corp., a Houston-based provider of B2B integration and supply chain management solutions, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Kayne Partners.
  • 10/6 – Reaction Commerce, a Los Angeles-based real-time commerce platform for retailers, has raised $2.7 million in new VC funding. CrossCut Ventures led the round.
  • 10/5 – VRChat, a San Francisco-based social VR platform, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from HTC, Rothenberg Ventures, GREE VR Capital and Brightstone Venture Capital.
  • 10/4 –  Slice Labs Inc., a New York-based on-demand insurance platform for the on-demand market, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Munich Re / HSB Ventures. The company previously announced $3.9 million in seed funding co-led by Horizons Ventures and XL Innovate.
  • 10/4 – Stripe, a San Francisco-based online payments platform that has raised nearly $300 million in venture capital, has secured an undisclosed amount of new funding from Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co.

Random, long reads
Yes, Verne!
(The Ringer) – Verne Lundquist has never been the no. 1 play-by-play guy, but his is the voice of some of the greatest moments in sports history. And after 40 years, he’s as ecstatic as ever.

Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad (The Guardian) – How did a substance that falls from the air, springs from the earth and comes out of your tap become a hyperactive multibillion-dollar business?

MailChimp and the Un-Silicon Valley Way to Make It as a Start-Up (NYT) – How a company profitability bootstrapped its way to $400M in revenue… No venture capital, no Bay Area presence, no crazy burn rate: MailChimp’s founders built the company slowly by anticipating customers’ needs and following their instincts.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: October 2, 2016

Last week, today

  • 9/26 – CBOE Holdings, the operator of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, is set to acquire Bats Global Markets for $3.2B, a 23% over its current share price. The deal will be 31% cash and 69% stock (Market Watch)
  • 9/26 – Network security company ForeScout is said to be interviewing investment banks for an IPO later this year. The Company has raised $121M to date (Fortune)
  • 9/26 – Chinese private equity firm, Orient Hontai Capital, will acquire a majority stake in AppLovin, a mobile ad start-up, for $1.4B (Fortune)
  • 9/26 – FTV Capital raises $850M to invest in fintech and enterprise companies (VentureBeat)
  • 9/26 – Canvas Ventures has raised its second fund, $300M, up from its $175M debut in 2013 (TechCrunch)
  • 9/26 – Israeli venture capital firm, Aleph, closes its second fund of $180M (Geek Time)
  • 9/26 – Walt Disney is said to be working advisors on a potential acquisition of Twitter, while Salesforce is said to be working with Bank of America on a bid (Bloomberg)
  • 9/26 – Democratic Senator Mark Warner from Virginia has asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether or not Yahoo executives appropriately fulfilled obligations to disclose information around its hack to investors and the public (Reuters)
  • 9/26 – Lenovo undergoes another big round of layoffs (3,200 employees) mostly impacting the Motorola division (TechCrunch)
  • 9/26 – US Regulators have accused Palantir of a hiring bias against Asians (Fortune)
  • 9/26 – Ifty Ahmed, who was under investigation by the SEC and fled the country after claims that he defrauded Oak Investment Partners out of $65M, is now claiming that it is actually Oak that owes him money (to the tune of $133M) in a lawsuit (TechCrunch)
  • 9/27 – Solar City is being sued by SunPower and Khosla Ventures, who claim that Solar City stole intellectual property from SunPower (Fortune)
  • 9/27 – Hinge, the mobile dating ap, announced that its sunsetting its original version of the app and launching a completely new version that will go live on October 11 and was built from the ground-up (TechCrunch)
  • 9/27 – Facebook at Work, Facebook’s Slack competitor, will be publicly available next and charge a (Slack) standard of active users per month model (The Information $)
  • 9/27 – Uber’s Head of Finance, Gautam Gupta, has likely been promoted to CFO (as of January) according to documents that were provided to the H-1B offices (Business Insider)
  • 9/27 – ClassPass has hiked prices from $100 to $180 a month, which resulted in a loss of 10% of its subscriber base, but resulted in healthier margins for the business (TechCrunch)
  • 9/27 – Images of Google’s new phones, Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, have been leaked (Business Insider)
  • 9/27 – Slack and Salesforce have announced integrations that will allow the two companies to work closely together – pulling from one record to the other (Slack.com)
  • 9/27 – Target’s chief digital officer of four months has abruptly left the Company and his role is being split in two (Re/Code)
  • 9/28 – SAP has purchased “IoT software development” company Plat.One and plans to invest $2B into whatever the internet of things is over the course of the next five years (PCWorld)
  • 9/28 – Walmart is said to be set to invest up to $1B into Flipkart (Bloomberg)
  • 9/28 – BlackBerry is planning to stop designing its own phones and focus instead on software (Re/Code)
  • 9/28 – The Financial Times is reporting that Spotify is in advanced conversations to acquire SoundCloud (Re/Code)
  • 9/29 – Kik Messenger, which has raised $120M across a few different rounds of funding, is not growing and its usage among teens has dipped according to its CEO (Re/Code)
  • 9/29 – Google combined its Cloud and corporate software offering under Diane Greene into a new unit called Google Cloud. The group will include software offerings like Docs and Sheets, in addition to machine-learning and digital mapping tools + Android office products (Bloomberg)
  • 9/29 – After losing the auction for LinkedIn, Salesforce is urging regulators to look into the risk that the deal would pose for competition and privacy (Bloomberg). Unclear if they are taking their ball and going home as well
  • 9/29 – Qualcomm is in conversations to acquire NXP Semiconductor in a deal that would be valued at over $30B (WSJ $)
  • 9/30 – Takeaway.com prices its IPO and raises $368M, valuing the company at over $1.1B (VentureBeat)
  • 9/30 – Nutanix* made its public debut and traded up 131% in its first day of trading (CNBC)
  • 9/30 – Meerkat is officially dead a year and a half after going head-to-head with Periscope/Twitter. The Company began working on a new app Houseparty, which they are now dedicating their efforts towards (TechCrunch)
  • 9/30 – The Honest Company is working to remove the controversial ingredient, SLS, that it had advertised was not in its product (WSJ $)
  • 9/30 – Google is working with Lazard in its potential bid for Twitter after Twitter hired Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co to solicit potential buyers after receiving interest from Salesforce (Bloomberg)
  • 10/1 – CEO of SurveyMonkey, Zander Lurie, indicates that the Company will ultimately go public, but not in 2017.  He also said that they are doing around $200M in revenue with mid 30% EBITDA margins (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 9/29 – Accenture beat on earnings as a result of better than expected digital revenue and the stock rose 5% on the news (Fortune)

Financings

  • 9/26 – FreshDirect, a Long Island City, N.Y.-based grocery delivery service, has raised $189 million in new funding. JPMorgan Asset Management led the round.
  • 9/27 – Flexport, a San Francisco-based customs brokerage and freight forwarding service, has raised $65 million in Series B funding. Return backers included Founders Fund, Bloomberg Beta, Felicis Ventures, First Round Capital, Susa Ventures and Yuri Milner. New backer 8VC also participated.
  • 9/29 – Higher Logic, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of cloud-based community platforms, has raised $55 million in new growth equity funding from JMI Equity.
  • 9/28 – Druva, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of data protection and governance solutions for enterprise devices, has raised $51 million in Series E funding. Sequoia Capital led the round.
  • 9/26 – InstaMed, a Philadelphia-based payments network for the healthcare market, has raised $50 million in new funding from Carrick Capital Partners.
  • 9/27 – Color Genomics, a Burlingame, Calif.-based personalized genomics startup, has raised $45 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst led the round.
  • 9/26 – Skyhigh Networks, a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of cloud security and control solutions for the enterprise, has raised $40 million in Series D funding. Thomvest Partners led the round
  • 9/29 –  Shape Security, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of security technology for web and mobile applications, has raised $40 million in Series D funding. Backers include EDBI, Baseline Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, NVP, Venrock, Google Ventures, Eric Schmidt and Northern Light Ventures.
  • 9/30 – Home Chef, a Chicago-based meal kit delivery service, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by L Catterton.
  • 9/30 – Remitly, a Seattle-based mobile remittance company, has raised $38 million in new equity and debt financing from IFC and Silicon Valley Bank.
  • 9/26 – Certona, a San Diego-based provider of omnichannel personalization solutions for brands and retailers, has raised $30 million in new growth equity funding led by Primus Capital.
  • 9/28 – ProsperWorks, a San Francisco-based provider of CRM solutions for Google Apps, has raised $24 million in Series B funding. Next World Capital led the round.
  • 9/29 – Kyriba Corp., a New York-based provider of cloud treasury management solutions, has raised $23 million in Series D funding. Bpifrance led the round.
  • 9/28 – Zenly, a French location-sharing app, has raised $22.5 million in Series B funding. Benchmark led the round.
  • 9/26 – FinalCAD, a France-based provider of mobile construction apps and predictive analytics, has raised $20 million in Series B funding from Serena Capital, Caphorn Invest and Aster Capital.
  • 9/27 – NS1, a New York-based provider of DNS and network traffic management solutions, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners led the round.
  • 9/28 – Contrast Security, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of application security software, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. General Catalyst Partners led the round.
  • 9/26 – MemberSuite, an Atlanta-based provider of customizable association management software, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Revolution Ventures.
  • 9/28 – Beckon, a San Mateo, Calif.-based omnichannel marketing intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Venrock led the round.
  • 9/29 – Kustomer, a New York-based customer relationship platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round.
  • 9/28 – AppNexus, the nine-year-old, New York-based ad tech company, has raised a $31 million funding round that includes a $10 million investment from News Corp, involvement from Yahoo Japan, and participation from its existing investors.
  • 9/26 – Podium Data, a Lowell, Mass.-based data lake management platform for the enterprise, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Malibu Ventures.
  • 9/28— Aqua Security, an Israel-based startup focused on securing virtual container applications, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Microsoft Ventures led the round.
  • 9/29 – OpenSesame, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of on-demand elearning courses for the enterprise, has raised $9 million in a Series B funding. Altos Ventures led the round.
  • 9/30 – Depop, a UK-based social shopping platform, has raised $8.25 million in new VC funding from Balderton Capital, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Creandum, Red Circle Investments and Lumar.
  • 9/27 –  Expel Inc., a McLean, Va.-based cybersecurity startup founded by FireEye/Mandiant veterans, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Paladin Capital Group led the round.
  • 9/29  – Folloze, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of an account-based marketing sales platform, has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. Canvas Ventures and NEA co-led the round.
  • 9/29 – Lydia, a French mobile payment app for friends (i.e., Venmo for France), has raised €7 million in new VC funding from New Alpha AM and Oddo & Cie.
  • 9/30 – Codefresh, a lifecycle management platform for Docker and other containers, has raised $7 million in new VC funding. Carmel Ventures led the round.
  • 9/28 – b8ta, a year-old, Palo Alto-based showroom for trendy tech gadgets, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by TriplePoint Capital.
  • 9/26 – Estify, a Los Angeles-based startup that automates integration of estimate data between auto insurance companies and body shops, has raised $6.3 million in Series A funding. Romulus Capital led the round
  • 9/26 – Kinetica, a San Francisco-based developer of an in-memory database “accelerated by GPUs,” has raised $6 million in new VC funding led by Ray Lane.
  • 9/30 – Simpplr, a San Francisco-based provider of employee community and help desk products, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the round
  • 9/26 – Inverse, a year-old, New York and San Francisco-based digital media startup geared towards millennial men, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Crosslink Capital with participation from Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Social Starts, Bialla Venture Partners, and Vast Ventures.
  • 9/26 – Mautic, a Boston-based provider of open-source marketing automation solutions, has raised $5 million in Series A funding co-led by G20 Ventures and Underscore.vc.
  • 9/27 – Site 1001 Inc., a Kansas City-based developer of “smart” building maintenance and management software, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. JE Dunn led the round.
  • 9/26 – Paddle, an ecommerce platform for software businesses, has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding. BGF Ventures led the round.
  • 9/29 – BigchainDB, a Berlin-based blockchain database provider for developers and businesses, has raised €3 million in Series A funding. Backers include Earlybird Venture Capital, Anthemis Group, Digital Currency Group and Innogy SE.
  • 9/26 – Zero, a San Francisco-based mobile banking startup, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Eniac Ventures led the round.
  • 9/28 – Bitso, a Mexican Bitcoin exchange startup focused on the underbanked in Latin America, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Monex Group, Variv Capital, Xochi Ventures, Digital Currency Group, FundersClub, Bitcoin Capital and Blockchain Tech Ltd.
  • 9/29 – Karamba Security, an Israel-based developer of cybersecurity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Fontinalis Partners led the round.
  • 9/27 – Deepgram, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based audio search startup, has raised $1.8 million in funding co-led by Metamorphic Ventures and Y Combinator.
  • 9/27 – Qrvey, a McLean, Va.-based customer feedback platform, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by the Center for Innovative Technology.
  • 9/30 – Lystable, a two-year-old, London-based startup that helps companies more easily onboard, manage, talk with, and pay their external workers, has added an undisclosed amount of Series A funding to a previously closed, $11 million round, the new funding comes from PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.

Random, long reads
How Chase Made the Perfect High for Credit Card Junkies: The $450-a-year Sapphire Reserve card has points-and-miles-obsessed millennials fired up (Bloomberg) – I’ve never been one to traffic in the points collection game for hotels, airlines or other perks, but after reading this piece I think I’m going to sign up for the Sapphire Reserve card.

My mother disappeared without a trace – then I became a spy and found her 35 years later (Telegraph) – Heartbreaking account of a British child in the 1940s separated from his mother and never told why.  He goes on a hunt to find her years later and to understand why his father kept them apart.

Inside the Rise & Fall Of A 1970s Upper West Side Cult (Gothamist) – The terms “NYC” and “cult” are usually all I need to dive headfirst into a piece. This was about as bizarre as you’d expect something like that to be.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: September 25, 2016

Last week, today

  • 9/18 – Oracle has acquired Palerra to boost its security practice. The Company, which was founded by Oracle alums and originally was called Apprity, had raised $25M from Norwest and August Capital and is focused on “security automation for enterprise applications” (TechCrunch)
  • 9/18 – Salesforce front ran some of Oracle’s Oracle World announcements by revealing what had been previously disclosed in an interview with Forbes – that it’s doubling down on AI and specifically it’s new Einstein platform (WSJ $)
  • 9/18 – Lyft President and co-founder John Zimmer penned an article to Medium that outlines how car ownership in major cities will mostly end by 2025, which is great news for Uber (Business Insider)
  • 9/19 – We had the Tyson vs. Holyfield then Nick Carter vs. Justin Timberlake – now we have Vista vs. Thoma Bravo with the former besting the bid the latter made for Infoblox. Vista will acquire the Company for $1.6B, which represents $26.50 a share or a 73% premium over the stock price in mid-May (Fortune)
  • 9/19 – Foundry Group has closed its sixth fund, $500M to invest in both early stage companies and opportunistically in later stage ones in its existing portfolio (TechCrunch)
  • 9/19 – Dutch food delivery company, Takeaway.com, is going public at a €1B valuation (Business Insider)
  • 9/19 – Airbnb has acquired Barcelona-based travel activities marketplace, trip4real (TechCrunch)
  • 9/19 – Canaan has added two partners, Joydeep Bhattacharyya (previously of Shasta Ventures) and Richard Boyle, who had been the CEO of LoopNet, to focus on enterprise software (TechCrunch)
  • 9/19 – Nutanix* has set the terms of its IPO, which would raise $170M at the mid-point of its range (Fortune)
  • 9/19 – Facebook has acquired a small hardware start up called Nascent Objects to fold into its secret hardware lab, Building 8 (Re/Code)
  • 9/19 – Tintri, which raised $260M to go after the virtualized storage market, has reportedly filed preliminary documents for an IPO next year (Biz Journals)
  • 9/20 – Microsoft’s board approved a share re-purchase program up to $40B, because there’s no other way to spend $40-60B+ (Seeking Alpha)
  • 9/20 – Angel.ai, a company that builds chat bots and had raised $8M from General Catalyst, has been acqui-hired by Amazon (TechCrunch)
  • 9/20 – Twilio acquired Kurento, a company that originally built an open source WebRTC media server (TechCrunch)
  • 9/21 – Adtech is dead, long live adtech – The Trade Desk raised $84M in its IPO and traded up 67% in its public company debut (WSJ $)
  • 9/21 – American Airlines is making a major move to the cloud and is assessing Amazon, IBM and Microsoft to power the move (WSJ $)
  • 9/21 – Amazon has launched a new portal for photo printing services, which caused Shutterfly to trade down 11% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 9/21 – Verizon is interested in buying Vessel, the video start-up that was founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and attempted to be a hub for YouTube stars to reach fans. The Company raised $130M from a number of firms including Benchmark, Greylock and IVP and has reportedly struggled to get traction (Re/Code)
  • 9/21 – According to the Financial Times, Apple is reportedly looking into buying high-end car company McLaren (Business Insider)
  • 9/21 – Business Insider has the story of Mode Media and how the Company ended up going bust after once being valued at $1B (Business Insider)
  • 9/21 – Twitter will livestream all three presidential debates thanks to a new exclusive deal with Bloomberg (Re/Code)
  • 9/22 – LinkedIn unveiled its “school” for getting a better job that comes from the Lynda acquisition. It will be called LinkedIn Learning (Business Insider)
  • 9/22 – Yahoo has confirmed a massive data breach that impacts 500M users. Sources at Verizon (per Re/Code) say that they were “largely unaware of the severity of the attack until recently and that CEO Marissa Mayer and others did not flag them as to the extent of the issue in the bidding process” (Re/Code). This could obviously have implications on whether or not the acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon goes through (Fortune)
  • 9/22 – Signia Venture Partners has raised $85M in a new fund to focus on early stage companies in AI, computer vision, ed tech among others (TechCrunch)
  • 9/22 – Instagram has more than doubled its advertiser base (to 500K) in less than 6 months (Fortune)
  • 9/22 – Imperva, which has been working with Qatalyst to find a buyer, has reportedly drawn interest from Cisco, IBM, Akamai and Forcepoint (jointly owned by Vista Equity and Raytheon) (Bloomberg)
  • 9/22 – Dan Primack has more in the unusual twists and turns of the fake venture capital firms Sienna Ventures and Asenqua Ventures (Fortune)
  • 9/22 – The founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, is funding a pro-Trump group that circulates dirty memes about Hillary Clinton around the net (The Daily Beast). He then denied some of those specific things
  • 9/22 – Cisco and Salesforce announced a global strategic alliance to jointly market and develop solutions for collaboration and IoT services (Seeking Alpha)
  • 9/22 – Jawbone is on shaky financial footing, struggling to pay customer service-agency NexRep, and appearing to have limited inventory left… (Business Insider)
  • 9/22 – Advertisers are none too pleased with Facebook after learning that the Company was over-inflating its video views by between 60-80% (WSJ $)
  • 9/23 – Twitter is expected to potentially get bids with potential suitors including Google, Salesforce (?!) and potentially Microsoft and Verizon. The stock spiked more than 21% on the news (TechCrunch)
  • 9/23 – Apple is moving ahead with the development of an Amazon Echo-like smart home device that would be powered by Siri (Bloomberg)
  • 9/23 – Google is looking to introduce a new WiFi router on October 4th that will compete against the likes of Eero and Luma (Android Police)
  • 9/23 – GE Healthcare launches a program called five.eight that will be a $50M healthcare accelerator (Med City News)
  • 9/23 – Apptio had a successful debut on the public markets raising $96M and trading up 44% in initial trading (Investors.com)
  • 9/23 – Apple acquired another machine learning company, Tuplejump, a few months back (TechCrunch)
  • 9/23 – SignalFire, which mines signals on employee movement for investing signals, is seeking to raise $300-350M for its second fund, up from $53M announced in October 2015 (WSJ $)
  • 9/24 – Snapchat (now known as Snap Inc) unveils its first hardware product, Spectacles, which Evan Spiegel calls a “toy” (WSJ $)

Earnings

  • 9/20 – Adobe announced earnings and traded up 4% on the news. The Company has recurring revenue of $3.7B up $285M Q/Q (Seeking Alpha)

Financings

  • 9/23 – Airbnb has raised $555 million in new equity funding at a $30 billion valuation, co-led by Google Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures.
  • 9/21 – Metromile, a “pay per mile” insurance startup based in San Francisco, has raised $191.5 million in new equity and debt funding. Backers include Intact Financial, China Pacific Insurance, NEA, Index Ventures, First Round Capital, SV Angel and Mitsui & Co.
  • 9/19 – Thalmic Labs, a Canadian developer of a gesture-controlled armband, has raised US$120 million in Series B funding. Backers include the Amazon Alexa Fund, Intel Capital and Fidelity Investments Canada.
  • 9/22 – Avalara*, a Seattle-based provider of tax compliance automation software, has raised $96 million in new growth equity funding ($46 million of which is a secondary to repurchase shares from early investors). Return backers include Warburg Pincus, TCV and  Sageview Capital.
  • 9/21 – OurCrowd, an Israel-based equity crowdfunding platform, has raised $72 million in Series C funding. No investor information was disclosed.
  • 9/23 – Linio, an ecommerce marketplace for Latin America, has raised $55 million in new VC funding. Backers include LIV Capital, Northgate Capital and Kinnevik.
  • 9/20 – Vlocity, a provider of cloud software for specific industries like insurance and telecommunications, has raised $50 million in new VC funding. Sutter Hill Ventures led the round.
  • 9/20 – Vroom, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based online platform for used car purchases, has raised $50 million in Series E funding. T. Rowe Price led the round.
  • 9/21 – Tealium*, a San Diego, CA- based make of website data management software for enterprise tag management and digital data distribution, raised $35 million of venture funding led by Georgian Partners.
  • 9/22 – BrightFarms Inc., a New York-based national brand of local produce, has raised $30.1 million in Series C funding. Catalyst Investors led the round.
  • 9/21 – FinanceFox, a European insurance technology startup, has raised $28 million in Series A funding. Horizons Ventures and Target Global co-led the round.
  • 9/20 – 4C Insights Inc., a Chicago-based provider of “data science and media technology with solutions for multi-screen convergence,” has raised $26 million in Series C funding. Kayne Partners led the round.
  • 9/21 – D.light, a San Francisco-based provider of solar lighting and power products households in remote locations like, has raised $22 million in new VC funding. Kawasaki Ventures and Energy Access Ventures were joined by return backer NewQuest Capital Partners.
  • 9/22 – Brightline, a New York -based provider of “advanced TV” solutions, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Joe Moglia.
  • 9/21 – Gametime, a San Francisco-based mobile provider of last-minute tickets, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Google Ventures, Evolution Media Partners and the Stanford StartX Fund were joined by return backers like Accel Partners.
  • 9/19 – White Ops, a New York-based provider of invalid traffic detection and prevention services for the digital ad market, has raised $20 million in Series B funding co-led by return backers Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures.
  • 9/22 – InfluxData*, a San Francisco-based developer of an open-source platform for managing “time-series” data, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. Battery Ventures led the round.
  • 9/22 – Operator, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based personal shopping assistant chatbot, has raised $15 million in Series B funding at a $100 million pre-money valuation led by GGV Capital.
  • 9/21 – Brava Home, an IoT and domestic automation company that integrates technology and design to enable joyful experiences in the home, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by True Ventures.
  • 9/20 – Bitmovin, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based online media streaming platform, has raised $10.3 million in Series A funding led by Atomico.
  • 9/23 – Gfycat, a user-generated content platform, has raised $10 million in seed funding. Alsop Louie Partners led the round.
  • 9/22 – Mavrx, a San Francisco-based provider of aerial imagery technologies for the agriculture market, has raised $10 million in Series A funding.
  • 9/22 – Sonder, a San Francisco-based P2P “homtel” platform for travelers (i.e., Airbnb plus hotel hospitality), has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Spark Capital led the round.
  • 9/20 – StarOfService, a French search platform for local services (i.e., Thumbtack for Europe), has raised $10 million in new VC funding from ENERN Investments, Point Nine Capital, Andrea Piccioni and Silvio Pagliani.
  • 9/19 – OMsignal, a Montreal-based maker of smart sports bras, has raised US$10 million in new VC funding. Relay Ventures led the round.
  • 9/23 – Anodot, an Israel-based business incident detection and analytics startup, has raised $8 million in new VC funding. Aleph Venture Capital led the round.
  • 9/22 –  GameCo, a Las Vegas-based developer of “skill-based video game gambling machines,” has raised $8.25 million in seed and Series A funding. Javelin Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/21 –  Troops, a New York-based Slackbot for sales, has raised $7 million in new VC funding. Aspect Ventures, Slack Fund, Susa Ventures and Flight.VC were joined by return backers First Round Capital, Nextview Ventures, Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Capital, Founder Collective and Vast Ventures.
  • 9/21 – Catalyze Inc., a Madison, Wis.-based provider of cloud infrastructure for healthcare companies, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. Lewis & Clark Ventures led the round.
  • 9/21 – Mobilize, developer of a unified messaging management platform, has raised $6.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Trinity Ventures, Array Ventures, Floodgate, Hillsven Capital and Upwest Labs.
  • 9/22 –  TrueFacet, a New York-based online marketplace for used jewelry and watches, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Maveron led the round.
  • 9/20 – FoodChéri, a French food preparation and delivery startup, has raised €6 million in Series A funding from 360 Capital Partners, Breega Capital and Samaipata Ventures.
  • 9/20 – Progressly, a two-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based business process platform, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by 8VC.
  • 9/21 – Nucleus, a New York-based maker of a connected home intercom, has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding. Amazon’s Alexa Fund led the round.
  • 9/20 – ACV Auctions, a New York-based wholesale purchasing platform for used-car dealers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Tribeca Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/20 – Fauna, a San Francisco-based developer of an adaptive operational database, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Charles River Ventures led the round.
  • 9/20 – Vestwell, a New York-based white-labeled retirement platform for the RIA community, has raised $4.5 million in new VC funding. FinTech Collective led the round.
  • 9/20 – Solar Analytics, an Australian developer of residential smart solar management products, has raised A$4.4 million in new VC funding from backers like AGL Energy Ltd., David Griffin and John Clifford.
  • 9/23 – Aceable, an Austin, Texas-based mobile app for driver’s ed, has raised $4 million in Series A funding co-led by Floodgate and Silverton Partners.
  • 9/21 –  Imbellus, a New York-based job candidate screening and personality assessment platform, has raised $4 million in new VC funding. Backers include Upfront Ventures, GLG, Sound Ventures and Thrive Capital.
  • 9/20 – Cornami, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based high performance computing startup, has raised $3 million in Series B funding led by Impact Venture Capital.
  • 9/21 – Allset, a San Francisco-based “wait-free dining startup,” has raised $2.35 million in seed funding. Metamorphic Ventures led the round.
  • 9/19 – Doxly, an Indianapolis-based provider of legal transaction management software, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding from Nextlaw Labs, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and High Alpha Capital.
  • 9/20 – Insider, Turkey-based unified online marketing platform, has raised $2.2 million in Series A funding. 212 led the round.
  • 9/20 – AdStage, a San Francisco-based cross-channel advertising suite, has raised $2 million in new VC funding from existing backer Verizon Ventures.
  • 9/19 – LumaTax, a Seattle-based provider of sales tax automation solutions for small businesses, has raised $2 million in new VC funding from Madrona Venture Group, Greycroft Partners and individual angels.
  • 9/22 – Vina, a new social network for girls, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding from Greylock, NEA, Wildcat Venture Partners and Tinder.
  • 9/19 – DueCourse, a UK-based provider of invoice financing solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, has raised £1.25 million in new equity funding from firms like Global Founders Capital.
  • 9/20 – Hostmaker, a London-based provider of hospitality management software, has raised $1.1 million in new VC funding. Initial Capital led the round.
  • 9/23 – Collaborative Solutions, a Reston, Va.-based “business transformation consultancy,” has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from WestView Capital Partners.
  • 9/21 – SecurityMatters, a Dutch provider of cybersecurity solutions for industrial control systems, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding. Emerald Technology Ventures led the round.
  • 9/20 – IRYStec Software Inc., a Montreal-based provider of perceptual display processing technology, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from firms like BDC Capital, Purple Angels Tandemlaunch.

Random, long reads
The Mastermind (ESPN) – Theo Epstein walks to and from Wrigley, eats lunch in the empty bleachers and wants Chicago to see the ivy turn red in October. The Cubs president may be nearing middle age, but his love of the game is shining through more than ever.

‘They Wished I Was Dead': How ‘The Blair Witch Project’ Still Haunts Its Cast (Vice) – Starring in “The Blair Witch Project” sounds like a career highlight. The low-budget indie grossed $248 million and spawned a franchise that reboots this week. In an oral history, key players from the film share how “Blair Witch” became a real-life curse.

How to hide it: inside the secret world of wealth managers (The Guardian) – They know more about their clients than the clients’ own wives. They are loyal in the face of appalling behaviour. They are the brains behind the most ingenious tax avoidance schemes. And there are more of them than ever

Tech Weekly Newsletter: September 18, 2016

Last week, today

  • 9/6 – Missed this one last week, but T. Rowe is not too excited about the acquisition of Netsuite by Oracle, believe that the price was far too low. The Company goes in with a public filing stating that:
    • They “view NetSuite as a unique asset… and are reluctant to part with a company like NetSuite before (they) have seen it reach its potential”
    • Workday is the closest comp and that it trades at a premium to Oracle’s offer price
    • That they had approved of previous SaaS acquisitions where they were a shareholder including Concur, LinkedIn and Ariba, but this one is no good
    • Oracle is ignoring synergies that they will benefit from
    • That the Larry Ellison conflict of interest led to the transaction

Yikes

  • 9/9 – Apple is rethinking its strategy for self-driving cars, as the market is heating up. The Company has shuttered parts of its self-driving initiatives and laid off a dozen people affiliated with the project (NYT)
  • 9/11 – Uber has resumed negotiations with its drivers over a class-action suit on whether they should be treated as employees (Bloomberg)
  • 9/12 – In some weird world, HP selected Microsoft CRM to standardize on and replace its Salesforce and Oracle products internally (Fortune)
  • 9/12 – We wanted flying cars, instead we will have longer than 140 characters on September 19th (The Verge)
  • 9/12 – Thoma Bravo raised $7.6B fund to pursue more large software buyouts (NYT)
  • 9/13 – Concur has acquired Hipmunk, which had raised $55M from firms like IVP, Ignition Partners and Oak Investments among others (Skift)
  • 9/13 – Y Combinator is winding down YC Fellowships, launching an online course and appointing Michael Seibel, co-founder of Justin.tv, as CEO (TechCrunch)
  • 9/13 – The WSJ has a report on Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal and shows that the Company had a burn rate of $28M in 2015 with revenue growing only 30% (WSJ $)
  • 9/13 – GGV has hired Jason Costa, who had spent a number of years at Pinterest and Twitter, as an EIR and Denise Peng, who was the COO of Chinese online travel company, Qunar, as a venture partner (TechCrunch)
  • 9/13 – Google Cloud has landed Evernote as a customer, who will move off of its internally built private infrastructure (Google)
  • 9/13 – Marc Benioff continues to call out his old employer, Oracle, stating that the acquisition of NetSuite, was a  “desperation move” (Bloomberg)
  • 9/13 – Vista Equity is close to closing a new flagship fund that will be at its $10B hard cap (Fortune)
  • 9/14 – A detailed report, including three interviews with the founder himself, done by Backchannel on Rothenberg Ventures (nka Frontier Tech Ventures) can be found here
  • 9/14 – Sapphire Ventures has raised $1B across two funds – $700M growth fund and a $300M early stage fund (TechCrunch)
  • 9/14 – Bill Marris, who was recently the head of Google Ventures and also once posed in my favorite picture ever, is planning to raise a new fund according to CNBC. The target is between $350-500M (CNBC)
  • 9/14 – GitHub released stats that indicate that Microsoft is now the #1 committer to open sourced projects, passing Facebook, a big move for a company once adverse to the entire open source movement (Business Insider)
  • 9/14 – Former CEO Phil Libin and Max Levchin are stepping down from Evernote’s board.  Libin is now a partner at General Catalyst (Fortune)
  • 9/14 – GE Digital is acquiring Roanoke-based Meridium for $495M. The Company was bootstrapped until an investment from GE in 2014 (Roanoke.com)
  • 9/15 – Okta is taking steps towards an IPO according to the WSJ, reporting that the Company s hiring for an employee with financial reporting skills for public companies (WSJ $)
  • 9/15 – Oracle is beginning to enter more of the cloud computing battle, beginning to position themselves directly against AWS for IaaS (Business Insider)
  • 9/15 – Pandora is close to launching a new subscription music service “soon” with a deal with Universal Music, Sony and Warner Music. The service will likely cost $5 a month (Re/Code)
  • 9/15 – Infor is working with Morgan Stanley to field takeover offers in a deal that could value the business at more than $9B (Reuters)
  • 9/15 – Mode Media, which used to be known as Glam Media, generated $90M last year in revenue, raised $225M at one point at a $1B valuation and had raised from the likes of DFJ and Accel among others, is shutting down (Re/Code)
  • 9/15 – Apple shares are up 12% on the week as early iPhone purchase data seems positive with the Company adding $60B in market value (WSJ $)
  • 9/15 – Michael Dell has reassured investors and reporters that VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger is committed to the Company for the long-term (The Information $)
  • 9/15 – Apple executive (and co-founder of Beats) Jimmy Iovine indicates that the Company does not have interest in acquiring Tidal, meaning that Apple will not be giving Jay his check (Fortune)
  • 9/15 – Unilever is in discussions to acquire the Honest Company for a number lower than the $1.7B that the Company had raised at last year (WSJ $)
  • 9/16 – Everbridge traded up 20% and raised $90M in its IPO (Bostinno)
  • 9/16 – The story of Asenqa Ventures as told by Dan Primack, a fictitious venture firm (Fortune)
  • 9/16 – Mitel Networks is prepared to make another run at acquiring ShoreTel (CTFN)
  • 9/17 – 20th Century Fox is looking to get an injunction against Netflix to prevent it from hiring more of its employees (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 9/15 – Oracle posted lukewarm earnings with the share price falling 2% in after-hours trading (WSJ $)

Fundings

  • 9/16 – Carbon (f.k.a. Carbon3d), a Redwood City, Calif.-based 3D printing company, has raised $81 million in new Series C funding. BMW Corp., General Electric, Nikon and JSR Corp. were joined by return backers like Google Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
  • 9/15 –  Ripple, a San Francisco-based provider of financial settlement solutions, has raised $55 million in Series B funding. New backers include Standard Chartered, Accenture Ventures, SCB Digital Ventures (VC unit of Siam Commercial Bank), SBI Holdings, Santander Innoventures, CME Group, Seagate Technology and Venture 51. Existing shareholder include Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital Partners and AME Cloud Ventures.
  • 9/15 – BitSight, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cybersecurity ratings startup, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. GGV Capital led the round
  • 9/14 – Industrious, a New York-based operator of “hospitality-focused” co-working spaces, has raised $37 million in Series B funding led by Riverwood Capital.
  • 9/15 – Visual design software startup Lucid Software has raised $36 million in a Series B round from Spectrum Equity.
  • 9/16 – Applause, a Framingham, Mass.-based provider of “in the wild” software testing tools, has raised $35 million in Series F funding. Credit Suisse led the round.
  • 9/12 – Datorama, a New York-based provider of marketing analytics, has raised $32 million in Series C funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/13 – Claroty, a New York and Israel-based provider of operational technology network protection, has raised $32 million in new VC funding. Backers include Bessemer Venture Partners, Innovation Endeavors, Market LLC, ICV, Red Dot Capital Partners and Mitsui & Co.
  • 9/12 – Phononic Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based developer of solid-state technology for cooling and heating, has raised $30 million in new VC funding. GGV Capital and Lookout Capital co-led the round.
  • 9/13 – Cato Networks, an Israel-based “software-defined and cloud-based network with built-in enterprise security,” has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Greylock Partners led the round.
  • 9/14 – CTERA Networks, an Israel-based enterprise file management platform, has raised $25 million in new VC funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/12 – Nuxeo, a New York-based enterprise content management platform, has raised $20 million in new equity funding from Goldman Sachs.
  • 9/13 – Gitlab, an open-source code collaboration platform, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. August Capital led the round.
  • 9/15 – Optimove, a seven-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based maker of retention automation software, has raised $20 million in growth funding from Israel Growth Partners, a private equity investment firm.
  • 9/14 – Dia&Co, a New York-based online retailer for plus sized clothing, has raised a $20 million in new venture funding led by Sequoia Capital.
  • 9/14 – Canva, an online graphic design platform, has raised $15 million in new VC funding at a $345 million valuation from Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.
  • 9/16 – KeyMe, a New York-based provider of a mobile app and in-store kiosks for copying keys, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. QuestMark Partners led the round.
  • 9/14 –  Tipalti, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based supplier payments automation platform, has raised $14 million in new VC funding led by SGVC.
  • 9/16 – Renmatix, a King of Prussia, Penn.-based biofuels company, has raised $14 million in new VC funding. Bill Gates led the round.
  • 9/13 – Quandl, a Toronto-based data platform for investment professionals, has raised C$12 million in Series B funding. Nexus Venture Partners led the round
  • 9/14 – Inbenta, a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of enterprise AI and chatbot solutions, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Level Equity led the round.
  • 9/15 – The Drone Racing League has raised $12 million in new VC funding co-led by Lux Capital and RSE Ventures.
  • 9/12 – Project44, a Chicago-based startup providing APIs to the supply chain, has raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. Emergence Capital led the round.
  • 9/13 – RackWare, a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of enterprise cloud management solutions, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Signal Peak Ventures led the round.
  • 9/16 – Stella, a New York-based personal job recruitment platform, has raised just over $10 million in new VC and debt funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include CRV.
  • 9/12 – Simple, a Brisbane, Australia-based web-based marketing performance management platform, has raised $10 million in venture funding led by Perle Ventures and SparkLabs Global Ventures.
  • 9/14 – Packet, a New York-based “bare metal cloud for developers,” has raised $9.4 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Corp.
  • 9/15 – Ellevest, a year-old, New York-based digital investment platform for women, has raised $9 million in fresh funding from Khosla Ventures, Aspect Ventures, tennis superstar Venus Williams; Ariel Investments president Mellody Hobson; and investor Sonja Perkins, among others.
  • 9/13 – Point, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based home equity investment platform, has raised $8.4 million in Series A funding led by return backer Andreessen Horowitz.
  • 9/12 – Business Talent Group, a New York-based platform for independent consultants and executives doing project-based work, has raised $8 million in Series B funding led by NextEquity Partners.
  • 9/14 – Totango, a San Francisco-based customer success platform, has raised $8 million in Series C funding. Benhamou Global Ventures led the round.
  • 9/16 – Luma, an Atlanta-based maker of home WiFi routers, has raised $7 million in new VC funding. Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures were joined by return backers Accel Partners, Amazon and Felicis  Ventures.
  • 9/14 – Unravel Data, a Menlo Park,  CA – based full stack performance intelligence platform for optimizing big data operations, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures.
  • 9/12 – Blue Prairie Brands Inc., a Scottsbluff, Neb.-based “functional food” startup, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. S2G Ventures led the round.
  • 9/12 –  Fusebill, an Ottawa-based subscription management platform, has raised Cdn$6 million in new VC funding from ScaleUp Ventures and Langdell Investments.
  • 9/13 – OpenClassrooms, a French ed-tech platform focused on professional training and certification related to digital skills, has raised €6 million in new VC funding.
  • 9/14 – Ambra Health (f.k.a. DICOM Grid), a New York-based provider of cloud-based medical imaging management software, has raised $6 million in new VC funding led by Canaan Partners.
  • 9/13 –  Sourcery, a San Francisco-based digital payments and commerce platform for the food and hospitality industry, has raised $5 million in new VC funding. Marker LLC led the round
  • 9/14 –  BrightVolt Inc., a Redmond, Wash.-based maker of ultra-thin film, flexible batteries, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by New Science Ventures.
  • 9/14 – Big Cloud Analytics Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of predictive analytics software to the insurance and healthcare industries, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Edison Partners.
  • 9/14 – Yello, a Chicago-based provider of talent acquisition software, has raised $4.2 million in Series B funding. Argentum led the round
  • 9/15 – Klara, a healthcare messaging startup with offices in Berlin and New York, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Project A Ventures co-led the round
  • 9/14 – Akselos SA, a Swiss developer of engineering simulation technology, has raised $2.2 million in new funding led by Forticap.
  • 9/12 –  GenieBelt, a Copenhagen-based project management and communications platform for the construction industry, has raised €2 million in VC funding led by Danish Solar AS.
  • 9/13 – InstaVR Inc., a San Francisco-based VR authoring, publishing and analysis startup, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by The Venture Reality Fund.
  • 9/14 – Clubhouse Software Inc., a New York-based project management tool for software development teams, has raised $2 million in new VC funding. Resolute Ventures led the round
  • 9/14 –  Sarcos Robotics, a developer of dexterous industrial robots for use in unstructured environments, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Microsoft Corp., Cottonwood Technology Fund and two undisclosed investment firms.
  • 9/15 –  FastPay, a provider of lending and financial workflow solutions to digital businesses, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Citi Ventures.
  • 9/15 – PlumSlice Labs, a San Francisco-based developer of collaborative cloud applications for digital commerce ecosystems, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Kinetic Ventures.
  • 9/16 – Resilinc, a Milpitas, Calif.-based provider of supply chain resiliency and risk management solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from Bright Success Capital, Procyon Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.

Random, long reads
“I’m Not the Lone Wolf” (Bleacher Report) – Chasing Ambien with beer to sleep. Forty-pound weight loss. Chest pains. To stay in football, Urban Meyer had to address his mental health. Now, to help America tackle the issue, Ohio State’s head coach opens up in a B/R Mag exclusive.

The Endless Fall of Suge Knight (Rolling Stone) – He sold America on a West Coast gangster fantasy — and embodied it. Then the bills came due

Fade Route (The Ringer) – Justin Blackmon was one of the most gifted wide receivers in college football history. Then, after bouts with alcohol and the law, he disappeared from view. Those who love him are still trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: September 11, 2016

Last week, today

  • 9/2 – Rocket Internet pre-emptively disclosed that it’s numbers are going to look baddd (TechCrunch)
  • 9/5 – European VC, Northzone, has closed its 8th fund, a €300M early stage fund to focus on investments in the Nordics, London and Berlin (TechCrunch)
  • 9/6 – Intel is buying Movidius, a chipmaker that makes computer vision processors used in drones and virtual reality devices (Re/Code)
  • 9/6 – Palantir filed a lawsuit against an early investor, Marc Abramowitz, alleging that he stole confidential information (Fortune)
  • 9/6 – Twitter’s board is reportedly taking a long look at the Company’s fate as a public company at its upcoming board meeting (Re/Code)
  • 9/6 – Postmastes is reportedly raising at least $100M in a round led by Founders Fund (TechCrunch)
  • 9/6 – Oracle acquired LogFire, a warehouse management system that was backed by Edison Partners, for an undisclosed amount (ZDnet)
  • 9/6 – Box and IBM are jointly creating a new collaboration app due out in January 2017 (Fortune)
  • 9/6 – Dell said its revenue rose 0.6% ahead of the close of its acquisition of EMC (WSJ $)
  • 9/6 – After being rumored to be interested in an acquisition of Slack, Microsoft is now working on Skype Teams, its own Slack competitor (MS Power User)
  • 9/6 – A new report by eMarketer is forecasting that Snapchat revenue will generate $367M in 2016 and $935M in 2017 (TechCrunch)
  • 9/7 – FireEye founder Ashar Aziz is resigning from its board of directors according to an 8-K filing that sounded like my parents in noting that the split was “not the result of any disagreement” (Seeking Alpha)
  • 9/7 – An IPO by Snapchat in late 2016 or at some point in 2017 is “likely” according to the Information (The Information $), but maybe not as they hired Morgan Stanley to raise a credit facility (Re/Code)
  • 9/7 – Intel spins out Intel Security/McAfee to form a new business that was valued at $4.2B. Intel received $3.1B in cash and will retain 49% ownership in the Company. TPG is putting $1.1B into the Company to help the transition and accelerate growth (TechCrunch)
  • 9/7 – Coupa* filed to go public.  Here is the S-1 and here is an analysis of it. The Company also announced that Steve Winter, most recently EVP of Field Operations at Marketo*, would join the company as CRO (VentureBeat)
  • 9/7 – Microsoft is building out data centers in the UK (Fortune)
  • 9/7 – Eventbrite cofounder, Kevin Hartz, is joining Founders Fund as a partner (TechCrunch)
  • 9/7 – Apple’s new iPhones will not have a headphone jack and some other sh*t was announced. Here’s a Buzzfeed article on why
  • 9/7 – Goldman Sachs has moved to open source one of its most valuable technologies (WSJ $)
  • 9/7 – Google is teaming up with Box to “deliver more of Google’s apps to business customers” (Re/Code)
  • 9/7 – HP Enterprise is spinning off $8.8B in non-core software assets and merging them with MicroFocus. HPE will retain 50.1% stake in the business and receive $2.5B in stock (TechCrunch)
  • 9/7 – Grand opening, grand closing – Scott Belsky, the former CEO of Behance (acquired by Adobe) has stepped down as a General Partner at Benchmark (Fortune)
  • 9/8 – MapR has elected to promote from within, giving the Chief Executive nod to President Matt Mills, replacing founder John Schroeder (WSJ)
  • 9/8 – Glassdoor has acquired Love Mondays, what was dubbed the “Glassdoor of Latin America” for an undisclosed amount (TechCrunch)
  • 9/8 – Dustin Moskovitz, the CEO of Asana and co-founder of Facebook, commits $20M to help prevent Donald Trump from being elected. Here is his post on it
  • 9/8 – Revel Systems, which is said to be in discussions to be sold to IBM, inked a deal with Shell to implement point-of-sale systems globally (TechCrunch)
  • 9/8 – Menlo Ventures has (re)hired Shawn Carolan as a Managing Director leading their consumer practice (VentureBeat)
  • 9/8 – Sources say that Jack Dorsey only has a few more quarters to turn things around at Twitter (CNBC)
  • 9/8 – First Round Capital co-founder, Howard Morgan, is stepping down as a partner at year end when the firm begins investing out of its $175M new fund (Fortune)
  • 9/8 – In a bigger deal than it is acquisition, Google is acquiring Apigee for $625M (TechCrunch)
  • 9/8 – Dell will look to cut at least 2,000-3,000 jobs later this year after acquiring EMC (Bloomberg)
  • 9/9 – Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is in talks to be sold (according to Re/Code) to a giant CPG business.. likely either P&G or Unilever (Re/Code)
  • 9/9 – Iconiq Capital is raising a new subsidiary to invest in technology-related real estate including data centers (Bloomberg)
  • 9/9 – Amazon is said to be seeking streaming sports video rights according to Bloomberg (Bloomberg) and planning to double down on in-store retail with 100 pop up stores in US shopping malls (Business Insider)

Fundings

  • 9/8 — OfferUp, a Seattle-based mobile marketplace for U.S. buyers and sellers, has raised $119 million in Series C-1 funding at a valuation north of $1 billion. Warburg Pincus led the round.
  • 9/7 —Postmates is close to finalizing a fundraise of at least $100 million in a round led by Founders Fund.
  • 9/9 — BYJU, an Indian ed-tech startup, has raised $50 million in new VC funding at a reported $500 million valuation. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia Capital co-led the round.
  • 9/7 — PillPack, a 3.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based online pharmacy, is raising up to $40 million in new funding.
  • 9/9 — Celeno, an 11-year-old, Ra’anana, Israel-based company that’s making chips for high-speed WiFi, has raised $38 million in Series F funding led by Temasek-backed Red Dot Capital Partners.
  • 9/9 — SessionM, a Boston-based mobile marketing automation and loyalty platform, has raised $35 million in growth equity funding. General Atlantic led the round.
  • 9/9 — Blackstorm, an app distribution startup, has raised $33.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Rakuten, Highland Capital Partners, Alsop Louie and individual angels.
  • 9/8 — HashiCorp, a San Francisco-based DevOps infrastructure startup, has raised $24 million in Series B funding. GGV Capital led the round.
  • 9/9 — Signifyd, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of fraud protection for e-commerce businesses, has raised $19 million in third-round funding from TriplePoint Capital, American Express Ventures and return backer Menlo Ventures.
  • 9/7 —  GoSpotCheck, a Denver-based field execution management platform, has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/6 — Saildrone, an Alameda, Calif.-based provider of ocean data collected by a fleet of autonomous sailing drones, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Social Capital led the round.
  • 9/9 — SmartAsset, a New York-based, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. IA Capital Group led the round.
  • 9/8 — WSC Sports Technologies, an eight-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based developer of a real-time, customized video creation platform for sports broadcasts, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Intel Capital.
  • 9/9 — Beeswax, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that offers what it calls a bidder-as-a-service — a set of customizable technologies that allows customers to participate in real-time bidding for ad inventory — has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Foundry Group and RRE Ventures.
  • 9/7 — Cheddar, a live news and entertainment startup, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Return backer Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round.
  • 9/7 — MP Objects BV, a Dutch provider of customer chain control SaaS, has raised $10 million in growth equity funding from Updata Partners.
  • 9/7 — Media Startup X, an stealthy startup from Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei, has raised around $10 million in VC funding from firms like Lerer Hippeau Ventures and NBC Universal.
  • 9/9 — Away, a New York-based luggage startup, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Global Founders Capital led the round.
  • 9/9 — Proov.io, a platform that connects enterprises to independent software vendors, has raised $7 million in Series A funding from Mangrove Capital Partners and OurCrowd.
  • 9/9 — Shippo, a San Francisco-based provider of enterprise shipping services, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Union Square Ventures led the round.
  • 9/8 — Dizzion Inc., a Denver-based provider of end-user computing services, has raised $6.4 million in new VC funding. Grotech Ventures and Access Venture Partners co-led the round.
  • 9/9 — Zenedge, a two-year-old, Aventura, Fla.-based cyber security company, has raised $6.2 million in Series C funding led by growth equity investor Pilot Growth Equity.
  • 9/8 — Jobbio, a careers marketplace that connects employers with jobseekers, has raised €5 million ($5.6 million) in a series A round led by NJF Capital.
  • 9/7 — DailyPay Inc., a New York-based provider of daily payment solutions to employees and contractors, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. RPM Ventures led the round.
  • 9/7 —  Intensity Analytics, a Warrenton, Va.-based data security startup, has raised $5 million in VC funding from undisclosed investors.
  • 9/7 —  kWh Analytics, a San Francisco-based risk management platform for the solar industry, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Anthemis Group led the round, and was joined by ENGIE.
  • 9/8 — Octiv, an Indianapolis-based provider of sales productivity solutions, has raised $4.75 million in VC funding from GE Ventures, Greycroft Partners, High Alpha Capital and Allos Partners.
  • 9/6 — VizEat, a Paris-based social dining startup that lets travelers eat in locals’ homes, has raised €3.8 million in new VC funding from backers like Eurovestech.
  • 9/7 — Callstats.io, a Finnish provider of video call performance analytics, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by True Ventures.
  • 9/9 — LiveStories, a Seattle-based data hub for government, has raised $3 million in seed funding. True Ventures led the round.
  • 9/6 — Divido, a British payment startup that lets consumers spread costs over a period of time (while merchants get paid in full immediately), has raised £2.5 million in seed funding co-led by Mangrove Capital and DN Capital.
  • 9/9 — Fluent City, a New York-based provider of foreign language and culture classes, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Learn Capital, New Ground Ventures and 1776 Ventures.
  • 9/8 — Nextail, a Spanish provider of inventory management SaaS, has raised $1.6 million in new VC funding. Nauta Capital led the round.
  • 9/8 — Ousta, an Egyptian ride-hailing app, has raised $1.25 million in bridge funding, according to TechCrunch.
  • 9/9 — Connected2Fiber, a Hopkinton, Mass.-based market participation SaaS platform for the telecom network industry, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by Nauta Capital.
  • 9/6 — Zettabox, a London-based provider of cloud storage and big-file transfer services for the enterprise, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from individuals like Henrik Kraft (ex-KKR).

Random, long reads
The Legend of Elden Kidd, America’s Most Dedicated, Most Creative People Smuggler (GQ) – A decade in the life of our country’s wiliest coyote.

Inside the Cutthroat Rivalry Between Two of L.A.’s Elite Preschools (LA Mag) – Money. Gossip. Ambition. When the cofounders of Santa Monica’s Cassidy Preschool left to start a new school, things got ugly fast

Through the Looking Glass (Mary Review) – In the bizarro world of Miss America, losers smile and winners sob.
*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: September 5, 2016

Last week, today

  • 8/26 – Apptio, which has raised $136M from Madrona, Greylock and Shasta and was last valued at $900M in2013, filed for an IPO. The Company grew to $129.3M in 2015, up from $73.8M in 2013 (Seattle Times)
  • 8/26 – Snapchat has launched behavioral targeting to benefit advertisers (Business Insider)
  • 8/26 – Spotify says it isn’t punishing artists that sign exclusive deals with Apple and Tidal (Re/Code)
  • 8/28 – Nutanix acquired Calm.io and PernixData, which had raised $62M over a few rounds from Menlo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins (Fortune)
  • 8/29 – Following the acquisition of EMC, Dell is moving to prioritize “private clouds” and making them easier to use for their customers (WSJ $)
  • 8/29 – In the always exciting world of ride sharing, Alphabet’s Chief Legal Officer, has stepped down from Uber’s board of directors (Re/Code)
  • 8/29 –  VMware announced Cloud Foundation, which is its latest foray into cloud computing and will combine storage, networking and virtualization into one place (Bloomberg)
  • 8/29 – The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is about to get hit with the largest tax penalty in EU history (Business Insider)
  • 8/30 – Google is taking dozens of Nest engineers to work on its smart home (and competitor to Amazon Echo) team reporting to Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer (Fortune)
  • 8/30 – Cisco bought ContainerX for an undisclosed amount (Fortune)
  • 8/30 – KRR has agreed to buy call-center software maker Calabrio for $200M in an all-equity transaction (WSJ $)
  • 8/30 – Uber has poached one of Target’s key executives, CMO Jeff Jones, as its president (Fortune)
  • 8/30 – Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly reportedly approached Intel about raising an additional $1B in new money. It’s unclear if the Company received the funding (VentureBeat)
  • 8/31 – On-demand laundry service, Washio, has shut down its operations after raising $16.8M from Canaan, AME Venture Partners, Nas and Ashton Kutcher (TechCrunch)
  • 8/31 – Twitter stock jumped 5% on co-founder Evan Williams’ statement that the Company “would have to consider the right options” with regard to the acquisition environment (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/31 – Flipagram, which last raised $70M between $300-400M from Sequoia, Kleiner and Index, is trying to find a buyer (Re/Code)
  • 8/31 – Hackers stole nearly 70M customer passwords and emails from Dropbox in a 2012 hack after an employee re-used a password (Business Insider)
  • 8/31 – Hyde Park Venture Partners raised a $65M fund, its second, to make seed stage investments in the Midwest (Chicago Tribune)
  • 8/31 – Bloomberg did a great deep dive into Amazon’s plans for logistics and whether or not it is gunning to kill Fedex and UPS (Bloomberg)
  • 8/31 – Infoblox, a $1.3B network security company, has officially entered a process to sell itself after activist investor Starboard Value applied pressure and Thoma Bravo approached the Company earlier this year. Shares were up 10% at one point on the news and finished up close to 7% (Reuters)
  • 9/1 – There was a SpaceX explosion where the Company lost a $200M satellite and Facebook was sad (TechCrunch)
  • 9/1 – The former CEO of RelateIQ (and SalesforceIQ), Steve Loughlin, has left to become the newest partner at Accel (Forbes)
  • 9/1 – HP Enterprise is in talks to sell itself (potentially to Thoma Bravo) in a deal that could be worth between $8 and $10B. The Company has already received offers as high as $7.5B in a sale process being managed by Goldman Sachs (Reuters)
  • 9/1 – The WSJ did a deep dive into the returns for Andreessen Horowitz, which had Andreessen Horowitz not that pumped and then Dan Primack weighed in
  • 9/1 – Salesforce paid $110M in its acquisition of BeyondCore according to recently disclosed SEC documents (TechCrunch)
  • 9/1 – Despite looming jail time, Gurbaksh Chahal is still running operations at Gravity4 (TechCrunch)
  • 9/1 – TPG is said to be among the final possible bidders for Intel Security Unity, McAfee (Bloomberg)
  • 9/1 – Salesforce is looking to share more details about its Einstein initiative before Oracle’s conference in two weeks, which could be a big coincidence or probably not (Fortune)
  • 9/2 – Amazon poached eBay’s artificial intelligence head, Hassan Sawaf to help lead its own AI initiatives (WSJ $)
  • 9/3 – According to the Economist, Uber tried to buy Lyft in 2014 but the discussions fell over due to price (Business Insider). GM also expressed interest in buying Lyft for up to $6B, while left was looking for a number closer to $9B (The Information $)
  • 9/4 – Business Insider has the story on how Cargomatic, which counts Canaan Partners as its main investor, blew through $15M, laid off 50% of its workforce (more than 50 people and pivoted away from being a tech company to a traditional brokerage (Business Insider)
  • 9/4 – A former Rothenberg Ventures employee is now suing the firm over breach of contract and $100K in business-related American Express expenses (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 8/30 – Veeva beat earnings and traded up 4% with subscription revenue growth of 40% year-over-year (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/30 – Palo Alto Networks announced a $500M share repurchase and 49% y/y revenue. The stock traded up 2% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/31 – Salesforce earnings fell flat and the stock traded down 8% on the news (TechCrunch)
  • 8/31 – Box beat earnings expectations and shares traded up 5% in the aftermarket before flattening out (TechCrunch)

Financings

  • 9/1 — DraftKings, the five-year-old, Boston-based fantasy sports site, has raised $153 million in fresh funding from new investors, including Revolution Growth.
  • 8/31 — Compass, a New York-based online real estate buying, selling and renting platform, has raised $75 million in Series D funding. Wellington Management Co. led the round.
  • 8/30 — LogRhythm, a Boulder, Colo.-based cybersecurity company, has raised $40 million in new equity financing. Existing backer Riverwood Capital Management led the round.
  • 8/30 —  Zillion Group, a Norwalk, Conn.-based provider of digital health engagement solutions, has raised $28 million in Series C funding led by TwinFocus Capital Partners.
  • 8/30 —  Behalf, a New York-based commercial payment platform for small businesses, has raised $27 million in Series C funding. Viola Growth led the round.
  • 8/30 — Glint, a Redwood City, Calif.-based real-time employee engagement platform, has raised $27 million in Series C funding. Meritech Capital Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners co-led the round.
  • 8/31 — Velocity, a digital hospitality app, has raised $22.5 million in new VC funding led by DIG Investments.
  • 8/29 — Mediamorph, a New York-based provider of media and entertainment data management and analytics, has raised $21.2 million in Series C funding. Advance Vixeid Partners led the round.
  • 8/30 —  BBOXX, a London-based off-grid solar company, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. New investors MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and KawiSafi Ventures were joined by return backers Khosla Impact Fund, Bamboo Finance and DOEN Foundation.
  • 8/31 —  Mavrx, a San Francisco-based developer of aerial imagery technologies, has secured $12.42 million of a $17.08 million Series A round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Eclipse Ventures.
  • 8/29 — BlueTalon, a three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that aims to help companies enforce consistent data access controls on increasingly complex data infrastructures, has raised $16 million in Series A financing led by Maverick Ventures.
  • 9/1 — Sense, a Boston-based home energy usage and awareness platform, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Shell Technology Ventures and Energy Impact Partners co-led the round.
  • 9/2 —  Boku, a San Francisco direct carrier billing mobile payments company, has raised $13.75 million in new VC funding. Return backers include Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures.
  • 8/30 — Blackwood Seven, a Copenhagen-based predictive sales modeling platform, has raised €13.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include JOLT Capital, Sunstone Capital, Conor Venture Partners and the Danish Growth Fund.
  • 8/30 —  Shyft Analytics, a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of cloud data and analytics for the global life sciences industry, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding. Backers include McKesson Ventures, Medidata Solutions and return backers Health Enterprise Partners and Milestone Venture Partners.
  • 9/2 — Bitmovin, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based HTTP video streaming solutions and cloud server encoding systems developer company has raised $10.3 million in Series A funding led by Atomico.
  • 8/31 — Cozy, a Portland, Ore.-based platform for interactions between property managers and renters, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. American Family Ventures led the round.
  • 8/30 —  Intsights, an Israel-based provider of cybersecurity solutions focused on the dark web, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Blumberg Capital led the round.
  • 8/29 — Helix Sleep, a New York-based mattress startup, has raised $7.35 million in Series A funding. Backers include Double J Capital, Simon Venture Group, Western Technology Investments, Great Oaks VC and individual angels.
  • 8/30 — GOAT, a Cuilver City, Calif.-based mobile marketplace for used and collectible sneakers, has raised $5 million in new VC funding. Matrix Partners led the round.
  • 8/31 — DailyPay, a New York-based startup that helps enable employees and contractors to receive daily payments, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. RPM Ventures led the round.
  • 8/29 — Vroozi, a Los Angeles-based provider of B2B procurement solutions, has raised $4 million in growth equity funding led by Ally Holdings.
  • 8/31 — Revuze, an Israeli startup that applies AI to both brand and product management, has raised $4 million in strategic seed funding. Backers include Nielsen, The NPD Group and TIC Group.
  • 9/1 —  RedShelf, a Chicago-based digital content platform for higher education, has raised $4 million in Series B funding. Coniston Capital led the round.
  • 9/1 —  Aromyx, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of “technology that captures the human sensory experience of taste and scent,” has raised $3.6 million in VC funding via the Propel(x) platform.
  • 9/1 — Renoviso, a Boston-based recommendation engine for home renovation professionals, has raised $3.5 million in new VC funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round.
  • 8/30 — DogHero, a Brazilian dog-sitting startup, has raised $3.1 million in Series A funding. Monashees Capital led the round.
  • 9/1 — Cordata Healthcare Innovations, a Cincinnati-based specialty care coordimnation platform, has raised just under $3 million in Series A funding (including convertible note conversion). First Health Capital Partners led the round.
  • 9/2 — Beyond Verbal, an Israeli developer of voice-driven emotions analytics, has raised $3 million in Series A funding. KuangChi Science Ltd. led the round.
  • 9/1 — Mux, a San Francisco-based developer of performance analytics for video developers and media publishers, has raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Backers include SV Angel, Lowercase Capital, Susa Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, Advancit Capital, Pathbreaker Ventures, Y Combinator and individual angels.
  • 8/30 — Revelator, an Israel-based online platform for distributing, selling and licensing music, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding. Exigent Capital led the round.
  • 8/31 — Pusher, a five-year-old, London-based cloud-based service that allows developers to quickly and easily add realtime functionality to their web apps, has raised $2.5 million from SaaS Capital.
  • 8/29 — Rheo, a San Francisco-based personalized video channel, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Accomplice led the round.
  • 8/31 — Tank Utility, a Boston-based provider of remote monitoring services for truck-delivered fuels, has raised $2.2 million in seed funding. Energy Foundry and Blue Fog Capital co-led the round.
  • 8/30 — Camino Financial, a Los Angeles-based online credit marketplace focused on extending small business loans to Hispanic-owned businesses, has raised $2 million in new VC funding. Collaborative Fund and Hunt Holdings co-led the round.
  • 8/30 —  Genvid Technologies, a New York-based provider of tools for developers to use in e-sports broadcasts, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, March Capital Partners led the round.
  • 9/2 — Criquet Shirts, an Austin, Texas-based men’s clothing startup, has raised $1.4 million in Series A funding led by CircleUp.
  • 9/1 — DefinedCrowd, a year-old, Kirkland, Wa.-based data science company, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Sony Innovation Fund, Amazon Alexa Fund, and Portugal Ventures.
  • 8/30 — Galactic Exchange Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of deployment and management software for Hadoop/Spark based infrastructures and associated analytics applications, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Floodgate and Signia Venture Partners.
  • 8/30 — Senic, a German developer of hardware and software that lets users “more easily interact with their smart homes,” has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Target Partners.
  • 8/31 — Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based provider of cloud application and infrastructure solutions for enterprise customers, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding. Return backers include Rackspace, State Street Bank and Pritzker Group Venture Capital.
  • 8/31 — RxAdvance, a Southborough, Mass.-based pharmacy benefits management company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Oscar Salazar (Uber co-founder) and Walter Jin (Three Fields Capital).
  • 8/29 — StudySoup, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace that works as an online study group for students looking to sell or purchase class notes and study guides, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from 1776, Canyon Creek Capital, and 500 Startups.

Random, long reads
I’m going to keep letting the actual authors write their own ledes if possible.  Italics, their words – not, mine

Framed – She was the PTA Mom Everyone Knew. Who Would Want to Harm Her? (LA Times) – A super bizarre story about an innocuous incident turned into a diabolical crime turned into a modern day Desperate Housewives-type story that brought down a highly educated and well of suburban couple. I’m not sure why this is as interesting as it is as a crime story – no one was killed or even truly hurt, but the pettiness of the defendants and the harmlessness of the victim make it into a fascinating look into just how crazy some people are.

How Chance the Rapper’s Life Became Perfect (GQ) – At just 23, Chance The Rapper has already earned the love and respect of his elders, like Kanye West, who let him lead off on The Life of Pablo, and his musical peers, who hear a generational voice in his third mixtape, Coloring Book. He’s so positive he seems to walk around on a beam of light, even though he comes from an American city going through one of its darkest chapters. And yet that light just keeps getting brighter. This is Chance’s moment, nobody else speak.

The Revenge of Roger’s Angels (NY Mag) – It took 15 days to end the mighty 20-year reign of Roger Ailes at Fox News, one of the most storied runs in media and political history. Ailes built not just a conservative cable news channel but something like a fourth branch of government; a propaganda arm for the GOP; an organization that determined Republican presidential candidates, sold wars, and decided the issues of the day for 2 million viewers. That the place turned out to be rife with grotesque abuses of power has left even its liberal critics stunned. More than two dozen women have come forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment, and what they have exposed is both a culture of misogyny and one of corruption and surveillance, smear campaigns and hush money, with implications reaching far wider than one disturbed man at the top.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: August 28, 2016

Last week, today

  • 8/19 – Everbridge, an emergency communication/notification provider, has filed for a $90M IPO after posting $58.7M in revenue (38% y/y) and a loss of $10.8M in 2015 (Bostinno)
  • 8/19 – The SEC is investigating whether or not Silver Lake properly disclosed fees it earned when selling companies or taking them public (WSJ)
  • 8/22 – Bloomberg has stats from Axiom Capital Management that seem to indicate that usage of Pokemon GO has peaked (Bloomberg)
  • 8/22 – Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers and Jeff Stibel of the D&B Credibility Corp have launched a $100M venture capital firm, because of course they did (WSJ $)
  • 8/22 – Charlie O’Donnell has raised $15M for his second Brooklyn Bridge Ventures fund (Forbes)
  • 8/22 – Media.net was acquired for $900M by a Chinese consortium in one of the largest deals in ad-tech history (TechCrunch)
  • 8/22 – Microsoft is buying an AI scheduling start-up called Genee, shutting down the service and embedding the tech into its existing product (Re/Code)
  • 8/23 – Bloomberg has the story on how HotelTonight* went from burning millions a month to profitable in a few months (Bloomberg)
  • 8/23 – In preparation for an IPO next year, Spotify is looking to clean up its contracts with major record labels, which have been on month-to-month contracts at least in part of late (WSJ $)
  • 8/23 – Chandar Pattabhiram has been promoted to SVP and CMO of Marketo to replace departed executive Sanjay Dholakia (Marketo)
  • 8/23 – Informatica, which was taken private by Permira and Canada Pension Plan for $5.3B last year, said that it plans to double its valuation over the course of the next 5 years (Fortune)
  • 8/23 – Pinterest bought Instapaper for an undisclosed amount (Business Insider)
  • 8/23 – One Kings Lane sold for less than $30M after being valued at $900M and raising more than $100M according to people familiar with the matter (Re/Code)
  • 8/23 – Tableau has appointed AWS executive, Adam Selipsky, as CEO. The stock was up 12% on the news (GeekWire)
  • 8/23 – Austin-based S3 Ventures has raised $75M for a new fund to invest in mostly Texas-based start-ups (512 Tech)
  • 8/24 – Forbes does a deep dive into Salesforce disclosing that its bundle of AI products will be called Salesforce Einstein that will be unveiled at Dreamforce and that RelateIQ CEO Steve Loughlin will be leaving to pursue opportunities in venture capital (Forbes)
  • 8/24 – CRV did what YG did a few months ago and declared “F*ck Donald Trump” (TechCrunch)
  • 8/25 – Apple is debuting a video viewing and editing app in a renewed push into social networking and sharing (Bloomberg)
  • 8/25 – Atlassian now will let you hire freelancers directly from Jira (TechCrunch)
  • 8/25 – Uber reportedly lost $1.2B in the first half of the year according to Bloomberg, including a loss in the US (Bloomberg)
  • 8/25 – True Ventures closed its fifth $310, which is up from the $290M it raised in 2014 (TechCrunch)
  • 8/25 – WhatsApp and Facebook are opening up the WhatsApp platform to sharing data to Facebook for increased ad targeting (Re/Code)
  • 8/25 – SAP is close to acquiring Altiscale, which provides a cloud version of Hadoop and has raised $42M from the likes of Accel, General Catalyst and Sequoia, for $125M (VentureBeat)
  • 8/25 – Google Fiber appears to be headed towards job cuts according to a Fortune article (Fortune)
  • 8/26 – Rackspace is officially going private with a $4.3B acquisition by private equity firm Apollo (TechCrunch)
  • 8/26 – TechCrunch is reporting that the company with the single worst name ever, mobile marketing attribution vendor, AppLovin, is in talks to be purchased for $1.5B by a Chinese buyer. TechCrunch also reported that the Company did $234M in revenue in 2015 and is profitable (TechCrunch)
  • 8/26 – In an annoying move, Facebook removed the description for trending topics in an attempt to make the product more global and increase the ability for personalization (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 8/24 – Workday beats earnings, growing 37% y/y with the stock trading 5% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/24 – HP Enterprise announced earnings and traded down 4.5% in afterhours (VentureBeat)
  • 8/25 – Splunk traded down 6% despite better than expected earnings and increased guidance (Seeking Alpha)

Financings

  • 8/23 – Quanergy Systems, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of solid state LiDAR sensors and smart sensing solutions, has raised $90 million at a valuation north of $1 billion. Backers include Sensata Technologies (NYSE: ST), Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH), Samsung Ventures, Motus Ventures and GP Capital.
  • 8/25 – ClearCare, a San Francisco-based software platform for home care agencies, has raised $60 million in growth equity funding led by Battery Ventures.
  • 8/23 – LendUp, a San Francisco-based direct lender focused on non-prime borrowers, has raised $47.5 million in Series C funding. Y Combinator Continuity led the round.
  • 8/22 – Virtru, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of encryption and data protection solutions, has raised $29 million in Series A funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round
  • 8/24 – DroneDeploy, a San Francisco-based drone data management platform, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Scale Venture Partners led the round.
  • 8/25 – BlueTalon Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of “data-centric security solutions,” has raised $16 million in Series A funding. Maverick Ventures led the round.
  • 8/25 – Auth0, a Bellevue, Wash.-based universal identity platform, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Trinity Ventures led the round.
  • 8/26 – Songkick, a New York-based artist-ticketing and concert discovery platform, has raised $15 million in new VC funding from Access Industries.
  • 8/23 – ThreatQuotient, a Reston, Va.-based provider of a threat intelligence platform, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round.
  • 8/26 – Symphony Commerce, a San Francisco-based provider of commerce-as-a-service solutions, has raised $11 million in new VC funding. Backers include CRV, Blue Cloud Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and FirstMark Capital.
  • 8/23 – Logikcull, a San Francisco-based legal intellifence startup, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. OpenView Venture Partners led the round.
  • 8/25 – SelfScore, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup that uses “data analytics and machine learning to measure credit potential,” has raised $7 million in new Series A funding. Pelion Venture Partners led the round.
  • 8/23 – MediaBrix, a New York-based provider of contextual and “emotionally-targeted” mobile brand experiences, has raised $6.5 million in new funding from Edison Partners, Revel Partners and Horizon Technology Finance.
  • 8/24 – Centricient, a Bozeman, Mon.-based provider of text messaging solutions for connecting companies with customers, has raised $6.5 million in new VC funding. Venrock led the round.
  • 8/25 – Prenav, a San Carlos, Calif.-based navigation system for drones, has raised $6.5 million in seed funding. Crosslink Capital led the round.
  • 8/24 – SigOpt, a San Francisco-based research optimization and machine learning startup, has raised $6 million in new VC funding led by return backer Andreessen Horowitz.
  • 8/25 – SkyGiraffe, a San Mateo, Calif.-based enterprise mobility platform “that enables organizations to mobilize line-of-business systems,” has raised $6 million in new VC funding. SGVC led the round.
  • 8/26 – Gobiquity, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based provider of mobile vision screening technology, has raised $6 million in Series B funding led by InterWest Partners.
  • 8/26 – Dice, a London-based ticketing startup that doesn’t use booking fees, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Evolution Equity Partners led the round.
  • 8/24 – Bitfinder, a Palo Alto, CA.-based maker of AWAIR, a product to improve indoor air quality, raised $4.5m in Series A funding led by Altos Ventures.
  • 8/26 – Grabr, a San Francisco-based P2P delivery platform, has raised $3.5 million in VC funding from RBV Capital and N-Trans Group.
  • 8/24 – Wooptix, a Spain-based developer of 3D imaging solutions for smartphones and other devices, has raised $3.3 million in Series A funding. Bullnet Capital and Intel Capital co-led the round.
  • 8/25 – Navisens, a San Francisco-based developer of 3D location tracking solutions via smartphone sensors, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding. Resolute Ventures led the round.
  • 8/24 – MeQ Inc. (d.b.a. Even), a San Francisco-based developer of personalized listening technology, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Firstime Venture Capital.
  • 8/22 – InsiteVR, a provider of virtual reality-based modeling solutions for architects, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Backers include Y Combinator, CyberAgent Ventures, GREE VR Fund and individual angels.
  • 8/23 – Journi, an Austria-based travel journal app, has raised €400,000 in seed funding from the Austrian Federal Promotional Bank.
  • 8/23 – Cliqz, a German anti-tracking browser, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Mozilla.
  • 8/26 – Salesfloor, a Montreal-based provider of online sales management, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by White Star Capital.

Random, long reads
I’m behind on a bunch of other things unfortunately today, so I’m going to let the articles write the intros for themselves by using the leads

The Uber Killer: The Real Story of One Night of Terror (GQ) – On a Saturday evening in February, a 45-year-old Uber driver and father of two named Jason Dalton got into his car, left his home near Kalamazoo, Michigan, and began shooting people. But the strangest, most unfathomable thing about the night that Dalton killed and killed again is what he did in between.

Urban Outfitters Bares All (Philly Mag) – We venture inside the secretive $3.4 billion empire as it reaches a crucial crossroad.

The Mask of Deception: The Ultimate Test to My Recovery From Porn Addiction (Long Reads) – Novelist Benjamin Obler was feeling secure in his recovery from porn addiction. Then along came Franny, to test it.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: August 21, 2016

Last week, today

  • 8/5 – Somehow missed this one, but Bob Stutz, who previously led Microsoft Dynamics’ CRM division is taking over as the head of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, replacing CEO Scott McCorkle who came on with the acquisition of ExactTarget* (Ad Exchanger)
  • 8/12 – Adobe is stopping the practice of software license audits in Americas and Europe as the Company has moved further to the cloud (and presumably needs to audit its on-prem revenue less) (The Register)
  • 8/14 – Groupon is quietly winning back investors and the stock is up nearly 90% this year after retrenching globally, shedding offices in 21 countries and cutting 2,000 jobs (20% of its workforce) (WSJ $)
  • 8/15 – Instagram launched three tools to help its advertisers 1. Business Profiles (allowing businesses to stand out from consumer profiles) 2. Insights (allowing businesses to see what is working) 3. Promote (giving businesses the ability to promote posts that are working) (Wired)
  • 8/15 – Workday announces a seven year deal to use IBM’s cloud computing services, which gives IBM a “win” over Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet (WSJ)
  • 8/15 – Salesforce acquires BeyondCore, which had raised $9M from Menlo Ventures, to bolster its enterprise analytics and business intelligence (TechCrunch)
  • 8/15 – Snapchat is acquiring mobile search app Vurb for $110M+ (75% stock and 25% cash) + a $75M year multi-year package for founder and CEO Bobby Lo (TechCrunch)
  • 8/15 – Dropbox is in talks with advisors about a possible 2017 IPO according to Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
  • 8/15 – Nutanix* is said to start its IPO roadshow as soon as September after re-filing its public paperwork for the first time in December (Bloomberg)
  • 8/16 – Kahuna has hired GM/SVP from SAP SuccessFactors, Sameer Patel, as its CEO following the departure of founder Adam Marcus earlier this year (PR Newswire)
  • 8/16 – Google launches Duo, its video-calling app that is intended to compete against Apple’s FaceTime (TechCrunch)
  • 8/16 – Univision is buying the bankrupt Gawker Media for $135M (Re/Code) and shutting down the Gawker.com site (Business Insider)
  • 8/16 – Susa Ventures announces a new $50M fund, its second after raising a $25M one in 2013 (VentureBeat)
  • 8/16 – Yik Yak completes its pivot away from anonymity with a “more engaging personal feed” for status messages and a feed of nearby users (The Verge)
  • 8/16 – Ford announces intention to have a fleet of fully autonomous cars operating in a ride-hail service by 2021 (Re/Code)
  • 8/17 – Cisco is laying off 5,500 employees as it restructures its business and tries to shift towards more software sales from its legacy hardware base. The layoff will represent 7% of its workforce (Re/Code)
  • 8/17 – Rothenberg Ventures has lost several members of its leadership team (TechCrunch) and may be on the brink of implosion after an employee reported wire fraud and breach of fiduciary duty (TechCrunch)
  • 8/17 – Cyanogen, which has been struggling through some layoffs over the course of the last few months, apparently may have far less users than it previously touted (The Information $)
  • 8/18 – The legal battle with Domo and a former manager that is fighting to get information about the Company is escalating beyond the initial complaint (WSJ $)
  • 8/18 – Hampton Creek is facing SEC scrutiny for its practices around buying its own product (Business Insider)
  • 8/18 – Uber and Volvo have committed $300M to develop autonomous cars together (Re/Code)
  • 8/18 – Atlassian’s Hipchat beat Slack to adding video to its chat app (Fortune)
  • 8/18 – Google has secretly acquired the team at mobile app development company Apportable (Venture Beat)
  • 8/18 – Vista Equity has agreed to acquire Granicus, a provider of software focused on government efficiency and transparency, from K1 Investment Management, who will retain a minority position (PE Hub)
  • 8/18 – Rakuten bought struggling bitcoin start-up, Bitnet, which raised $14.5M two years ago from Highland Capital (TechCrunch)
  • 8/18 – Uber has reportedly paid $680M to buy Otto, which developed a kit that lets big-rig trucks drive themselves on highways and was founded by four former Googlers who worked on Google Maps (Bloomberg)
  • 8/18 – According to Gartner, Android’s smartphone market share hit 86.2% in Q2 2016 (TechCrunch)
  • 8/18 – WeWork is going a bit against its original business model, now pursuing opportunities with companies to lock in year-long rental agreements vs. the previous month-to-month (The Information $)
  • 8/19 – Vevo, which is 80% owned by UMG and Sony, is looking to raise $500M from outside investors to fund international expansion, potential acquisitions and the development of new mobile and TV services (FT $)
  • 8/19 – What was kind of implied over the last few weeks has been confirmed by the NYT – Lyft was said to be seeking a buyer and held talks with GM, Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber and Didi Chuxing. The talks were most serious with GM although the Company never submitted an offer. Lyft still has $1.4B in cash so it is not in near shutting down (NYT)
  • 8/19 – Dropbox is replacing its current CFO due to health reasons (VentureBeat)
  • 8/19 – Lyft is pausing its carpool service less than five months after rolling it out (TechCrunch)
  • 8/19 – Pandora is nearing a deal with the major record labels that will allow it to launch an on-demand music streaming service (WSJ $)
  • 8/19 – After rumors of an acquisition by Honewell, JDA Software has received a $570M investment from Blackstone with participation from existing investor New Mountain Capital (Yahoo Finance)

Earnings

  • 8/17 – Cisco fell 1.5% in afterhours following its earnings release and announcing 5,500 layoffs (Seeking Alpha)

Financings

  • 8/16 – Rubrik, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of converged data management solutions, has raised $61 million in Series C funding. Khosla Ventures led the round.
  • 8/15 –  Galvanize, a Denver-based tech education service, has raised $45 million in Series B funding led by ABS Capital Partners.
  • 8/19 –  Ecobee, a Toronto-based smart thermostat maker, has raised $35 million in new VC funding from the Amazon Alexa Fund, Thomvest and Relay Ventures.
  • 8/18 – ID Experts, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of software and services for cyber breach and identity fraud protection, has raised $27.5 million in new VC funding. Peloton Equity and Trident Capital Cybersecurity co-led the round.
  • 8/17 – Clara, a San Francisco-based home financing platform, has raised $27 million in new VC funding led by Redpoint Ventures and Venrock.
  • 8/15 – Outfittery, a Berlin-based curated shopping service, has raised $22 million in new VC funding led by Octopus Ventures.
  • 8/16 – FloSports, a subscription-based director-to-consumer sports media company, has raised $21.2 million in new VC funding. DCM and Berlesmann Digital Media Investments co-led the round.
  • 8/17 – ColorChip, an Israel-based designer and manufacturer of optical sub-systems and components for the datacom and telecom markets, has raised $20 million in funding from Gemini Israel Funds, BRM Group, IGP, Vintage, HGL Capital, and Viola Credit.
  • 8/19 – CellSavers, an on-demand mobile repair platform, has raised $15 million in Series A funding. Carmel Ventures led the round.
  • 8/15 – Zenoti, a Mercer Island, Wash.-based provider of a cloud-based management platform for the spa and salon markets, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from Norwest.
  • 8/18 – Dreamlines, a Denmark-based cruise portal, has raised $14 million in new VC funding from Altpoint Ventures, Dimaventures, and Hasso Plattner Ventures.
  • 8/17 – EventBoard, a Salt Lake City-based provider of cloud-based meeting tools and analytics, has raised $13.5 million in Series B funding. NGP led the round.
  • 8/16 – ReviMedia Group BV, a New York-based provider of online lead generation and lead exchange solutions, has raised $12.5 million in equity funding from New Spring Growth Capital.
  • 8/16 – Nymbus, a Florida- based provider of cloud-based solutions for core banking, has raised $12 million in new VC funding led by Vensure Enterprises.
  • 8/17 – Rotation Medical Inc, a Plymouth, Minn.-based developer of medical devices to treat rotator cuffs, has raised $12 million in new Series B funding (tranched out, with $8m up front).
  • 8/19 – Heap, a San Francisco-based analytics infrastructure startup, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. NEA led the round.
  • 8/16 – Pixelligent, a Baltimore-based developer of OLED products, has raised $10.4 million in Series C funding. Backers include the Abell Foundation, the Bunting Family Office and David Testa.
  • 8/18 – Fictiv, a Calif.-based manufacturing platform for fabricating parts, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Accel Partners.
  • 8/17 – Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, has raised $10 million in Series B funding from NEA, Felix Capital and 14W Venture Partners.
  • 8/17 – Stash, a New York-based investment platform for millennials, has raised $9.25 million in Series A funding. Goodwater Capital led the round.
  • 8/16 – Vettery, a New York-based hiring marketplace, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners and Raine Ventures.
  • 8/18 – NextHealth, a Denver-based healthcare analytics platform aimed at reducing costs for insurers, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners.
  • 8/17 – EasyVista, a New York-based provider of service management for IT organizations, has raised $8.4 million in new convertible debt funding from Isatis Capital, Alto Invest and Conversion Venture Capital.
  • 8/15 – Firefly Games, a Los Angeles-based startup that aims to distribute top-grossing Asian mobile games to Western markets, has raised $8 million in new VC funding from Skyocean International Holdings, Ceyuan Ventures, and Guang Zhou Win Hi.
  • 8/18 – VUV Analytics, an Austin, Texas-based developer of vacuum ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. New Science Ventures led the round.
  • 8/15 – HeavenHR, a Berlin-based HR management platform for small and mid-sized enterprises, has raised €6 million in Series A funding co-led by Target Global and Open Ocean.
  • 8/17 – Pymetrics, a New York- based job marketplace, has raised $6.1 million in Series A funding from Khosla Ventures and BBG ventures.
  • 8/18 – DriveTribe, a London-based digital media platform focused on “motoring and adventure,” has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding. Breyer Capital led the round.
  • 8/18 – Happify, a New York-based provider of emotional wellbeing and mental health software, has raised $5 million in VC funding from Marketplace Fund II and Hills Capital.
  • 8/17 – Owl Labs, a video conferencing platform maker, has raised $5 million in new VC funding from Antonio Rodriguez and iRobot Ventures.
  • 8/18 – ZeroCater, a San Francisco-based corporate catering startup, has raised $4.1 million in new VC funding from Romulus Capital and Struck Capital.
  • 8/16 – Degreed, a San Francisco-based platform for career and lifelong learning, has raised $3.5 million in new Series B funding from GSV Acceleration.
  • 8/19 – Dexter, a New York-based bot building platform, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Rakuten Ventures led the round.
  • 8/18 – Netlify, a startup for building, deploying and hosting static sites or apps that is integrated with GitHub, has raised $2.1 million in VC funding from Bloomberg Beta and Tank Hill Ventures.
  • 8/18 – Instavest, a social investing platform, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from backers like Y Combinator and Cherubic Ventures.
  • 8/19 – NVBots, a Boston-based developer of automated 3D printing solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Woodman Asset Management.
  • 8/19 – DevMynd, a Chicago-based digital innovation consulting firm, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Motorola Solutions Venture Capital.
  • 8/15 – Onfido, a San Francisco-based identity verification and background checking provider, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Salesforce Ventures, Talis Capital and individual angels.

Random, long reads
BOOMIN! A day in the life of 16-year-old rare-sneaker dealer Benjamin Kickz (NY Magazine) – The story of a 16 year old kid living in Miami, who has become a rare sneaker reseller to stars in the hip-hop community and friends with the likes of DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, and a number of other artists.

An Oral History of Tin Cup: One of Golf’s Most Iconic Movies Ever Made (Gold.com) – Tin Cup remains one of the all-time sports movies and one of the few to accurately capture some of the authenticity of golf. The key contributors from the movie look back on it for its 20th anniversary.

Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy (Bloomberg) – In an effort to cut cost, Walmart has also cut a number of basic security-related things that other retail stores use. This has led to a crazy amount of crime over the last few years that has police departments furious and Walmart apologizing while trying to find a solution to it. The how and the why of this problem are pretty fascinating.. and now they need to figure out what comes next.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here

Tech Weekly Newsletter: August 14, 2016

Last week, today

  • 8/5 – Hootsuite is now cash flow positive according to its founder and CEO, Ryan Holmes, with the CEO touting that its financial systems are now in place for a potential IPO (Fortune)
  • 8/8 – Rackspace announced that it was selling its Cloud Sites web hosting business to Liquid Web (backed by Madison Dearborn Partners) for an undisclosed amount (TechCrunch)
  • 8/8 – Google reportedly purchased Orbitera, which helps automate the buying and selling of cloud-based products, for over $100M. The Company had raised $2M from Resolute.vc, Double M Partners and a handful of angels (TechCrunch)
  • 8/8 – The one-off IPO market might be coming to an end with JPMorgan’s global head of equity capital markets indicating the firm has 20 IPOs lined up and ready to go in September (Bloomberg)
  • 8/8 – Jeff Bezos sold $757M in Amazon stock last week, the largest sale that he has ever made (Fortune)
  • 8/8 – Skully, a startup that was aiming to build a better motorcycle helmet using AR, has been hit by a lawsuit by a former employee that says that the founders were basically using the Company’s bank account as their own personal “piggy bank” (Buzzfeed)
  • 8/8 – Oracle’s MICROS payment terminals suffered a large security hack at the hands of Russian hackers (Fortune)
  • 8/8 – Death at the hands of LinkedInRandstad buys Monster for $429M, which will keep its brand and operate independently after trading down in a steady slide since 2007 (when it was valued at $5.5B) (TechCrunch)
  • 8/8 – Honeywell is rumored to be interested in buying JDA Software for $3B, in a big potential move into the software game (Fortune)
  • 8/9 – Intel is paying $408M to buy deep-learning startup, Nervana Systems, which had raised $24M from the likes of Data Collective, DFJ, Lux Capital and Fuel Capital (Re/Code)
  • 8/9 – Disney is investing $1B into the MLB’s streaming video business, BAMTech, in exchange for 33% of the Company (TechCrunch)
  • 8/9 – WSJ has confirmed that WeWork has missed its lofty revenue targets over the last bit (WSJ $)
  • 8/9 – After missing out on Marc Lore’s last start-up, Quidsi, best known for Diapers.com, Walmart officially announced the acquisition of Jet.com for $3.3B (NYT). The deal requires Lore to stay for at least five years to collect a payout of $750M to $1B (Re/Code). Lore confirmed that there actually was not another bidder that drove the price higher (Re/Code) and also penned a post on the deal that ran on Fortune
  • 8/9 – SAP SuccessFactors has named Kerry Sain as its new Chief Revenue Officer, reporting to Mike Ettling, president of SAP SFSF. Sain was most recently the CEO of bswift, which Aetna acquired for around $400-500M (SAP)
  • 8/9 – RockYou, a mobile gaming company, is laying off 62 employees and moving its game management operations to India (WSJ $)
  • 8/9 – Twitter is opening up its Moments platform to creation by influencers, brands and increasingly users (TechCrunch)
  • 8/9 – The former CTO of Yahoo, Ashfaq Munshi, has been named the CEO Pepperdata, which has raised $20M from Wing Ventures, Data Collective and Citi Ventures among others (Fortune)
  • 8/10 – Bill Maris is stepping down as the CEO of GV, the corporate investment group of Google that he helped to found in 2009. He will be succeeded by Managing Partner, David Krane (Fortune)
  • 8/10 – Apple is reportedly preparing its first major overhaul of its Macbook Pro in four years (Bloomberg)
  • 8/10 – Facebook vs. ad-blockers is getting going with the Company moving to block them, but it’s something that is likely to be a battle back-and-forth over the next bit (NYT)
  • 8/10 – Palantir has agreed to acquire a data visualization company called Silk, which had raised $3.4M from investors in the Netherlands (Fortune)
  • 8/10 – ComScore has named a new CEO and CFO amid an accounting investigation that has dragged on for the last six months. Co-founder Gian Fulgoni is taking over as CEO and Chief Revenue Officer, David Chemerow, is taking over as CFO (Bloomberg)
  • 8/10 – Condé Nast came close to buying tech review site Digital Trends for $120M but ultimately walked away according to Re/Code (Re/Code)
  • 8/11 – Airbnb is pushing hosts to develop houses that have extra guest rooms for renting as part of its strategy to continue growth (The Information $)
  • 8/11 – Microsoft is acquiring Beam, an interactive game live streaming service that had raised a little under $500K (TechCrunch)
  • 8/11 – AWS has launched Kinesis Analytics for analyzing real-time streaming data (TechCrunch) and a new Application Load Balancer to give more control over how content gets distributed across servers (TechCrunch)
  • 8/11 – HPE has acquired the iconic Silicon Graphics (SGI) for $275M (VentureBeat)
  • 8/11 – Dick Costolo, the former CEO of Twitter, is not happy about a story that Buzzfeed ran this week about the Company’s inability to stop harassment (Re/Code)
  • 8/12 – AWS is losing Adam Selipsky, its head of sales and marketing and one of the longest serving executive team members at the Company. Selipsky is likely retiring (The Information $)
  • 8/12 – Lyft received acquisition interest from its strategic investor (and partner) General Motors, but has instead elected to stay private and raise another round of funding (The Information $)
  • 8/12 – Not tech, but….. someone dialed into Ruby Tuesday’s earnings call and pretended to be Bud Fox from Wall Street and asked the CEO if the Company’s revenues “are negatively impacted by Harambe’s death and if, yes, do [they] have any plans to mitigate it?” (Business Insider)
  • 8/12 – SAP joins a long list of companies, including IBM, GAP and General Electric, to ditch annual performance reviews in favor of more consistent feedback (Reuters)
  • 8/12 – Gurbaksh “G” Chahal has been sentenced to a year in prison for violation of his probation after another domestic violence charge against a woman (TechCrunch)
  • 8/12 – Zenefits is slowly settling its compliance issues with states, most recently resolving licensing issues with Delaware and South Carolina. The Company will pay $29.5K in fines to SC and none to Delaware (Fortune)

Earnings

  • 8/8 – Twilio beats earnings in its first announcement since going public and traded up 3% (TechCrunch)
  • 8/9 – LendingClub’s bad 2016 continued after it posted earnings with the resignation of its CFO and lackluster numbers. The stock traded down 2% on the news (Reuters)
  • 8/9 – Yelp posted a surprise profit and raised its full year revenue guidance. The stock jumped 13% on the news (Reuters)
  • 8/9 – Wayfair* stock plunged 17% after posting Q2 losses that were larger than expected (Zacks)
  • 8/12 – Despite China’s murky economic environment, Alibaba posted strong earnings and traded up 2% (NYT)
  • 8/13 – Rapid7 posted slightly weaker than expected earnings and traded down 3% (The Carbatgem)

Financings

  • 8/8 – Airbnb, a San Francisco-based room-rental platform, is raising $850 million at a valuation of $30 billion
  • 8/9 – OfferUp, a Bellevue, Wash.-based startup that allows users to buy and sell items through its mobile app, is in talks to raise $120 million in a round led by Warburg Pincus
  • 8/9 – NextVR, a Laguna Beach, Calif.-based provider of live virtual reality broadcast technology, raised $80 million in a Series B round of funding from CITIC Guoan Information Industry, NetEase, CMC Holdings, SoftBank, VMS Investments Group, Founder H Fundin, China Assets Limited, and Spectrum 28
  • 8/11 – Accolade, an on-demand healthcare concierge for employers, health plans, and health systems, has raised more than $70 million in Series E funding. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz
  • 8/10 – Memebox, a San Francisco-based e-commerce platform that markets beauty products from South Korea, has raised $66 million. The Series C round was led by Formation Group and included Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures
  • 8/10 – Interactions, a Franklin, Mass.-based provider of artificial intelligence services for customer service, has raised $56 million from Revolution Growth with participation from NewSpring Capital and Comcast Ventures
  • 8/9 – Finova Financial, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based online lender, has raised $52.5 million in funding
  • 8/9 – Kaltura, a video technology provider based in New York, has received $50 million in pre-IPO funding from Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing
  • 8/9 – MapR Technologies, a San Jose, Calif.-based data startup, has raised $50 million in new funding led by Future Fund
  • 8/11 – Refinery29, a New York-based digital media site for women, has raised $45 million in new funding led by Turner with participation from Scripps Networks Interactive
  • 8/8 – Honor, a San Francisco-based provider of home care for older adults, announced today it has raised $42 million in Series B funding led by Thrive Capital
  • 8/11 – Woundtec, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based wound management technology company, has closed a $40 million investment by Aldrich Capital Partners
  • 8/10 – FullContact, a Denver-based provider of address book management tools, has raised a $25 million investment round led by Foundry Group
  • 8/11 – Bynder, a branding automation company based in Amsterdam, has raised $22.2 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners
  • 8/6 – Engagio, a San Mateo-based enterprise technology company, has raised $22 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners
  • 8/9 – Farmers Business Network, a San Carlos-based provider of an independent farmer-to-farmer network, has raised $20 million from Acre Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of Campbell Soup
  • 8/12 – UpGuard, a Silicon-Valley based cybersecurity firm, has raised $17 million in Series B funding from Pelion Venture Partners and Square Peg Capital
  • 8/11 – Innovaccer, a big data application provider based in Silicon Valley, has raised $15.6 million in a Series A round led by Westbridge Capital Partners
  • 8/11 – Zenoti, a Seattle-based provider of a cloud-based management platform, has raised a $15 million Series B funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners
  • 8/11 – Varentec, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of provider of power control solutions, has raised $13 million in Series B funding from Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla, and the venture capital arm of conglomerate 3M
  • 8/9 – Aligned TeleHealth, a healthcare company based in Agoura Hills, Calif. that provides telemedicine solutions, has raised $12 million in Series A financing from SV Life Sciences
  • 8/9 – Innoviz Technologies, an Israel-based developer of sensors and systems for autonomous vehicles, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. The round included Vertex Venture Capital, Magma Venture Partners, Amiti Ventures, and Delek Investments
  • 8/12 – Xperiel, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of a mobile app development tool that works with Internet-connected equipment in sports stadiums and other facilities, has secured $7 million in funding from investors including Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Diane Greene
  • 8/12 – Thrive Global, an new workplace wellness startup founded by Arianna Huffington, has raised $7m in Series A funding led by Lerer Hipperau
  • 8/10 – Kepler Communications, a Toronto-based startup that aims to create a satellite machine-to-machine communication network, has raised $5 million in seed funding from investors including IA Ventures and Liquid 2 Ventures
  • 8/10 – CareSkore, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of health management technology, has raised $4.3 million in funding from Cota Capital, Storm Ventures, Rising Tide Fund and Liquid 2 Ventures
  • 8/10 – Viridis Learning, a New York-based data analytics firm that matches college students with employers, has raised $3.2 million. The Series A round was led by Thayer Ventures
  • 8/10 – TVSquared, a UK-based provider of measurement and optimization for TV advertisers, raised $3 million in funding from investors including West Coast Capital
  • 8/9 – SmartCAT, a Milipitas, Calif-based provider of a cloud translation automation platform, raised a $2.8 million seed round from RedSeed
  • 8/9 – Kwippit, an image-amplified messaging app based in Denver, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Investors included Wildcat Capital Management and Dave Leyrer, venture partner at FirskMark Capital
  • 8/9 – Koko, a New York-based cognitive therapy technology startup, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Omidyar Network and Union Square Ventures
  • 8/8 – TheWaveVR, an Austin, Texas-based startup that aims to bring virtual reality to music performances, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from KPCB Edge, Presence Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, RRE Ventures, The VR Fund, Seedcamp, and angel investors
  • 8/12 – MightyTV, a New York-based maker of a video discovery app, has secured $2 million in seed capital from Canaan Partners and Spark Capital
  • 8/10 – Baker, a Denver-based customer engagement software firm for marijuana dispensaries, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from investors including Buddy Media
  • 8/9 – Finexio, a smart B2B payment network based in San Mateo, Calif., has raised $1 million in seed funding from Loeb.nyc and angel investors
  • 8/11 – The Flex Company, a Venice Beach, Calif.-based maker of a menstrual product that can be worn during sex, has raised $1 million from investors including Y Combinator and Amplify.LA
  • 8/11 – AceBot.ai, a chatbot that performs tasks on workplace messaging system Slack, has raised $650,000 in a seed round from Accel Partners
  • 8/10 – Anomali, a provider of network threat detection services, based in Redwood City, Calif., has received an investment of undisclosed size from In-Q-Tel
  • 8/9 – FinTecSystems, A Munich-based company that provides data and analysis to the financial services industry, has secured a Series A investment round of undisclosed size led by Littlerock and Ventech

Random, long reads
How Jeff Zucker Made CNN Great Again (Variety) – CNN was the butt of a number of jokes and pretty much unwatchable for the last decade. Since taking the reins of the organization, Jeff Zucker has completely turned it around and it’s now on a trajectory to pass Fox as the most watched cable news network. Variety looks into how he accomplished this in a short period of time (spoiler – the Malaysian airplane is part of it).

What Really Happened at Politico (Washingtonian) – Politico was founded a decade ago and completely changed the landscape of the coverage of political news in the US. As quickly as it came together, it seemed to fall apart earlier this year with a number of the key people involved moving on. The Washingtonian takes a look at how all this transpired

The Story of How Lean Became Hip Hop’s Heroin (Fusion) – If you’ve been on this email distribution for longer than one digest, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of hip-hop. There are a number of things that are at odds with one another in the industry, but one of the major ones is how much lean/purple drank/name your term, has been both so celebrated and so tragic over the course of the last decade. This is the story on how we ended up here.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: August 7, 2016

Last week, today

  • 7/30 – The founder of Powa Technologies, a company once valued at $2.7B before going bankrupt, is back with another company that looks a lot like his last one (Business Insider)
  • 7/31 – Uber is reportedly investing $500M to build a better mapping system and wean itself off of Google Maps and Apple Maps (Financial Times)
  • 8/1 – Technology Crossover Ventures raises $2.5B for TCV IX (NYT)
  • 8/1 – Uber and Didi call a truce in China with a $35B deal, where Uber gets a 20% stake in Didi. It’s a $7B valuation for the $2B that Uber invested in China (Bloomberg)
  • 8/1 – The NYT has a profile on Thomas Kurian, Oracle’s President of Product Development, who will be tasked with making the NetsSuite acquisition work from a technical standpoint (NYT)
  • 8/1 – Tesla is moving ahead with its plans to buy SolarCity for $2.6B (Re/Code)
  • 8/1 – Yahoo posted its internal Q&A for employees in an SEC disclosure document (Business Insider)
  • 8/1 – Salesforce is buying Quip, a cloud-based word processing app founded by the former CTO of Facebook Bret Taylor, for $750M. The Company had previously raised $45M in funding from Benchmark and Greylock (TechCrunch). When asked about the acquisition, Marc Benioff told Business Insider that it was largely focused on bringing on Quip CEO Bret Taylor, calling him “one of the absolute stars of our industry” and that “it’s been [his] dream to work more closely with Bret Taylor” (Business Insider)
  • 8/1 – IBM is said to be in early talks to acquire Revel Systems, a retail-centric PoS that has raised $128M most recently at a $500M valuation from the likes of DCM and Welsh Carson (Bloomberg)
  • 8/1 – Verizon is buying SaaS GPS tracking and vehicle management company, Fleetmatics, for $2.4B in cash, a 40% premium over its closing price (Reuters)
  • 8/1 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to ban paroled sex offenders from playing Pokemon Go and other online games (TechCrunch)
  • 8/1 – Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes presented to a room full of scientists for the first time, but the Company chose to focus on its new technology. Regarding the claim from Theranos that it could run 70 tests on a single drop of blood, the moderator told Holmes, “the evidence you presented fell far short of that” and was followed by applause from the audience (Business Insider)
  • 8/1 – Binary Capital has raised $175M for its second fund (TechCrunch)
  • 8/1 – Nick Denton, CEO of Gawker, confirmed on Twitter that he is filing for personal bankruptcy (Twitter)
  • 8/1 – FanDuel and DraftKings, which reportedly spent a combined $500M on advertising last year, are cutting back this year on ad spend, which means you should be able to watch football pre-game shows without wanting to rip your eyeballs out (WSJ $)
  • 8/1 – An IDC report states that tablet shipments have declined for the seventh straight quarter with Android dominating the market at 65% share and iOS coming in next at 26% (VentureBeat)
  • 8/2 – Ping Identity, announced its first acquisition since being acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $600M in June, buying UnboundID, a customer identity matching company for an undisclosed amount. UnboundID had previously raised $19.5M for Silverton and OpenView (TechCrunch)
  • 8/2 – Microsoft raised $19.8B in debt, its largest debt sale ever, to fund the acquisition of LinkedIn (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/2 – The SVP and GMs of the HP Cloud and the HP Storage business are leaving the Company amid another reorganization (Fortune)
  • 8/2 – Re/Code has leaked documents from Lyft¸ which say that the Company had a “record month” and is on a $500M run-rate (Re/Code)
  • 8/2 – If you were in the world this week, you probably saw that Instagram cloned a lot of Snapchat with its own version of Stories (Re/Code)
  • 8/3 – The acquisition of NetSuite by Oracle “don’t impressa me much” says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. He threw shade at his former employer saying that “Oracle’s scrambling to get growth in the cloud, but it obviously has not met its goals (Business Insider)
  • 8/3 – Adam Bosworth, an EVP at Salesforce who ran much of the Company’s software development agenda, is leaving CRM to join AWS in a title that has yet to be named (Fortune)
  • 8/3 – WalMart is in talks to buy online discount retailer, Jet.com, that was founded by former Diapers.com CEO Marc Lore. The Company has raised more than $500M and a person familiar with the matter said that the deal could be valued at up to $3B (WSJ $).  The acquisition reportedly hinges on WalMart requiring Jet.com founder Marc Lore staying on for several years to run the retailers online division. It could be announced officially by 8/8 (Bloomberg)
  • 8/3 – Apple just had its best App Store month ever and a lot of people are attributing that to Pokemon GO (Business Insider)
  • 8/3 – Time Warner is buying a 10% stake in Hulu for around $600M (Re/Code)
  • 8/3 – A rumor that Steve Ballmer wanted to buy Twitter sent the stock up 9% (Business Insider)
  • 8/3 – DraftKings and FanDuel breathed a sigh of relief in New York after NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that legalized the daily fantasy sites in NY (NYT)
  • 8/3 – Intel has recalled its smartwatches due to overheating (WSJ $)
  • 8/3 – Microsoft has launched its Excel API to general availability after a fairly short beta period (TechCrunch)
  • 8/4 – Facebook is changing its News Feed algorithm in an attempt to stomp out clickbait (Business Insider)
  • 8/4 – Zeta Interactive, a marketing analytics software and services company that has closed to $200M, has acquired Acxiom Impact for over $50M (TechCrunch)
  • 8/4 – Apple releases its bug bounty program, offering up to $200K for hard-to-identify security bugs (Fortune)
  • 8/4 – Everything that is unbundled ultimately becomes rebundled and Apple’s new plan is to integrate apps to create a digital television guide that would allow you to watch across apps without clicking individually into each one, which is a lot like a cable provider (Re/Code)
  • 8/4 – In the WTF category, goes the story that a venture capital-backed (to the tune of $120M and investments from Khosla, Founders and Marc Benioff) vegan mayo start-up (????), Hampton Creek, actually purchased large amounts of its own product from stores (one receipt showed 140 jars in a day by one person… and the jars were largely thrown away) and called managers pretending to be customers requesting the product. The Company cited “quality control,” which doesn’t really sound believable if you read the article.  There’s also a particularly incriminating email from Hampton Creek that says “I might go through the self-checkout lanes, or make several transactions going to different cashiers each time to avoid questions like, ‘Why are you buying so much mayo?!’” (Bloomberg)
  • 8/4 – Rackspace is nearing a deal to sell itself to a private equity firm, nearly two years after the Company announced a desire to explore its strategic option (WSJ $). The stock’s trading was halted on the news after it spiked 15% (Fortune)
  • 8/4 – A BlackRock fund has marked its stake in Jawbone to less than a penny per share, shortly after it raised its guidance to 75% (up from 50%) that the Company would be sold (The Information $)
  • 8/4 – Grab, an Uber competitor in southeast Asia, is set to raise another $1B in equity from Didi and SoftBank (WSJ $)
  • 8/5 – The Pokemon GO effect continues… driving a huge surge in smartphone back up batteries (TechCrunch)
  • 8/5 – Apple has acquired machine learning start-up Turi (fka GrahLab and fka Dato) for an undisclosed amount. The Company had raised $25M from NEA, Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital (VentureBeat)
  • 8/5 – Amazon unveiled its first Prime plane, a Boeing 767 owned by Atlas Air, that has been converted into a freighter (Re/Code)
  • 8/6 – Airbnb is reportedly raising $850M at a $30B valuation (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 8/2 – For the first time since going public, Fitbit reported earnings with investors reacting positively and the stock trading up 7% on the news (Fortune)
  • 8/2 – Etsy had a very good week last week trading up more than 37% on earnings (TechCrunch)
  • 8/2 – RetailMeNot’s stock jumped 17% following the an earnings beat on both the top and bottom lines (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/2 – Tableau missed on both the top and bottom lines with the stock falling 6% on the news (TechCrunch)
  • 8/2 – Zendesk traded down 3.5% on earnings after the stock reached an all-time high last week (Com-Unik)
  • 8/3 – Another quarter and another missed delivery target for Tesla although the Company said it was still on track for its numbers for the year. The stock was roughly unchanged on the news (Re/Code)
  • 8/3 – Atlassian released earnings and beat expectations but the stock was largely unchanged (Com-Unik)
  • 8/3 – GoDaddy missed its earnings estimate but beat on revenue and the stock traded up 5% in after-hours (The Domains)
  • 8/3 – Square reported earnings and the stock jump 14% on the news that revenue was up 42% from a year earlier and that losses had narrowed (Reuters)
  • 8/3 – Shopify reported better than expected earnings and indicated guidance to a lower operating loss for the year. The stock traded up 4.4% on the news (Fortune)
  • 8/4 – FireEye takes a 12% bath following earnings with 19% y/y growth and 10% y/y billings.. both lower than earnings estimates  (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/4 – Zynga stock plummeted 9% in after-hour trading after releasing disappointing earnings (TechCrunch)
  • 8/4 – In its last quarter as a public company, LinkedIn beat analyst’s expectations by a decent margin (Seeking Alpha)
  • 8/4 – Symantec delivered better than expected earnings and the stock rose 5% in after-hour trading (Fortune)
  • 8/4 – Zillow missed its Q2 earnings estimates, despite beating revenue, and the stock fell 4.4% (Nasdaq)
  • 8/6 – HubSpot released earnings and traded down 5% on the news (The Cerbatgm)
  • 8/6 – RingCentral released earnings and remained largely unchanged on the announcement, trading up 1.5% (Com-Unik)
  • 8/6 – Instructure traded up slightly (1%) on release of its earnings (The Cerbatgem)
  • 8/6 – Benefitfocus released earnings and the stock was largely flat (BBNS)
  • 8/7 – 2U released earnings and the stock remained largely unchanged (Com-Unik)

Financings

  • 8/5 – Deliveroo, a London-based on-demand food delivery service, has raised a $275 million Series E investment led by Bridgepoint
  • 8/5 – Mosaic, a provider of affordable solar financing solutions for homeowners based in Oakland, Calif., has raised equity financing of up to $220 million, led by Warburg Pincus
  • 8/1 – Matific, an Israel-based developer of educational games for children, has raised $45 million from existing investor Leon Kamenev
  • 8/1 – PhishMe, a Virginia-based cybersecurity startup, has raised a $42.5 million Series C round of venture funding led by existing investor Paladin Capital Group and new investor Bessemer
  • 8/2 – Diablo Technologies*, San Jose, Calif.-based enterprise startup, raised $37 million across two phases of Series C financing. Genesis Capital and GII Tech Ventures invested alongside Battery Ventures, BDC Capital, Celtic House Venture Partners, Hasso Plattner Ventures and ICV
  • 8/4 – Yieldbot, an online advertising startup based in New York, has raised $35 million in funding from Staley Capital
  • 8/5 – Formlabs, a designer and manufacturer of 3D printing systems based in Somerville, Mass., has raised $35 million in Series B funding from Foundry Group and Autodesk
  • 8/5 – Kentik Technologies, a network analytics provider based in San Francisco, has raised $23 million in a Series B round led by Third Point Ventures
  • 8/2 – Glowforge, a Seattle-based 3D laser printer company, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Foundry Group and True Ventures
  • 8/2 – CognitiveScale, an Austin, Texas-based provider of machine intelligence software, raised $21.8 million in venture financing co-led by Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital
  • 8/2 – Distil Networks, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity company, has raised $21 million in Series C funding from Silicon Valley Bank, Bessemer Venture Partners, Foundry Group and TechStars
  • 8/2 – Shipt, an online grocery marketplace based in Birmingham-Ala., has raised $20.1 million in Series A funding from Greycroft Partners, e.ventures, and Harbert Venture Partners
  • 8/5 – GrubMarket, a San Francisco-based marketplace that aims to connect farmers and food producers with consumers, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Sound Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Riverhead Capital, GGV Capital, Fosun Group, Danhua Capital, Fabrice Grinda, and Gang Wang participated in the round
  • 8/3 – Velostrata, a San Mateo, Calif.-based cloud company, has raised has $17.5 million in funding in a round led by Intel Capital. Norwest Venture Partners and 83 North participated
  • 8/3 – Birchbox, a New York-based beauty product e-commerce startup, has raised $15 million from existing investors
  • 8/4 – Drizly, a Boston-based alcohol delivery startup, has raised $15 million in Series B funding in a round led by Polaris Partners with participation from existing investors
  • 8/5 – Elation Health, a cloud-based care platform for physicians based in San Francisco, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by DFJ
  • 8/3 – Axial, an online marketplace for M&A, raised $14 million in Series C financing led by Edison Partners
  • 8/4 – Spot.IM, an Israel-based social engagement platform for digital media companies, has raised $13 million in funding from Index Ventures, AltaIR and Norma Investments Limited
  • 8/2 – TruRating, a UK-based provider of customer feedback software, has raised $12.6 million in Series A funding led by Sandiare
  • 8/3 – Apptimize, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company that helps businesses test and rapidly iterate their mobile apps, has just raised $12.4 million in Series B funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the round
  • 8/4 – AirHelp, a New York-based startup that helps air passengers find compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights, has raised $12 million in Series A funding from Khosla Ventures and Evan Williams
  • 8/1 – Blacklane, a German rideshareing app, has raised a Series C round of funding of an undisclosed size from existing investor Daimler AG
  • 8/5 – Insert*, an automated in-app marketing platform based in Tel Aviv, Israel, has raised $10 million in Series A financing. Battery Ventures led the round, which also included angel investor Shlomo Kramer
  • 8/3 – CyberX, a provider of cybersecurity solutions for industrial Internet networks based in Framingham, Mass., has raised $9 million in a round led by Flint Capital
  • 8/3 – Ceros, a New York City-based interactive content marketing platform, has raised $8 million in Series B funding, led by Grotech Ventures
  • 8/3 – Attic Labs, a San Francisco-based data storage and software startup, has raised an $8.1 million Series A round of funding led by Greylock and including Harrison Metal and angel investors.
  • 8/3 – Panoply.io, a Tel Aviv and San Francisco-based cloud infrastructure startup, raised a $7 million Series A round of funding led by Intel Capital
  • 8/3 – RiskSense, a New Mexico.-based cybersecurity company, has raised $7 million in funding led by Paladin Capital Group
  • 8/3 – Red Canary, a Denver-based cybersecurity managed detection and response company, raised $6.2m in Series A funding from Access Venture Partners
  • 8/4 – Homebase, a San Francisco-based provider of timekeeping and scheduling software, has raised $6 million in Series A financing led by Khosla Ventures
  • 8/1 – PacketSled, a San Diego-based cybersecurity startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Keshif Ventures
  • 8/4 – Owlchemy Labs, a virtual reality and video game developer based in Austin, Texas, has raised $5 million in series A funding from Qualcomm Ventures, HTC, The VR Fund, Colopl Next, Capital Factory, and Austin entrepreneurs
  • 8/1 – The Outline, a digital media startup founded by Josh Topolsky, has raised $5 million from RRE Ventures, Advancit Capital, Boat Rocker Ventures and Nextview Ventures
  • 8/2 – Brave Software, the developer of an ad-blocking browser based in San Francisco, has raised $4.5 million in a seed round including Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Digital Currency Group
  • 8/2 – Sensay, a Los Angeles-based AI and chat bot startup, raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Greycroft Partners, Sweet Capital, NHN, Draper Associates and other existing investors.
  • 8/3 – LookBookHQ, a Toronto-based content marketing automation platform, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Edison Partners
  • 8/3 – Shoppable, an e-commerce platform for publishers based in New York City, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from MI Ventures, Canary Ventures, On Grid Ventures, and Bodley Group, among others, according to TechCrunch
  • 8/3 – MikMak, a Brooklyn-based mobile video shopping network, has raised $3.2 million in a seed round, led by VaynerMedia
  • 8/3 – Pluot, a big-screen video conferencing provider based in San Francisco, has raised $2.5 million from TenOneTen Ventures
  • 8/5 – BrandYourself, a New York-based startup that aims to help users manage and improve their online reputations, has raised $2 million in funding from FF Angels, New Atlantic Ventures, and Barney Pell
  • 8/3 – Espresa , a Palo Alto, Calif.-based app that allows businesses to provide services to its employees, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Crosslink Capital, Clear Ventures, TEC Ventures, and angel investors
  • 8/3 – Zype, a cloud video distribution service based in New York, has raised $2 million in seed financing, led by Revel Partners
  • 8/3 – iBeat, a San Francisco-based maker of a heart-monitoring smartwatch, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding co-led by Maveron, Subtraction Capital, and Correlation Ventures
  • 8/3 – FixtHub, a New York-based fixed income technology startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A financing from Cerium Technology
  • 8/2 – RightCapital, a New York-based financial planning platform for registered investment advisors and independent broker-dealers, has raised $1 million. Camellia Venture Capital led the round

Random, long reads
The Bennet Brothers vs. Everyone (ESPN) – The two Bennett brothers are somewhere between good and very good NFL players.  But they are much funnier and more interesting than the typical NFL players.  ESPN sat down to interview the two together in what proves to be a fascinating look into true personalities in a league that is sparse with authentic commentary.  If you’re just interested in people at the top of their craft willing to speak their mind, I’d highly recommend this read.  One great part on Eli Manning:

  • Martellus: “Eli? He’s cool. He’s like a normal white guy you see at the park trying to teach his kids how to play soccer and you know he can’t really play soccer himself.”

The Prophet Motive (Esquire) – One of the big stories for a few days in 2015 was that of Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, who announced that he would cut his $1M to $70K and raise the salary of every one of his workers to at least $70K, the amount studies have shown to be necessary to give an individual enough financial security to be happy.  There was a darker and more unusual part of the story that involves a falling out between Dan and his co-founder/brother and then Dan’s ex-wife as well.  This Esquire piece dives into how altruistic Price’s motives actually were.

Jonathan and Aaron (Sports Illustrated) – A little unusual to feature two stories on (current/former) Patriots tight ends in one week, but this long read from Sports Illustrated goes into the relationship between Aaron Hernandez, the All Pro NFL football player that has been convicted of one murder and accused of two more, and his older brother, who looks nearly identical to him and has been profoundly impacted by this dark twist in the Hernandez story.
*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: July 31, 2016

Last week, today

  • 7/21 – Since the Company split in two a little while back, HP Enterprise has apparently been struggling to pay thousands of its employees (mostly on the sales side) properly (Business Insider)
  • 7/22 – Apple said that Pokemon Go was downloaded more times in its first week than any other app in history (Business Insider)
  • 7/22 – Cyanogen, the forked version of Android that has raised over $110M, is laying off close to 30 employees (22% of its workforce) as the Company may pivot to focus on apps (Android Police). The CEO of the Company confirmed the layoffs but denied the pivot towards apps (Business Insider)
  • 7/25 – Yahoo sold to Verizon for $4.8B. Here is Marissa Mayer’s letter to employees on the sale (Re/Code) and here is the driving force (Marni Walden, EVP of Product Innovation and New Business) outside of Tim Armstrong that helped push the acquisition along (Re/Code)
  • 7/25 – The Information speculates on who is next in the world of tech buyouts including New Relic, Cornerstone OnDemand and PTC (The Information $)
  • 7/25 – Ericsson is searching for a new CEO after its current Chief Executive Hans Vestberg stepped down (Fortune)
  • 7/25 – Shares in Nintendo plummet 18% after earnings with people realizing that there would be de minimis impact from Pokemon Go on its earnings (Rocket News)
  • 7/25 – Amazon released that the amount of compute power added for Prime Day a little while back was actually equal to all of the AWS compute in 2009 (Business Insider)
  • 7/25 – Apple has brought back long-time executive Bob Mansfield (who led the hardware efforts with the MacBook Air, iMac desktop and iPad) to lead its efforts in autonomous vehicles (WSJ $)
  • 7/26 – Analog Devices said it would purchase rival chipmaker Linear Technology for $14.8B – creating a combined business with $5B in revenue (Fortune)
  • 7/26 – LogMeIn has acquired rival video conferencing provider GoToMeeting from Citrix for $1.8B. The combined entity should do $1B in proforma revenue this year (Fortune)
  • 7/26 – Tesla has confirmed that it will not renew its contract with Mobileye, the Israeli maker of driving-assistance chips and software. Shares of Mobileye dropped 13.7% on the news (Business Insider)
  • 7/26 – LinkedIn has acquired PointDrive to build out is social sales engagement platform (TechCrunch)
  • 7/26 – A10 Networks has acquired Appcito, which had raised $15M from March Capital and Cheng Wu (according to TechCrunch), to build out its support for cloud applications (Network World)
  • 7/26 – Hailo, an on-demand transportation company, announced that it has sold 60% of its company to Daimler and will merge and rebrand its operations under MyTaxi, which Daimler acquired in 2014 (TechCrunch)
  • 7/27 – Peak Ventures, a Utah-based seed fund, is launching its second fund according to an SEC filing. A target amount is not specified (SEC)
  • 7/26 – Volition Capital has raised $250M for its third fund, up from $170M in 2013 (TechCrunch)
  • 7/28 – So the rumors from the last few weeks are true and Oracle is paying $9.3B to acquire NetSuite. Entities by Larry Ellison and his family previously owned 40% of the Company and it appears that the two sides did nearly everything they could to prevent too loud of a claim of a conflict of interest. Oracle said that the deal would immediately add to its earnings (WSJ $)
  • 7/28 – Gurbaksh “G” Chahal is now officially out as the CEO of Gravity 4, after a domestic abuse claim that violated the probation set after his first domestic abuse charge (TechCrunch)
  • 7/28 – Microsoft is cutting an additional 2,850 jobs (mostly from its Nokia phone business), which come on top of the 1,850 layoffs the Company announced in May (Re/Code)
  • 7/28 – Talend, a ten year old open source, MDM vendor, went public and raised $94.5M as it priced at $18 a share, above its range of $15-17 and traded up 54% signaling that the more mid-market IPO window may be opening up (TechCrunch)
  • 7/28 – Facebook may owe between $3-5B in additional taxes as a result of an IRS investigation into how the Company transferred assets overseas (WSJ $)
  • 7/29 – Private Equity buyers (notably KKR, Apollo and Carlyle) are reportedly looking at a potential buyout of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a deal that would likely be over $40B (The Information $)
  • 7/29 – Business Insider has the story on ClassPass, where it seems that CEO and founder Payal Kadakia is taking more of a backseat (Business Insider)

Earnings

  • 7/26 – Twitter shares drop 10% on lower than expected guidance (CNBC)
  • 7/26 – Apple beat earnings expectations and the stock trade 6.5%. Revenue was in-line with guidance, but still down 14.5% from the same period the year before (Business Insider)
  • 7/26 – Citrix beat earnings expectations but the stock traded down 5% on the acquisition of GoToMeeting (Market Realist)
  • 7/26 – Ultimate Software slightly beat earnings expectations but the stock remained largely flat (Community Financial)
  • 7/27 – Groupon reported better than expected earnings and the stock jumped 25% on news (Business Insider)
  • 7/27 – Wix beat analyst estimates and traded up 10.7% (TechCrunch)
  • 7/27 – ServiceNow barely beats earnings but the stock fell 5% due to lower than excited guidance (Investors.com)
  • 7/27 – Akamai posted earnings worse than analyst expectations and fell 16.4% on the news (The Street)
  • 7/28 – Facebook crushed earnings and traded up 6%. Re/Code has the details (Re/Code)
  • 7/28 – Amazon beat across the board, but the stock barely budged, trading up 2% on the news. AWS revenue was up to $2.88B for the quarter, up 58% year-over-year (Business Insider)
  • 7/28 – GoPro’s revenue fell 47% but beat analyst estimates and the Company traded up 6% on the news (Business Insider)
  • 7/28 – Google beat on both top and bottom lines, but more importantly showed 33% growth in its “other revenues,” which include its enterprise unit and the stock traded up 4% on the news (Re/Code)
  • 7/28 – GrubHub traded up 26% following crushing earnings on the top and bottom line (Forbes)
  • 7/29 – Expedia posted weaker than expected earnings due to terrorist attacks and hotel discounts. The stock fell 6% on the news (Fortune)

Financings

  • 7/25 – StackPath, a Texas-based cybersecurity startup, has raised $150 million in Series A funding from ABRY Partners
  • 7/27 – Upthere, a “no middleman” cloud storage and organization platform founded by Apple vets, has raised $77 million in VC funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Western Digital co-led the round
  • 7/26 – Scopely, a Los Angeles-based mobile entertainment network, has raised $55 million in new VC funding. Greycroft Growth Fund led the round
  • 7/27 – EverFi, a Washington, D.C.-based online education platform, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. Backers include NEA, Rethink Education, Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt.
  • 7/28 – Vena Solutions, a Toronto-based provider of cloud-based corporate performance management software, has raised around C$30 million in growth equity funding from Centana Growth Partners
  • 7/27 – True Fit, a London-based footwear and apparel’s discovery platform, has raised $25 million in Series B funding from Jump Capital, Signal Peak Ventures and Intel Capital
  • 7/26 – Transfix, a New York-based on-demand trucking service, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round
  • 7/29 – Reltio, a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based data management platform-as-a-service company, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round
  • 7/26 – Acalvio Technologies, a developer of “deception-based” cybersecurity solutions, has raised $17 million in combined Series A and Series B funding. Accel led the Series A round (from last September) and Ignition Partners led the more recent Series B
  • 7/26 – SafeBreach, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of continuous security validation solutions, has raised $15 million in Series A funding. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder and Maverick Ventures were joined by return backers Sequoia Capital and Shlomo Kramer.
  • 7/25 – Kandou Bus SA, a Swiss developer of high-speed serial links, has raised $15 million from Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 7/26 – Sun Basket, a San Francisco-based organic meal kit provider, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Accolade Partners led the round
  • 7/28 – Good Eggs, a San Francisco-based online organic grocery, has raised $15 million in new VC funding led by Index Ventures
  • 7/26 – B12, a New York-based developer of human-assisted A.I. to build and design websites, has raised $12.4 million in Series A funding. General Catalyst led the round.
  • 7/27 – FogHorn Systems, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial IoT applications, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. March Capital and GE Ventures co-led the round
  • 7/28 – Peek, a San Francisco-based startup that lets people book tours and activities, has raised $10 million in new VC funding from individual investors. Backers include Trulia founder Pete Flint, TPG co-CEO David Bonderman, former Kleiner Perkins partner Ray Lane and Gigi Pritzker
  • 7/29 – BP3 Global, an Austin, Texas-based provider of business process and decision management software and services, has raised $10 million in growth equity funding from Petra Capital Partners
  • 7/29 – LeadGenius, a Berkley, Calif.-based account-based marketing platform, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Lumia Capital led the round.
  • 7/27 – Zeek, an Israel-based operator of an online marketplace for buying and selling unwanted store giftcards, has raised $9.5 million in Series B funding. Scale-Up Capital led the round
  • 7/27 – Mezi, a San Francisco-based chatbot shopping app, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Nexus Venture Partners was joined by Saama Capital and American Express Ventures
  • 7/28 – Scout RFP, a San Francisco-based provider of cloud-based scouting solutions, has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by NEA
  • 7/29 – Cloudvirga, an Irvine, Calif.-based developer of a cloud software platform for streamlining the mortgage process, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Dallas Capital led the round
  • 7/27 – Codeship, a Boston-based provider of hosted continuous integration solutions for software build and test automation, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Ascent Venture Partners
  • 7/27 – Prospera, a Tel Aviv-based machine learning startup focused on agricultural solutions, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 7/26 – Automile, a Sweden-based provider of IoT solution for fleet management, has raised $6.2 million in new VC funding. SaaStr Fund led the round
  • 7/27 – Influential, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based influencer marketing platform, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Australia’s Capital Zed
  • 7/26 – Nomad Health, an online marketplace connecting doctors with freelance clinical work, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. First Round Capital and RRE Ventures co-led the round
  • 7/28 – Poq, a London-based app commerce startup, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. Beringea led the round
  • 7/29 – Roomi, a New York-based roommate finder app, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by DCM
  • 7/29 – Cronycle, a UK-based collaborative research platform, has raised $2.6 million in Series A funding from Andurance Ventures
  • 7/25 – Black Bear Energy, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup that provides services to commercial renewable energy buyers, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding. Boulder Ventures led the round
  • 7/27 – Reflect, a Portland, Ore.-based data visualization platform for developers, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. DFJ led the round
  • 7/27 – Bolstra, a Carmel, Ind.-based B2B SaaS company focused on customer success management, has raised $1.5 million in new VC funding from Elevate Ventures and individual angels
  • 7/27 – DataTribe, a Fulton, Md.-based startup studio focused on technologies forged by US. government R&D projects, has signed a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley venture firm Allegis Capital
  • 7/27 – Firmex, a Canadian provider of virtual data rooms and platform for secure document sharing, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Novacap
  • 7/29 – Mozio, a San Francisco-based ground transportation app for travelers, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from JetBlue Technology Ventures

Random, long reads
Confessor. Feminist. Adult. What the Hell Happened to Howard Stern? (NYT) – David Segal from the NYT goes in depth to analyze the evolution of Howard Stern since he went over to SiriusXM radio.  The original “shock jock” with a fiercely loyal fan-base, has evolved into an expert interviewer that gets celebrities to truly open up about real personal issues.

Gucci Mane, Buff, Sober, Out of the Pen and Ready to Flow (NYT) – Gucci Mane has always been one of the most influential hip hop artists – the man that discovered Young Thug and Future was finally released from jail in May and after three years locked up, the Gucci that came out was a very different person than the one that went in. Gucci came out sober, thin, articulate and healthy.  With his new album out this past week, NYT investigates the life today of Gucci Mane.

How’s Amanda? (Washington Post) – A heartbreaking account of a mother and daughter dealing with the daughter’s years of drug abuse.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: July 24, 2016

Last week, today

  • 7/14 – Pretty detailed breakdown of the new battle that Amazon may begin to undertake – at the application layer (Diginomica)
  • 7/15 – Google reportedly had an Oculus competitor in the works, but ultimately shut it down according to Re/Code (Re/Code) or not really according to Engadget  (Engadget)
  • 7/16 – Kabam lays off 25 people at its San Francisco mobile game studio (VentureBeat)
  • 7/16 – WeWork is suing a former employee for unauthorized disclosure of its finances according to Bloomberg News (Business Insider)
  • 7/17 – Rocket Internet, a Germany-based copycat-like business conglomerate that monitors other businesses that are getting traction and launches competitors in different continents, is now struggling as its portfolio of companies like HelloFresh and Delivery Hero are struggling to adjust to the new start-up environment (WSJ $)
  • 7/17 – Tesla is re-thinking its radar system to prevent accidents like the one that led to the May 7th death of Joshua Brown (Fortune)
  • 7/17 – SoftBank is buying ARM Holdings, a chip design + IP licensing company that has technology powering nearly all mobile devices, for $32B (Re/Code). Investors on the SoftBank side did not react too favorably to the news (Business Insider)
  • 7/17 – Rise Capital is said to be raising a $50M fund according to an SEC filing (SEC)
  • 7/18 – Thrive Capital has announced its fifth fund (Thrive V), a $700M fund focused on software and consumer investing (Medium)
  • 7/18 – Opera announced the termination of its deal to be acquired by $1.2B by a Chinese consortium. The Company renegotiated the sale down to $600M for certain parts of the business that include its mobile and desktop browser and its performance and privacy apps (among others) after it failed to get regulatory approval (TechCrunch)
  • 7/19 – Bloomberg Beta raises its second $75M fund and gives an interview to TechCrunch that highlights how the NPS given to them by their entrepreneurs is really the metric they benchmark themselves against (TechCrunch)
  • 7/19 – You can now apply to receive a Twitter verified blue check (Fortune)
  • 7/19 – I’m struggling to care about this Hyperloop One story but in a counterclaim for $250M to the original claim by CTO Brogan BamBrogan, Hyperloop alleges that BamBrogan was in breach of a number of agreements including non-solicit, non-compete etc. (TechCrunch)
  • 7/19 – Industry Ventures raises $400M across two funds (PE Hub)
  • 7/19 – Snapchat introduced the functionality around Bitmojis, which it acquired for $100M a few months back (Business Insider) and it was so popular it crashed its servers (Business Insider)
  • 7/19 – For the third time in a year, WhatsApp was shut down in Brazil, only to be re-opened (Re/Code)
  • 7/19 – Unilever has acquired Dollar Shave Club for $1B. DSC was projecting revenue of $200M this year (Re/Code). Here is a great analysis by Ben Thompson and here is a blog post by Venrock investor David Pakman, who led the A and B
  • 7/19 – Google has found an application for its DeepMind artificial intelligence platform – using it to save power around its data center – reducing consumption of things like cooling systems, which translates into a 15% improvement in power usage efficiency (Bloomberg)
  • 7/19 – EMC shareholders have voted to approve the multi-billion dollar merger with Dell (Fortune)
  • 7/19 – Carbon Black has acquired Confer in a $100M deal. Confer had raised $25M and its most recent valuation was $58.8M according to Pitchbook (WSJ $)
  • 7/20 – Spotify is planning to go public in the second half of next year, according to a report by Bloomberg citing people familiar with the plan (Bloomberg)
  • 7/20 – Facebook Messenger has reached 1B users according to a press release by the Company (Facebook)
  • 7/20 – Airbnb has hired former Attorney General, Eric Holder, to help “craft a world-class anti-discrimination policy” (Business Insider)
  • 7/20 – True Ventures is seeking to raise $150M (SEC)
  • 7/20 – Uber investors are reportedly pushing for the Company and Didi to come to a truce in China, although the two companies are not in active dialogue according to a person familiar to the matter (Bloomberg)
  • 7/20 – Symphony, the communication platform that is backed by a number of financial services firms and Google to take on Bloomberg, is shifting its underlying infrastructure from AWS to Google’s cloud (The Information $)
  • 7/20 – Elon Musk released the second part of his master plan, which calls for solar panel-powered, self-driving cars that will allow your car to make money for you (Re/Code). Here is the full post
  • 7/21 – Olapic, a start-up that helps manage user generated content and had raised $21M from Felix Capital and Fung Capital, is being acquired by Monotype, a public font design and technology company (?), for $130M + $19M in stock that vests over time(TechCrunch)
  • 7/21 – Liberty Media (Sirius XM’s parent company) has reportedly floated an offer to purchase Pandora for $3.4B ($15 a share, above its current price of $12). The Company rejected the offer (WSJ $)
  • 7/21 – Tinder is launching “Tinder Social,” which is designed to help you and your friends group match with other friend groups (Business Insider)
  • 7/21 – PagerDuty, the IT alerting platform backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer among others, has named Jennifer Tejada (formerly CEO of Keynote prior to its sale to Dynatrace in June 2015) as its CEO. Founder Alex Solomon is staying on as CTO to focus on long-term product strategy (Forbes)
  • 7/21 – Workday acquired Platfora*, a start-up focused on analyzing data from Apache Spark and Hadoop, for $200M (WSJ $)
  • 7/21 – Salesforce plans to acquire Coolan, the developer of a platform for data center hardware analysis and optimization (Computer World)
  • 7/21 – PayPal and Visa, who have been in a fairly public (albeit boring) spat, have formed a partnership to open up Visa’s payment processing service and Venmo to more users (VentureBeat)
  • 7/21 – A long journey to get there, but Impinj, an RFID company in Seattle, went public and raised $67M (TechCrunch)
  • 7/21 – SurveyMonkey has named former HomeAway COO Tom Hale as its President (VentureBeat)
  • 7/21 – Interesting account by Kara Swisher about her relationship with Peter Thiel before he took the stage to give a speech at the RNC Convention in Cleveland, where he endorsed Donald Trump (Re/Code)
  • 7/21 – Apollo is considering an IPO for its IT services company Presidio, which could value the Company at more than $2B (WSJ $)
  • 7/22 – General Assembly has laid off 50 people (7% of its employee base) (INC)
  • 7/22 –  A national nightmare is close to being over (unfortunately.. not that one), Verizon is apparently buying Yahoo for $5B (Re/Code)
  • 7/22 – AIG is beginning to sell cybersecurity insurance policies (Bloomberg)
  • 7/22 – In a regulatory filing it was revealed that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff sent an email to LinkedIn Chairman Reid Hoffman after the previous regulatory filing was released on July 1, saying that he would have bid “much higher” for LinkedIn had he been allowed to continue discussion (WSJ $)
  • 7/22 – A judge finds that Gravity4 CEO Gurbaksh “G” Chahal violated his probation for domestic assault by committing another domestic assault (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 7/18 – Netflix falls 15% in after-hours due to missed subscriber growth numbers – adding just 1.7M new users, below the 2.5M it had forecasted (and the 3.3M it added last year during the same period) (TechCrunch). Re/Code has details into the subscriber growth (Re/Code)
  • 7/18 – IBM traded up 3.3% in after-hours as cloud revenue comes in ahead of expectations with 30% year-over-year growth (TechCrunch)
  • 7/18 – In what is likely its last earnings announcement as a public company, Yahoo missed expectations and once again wrote down its acquisition of Tumblr (TechCrunch)
  • 7/18 – VMware traded up 8% after beating earnings expectations (Seeking Alpha)
  • 7/19 – SAP beat both top-line and bottom-lines with software licenses growing 10% and the cloud business growing 41%. The Company traded up 5% on the news (Bloomberg)
  • 7/19 – Microsoft beat Wall Street earnings expectations with Azure up 102% ($12.1B run-rate now) and O365 revenue up 54% y/y. The Company traded up 3% on the news (Re/Code)
  • 7/20 – eBay trades up 5% after beating earnings expectations (TechCrunch), which was largely driven by the success of StubHub as its core business is mostly flat (Fortune)
  • 7/20 – Intel released mixed second quarter earnings as it takes the restructuring charge of $1.2B that it previously announced in April (TechCrunch)
  • 7/20 – athenahealth released its earnings and missed badly with the stock trading down over 12%
  • 7/21 – Dassault Systems was mostly flat on earnings announcement (Seeking Alpha)
  • 7/22 – Paypal released its earnings and traded up slightly (2%) with news of a partnership with Visa (mentioned above) (TechCrunch)
  • 7/22 – 8×8 traded up 3% on earnings beat (The Street)

Financings

  • 7/20 – Sprinklr*, a New York-based provider of enterprise social technology solutions, has raised $105 million in Series F funding at a $1.8 billion valuation. Temasek led the round
  • 7/20 – Sift Science, a San Francisco-based provider of real-time machine learning fraud prevention for online businesses, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round
  • 7/19 – ZenReach, a San Francisco-based provider of wifi hardware to coffee shops and other restaurants, has raised $30 million in Series B funding
  • 7/20 – Pantheon, a WordPress and Drupal hosting service, has raised $29 million in Series C funding. Industry Ventures led the round
  • 7/20 – Doppler Labs, a New York-based maker of an all-in-one wireless listening system, has raised $24 million in new VC funding. The Chernin Group led the round
  • 7/20 – GuardiCore*, an Israeli provider of data center security and breach detection solutions, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Existing backers Battery Ventures and 83North were joined by new investors Cisco Investments.
  • 7/19 – Skycure, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of mobile threat defense solutions, has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding. Foundation Capital led the round
  • 7/21 – Deposit Solutions GmbH, a German fintech startup focused on the European retail deposit market, has raised €15 million in VC funding at a €110 million valuation. Backers include Valar Ventures, FinLab and Greycroft Partners
  • 7/21 – Redis Labs, an open-source data structure store, has raised $14 million in Series C funding. Bain Capital Ventures and Carmel Ventures co-led the round
  • 7/20 – Brandcast, a San Francisco-based code-free website platform for brands, has raised $13.9 million in Series A funding. Shasta Ventures led the round
  • 7/19 – Kiip, a San Francisco-based mobile rewards network, has raised $12 million in Series C funding. North Atlantic Capital led the round
  • 7/22 – AristaMD, a San Diego-based provider of specialist referral support tools, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. Avalon Ventures led the round
  • 7/18 – Azalea Health, an Atlanta-based provider of revenue cycle enhancement software for healthcare practices, has raised $10.5 million in Series B funding. Kayne Partners led the round
  • 7/21 – CargoX, a Brazil-based provider of on-demand trucking services, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Goldman Sachs led the round
  • 7/18 – Lifesum, a Stockholm-based health and nutrition tracking startup, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Nokia Growth Partners led the round,
  • 7/18 – Modo Labs., a Stamford, Conn.-based mobile engagement platform for creating campus and enterprise apps, has raised $10 million in Series B funding
  • 7/18 – MarketInvoice, a UK-based P2P lending platform that transacts around outstanding invoices, has raised £7.2 million in new VC funding. MCI Capital led the round
  • 7/19 – Guideline, a New York-based online retirement planning startup, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Propel Venture Partners led the round
  • 7/18 – Civil Maps, an Albany, Calif.-based provider of 3D mapping technology for fully autonomous vehicles, has raised $6.6 million in seed funding. Motus Ventures led the round
  • 7/19 – Eastwind Networks, a Salt Lake City-based provider of a hybrid network breach detection system, has raised $5.5 million in new seed funding. Signal Peak Ventures led the round
  • 7/22 – Kazan Networks, an Auburn, Calif.-based data storage performance startup, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. Samsung Ventures led the round
  • 7/21 – ReviewTrackers, a Chicago-based customer feedback platform, has raised $4 million in growth equity funding led by American Family Ventures
  • 7/18 – Magnetic Insight, an Alameda, Calif.-based diagnostic imaging startup, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Sand Hill Angeles led the round
  • 7/20 – BestMile, a Swiss developer of cloud intelligence for driverless vehicles, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding led by Forticap
  • 7/21 – Stardog, a Washington, D.C.-based enterprise data unification platform, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding led by Core Capital and Boulder Ventures
  • 7/20 – Trim, a personal finance chatbot, has raised $2.2 million in new VC funding. Eniac Ventures led the round
  • 7/18 – Scope AR, a San Francisco-based provider of augmented reality smart instructions and live support video calling solutions, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Susa Ventures, Presence Capital Fund and New Stack Ventures
  • 7/20 – ZipBooks, an accounting software startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding. Peak Ventures led the round
  • 7/18 – Darktrace, a London-based provider of enterprise cybersecurity software, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from Samsung SDS
  • 7/18 – ZestFinance, a Los Angeles-based big data company focused on credit scoring, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Baidu.com
  • 7/20 – Mist, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of mobile experiences for business, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Cisco Investments

Random, long reads
Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All (The New Yorker) – The co-writer of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal” goes in on the Donald, apologizing for his part in creating the spectacle that we have running for President today. There are obvious conflicts of interest in the author now coming out and addressing his impressions of the person he painted in a favorable light 20ish years ago, but Schwartz acknowledges this, explains his motives and also kept a detailed journal of his interactions (not to mention the New Yorker cross-referencing accounts).  The whole thing is worth the read, but the quote that has made the rounds (for good reason) was: “I put lipstick on a pig. I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

Great!

The Encyclopedia of Matt Damon (GQ) – By all accounts one of the most likeable people in Hollywood, GQ does a profile on Matt Damon simply by interviewing him and those famous people closest to him (Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Martin Scorsese, Tina Fey, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Roberts, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Simmons etc. etc.). The output is a great read that paints a picture of a fairly normal guy that happens to be one of the best actors of his generation.  Few funny quotes:

  • Matt Damon: Casey (Affleck) moved in with us [when he was 19]. He would walk in the room, and I’m like, “Is that my shirt?” It got so bad with the Affleck brothers that I was at the point where I wanted to label all of my stuff, ’cause it would just fucking show up in Casey’s drawer. And if it’s there long enough, then it’s like some version of squatters’ rights, where suddenly he’s like, “No, dude, this is mine. You saw me. I’ve been wearing this since December.” Like, that doesn’t mean it’s yours! Just because you washed it doesn’t mean it’s yours.
  • John Krasinski (co-writer, ‘Promised Land’): The day I met him was the scene in The Adjustment Bureau where he kisses my wife [Emily Blunt] in a very big way. And so when I went up to him, he turned to me, and the first thing he ever said to me was, “Hey, man. I was just totally tonguing your girl.” And I went, “Oh, okay. Cool.” And he saw my face and he just cratered. He said, “Oh, my God. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”
  • Ben Affleck (co-writer, ‘Good Will Hunting’; best friend): The quality that has allowed Matt to maintain the illusion that he is Mr. Nice Guy is that he found a young TV actor who was just a pretty face and made friends with him so he would always look good by comparison. Matt is very media-savvy and manipulative in that way. He’s like a mix of [O. J. Simpson defense-team members] Bob Shapiro and Alan Dershowitz.

How America’s Favorite Sports Betting Expert Turned A Sucker’s Game Into An Industry (Deadspin) – If sports betting were legal, it’d be something that I’d definitely enjoy taking part in. This investigative piece by Deadspin looks at RJ Bell, the owner of Pregame.com, a site that is focused on “touts,” who will push you content and “expertise” on various upcoming sporting events for you to wager on. The catch here is that almost all these experts on Bell’s site according to Deadspin are horrible and that the way the site really makes money is through affiliate fees and other referral arrangements to offshore gambling websites where they get a percentage of money lost by gamblers. Really interesting piece if you have even a passing interest in the world of sports gambling.
*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: July 17, 2016

Last week, today

  • 7/7 – Coupa Software* has hired an investment for an IPO later this year according to people familiar with the matter (Reuters)
  • 7/8 – HP Enterprise is reportedly considering selling some of its software assets as it looks to slide down its operations. These potential divestitures would include former acquisitions like Autonomy, Mercury Interactive and Vertica (Bloomberg)
  • 7/8 – IDC released a report on public and private cloud infrastructure spending and estimates that it will increase more than 15% this year to get to $37.1B (Information Week)
  • 7/8 – VMware has named Mike Wookey, former CTO at Sun Microsystems + VP at Oracle, as CTO of its cloud management business (Fortune)
  • 7/10 – This week in Theranos, amid the business falling apart and being banned from owning or running lab, according the WSJ, Elizabeth Holmes covered negative news internally and tried to it in a more positive light (WSJ $)
  • 7/11 – Facebook is being sued for $1B for allegedly allowing the militant group, Hamas, to use the platform to kill four Americans and wound one in Israel (Bloomberg)
  • 7/11 – Pokemon Go added $7.5B to Nintendo’s market cap over two days (Fortune) and the revenue growth is “unprecedented” according to a Japanese gaming analyst (VentureBeat). Re/Code has the story of why the Company spun off from Google (Re/Code)
  • 7/11 – Not truly tech, but interesting nonetheless, the UFC has sold itself to Silver Lake, KKR and Michael Dell’s investment firm for $4B (NYT)
  • 7/11 – One research analyst at SunTrust is speculating that there’s a chance that the Yahoo sale process will not go through at all if bidders do not meet a $10B price (Business Insider)
  • 7/11 – CEO of Dropbox, Drew Houston, indicates that the platform is close to 200,000 paying business users (Fortune). He also threw shade at Box when asked by Dan Primack to name one thing that Dropbox had done before Box – Houston replied “generate cash” (Business Insider). Aaron Levie fired back saying, “I recall Blockbuster was cash flow positive before Netflix” (Business Insider)
  • 7/11 – In a tough two weeks for Tesla, the SEC is now investigating whether the Company breached securities laws by failing to disclose to investors a fatal crash in May as a material event (WSJ)
  • 7/11 – GoPro shares jumped 13% on the news of the Company potentially releasing its long-awaited (/delayed) drone camera, Karma (Fortune)
  • 7/11 – Xerox was in talks to acquire RR Donnelley, and merge some of its copier, printer and related-services businesses with the Company founded in 1864. RRD stock jumped 12% on the news (Bloomberg), but the deal was apparently rejected (WSJ $)
  • 7/11 – Surprisingly, Congress is (actually, potentially, maybe, possibly) doing something beneficial for start-ups and their employees by introducing a bill that would let employees defer tax payments on unrealized stock gains for up to seven years (The Information $       )
  • 7/11 – Twitter is going long on live content and will livestream the Democratic and Republican convention (Re/Code)
  • 7/11 – PCs have declined again, but less than recent quarters and less than projected (4.5% vs. expected 7.4%) (WSJ $)
  • 7/11 – Imperva is said to be working with Qatalyst on a sale after receiving unsolicited interest and Elliott Management taking a 9.8% stake in the business. The Company also lowered its revenue estimates for the second straight quarter and projected a wider loss. The shares fell 10% on the news after gaining 7.6% on the news of Qatalyst’s involvement (Bloomberg)
  • 7/11 – Lyft and GM are expanding their car rental partnership to include additional cities (TechCrunch)
  • 7/11 – Evernote has a new CTO and its former GoDaddy and Yahoo executive, Anirban Kundu (VentureBeat)
  • 7/11 – eBay announced that it will acquire predictive analytics startup, SalesPredict, which had raised $5.1M from Yandex, Pitango, KGC Capital among others (VentureBeat)
  • 7/11 – Mobile events company, DoubleDutch, is laying off nearly 25% of its workforce (55 people), after raising $45M from KKR a little over a year ago (TechCrunch)
  • 7/12 – Facebook has signed a deal to use Microsoft’s Office 365 for email and calendar with its 13,000 employees. The Company previously used the on-premise versions (WSJ)
  • 7/12 – Vine isn’t growing, most of its top executives have left in the last few months and Twitter is executing on the acquisition fairly poorly according to Re/Code (Re/Code)
  • 7/12 – NetSuite traded up 13% on news that Oracle might buy out the rest of the Company (it currently owns 40%) (Bidness)
  • 7/12 – Polaris Partners is looking to raise $400M for its eight fund according to an SEC filing (WSJ $)
  • 7/12 – SoFi is considering becoming a traditional bank and offering credit cards and deposit accounts (+ requisite regulatory approval for a state banking charter in Utah) amid an overall struggle in the sector, growing concerns in consumer loan defaults and shifting preferences among debt investors (WSJ $)
  • 7/12 – Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said that the product is “very real” and that it will launch its product “hopefully soonish” (TechCrunch)
  • 7/12 – All is not well at Hyerloop One and that’s even outside of the fact that they had a co-founder named Brogan BamBrogan (Fortune)
  • 7/12 – A report by TurboPatent on Yahoo’s patents indicates that 44% of the thousands of patents have “high severity” issues and nearly all of the patents have deficiencies that could invalidate them (Fortune)
  • 7/13 – Google and YouTube are fighting back against claims by music labels + artists that they aren’t paying enough, pointing to the fact that they paid out $1B last year to content owners (Re/Code)
  • 7/13 – The Information did a detailed analysis into which high profile start-ups gave the most investor friendly terms and which gave the most common shareholder friendly terms. The most common friendly companies in their analysis were Snapchat, Uber, Glassdoor*, Oscar, Palantir, Gusto, Airbnb, Compass, Tanium, GitHub, Palantir, Casper and Dropbox. The most investor friendly companies in their analysis were Adaptive Insights, Mirantis, SevOne, Kabbage and Alteryx (The Information $)
  • 7/13 – Intel’s McAfee business unit is drawing interest from private equity firms including Thoma Bravo, Permira, and Vista Equity (Bloomberg)
  • 7/14 – Line, the Japanese messaging app, debuted on the NYSE and the Tokyo stock exchange and traded up 27% making the Company worth ~$9B (Re/Code)
  • 7/14 – Amazon (AWS) has acquired Cloud9, a start-up focused on integrated development environments (IDE) for web and mobile developers to collaborate together (TechCrunch)
  • 7/14 – DCM has raised its eighth early stage fund, DCM VIII, a $500M fund (TechCrunch)
  • 7/14 – Microsoft won a ruling from the federal appeals court that said it cannot be forced to turn over customer emails stored on servers outside the U.S. to the government (Fortune)
  • 7/14 – A long list of technology executives (including Stewart Butterfield of Slack, Barry Diller of IAC, David Karp of Tumblr, Jeff Lawson of Twilio, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Jeremy Stoppelman of Yelp) have written an open letter on Medium that calls Trump a “disaster for innovation” (Fortune). Here is the letter (Medium)
  • 7/14 – Facebook is already distancing itself from Peter Thiel’s GOP Convention speech (Fortune)
  • 7/14 – GSV, a Chicago-based merchant bank, has filed with the SEC for a new $250M venture fund (SEC)
  • 7/14 – Atlassian has acquired StatusPage, a service that allows businesses to notify users of the status of their online applications (TechCrunch)
  • 7/14 – T-Mobile is providing free data to customers that are playing Pokemon Go (Business Insider)
  • 7/14 – Facebook said that it only made meager progress in improving the number of women and minorities within the Company, unsatisfyingly blaming the problem on a weak hiring pipeline (WSJ)
  • 7/15 – Final bids for Yahoo are due on Monday (NYT) and then I hope we never hear about the Company again
  • 7/15 – WeWork cut forecasts earlier this year and told employees that it was going to change “its spending culture.” The start-up lowered its profit forecast by 78%, its revenue estimate by 14% and disclosed a 63% surge in negative cash flow.  The Company expects to finish the year at a $882M revenue run-rate and $385M in negative free cash flow. Buildings for the Company that are open at least 6 months apparently have 33% EBITDA margins (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, WeWork CEO, Adam Neumann, said that he is not scared of going public and plans to be at $1B in revenue next year (Fortune)
  • 7/15 – Sales start-up, Immediately (which had raised $2M from investors including Streamlined Ventures), is shutting down and a few of its core product team members are joining New Relic (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 7/11 – As mentioned above, Imperva lowered its revenue estimates for the second straight quarter and projected a wider loss. The shares fell 10% on the news after gaining 7.6% on the news of Qatalyst’s involvement for a potential sell-side (Bloomberg)

Financings

  • 7/14 – Unity Technologies, a San Francisco-based software platform for mobile game developers, has raised $181 million in Series C funding at around a $1.5 billion post-money valuation. DFJ Growth led the round
  • 7/14 – Endotronix, a Woodridge, Ill.-based provider of reimbursable health management tools for patients suffering from advanced heart failure, has raised $32 million in Series C funding. Backers include   BioVentures Investors, SV Life Sciences, Lumira Capital, Aperture Venture Partners and OSF Ventures
  • 7/12 – Codecademy, a New York-based skills education company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Naspers Ventures led the round
  • 7/11 – CornerJob, a Barcelona-based mobile jobs marketplace, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Northzone led the round, and was joined by e.ventures
  • 7/13 – True Fit, a Woburn, Mass.-based retail SaaS startup that provides an online discovery engine for consumers to find better-fitting clothes, has raised $25 million in new VC funding. Intel Capital led the round
  • 7/14 – Bay Dynamics, a San Francisco-based provider of cyber risk analytics, has raised $23 million in Series B funding. Carrick Capital Partners led the round
  • 7/12 – Freshly, a New York-based healthy meal delivery service, has raised $21 million in Series A funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Highland Capital Partners and White Star Capital
  • 7/13 – Redkix, a new collaboration startup that merges chat with email, has raised $17 million in seed funding from Salesforce Ventures, Wicklow Capital, SG VC and individual angels
  • 7/14 – Docent Health, a Boston-based healthcare experience platform, has raised $15 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, NEA and Maverick Ventures
  • 7/11 – 3scan, a San Francisco-based computational pathology platform company, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. Lux Capital and Data Collective co-led the round
  • 7/14 – Caremerge, a Chicago-based post-acute care coordination platform, has raised $14 million in new VC funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round
  • 7/12 – Data.world, an Austin, Texas-based data collaboration startup, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Shasta Ventures led the round
  • 7/14 – Indegy, an Israeli provider of industrial cybersecurity solutions, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Vertex Ventures led the round
  • 7/15 – Grow, a Provo, Utah-based business data analytics platform, has raised $11 million led by Toba Capital
  • 7/12 – Avizia, a Reston, Va.-based telehealth provider, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. Blue Heron Capital led the round
  • 7/12 – Universal Avenue, a Stockholm-based local salesforce on-demand startup, has raised $10 million in new Series A funding (bringing the round total to $15m). Eight Roads led the round
  • 7/13 – Flashpoint, a New York-based cybersecurity startup focused on the deep and dark web, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Greycroft Partners led the round
  • 7/15 – CyberGRX, a Denver-based cyber risk management platform, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Allegis Capital led the round
  • 7/15 – Amplero, a Seattle-based predictive customer lifetime value management platform, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Wildcat Venture Partners led the round
  • 7/14 – Appthority, a San Francisco-based provider of enterprise mobile threat protection solutions, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Trident Capital Cybersecurity led the round
  • 7/14 –  Snupps, a London-based visual organizer and social network, has raised $4.75 million in new VC funding from individual angels and family trusts
  • 7/13 – PostBeyond, a Toronto-based employee advocacy solution, has raised C$4 million in Series A funding co-led by Information Venture Partners and Export Development Canada
  • 7/15 –  Findo, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based smart search assistant, has raised $3 million in new seed funding from Flint Capital
  • 7/14 –  FiveAI, a London-based artificial intelligence startup, has raised $2.7 million in new VC funding. Amadeus Capital Partners led the round
  • 7/15 –  Freightera, a Vancouver-based online freight marketplace, has raised C$2.1 million in new VC funding from Robson Capital, Ted Snider Financial and individual angels in California
  • 7/15 –  GameOn, a San Francisco-based mobile engagement platform for sports fans, has raised $2 million in new seed funding from Quest Venture Partners, XG Ventures, Next News Ventures the DeBartolo family, Joe Montana and Snoop Dogg
  • 7/15 –  Zenrez, a San Francisco-based platform for last-minute fitness class bookings, has raised $2 million in VC funding from Artis Ventures, Summit Action Fund and Precursor Ventures

Random, long reads
Angels in America: The Complete Oral History (Slate) – Before there was Hamilton, there was Angels in America, which took Broadway by storm close to 25 years ago and HBO subsequently made a mini-series on it.  The story is a fantastical one, that brought the AIDS plight for the gay community to light in the mainstream for the first time. The Slate goes back and interviews all the major players involved about how this massive undertaking came to be. If you’ve never seen the HBO min-series, it’s well, well worth your time and available on-demand.

How Technology Disrupted the Truth (The Guardian) – The Guardian goes in-depth to figure out how we ended up in the news environment that we’re in today, where stories move so quickly and facts are seldom checked. The advent of social media has changed so many things in the world for the better, but there is the underlying issue of news and more importantly, factual accuracy, that is often being thrown out the window. As headlines and sensationalism generate clicks and, therefore, money, we’re being put in an awkward position where the onus for factual accuracy is being passed around like a hot potato.  An interesting and insightful piece by the Guardian.

The Refrigerator’s Stubborn Spiral (Sports Illustrated) – The tragic story of one of the most likeable and recognizable NFL defensive linemen of all-time, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, and his fall from the top after his football career ended.  One of the main stars of the 1985 Super Bowl winning Chicago Bears team, the Fridge, a man said to not have a single mean bone in his body, is now in bad shape after years of not appropriately caring for himself and seems to be in a position where there isn’t anyone around him truly looking out for his interest.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: July 10, 2016

Last week, today

  • 7/1 – Richard Boyle, who was an operating partner at Khosla Ventures and the former CEO of LoopNet (acquired by CoStar for $860M, 9.5x LTM revenue), is joining Canaan Partners as a partner (PE HUB)
  • 7/1 – Johnson & Johnson is aggressively moving to the cloud, planning to have 85% of its applications in the cloud by 2018 (WSJ)
  • 7/4 – Snapchat is catching on with people over 35 according to a new study by the comScore (as reported by the WSJ). Currently 14% of US smartphone users over 35 years old are on the app and that number is rising steadily (WSJ)
  • 7/4 – San Francisco is considering a tax on tech companies to pay for the displacement by tech companies in the city (NYT)
  • 7/4 – Line, the Japanese messaging-app, revised its IPO price range up, citing strong demand (WSJ)
  • 7/4 – A market research firm released a pretty brutal report on customers’ experience using SAP’s software recently (Diginomica)
  • 7/5 – The New York Times does a deep dive into the new life of Jared Kushner, an investor himself and the older brother of Thrive Capital and Oscar Health founder, Josh Kushner, and his new role as one of the leaders of the Trump campaign (NYT)
  • 7/5 – The latest rounds of Yahoo offers are due this week with the final rounds due the week of July 18th (Re/Code)
  • 7/5 – Twitter has added Quip CEO and former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor to its board (VentureBeat)
  • 7/5 – Alex Shootman, former President of Apptio and Eloqua, has been named the CEO of Workfront (formerly known as AtTask), which has raised $95M from OpenView and JMI among others (PR Newswire)
  • 7/5 – Online lender Avant has offered buyouts to all 760 of its employees amid the slowdown in the financial lending market (WSJ $)
  • 7/5 – Twilio will now help Amazon deliver some of their SMS messages through the Amazon Simple Notification Service program, but specifics around what exactly that means remain vague/cryptic (TechCrunch)
  • 7/5 – Google is now trying to sue the Oracle lawyer that let it slip in open court that Google pays Apple over $1B a year to include its search bar in the iPhone (Fortune)
  • 7/5 – A short bit after indicating it was for sale, Epicor (a provider of sales and back-office software to manufacturers and retailers) has been acquired by KKR from Apax for $3.3B (WSJ $)
  • 7/5 – The war between Comcast and Netflix has finally ended with the two companies striking a deal to provide the streaming service on Comcast’s X1 cable boxes later this year (Fortune)
  • 7/5 – Social Gaming Network is acquiring Andreesen Horowitz-backed company, TinyCo, which had raised $38M (last in 2013) and navigated through some tough times including breaching the covenants on a $10M SVB line (WSJ $)
  • 7/6 – Dan Primack was able to dig up some of the details on (Zenefits co-founder and former CEO) Parker Conrad’s new start-up, which will focus on employee on-boarding (Fortune)
  • 7/6 – Forbes has a detailed look into the battle that Google and Microsoft are now waging to try and catch up to Amazon in the cloud (Forbes)
  • 7/6 – In what might prove to be a huge announcement, but will probably prove to be a nothing one, Microsoft announced that it is combining its Dynamics CRM and ERP products into an integrated platform that it is hoping third parties will build apps on top of and also an app store for it (TechCrunch)
  • 7/6 – This was Pokemon Go’s week and we were all just witnesses to it (TechCrunch). The app is apparently about to pass Twitter in daily active users on Android (Forbes)
  • 7/6 – Zerve, a platform for tours and activities, announced it would be shutting down on 6/30. Apparently, Zozi had offered to acquire the business for $6M, but Zerve declined and instead accepted $100K from FareHarbor to run the business for another week and transition its 200 clients to the FareHarbor platform (Skift)
  • 7/6 – Glasswing Ventures has now formally filed with the SEC for the $150M fund it plans to raise to focus on AI and cybersecurity (SEC.gov)
  • 7/6 – Forerunner Ventures has raised a $122M fund to continue to focus on early stage consumer investing (TechCrunch)
  • 7/6 – Mixpanel agrees to settle an employee class-action suit for $750K for incorrectly classifying employees as overtime exempt and illegally requiring employees to sign non-competes (WSJ $)
  • 7/6 – Google bought a start-up that specializes in ‘instant object recognition’ on the smartphone for an undisclosed amount (Business Insider)
  • 7/6 – Edison Ventures has closed Edison Partners VIII, a $275M growth fund. Their last fund was a $250M raised in 2010 (PE Hub)
  • 7/6 – Alibaba has acquired one of China’s most prominent Android app stores, Wandoujia, for around $200M. The Company was reportedly valued at more than $1B when it raised $120M from SoftBank in 2014 (TechCrunch)
  • 7/6 – The Information has the story on what impact the Zenefits re-pricing will have on its early stage investors (answer: not much) (The Information $)
  • 7/6 – Facebook has poached Rich Heley, the VP of Products at Telsa (responsible for new vehicle programs and reporting directly to Elon Musk), as its new lead of manufacturing at a new research lab that will be responsible for developing hardware products (Investors)
  • 7/6 – Elon Musk continues to be fairly tone-deaf about the Tesla crash, going on Twitter rants about the reporting of the crash and generally just showing a lack of real empathy (Business Insider)
  • 7/7 – M&A keeps humming right along with security firm, Avast (backed by CVC and Summit Partners), agreeing to buy rival AVG for $1.3B in cash, representing a 33% premium in the closing stock price (Fortune)
  • 7/7 – Android co-founder, Rich Miner, is leaving GV (fka Google Ventures) to lead a new education technology initiative within Google (TechCrunch)
  • 7/7 – The lawyer for the accuser in the Michael Goguen case, the former Sequoia General Partner that has been accused of a number of not great things, requested to withdraw from the case, citing irreconcilable differences (Fortune)
  • 7/7 – COO of Microsoft (who ran its entire sales operations), Kevin Turner, is leaving the Company to join Citadel. Turner was at one point considered as CEO after Ballmer (Business Insider)
  • 7/7 – Mozilla could walk away with more than $1B if it doesn’t like Yahoo’s buyer in an odd deal that was personally struck by Marissa Mayer (Re/Code)
  • 7/7 – Facebook Live was at the center of the conversation this week after a Minnesota shooting by a police officer (Business Insider), something the Company is increasingly going to need to deal with (Buzzfeed)
  • 7/7 – Bumble, the offshoot of Tinder that was founded by one of the early Tinder employees, has a [weird/off-brand] new product called BumbleBIZZ that will let you swipe for professional contacts (Fortune)
  • 7/7 – Google has acquired Anvato to handle the backend systems for storing and streaming video in a play to get more media companies on its infrastructure. The Company will join Google’s cloud division (Re/Code)
  • 7/7 – Analysts are having a tough time agreeing on whether or not Apple’s sales will be strong or weak (Bloomberg)
  • 7/8 – This week in Theranos, its founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, has been barred from running a laboratory and accepting payments from Medicare and Medicaid. The sanctions will take effect in 60 days (NYT). Tim Draper probably still defends her though
  • 7/8 – Bain Capital Ventures has closed a new $600M fund for enterprise software companies (WSJ $)
  • 7/8 – Polycom has cancelled its deal with Mitel, which was valued at $1.96B after Siris Capital came in with an offer for $2B in cash (TechCrunch)
  • 7/8 – After the initial (advertising) success of its streaming deal with the NFL, Twitter is looking to ink more sports streaming rights and is currently in discussion with the NBA and the MLS (Re/Code)

Earnings

  • 7/7 – Barracuda Networks jumped 13.5% on Q1 earnings beat after beating on both the top and bottom line. Its subscription business was up 20.3% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 7/8 – Western Digital shares traded up 6% on better than expected early results from the SanDesk acquisition (Fool.com)

Financings

  • 7/8 –Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-share giant, has raised $1.15 billion from a new high-yield loan, according to the WSJ. The company has now raised more than $15 billion in debt and equity.
  • 7/7 – Light, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of a multi-aperture computational camera, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. GV led the  round
  • 7/6 – HourlyNerd, a Boston-based freelancer marketplace, has raised $22 million in Series C funding. General Catalyst Partners led the round
  • 7/5 – Revinate, a San Francisco-based provider of hotel management software focused on guest experience personalization, has raised nearly $13 million in Series C funding. Sozo Ventures led the round.
  • 7/7 – BevSpot, a Boston-based beverage management software platform for the hospitality industry, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures
  • 7/7 – Service Partners One, a Berlin-based digital office management company, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. EQT Ventures led the round
  • 7/6 – Twistlock, a San Francisco-based provider of security solutions for virtual containers, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from TenEleven Ventures
  • 7/6 – Veriflow, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of network breach and outage prevention solutions, has raised $8.2 million in Series A funding. Menlo Ventures led the round
  • 7/7 – Post-Quantum (PQ), a UK-based quantum encryption startup, has raised GBP 8 million in Series B funding
  • 7/5 – Everplans, a New York-based online estate and legacy planning platform, has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Mousse Partners led the round
  • 7/7 – Black Swan Data, a London-based provider of data integration and classification services, has raised GBP 6.2 million in Series B funding. Albion Ventures led the round
  • 7/5 – Natural Cycles, a Swedish provider of fertility software, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Bonnier Media Growth led the round
  • 7/8 – CoolaData, an Israeli provider of a cloud-based behavioral analytics platform for business intelligence, has raised $5.6 million in VC funding from Salesforce Ventures
  • 7/5 – Network Locum, a London-based provider of healthcare staffing and workplace management software, has raised 5.3 million in Series B funding led by BGF Ventures
  • 7/6 – Homee, a Los Angeles-based home decor app, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Founders Fund and Sean Rad (Tinder CEO)
  • 7/7 – Riffyn, an Oakland-based provider of cloud-based research process design software, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Siemens Venture Capital
  • 7/5 – Echobox, a London-based AI service for the digital publishing service, has raised $3.4 million in new VC funding
  • 7/7 – EarnUp, a San Francisco-based platform for automating loan payments, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Backers include Blumberg Capital, Kapor Capital, Camp One Ventures and Fenway Summer Ventures
  • 7/8 – Drupe, an Israel-based mobile interface overlay, has raised $3 million in new VC funding from Canaan Partners Israel and Sweet Capital
  • 7/7 – Syntax, a Montreal-based provider of cloud and other enterprise tech solutions to North American businesses, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Novacap

Random, long reads
Daddies, “Dates,” and the Girlfriend Experience: Welcome to the New Prostitution Economy
(Vanity Fair) – Vanity Fair goes into the new world of prostitution that has been driven largely by the proliferation of mobile apps and sites (not to mention student debt and the overall economy).  Fascinating look at how this has evolved and where we are today.

Future: Syrup, Strippers and Heavy Angst With the Superstar MC (Rolling Stone) –  Future’s name seems to be attached to every single thing of substance in the hip-hop industry today. Rolling Stone goes deep into what motivates the artist and how he ended up as one of the brightest stars in hip-hop today.

Why One Woman Pretended to Be a High-School Cheerleader (The Atlantic) – You might recall the story from eight years ago. A mother of two in Wisconsin posed as a high school student and went back to school including attempting to join the cheerleading team, before ultimately being arrested.  This is the first time anyone has interviewed her about what happened and how she ended up in that position. A very sad, albeit interesting look into this one woman’s life.
*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: July 4, 2016

Took an extra day with the 4th before sending it out. Hope everyone was able to spend time with family and friends

Last week, today

  • 6/24 – Tim Draper is still defending Theranos saying that Big Pharma is terrified of Theranos and the comparing it to “the way Uber was attacked by taxi drivers, and Bitcoin was attacked by the banks” (Vanity Fair)
  • 6/24 – TechCrunch speculates that the latest moves by Palantir may be preparing it for an IPO (TechCrunch)
  • 6/24 – Amazon is reportedly competing with itself to hire new engineers (Business Insider)
  • 6/24 – The day has finally come.. Netflix is reportedly developing a feature that would let people download its shows and movies to watch them later in ‘offline’ mode (Business Insider)
  • 6/27 – Jason Lemkin has raised $70M for his SaaStr Fund (WSJ)
  • 6/27 – There are leaked photos of what might be the new iPhone 7 and it doesn’t seem to feature too many changes, with the exception of the removal of the headphone jack, which you’ll hear way too much about for the next few months (Business Insider)
  • 6/27 – Bloomberg has a story on the struggle that DocuSign has had in replacing CEO Keith Krach after he announced that he wanted to step aside including a report that Rick Osterloh, a former executive at Motorola Mobility was tapped to replace Krach, but ultimately backed out to take a job as SVP of the hardware unit at Alphabet (Bloomberg)
  • 6/27 – E2open (taken private by Insight Venture Partners for $273M in February 2015) has acquired point-of-sale analytics company Orchestro. No financial terms were disclosed but Orchestro had raised $20M from various venture firms (E2open)
  • 6/27 – Intel is considering selling its McAfee security unit, which it bought six years ago for $7.9B (Fortune)
  • 6/27 – Bee Partners has raised a $30M fund, its second, to focus on early stage investments in the US (TechCrunch)
  • 6/27 – The CEO of Epicor said that Apax is considering selling the business that it bought in 2011 for $1.0B (and later merged with Activant). Apax previously considered selling the business in 2014, before rejecting offers around $3B (WSJ)
  • 6/27 – Amazon is doubling down on its Dash-button ordering devices, adding more brands to the list of buttons offered by the Company (WSJ)
  • 6/27 – Lyft is reportedly working with Qatalyst on raising money or selling the business (VentureBeat). Its financial were also leaked and the picture painted isn’t very pretty (Bloomberg). Here’s a detailed breakdown from Mattermark
  • 6/27 – Partech raised a $440M growth fund (TechCrunch)
  • 6/27 – Skullcandy, the beleaguered maker of headphones, has had a private equity firm take a 10% stake in the business and make a buyout offer that would value the Company at $173.2M (WSJ)
  • 6/27 – The CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Meg Whitman, announced another re-org that will make it “easier to buy from and partner with” the Company (Fortune)
  • 6/28 – Cisco has acquired CloudLock, a company built to monitor and control employees use of cloud services, for $293M (WSJ)
  • 6/28 – Birchbox has cut 12% (30 people) of its staff just weeks after the Company’s CEO laid out plans for an IPO (Bloomberg)
  • 6/28 – Evernote, which has faced pressure from those calling for unicorn blood (leading to a CEO change), is tweaking its pricing plan in an attempt to increase monetization (TechCrunch)
  • 6/28 – Talend, backed by Silver Lake Sumeru, has filed for an IPO. The Company plans to raise $86M off of revenue of $76M (’15) up from $63M (’14) and a loss of $22M (’15) over $23M (’14) (Bloomberg)
  • 6/28 – Informa, a British business services company, has reportedly held talks about purchasing Thomson Reuter’s Intellectual Property & Science Division. Thomson Reuters expects to fetch ~$1B in the sale with other rumored bidders including Bain Capital and Carlyle (Bloomberg)
  • 6/28 – Line has set the price of its IPO range, which could raise up to $1.1B in Tokyo and New York in July (WSJ)
  • 6/28 – LendingClub is cutting 12% (179) of its workforce as loan volumes continue to fall. It also made acting CEO Scott Sanborn, its permanent one (WSJ)
  • 6/28 – While competitive bidders on LinkedIn (more below) and one time potential mergers themselves, Salesforce and Microsoft are increasingly friends, announcing deeper integrations between the inbox and the CRM (Fortune)
  • 6/29 – Uber is beginning to monitor drivers’ phones to track things like speed and abrupt braking/accelerating (Re/Code)
  • 6/29 – Airbnb has lined up investors for a dual stock sale that will value the Company at $30B (up from $25.5B a year ago), raising $500M-$1B (NYT) while it finds itself in conflict with the city that created it (NYT)
  • 6/29 – Shasta Ventures is reportedly raising a $300M fund, its fifth (TechCrunch)
  • 6/29 – Moving beyond food, DoorDash will soon be able to deliver you alcohol (TechCrunch)
  • 6/29 – Move Loot, which was reported as being for sale a few weeks back, has officially shut down and sold its customer list to Handy (TechCrunch)
  • 6/29 – Facebook is changing its newsfeed to focus more on your friends and families (and implicitly less on publishers), which highlights the unusual relationship the Company has with media entities (NYT)
  • 6/29 – Kleiner Perkins has raised two funds that total $1.4B – a third digital growth fund ($1B) and its 17th early stage fund ($400M) (TechCrunch)
  • 6/30 – In Apple’s continued process of not really knowing what to do with what was once a music monopoly, the Company is reportedly now in talks about potentially buying Tidal to bolster its relationships with music artists (WSJ)
  • 6/30 – Cisco and IBM have announced a deeper partnership that will integrate Watson with Cisco’s collaboration products to take on Microsoft and rivals like Slack (TechCrunch)
  • 6/30 – Spanish authorities have raided Google’s offices over tax policy issues, less than a month after the same thing happened in France (Reuters)
  • 6/30 – Facebook is shutting down its Paper news-reading app, which was widely praised for its design, but never got adoption with users (The Verge)
  • 6/30 – HP Enterprise won a $3B verdict over Oracle in a trial related to damages from Oracle’s decision to stop making software for HP’s servers following the acquisition of Sun (Business Insider)
  • 6/30 – There may be more to Nikesh Arora’s resignation from SoftBank after all. The SEC is looking into whether Arora appropriately disclosed conflicts of interests or engaged in other questionable behavior (Bloomberg)
  • 6/30 – Spotify and Apple are in a public pissing contest as Apple will not release a new version of the app due to the fact that Spotify is encouraging users to not subscribe to its service through the app store, but instead go directly to the site to cut out the 30% fee Apple takes (Re/Code)
  • 6/30 – The self-driving car industry takes a blow after it was revealed, following an investigation, that Tesla’s self-driving mode was responsible for the death of a man in May (NYT). Mobileye, the Company behind the breaking features, said that the technology was not equipped to handle the scenario (TechCrunch)
  • 6/30 – In an unprecedented move (at least for a high profile company), Zenefits has reset its stock price with its Series C investors from $4.5B to $2.0B by increasing that round’s ownership stake (in which the Series C investors put in $500M) from 11% to 25% (Fortune) and Andreessen Horowitz was reportedly not pleased (Bloomberg)
  • 7/1 – The Associated Press is ramping up its partnership with Vista Equity-owned Automated Insights to generate corporate earnings reports and sports box score transcriptions (VentureBeat)
  • 7/1 – Facebook has over 11,000 bots and 21,000 developers building on its Messenger platform, David Marcus, the head of Facebook Messenger said (CNBC)
  • 7/1 – So LinkedIn filed its proxy statement that outlines how their process played itself out. Here’s the timeline from Re/Code. All kinds of interesting nuggets in there but some notable ones:
    • Microsoft didn’t have the highest bid. It’s final offer ($196 per share) was topped by another party (Salesforce) who offered $200 per share but in cash and stock and needed approval from shareholders (Re/Code)
    • In the obviously camp goes the fact that Google and Facebook also “looked at” buying LinkedIn. Google actually did some work, but bowed out pretty quickly. Facebook politely took a meeting and declined (Re/Code)
    • A bidding war ultimately drove the price to the level that it got with Microsoft and Salesforce going blow for blow. While Salesforce lost, it did make Microsoft pay $4.7B more
  • 7/1 – Simply Hired was actually acquired by Recruit Holdings and its better known entity, Indeed.com (TechCrunch)
  • 7/2 – TechCrunch has a history of how the juggernaut that is Amazon Web Services came to be (TechCrunch)\

Earnings
None of note.
 
Financings

  • 6/29 – Airbnb, the nearly eight-year-old, San Francisco-based temporary housing marketplace, is in talks for a new round of investment that would value the company at about $30 billion, says the New York Times
  • 7/1 – Zoox, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup said to be building technology that could compete with Google’s self-driving cars and Cruise Automation, has raised $200 million at a $1 billion valuation, including from Lux Capital and DFJ
  • 6/27 – Thrive Market, a three-year-old, L.A.-based online discount marketplace for healthy foods, has raised $111 million in new funding led by Invus Group, with participation from Greycroft Partners, Cavu Venture Partners, Cross Culture Ventures and e-Ventures
  • 6/28 – Anki, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based entertainment robotics company, has raised $52.5 million in funding led by J.P. Morgan. Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures also joined the round, along with hedge fund Two Sigma
  • 6/30 – Care.com, a 10-year-old, publicly traded specialist in helping connect families and caregivers of all stripes, has a new investor; Google Capital said yesterday it has invested $46.35 million in the $278 million company, making it the single biggest shareholder
  • 6/28 – Ayla Networks, a six-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based IoT company, has raised $39 million in new funding co-led by design manufacturer 3NOD and Ants Capital
  • 6/30 – SmartRecruiters, a nearly three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes applicant tracking system and recruiting software, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners
  • 6/27 – MisterFly, a two-year-old, Paris, France-based online travel agency, has raised €20 million ($22 million) in first-round funding led by private equity firm Montefiore Investment
  • 7/1 – Index, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that makes retail software, has raised $19 million in Series B funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 7/1 – Woven Digital, a six-year-old, Culver City, Ca.-based digital media and content company that caters to young men, has raised $18.5 million in Series B funding led by WPP Ventures
  • 6/27 – Orbital Insight, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based geospatial big data company, has just raised $15 million in Series B funding led by previous investor GV
  • 6/29 – Keen IO, a 4.5-year-old, San Francisco-based fully managed cloud API that helps developers build custom analytics and data science features directly into their web, mobile, or IoT apps, has raised $14.7 million in Series B funding led by Pelion Venture Partners
  • 6/30 – Kin Community, a five-year-old, L.A.-based web video company that both produces original content and works with a stable of top digital media creators, has raised $13.5 million in Series D funding led by earlier investor Emil Capital Partners
  • 7/1 – Revinate, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes guest experience software for the hospitality industry, has raised $13 million. Earlier backers include Tenaya Capital, Northgate Capital, Industry Ventures, Benchmark, Formation 8 and Tao Capital Partners
  • 6/29 – PredictSpring, a three-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based startup that helps brands and retailers build mobile apps, has raised $11.4 million in Series A funding led by Felicis Ventures
  • 6/30 – OpsGenie*, a four-year-old, Falls Church, Va.-based company that makes IT alerting and on-call management software, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Battery Ventures
  • 6/27 – D3 Banking, a nine-year-old, Omaha, Ne.-based company that helps traditional, mid-size banks digitize and simplify their own platforms, has raised $10 million from West Partners
  • 6/30 – Jornaya, a five-year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based company that makes predictive intelligence tools to help consumer companies better understand their customers, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Edison Partners
  • 6/29 – what3words, a three-year-old, London-based startup behind a universal postcode/zip code alternative aimed at simplifying location sharing, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding led by logistics company Aramex
  • 7/1 – Everplans, a six-year-old, New York-based end-of-life company that invites users to create, share and store legal, financial and health information in one place so loved ones can later access it, has raised $6.4 million led by Mousse Partners
  • 6/30 – Festicket, a four-year-old, London-based startup that lets users book music festival experiences, has raised $6.3 million in Series B funding. Lepe Partners led the round.
  • 7/1 – Digi.me, a seven-year-old, London-based personal data aggregation and exchange platform, has raised $6.1 million in Series A funding led by Swiss Re
  • 6/28 – Boon + Gable, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sends a personal stylist to customers’ homes with a curated selection of clothes to try on, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. CrossCut Ventures led the round
  • 6/30 – ProducePay, a 1.5-year-old, L.A.-based platform that helps farmers get paid in a timely manner for their crops, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Menlo Ventures
  • 6/28 – Employment Hero, a two-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based cloud-based employee management platform, has raised roughly $2.2 million (in U.S. dollars) led by OneVentures
  • 6/28 – Flip, a year-old, New York-based online marketplace that helps tenants find someone to take over their lease, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Investors include Joanne Wilson, Scott Belsky, Techstars Ventures, Built by Girls Ventures, V1 Ventures and MetaProp NYC
  • 6/27 – Real World Retail, a three-year-old, Dublin, Ireland-based retail analytics start-up, has raised €920,000 ($1 million) in funding from angel investors and Enterprise Ireland
  • 6/29 – Compass, a 4.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that had previously raised $3 million from investors for its business monitoring and intelligence service, is now zeroing in on a new e-commerce analytics software product. Toward that end, the company just raised $1 million in seed funding from earlier backers New Enterprise Associates, PROfounders, and longtime VC Allen Morgan, who were joined by former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer

Random, long reads
The Fugitive, His Dead Wife, and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory That Explains Everything (GQ) – The story of how one man stands accused of murdering his first wife, but is currently living in Argentina in a political battle that has featured him proclaiming that he is only being prosecuted for his behind the scenes, intimate knowledge of 9/11.  Not the highest brow of stories but an interesting one nonetheless
 
Eyes of the Storm (Sports Illustrated) – Pat Summitt passed away this week at the age of 64. As a Tennessee sports fan, I was always amazed to watch what she did with the Lady Vols decade after decade. Losing her far too young is hard to swallow, but this piece from March 2, 1998 is the definitive one I was able to turf up on Summitt and what she built for Tennessee, women’s sports and women’s rights that will last far beyond her short time on earth.
 
Vince Staples, Regular Genius (The Fader) – Any short list of who is next in the hip-hop world includes Vince Staples, who has quickly ascended to the top of the list of new rappers.  The LA born artist is a series of contradictions – a Crip that has never had a sip of alcohol or touched drugs. Clever and entertaining, but dark and ominous. This piece goes deep into the accidental hip-hop career of someone that reminds me of Kendrick Lamar before he was Kendrick Lamar.
 
From the article: “He strips away the glorification of gangsta rap and reminds listeners that their entertainment doesn’t come without a body count and other brutal consequences. Staples has transcended comparisons, but if you needed to make one: He’s the closest heir to the Ice Cube of Death Certificate crossed with the Ice Cube of Friday.”
Credit to Fred Stevens Smith for turning me onto this one

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: June 26, 2016

Last week, today

  • 6/14 – FICO acquired QuadMetrics, a start-up to form the basis of the Company’s “enterprise security scores” that will compete against start-ups like BitSight and SecurityScorecard (WSJ)
  • 6/16 – What does life look like when Uber and Lyft leave your city? Austin is unfortunately finding out and it sounds miserable (Vocativ)
  • 6/18 – Apple won’t support the GOP convention due to comments made by Donald Trump (Re/Code)
  • 6/18 – Peloton, the New York City-based in-home, internet-connected fitness bike company, is expecting to do $150M in revenue in 2016 (up from what was rumored to be $50M in 2015, a five-fold increase from 2014) and is profitable (Fortune)
  • 6/18 – In a big win for FanDuel and DraftKings, the state of New York has voted to legalize daily fantasy sports (WSJ)
  • 6/19 – Marketo filed the proxy on their sale process.  In April of 2016, Marketo and their bankers solicited four financial sponsors and six strategic parties in an effort to gauge interest in acquiring the business. Vista and one other party, a financial sponsor, were the only two to submit bids, though others did indicate initial interest. The first material bid came from the other interested party, who offered to buy the company at $34 per share, and then a day later, Vista offered to buy at $34.50. When asked to submit final bids, Vista increased theirs to $35.25 per share, and the other, $35.05 and Vista won the deal (Marketo)
  • 6/19 – SciQuest also filed the proxy on their acquisition by Accel-KKR. The process actually began in September 2014 with ten financial sponsors and three strategics. Accel-KKR and one other party submitted bids in the $21 per share range, but both companies withdrew after lower forecasted revenues. The process re-started in November 2015 after a bid at $16 per share from another party before Accel-KKR got to $17.75 per share and the deal done (SciQuest)
  • 6/19 – Business Insider has a deep profile on how Google went about convincing Diane Greene to join the Company and lead its cloud operations and what the plan is from here (Business Insider)
  • 6/20 – Francisco Partners and the private equity arm of Elliot Management have acquired Dell’s software assets for more than $2B. This includes Quest Software (acquired in July 2012 for $2.6B) and SonicWall (acquired in May 2012 for $1.3B), while Dell plans to retain Boomi (Reuters)
  • 6/20 – Boston-based Flybridge Partners has added WeWork co-founder Jesse Middleton as the firm’s fourth General Partner and first to be based in New York (TechCrunch)
  • 6/20 – Accenture has acquired Maglan, an Israeli-based cyber forensics and simulation services business, in an attempt to boost its security expertise (Fortune)
  • 6/20 – Twitter pays (up to) $150M for Magic Pony Technology, which uses neural networks to improve images (TechCrunch)
  • 6/20 – OpenText is buying is buying HP’s customer management business for $315M. The business is expected to do $110-125M in revenue. This comes after OpenText bought the content management software business from HP for $170M (Fortune)
  • 6/20 – Peter Thiel was reelected to Facebook’s board to cheers from other shareholders (Buzzfeed)
  • 6/21 – Zenefits is losing an additional 10% of its staff (roughly 129 people) after CEO David Sacks gave an offer to employees to quit with severance and benefits following two rounds of layoffs (Buzzfeed)
  • 6/21 – Twitter is upping the length of time that a video can be played on its service, from 30 seconds to 140 seconds (Re/Code)
  • 6/21 – Samsung said that it will invest $1.2B in the US over the next four years in IoT technologies (Fortune)
  • 6/21 – Shasta Ventures is nearing a $300M final close on its fifth fund (Fortune)
  • 6/21 – SoftBank’s Nikesh Arora, who was a former Google executive, is stepping down from his post as president and successor to the conglomerate. He had recently come under pressure from investors for poor performance (WSJ)
  • 6/21 – Instagram is now at 500M users (doubled in the last two years) with 300M daily (TechCrunch)
  • 6/21 – Apple is moving away from the model of releasing a new major phone design every 2 years. The biggest change this fall will likely be the removal of the headphone jack (WSJ), which has some people pretty upset and some people fawning
  • 6/21 – Elon Musk’s one company (Tesla) has offered to buy one of his other companies (Solar City) in a deal that would seem call into question fiduciary responsibilities across the board, but hey, it turns out there isn’t much real impartial oversight. Wall Street didn’t react kindly on the Tesla side with the stock trading down 13% after-hours (Business Insider) and there were a bunch of other criticisms (NYT) and clams that the transaction is a go for broke move (The Information)
  • 6/21 – An SEC filing seems to suggest that DFJ Growth is raising a $500M growth fund after raising a $470M one in May 2014 (TechCrunch)
  • 6/21 – Verizon has acquired Telogis, a company that has raised $126M all/mostly from Kleiner Perkins, to go deeper into the connected vehicle market. In 2013, the Company that they planned to do $100M in revenue and said it would be profitable (TechCrunch)
  • 6/21 – Tencent confirms deal to buy a majority stake in Supercell for $8.6B (TechCrunch)
  • 6/21 – Docker has launched a marketplace for containerized applications (TechCrunch)
  • 6/22 – BuzzFeed does a nice deep dive into what Uber drivers actually make in three markets (Detroit, Denver and Houston), which nets out much lower than what the Company markets (BuzzFeed)
  • 6/22 – After a long hiatus, AmazonFresh is back launching services in Boston (after launching London earlier this month) (TechCrunch)
  • 6/22 – Palantir is buying $225M of stock from its ex-employees under the conditions that employees 1. Renew non-disclosure agreements 2. Agree not to poach Palantir companies for 12 months 3. Promise not to sue the company or executives 4. Agree not to talk to the press and forward emails from the press within three days to the company (Business Insider). In other Palantir news, they sent a note to the US Army saying it intends to sue over the way the Army solicits bids for data intelligence technology. At stake is a $206M contract (Bloomberg)
  • 6/22 – Greylock has hired Scott Aronson, formerly SVP of WW Field Operations at Pivotal and before that SVP of Global Channels and Alliances at VMware, as an EIR (Greylock)
  • 6/22 – Twitter is nearing a deal to purchase more live event streaming rights as the ad buying for the NFL deal is better than expected (Bloomberg)
  • 6/22 – Accel has hired Amit Kumar, formerly an engineering manager at Twitter after his company Cardspring was acquired by Twitter, and Nate Niparko, who was formerly an associate at Accel before getting his MBA at Stanford, as Principals (Accel’s Medium). In other Accel-related personnel news, Kobie Fuller, formerly a Principal at the firm, is joining LA-based Upfront Ventures as a General Partner (TechCrunch)
  • 6/23 – Comcast and Alarm.com are agreeing to buy separate pieces of IControl, a company that had raised $93.5M from a host of investors including CRV, Comcast Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Intel Capital. Alarm.com is paying $140M for the assets that include a platform used by ADT and their retail-focused product line. Comcast did not disclose the acquisition price, but they are buying the business that powers their MSO’s Xfinity Home Service (Multichannel)
  • 6/23 – As the IPO market slowly (maybe?) opens up, Okta has hired Goldman Sachs to lead an IPO (or potentially a sale) (Reuters)
  • 6/23 – Uber is beginning to roll out notifications of trip prices prior to the ride for UberX (Re/Code)
  • 6/23 – The big (non-Brexit) news of the week was Twilio’s IPO, which priced at $15 per share (above its range of $12 to $14) and traded up 92% in its first day of trading. It gave back some of that on Friday after the Brexit blood-bath, but still a great showing (NYT)
  • 6/23 – Cisco won a key legal proceeding when the US International Trade Commission upheld a ruling that Arista Networks had infringed on its patents for Ethernet switches (Fortune)
  • 6/23 – Xerox announced that Jeff Jacobson, the President of the Company’s technology unit, will take over as the CEO of the printer business after it splits from the business services later this year. The business services company will be traded as Conduit (Fortune)
  • 6/24 – Vanity Fair has more details on the Adam McKay (adapter of the Big Short screenplay) and Jennifer Lawrence pitched movie about Theranos, which includes the rumored price tag for the rights ($3M by Legendary Pictures) and budget ($40-50M) (Vanity Fair)
  • 6/24 – Tech CEOs in Europe now prepare for life after the Brexit news, something 90% of the ones in the UK opposed (Forbes)
  • 6/24 – YouTube has acquired its first big-budget, Hollywood-produced television drama that will move the Company into more competition with Netflix, Amazon and other cable companies (NYT)
  • 6/24 – Facebook is beefing up its wireless plans, hiring the co-founder of Google Fiber, Kevin Lo to lead the initiative (Re/Code) while Google just bought a high-speed internet company called Webpass to beef up its services (Business Insider)

Earnings

  • 6/21 – Adobe traded down 4.1% despite a Q2 earnings beat as it forecasts lower than expected earnings for Q3 (Barron’s)

Financings (now ordered by size of round)

  • 6/23 – Circle, a nearly three-year-old Boston and Dublin, Ireland-based social payment app, has raised $60 million to scale up a new Beijing-based company called Circle China. Earlier backer IDG Capital Partners led the round
  • 6/21 – InVision, a 23-year-old, New York-based company that sells collaborative prototyping and design tool software and services, has raised $55 million in Series D funding led by Iconiq Capital, with participation from earlier backers Accel Partners and FirstMark Capital.
  • 6/22 – Pearl, a months-old, Scotts Valley, Ca.-based company that’s working on autonomous vehicle technologies and just unveiled its first product  —  an advanced automotive backup camera — has raised $50 million in Series A and Series B funding, including from Accel Partners, Shasta Ventures, Venrock, and Wellcome Trust
  • 6/20 – Plaid, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose software allows a variety of financial-technology startups to access their customers’ bank account information, has raised $44 million in new funding led by Goldman Sachs
  • 6/21 – Number26*, a three-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based retail bank without a brick-and-mortar presence, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Horizons Ventures. Battery Ventures, Robert Gentz, David Schneider and Rubin Ritteralso also participated in the round, along with earlier backers Valar Ventures, Earlybird Ventures and Redalpine Ventures
  • 6/22 – 128 Technology, a two-year-old, Burlington, Ma.-based startup whose software aims to simplify routers, has raised $36 million from investors including G20 Ventures
  • 6/20 – Condeco, an 11-year-old, London-based startup that makes meeting scheduling software, has raised €27 million ($30 million) in Series A funding led by Highland Europe
  • 6/21 – Airobotics, a two-year-old, Israel-based maker of automated industrial drones, has raised $28.5 million in combined Series A and B funding, including from investors BlueRun Ventures, CRV, Israel Chief Scientists, UpWest Labs, and individual backers like Waze CEO Noam Bardin
  • 6/21 – Spaceflight Industries, a startup whose overarching goal is providing affordable, high-resolution images of earth, raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Mithril Capital Management
  • 6/23 – Narvar*, a four-year-old, San Bruno, Ca.-based company helping internet retailers keep their customers happy post-purchase (meaning until their packages are delivered and/or returned or exchanged), has raised $22 million in Series B funding led by Battery Ventures
  • 6/23 – Security Scorecard, a three-year-old, New York-based startup that helps companies better identify, understand and manage all key risks their cloud-based information systems and those of their partners, has raised $20 million in Series B funding from GV
  • 6/21 – Zerto*, a seven-year-old, Boston and Israel-based company that makes disaster recovery and data management software, has raised $20 million in Series E-1 funding led by CRV
  • 6/22 – LightCyber*, a four-year-old Tel Aviv, Israel-based cybersecurity company, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Access Industries, with participation from earlier backers Battery Ventures, Glilot Capital Partners and Amplify Partners
  • 6/24 – Reflexion Health, a four-year-old, San Diego-based company that makes prescription software for medical professionals, as well as a rehab measurement tool to track patient adherence to their prescribed rehab plans, has raised $18 million in Series B funding from undisclosed backers
  • 6/22 – Kespry, a three-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based company that makes automated drone systems for commercial use, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by DCM Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • 6/21 – Juniqe, a two-year-old, Berlin-based online marketplace for curated art, has raised €14 million ($15.8 million) in Series B funding led by Highland Europe, with participation from earlier backers Vorwerk Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, and Redalpine
  • 6/23 – Sevenhugs, a two-year-old, Paris-based startup that makes smart products like a sleep tracker and a connected remote control, has raised $14.6 million in Series A funding led by Xerys
  • 6/22 – Lystable, a 1.5-year-old London-based company that makes a software tool focused on helping businesses manage freelancers, has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Valar Ventures and Goldcrest Capital, with participation from Spring Partners
  • 6/23 – Colu, a 1.5-year-old, Tel Aviv-based blockchain startup, has raised $9.6 million in Series A funding from Aleph, Spark Capital, Digital Currency Group and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer
  • 6/20 – Rocketrip, a three-year-old, New York-based startup that helps customers reduce travel spending by providing employees with gift cards for beating their budget, has raised $9 million in funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, with participation from earlier backers Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures.
  • 6/23 – Sentry, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based real-time crash reporting tool for web, mobile and games, has raised $9 million in Series A funding from New Enterprise Associates
  • 6/23 – Dapulse, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv-based maker of project management software, has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding led by Genesis Partners, with participation of earlier backer Entrée Capital
  • 6/24 – iZotope, a 15-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that develops audio software for audio recording, mixing, broadcasting and sound designing, has raised $7.5 million in new funding, with $2.5 million coming from ABS Capital and individual investors
  • 6/22 – GamEffective, a nearly four-year-old, Charlotte, N.C.-based company that makes workforce performance management software, has raised $7 million in new funding from Jerusalem Venture Partners, CE Ventures and earlier backers
  • 6/22 – Gong.io, a Palo Alto and Tel Aviv-based SaaS company focused on “sales conversion intelligence,” has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners and Check Point Software cofounder Shlomo Kramer
  • 6/22 – PediaQ, a year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based pediatric concierge care startup (parents use the app to request a call or in-home visit from a nurse practitioner), has raised $4.5 million from unnamed Texas investors
  • 6/20 – ShipBob, a two-year-old, Chicago-based startup that helps small businesses and sole proprietors with an outsourced packaging and shipping service, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners
  • 6/22 – Kwik, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv-based end-to-end IoT platform that connects customers to retailers and service providers, has raised $3 million in seed funding from Norwest Venture Partners
  • 6/22 – AppZen, a 3.5-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that makes automated expense report auditing and compliance software, has raised $2.9 million in seed funding led by Resolute Ventures, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, Silicon Valley Bank, MasterCard, and FundersClub

Random, long reads
My four months as a private prison guard (Mother Jones) – A long, but super impressive piece of investigative journalism by Shane Bauer of Mother Jones, who for four months worked undercover as a prison guard at a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) location in Louisiana. CCA is a $4B publicly traded business that operates in the murky world of for profit prisons that have been called into question for both their efficacy and their ethicalness since they were first established in the 1980s.  This is the first and most comprehensive first-person account that I have seen of what actually goes on within the prison walls and it’s not that pretty.  I’d definitely recommend it as a glimpse into a pretty opaque part of the US economy (and prison system)

A Life On The Line (ESPN) – Billy Walters is an elusive figure that has made hundreds of millions running a large network of regular guys that will place bets on his behalf around the globe. Walters’ name came up for the wrong reasons 18 months ago when he appeared in headlines with Carl Icahn and Phil Mickelson for an inside trading operation, but the actual Walters’ story is far more interesting than just his relationship to those two. This is a profile into how one guy has built out a network and an operation that allows him to perform at something rumored to be 58-60% accuracy gambling

The Mystifying Triumph of Hope Hicks, Donald Trump’s Right-Hand Woman (GQ) – GQ with a profile of Hope Hicks, who is Donald Trump’s 27 year old PR women.  Hicks declined to talk to them for an interview, but instead (in an act of super weirdness), arraigned an interview with Donald Trump about Hicks with her present.  Needless to say, like so many other things in this election season and this campaign in particular, Hicks has an unusual story that led to her ending up here

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: June 19, 2016

Last week, today

  • 6/9 – Snapchat is rumored to be making moves into hardware with a secret Google Glass-style competitor. The Company has hired two hardware specialists from GoPro and the technical recruiter from Google Glass (Business Insider)
  • 6/10 – Axel Springer has agreed to buy market research firm eMarketer for $250M (AdAge)
  • 6/12 – Missed this one last week, but the Information reported the price of Vista Equity’s acquisition of Ping Identity at $600M (TechCrunch)
  • 6/12 – Blue Coat has abandoned plans for an IPO and will sell itself to Symantec for $4.65B. Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark will stay on as CEO of the combined company, after embattled Symantec CEO Mike Brown stepped down in April. From Dan Primack, “a source close to the transaction says that Blue Coat owner Bain Capital fully intended to take the company public—as evidenced by the dozen investment banks listed on its prospectus—but that Symantec had reached out ‘a couple of months ago,’ with talks accelerating in recent weeks” (Fortune). Other details:
    • Bain (which bought Blue Coat last year) will not fully be exiting and has instead agreeing to invest $750M in convertible notes into the combined company (at a conversion price of around $20.41 per share)
    • Existing Symantec shareholder Silver Lake has agreed to invest $500M in 2% convertible notes due in 2021
    • Blue Coat has had a circuitous route back to the public markets before being gobbled up.  It was taken private in December 2011 by Thoma Bravo for $1.3B (2.2x LTM revenue, 14.6x LTM EBITDA), then acquired by Bain Capital in March 2015 for $2.4B (3.7x LTM revenue, 12.0x LTM EBITDA) and now will be purchased for 7.8x LTM revenue (this data from 451)
  • 6/12 – Commerce Ventures held a first close of its second fund at $25.6M. The final fund is expected to be $40M (Finsmes)
  • 6/13 – So the big news this week was that Microsoft has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2B (8.2x LTM revenue and 7.0x 2016E revenue). If you’re interested in analysis:
    • Click here for the presentation the two companies did together
    • Click here for Satya Nadella’s note to his employees and here for Jeff Weiner’s
    • Click here for Ben Thompson from the Stratechery’s analysis of the deal (the best I’ve read)
    • Click here for TechCrunch’s analysis
    • Click here for Re/Code’s analysis
    • Also here is a good analysis about the unspoken reason behind the sale… stock-based comp
    • But more importantly, I’m interested in this incredibly awkward picture that has a number of things that make me think it’s photo-shopped or these are actually Madame Tussauds wax dolls of Satya Nadella, Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner
  • Then there was the inevitable aftermath of it:
    • Moody’s is reviewing Microsoft’s Aaa rating after the Company used mostly debt to finance the acquisition (Moody’s)
    • Unsurprisingly, Salesforce was a rival bidder, advised by Goldman Sachs according to Marc Benioff himself (Re/Code)
    • Reid Hoffman is likely taking a Microsoft board seat (Re/Code)
    • And Twitter’s stock jumped 3.8% on potential M&A (Bloomberg
  • 6/13 – This week in Theranos, Walgreens has officially ended its three year old partnership with Theranos as regulators near a decision on whether to impose sanctions on the Company (WSJ)
  • 6/13 – Verizon, AT&T and Quicken Loans founder (and Cavs owner) Dan Gilbert + Warren Buffett are set to go through to the third and final round of bidding for Yahoo. That means that Vista Equity, Thoma Bravo and TPG are out (Reuters)
  • 6/13 – Twilio sets terms for its upcoming IPO, which would value the Company at $1.07B, selling 10M shares between $12 and $14 per share. That’s slightly up from the last private market valuation of $1.03B (Fortune)
  • 6/13 – Apple’s WWDC was this week. News and notes included:
    • Apple has unbundled native apps including Maps, Podcasts, Compass, Tips, Calculator, Watch, Voice Memos, Contacts, Stocks, Weather, iCloud Drive, Calendar, Mail, Music, Reminders, Videos, FaceTime, and Notes.  In summary, you can finally get rid of the Compass app (TechCrunch)
    • It also opened up Maps, Siri and iMessage to developers.. something that should have been done years ago (Re/Code)
    • Sling TV is bringing its paid TV service to Apple TV (Re/Code)
    • Apple Pay will now be available on mobile and desktop websites (Re/Code)
    • Releasing of “Emojify” (which will give auto-correction suggestions for emojis when typing), the ability to resize font in texts, “invisible ink,” which will allow you to send messages that are only visible when swiping over them and a “digital touch” where you can write message with your finger and send in text (Business Insider)
  • 6/13 – FanDuel and DraftKings are talking merger at the urging of investors in both companies. The companies have both been valued at over $1B, but that price has likely fallen as regulatory struggles have come up. People threw water on this after the fact saying it was not likely (Bloomberg)
  • 6/13 – Storehouse, which had raised $8.5M from SV Angel, True Ventures and Sherpa Capital will shut down (Business Insider)
  • 6/14 – Zenefits is laying off another 106 people (9% of staff) and offering existing employees a buyout as they continue the transition to a new world order under CEO David Sacks (TechCrunch)
  • 6/14 – Twitter, which had thought about buying SoundCloud two years ago, has apparently invested $70M of a $100M round in the Company at a valuation around $700M (Re/Code)
  • 6/14 – Revolution Growth (run by former AOL executives Steve Case and Ted Leonsis) has closed a new $525M fund (TechCrunch)
  • 6/14 – One Kings Lane, which was once valued at north of $900M, was sold to Bed Bath & Beyond for an immaterial amount (Business Insider)
  • 6/14 – Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, revealed that the Company is cash-flow positive, but not yet profitable (Bloomberg)
  • 6/14 – Uber is looking to raise to $2B through loans (Re/Code)
  • 6/15 – FirstMark Capital has raised $480M for two funds – one $275M fund (FirstMark IV, which is their early stage fund) and $205M fund (their second later stage follow-on fund) (TechCrunch)
  • 6/14 – Last week, I linked in the long reads an article that investigated whether or not Trump’s hair was actually a $60K weave by Gawker (here). The reporting by Gawker was praised by the NYT, WSJ, and three Pulitzer Prize winners. Well Peter Thiel’s lawyer isn’t happy about it and sent a letter demanding “the immediate removal of the story from Gawker, a public apology” and that Gawker reveal their sources.  Gawker responded with a middle finger, which is likely how they’ll be remembered more generally (Gawker)
  • 6/14 – Draper Esprit, a European venture capital firm, is looking to go public, something that was kind of common in the bubble, but for a lot of reasons hasn’t been popular in a while (TechCrunch)
  • 6/14 – Xerox has hired former iGate CEO Ashok Vemuri to lead the business services unit after it splits in two later this year (WSJ)
  • 6/14 – Move Loot, an online secondhand furniture marketplace that offered full-service capabilities (pick-up, delivery, listing, storage etc.) has apparently been acquired, but it’s unclear by who.  The Company has raised $22M from firms like Index, First Round, Sherpa Capital among others (TechCrunch)
  • 6/14 – Google has launched Springboard, an AI-powered assistant for the enterprise, which is working as a single intelligent interface for things like Google Drive, Gmail, Calendar and Google Docs (TechCrunch)
  • 6/15 – FireEye is working with Morgan Stanley to field buyout bids, but the sale process is no longer active according to Bloomberg. One of the potential buyers was Symantec (prior to Blue Coat), but no one got above the $30 per share that the Company desired (currently trading at $15.98 after hitting a high of $95.63 in March 2014) (Bloomberg)
  • 6/15 – Amazon is hoping to sell 10M units of Echo next year, which would make it a $1B hardware business (The Information)
  • 6/15 – Samsung is making a move into the cloud, buying Joyent, a company that pivoted a few times but ultimately provided a product that competed with AWS, Azure and Google Cloud after raising $125M (Business Insider)
  • 6/15 – Birchbox has begun to cut back, recently laying off 50 of 300 employees, putting the pause on expanding to physical stores and consolidating its current office space in New York (WSJ)
  • 6/15 – Business Insider has the inside story with some good reporting on why the MPLS group at Cisco quit in the fairly public fashion that it did (Business Insider)
  • 6/15 – China’s version of Uber, Didi Chuxing, just raised $7B in equity and debt, because why not? (Re/Code)
  • 6/16 – AppDynamics* reportedly hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters for an IPO later this year (Reuters)
  • 6/16 – Nick Bilton of Vanity Fair continues to be the Twitter’s unofficial ombudsman, reporting that Larry Page met with Jack Dorsey to try and acquire Twitter a few years back. The story features Larry Page sitting in a dark conference room, whispering an acquisition pitch in Jack Dorsey’s ear, among other weird things (Business Insider)
  • 6/16 – Snapchat is reportedly launching Real Life, an online magazine about technology (Venture Beat)
  • 6/16 – Airbnb raised $1B in debt financing from JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley (Bloomberg)
  • 6/16 – In the Financial Times (which operates in some pay wall world where you can’t even access a landing page of their articles without a subscription so I won’t link to it), Mike Moritz of Sequoia wrote a piece slamming Donald Trump (Business Insider)
  • 6/16 – Tencent is nearing a deal for Clash of Clans maker, Supercell, which would value the Finland-based company at $9B+ (WSJ)
  • 6/16 – In a long blog post, Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne announced that they are laying off 11% of their staff (10 people) (Venture Beat)
  • 6/16 – In a small tuck-in acquisition, Microsoft has acquired a start-up called Wand Labs that helps build messaging and inter-connectivity technology for apps (Fortune)
  • 6/17 – IEX Group, which was profiled in “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, won regulatory approval with the SEC to launch a new stock exchange to compete against ICE, Nasdaq and Bats (WSJ)

Earnings

  • 6/17 – Oracle revenue fell 1%, but topped earnings estimates with better-than-expected cloud results, which grew 49% to $859M. It’s SaaS and PaaS offerings actually grew 66% y/y  and the stock traded up 2% on the news (Forbes)

Financings

  • 6/13 – Aunt Bertha, a six-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based startup that enables individuals to find and apply for government and charitable social service programs, has raised $5 million in funding led by Techstars Ventures
  • 6/13 – Meta, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that makes special glasses that are part-AR viewer and part-VR simulator, has raised $50 million in Series B funding, including from Horizons Ventures, Lenovo, Tencent Holdings, Banyan Capital, Comcast Ventures, and GQY
  • 6/14 – AVA, a months-old, Boston-based personalized, data-driven nutritional coaching app that’s currently in private beta, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by DCM Ventures, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors
  • 6/14 – Chronext, a three-year-old, Switzerland-based online luxury watch marketplace, has raised €11 million ($12.3 million) in Series C funding led by Partech Ventures
  • 6/14 – Jobandtalent, a seven-year-old, Madrid, Spain-based job matching platform, has raised $42 million in Series B funding led by Atomico
  • 6/14 – League, a two-year-old, Toronto-based health insurance startup, has raised $25 million in Series A funding led by OMERS Ventures
  • 6/14 – PromisePay, a three-year-old, Melbourne, Australia-based fintech startup that specializes in payments for online marketplaces, has raised $10 million in funding led by Australia’s Carsales
  • 6/14 – Roadie, a 1.5-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based “on-the-way” delivery network (its app rewards drivers for delivering items on trips they are already taking), has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund
  • 6/14 – Talkspace, a four-year-old, New York-based startup that offers therapy via an app, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners
  • 6/14 – Yotpo, a five-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based platform that lets companies solicit content from their users and customers in the form of reviews, Q&As, photos, and videos for use across different marketing channels, has raised $22 million in Series C funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round
  • 6/15 – B2X, a nine-year-old, Munich, Germany-based startup behind a customer care platform for smartphones and IoT device makers, has raised €6 million ($6.7 million) from Harbert European Growth Capital
  • 6/15 – Loggly, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud-based log management company, has raised $11.5 million in new funding led by True Ventures
  • 6/15 – Lumus, a 16-year-old, Rehovot, Israel-based company that makes transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality and mixed reality, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from the investment firm Shanda Group and from Crystal-Optech, a Chinese optical imaging company
  • 6/15 – Procured Health, a four-year-old, Chicago-based health IT business started with the goal of helping hospitals to reduce medical device purchasing costs, has raised $10 million in Series B funding from Heritage Group
  • 6/15 – Qloo, a four-year-old, New York-based cultural recommendation engine, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding from actor Leonardo DiCaprio
  • 6/15 – Saavn, a nine-year-old, New York-based digital music service that TechCrunch has likened to India’s Spotify, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Guy Oseary, a high-profile entertainment industry executive who manages U2, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears and other top music acts
  • 6/15 – Sapho, a two-year-old, San Bruno, Ca.-based startup that makes “micro apps”  that send notifications to employees and execs whenever data is updated or projects are completed, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Alsop Louie Partners
  • 6/15 – SoundCloud, the nine-year-old, Berlin-based music service, is raising a $100 million round, according to Recode, and Twitter has invested around $70 million in the company as part of that financing
  • 6/15 – Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-share juggernaut, is turning to the leveraged-loan market for the first time to raise as much as $2 billion, reports the WSJ. The outlet says Uber has hired Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to get a deal done
  • 6/16 – Airbnb, the nearly eight-year-old, San Francisco-based online housing marketplace, has secure $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley.
  • 6/16 – Andela, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that’s helping to train more engineers in Africa to get tech jobs, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the social issues-minded fund of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan
  • 6/16 – Collokia, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based machine learning-based collaboration platform, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding co-led software company Globant and Fundo Pitanga
  • 6/16 – CureJoy, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco- and Bangalore-based online community that connects users with alternative medicine experts, has raised $4.4 million in Series A funding led by its earlier backer Accel Partners India
  • 6/16 – Eyeview, an 8.5-year-old, New York-based video marketing technology company, has raised $21.5 million led by Qumra Capital
  • 6/16 – Elementum, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based cloud supply chain platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Fontinalis Partners
  • 6/16 – Overbond, a year-old, Toronto-based fintech platform for digital bond insurance, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding from Morrison Financial Services
  • 6/16 – Performance Horizon, a six-year-old, U.K.-based company whose software aims to help advertisers manage their relationships with marketing partners, has raised $15.4 million in Series C funding from Greycroft Partners, Mithril and DN Capital
  • 6/16 – Vow To Be Chic, a three-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based bridesmaid dress rental company, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Women’s Venture Capital Fund
  • 6/17 – Beamery, a two-year-old, London-based company that makes employee recruitment software and was previously known as Seed.Jobs, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Edenred Capital Partners and Grupa Pracuj
  • 6/17 – ClearTax, a five-year-old, New Delhi, India-based online tax filing platform, has raised $12 million in Series A funding, including from Founders Fund and Sequoia Capital
  • 6/17 – Common, a year-old, Brooklyn-based startup that’s creating group living developments with the help of real estate developers, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by 8VC
  • 6/17 – Mark One, a 2.5-year-old San Francisco-based company that was cofounded by renowned designer Yves Behar and which right now makes a smart cup that tracks consumption, has raised $4 million in new funding from earlier backers, including Intel Capital
  • 6/17 – Tigera, a months-old San Francisco-based startup that’s trying to secure cloud-native applications, has raised $13 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates
  • 6/17 – Within (Formerly known as Vrse), the 1.5-year-old, L.A.-based VR firm launched by video and commercial director Chris Milk and Google veteran Aaron Koblin, has raised $12.56 million in funding from syndicate that includes WME and Fox

Random, long reads
The Forrest Gump of the Internet (The Atlantic) – A profile of Ev Williams, the billionaire who brought us the term “blogger,” helped found Twitter and now is running Medium, which is reaching a point of viral growth now for more long form blogs. Since the internet became a mainstream thing 20 years ago, Ev Williams has been there and has been bringing different forms of innovation to it, although he remains mostly unrecognizable. The Atlantic goes into what motivates him and his desire to not let Facebook rule the internet world.
 
Inside the underground economy propping up New York City’s food carts (Crain’s New York) – Food trucks in New York City are serious business with licenses capped and illegally rented to people at various prices. Crain’s does a deep dive into what is required to get a license to operate a good truck, the hierarchy of the industry and what the future of food trucks looks like going forward.
 
Mr. Miss Universe: Meet Jeff Lee, Professional Beautiful-Woman Coach (GQ) – The unusual story of Jeff Lee, who graduated from Stanford at 20, followed by Yale Law School before recently enrolling in Stanford GSB, but has managed a job on the side as a Miss Universe coach. Kind of hard to believe there are people that qualified and smart doing something like that, but GQ has the profile on it. It features anecdotes about him flying to Malaysia to help coach their team of girls in preparation for Miss Universe.
 

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: June 12, 2016

Another day, another mass shooting. Scary times in the country.Thoughts and prayers with Orlando.

Last week, today

  • 6/1 – French tax authorities are seeking €356M from Booking.com (a subsidiary of Priceline) in unpaid taxes (Reuters)
  • 6/4 – New York state sent inquiries to 28 companies regarding their online lending activities, which probably isn’t a great thing for the industry (Reuters)
  • 6/4 – Facebook has found a way to force more people to use the Messenger App. It is disabling messaging in the standard Facebook mobile app (TechCrunch)
  • 6/5 – Online lender, Vouch Financial, is shutting down according to the WSJ. The Company had raised $11M from Greylock, First Round and Data Collective (WSJ)
  • 6/6 – Typing Twitter org/product changes is starting to get to be very repetitive, but Jeff Seibert who took over running Twitter’s core product in September is no longer running it. Seibert will go back to running Twitter’s developer product suite Fabric. No replacement is in place (Re/Code)
  • 6/6 – Blue Apron is said to be having preliminary talks with bankers about a potential IPO that would value the business around $3B (Bloomberg)
  • 6/6  – Bloomberg has more details of Line’s IPO that is planned this year. The Company is expecting to raise between $1-2B at a valuation between $5-6B. They also have revenue details for the last 10 quarters (Bloomberg). VB also confirmed that it will be on or around July 14, 2016 and will be a dual IPO in the US and Tokyo (Venture Beat)
  • 6/6 – Buzzfeed kills its $1.3M advertising deal with the RNC. In an internal memo, CEO Jonah Peretti said, “we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason” (Re/Code)
  • 6/6 – In protest to an apparent re-org, the famed MPLS team at Cisco that helped incubate companies has all resigned (WSJ)
  • 6/6 – Spotify has hired music manager Troy Carter (who is best known for managing Lady Gaga, but has quietly made his name over the years both managing and investing) and he will serve as “global head of creator services” (Re/Code)
  • 6/6 – According to The Telegraph, Deliveroo is reportedly expecting to hit £130M this year, which will be more than 1,000% growth (Business Insider)
  • 6/6 – Facebook is looking to take on Twitch (Amazon) in the e-sports streaming and viewing space (Business Insider)
  • 6/6 – Microsoft is making a big commitment to Apache Spark. The Company launched a number of Spark-based services out of preview and announced that the on-premises version of R Server for Hadoop is now powered by Spark (TechCrunch)
  • 6/6 – Assemble (the new VC firm started by former North Bridge partner Michael Skok, former Demandware CEO John Pearce and former NEVCA President C.A. Webb) is now called _Underscore.VC (not a typo. That’s actually the name) and has raised $75M (Bostinno)
  • 6/7 – Another day, another person accusing a company of building “slideware.” This time its Google’s smart contact lens that’s being accused by a former manager (Business Insider)
  • 6/7 – SoftBank announced that its selling almost all of its stock in games firm GungHo for $685M (TechCrunch)
  • 6/7 – An SEC filing shows that ff Ventures is looking to raise a new $150M fund (SEC.gov)
  • 6/7 – Ousted Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche has been speaking with private equity firms and banks about a potential buyout of the Company he co-founded (Reuters)
  • 6/7 – Ellen Pao has a book deal for “Reset,” which is a memoir about her experience in Silicon Valley’s “toxic culture” (Re/Code)
  • 6/7 – F5 Networks has hired Goldman Sachs to help it deal with takeover bids. The Company spiked 12.6% on the news (Fortune)
  • 6/7 – After investing in $504.5M in software companies in 2015, Salesforce is officially launching a $50M fund targeting developers building on its platform (Bloomberg)
  • 6/7 – Snapchat redesigned its publisher section incorporating the ability to subscribe to certain channels (Re/Code)
  • 6/7 – Uber is starting to test giving a guaranteed arrival time for Uber Pool rides in LA (as a pilot). You will be given a refund of $2 if it fails to occur in that amount of time (Business Insider)
  • 6/7 – The founder of Secret, a company that got known for all the wrong reasons including raising $35M in venture funding and then shutting down, is back with a product for internal long-form company posts (with a bot to help make suggestions to improve the article). Like a B2B internal Medium (Business Insider)
  • 6/7 – Yahoo is going to sell a portfolio of 3,000 patents (which date back to its IPO in 1996 and include the patent around its original search technology). Google and Microsoft are among the logical buyers of the patents (WSJ)
  • 6/7 – Amazon plans to invest an additional $3B into India (after announcing a $2B investment in 2014).  Bezos declined to provide details on how the money would be allocated or over what time period (MarketWatch)
  • 6/8 – Avaya is meeting with creditors this week as it looks to rein in its debt load. The Company has hired Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to help determine ways to alleviate its $616M debt (Fortune)
  • 6/8 – SoftTech VC raises $100M for its fifth seed fund and $50M for a “breakout” fund to support its winners (TechCrunch)
  • 6/8 – Accel appoints ex-Facebooker Nir Blumberger as a venture partner to focus on Israel (TechCrunch)
  • 6/8 – Arianna Huffington is looking to launch a new media company called Thrive, that will be backed by Jack Ma and Lerer Hippeau (Bloomberg)
  • 6/8 – Ricky Van Veen, either College Humor’s co-founder, Allison William’s husband or Brian William’s son-in-law depending on your proclivity, has been hired by Facebook as head of global creative strategy (which is a newly created position) (Re/Code)
  • 6/8 – New Nest CEO says that the Company is definitely not for sale (Business Insider)
  • 6/9 – And Spotify is definitely not for sale either according to their co-founder (Fortune)
  • 6/9 – CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, says that they want to work with autonomous carmakers, not build autonomous cars themselves (Bloomberg).  Kalanick also had some funny quotes about his plans to go public saying, ” we are going to IPO as late as humanly possible. It’ll be one day before my employees and significant others come to my office with pitchforks and torches. We will IPO the day before that” (Business Insider)
  • 6/9 – Yahoo’s core business has fetched more than one bid for over $5B, although Verizon only bid $3.5B (Fortune)
  • 6/9 – Sherpa Capital, which has backed companies like Uber, Airbnb, Pillpack and Slack, raises $470M across two funds (Re/Code)
  • 6/9 – Marc Benioff reportedly considered an investment in Pivotal, which is somewhat newsworthy as Salesforce has two development platforms in Force.com and Heroku (Fortune)
  • 6/9 – Larry Page has been secretly funding two flying cars companies (one with $100M invested). Bloomberg has a detailed and fascinating story about the efforts to keep this project quiet (Bloomberg)
  • 6/9 – Twitter has somehow managed to create their own version of Murphy’s law. The Company has notified users that 33 million usernames and passwords are for sale (WSJ)
  • 6/9 – Mobile adtech company, Smaato, has been acquired by a Bejing-based offline marketing company called Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communications Group for $148M. The Company had raised $47M (TechCrunch)
  • 6/9 – Tencent is weighing an acquisition of Supercell (the maker of Clash of Clans) for $9B (Bloomberg)
  • 6/10 – Tom Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins, passed away with little notice after the bridges burned and unusual statements he made over the last 15 years (NYT)
  • 6/10 – Hollywood is making a movie about Theranos that will star Jennifer Lawrence as Elizabeth Holmes (VentureBeat)
  • 6/10 – Because we need another one, Amazon is preparing to launch a paid streaming subscription music service (Reuters)
  • 6/10 – Garrett Van Wagoner, who previously ran a historically bad small cap and mid-cap growth/hedge fund is launching a $250M socially responsible fund (FINSMES)
  • 6/10 – Propeller is attempting to launch a four affiliated venture funds (IoT, insurance-tech, fintech and women-led businesses) at once (TechCrunch)
  • 6/10 – 4chan founder Chris Poole has actually been hired at Google to assist on the new in-house incubator, Area 120 (Business Insider)
  • 6/10 – Andreessen Horowitz has raised $1.5B for its fifth fund (TechCrunch)
  • 6/11 – Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and put itself up for auction after the court ruling for Hulk Hogan. Ziff Davis led with an opening bid of $90-100M (TechCrunch). Nick Denton, the founder and leader of Gawker, was at the Code Conference last week on stage with Kara Swisher. It’s a 45 minute long video, but interesting into his thoughts on all of this (Re/Code)
  • 6/12 – Demandware released a proxy statement that details the play-by-play that led to the acquisition by Salesforce. Unsurprisingly, a bidding war led up to the Salesforce acquisition with CRM pitted againist “Party X” (likely Adobe) (SEC.gov)

Earnings
None of note this week

Financings

  • 6/6 – Cloudability, a five-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based maker of cloud cost management software, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by Foundry Group
  • 6/6 – Qadium, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company that continuously scans servers, routers, CCTV cameras, power plant control systems and any other device connecting to the public internet, then reports back vulnerabilities to customers before malicious hackers get there first, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates
  • 6/6 – Recharge, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose app enables users to book a stay in a hotel for just 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour, has closed on $2.3 million in seed funding. Binary Capital led the round
  • 6/7 – Bunker, a year-old, San Francisco-based insurance technology startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Comcast Ventures and Route 66 Ventures
  • 6/7 – Convercent, a 3.5-year-old, Denver-based company that makes enterprise compliance management software, has raised $11 million in Series C funding led by Tola Capital
  • 6/7 – CrowdFlower, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose platform enables users to create large-scale datasets for machine learning and data categorization, has raised $10 million in Series D funding led by Microsoft
  • 6/7 – DocPlanner, a 4.5-year-old, Warsaw-based online booking platform for healthcare appointments, has raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Target Global
  • 6/7 – Helpshift, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile help desk that helps software companies build a chat bridge between their mobile apps users and their customer service teams, has raised $23 million from Microsoft and Salesforce
  • 6/7 – Hibob, a year-old, London-based startup whose cloud platform helps companies manage employee perks, staff engagement, and employee enrollment in retirement savings plans, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 6/7 – iContainers, a nine-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based freight forwarding company that provides online ocean and air quotes and bookings, has raised $6.7 million in new funding led by Serena Capital
  • 6/7 – Instabug, a three-year-old, Gizah, Egypt-based mobile bug app reporting service, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding led by Accel Partners
  • 6/7 – Jiff, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based enterprise health benefits platform, has raised $17.7 million in Series C funding from undisclosed backers
  • 6/7 – Moogsoft, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes real-time IT operations analytics software, has raised $30 million in Series C funding from Northgate Capital  (among others)
  • 6/7 – SMS Assist, a 21-year-old, Chicago-based company that makes property management software, has raised $150 million in Series D funding from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners
  • 6/7 – Zimperium, a nearly six-year-old,  San Francisco-based mobile threat management platform, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Warburg Pincus
  • 6/8 – Amplitude*, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based web and mobile analytics company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Battery Ventures
  • 6/8 – Building Robotics, a three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company better known as Comfy, has raised $12 million in Series B funding for its automation software that helps companies save energy on office air conditioning. Emergence Capital led the investment
  • 6/8 – Buildium, a 12-year-old, Boston-based startup that sells software for rental property managers, has raised $65 million in funding from Sumeru Equity Partners
  • 6/8 – Celonis, a five-year-old, Munich-based business-to-business optimization software company, has raised $27.5 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners and 83North
  • 6/8 – Cylance, a four-year-old Irvine, Ca.-based cybersecurity company that leverages artificial intelligence and algorithmic science, has raised $100 million in Series D funding co-led by The Blackstone Group and Insight Venture Partners
  • 6/8 – Midokura, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based software network virtualization company, has raised $20.4 million in Series B funding from the Japanese fintech company Simplex
  • 6/8 – Nuxeo, a 16-year-old, New York-based open source content management platform for business applications, has raised $10 million in fresh capital from Kennet Partners
  • 6/9 – Aktana, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that provides decision support services to life sciences companies, has raised  $17.5 million in new funding led by Safeguard Scientifics
  • 6/9 – Aquicore, a 3.5-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based startup that sells analytics to commercial real estate companies for the purpose of energy management, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Kiddar Capital
  • 6/9 – Embotics, a 10-year-old, Ottawa, Ontario-based company that sells virtualization management and private cloud automation software to enterprises, has raised $12.1 million in funding from Arrowroot Capital
  • 6/9 – ePatientFinder, a three-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based healthcare startup that connects physicians with clinical trials for their patients, has raised $8.2 million in Series B financing from a “strategic healthcare technology investor syndicate”
  • 6/9 – Forge, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that enables gamers to find short clips of action and share them on different social networks (the company was founded by YouTube cofounder Jared Kim), has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. True Ventures led the round
  • 6/9 – Freenome, a year-old liquid biopsy diagnosis platform that detects the cell-free DNA sequencing of cancer, has landed $5.5 million in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz
  • 6/9 – Hireology, a six-year-old, Chicago-based hiring platform that targets franchises and retail-automotive industries, has raised $12 million from Baird Capital
  • 6/9 – RetraceHealth, a 2.5-year-old, Minneapolis, Mn.-based company that delivers primary care through in-home and video visits, has raised $7 million in Series A funding from earlier investors McKesson Ventures, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and HealthEast Care System
  • 6/9 – SundaySky, a 10-year-old, New York-based company whose platform creates personalized videos for brands, has raised $30 million in Series D funding led by Viola Private Equity
  • 6/9 – Tradeshift, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose platform helps companies simplify and improve their expensing systems with external contract partners, has raised $75 million in Series D funding led by Data Collective
  • 6/9 – TravelPerk, a 1.5-year-old, Barcelona-based business travel booking platform, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Spark Capital
  • 6/9 – When I Work, a six-year-old, Saint Paul, Mn.-based employee scheduling and communication app, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Drive Capital
  • 6/10 – Lux, a year-old, San Francisco-based mobile shopping app for home décor, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from IDG Capital Partners and FREES Fund
  • 6/10 – BitTitan, a nine-year-old provider of cloud services for email, sales software, and other business functions, has raised $15m in Series A funding from TVC Capital

Random, long reads
Is Donald Trump’s Hair a $60,000 Weave? A Gawker Investigation (Gawker) – So Gawker filed for bankruptcy this week, which is just the latest in a series of either self-inflicted or maliciously-inflicted blows (depending on your point of few) that the Company has taken.  Regardless of your stance on Denton vs. Thiel, there is a lot of fantastic stuff that the Company and its affiliates do (I’m personally particularly fond of Deadspin). The tile of this article sounds so ridiculous that I didn’t take the time to actually read it when it first appeared on my screen and I figured it was a joke of sorts/not an actual interesting article that required detailed investigative journalism. I finally took the time to read it and it is absolutely fantastic. Ashley Feinberg actually makes a great case that Donald Trump’s hair is actually a weave – ticking and tying over 15 years of information to build the case. Ignore how ridiculous the title sounds (and kind of how absurd of a subject it is), and enjoy this read on how it’s somewhere between possible and definite that the title is true
 
How “Silicon Valley” nails Silicon Valley (New Yorker) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but it is interesting to hear just how deep the television show Silicon Valley goes to accurately depict the start-up ecosystem. The show actually has 200 consultants that it will turn to for various things to ensure that it is accurately creating satire based on true events and has even hired Dick Costolo part time.  There’s a number of funny anecdotes in there great but I enjoyed this one in particular
 
“Some Valley big shots have no idea how to react to the show,” T.J. Miller told me (an actor on the show. “They can’t decide whether to be offended or flattered. And they’re mystified by the fact that actors have a kind of celebrity that they will never have—there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but that’s the way it is, and it kills them.” Miller met Elon Musk at the after-party in Redwood City. “I think he was thrown by the fact that I wasn’t being sycophantic—which I couldn’t be, because I didn’t realize who he was at the time. He said, ‘I have some advice for your show,’ and I went, ‘No thanks, we don’t need any advice,’ which threw him even more. And then, while we’re talking, some woman comes up and says ‘Can I have a picture?’ and he starts to pose—it was kinda sad, honestly—and instead she hands the camera to him and starts to pose with me. It was, like, Sorry, dude, I know you’re a big deal—and, in his case, he actually is a big deal—but I’m the guy from ‘Yogi Bear 3-D,’ and apparently that’s who she wants a picture with.”
 
What Happened to ‘The Most Liberated Woman in America’? (Atlas Obscura) – In the 1970s, Barbara Williamson and her husband John Williamson founded the Sandstone Foundation for Community Systems Research. The Sandstone Retreat was a nudist community that promoted freedom through open marriage and group-sex parties. It ran for seven years with 300 members, over 8,000 visitors, was featured prominently in a book by Gay Talese and inspired a documentary.  This article re-tells the story of Sandstone and gives an update on what Barbara Williamson, now 78, is up to today. Hint: it involves living with fourteen wild cats including three cougars, one lion and one tiger.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: June 5, 2016

Last week, today

  • 5/27 – Jawbone has put its wireless speaker business up for sale so that it can exclusively focus on health and wearables (Fortune)
  • 5/30 – Verizon strike ends with both sides claiming victory (NYT)
  • 5/31 – MobileIron shares spike 12.5% on the news that it is partnering with Deutsche Telekom for a cloud-based enterprise mobility management solution (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/31 – Japanese messaging app, Line, is set to launch its road show for a $2-3B IPO on June 10 (Reuters)
  • 5/31 – There has been a gigantic Myspace hack, which sounds like the start of a joke, but actually may be the biggest hack to date with 427M total passwords currently for sale (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Simply Hired, which had raised $34.3M from a number of investors including Foundation Capital and Ron Conway among others, is reportedly shutting down as part of an acquisition (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Marketo* has agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $1.8B, or a 64% premium over its unaffected share price (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Microsoft confirms Microsoft Ventures VC arm (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – SciQuest is taken private by Accel-KKR for $509M (WSJ)
  • 5/31 – Uber has set up an auto-leasing business that allows drivers to get short-term leases through a wholly owned Delaware-based subsidiary called Xchange Leasing, LLC. Xchange received a $1B credit facility to fund new car leases and caters to people that were rejected by other lenders. It’s not intended to be a money maker according to Uber and for many it appears to be the only way that these drivers can get a car (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – Salesforce to buy Demandware in $2.8B deal in move deeper into retail (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – It’s Vista Equity’s world and we’re just living in it. After announcing intention to acquire Marketo on 5/31, Vista announced acquisition of Ping Identity for an undisclosed amount (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – Clear Ventures, led by former Sequoia partner Chris Rust and serial entrepreneur Rajeev Madhavan, launches $120M fund (VentureBeat)
  • 6/1 – This week in Theranos, Forbes has revised CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth down from $4.5B to $0.0B (Forbes)
  • 6/1 – Infoblox is said to have hired Morgan Stanley to defend itself against activist investor, Starboard Value, and a takeover offer from Thoma Bravo. The Company currently has a $1.1B market cap (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – The biggest investor that voted against the Dell-Silver Lake deal was actually planning to lose the vote so that it could sue for the price being too low. They did just that and won a ruling of an additional $25M (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – Ifty Ahmed, the former General Partner at Oak Investment Partners, has been accused of embezzling more than $54M from Oak from 2004 to 2015 by submitting false invoices, overstating prices of business deals he orchestrated and setting up fraudulent back accounts. This follows charges of insider trading that led him to flee the US (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Sheryl Sandberg removes her name from speculation of becoming Disney CEO (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – ServiceNow makes a move into security for automated detection and response with the acquisition of BrightPoint (formerly known as Vorstack). NOW did not disclose the price paid (although implied they would at a later date). BrightPoint had raised $8.4M in venture capital (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – IBM is acquiring EZSource, “an application discovery company, to help developers modernize mainframe applications for digital business” (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says that the Company is ready for big acquisition, but doesn’t have a shopping list (Fortune). Krzanich also had a notable week after news leaked that he was set to hold a fundraiser at his home for Donald Trump. He quickly cancelled the event and said he was not endorsing any candidate (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – A Vanity Fair article states that Twitter co-founder Evan Williams wanted Twitter to acquire his more long-form blogging platform Medium for $500M (Business Insider). Here is the full article, which is worth the read
  • 6/1 – Cisco has finally re-organized their legendary MPLS team that was famous for the “spin-in” strategy where they would incubate companies and then later acquire them (Re/Code)
  • 6/1 – Microsoft agrees to sell 1,500 phone patents to Xiaomi, who has had difficulty playing outside of Asia due to weak patent protection (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Uber turned to Saudi Arabia for its latest $3.5B capital raise (NYT) and people (ie. Dan Primack) are not that pleased about it (Dan Primack)
  • 6/1 – SpaceX shares were recently sold at a price 24% higher than the last fundraising round (The Information)
  • 6/1 – Fiksu, a Boston-based mobile attribution company that had raised $17M and at one point had $100M+ in revenue, has been acquired by ClickDealer, a marketing agency (Boston Globe)
  • 6/2 – Twitter reportedly held a meeting with Yahoo about a potential acquisition, but it sounds like it was likely just an information gathering session as CEO Jack Dorsey did not show (NY Post)
  • 6/2 – Thoma Bravo is taking Qlik Technologies for $3B private after activist hedge fund Elliott Management came in as an investor (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Oracle is suing a former employee that accused the Company of fudging the way it accounts for cloud computing sales (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Impinj, an RFID company based in Seattle, has filed for $60M IPO, after a long road to get here. The Company was founded in 2000 and has raised $130M (Seattle Times)
  • 6/2 – Blue Coat, which was acquired by Bain Capital from Thoma Bravo just over a year ago, has filed for an IPO. The Company has GAAP revenue that is actually declining ($598M for the year ended April 30.. down from $631 the year before), but has adjusted revenue (ex-deferred revenue write down), which rose 17% for the same period (to $755M up from $643M) (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Google has apparently joined the likes of Carmelo Anthony and countless rappers + gang members in an effort to stop snitching (The Information)
  • 6/2 – Snapchat is said to have passed Twitter in terms of daily usage with 150M people using it daily (Bloomberg)
  • 6/2 – Microsoft’s board is debating the speed of its ramp to the cloud with Chairman John Thompson pushing the Company to do it faster (Bloomberg)
  • 6/2 – WalMart will test last mile delivery with Uber, Lyft and Deliv (TechCrunch)
  • 6/3 – This is kind of amazing – Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez who will likely join the Baseball Hall of Fame next year, is joining a VC fund in South Florida (TechCrunch)
  • 6/4 – Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, has stepped down from leading it within Google amid a number of complaints about his leadership style (NYT). The new leader of Nest is Marwan Fawaz, who is a veteran of the traditional cable television industry and stylistically the exact opposite of Fadell (The Information)
  • 6/4 – WeWork is cutting 7% of staff (currently employing over 1,000 people) and putting a temporary pause on hiring (Bloomberg)

Earnings

  • 5/31 – Workday stock traded down 3% in after-hours despite Q1 earnings beat (The Street)
  • 6/1 – SecureWorks traded up 3% after reporting its first earnings as a public company (Bidness Asset)
  • 6/2 – Guidewire releases earnings and traded up 3.7% on comfortable beats on both revenue and profits (Seeking Alpha)
  • 6/2 – Box posted its Q1 earnings and the stock dropped 12.9%, before bouncing back to only an 8% drop (TechCrunch)

Financings

  • 5/31 – AutoFi, a year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes point-of-sale software for the auto industry, has raised $17 million in new funding led by Crosslink Capital
  • 5/31 – Mosaicoon, a six-year-old, Palermo, Italy-based company whose software tackles end-to-end management of video campaigns, has raised €8 million ($8.9 million) in Series B funding from undisclosed investors
  • 5/31 – Robin, a two-year-old, Boston-based company whose software helps offices organize, track, and monitor their spaces, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital
  • 5/31 – Twiggle, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based search technology company centered around e-commerce, is reportedly raising between $5 million and $10 million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba
  • 5/31 – Tynker, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based computing platform that creates apps and curricula that teach kids the basics of coding,  has raised $7.1 million in Series A funding led by Krishna Bharat
  • 5/31 – WalkMe, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sells a cloud-based service to help marketing professionals engage prospects and complete online tasks, quietly raised $50 million in Series E funding in March from Insight Venture Partners
  • 5/31 – WinView, an eight-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that lets users compete in games that run at the same time as sports games, has raised $3.4 million in new funding led by two individual investors: Tom Rogers, chairman of TiVo and the former head of NBC’s cable division, and Hank Ratner, the vice chairman of Cablevision and the former chief of the Madison Square Garden Company.
  • 5/31 – Zoox, a two-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based autonomous-driving startup in Silicon Valley that’s been intentionally flying under the radar, is seeking to raise as much as $252 million in funding, according to an SEC filing flagged by Bloomberg. If the fundraising is successful, the investment could give Zoox a valuation of more than $1 billion
  • 6/1 – Cognical, a four-year-old, New York-based company that uses its own algorithms to produce a lease-to-own payment option for in-store and online shopping, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding led by Victory Park Capital
  • 6/1 – Mediachain, a months-old, New York-based digital media startup that’s using blockchain to create a global rights database, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures
  • 6/1 – SevenFifty, a four-year-old, New York-based online platform working to make it easier for retailers to see what distributors have to offer, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Formation 8
  • 6/1 – Signals, a seven-year-old, Netanya, Israel-based big data and business intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Israel-based Qumra Capital
  • 6/1 – Vendini, a 15-year-old, San Francisco-based ticketing business, has raised its first outside capital via a $20 million investment from the New York-based private equity firm Level Equity
  • 6/2 – Digit, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose software monitors cash flow into a user’s checking account and diverts small amounts into savings (users can save more or less via text message prompts), has raised $22.5 million in Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital
  • 6/2 – EarlySense, a 12-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based company that makes continuous monitoring tech that supports remote patient monitoring, has raised $25 million in Series G funding led by Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim
  • 6/2 – LinkBee, a year-old, New York-based stealthy IoT hardware startup, has raised $6 million in seed funding co-led by Pegasus Capital Advisors and Loeb Enterprises
  • 6/2 – Notion, a three-year-old, Denver-based connected home startup, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by XL Innovation, with participation from Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures
  • 6/2 – RubiconMD, a three-year-old, New York-based online medical consulting platform for primary care providers, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Waterline Ventures
  • 6/2 – Tile, a 3.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that makes a bluetooth tracking device and app to enable users to find valuable items, like their keys or phone, has raised $18 million in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 6/2 – Tenjin, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile marketing infrastructure company, has raised a fresh $2.5 million in funding led by NetEase Capital
  • 6/2 – Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant, has raised a fresh $3.5 billion from Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund
  • 6/2 – uSens, a three-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company that’s developing hand-and-head tracking technologies for augmented and virtual reality, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Fosun Kinzon Capital
  • 6/2 – Verto Analytics, a three-year-old, New York and Helsinki-based audience measurement company, has raised $16.1 million in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures
  • 6/3 – DemandJump, a year-old, Indianapolis, In.-based startup that makes predictive intelligence marketing software, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding from 4G Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, along with numerous individual investors.
  • 6/3 – Glassdoor*, a nine-year-old, Mill Valley, Ca.-based site that helps people look for jobs and research companies that interest them, has raised $40 million in Series H funding. The financing values the company at around $1 billion, according to CEO Robert Hohman, and it was led by T. Rowe Price, with participation from previous investors Battery Ventures, Google Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tiger Global Management.
  • 6/3 – Qumulo, a four-year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based company that’s developing enterprise data storage systems, has raised $32.5 million in Series C funding  from new investors Allen & Company, Top Tier Capital Partners, and Tyche Partners
  • 6/3 – Udemy, a six-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based marketplace for learning and teaching online, has raised $60 million in fresh funding from Naspers Ventures.
  • 6/3 – Vyze, an eight-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company whose software enables retailers and manufacturers to offer their customers real-time financing options at the point of sale, has raised $13 million in Series B funding led by Austin Ventures and StarVest Partners
  • 6/3 – LootCrate, a Los Angeles, Ca.-based monthly subscription that delivers crates of awesome to those that live and embrace the geek and gaming lifestyle, has raised $18.5 million in Series A funding led by Upfront Ventures
  • 6/3 – Oribi, a Israel-based startup founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Iris Shoor developing analytics tools for business intelligence, has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital

Random, long reads
My Dinner With Ali
(Louisville Courier-Journal Magazine) – There have been some really moving tributes and stories posted all over the internet in the last 48 hours since Muhammad Ali’s death. I read a lot of them and this one from 1989 stood out as the best. It’s the story of a writer/fan of Ali’s dropping into his house and an unexpectedly having the opportunity to spend the day with him. I don’t want to spoil it since it’s so awesome but here are two good bits from it:

  • Ali was the worst driver I’d ever ridden with—other than my alcoholic grandfather near the end of his life. Ali careened from lane to lane, sometimes riding down the middle of the highway, and he regularly switched lanes without looking or giving turn signals. I balled my fists in my lap and pretended to be relaxed. A group of teenage boys became infuriated when he pulled in front of their old, beat-up Firebird and cut them off. Three of them leaned out the windows, shooting him the finger. Ali shot it back.
  • I was about to ask if he’d mind autographing the photo I especially wanted, but he turned to Page 2, signed that picture, then the next page and the next. He continued to sign for probably 45 minutes, writing comments about opponents (“Get up Chump,” he wrote beside a classic photo of the fallen Sonny Liston), parents, Elijah Muhammad (“The man who named me”), Howard Cosell, spouses (“She gave me Hell,” he scrawled across his first wife’s picture), then passed the book to his mother and brother to autograph a family portrait. He even signed “Cassius Clay” on several photos from the early ‘60s. He flipped twice through the book, autographing nearly every photo, pointing out annotations as he wrote. “Never done this before,” he said. “Usually sign one or two pictures.”

Do yourself a favor and just read it.

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker (Buzzfeed) – This cannot be shared enough. A powerful and difficult to read first person account that the victim of a rape at Stanford read to her attacker in court.

  • “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

May she serve as an example for all that have gone through something as unspeakable as this.

Barack Obama’s Last Stand (The Ringer) – Bill Simmons’ new website launched this week with a bunch of articles, but my favorite one was this one by Jon Favreau (Obama’s old speechwriter) on the President’s last election — making sure Hillary Clinton is elected over Donald Trump. Really insightful and powerful from one of the men that knows the President (and politics) best.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Industry News: May 30, 2016

Hope everyone enjoyed Memorial Day. Late delivery due to the holiday.

Last week, today

  • 5/20 – Dan Primack has a profile on Glasswing Ventures, which is a new fund being started by Rudina Seseri and Rick Grinnell, previously partners with Fairhaven Capital (Fortune)
  • 5/20 – Avaya’s owners Silver Lake and TPG are reportedly considering a sale that could value the business for between $6B and $10B. The Company is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs on the deal. Avaya had $900M in EBITDA, but $400M in interest expense last year (Fortune)
  • 5/21 – Marc Benioff gave a weird answer to Jim Cramer when asked whether or not Salesforce would still potentially sell itself (Business Insider)
  • 5/22 – Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox, will not serve as CEO of either of the two businesses (one will focus on printer and copiers and one on BPO and other services) after Xerox splits later this year (NYT)
  • 5/23 – After laying off 10% of its workforce, Localytics is now pushing for profitability (Xconomy)
  • 5/23 – Kleiner Perkins is raising $1.3B for two funds split between its early stage and its digital growth funds (CNBC)
  • 5/23 – HelloTech merged with rival in-home tech support company Geekatoo. HelloTech has raised $17M from firms like Madrona, Upfront and Greycroft. Geekatoo had raised $3M from a bunch of different people (Fortune)
  • 5/23 – Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker and private company with the second highest valuation behind Uber, reportedly had flat-ish revenue last year, growing only 5% (Fortune)
  • 5/23 – Amazon has stopped giving refunds when an item’s price drops after you purchase it (Re/Code)
  • 5/23 – “Why the Virtual-Reality Hype is About to Come Crashing Down” (the answer is the gap between content and technology) (WSJ)
  • 5/23 – Facebook has acquired Two Big Ears, a developer of software/technology for audio content related VR and 3D games (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/23 – Filings show that Spotify grew revenue 80% to $2.1B while losses only grew by 7% to $188.7M (Re/Code). The Company also released a family plan that lets up to 6 people stream songs for $15 a month (Venture Beat)
  • 5/23 – Harmony Partners has closed its third fund, a $105M fund focused on Series B and later growth checks (PE Hub)
  • 5/24 – A little known Delaware law could force companies to open their books at a shareholder’s request, which obviously will have big implications for a number of companies that prefer secrecy around their financials (WSJ)
  • 5/24 – HP Enterprise is selling off its services business, the old Electronic Data Systems business that it bought in 2008 for nearly $14B, to CSC for $8.5B (ABC News)
  • 5/24 – March Capital Partners has raised $240M for their first fund of which $100M has already been committed (Venture Beat)
  • 5/24 – Amazon is going to launch its Fresh grocery delivery service in the UK and Boston. The Company has been slow to expand beyond its initial core markets  (Re/Code)
  • 5/24 – Facebook is tweaking Trending Topics to counter charges of bias (and hopefully that’s the last we hear about this topic) (Re/Code)
  • 5/24 – Marc Michel is leaving Metamorphic Ventures to launch a new firm called Runway Venture Partners that will focus on extending the “runway” of seed rounds/seed extensions (Fortune)
  • 5/24 – Google is finally getting serious about ads for Google Maps (Search Engine Land)
  • 5/24 – Buyout rumors have again boosted the price of FireEye (this time IBM vs. last time Cisco) with the stock trading up 7.3% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/24 – eBay has acquired Ticketbis for $165M to expand StubHub’s reach into Europe, Latin America and Asia (TechCrunch)
  • 5/24 – Newark Venture Partners and an incubator NVP Labs launch with an intended $50M fund (of which $23M is committed) (TechCrunch)
  • 5/24 – 100 investigators raided Google’s Paris HQ at 5 AM in search of evidence of €1.6B in unpaid taxes (Business Insider)
  • 5/24 – Apple is opening up Siri to apps made by others and building an Amazon Echo competitor (The Information)
  • 5/25 – As part of the plan to kick its phone business to the curb, Microsoft will cut 1,850 jobs and take a $950M charge (Re/Code)
  • 5/25 – Business Insider has a report on Domo, which states that the Company is “equal parts hype and reality” and that the enterprise sales business is not doing very well (Business Insider)
  • 5/25 – Alibaba announced that its under investigation by US securities regulators overs its accounting practices for dealing with businesses in which it owns stakes or has a say in its operations (NYT)
  • 5/25 – Uber has signed a partnership with Foursquare to power points of interest data around pick-ups and drop-offs (Medium)
  • 5/25 – This week in Theranos, WSJ has a report that Walgreens didn’t validate its technology (no sh*t) before deploying it in stores (WSJ) and the Company is now being hit by a consumer fraud class action lawsuit (The Verge)
  • 5/25 – Facebook is planning to shut down its ad exchange business, FBX, which enables third party ad technology companies to purchase ads on its network. Criteo which had been buying ads on behalf of companies on the platform traded down on the news (WSJ)
  • 5/25 – In a weird and kind of ominous threat that is likely totally out of context, Visa’s CEO Charlie Scharf said that if Visa and Paypal do not find a better way to work together, Visa will go after the Company “in ways that people have never seen before” (Re/Code)
  • 5/25 – Twitter disbanded its commerce team and ceased product development on its “Buy” button with a number of the 25 people on that team leaving the Company (Buzzfeed)
  • 5/25 – Salesforce has signed a major contract with AWS to spend over $400M on the platform over the next four years. Salesforce also declared AWS its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider (Fortune)
  • 5/25 – Qualcomm chief addresses investors’ appetite for the chip giant to do a large acquisition at JP Morgan’s annual tech conference in Boston (Fortune)
  • 5/25 – Opera Software just took a major step towards officially being acquired by a Chinese consortium for $1.2B after 90.6% of shareholders approved of the deal (TechCrunch)
  • 5/25 – Eric Schmidt said that Alphabet breaking up is “as unlikely as anything (he) could imagine” (Business Insider)
  • 5/25 – Snapchat has hired former Vanity Fair editor Betsy Lack to run global brand strategy for the Company (Re/Code)
  • 5/26 – Google beat Oracle in the copyright lawsuit heard round the world, determining that their use of Java in the Android phone constituted “fair use” (Re/Code)
  • 5/26 – Snapchat has raised $1.8B at either $18B or $20B post in a party round that included a number of growth and venture capital firms (in addition to the traditional mutual fund crew). Investors in this round include Sequoia, General Atlantic, IVP, Coatue, Fidelity, T. Rowe. Leaked documents suggest that the Company did $59M in revenue in 2015 (its first of selling), expects to do $250-350M in 2016 and $500M-$1B in 2017 (TechCrunch)
  • 5/26 – A Financial Times report states that an Apple exec proposed a bid for Time Warner although the idea never actually made it all the way up the ranks (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/26 –Facebook is searching for a new CIO after news that current CIO Tim Campos (who joined in August 2010) is leaving the Company to found a business (WSJ)
  • 5/26 – This week’s news was largely dominated by the story that Peter Thiel had been funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker after Gawker had outed Thiel as a gay in 2007 (NYT). Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay (which acquired Thiel’s first start-up Paypal) is leading a charge to support Gawker (NYP). Gawker has also hired investment bankers to help it either raise money or sell itself (Re/Code)
  • 5/26 – Intel Capital is restructuring its investment team, but has elected to not sell off its portfolio (WSJ)
  • 5/26 – Twilio officially filed to go public with an S-1 to list on the NYSE under the ticker “TWLO.” The Company plans to raise $100M. It did $166.9M in sales in 2015, up from $88.8M in 2014  (Fortune)
  • 5/26 – Intel has purchased Itseez, in an attempt to boost its navigation of self-driving cars (TechCrunch)
  • 5/26 – Lenovo admits that the Motorola business it acquired from Google “has not met expectations” (TechCrunch)
  • 5/27 – Data Collective has raised $177.5M for its fourth fund. The firm is also seeking $125M for an opportunities fund (PE Hub)
  • 5/27 – Verizon is working with Yahoo’s former investment bank, Bank of America, on a potential takeover bid (Venture Beat)
  • 5/27 – Toyota is close to buying Google’s robotics company, Boston Dynamics (Tech Insider)
  • 5/27 – Amazon is putting Alexa’s capabilities into the browser with Echosim.io (TechCrunch)
  • 5/27 – Marketo* stock jumped 6.7% on rumors that Vista Equity is close to announcing a deal to acquire the company (Seeking Alpha)

Earnings

  • 5/24 – Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s earnings were overshadowed by the news that the Company plans to spin off its services business to CSC. The stock traded up 10% after the news was released (WSJ)
  • 5/25 – Intuit released earnings and the stock fell 2% due largely to a decline in the subscriber growth rate of QuickBooks Online (CNBC)
  • 5/25 – Nimble Storage traded up 25% on an earnings beat with the Company favoring growth over profitability (Fool.com)
  • 5/26 – Palo Alto Networks’ stock fell 10.6% after posting a wider loss than expected (Fortune). The Company’s earnings also dragged down a number of other cybersecurity stocks including FireEye, CyberArk, Imperva, Fortinet (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/26 – Splunk traded down 6% following its Q1 earnings release. The Company beat on revenue and raised its full year guidance, but losses widened (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/26 – Pure Storage’s stock took a beating despite releasing solid earnings due to weak guidance and a class action lawsuit. The stock fell 22% on the news (Storage Review)
  • 5/26 – Veeva traded up 9.2% after beating on both top and bottom line (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/27 – NetApp released earnings and reported a 10% decline in revenue and a 17% decline in product revenue. The stock fell slightly on the news but then mostly recovered (Nasdaq)

Financings

  • 5/23 – Saguna Networks, a 7.5-year-old, Yokneam, Israel-based mobile edge computing platform, has raised $5 million in funding led by CE Ventures
  • 5/23 – SeamlessDocs, a five-year-old, New York startup that helps governments move all their forms online, has raised $7 million in Series B funding led by Motorola Solutions
  • 5/23 – Sun Basket, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based healthy cooking service, has raised $11.6 million in Series A funding led by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital
  • 5/23 – Take the Interview, a four-old, New York-based online interviewing platform, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by 3TS Capital Partners
  • 5/24 – Agari*, a seven-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that makes data-driven security software to eliminate email as a channel for cyberattacks, has raised $22 million in Series D funding led by Norwest Venture Partners
  • 5/24 – Apixio, a seven-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based data science company focused on healthcare, has raised $19.3 million in Series D funding led by SSM Partners
  • 5/24 – Bloomz, a two-year-old, Redmond, Wa.-based education tech startup whose app securely connects teachers and parents, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding from 8VC, ff Venture Capital, Founder’s Co-op, CorrelationVC, Wisemont Capital, Acequia Capital and individual angels.
  • 5/24 – Gett, a six-year-old, New York-based cab-hailing startup with operations across some 60 cities, is getting a $300 million investment from the German car giant Volkswagen
  • 5/24 – Menu Next Door, a year-old, Brussels-based Airbnb-like platform that invites users to either cook for people nearby or to pick up food from a local home cook who’s featured on the platform, has raised $2 million (€1.75 million) from Index Ventures, Local Globe, Kima Ventures and TheFamily.
  • 5/24 – nuTonomy, a three-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based developer of software for self-driving cars, has raised $16 million Series A funding led by Highland Capital
  • 5/24 – Pattern, a year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based online “workspace” platform designed to make life easier for salespeople, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, and Felicis Ventures
  • 5/24 – SigFig, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based developer of tech-enabled financial advisory services products like reports, has raised $40 million from the venture investment arms of a slew of big banks in the form of $33 million in equity and $7 million in debt. Participants in the round include Santander Innoventures, UBS, Eaton Vance and New York Life
  • 5/24 – Snapchat, the five-year-old, Venice, Ca.-based mobile app that began as an ephemeral messaging service, is raising new funding at a $20 billion valuation
  • 5/24 – TourRadar, a six-year-old, Vienna, Austria-based online marketplace for multi-day travel tours, has raised $6 million in funding co-led by Cherry Ventures and Hoxton Ventures
  • 5/24 – vArmour, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based startup that offers security solutions specifically aimed at enterprises that run services and apps across multiple clouds, has raised $41 million in Series D funding led by Telstra
  • 5/25 – Affectiva, a seven-year-old, Waltham, Ma.-based company that’s developing technology capable of reading people’s moods from their facial expressions captured in digital videos, has raised $14 million in Series D funding led by Fenox Venture Capital
  • 5/25 – Dashlane, a seven-year-old, New York and Paris-based online identity management platform provider, has raised $22.5 million in Series C funding led by TransUnion
  • 5/25 – Demisto, a year-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based company founded by four security industry pros, emerged from stealth today with a bot-driven security platform and $6 million in Series A funding. Accel Partners led the round, with participation individual investors, including Cylance CEO Stuart McClure
  • 5/25 – eero, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of a next-generation home WiFi system, has raised $50 million in growth funding led by Menlo Ventures
  • 5/25 – Entelo*, a five-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based company that makes enterprise software for data-driven recruiting, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Shasta Ventures
  • 5/25 – TransferWise, a five-year-old, London-based money transfer startup, has raised $26 million in new funding led by Baillie Gifford
  • 5/25 – Viptela, a four-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based networking virtualization company, has raised $75 million in Series C funding led by Redline Capital
  • 5/25 – Votiro, a five-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based maker of secure email gateway software, has raised $4 million in new funding led by Redfield Asset Management
  • 5/26 – 7shifts, a three-year-old, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company that makes employee scheduling software for restaurants, has raised C$1.2 million (roughly $924,000) in seed funding by Relay Ventures
  • 5/26 – AmpMe, a year-old, Montreal-based music-syncing app that allows users to play music across multiple devices to create a kind of portable sound system, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Relay Ventures
  • 5/26 – Buddybuild, an eight-month-old, Vancouver-based company focused on continuous integration and delivery for mobile applications, has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers
  • 5/26 – Contentful, a five-year-old, Berlin and San Francisco-based API-driven content management developer platform, has raised $13 million in Series B funding led by Benchmark
  • 5/26 – Front App, a 2.5-year-old, Paris-based email platform that aims to make it easier to work with teams, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Social Capital
  • 5/26 – Lightbend, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company that’s backing the Scala programming language, has raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Intel Capital
  • 5/26 – Seismic, a five-year-old, Solana Beach, Ca.-based company that sells software that automating updates to corporate sales and marketing collateral, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by General Atlantic
  • 5/26 – Skillshare, a 5.5-year-old, New York-based ed tech startup that makes short, self-paced courses for so-called creators, has raised $12 million in Series B funding co-led by Amasia and Omidyar Network
  • 5/27 – Centauri Health Solutions, a two-year-old, Scottsdale, Az.-based company that makes medical coding and data analysis software, has raised $50 million in growth capital from the private equity firm Silversmith Capital Partners
  • 5/27 – EyeQ, a five-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based shopper intelligence platform, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding led by Align Capital
  • 5/27 – Lumiata, a three-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based predictive analytics company serving the healthcare industry, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Intel Capital
  • 5/27 – Meural, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that enables users to change the art of their walls on command with its framed digital canvases, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Corigin Ventures
  • 5/27 – Photomyne, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based app that lets users quickly scan entire photo albums and then share their scanned photos, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding from Israeli investors like Eddy Shalev and Yariv Gilat

Random, long reads
Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder (BuzzFeed) – While certainly a gossipy story, I’m always interested in situations where powerful people are exposed for their hypocrisy and this is certainly the case here. Thomas Pogge, one of the world’s preeminent academics in the world of ethics, stands accused of manipulating students for his own sexual advances. The story goes into his employer’s (Yale) desire to cover up the charge when they were first raised and raises questions about how long this has been allowed to go on.

Machine Bias (ProPublica) – It’s not breaking news that the criminal justice systems is unduly biased against African Americans. This has been going on for decades and decades and actually has received a bit more attention of late as a result of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy putting some focus on the injustices that have resulted from the 1994 crime bill signed by Bill Clinton. That being said, the fact that there is software used across the country to predict future criminals (built by Northpointe) that is programmatically biased against African Americans is a troubling fact, as the ProPublica reports here.

The Inside Story of When Run-DMC Met Aerosmith and Changed Music Forever (The Washington Post) – This Washington Post piece tells the story of how a 22-year-old white producer named Rick Rubin recruited Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of the down-and-out stadium rock band, Aerosmith, to collaborate with the hottest hip hop act of the time, Run DMC.  The collaboration resulted in Walk This Way and the rest, as they say, is history.

Some fantastic lines in there like this one from Steven Tyler:
I loved rap. I used to go looking for drugs on Ninth Avenue and I would go over to midtown or downtown and there would be guys on the corner selling cassettes of their music. I’d give them a buck, two bucks, and that was the beginning of me noticing what was going on in New York at the time.

And this from DMC:
We go down to my basement and put on the record and then you hear “Backstroke lover always hidin’ ’neath the covers” and immediately me and Joe get on the phone and say: “Hell no, this ain’t going to happen. This is hillbilly gibberish, country-bumpkin bulls—.”  
 

And this from Russell Simmons:
What do I remember about Aerosmith that day? They were in the bathroom a lot. They were sniffing a lot of coke.
  
 

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: May 22, 2016

Last week, today

  • 5/11 – Forbes has a detailed account of the Israeli military unit 8200 – the best tech incubator/accelerator most haven’t heard of (Forbes)
  • 5/14 – Warren Buffett and Dan Gilbert (the Cavs owner and founder of Quicken Loans) are teaming up in a bid for Yahoo (Reuters) and they’re being advised by former Yahooers (Re/Code)
  • 5/15 – Amazon has long been rumored to be moving in this direction and this week they announced plans for private label brands for everything from food to diapers (WSJ). You may remember the Company launched diapers in 2014 only to withdraw them over quality concerns. Amazon has also been selling AmazonBasics line of electronic accessories for a while now
  • 5/16 – AT&T is acquiring Quickplay Media, a provider of internet video streaming services, which it will use to launch DirecTV OTT capabilities later in 2016. The business was bought for $100M by private equity firm, Madison Dearborn Partners in 2012 (Variety)
  • 5/16 – The WSJ has the play-by-play of Renaud Laplanche’s final days as the CEO of LendingClub, the company that he founded in 2006. The TLDR version is he was told he would have to quit or be fired (by Norwest investor and LendingClub board member Jeff Crowe) after the board lost trust in him. The board discovered that he was less-than-forthcoming about information around employees backdating loans and disclosing an investment that potentially created a conflict of interest (WSJ)
  • 5/16 – In the latest minor change it should have done 5 years ago, Twitter is now planning to not count pictures and links against the 140 character limit (Bloomberg)
  • 5/16 – Warren B(uffett) disclosed that Berkshire Hathaway invested $1.1B in Apple as he moves away (along with the Yahoo bid) from his “no tech investing” policy (Bloomberg)
  • 5/16 – All is not calm with Xfund. A complaint filed in court by Xfund co-founder Hugo Van Vuuren on 5/13 details a number of things including emails by Van Vuuren’s co-founder Patrick Chung that call him a “spiteful moron” and states that Van Vuuren is worth more “dead than alive once (they) have key-man insurance” (?!?!). Van Vuuren also accuses Chung of committing fraud (NYT)
  • 5/16 – Jason Spinell, former head of venture investing at Undercurrent, has joined Slack to help manage and invest the Slack fund (Term Sheet)
  • 5/16 – In a move that “could prove lucrative for (Facebook) and intensify its competition with Alphabet” (I quote because I don’t understand ad-tech or the implications of this move), Facebook said that it will help marketers sell and place video advertisements across third party websites with FB getting an unspecified cut of the revenue (WSJ)
  • 5/16 – MCX, a company built as a consortium of big retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, CVS and others, that was supposed to be retailer’s response to mobile payments/Apple Pay announces another product delay and a lay-off of around 30 people (Re/Code)
  • 5/16 – Amazon has open-sourced its product recommendation engine (called DSSTNE, which is pronounced ‘destiny’) (Wired)
  • 5/17 – Oracle had plans to build a phone, but ultimately scrapped it after concluding it had “very limited internal expertise to make smart decisions” (Fortune). They are also claiming that Google has gotten $42.4B in revenue from Android from 2008 to 2015 (Twitter), a number which Larry Page then denied (Business Insider). NYT did a nice write-up on the implications for the open source community (and how advocates for open source software are nervous about the potential of Oracle winning) (NYT)
  • 5/17 – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised more retail stores as well as additional services (although vague on details) for Amazon Prime members (WSJ)
  • 5/17 – Gap CEO said that you’d have to be delusional to be a retailer and not consider selling on Amazon.com (Bloomberg)
  • 5/17 – Jefferies is said to have poached five Credit Suisse technology investment bankers, including William Brady who previously ran Credit Suisse’s global technology investment banking practice in addition to four other senior bankers (Bloomberg)
  • 5/17 – Microsoft and SAP are getting a little chummier in the cloud with the two companies’ CEOs announcing that SAP’s HANA will be able to run on Microsoft’s Azure (sounds dirtier than it is) at SAP’s Sapphire Now conference in Orlando (TechCrunch)
  • 5/17 – Amazon expanded its restaurant delivery service to include more than 350 local restaurants in New York City (and also restaurants in Dallas?), which is free for Amazon Prime members (WSJ). GrubHub traded down close to 8% on the news (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/17 – The Silicon Valley real estate market seems to be slowing down according to an article by Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
  • 5/17 – Uber has launched “Trip Tracker” that is a part of Uber’s Family Profiles, which will allow family members to track each other’s trips (TechCrunch)
  • 5/17 – Netsuite (aka that other cloud company founded out of Oracle with Larry Ellison as an investor) is overhauling its accounting system to better suit the digital and e-commerce age (Fortune)
  • 5/18 – 117 million LinkedIn emails and passwords from a 2012 hack were just posted online and are for sale (TechCrunch)
  • 5/18 – Rick Grinnell and Rudina Seseri, both formerly partners at Fairhaven, have launched a new firm called Glasswing Ventures to focus on AI and cybersecurity. They will also be joined by Sarah Fey, who has served as a CEO and angel investor in the Boston ecosystem (Bostinno)              
  • 5/18 – At its developer conference, Google I/O, Google announced:
    • Google Home, its response to Amazon Echo. NYT has the comparison between the two (NYT)
    • Daydream virtual reality headset (Re/Code)
    • Allo, a messaging app with Google Assistant built in and Duo a one-to-one video messaging app. These both has privacy advocates up in arms because the default setting are not encrypted (Fortune)
    • Plans to allow Android apps to run on Chromebooks (Re/Code)

Here’s a summary with reviews and analysis by Re/Code

  • 5/18 – This week in Theranos, the company has voided two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices (WSJ)
  • 5/18 – Castlight Health spiked 23% on the news that it had struck a strategic deal with SAP (who seems to just love everyone these days) to allow Castlight to be sold along with the SAP SuccessFactors platform and that SAP has bought $18M worth of stock with an option to buy another ~$6M at a pre-defined price (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/18 – Microsoft has reached an agreement to sell its phone assets (the Nokia brand) to a Foxconn subsidiary for $350M in the latest shift in strategy from the Ballmer era. The deal will transfer 4,500 employees over to Foxconn (The Verge)
  • 5/18 – Fitbit announced that they are acquiring Coin, the all-in-one credit card that was shared all over the web a few years ago, to move more into payments (The Verge)
  • 5/19 – Genstar Capital announces that it has acquired Accruent, a provider of facilities and real estate management, from TA and Vista Equity. The deal was rumored by Dan Primack to be for between $500-750M (Yahoo Finance)
  • 5/19 – Google has a big project in their never-ending battle vs. Apple with mobile app vs. mobile web (Fortune)
  • 5/19 – Uber has been testing out a self-driving car on the streets of Pittsburgh over the last few weeks (Trib Live)
  • 5/19 – Microsoft seems to be building a personal assistant bot for WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger according to a job posting (Business Insider)
  • 5/19 – E.ventures (formerly known as BV Capital) has raised a new $150M fund to invest in start-ups across Europe and the States (Venture Beat)
  • 5/19 – Glenn Beck (yes, the same one) wrote an interesting account on his meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Spoiler alert – he doesn’t think any of this is a big deal (although he does get outraged about something that I don’t really understand) (Medium)
  • 5/19 – An LA Times writer posted a piece that included Theranos and Zenefits in a group of bad disrupters (LA Times) and Zenefits CEO David Sacks was not happy about the comparison and went on a rant on Twitter about it (Business Insider)
  • 5/19 – GM’s $1B acquisition of Cruise can now proceed after the lawsuit around the founding of the Company has been settled. Someone got paid (Fortune)
  • 5/19 – A study by Appboy*, reveals that fewer than 25% of people will return to an app after initially downloading it (Fortune)
  • 5/19 – Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin closed on a $140M fund for deals in Asia, called B Capital (TechCrunch)
  • 5/19 – Google CEO Sundar Pinchai confirms the reports of Area 120, the Company’s rumored corporate incubator (Forbes)
  • 5/20 – A regulatory filing by Salesforce revealed that the Company paid $32.8M for MetaMind and a combined $41.6M for two other start-ups (likely PredictionIO and Implisit Insights) (Business Insider)
  • 5/20 – Tesla, which burns money like it’s a local delivery marketplace, has raised an additional $1.5B to finance the production of the Model 3 (Business Insider)
  • 5/20 – Yahoo is expected to receive bids in the $2-3B range from potential acquirers including Verizon, Bain/Vista Equity (+ former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn), Dan Gilbert/Warren Buffett (WSJ)
  • 5/20 – Avant (another online consumer lending start-up) announced that it is laying off 60 employees or 7% of its workforce (Chicago Business)
  • 5/20 – IBM quietly continued with layoffs this week with experts estimating that they may end up cutting 14,000 jobs (WSJ)
  • 5/20 – Twitter is reportedly teaming up with Betaworks (and committing at least $10M) for a fund of some sort (TechCrunch)
  • 5/20 – Palantir is planning to buy $225M of stock from employees at $7.40, a price above where some large investors are valuing the stock (Buzzfeed)
  • 5/21 – Nokia confirms it is laying off another 1,000 people in Finland (TechCrunch)
  • 5/21 – “Start-ups once showered with cash now have to work for it,” a write-up by NYT (NYT)
  • 5/22 – In the funny and definitely not high-brow news category goes a report from the New York Post that Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca was denied entrance to Hamilton after accidentally purchasing fraudulent tickets. Sacca reportedly was yelling “Do you know who I am?” and that he was a shark on Shark Tank (New York Post)

 
Earnings

  • 5/18 – Cisco shares traded up 3.2% on better-than-expected earnings with good growth from newer business units including security and conferencing (Bloomberg)
  • 5/18 – Salesforce beat on earnings (again) and trades up 5.3% in after-hours as it forecasted higher for the year (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/19 – 8×8 jumped 7.2% following earnings. The Company now has a market cap over $1B (Yahoo)
  • 5/20 – Autodesk traded down slightly on earnings, falling 2.3% (The Street)

Financings

  • 5/16 – AtScale, a three-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based startup that aims to make business intelligence work easily on Hadoop, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Comcast Ventures
  • 5/16 – CircleCI, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based software platform that aims to help developers rapidly release code for web and mobile apps, has raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners
  • 5/16 – PebblePost, a two-year-old, New York-based programmatic direct mail platform, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners and Tribeca Venture Partners
  • 5/16 – Renovo Financial, a five-year-old, Chicago, Il.-based private lender that assists real estate investors who acquire, renovate and manage residential properties, has raised $25 million from earlier investor Victory Park Capital
  • 5/16 – Zeality, a two-year-old, Pleasanton, Ca.-based startup that’s creating an ecosystem for creators and brands that want to create virtual reality content for end-users, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Rothenberg Ventures
  • 5/17 – Avanan, a two-year-old, New York City-based cloud security platform company, has raised $14.9 million in Series A funding led by Greenfield Cities Holdings
  • 5/17 – Bark & Co, a four-year-old, New York-based e-commerce startup focused around dog products, has raised a whopping $60 million in funding led by August Capital
  • 5/17 – BigPanda*, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based data science platform, has raised an additional $5 million in Series B financing, bringing its newest round to $21 million. Pelion Venture Partners is the newest investor of the group
  • 5/17 – Embroker, a year-old, San Francisco-based risk and insurance management platform that helps businesses select and purchase commercial insurance, has raised $12.2 million in Series A funding led by Canaan Partners
  • 5/17 – Hundredrooms, a two-year-old, Palma, Mallorca-based vacation rental search engine, has raised €4.1 million ($4.7 million) in Series A funding led by Seaya Ventures
  • 5/17 – Nift, a year-old, Boston-based invitation-only network for neighborhood businesses, has raised $3 million in funding co-led by Spark Capital and Accomplice
  • 5/17 – Q4, a nine-year-old, Toronto, Canada-based market intelligence and investor engagement platform (it manages investor websites and earnings webcasting, among other things), has raised $22 million in Series B funding from OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund, Information Venture Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Emerillon Capital, Kensington Capital Partners, Plaza Ventures and Accomplice
  • 5/17 – Teckst, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based service that enables two-way text messaging for customer service teams, has raised $2.5 million in new funding from Composite Capital, Gaingels, Kernel Capital and Zelkova Ventures
  • 5/17 – True Anthem, an 8.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes real-time analytics and social publishing software for the media industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from WorldQuant Ventures
  • 5/18 – Dedrone, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based multi-sensor system designed to detect when drones enter into a client’s airspace, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures
  • 5/18 – RedPoint Global, a 10-year-old, Wellesley, Ma.-based company that develops marketing software for business-to-consumer companies, has raised $12 million in Series C funding from Grotech Ventures and WP Global Partners
  • 5/19 – BeMyEye, a five-year-old, London-based mobile crowdsourcing app that companies use to enlist people to carry out mobile tasks, like photographing in-store promotions, has raised €6.5 million ($7.3 million) in Series B funding from Nauta Capital, P101, and previous backer 360 Capital Partners
  • 5/19 – Chime, a San Francisco-based mobile bank account provider, has raised $9 million in new VC funding led by Aspect Ventures
  • 5/19 – Decisio Health, a three-year-old, Houston, Tex.-based startup that aims to help acute-care provider organizations improve their clinical processes, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Declatex, with participation from the University of Texas Horizon Fund
  • 5/19 – Dojo Madness, a two-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based e-sports startup whose mobile app offers tips to gamers to help them improve their gameplay, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by March Capital Partners
  • 5/19 – DriveScale, a three-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company at work on flexible, scale-out computing using standard servers and commodity storage, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Pelion Venture Partners
  • 5/19 – Personal Capital, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based digital wealth management firm founded by former PayPal CEO Bill Harris, has raised $50 million from IGM Financial
  • 5/19 – Shift Technology, a SaaS platform to help insurers detect claims fraud, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, and was joined by return backers Elaia Partners and Iris Capital.
  • 5/19 – Showpad, a five-year-old, Belgium-based company that has built a platform designed to improve other businesses’ sales productivity, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners
  • 5/19 – Tally Technologies, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based app that promises to help people maintain good credit scores while avoiding unnecessary fees, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Shasta Ventures
  • 5/19 – ThoughtSpot, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose business intelligence technology uses a search interface similar to what you might find in a consumer Internet search engine, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 5/19 – Tink, a four-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based mobile banking app, has raised $10 million in Series B funding co-led by the Swedish investment firm Creades and SEB Venture Capital
  • 5/20 – Bloomfire, an Austin, Texas-based platform for sharing information among employees, has raised $12.8 million in Series B funding from Austin Ventures
  • 5/20 – ConceptDrop, a three-year-old, Chicago, Il.-based startup that connects enterprises with freelancers for design and marketing projects, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by Network Ventures
  • 5/20 – Convene, a seven-year-old, New York-based workplace hospitality platform, has raised $20 million in fresh Series B funding, adding to an earlier close of $15.5 million. The round brings the Series B to more than $35 million altogether and the company’s total funding to $51.2 million. The newest capital comes from Brookfield Property Group and Arrowpoint Partners
  • 5/20 – Springbuk, a seven-year-old, Indianapolis, In.-based employer health analytics platform, has raised $3.75 million in Series A funding led by Lewis & Clark Ventures
  • 5/20 – Staq, a four-year-old, New York-based automated reporting and integrations platform for the digital advertising market, has raised $5 million in funding led by Pereg Ventures

Random, long reads
The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies (The Guardian) – There’s little I can write to do this justice. I would just read it. The short version is this is the story that people may remember from six years ago when the FBI raided the house of Russian spies that were undercover in the US, as told through two children who had no idea who their parents actually were. From the story:
 
Their real names were Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova. They were both born in the Soviet Union, had undergone training in the KGB and been dispatched abroad as part of a Soviet programme of deep-cover secret agents, known in Russia as the “illegals”. After a slow-burning career building up an ordinary North American background, the pair were now active agents for the SVR, the foreign spy agency of modern Russia and a successor to the KGB. They, along with eight other agents, had been betrayed by a Russian spy who had defected to the Americans.
 
Through their teenage years these kids thought that they were normal Canadian children living in the US, only to find out their parents were actually Soviet spies.  As you’d imagine, they’ve been struggling with the fallout since, trying to determine who they really are.
 
Bill Clinton’s Big Moment: His Health, His Battle Plan for Trump, and What He’ll Do if Hillary Wins (GQ) – Bill Clinton, one of the iconic (and controversial) politicians of the last few decades is now 70 years old and looking to potentially take on the unprecedented role of First Gentleman in the White House.  GQ does a deep dive investigating where he is at this point in his life and if Bill is still up for the challenge of being in the White House and willing to be the appropriate complement to his wife.
 
Unearthing the Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves (NYT) – Like so much in life, in death there is a massive differences between those that have money and those that do not.  Since 1869, Hart Island has served as a finally resting place for over one billion people that largely ended up there because they didn’t have the funds to be buried elsewhere. The New York Times does a profile on this humongous cemetery, the types of people that ended up there and how this one island ended up housing over one million bodies.
 
Make Yourself Great Again! (Politico) – Similar to all things Trump, his is almost too ridiculous to be true, but there is now a movement occurring where young men are crediting Donald Trump and his attitude with helping them overcome various addictions and confidence issues. This movement exists in the corners of the internet, but has manifested itself into suburban America in a very real and weird way.  Politico has the story detailing it.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: May 15, 2016

 

Last week, today

  • 5/7 – Business Insider has a review (with interviews) of what it’s like to use Facebook at Work, which is the Company’s initiative to go after the Slack/Yammer/HipChat etc. etc. etc. market (Business Insider)
  • 5/8 – WSJ breaks news that Twitter recently cut off the access that US Intelligence agencies have to social media postings through Dataminr (which provides real-time analytics). Twitter reportedly was worried about the optics of seeming too close to the federal agencies (WSJ)
  • 5/9 – Spotify is looking to release original video with 12 original series that include actors like Tim Robbins and Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons (Bloomberg)
  • 5/9 – Chris Tsakalakis, who had served as President of StubHub for 8 years, has joined Benchmark as an EIR (Business Wire)
  • 5/9 – In an exercise in streamlining, Groupon has sold its restaurant software business, Breadcrumb, to Upserve (fka Swipely), a company that also makes restaurant software (Re/Code)
  • 5/9 – John McAfee, the former CEO of McAfee and legitimately a crazy person and maybe a murderer, has been named the CEO of some $10M market cap social gaming, public company that is renaming itself John McAfee Global Technologies. He’ll likely be the Republican Nominee for President in 2020 (TechCrunch)
  • 5/9 – Despite early failures, media companies are still “flocking” to use Facebook Messenger, but looking to tweak the type of content they’re pushing according to the Information (The Information)
  • 5/9 – Renaud Laplanche, Chairman, CEO and founder of LendingClub, resigned following an internal investigation that found that several managers sold $22M in near-prime loans to a single investor in violation of the investor’s instructions. It’s unclear what Laplanche knew when, but he was fired without severance and the stock was down 25% in trading on Monday (Fortune). CNBC has a report that says it was the cover up and not the crime that did him in and that the board lost confidence in him after he wasn’t full cooperative and transparent during the internal investigation (CNBC)
  • 5/9 – Pivotal’s $253M Series C led by Ford and Microsoft last week was actually a $653M round after “one of its parent companies” converted debt into equity, helping to further clear the path for an IPO (Fortune)
  • 5/9 – Uber and Lyft finally agree on something. The two companies have pulled their services from Austin, Texas after city voters failed to overturn legislation that required the fingerprinting of drivers (WSJ)
  • 5/9 – Just when you thought we were done with Zenefits news… NO!  Turns out CEO Parker Conrad sold $10M worth of his own stock, later negotiated a $130K payment as a condition of his departure, was able to keep unvested stock and more according to a report released by Cooley and a blog post by now CEO David Sacks. Sounds like Conrad was a bit of the judge, jury and executioner at Zenefits as well, serving as human resources administrator, approving vacation requests, offer letters and then also had the whole sales team reporting to him. Buzzfeed has more here and Bloomberg has a new detailed story calling Zenefits “The Perfect Startup. Then it self-disrupted,” which also mentions Conrad regrets resigning and that he’s already working on a new start-up (Bloomberg)
    • Side note in all of this, but there is a  cool story that as all of this was breaking, David Sacks was at the Super Bowl. He had to leave but realized he still had his Super Bowl ticket around his neck so he gave it to his Uber driver
  • 5/9 – Debatable if this is newsworthy, but here it is. Peter Thiel is apparently supporting Donald Trump? (The Guardian)
  • 5/9 – Salesforce is reportedly buying Tel-Aviv-based Implisit Insights, a provider of data automation, for “tens of millions” (Dow Jones Business News)
  • 5/9 – Facebook responds to the Gizmodo article that says it suppresses conservative news stories by saying that it doesn’t actually suppress conservative news stories (Business Insider), following by Marky Z posting the same thing on Facebook. But thankfully, the Senate wants to get involved so this should be taken care of quickly (Re/Code)
  • 5/9 – Re/Code has its usually detailed update on Yahoo’s sale process, which includes a look into the changed behavior of Marissa Mayer, who has either decided she wants to try and keep her job or not like explicitly break her fiduciary responsibility (Re/Code)
  • 5/9 – Groupon and IBM are officially in a patent war with one another (Fortune)
  • 5/9 – Amazon launches a video service where Amazon account holders can upload original or their own licensed videos to a new Video Direct platform (WSJ). Despite the headlines, this is likely more of a competitor to Netflix in the long-term and not YouTube
  • 5/9 – Uber is taking bids from public cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft for its “dispatch engine.” The contract won’t be large, but it will be important/symbolic to whoever wins it (The Information)
  • 5/10 – Marketo* spikes 24.7% on the report from Bloomberg that Morgan Stanley has been hired to help the Company find a buyer. Credit Suisse speculates that SAP is the most likely acquirer (Fortune)
  • 5/10 – HP has launched HP Tech Ventures (HP)
  • 5/10 – Salesforce is building its Internet of Things Cloud on AWS, which is obviously a big coup for AWS (Business Insider)
  • 5/10 – Slack debuts “Sign In with Slack,” which will essentially make Slack an identity management platform for B2B applications (TechCrunch)
  • 5/11 – Re/Code has a detailed profile of Google Fiber, which it calls the most audacious part of Alphabet (Re/Code)
  • 5/11 – Tis the season for gossip on venture firm splits with the latest (again from Fortune after breaking the Xfund news last week) on the split at SV Angel between David Lee and Ron Conway. Primack has the story, but apparently the split was far less amicable than was let on and Conway was quick to throw Lee under the bus to LPs (Fortune)
  • 5/11 – This week in Theranos, the Company’s President and COO is “retiring” (Business Insider)
  • 5/11 – Dell is coming to market with a $16B bond offering to finance the acquisition of EMC (Fortune)
  • 5/11 – According to testimony by Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, in the on-going litigation between Oracle and Google, in 2006 Google considered paying $30-40M for a 5 year license to use Java on Android, but talks ultimately broke down (WSJ)
  • 5/11 – The founders of Siri, finally unveiled Viv, their smarter, better, faster personal assistant that is capable of answering more complex questions that has raised $30M from Iconiq and the Pritzker Group, on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC  (Time)
  • 5/11 – Someone claiming to be the former VP of Engineering at uBeam, a company that is trying to transform charging technology by building wireless capabilities, has written a series of blog posts saying that the product is a fraud. The Company has never given a live demo despite raising $23M from Upfront Ventures, a16z, Founders Fund, Marissa Mayer and Mark Cuban (TechCrunch). Mark Suster from Upfront has responded on the Company’s behalf to the charges (Medium)
  • 5/11 – Google is building a product in response to Amazon Echo and its code name is Chirp (Re/Code)
  • 5/11 – Salesforce reportedly has a secret project called “Project Sayonara” that is working to wean the Company off of its Oracle Database dependency. Obviously as you’d expect, this move will likely take years and it’s unclear where it is in the process (Fortune)
  • 5/11 – Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, has denied a report that he will step down as CEO of the Company following the close of the EMC/Dell acquisition. This comes after a string of departures for VMware at the executive level (Business Insider)
  • 5/11 – Berlin-based Cherry Ventures closes a €150M fund to focus on early stage investing in Europe (TechCrunch)
  • 5/11 – Infoblox has received an offer from Thoma Bravo to take the Company private, a month after activist investor Starboard took a stake in the Company. Shares popped 20% on the news giving the stock a $1.1B market cap (Bloomberg)
  • 5/11 – Salesforce deleted four hours of customer data after a major outage (Business Insider)
  • 5/11 – Days after announcing a $50M round of funding led by Pamplona Capital, Dyn has announced that CEO Jeremy Hitchcock will be stepping down as CEO and that Jim Baum, the old CEO of Netezza and Endeca will be stepping in (TechCrunch)
  • 5/11 – The FTC is reportedly looking at re-opening its anti-trust investigation against Google and search, which it had closed three years ago (Politico)
  • 5/11 – Microsoft will shut-down the popular Sunrise calendar app on August 31. The team is currently working on embedding the features into Microsoft’s Outlook mobile app (TechCrunch)
  • 5/12 – Paddle8 and Auctionata are set to merge to form one online art auction site and take it global (NYT)
  • 5/12 – Apple has moved to shorten the app review time for the App Store (from an average of 8.8 days a year ago to 1.95 days last week) as it tries to generate more revenue from mobile (Bloomberg)
  • 5/12 – Symantec announced that it will cut 10% (or ~1,200 employees) of its workforce, which will result in a charge of up to $280M (WSJ)
  • 5/13 – In only the second tech IPO of the year (and the first venture-backed one), Acacia Communications, a fiber optic transmission business backed by Matrix, Summit and others, went public and traded up 35% (TechCrunch)
  • 5/13 – Donald Trump finally goes too far and attacks the most powerful man in America.  Jeff Bezos will probably imminently cause Trump’s demise by undercutting margins (Fortune)
  • 5/13 – Apple invested $1B into Didi, the Chinese Uber although their motivations aren’t entirely clear. People seem to think it probably involves autonomous cars because what doesn’t? (WSJ)
  • 5/13 – A judge has ruled that T Rowe Price cannot sue Dell over its take private because it mistakenly voted for the deal (and someone has certainly been fired) (Reuters)

Earnings

  • 5/9 – Wayfair* stock trades up 10% after posting higher than expected revenue for the quarter (Boston Globe)
  • 5/9 – AppFolio releases earnings and trades up slightly on the news (Pac Biz)
  • 5/9 – Opower announced what is likely their last earnings as a public company.  Stock doesn’t change as it’s likely being bought (Business Wire)
  • 5/10 – Former hotshot enterprise stocks Jive and Castlight release earnings. Everyone collectively shrugs (Jive) (Castlight)
  • 5/10 – New Relic posts solid earnings, but wider than expected loss for their fiscal Q4.  The stock traded down 1% on the news (The Street)
  • 5/11 – CA Technologies shares traded up 3% on earnings that topped analyst expectations (Barrons)
  • 5/11 – Rapid7 posts earnings and trades down 3.6% on the news (Washington News Wire)

Financings

  • 5/9 – CoreOS, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company behind the container-centric CoreOS Linux distribution and Tectonic container management service, has raised $28 million in Series B funding led by GV
  • 5/9 – Musikki, a 5.5-year-old, London-based image management and distribution platform, has raised $1 million in fresh funding from Portugal Ventures
  • 5/9 – Pivotal, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based software company that helps its customers build up their own software development capabilities, has raised more than everyone thought. Recode reported last Friday that it had garnered $253 million in Series C funding at a $2.8 billion valuation from Ford, Microsoft, EMC, VMware and GE
  • 5/10 – Bayshore Networks, a four-year-old, Bethesda, Ma.-based company that makes cybersecurity software for the Industrial Internet of Things, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding from Trident Capital Cybersecurity
  • 5/10 – Dyn, an 18-year-old, Manchester, N.H.-based internet performance management company, has raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Pamplona Capital Management
  • 5/10 – E8 Storage, a 1.5-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based enterprise storage company, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Accel Partners
  • 5/10 – MegaBots, a two-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company that company that aims to bring the robot-fighting stuff of manga and anime to a venue near you, has raised has raised $2.4 million in seed funding from Azure Capital Partners, AME Cloud Ventures, Autodesk, Maveron, and angel investor Ray Rothrock
  • 5/10 – Rancher Labs, a two-year-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based company that makes container management software, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by GRC SinoGreen
  • 5/10 – Simplee, a five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based healthcare expenses startup, has raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Social Capital
  • 5/10 – SPEAKABOOS, an eight-year-old, New York-based company whose app aims to turn “screen time into reading time” for kids ages 2 to 6, has raised $12.5 million in Series B-1 funding led by Wellington Management Company
  • 5/11 – ConnXus, a six-year-old, Cincinnati, Oh.-based company whose tech platform helps connect large corporations with minority- and women-owned suppliers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Techstars Ventures, Serious Change and Impact America Fund
  • 5/11 – Orderbird, a five-year-old, Berlin-based company that claims to be the leading iPad point-of-sale solution in German-speaking markets, has raised €20 million ($22.8 million) in Series C funding co-led by Digital+ Partners and Metro Group
  • 5/11 – Weaveworks, a 1.5-year-old, London-based startup that’s creating open source tools for managing, monitoring and securing containers, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by GV
  • 5/12 – Bolt Threads, an Emeryville, Calif.-based maker of spider silk threads, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. Formation 8 led the round
  • 5/12 – Pwnie Express, a Boston-based provider of wireless and wired threat protection solutions, has raised $12.9 million in Series B funding. Ascent Venture Partners led the round
  • 5/12 – Kontor, a New York-based market network for commercial interior design, has raised $4.6 million in new VC funding from FF Angel, Wellington Partners, Female Founders Fund and BBG Ventures
  • 5/12 – Accion Systems, a three-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company that’s developing miniature space propulsion systems using penny-size ion engines, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Shasta Ventures
  • 5/12 – Bigcommerce, a seven-year-old, Austin- and Australia-based start-up whose software-as-a-service helps more than 55,000 companies create and manage their online stores has raised $30 million financing round led by GGV Capital
  • 5/12 – Evaneos, a seven-year-old, Paris-based European travel marketplace, has raised $21 million in its third round of funding, from Serena Capital, Fonds Ambition Numérique (managed by Bpifrance), ISAI and XAnge
  • 5/12 – Medal, a year-old, San Francisco-based online platform for unifying medical records, has raised $3.78 million in new funding. Investors aren’t disclosed
  • 5/12 – Lattice, a CA-based goal-oriented enterprise task management platform that recently graduated from Y Combinator, raised 2.8m led by Thrive Capital

Random, long reads
Inside Jon Gruden’s “Maniacal” Obsession with Football (Bleacher Report) – We should all aspire to have as much passion about what we’re doing in our daily life as Jon Gruden. The former Super Bowl winning coach turned Monday Night Football announcer is still at his desk most days by 4 AM and watches film like he’s still coaching.  He has tape on every game he’s ever coached, but also will regularly go back and watch video of Aaron Rodger while at Cal or Troy Polamalu at USC.  He has also saved every game plan from all 303 games he’s coached saved and on file.  He has potentially a life of luxury, but doesn’t know how to live it.  From the article:
He owns a Grady-White bay boat. But he doesn’t even know how to turn it on, let alone pilot it through the Gulf of Mexico. He recently got his hands on his dream car—a Ford Mustang GT350R. It’s a collector’s car, custom made for him in silver with a black racing stripe. It’s the most beautiful car he’s ever seen. But he can’t drive it because it’s a stick. He lives on an exclusive country club. But he’s not a golfer.

This Bleacher Report piece will make you appreciate that crazy, Chucky doll-looking coach a little bit more.

Meet the Ungers (Highline – Huffington Post) – Maryland is now undergoing a (n unintentional) social experiment where 230 men and one woman are being released decades after convictions of violent crimes that were supposed to have them locked up forever.  Due to the work of Merle Unger, a convicted murderer and escape artist turned self-educated criminal expert, these people are being unexpectedly released back into society with a new shot at life at an old age. While much of the rhetoric and efforts around the mass incarceration of mostly black men has focused on non-violent crimes, it’s actually the violent criminals that make for the most likely to avoid re-admission into prison (it should be noted that this is due at least in part to age). A study in California found that murderers actually violated parole with new crimes 0.58% of time vs. all paroled prisoners of 48.7%.

The group that has come to be known as the Ungers has an opportunity that they never thought they would and are cognizant of the risk if even one thing goes wrong for one person in the group.  Great journalism by the Highline, Huffington Post’s non-click baity journalistic arm.

Inside Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’s Five-Decade Bromance (Vanity Fair) – Mick and Keith have known each other for five decades, but probably not been mad at each other for 2/3 of that time. In an excerpt from Rich Cohen’s (he who has co-created Vinyl along with Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese) new book on the Rolling Stones, Cohen gives some new details and anecdotes about the relationship from the two most powerful members of the Rolling Stones and their 50 year plus working relationship.

Live Taping of “The Axe Files” with Jon Stewart (YouTube) – Not a long read, but a nice re-emergence of Jon Stewart for a 75 minute filming with David Axelrod. I just miss having Stewart in my life 4 nights a week.

 

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.
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Tech Weekly Newsletter: May 8, 2016

 

Quick thoughts

No real detailed analysis from me this week other than a quick shout-out to the team at Appboy, who announced their $20M Series C this week that our team at Battery led. This was a long time coming on both sides (I think we’ve been talking to them for three years) and we’re excited to watch them continue to execute on what they’ve done to date. 
 
Last week, today

  • 4/29 – .406 Ventures is raising an $80M “opportunities fund” (likely to go alongside their $217M third fund that they raised last July) (Bostinno)
  • 4/29 – Yahoo has narrowed its list of potential buyers to 10 according to people close to the situation (Fortune)
  • 5/2 – Uber ditched Slack for Atlassian’s HipChat, because Slack couldn’t keep up with its employee growth (Business Insider)
  • 5/2 – Craig Wright has outed himself (and apparently validated to people that know the Bitcoin community) as the creator of Bitcoin. Wired has a story on it (Wired). But that was earlier in the week and now he has said that he doesn’t “have the courage (to provide proof).” He went onto say that he was “not strong enough,” which is weird (Business Insider)
  • 5/2 – After acquiring construction software company Textura last week, Oracle scoops up another vertical software company in Opower, the utilities management provider, for $532M (TechCrunch)
  • 5/2 – Vertafore just keeps getting passed around by private equity firms.  Bain and Vista Equity acquired the business from TPG for $2.7B (per 451). Also per 451, Vertafore did $485M in revenue in 2015, up from $400M in 2014 and $180M in EBITDA in 2015. TPG bought the business in June 2010 for $1.4B from Hellman & Friedman (Press Release)
  • 5/2 – The Information speculates that after the recent buys of Textura and Opower, Oracle may go shopping for businesses like Fleetmatics and RealPage.  Their logic is that they are targeting SaaS businesses where they have a non-SaaS presence already (The Information)
  • 5/2 – Gizmodo has a deep dive into the work done by Facebook’s news curation team. The TLDR version is that it was done by contractors who weren’t paid much and felt left out. Facebook also discouraged citing Twitter as a source and the manual curators are now being largely phased out (likely due to automation). The title and reporting here attempt to be scintillating than it actually is, but worth a read (Gizmodo)
  • 5/3 – Adobe has acquired “social library and engagement platform” Livefyre (I think the non-buzzwordy version of what they actually do is provide a platform that let you comment on websites).  Salesforce and Adobe were both investors, along with USVP and Greycroft (TechCrunch)
  • 5/3 – Amazon and Facebook are joining Intel and Netflix as companies that breakout stock-based comp in their earnings, which could spell more trouble for LinkedIn and Twitter. This comes after much criticism from regulators and investors (Bloomberg)
  • 5/3 – Stu Philips, who helped manage Bay Partners back from the dead (before it officially was put to sleep) is apparently now a Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners per Dan Primack per LinkedIn (Fortune)
  • 5/3 – Prosper Marketplace a P2P marketplace that has raised from Francisco Partners, IVP, Accel, and Benchmark (among others) is the latest fintech start up to jump on the layoff train. The Company announced that it will cut 171 jobs and the CEO will forgo his salary for the year (WSJ). 
  • 5/3 – Pinterest confirmed that they have acqui-hired 15 people from the now defunct mobile advertising / deep-linking company URX (Re/Code)
  • 5/4 – Google-backed startup Yieldify laid off 10% of its workforce in March. The Company is currently facing two lawsuits from its competitor, Bounce Exchange, around patent infringement (Business Insider)
  • 5/4 – Scott McNealy, the old CEO of Sun Microsystems, is stepping down from the role of CEO of the Company, Wayin that he started. Wayin recently acquired a company called EngageSciences, based in the UK and the EngageSciences CEO will take over as CEO of the combined business (Re/Code)
  • 5/4 – Oculus has snagged Fitbit COO, Hans Hartman, as their COO (TechCrunch)
  • 5/4 – Apple Music (that thing you were annoyingly forced to use for a little while last year before just ignoring it) is getting a major face-lift after being met with bad reviews and poor growth. The service is now being overseen by content head Robert Kondrik and Nine Inch Nails frontman (?) Trent Reznor with influence from Jony Ive and Jimmy Iovine (Bloomberg)
  • 5/4 – Hulu CEO confirms plans for a live television streaming service to complement its on-demand one in 2017 (TechCrunch)
  • 5/5 – Box corp dev exec (and former corp dev exec at Salesforce) Villi Iltchev joins August Capital as a General Partner (VentureBeat)
  • 5/5 – Fortune has a long “he-said, she said” story on the break-up of a venture capital firm, Xfund. Pretty ugly with two leaders seeing psychologists, a restraining order, hidden video cameras, a freeze on investments, an employee fired and then claiming she was fired because she accused one of the leaders of “bullying, and mentally and emotionally abusing me and the entire team” etc. etc. etc. – rarely does this stuff come to light and this is a good reason why (Fortune)
  • 5/5 – Apple and SAP partner to enable iOS apps to leverage SAP HANA (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/5 – Vonage has acquired Nexmo, that other company that does what Twilio does, for $230M (ZDnet)
  • 5/5 – Amazon is now investing in planes, taking a 30% stake in cargo freight airline company Atlas Air Worldwide. Atlas will lease 20 Boeing B767-300 jets to Amazon as part of the deal. Atlas’ stock was up 25% on the news (CNN)
  • 5/5 – Youtube’s former VP of Product Management, Matt Glotzbach, is taking over as CEO of Quizlet (backed by Union Square Ventures and Costanoa) (TechCrunch)
  • 5/5 – ff Venture Capital has raised a new $54M fund, its fourth seed-stage fund (TechCrunch)
  • 5/6 – The NVCA has named Menlo Ventures’ Managing Director Venky Ganesan as its Chairman (WSJ)
  • 5/7 – Business Insider has a detailed profile of the efforts to cut back on costs at Dropbox as they look to build a profitable business. In an internal email, Dropbox disclosed that perks were costing the Company at least $25K a year per employee (Business Insider)

Earnings

  • 5/3 –OnDeck was down 35% following earnings, which puts it down 70% since its IPO nearly a year-and-a-half ago. Lending Club fell 10% as well (Market Watch)
  • 5/3 – Mindbody reported earnings with the stock falling 6% on the news (Web Breaking News)
  • 5/3 – Zillow beats on earnings and raises year-end outlook. The stock spikes 12% on the news (Barron’s)
  • 5/4 – Zynga announced its first earnings under new CEO Frank Gibeau (who took over for founder Mark Pincus who made it only 11 months in his second stint as CEO) and beat expectations, trading up 12% in after-hours trading (Business Insider)
  • 5/4 – Fitbit shares fall over 17% on earnings after the Company forecasted lower earnings than analysts expected (Business Insider)
  • 5/4 – HubSpot’s customers aren’t showing early signs of caring too much about Disrupted. The Company posted earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations and traded up 3% (Bostinno)
  • 5/4 – Benefitfocus is initially flat after announcing earnings, but trades down 4% at the end of the week (CWRU)
  • 5/4 – Shopify stock fell 4% following earnings despite beating top-line expectations (The Street)
  • 5/4 – Hortonworks reported earnings with subscription support up 110% year-over-year. The stock went up 3% on the news (Datanami)
  • 5/4 – RealPage* reported disappointing earnings with the stock falling 6% on the news (CWRU)
  • 5/5 – Etsy posted its first profit as a public company and traded up 12% in after-hours (although the stock is still well below its IPO price) (Business Insider)
  • 5/5 – Tough few weeks for Jack Dorsey on the public market. After Twitter’s stock took a bath last week, Square’s stock does the same this week, falling 20% in after-hours trading (Bloomberg)
  • 5/5 – Atlassian falls 5% after releasing just meh earnings for its Q4 2016 (Street Insider)
  • 5/6 – Tableau’s stock fell hard again (remember their last earnings along with LinkedIn basically sparked an entire tech market correction) after reporting significantly slower license growth. The stock was down 11% (CNBC)
  • 5/6 – FireEye stock dropped 19% on earnings after its product revenue fell 16.2% year-over-year (although subscription services revenue was up 57.7%). The Company also announced that CEO Dave Dewalt will become chairman while COO Kevin Mandia (former CEO of Mandiant) will take over as CEO (Value Walk)
  • 5/6 – Similarly, another security stock, Imperva, took a beating following earnings with the Company trading down over 25% (Bidness)
  • 5/6 – Cornerstone is inching closer and closer to profitability and it’s been received well by the street. The stock traded up 3% on news (ZDNet)
  • 5/6 – Instructure earnings fall a bit short of expectations and the stock trades down 4% (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/5 – Cvent posts what is likely they’re finally earnings on the public market before the take private by Vista closes. The earnings were better than analysts expected (Fool.com)

Financings

  • 5/2 – Acquisio, a 13-year-old, Brossard, Quebec-based performance marketing software company that sells to small businesses, has raised an undisclosed amount of capital from Wellington Financial.
  • 5/2 – Airstoc, a 2.5-year-old, Sheffield, U.K.-based online marketplace that connects professional drone pilots with companies looking for aerial videography, has raised $700,000 in seed funding from Point Nine Capital, Launchub, and Thibaud Elziere.
  • 5/2 – Brightwheel, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile platform for early education, has raised $600,000 from investors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca, who met the company on the ABC television show “Shark Tank.”
  • 5/2 – CarVi, a two-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company whose dashboard device analyzes a driver’s actions and surroundings in real time to provide feedback and warnings when necessary, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Samsung Ventures, Korea Telecom Investment, and POSCO.
  • 5/2 – Certrax, a months-old, Woodbridge, N.J.-based company whose app helps real estate owners, property managers and service providers manage third-party risk, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from WorldQuant Ventures.
  • 5/2 – CodeCombat, a three-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based platform for kids to learn computer science, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Third Kind Venture Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Allen & Company.
  • 5/2 – EclecticIQ, a two-year-old, Amsterdam, Netherlands-based threat intelligence software company, has raised €5.5m ($6.3 million) in Series A funding, including from Inked Capital and Kpn Ventures.
  • 5/2 – Home Chef, a three-year-old, Chicago-based startup that delivers recipes and ingredients to its customers to make home cooking easier, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Shining Capital and Guild Capital.
  • 5/2 – MyNFO, a 1.5-year-old, Tampa, Fla.-based media platform for marketers and consumers, has raised $6.8 million in Series A funding led by Almaz Capital.
  • 5/2 – Sqreen, a year-old, Paris, France-based app security startup whose SaaS platform is used to inspect apps and protect them real-time, has raised $2.3 million in funding from Alven Capital, Point Nine Capital, Kima Ventures, 50 Partners and numerous angel investors.
  • 5/2 – Varo Money, an eight-month-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based mobile-only banking startup, has raised $27 million in funding led by Warburg Pincus.
  • 5/2 – WeCounsel, a five-year-old, Chattanooga, Tn.-based telemedicine software company, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from Longmeadow Capital Partners, Point Judith Capital and CVH Holdings.
  • 5/3 – Age of Learning, a nine-year-old, Glendale, Ca.-based education company behind the popular children’s site and app ABCMouse, has quietly raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation led by Iconiq Capital.
  • 5/3 – Bench, a four-year-old, Vancouver-based online bookkeeping service for small businesses and independent contractors, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures.
  • 5/3 – CloudHealth Technologies, a Boston-based cloud service management company, has raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Sapphire Ventures.
  • 5/3 – Digital Reasoning, a 16-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based cognitive computing company, has raised $40 million in Series D funding co-led by Lemhi Ventures and Nasdaq.
  • 5/3 – Maana, a 3.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based analytics platform, has raised $26 million in Series B funding led by Saudi Armco Energy Ventures.
  • 5/3 – Parasail Health, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that provides term loans to help individuals cover their out of pocket medical expenses, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding round from Peter Thiel and Montage Ventures.
  • 5/3 – Roam, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based network of communal living spaces around the world, has raised $3.4 million in seed funding led by CRV.
  • 5/3 – Shine, a seven-month-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based SMS service that sends an inspirational daily text message to users, along with a link to related article, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Flybridge Ventures.
  • 5/3 – Zooz, a six-year-old, Kfar Sava, Israel-based payments platform designed to reduce the percentage of international credit cards being rejected, has raised $24 million in Series C funding led by Target Global Ventures.
  • 5/4 – Appboy*, a five-year-old, New York-based mobile marketing automation platform, has raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Battery Ventures.
  • 5/4 – DFLabs, an 11-year-old, Milan, Italy-based company that makes automated cyber incident management and response software, has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding from Evolution Equity Partners.
  • 5/4 – Farfetch, an eight-year-old, London-based a fashion e-commerce platform that connects consumers with a curated global network of boutiques and bigger brands, has just raised $110 million in Series F funding led by new investors Temasek, IDG Capital Partners and Eurazeo
  • 5/4 – Full Measure Education, a three-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based mobile platform for post-secondary student communication and administrative management needs, has raised $6 million in Series B funding led by Safeguard Scientifics.
  • 5/4 – Haven, a two-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.- and Singapore-based programmatic logistics platform that automates freight procurement for commodity traders, food producers, and CPG companies, has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Spark Capital.
  • 5/4 – Job Market Maker, a three-year-old Charleston, S.C.-based online recruitment startup, has raised $1 million in Series A funding from Charleston Angel Partners.
  • 5/4 – LiveNinja, a five-year-old, Miami, Fla.-based live video chat marketplace that connects users with topic experts, has raised $2 million in fresh funding from Scout Ventures, Anzu Partners, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Citi Ventures, Accelerated Growth Partners and SeedInvest.
  • 5/4 – OutboundEngine, a 3.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based automated marketing platform for small business owners, has raised $16 million in Series C funding led by S3 Ventures.
  • 5/4 – Passport, a six-year-old, Charlotte, N.C.-based company specializing in enterprise business applications and payments for parking and transportation, has raised $8 million in Series B funding led by MK Capital.
  • 5/4 – PowWow Mobile, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based enterprise app mobility startup, has raised $4.3 million in new funding led by Vertical Venture Partners.
  • 5/4 – Rebagg, a two-year-old, New York-based online marketplace for previously owned designer handbags, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners.
  • 5/4 – Roli, a seven-year-old, London-based music technology company, has raised $27 million in funding led by Foundry Group.
  • 5/4 – VTS, a five-year-old, New York-based commercial real estate leasing and asset management platform, has raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners.
  • 5/4 – Winc, a 4.5-year-old, L.A.-based online wine retailer that’s been known until now as Club W, has raised $17.5 million in new funding co-led by Shining Capital and earlier investor Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 5/5 – Via, a New York-based on-demand transit company, has raised $70 million in new VC funding. Pitango Growth led the round.
  • 5/5 – On24, a San Francisco-based webcasting company, has raised $25 million in new VC funding led by Goldman Sachs.
  • 5/5 – Somnoware Healthcare Systems, a Charlotte, N.C.-based cloud platform for sleep wellness and sleep disorder management, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. TransLink Capital led the round.
  • 5/5 – Eonite Perception, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based “startup dedicated to making machines understand the real world,” has raised $5.25 million in seed funding from backers like Lightspeed Venture Partners, Signia Venture Partners, Presence Capital, The VR Fund, Rising Tide and CLI Ventures.
  • 5/5 – Teachable (f.k.a. Fedora), a New York-based online marketplace for instructors, has raised $2.5 million in new seed funding. Backers include Accomplice Learn Capital and Naval Ravikant.
  • 5/6 – Drawbridge, a 5.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based ad tech company, has raised $25 million in Series C funding from Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Northgate Capital.
  • 5/6 – Omni, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based on-demand storage startup, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Highland Capital Partners.
  • 5/6 – Pivotal, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based software company that helps its customers build up their own software development capabilities, has raised $253 million in Series C funding at a $2.8 billion valuation from Ford, Microsoft, EMC, VMware and GE.

Random, long reads
Parties We Wished We Crashed (Mr. Porter) – A shorter read by the folk over at Mr. Porter on some of the epic parties that have occurred in hotels over the last 50 years. From Keith Richards dropping a television out of a hotel to Kate Moss and wild group intimate settings, all of these parties sound like the stuff you don’t really believe happens.  
 
Amen! (D’Angelo’s Back (GQ) – D’Angelo might be the most talented, famous, slightly still under-the-radar artist of his generation. His level of influence, depth and talent are almost unparalleled today (watch his moving Prince tribute if you get a chance). George Clinton has compared his work to Marvin Gaye and Eric Clapton said (after hearing Voodoo, his second album), “I can’t take much more. Is it all like this? My God!”
 
He’s actually as cool as it gets too. In this deep profile from 18 months ago by GQ, you’re treated to awesome anecdotes like Madonna walked over and told a woman sitting next to D’Angelo, “I think you’re in my seat.” The woman got up. Madonna sat down and told him, “I’d like to know what you’re thinking.” To which D’Angelo replied, “I’m thinking you’re rude.”
 
But it hasn’t been a linear path for the man, who almost died in September 2005 following a car crash while high on cocaine and alcohol and has long struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. He’s only released three albums ever and all have been incredible.  If you haven’t given him a shot or maybe you remember him as the abs guy from the late 90s and haven’t checked out his 2014 album, just do it. And check out this GQ profile to understand a little bit more about one of them most talented artists of this generation. 
 
Inside Palantir, Silicon Valley’s Most Secretive Company (Buzzfeed) – Buzzfeed continues to do great work with investigative journalism into some of today’s high flying unicorn companies.  First it was Zenefits and now the same for Palantir. Buzzfeed uncovered information about top tier corporate clients (including American Express, Nasdaq and Coca-Cola) walking away from deals with Palantir, particularly over some price tags of $1M a month for their services. It also has information on the discrepancy between the bookings number the Company advertised for 2015 ($1.7B) and the actual collections number ($420M) – note there could be a big difference for multi-year stuff but still notable.  The Company also burned $500M last year. 
 
All in all, definitely worth reading to get insights into one of the most secretive companies in the private tech world today.

 

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: May 1, 2016

Quick thoughts

The Curious Case of Tyler Technologies: Meet the badass enterprise software company that gets no respect
Tyler Technologies was founded in 1966 as a holding company with operations in industrial, retail and distribution businesses. In 1997, the Company changed focus and began to exclusively serve the needs of local governments nationwide. Today, it focuses on the public sector including software and data for state, county and local governments/schools. More specifically, Tyler makes software that helps municipalities balance their books, creates record-keeping systems for courts, and assists tax appraisers in gauging the value of properties. The Company sells to government entities and charges either upfront license and maintenance or delivers as SaaS. 
 
So why is that interesting? Well it’s not. Government software is as boring as it gets. What is interesting though is how much this company is worth and the multiple at which it trades. Following a Q1 earnings beat earlier this week, Tyler Technologies is worth $5.4B, trades at 8.5x LTM revenue and 40.3x trailing EBITDA. This is while growing ~20% and having 41% of its revenue come from traditional maintenance and only 18% of revenue from subscription. For comparison:

  • Salesforce is trading at 7.8x LTM revenue (and 111.9x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 24.1% for a $52.1B valuation
  • Veeva is trading at 8.2x LTM revenue (and 37.8x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 30.6% for a $3.3B valuation
  • Athenahealth is trading at 5.6x LTM revenue (and 71.9x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 22.4% for a $5.4B valuation

The Company doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page that I can go look up. Like Shaq Fu has an extensive Wikipedia page and this $5.4B company doesn’t. You really can’t find much about this story.

Its Glassdoor ratings are all just super solid – 4.1 stars, 84% of employees would recommend it to a friend and 91% approve of the CEO. Here you can see its stock price over the last 20+ years and watch it just grow into the juggernaut it is today. Tyler has made selling into local governments super profitable and quietly built a monster of a business. 

Real G’s like Tyler move in silence like lasagna.  

Also if you know more about Tyler, let me know. I’m fascinated. 

Last week, today

  • 4/21 – Some SoftBank investors are calling for an investigation into the performance of Nikesh Arora, the Company’s #2 in command, current heir apparent and former Chief Business Officer at Google (Bloomberg)
  • 4/25 – Facebook is building a stand-alone camera-focused social app that could compete with Snapchat. If you feel like you’ve heard this story before, it’s because you have, it was called Slingshot and it failed (WSJ)
  • 4/25 – Marketo* has hired Shankar Venkataraman, who previously served as CTO of IBM Analytics platform, as Chief Scientist focused on personalized outreach (Fortune)
  • 4/25 – Yik Yak is trying to restart growth by launching with private chat functionality (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Leaked Postmates documents show that as of the fall 2015, the Company was projecting $55M in net revenue (up from $8.6M the year before) and gross profit of $11.3M (while burning $26.2M).  Postmates projected to do $250M in revenue and $60.7M in gross profit in 2016 while burning $4.1M (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Apple has hired Box veteran (and employee #8), Kate Appleton, to focus on an enterprise-focused role. At Box she was SVP for Industries (focused on the vertical strategies) (Re/Code)
  • 4/25 – Goldman has launched their own online bank for the masses – anyone with $1 can launch an account. Goldman, the bank of the people (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Verisk Analytics announced that it will sell its healthcare services business to Veritas Capital for $820M (Reuters)
  • 4/26 – IBM raises its quarterly dividend to $1.40 a share (up from $1.30) because that’s what companies do when they don’t know what to do with their money as they slowly march into irrelevance (WSJ)
  • 4/26 – Nokia has purchased a French company that makes smart scales (the bathroom kind not the Heisenberg kind) called Withings, for $191M (Re/Code)
  • 4/26 – The FCC and the DoJ officially approved Charter Communications ($65.5B) right to purchase Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (NYT)
  • 4/27 – Yahoo agrees to give four board seats to Starboard Value, which will give Starboard direct control of 4 of 11 seats on the board (NYT)
  • 4/27 – WhatsApp is making plans for businesses to send one way messages to users as it dips its toe into the business water (The Information)
  • 4/27 – This seems a little weird to me, but whatever.  Uber has added Arianna Huffington to its board of directors (HuffPo)
  • 4/27 – Menlo Ventures raises a $250M “opportunity fund” for start-ups looking for Series B and C funding (TechCrunch)
  • 4/27 – In the doesn’t really have an explanation category goes Anaplan, which is now looking for a new CEO following the abrupt resignation of CEO Fred Laluyaux. This comes after the Company raised a $90M Series E led by Premji Invest two months back (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – Oracle acquires Textura, a construction software company, for around $663M. It will combine the business with Primavera, its product portfolio management software unit that also focuses (mostly) on construction (WSJ)
  • 4/28 – Qlik Technologies is said to have received first round bids from Thoma Bravo, Bain and Permira. Vista Equity reportedly is considering a bid as well (duh) (Bloomberg)
  • 4/28 – Google is reportedly building a new hardware division under the former President of Motorola, Rick Osterloh, who joined the Company last month. This group will include products like Nexus, Chromecast, Chromebook laptop, Glass and OnHub (wireless home router) (Re/Code)
  • 4/28 – The latest in a slew of on-demand food-related shutdowns is Kitchit, which had raised $8.1M in funding including a Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – SpaceX won an $83M contract with the U.S. Airforce, beating out United Launch Alliance (Lockheed Martin and Boeing), which had been the sole provider for more than a decade (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – The CEO of Priceline, Darren Huston, has resigned after an investigation uncovered that he had a personal relationship with an employee that violated the Company’s code of conduct. Huston also has resigned his position leading Booking.com. Former CEO and Chairman of Priceline Jeffrey Boyd will replace Huston atop Priceline and Booking.com COO Gillian Tans will take over at Booking (Bloomberg)
  • 4/28 – OpenAI, a $1B artificial intelligence company funded by Elon Musk, has built a “gym” where developers can train their AI systems to get smart. The OpenAI gym is currently in beta (Business Insider)
  • 4/28 – “Comcast is buying Dreamworks (for $3.8B) to challenge Disney head on” (Wired)
  • 4/28 – Facebook told 40 people within its publisher adtech group that they have 45 days to find new jobs within the Company or that they would be let go. These employees were from the LiveRail acquisition, which Facebook acquired in July 2014 for between $400-500M (Business Insider)
  • 4/29 – Rovi acquires TiVo in $1.1B deal. The combined entity will be named TiVo (VentureBeat)
  • 4/29 – Mayfield has raised $525M across two funds, one for early stage funding ($400M) and one for later stage funding of earlier businesses ($125M) (TechCrunch)
  • 4/29 – Rumors swirled that Google tried to acquire Telegram, the encrypted Russian messaging app, last year, something that CEO Pavel Durov described as “bullsh1t” (TechCrunch)
  • 4/29 – Carl Icahn discloses that he has sold 45.8M Apple shares since the start of the year over concerns about the Company’s China’s policies (NYT)

Earnings

  • 4/26 – Twitter takes a bloodbath post earnings, falling 13.6% in after-hours (NYT). And CFO Anthony Noto’s Twitter fingers want to turn to acquisition trigger fingers (Business Insider)
  • 4/26 – Ebay beats on earnings with shares ticking up 5% on the news (TechCrunch)
  • 4/26 – Apple plunges on earnings, wiping out $46B in market cap and falling 8%. The Company reported its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years after the iPhone and China leave the Company hanging (The Verge). Here’s a detailed run-down by TechCrunch on what happened
  • 4/27 – Right now it’s Facebook’s world and we’re just living in it. The Company rolled up earnings and smoked them jumping 9% in after-hours. They also are setting up a new stock structure that will allow Zuckerberg to keep control of the Company, but sell some shares (CNBC)
  • 4/27 – PayPal beats earnings as CEO calls it “his best quarter ever” and shares trade up 4% (Forbes)
  • 4/27 – Barracuda Networks beats on earnings and the stock spikes 10% (Bidness)
  • 4/27 – Samsung beats estimates based on early S7 smartphone release, but stock remains mostly flat (Bloomberg)
  • 4/27 – Marketo* posts earnings with revenue increasing 35% year-over-year. The stock remained mostly flat (Sonoran Weekly)
  • 4/28 – Amazon stock soars 11% on Q1 earnings beat (VentureBeat) and AWS continues to dominate with $2.5B in revenue, up 63.8% year over year (VentureBeat). The one dark spot for Amazon is that its AWS margins fell slightly, settling out in the 28% range. This could spell bad news for Microsoft in particular, which has enjoyed margins closer to 45% and is counting on a big lift from Azure (The Information)
  • 4/28 – LogMeIn crushes earnings with everything coming in well above the high end of the guidance that they gave the street. The stock went up 14% (Proactive Investors)
  • 4/28 – LinkedIn stock goes up 5% on earnings beat after the bloodbath it look last quarter when the stock fell 40% following earnings. LinkedIn’s talent solutions/recruiter product in particular did well, growing 41% year-over-year (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – Pandora stock goes up 6% on strong earnings. The Company has yet to see the benefits of its recent acquisitions of Ticketfly (bought for $450M) and Rdio (bought for $75M) (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – Symantec announced really disappointing earnings with the stock falling 16.4% and that CEO Michael Brown would step down. Someone email Vista (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – Demandware surged over 10% following earnings and upgrades from a few equity analysts (MediaPost)
  • 4/28 – RingCentral slightly beats earnings and stock trades up 2.3% (Web Breaking News)
  • 4/28 – Juniper Networks released slightly disappointing earnings and the stock remained mostly flat (WSJ)
  • 4/29 – NetSuite beats earning’s estimates with the stock moving up 2% (Enterprise Times)
  • 4/29 – Athenahealth posts mediocre earnings and the stock falls 4% (The Street)
  • 4/29 – Bottomline Technologies falls as much as 27.6% in trading after announcing earnings that disappointed investors (Motley Fool)
  • 4/29 – Overshadowed by the sale process that’s said to be underway, Qlik Technologies raised 2016 earnings expectations after beating Q1. The stock rose 4.8% in after hour trading (Motley Fool)
  • 4/29 – Expedia shares jumped up 8% after posting an unexpected profit in the first quarter (CNBC)

Financings

  • 4/25 – Augmedix, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based Google Glass startup whose platform enables doctors to collect, enter and recall patient data in real-time, has raised $17 million in funding from five of the biggest healthcare providers in the U.S.: Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, TriHealth and a fifth company that’s going unnamed for now
  • 4/25 – Helium, a three-year-old San Francisco-based smart sensor startup, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by GV
  • 4/25 – Kamcord, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile game live streaming platform, has raised $10 million in Series C funding led by Time Warner
  • 4/25 – Sysdig, a three-year-old, Davis, Ca.-based startup that sells full-suite monitoring, alerting and troubleshooting software designed to support distributed, containerized environments, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from Accel Partners and Bain Capital Ventures
  • 4/25 – Unlockd, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based ad startup that serves ads to a phone customer after he or she has unlocked their phone in exchange for discounts on their phone bill, has raised $12 million in Series A funding, including from earlier investors PLC Ventures and Lachlan Murdoch
  • 4/26 – Auro Robotics, a year-old, San Francisco-based company that’s building driverless shuttles for campuses (which have their own, rather than state or federal, regulations), has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Motus Ventures
  • 4/26 – Kasisto, a three-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based SRI spinoff that provides virtual personal assistants to banks (they use them to communicate with their customers), has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Singapore’s DBS Bank
  • 4/26 – LaunchPad Recruits, a 4.5-year-old, London-based company that makes data and video software for hiring, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding from Sussex Place Ventures and Edenred Capital Partners
  • 4/26 – Remitly, a five-year-old, Seattle-based remittance service, has raised $38.5 million in Series C funding led by Stripes Group
  • 4/26 – SparkCognition, a three-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based “cognitive” security analytics company, has raised $6 million in Series B funding from CME Ventures, Verizon Ventures and earlier backers The Entrepreneurs’ Fund and Alameda Ventures
  • 4/26 – StoryStream, a five-year-old, London-based content platform helps marketers combine user generated and brand content, has raised $2.6 million in Series A funding led by MMC Ventures
  • 4/26 – Trov, a four-year-old, Danville, Ca.-based on-demand insurance platform that lets users buy insurance for specific products for a specific amount of time, has raised $25.5 million in Series C funding led by Oak HC/FT
  • 4/26 – UrbanStems, a two-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based on-demand flower delivery service, has raised $6.8 million in Series A funding led by SWaN & Legend Venture Partners
  • 4/27 – Desktop Metal, a year-old, Lexington, Ma.-based commercial metal 3D printing startup led by A123 founder Ric Fulop, has raised $33.8 million in new funding  from earlier backers
  • 4/27 – Immunio, a three-year-old, Montreal-based company that aims to protect its customers’ web applications against attackers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by White Star Capital
  • 4/27 – Seclore, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company focused on enterprise digital rights management, has raised $12 million in Series B funding from Helion Ventures, VentureEast, Sistema Asia Fund, and India Alternatives.
  • 4/27 – SnappyData, a year-old, Portland, Ore.-based real-time analytics platform, has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding from Pivotal Software, GE Digital and GTD Capital
  • 4/27 – TaskEasy, a 4.5-year-old, Salt Lake City-based online, on-demand services company aiming to make it easy to price, order and manage exterior maintenance anywhere in the U.S., has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Delta Electronics Capital
  • 4/27 – Vivint, a 19-year-old, Provo, Ut.-based home security, home automation, and energy management services company, has raised $100 million in strategic funding co-led by Peter Thiel and Solamere Capital
  • 4/28 – Ionic, a four-year-old, Madison, Wi.-based cross-platform suite that says it enables developers to write once and deploy native-quality experiences across numerous platforms, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/28 – Levyx, a three-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based high-speed data processing technology company, has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding led by the Chicago-based venture firm OCA Ventures
  • 4/28 – Poncho, a three-year-old, New York-based personalized weather-forecasting service, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • 4/28 – SpaceVR, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based platform for creating cinematic, live, virtual space tourism, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by Shanda Group
  • 4/28 – Xola, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based software platform that manages booking and marketing for tour providers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Rakuten Travel
  • 4/29 – Stance, a 6.5-year-old, San Clemente, Ca..-based lifestyle apparel company, has raised $30 million in Series D funding led by Mercato Partners
  • 4/29 – Slantrange, a nearly three-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company that develops aerial remote sensing and analytics technology for customers in agriculture, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by The Investor Group
  • 4/29 – VividCortex, a four-year-old, Charlottesville, Va.-based database performance monitoring company, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/29 – Sqreen, a Paris, France based company that provides a security service that plugs into Ruby on Rails applications to inspect, track and fix security holes has raised $2.3 million in seed funding from Alven Capita
  • 4/29 – Evident.io, a Dublin, CA based company that provides Continuous Cloud Security for AWS, enabling rapid detection/remediation of risks, vulnerabilities, & compliance issues, has raised $15.7 million in Series B funding from Venrock

If you’ve made it this far, you might be enjoying this. If you’re enjoying this, I ask that you forward to a colleague or friend and get them involved. Also if you have any feedback on this in general – what you like, what sucks, what I can do better, please let me know.

Random, long reads
A Positive Life: How a Son Survived Being Injected with HIV by His Father (GQ) – You’d really be hard pressed to come up with something that is worse than a father injecting a 10 month old son with AIDs. And yet, this is a positive story about what happened after that happened and the life that 10 month old went onto lead as an adult. A great read on both the dark and the light in society. 

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy (The Atlantic) – This is a Q&A between Joe Pinkser (writer at the Atlantic) and Raj Raghunathan (a professor at UT at Austin’s McCombs School of Business), who has written a book entitled, “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy,” that dives into how smarter and more successful people are often more unhappy. Raghunathan talks about the “abundance mindset,” which essentially means that there is an infinite amount of something and that there’s room for everyone to grow and the “scarcity mindset,” that your win can only come at someone’s loss – and how these two relate to people’s views on happiness. I’ve been fascinated by the correlation between success and depression as studies have shown that it is found in a much higher percentage of successful people than average. People like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemmingway and Michelanagelo have all been rumored to have some form of depression.  Maybe it’s an unwillingness to settle for things that others would find acceptable?  Regardless, an interesting Q&A and surely an interesting book.
 
Oral history of the 1971 NFL draft: The original Year of the Quarterback (Sports Illustrated) – With the 2016 Draft wrapping up this weekend, here’s a look back on the 1971 Draft as told by the quarterbacks that went through it. The 1971 Draft featured a cast of quarterbacks (and characters) that are still relevant today including Archie Manning, Jim Plunkett and Joe Theismann. An entertaining read on how far we’ve come in the last 45 years with the coverage of the NFL Draft (and NFL in general).
 
Madness: In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards (The New Yorker) – A deeply troubling piece about the wrongs done in a particular Florida prison for mentally ill inmates. An incredible piece of reporting that goes deep to investigate the cover-up of murders and regular torture that plagued this facility for years. It leaves you questioning just how people could let something like this go on for so long.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: April 24, 2016

Quick thoughts

So Benchmark General Partner Bill Gurley wrote a blog post entitled On the Road to Recap: Why the Unicorn financing market just became dangerous.. for all involved on Thursday that a lot of people are talking about. Gurley always breaks things down in a very thoughtful and comprehensive manner and I encourage everyone to give it a read. One observation that I’ll just add to everything he outlined is that the number of companies that are now raising their “last round until profitability” is pretty staggering. There’s a big leap of faith that investors are being asked to make with “we’ve been burning $[xx]M a month, but give us $[xx]M more and we’ll be able to control our own destiny.” For the good companies, these rounds will get done, but there’s going to be pain that comes with it. 

I’ll also say that for the first time in recent memory, Series Bs of SaaS businesses are actually being tied to metrics (Tweet). The Series As are still (and should be) kind of a function of capital needed and dilution, but Bs have shifted from simply being based on what the market dictates the appropriate step-up from Series A is, to actually tied to a multiple of ARR. The conversion period (chasm if you will) from when a round gets done based on financial metrics vs. prior round had seemed to shift all the way to either the IPO itself or a pre-IPO round over the last few years, but seeing it move all the way to the Series B is healthy for companies and investors alike. 

Last week, today

  • 4/14 – Oracle has acquired device identification company, Crosswise, for $50M (Times of Israel)
  • 4/17 – Verizon tops the list of potential buyers for Yahoo (which might only be a list of one). Others who are definitely not bidding include Time, Google, Comcast, AT&T and IAC (WSJ). Other firms that actually submitted bids include TPG, Bain Capital/Vista Equity coupled with former interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn, Ken Fuchs and Bill Weiss, and YP Holdings (formerly Yellow Pages) (Re/Code)
  • 4/18 – In the “not really surprising news” category goes Theranos now being subject to a criminal probe by federal prosecutors on whether their team misled investors about the state of its technology (I have my guess given everything that has come out on it to date) (WSJ)
  • 4/18 – Alert Logic has acquired Click Security, which had raised $24.7M from Sequoia and Lightspeed. Click Security was founded by the former team from TippingPoint Technologies which was acquired by 3Com for $442M then sold to HP then sold to TrendMicro (follow all that?) (Silicon Hills)
  • 4/18 – Hyundai Motor and Cisco are teaming up to help build a “high-performing computer on wheels” (Reuters)
  • 4/18 – Apax takes a majority stake in Duck Creek, buying the business from Accenture (which will retain 40%). Accenture bought the business in 2011. Duck Creek was originally funded by FirstMark Capital (The Middle Market)
  • 4/18 – Mesosphere is going to start offering its “data center operating system” for free, which is a big pivot in strategy and business model from where it was (The Information – paywall)
  • 4/18 – MetLife put a specific price tag on what it seems to think the value of Dropbox would be in a sale – $6.8B of “strategic asset value” according to the Information. The Information speculates that Microsoft or IBM could make logical acquirers for the business (The Information – paywall)
  • 4/18 – Legendary board member/advisor (and former CEO of Intuit) Bill Campbell passed away at 75 after a long battle with cancer (Re/Code). Ben Horowitz wrote a really nice tribute to Campbell who was a friend (Medium). Kara Swisher aggregates a number of tributes here (Re/Code)
  • 4/18 – Verizon and Hearst have agreed to acquire Complex Media for between $250-300M (WSJ)
  • 4/18 – Mike Vernal, one of Facebook’s top executives who oversaw Facebook’s search and developer products, reporting directly to Mark Zuckerberg, is leaving to join Sequoia as a partner (Re/Code)
  • 4/18 – Deloitte has released its insolvency report on Powa Technologies and how the Company managed to blow through all of its money. Business Insider has the details (Business Insider) and a great summary on all of the stuff that went wrong (Business Insider)
  • 4/18 – HP has sold its content management business to OpenText for $170M. OpenText expects the business to generate $85-95M in its first year, meaning this was pretty cheap (TechCrunch)
  • 4/19 – Even Uber can’t make the economics of delivery work, killing off its UberEats business in New York (QZ)
  • 4/19 – AWS announced a new product called Application Discovery Services that will help customers discover the software that they are using internally. They also announced that Amazon Inspector (security vulnerability solution) is now generally available (Fortune). Basically if you don’t work at Amazon, you should be scared of Amazon. And like even if you do work there. So everyone should be scared of Amazon. Except people in grocery delivery.
  • 4/19 – Delphix, which has raised nearly $120M from firms like Greylock, Battery, Lightspeed and Icon among others, has replaced founding CEO Jedidiah Yueh (who will move to Executive Chairman) with Chris Cook, who served as President and COO of New Relic (The Register)
  • 4/19 – Visa is fixing the single thing that annoys me on a daily basis, which is the software processing time of the chip technology (Fortune)
  • 4/19 – The European Commission has officially filed a formal antitrust complaint against Google over its mobile operating system Android (Business Insider)
  • 4/19 – LinkedIn completely revamps its Recruiter platform, which makes up the largest part of the Company’s largest revenue stream and incorporated the Connectifier product that it bought for $100M earlier this year (TechCrunch)
  • 4/19 – EBay Enterprise (backed by Permira and Sterling Partners) merges with Innotrac, a global e-commerce fulfillment provider, to become Radial (TechCrunch)
  • 4/20 – Uber more than doubled its spend on lobbying in the first quarter of 2016 (Buzzfeed)
  • 4/20 – Snapchat is getting a lot of backlash for creating a Bob Marley filter (on 4/20) that turned people’s faces into “digital blackface” (Business Insider)
  • 4/21 – Business Insider has a Q&A with the CEO of Pinterest Ben Silberman on topics like going public and private markets (Business Insider)
  • 4/21 – Eventbrite has announced a new CEO and it’s the wife (and co-founder) of former CEO Kevin Hartz, Julia Hartz. Kevin took a medical leave (and is 100% better according to the Company), but Julia is the new full-time CEO after operating in that capacity after his illness (Fortune)
  • 4/21 – In the ‘probably more interesting than accurate’ bucket goes the rumor that Microsoft is looking at a takeover of LinkedIn, which caused shares to rise for LNKD (Street Insider)
  • 4/21 – Uber settles class-action lawsuit for $100M ($84M now and $16M later) to keep drivers classified as independent contractors in both California and Massachusetts (TechCrunch)
  • 4/21 – Felicis Ventures closes on $200M (close to 2x its last fund raised less than two years ago) (TechCrunch)
  • 4/22 – Google and Microsoft agree to drop regulatory complaints against one another (Re/Code)
  • 4/23 – SecureWorks has a lackluster IPO with shares trading just below its offer price of $14 a share after initially marketing a range of $15.50 to $17.50 (NYT)
  • 4/23 – Former North Bridge General Partner James Goldstein is out raising a $100M fund called Pillar according to an SEC filing (SEC.gov)
  • 4/24 – Google is launching a new corporate incubator that will allow them to help develop new companies internally (The Information – Paywall)

Earnings

  • 4/18 – IBM fell 5% in after-hours after reporting meh earnings across the board. The business remains in transition for the 16th consecutive quarter (NYT)
  • 4/18 – Netflix shares fell 10% after-hours after meeting subscriber growth expectations, but guiding lower for future quarters’ growth (Re/Code)
  • 4/19 – VMware stock shot up 9% in after-hours trading after the Company reported earnings and announced a $1.2B stock buyback (WSJ)
  • 4/19 – Intel plans slash 12,000 jobs and take a $1.2B charge as a result. The Company beat on earnings and revenue, but gave weak revenue guidance. It also announced that CFO Stacy Smith will step down. Shares dropped (and were ultimately stopped) in after-hours, but remained mostly flat (Business Insider)
  • 4/19 – Yahoo reports flat earnings (TechCrunch)
  • 4/20 – Citrix gained 7.3% in after-hours after raising guidance and topping expectations (MarketWatch)
  • 4/20 – ServiceNow spiked 11.5% in trading after reporting great earnings. The Company announced that it now has 249 customers paying more than $1M in annual contract value (HFS!!). Subscription revenue was up 48.6% y/y (Seeking Alpha)
  • 4/20 – EMC missed earnings expectations but says Dell deal remain on track to close by the end of October (WSJ)
  • 4/20 – Check Point released disappointing earnings and the stock slid 4% (Fortune)
  • 4/20 – Qualcomm’s shares were roughly flat after reporting slightly better than expected earnings (Re/Code)
  • 4/20 –  SAP officially released earnings (after pre-releasing them two weeks back) and reiterated guidance for the year (WSJ)
  • 4/21 – Google missed on the top and bottom line, reporting weaker than expected growth and the stock fell 8%. Google’s “Other Bets” reported revenue of $166M (double a year ago of $80M), but losses widen to $802M (up from $633M a year ago) (Business Insider has more details here)
  • 4/21 – Microsoft’s cloud business didn’t meet investor expectations falling significantly (7%) and losing $30B in market cap (USA Today)

Financings

  • 4/18 – ClassDojo, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based feedback platform that connects educators to students’ parents to communicate more consistently about student’s activities, social and behavioral development at school, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/18 – Transactis, a 13-year-old, New York-based maker of electronic billing and payment software,  has raised $30 million in Series E funding from Capital One, Fifth Third, PNC, TD Bank, Wells Fargo and Safeguard Scientifics
  • 4/19 – Betaout, a three-year-old, New York-based marketing automation platform for e-commerce companies, has raised $1.5 million in new seed funding from a variety of investors including Beenext and Stanford Angels
  • 4/19 – Curbside, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose app searches real-time local inventory across retailers and alert stores when a customer is arriving for a pickup, has received an undisclosed amount of funding from the drugs store giant CVS
  • 4/19 – Diamanti, a 14-month-old, San Jose, Ca.-based data center infrastructure startup led by former Cisco exec Jeff Chou, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding from Goldman Sachs, CRV, DFJ, and GSR Ventures
  • 4/19 – FusionOps, an 11-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that makes a supply chain analytics tool, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by the Canadian firm Georgian Partners
  • 4/19 – Gradescope, a two-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based cloud-based educational grading platform, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding from Freestyle Capital, Bloomberg Beta, The House Fund, and Reach Capital, with additional participation from earlier backer K9 Ventures
  • 4/19 – HomeLight, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that matches homebuyers with real estate agents, has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Zeev Ventures
  • 4/19 – Insightly, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based online CRM application for small businesses, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Scott Bommer, venture investor and former founder of SAB Capital
  • 4/19 – Rinse, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that picks up and cleans anything in its customers’ closets, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Javelin Venture Partners
  • 4/19 – Sharper Shape, a three-year-old, Helsinki, Finland-based that makes software for automated drone-based asset inspections, has raised $3.25 million in funding led by Straightforward Capital
  • 4/19 – TapInfluence, a seven-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based platform that connects brands with influencer marketers to promote their content online, has raised $14 million in Series B-1 funding led by Noro-Moseley Partners
  • 4/19 – Threat Stack, a 3.5-year-old, Boston-based maker of cloud security and compliance management software, has raised $15.3 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners
  • 4/19 – Waltz Networks, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup focused on automatic real-time network control, has raised $6.75 million in Series A funding from New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/20 – SkySafe, a six-month-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company whose technology can disable drones that are flying where they shouldn’t, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round 4/20 – Brighter, a 4.5-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based online marketplace that allows members to compare dentists by price and reputation, has raised $21 million in Series D financing led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/20 – Bugcrowd, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company focused on crowdsourced security for the enterprise, has raised $15 million in Series B funding round led by Blackbird Ventures
  • 4/20 – Lodgify, a four-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based startup that makes site builder software that enables vacation rental owners to create their own branded sites and accept online bookings, has raised €1.4 million in funding. The round was led by Nauta Capital
  • 4/20 – PicsArt, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company behind a photo-editing app of the same name, has raised $20 million in new funding from Siguler Guff & Company and DCM Ventures
  • 4/20 – PrecisionHawk, a 5.5-year-old, Raleigh, N.C.-based startup that helps companies use drones for different commercial purposes without getting into airspace where they can’t fly safely or legally, has raised $18 million in Series C funding from Verizon Ventures
  • 4/20 – Zengaming, a year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based professional network for e-sports gamers, has raised $2.8 million in seed funding led by Crown Resorts
  • 4/21 – Acorns, a four-year-old, Newport Beach, Ca.-based robo advisory company whose app targets young investors, making it simple for them to buy into a diversified group of exchange-traded funds, has raised $30 million in funding from PayPal
  • 4/21 – Forter, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based fraud prevention company, has raised  $32 million in Series C funding led by Scale Venture Partners
  • 4/21 – Framebridge, a two-year-old, Lanham, Md.-based online custom framing company, has raised $9 million in Series B funding from SWaN & Legend Venture Partners
  • 4/21 – MemSQL, a five-year-old, Sam Francisco-based in-memory database platform, has raised $36 million in Series C funding led by new investors REV and Caffeinated Capital
  • 4/21 – NurseGrid, a three-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based company behind an online platform for staffing management and communication among nursing teams, has raised $2.5 million from investors, including Toba Capital and returning investor Excelerate Health Ventures
  • 4/21 – Preempt Security, a 1.5-year-old, Bay Area-based startup that’s still operating in stealth, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners
    4/21 – The RealReal, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based consignment site that focuses on authenticated, high-end resale items for women, men, and the home, has raised $40 million in Series E funding led by Greenspring Associates
  • 4/22 – Anomali, a three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based threat intelligence platform, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Institutional Venture Partners
  • 4/22 – Bridgit, a four-year-old, Kitchener, Ontario-based maker of construction project management software, has raised C$2.2 million ($1.73 million) in seed funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners
  • 4/22 – CareerFoundry, a nearly three-year-old, Berlin-based online learning platform for aspiring developers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Tengelmann Ventures, Bauer Venture Partners and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft
  • 4/22 – Medium, the nearly five-year-old, San Francisco-based social publishing platform, has raised a fresh $50 million from investors, just months after raising $57 million. Spark Capital has led the company’s newest round.

Random Long Reads
So I’m not going to just turn this into a Prince memorial, but if you do a single thing, watch Jimmy Fallon recount the story of SNL’s 40th show after party and then watch the performance. Just do it. It’s eleven minutes of your life that you won’t regret. I promise.
 
(and if you want to do a dive on Prince tributes)

  • Why There Will Never Be Another Prince (Playboy)
  • “That Wesley Snipes character? That would’ve been me,” Prince said. “You run that video in your mind. The first line in that song is ‘Your butt is mine.’ Now, I was saying, ‘Who’s gonna sing that to whom? ’Cause you sure ain’t singin’ that to me! And I sure ain’t singin’ that to you. Right there, we got a problem.’” (Vanity Fair)
  • Throwback profile of him from Q in 1994 (Q)
  • Prince Knew What He Wanted: Sex, Soul and You (NYT)
  • Bruce Springsteen playing a Purple Rain in Concert (YouTube)

 
Online Dating and the Death of the “Mixed-Attractiveness” Couple (Priceonomics)A detailed look into the factors that have contributed to “mixed-attractiveness” couples (spoiler alert – it’s mostly when you’re in the friend-zone first so keep on just eating that ice cream and watching those rom coms with her!!!) and the likely decline of this mis-match with the rise of internet dating.  This chart in particular is telling, where you can see the drastic rise in online-related relationships. Two excerpts that were interesting:

  • “There are women who 95% of men say yes to, and there’s nothing like that for men. A man is really attractive if 40% of women say yes.”
  • At the start of the semester, they asked students in small classes to rate the desirability of their classmates. (Desirability could incorporate non-physical attributes as well as good looks.) When the researchers looked at the ratings, they found that most students agreed on who was hot and who was not. Three months later, though, the researchers asked the same students to rate their classmates again. Lo and behold, many of the ratings had changed: the students’ opinions of who was datable had been informed by time together in class. Over time, personality had more of an impact on how desirable someone was. More importantly, the students no longer agreed. Their rankings reflected their personal preferences about the non-physical attributes of the other people in the class. Where one classmate might find a student’s earnestness in class endearing, another might dislike it.

The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup (Wired) – I still don’t have a good (or any) appreciation for what a world with virtual/augmented/mixed reality will look like and I can’t help but think about how goofy Google Glass were, but people a lot smarter than me have pumped billions of dollars into the technology and have sworn it is coming and will be extremely disruptive. Wired has the definitive account on Magic Leap and the state of the industry.. how we got here and where we’re going next.  It’s worth a read if you’re a participant in technology whatsoever if only because so many people are pouring so much money into it.
 
The Secret History of Tiger Woods (ESPN) – I can only hope to be a fraction as good at my job as Wright Thompson, currently a senior writer at ESPN, is at his. If you’ve wondered what happened to Tiger and what makes (/made) him tick, Thompson dives deep into the last decade of Woods’ life – from the death of his father, to the scandals with porn stars to the weird training with Navy Seals, you’ll never need to read another thing about Tiger Woods after this one. A long read, but a great one if only because of how fascinating this Woods saga is and how much Thompson has mastered storytelling. 
 

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Tech Weekly Newsletter: Week of April 17, 2016

Quick thoughts
A nauseating amount of conversation this week regarding Chatbots. My quick take is people are paying way too much attention to Chatbots and not nearly enough to Messenger generally as an e-commerce platform. The AI side of this is kind of obfuscating the more commerce point that Messenger is really marching towards a place where a new version of the web could exist on its platform. Chatbots are a (kind of) cool thing for the press to talk about, but are still really, really raw. I’d imagine Slack is watching closely on the enterprise side to see what works and what doesn’t,  

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Last week, today

  • 4/6 – Pinterest is in talks to acquihire URX, which has raised $15M from firms like Accel, SV Angel, Google Ventures and First Round Capital (Re/Code)
  • 4/8 – Auto supplier Bosch is the latest company to express desire in the HERE mapping consortium (Reuters)
  • 4/9 – Reports are that the Honest Company is likely considering a sale instead of an IPO because of “cool public markets,” but no mention of the fact that one of their products may have totally misrepresented itself and likely couldn’t take the scrutiny of an IPO (Jezebel – can’t believe this is the link I’m using)
  • 4/10 – UK’s Daily Mail is reportedly exploring a path to acquire Yahoo, which could potentially include a private equity component as well (WSJ)
  • 4/11 – SecureWorks prices IPO at $15.50 to $17.50 in what should be the first tech IPO of the year. The Company would be valued at $1.5B at the high end of the range (WSJ)
  • 4/11 – Octopus Ventures topped up its evergreen fund with an additional €100M. The firm plans to deploy €75M this year in early stage firms (TechCrunch)
  • 4/11 – Mixpanel, which has raised $77M in seed, Series A and B funding mostly from Andreessen Horowitz, is now focusing on more controlled spending and doing “more with less” after missing plan in 2015 and parting ways with Chief Revenue Officer Matt Cooley (formerly VP of WW Sales at New Relic) (WSJ)
  • 4/11 – Marc Benioff is freezing his salary after there were complaints at the level of compensation. Total comp for Benioff was down from $39.9M for the year ended January ’15 to  $33.4M for the year ended January ’16 (Business Insider)
  • 4/11 – Accel  just raised Accel London V, a $500M European fund, to focus on Series A and B investments in Europe and Israel (TechCrunch)
  • 4/11 – Former CFO of VMware is joining the board of Tanium (Fortune)
  • 4/12 – GGV Capital has raised $1.2B, including a $675M main fund, a $225M “Plus” fund to back promising companies as they mature, a $250M “Discovery” fund that will focus largely on seed opportunities in China and a $50M “Entrepreneurs” fund that is largely company founders that will invest pro rata across the funds (TechCrunch)
  • 4/12 – BuzzFeed brought in $170M in revenue in 2015, missing a plan of $250M. The Company halved its internal revenue forecasts from $500M to $250M as well according to the Financial Times. The Company disputed this point but declined to give specific numbers (FT)
  • 4/12 – Fresh off of the success of Fitbit (which I still don’t really understand), Brad Feld and Foundry Group are close to raising a $500M fund for venture and later stage opportunities (Fortune)
  • 4/12 – TPG is exploring the sale of insurance software company, Vertafore, which it hopes will be valued at over $2.5B (Reuters)
  • 4/12 – Domo is ready for an IPO according to CEO Josh James (Fortune)
  • 4/12 – Workday has hired Robynne Sisco as CFO, reporting to co-president Mark Peek. Sisco had been Chief Accounting Officer before this (ZDNet)
  • 4/12 – Brian Halligan (CEO) and Dharmesh Shah (CTO), the co-founders of Hubspot, have responded to the book published by Dan Lyons last week (LinkedIn Pulse)
  • 4/12 – Facebook officially announced its Messenger Platform that will allow businesses to build chatbots to automate conversations with users (CNBC)
  • 4/13 – Kent Goldman, formerly a partner at First Round, has reportedly raised a $44M for a new fund focused on seed investing (Term Sheet)
  • 4/13 – According to an 8-K filing, ServiceNow recorded $270M worth of litigation charges (?!) in Q1 related to settlements for patent infringement suits vs. rival HP Enterprise and BMC (Yahoo Finance)
  • 4/13 – Pillpack, which has raised $65M from firms like CRV, Menlo Ventures, Accel and others, has been kicked out of Express Scripts Pharmacy Network, which will cut out around a third of its customer (WSJ )
  • 4/13 – Regulators proposed banning Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, for at least two years and revoking the Company’s license for testing in the state of California (WSJ)
  • 4/13 – Slack is soon to be releasing one of its most requested features, threaded messaging (The Verge) while the Information has a piece on how Uber, LinkedIn and Twitter have all tried to use the service and pulled back due to product and architecture issues (The Information)
  • 4/13 – Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, kind of apologized for being a d1ck saying “Of course, we’re not perfect. No company is. Nest isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. No one’s perfect. But we know what our problems are. We have been addressing them over the last two years. And, frankly, we have more room to go” (Re/Code)
  • 4/13 – The Google Compute Engine went down for 18 minutes at 10 PM ET on Monday, which is particularly embarrassing coming off of their Cloud Conference (Business Insider)
  • 4/13 – As soon as Facebook announced that they were opening up Messenger, Salesforce and Zendesk announce products to help brands manage the customer service aspect of the platform (TechCrunch)
  • 4/14 – Intel, under the leadership of President Murthy Renduchintala who was hired last year from Qualcomm, is undergoing a massive re-org of the company which has led to departures of some of the legacy leadership (Fortune)
  • 4/14 – Shuddle, described as an “Uber for kids,” which had raised $12.2M from mostly from RRE, abruptly shuts down (TechCrunch)
  • 4/14 – Before Cruise can officially sell itself to GM for $1B, there is an issue around one of the original co-founders of the business and his involvement with the Company (TechCrunch)
  • 4/14 – Oracle has plans to donate $200M over the next 18 months to help teach kids to code (Fortune)
  • 4/14 – COO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot, is taking over as CEO for founder Leah Busque, becoming one of the few female African-American CEOs in the tech world (Re/Code
  • 4/14 – Digital Ocean has raised $130M in debt to compete with AWS, Microsoft and Azure (Fortune
  • 4/14 – Apple has reportedly constructed a secret team to explore changes to the App Store, including potentially charging to have your apps more highly displayed (akin to paid search for Google). There are close to 100 people working on the project (Bloomberg)
  • 4/14 – Fortune has aggregated analyst commentary around the F8 Conference and how Zuck’s message is being received (Fortune)
  • 4/14 – Microsoft is suing the Justice Department, around the issue of the legal requirement to provide emails to the federal government upon request, without notifying the businesses or people involved (Re/Code)
  • 4/14 – Amazon is reportedly eyeing up an acquisition of Everlane, Le Tote, Rent the Runway and other fashion-focused companies to get more of a brand presence in retail (TechCrunch)
  • 4/14 – An unidentified US company was defrauded out of $100M by individuals that were posing as legitimate vendors. $74M of it has been recovered and returned to the Company (Fortune)
  • 4/14 – Facebook is still working on Facebook at Work although its coming along more slowly than originally expected. Facebook said that it currently has 450 beta companies using the software, up from 100 in August (Re/Code
  • 4/15 – Bats Global’s IPO, which in a meta/Inception-type thing actually took place on its own exchange, trades well in its debut – spiking 21% for a valuation over $2B (WSJ
  • 4/15 – Verizon has a big worker strike problem with 40k employees striking and causing major impacts to the regular operating of the Company (Fortune)
  • 4/15 – I still find the markdowns of private companies interesting. T. Rowe marked down its stake in Dropbox again, now down 59% since its last round. MongoDB was also marked down and is down 57% since its last financing. Others specific markdowns include Cloudera (37%), Plex Systems (33%), Upwork (29%), MongoDB (23%), Lookout (16%), Flipkart (15%), Apptio (15%), Houzz (12%), Warby Parker (11%) and Doximity (11%) (The Information)
  • 4/15 – Yahoo continues to run a poor, half-hearted sale process with the NYT reporting that the Company has not been forthcoming with financial information that is critical to valuing it (NYT)
  • 4/15 – Mitel officially buys Polycom in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.96B. The combined company will be doing $2.5B in revenue (TechCrunch)
  • 4/16 – GoDaddy CTO is heading to Google (TechCrunch)

Earnings

None to report this week

Financings

  • 4/11 – DocSend, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based document analytics startup, has raised $8 million in new funding from August Capital
  • 4/11 – Eloquii, a two-year-old, New York-based fast fashion apparel company focused on sizes 14 through 24, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Acton Capital Partners
  • 4/11 – Even, a 1.5-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based fintech startup focused on cash advances, has raised $9 million in funding led by Valar Ventures
  • 4/11 – Marxent Labs, a five-year-old, Dayton, Oh.-based company that wants to be a content management system and commerce platform for augmented reality and virtual reality applications, has raised $10 million in Series B funding co-led by Detroit Venture Partners and Stage 1 Ventures
  • 4/12 – Datera, a nearly three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based storage company for enterprise and service provider clouds that was designed with DevOps-style operations in mind, has raised $40 million in funding from Khosla Ventures
  • 4/12 – Fleet, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace that lets companies compare quotes from logistics providers, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Hunt Technology Ventures
  • 4/13 – Affirm, the four-year-old, San Francisco-based online lending company founded by PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, has raised a $100 million in Series D funding led by Founders Fund
  • 4/13 – EdCast, a nearly three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca-based social learning platform, has raised $16 million led by GE Asset Management
  • 4/13 – Impraise, a two-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based startup whose software aims to replace the annual performance review with actionable, real-time feedback from colleagues, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by the Amsterdam-based venture capital firm HenQ
  • 4/13 – NodeSource, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose tools and software target the needs of running server-side JavaScript at scale, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by RRE Ventures
  • 4/13 – Poshmark, a five-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based site for buying and selling women’s fashion, has raised $25 million in new funding led byGGV Capital
  • 4/14 – ContainerShip, a 16-month-old, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based service that aims to make it easier for developers to use Docker containers to develop and deploy their applications, has raised a $2.41 million in seed funding led by Pittsburgh-based Draper Triangle Ventures and Birchmere Ventures
  • 4/14 – KONUX, a 1.5-year-old, Munich, Germany-based industrial IoT company, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/14 – Onfido, a four-year-old, London-based platform that conducts background checks for on-demand startups and other businesses like online marketplaces, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led byIdinvest Partners
  • 4/14 – OnShift, a nine-year-old, Cleveland-based company that makes cloud-based staff scheduling software primarily for long-term care and senior living facilities, has raised $18 million in Series D funding led byHealth Velocity Capital
  • 4/14 – Quartet, a two-year-old, New York-based tech company that helps doctors analyze patients’ records to learn if someone’s physiological symptoms are likely to be associated with a mental health condition, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by GV
  • 4/14 – Yup, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile app that provides on-demand tutoring for students and was previously known as MathCrunch, has raised $4 million in seed funding from existing and new investors, including Stanford University’s StartX Fund and SOMA Capital
  • 4/15 – Beekeeper, a 4.5-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based business communications platform for organizations with field employees, has raised $5 million in new funding led by Fyrfly Venture Partners
  • 4/15 – HomeToGo,  a two-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based metasearch engine for holiday rentals, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners
  • 4/15 – RigUp, a two-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based online marketplace for oil-rig projects, has raised $15 million in Series A funding from mostly earlier investors, including Founders Fund

Random long reads 

The Strange Case of the Woman Who Can’t Remember Her Past—Or Imagine Her Future (Wired) – Fascinating story of a middle aged woman in Washington that actually cannot remember her past (and might be better off than us for it). Here is a good passage to set expectations for it — “Before you start to brace yourself for one of those stories—about the onset of dementia, the slow dissolve of a marriage into a relationship of unrequited love, the loss of self—let me reassure you: McKinnon hasn’t lost anything. She’s never been able to remember those experiences.” Very interesting. 

The Secret Rules of the Internet (The Verge) – The Verge does a profile on the power and responsibility that a small handful of people have to moderate the right of free speech and content across the web. Way more interesting than I expected it to be and does force you to think about what is acceptable vs. not in the open web. 

How Metro Boomin Became the Most Trusted Guy in Rap (The Fader) – Metro Boomin may not be a name that non-hip hop fans are fully familiar with, but at 22, he has become one of the most important producers in hip hop. The Fader has the first detailed profile of a man that has taken the industry by storm and made Ben Carson look ridiculous

Tech Weekly Newsletter: Week of April 10, 2016

This week brought about more layoffs at companies that “over-hired,” but it does seem that we’re approaching some normalcy in the private market, which has been fairly manic in the last 6 months — swinging between total exuberance and “the sky is falling.” The other shoe will really drop and we can profess normalcy when we start to achieve some level of liquidity for tech companies and that seems to be coming as well with the likes of SecureWorks, BATS and Nutanix all filing the paperwork for an IPO, which all should happen in the coming few weeks. We’ve also seen a rebound from the 2015 IPO crop, which had been beaten down pretty badly, re-approaching the levels of their initial public offerings. How the new cohort of IPOs hold up will go a long way to getting back to some form of equilibrium, but the fact that some are stepping up is great to (finally) see. 

Have a great week all.

Last week, today

  • 3/31 – Missed this one last week, but Microsoft is actually open sourcing Xamarin and it will be included in every version of Video Studio. This will allow developers to build Android and iOS applications using .NET and C# for free (Computer Weekly)
  • 4/1 – Tech companies are choosing to kick the can down the road on going public, raising debt and delaying IPOs. Will be interesting to see who is bravest to make the move first. NYT has a story on it (NYT)
  • 4/1 – Red Swan Ventures, a seed stage venture firm in New York founded out of Andy Dunn’s (CEO of Bonobos) angel investing, has put future fundraising plans on hold (WSJ)
  • 4/4 – Blackstone is buying Indian IT outsourcer, MphasiS, from HP Enterprise for around $1.1B (Fortune)
  • 4/4 – BATS Global Markets, which tried to go public four years ago only to withdraw after technical glitches, is set to price its IPO at $17-19 a share for a valuation of around $1.7B.  It will list on its own exchange (NYT)
  • 4/4 – Salesforce is acquiring MetaMind, a general purpose machine learning platform designed to predict outcomes for language, vision and database tasks. Salesforce will use it to help “automate and personalize customer support, marketing automation and many other business processes.” The Company had raised $8M from Khosla and Marc Benioff (TechCrunch)
  • 4/4 – APTTUS is adding support for Microsoft Dynamics as it looks to expand beyond Salesforce following the acquisition of Steelbrick by CRM (TechCrunch)
  • 4/4 – Microsoft is rolling out a pilot program for Outlook Premium, which will include additional services like the ability to customize with more professional email addresses (ie. not Outlook, Hotmail etc.). It will apparently cost $3.99 per user per month (TechCrunch)
  • 4/4 – Nutanix* refiles paper work for IPO, revealing revenue for the 6m period ended Jan 31 of $190M, up from $102M a year before.  It appears that it will likely be the second tech IPO of the year behind Dell’sSecureWorks (Re/Code). Also CEO Dheeraj Pandey elected to forfeit $17.5M in RSUs last month and return them to the Company’s option pool (CNBC)
  • 4/4 – Networking company, Brocade, made a $1.5B bid for Ruckus Wireless, which represents a 40% premium over where the stock closed on Friday. Analysts believe there is the possibility another bidder like Ericsson, Nokia, CommScope or Juniper could emerge as well (Re/Code)
  • 4/4 – Daimler confirms Microsoft and Amazon are in talks to invest in the HERE mapping consortium (WSJ)
  • 4/4 – Forbes has an article on co-founder of Cloudera, Mike Olson, and the evolution of open-source and big data since Cloudera’s founding (Forbes)
  • 4/4 – WeWork is launching dorm room-style apartments in major cities called WeLive (Forbes)
  • 4/5 – In a slightly unexpected (although maybe genius?) move, Twitterhas won the rights to stream Thursday night football games, beating out Verizon, Yahoo and Amazon. Facebook reportedly dropped out of bidding last week. Apparently Twitter was not the high bidder at $10M for the entire package. Twitter shares rose slightly on the news (Re/Code)
  • 4/5 – onefinestay, a London-based short-term vacation rental company, has been acquired by AccorHotels for $169M.  This is almost $100M below the last post-money valuation according to Pitchbook, which had it pegged at $260M in June 2015 (NYT)
  • 4/5 – One of the founding partners of .406 Ventures, Larry Begley, is joining portfolio company CloudHealth as CFO (Business Wire)
  • 4/5 – WhatsApp is now fully encrypted as well, which impacts all of its 1B users. Wired has a detailed story of how it ended up here (Wired)
  • 4/5 – Cargomatic, an “Uber for truckers” that had raised an $8M Series A from Canaan Partners in January 2015, has laid off 50% of its staff (around 50-60 people) in the last few months (Business Insider
  • 4/5 – North Carolina is taking a beating over its recent transgender laws, most recently with PayPal withdrawing plans to open an operations center in Charlotte (Fortune)
  • 4/5 – Mirantis won a big contract over Red Hat to implement a OpenStack private cloud for VMware (TechCrunch)
  • 4/5 – Amazon acquired image analysis start-up, Orbeus, in fall of 2015, but it just leaked this week (Bloomberg)
  • 4/6 – Growth at Yik Yak, which raised $62M from Sequoia in November 2014 at a $400M valuation, appears to have stalled out.  The CTO Tom Chernetsky has left the Company and sources are telling TechCrunch that the business has had “zero significant growth in over a year, and (is) consistently miss(ing) its growth targets” (TechCrunch)
  • 4/5 – Ericsson acquires data center automation service, NodePrime,which had raised $7M from Menlo, NEA and Formation 8 among others (TechCrunch)
  • 4/5 – Bono’s private equity firm, Elevation Partners, is winding down, but the three investing members are planning to start a new venture calledNextEquity partners that will raise $100M (Bloomberg)
  • 4/5 – Jeff Bezos has published his letter to Amazon shareholders, where he defends its corporate culture and states that people self-select in or out of the Company (LA Times)
  • 4/6 – EMC is planning to sell its Documentum business (which it acquired for $1.7B in 2003 and is doing $600M in revenue with 30% profits) as the Dell deal moves along. A private equity firm is the likely buyer according to people close to the matter. Dell is also proceeding with the sale of Sonicwall and Quest (Bloomberg)
  • 4/6 – Nokia is planning massive layoffs (including 1,300 of 6,850 employees in Finland and 1,400 of 4,800 employees in Germany) as part of the strategy to cut €900M in operating costs (Fortune)
  • 4/7 – Amazon has named Andy Jassy the CEO of AWS and Jeff Wilkethe CEO of their consumer business (Re/Code)
  • 4/7 – After raising $15M from Turner last week, Mashable has announced that they are laying off 30 people, including its chief content and revenue officers, as the business pivots from hard news coverage to a focus on videos for the “digital culture” (Re/Code)
  • 4/7 – Yottaa, a Waltham-based cloud optimization platform that has raised $40M from firms like General Catalyst and Intel Capital, confirms that they have made layoffs (mostly in sales) after the Company “overinvested” (BostInno)
  • 4/8 – Yahoo gives another week for bidders, moving the deadline to April 18. According to Kara Swisher, Google, SoftBank and AT&T will likely not bid, while (still) Verizon will (Re/Code)
  • 4/8 – Marketo*’s stock jumped 12.8% on rumors from JMP Securities that the Company had given presentations to both Microsoft and SAP around a potential acquisition (JMP)

Earnings

  • 4/8 – SAP releases preliminary earnings (it will report full first quarter earnings on April 20th) and the Company reiterated earnings guidance for 2016.  Overall revenue was up 5%, but software licenses were down 13% as the Company continues its shift to more cloud subscription revenue. Operating profit was up 28% year-over-year (WSJ)

Financings

  • 4/4 – Comma.ai, a seven-month-old, San Francisco-based autonomous car kit startup, has raised $3.1 million led by Andreessen Horowitz
  • 4/4 – Reserve, a nearly two-year-old, New York-based restaurant reservation booking and payment app, has raised an undisclosed amount of  funding from Diageo Technology Ventures
  • 4/4 – Slack, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud-based workplace collaboration software outfit, has raised $200 million in new funding at a $3.8 billion post-money valuation led by Thrive Capital
  • 4/5 – Flywheel, a 3.5-year-old, Omaha, Ne.-based WordPress hosting and management service, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Kansas City’s Five Elms Capital
  • 4/5 – Mintigo, a seven-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based predictive marketing analytics company, has raised $15 million in Series D funding led by earlier investor Sequoia Capital
  • 4/5 – Persado, a three-year-old, New York-based company whose software can write what the company calls “cognitive content,” meaning it primes readers to engage, has raised $30 million in new funding led byGoldman Sachs
  • 4/5 – Virool, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based video ad startup, has raised $12 million in Series A funding from Menlo Ventures
  • 4/6 – Anchore, a three-month-old, Santa Barbara, Ca.-based company at work on a solution for inspecting, tracking and securing software containers, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Menlo Venturesand e-ventures
  • 4/6 – Bright Health, a new, Minneapolis, Mn.-based tech-enabled consumer health insurance company founded by former UnitedHealth CEO Bob Sheehy, has raised $80 million in Series A funding co-led byBessemer Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/6 – CrossChx, a four-year-old, Columbus, Oh.-based company whose primary product is a healthcare identity management system for patients, has raised $15 million in Series C funding from Khosla Ventures           
  • 4/6 – Finanzcheck, a 3.5-year-old, Hamburg, Germany-based consumer loans marketplace, has raised €33 million ($37.6 million) in Series C funding led by HarbourVest
  • 4/6 – Lola Travel, a 10-month-old, Boston-based travel app that matches customers with actual humans who dispense advice (it was co-founded by Paul English, who’d previously cofounded the travel-search company Kayak), has raised $19.7 million in Series A funding. Backers includingAccel Partners and General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/6 – Projector, a year-old, San Francisco-based still-in-private beta adaptive messaging and push notifications startup, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by Baseline Ventures
  • 4/7 – CloudOne, a 5.5-year-old, Fishers, Ind.-based company whose enterprise apps convert its customers’ IBM software into customized, on-demand SaaS services, has raised $9 million in Series E funding led byPlymouth Ventures
  • 4/7 – Clutter, a three-year-old, L.A.-based on-demand storage startup, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital
  • 4/7 – Electric Imp, a five-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based IoT platform that says it securely connects devices to advanced cloud computing resources, has raised $21 million in Series C funding led by London-based Rampart Capital
  • 4/7 – Intercom, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based startup whose products cover everything from website chat to marketing to customer support, has raised $50 million in fresh funding led by Index Ventures
  • 4/7 – LiveSafe, a four-year-old Arlington, Va.-based mobile safety and security communications platform, has raised $5.25 million in Series B funding from an affiliate of Fred Smith
  • 4/7 – Luxe, a nearly three-year-old, San Francisco-based on-demand valet parking and car services company, has officially raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Hertz Global Holdings
  • 4/7 – RiskRecon, a year-old, Boston-based startup that helps companies make objective security assessments of third-party cloud vendors, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/7 – Twiggle, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based company that collects data from the across the product web, organizes it, and make it actionable, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by the Internet conglomerate Naspers
  • 4/7 – Veriflow, a three-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based network breach and outage prevention startup, has raised $2.9 million in private and public funding from New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/8 – Globality, a year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based stealth-mode startup at work on a platform to facilitate cross-border trade, has raised $27.25 million in Series B funding from famous people like Al Gore.
  • 4/8 – KiteDesk, a four-year-old, Tampa, Fla.-based company that makes sales prospecting software, has raised $6 million in funding led byArmada Investment and Imlay Investments
  • 4/8 – Luka, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based free iOS messaging app that features intuitive AI-powered bots that help users make dinner reservations, get news updates and more, has raised $4.42 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Sherpa Capital
  • 4/8 – RideCell, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based fleet-automation software company that helps customers from college campuses to car companies manage their mobility services, has raised $11.7 million in Series A funding led by BMWi Ventures
  • 4/8 – x.ai, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based artificial intelligence company, has raised $23 million in new funding led by Two Sigma Ventures

Random Long Reads
Young Thug Is an ATLien (GQ) – Young Thug is the hottest up-and-coming name in the hip-hop industry today, most recently releasing the third installment of the Slime Season mixtape series to rave reviews two weeks back.  Kanye West has compared him to Bob Marley and said that he is “super inspiring” while Jack Dorsey has been equally complimentary.  And this is all before he has actually released an album. The 24 year-old, ATL-native is equal parts perplexing, wearing women’s clothes and going days without eating, and unapologetic, stating very clearly that he does not give a f*ck what anyone else thinks (and really actually meaning it). GQ has a fascinating profile on Thug as we continue through what should prove to be his year. 
 
The Voyeur’s Motel (New Yorker) – It has been quite the week for Gay Talese, one of the non-fiction literary icons of the last fifty years.  Last week, Talese gave a slightly incoherent (and certainly unsatisfying) answer to what female writers have inspired him during a Q&A session at Boston University.  This set off a week long Twitter bashing of the 84 year old Talese.  And then yesterday, Talese released a fascinating account of Gerald Foos, a motel operator that for decades watched and documented the bedroom activities of the people that stayed in his motel.  Foos cut a hole in the roof of the motel’s rooms, disguised it as a ventilator to monitor the guests and shared with Talese detailed written accounts of everything from normal couple sexual interactions to murders. It’s a fascinating read and while many things in the world may have moved past Talese, long-form journalism clearly hasn’t.  If that’s not enough to convince you to dive in, here’s the lede:
“I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes measuring six by fourteen inches in the ceilings of more than a dozen rooms. Then he covered the openings with louvred aluminum screens that looked like ventilation grilles but were actually observation vents that allowed him, while he knelt in the attic, to see his guests in the rooms below. He watched them for decades, while keeping an exhaustive written record of what he saw and heard. Never once, during all those years, was he caught.”
 
The inside story of how Amazon created Echo, the next billion-dollar business no one saw coming (Business Insider) – Business Insider digs deep into the story of how Amazon succeeded with its unusual product, Echo, and its voice operator, Alexa. For my part, I don’t fully understand the exact use case (and accordingly, don’t own one), but it seems to have resonated well with those that do own one. Innovating with new products is a tricky thing at any company and especially so at a mammoth one and after a series of hardware failures, Amazon seems to have nailed another success after the Kindle. How it came to be is an interesting account of innovation within Amazon.

 

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

Tech Weekly Newsletter: Week of April 4, 2016

Quick thoughts

One thing that has stood out to me over the last few weeks is the rise of Snapchat as more of a mainstream application for people of all ages. It’s weird that DJ Khaled may have been a leading force in getting here, but it’s only becoming more and more meaningful. The Company launched a number of new platform features this week that continue to build on what they’ve been doing for the last 18 months.

It feels like the Company is right now “crossing the chasm” into the mainstream. What it looked like when I first signed up however many years ago is almost completely irrelevant to what Snapchat is today. We’re still in the early days of this, but over the course of the next few months I think we’re going to see more use cases for people in the tech and venture ecosystem as a kind of next-generation Twitter. Mark Suster led this charge two months or so ago and, while it certainly feels a bit awkward to people that have been using it with just friends to date, it’s definitely where it is going. A long way coming for what used to be a sexting app. 

Ben Thompson with Stratechery has more thoughts on it here.

Last week, today 

  • 3/24 – No surprise to anyone that has eyes and follows the start-up ecosystem, but the Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds that were active participants over the last two years are no longer actively investing in private companies (Bloomberg) – Tweet
  • 3/28 – Pandora, which has been working with Morgan Stanley to explore a sale, is bringing back founder Tim Westergren as CEO (Bloomberg) –Tweet
  • 3/28 – Splunk* has hired Susan St. Ledger, who has been serving as CRO of the Marketing Cloud at Salesforce, as its new Chief Revenue Officer (Seeking Alpha)
  • 3/28 – Dell to sell Perot Systems to NTT Data of Japan for $3.1B. Dell bought the Company in 2009 for $3.9B (NYT)
  • 3/28 – The NYT has a detailed review of the Oculus Rift platform, which is long on potential, but still a ways out according to the review (NYT)
  • 3/28 – Mattermark has the data unpacking the rounds of recent tech layoffs (which shows it may actually be getting better as the markets stabilize a bit) (Mattermark) – Tweet
  • 3/28 – As the encryption debate continues to roll on domestically with FBI vs. Apple, a new debate is emerging in Europe following the Brussels attack (NYT)
  • 3/28 – I find their paywall unlikely to be sustainable, but tough to knock the reporting the Information does. They have unpacked the code inFacebook Messenger to reveal hints at what might be in store for the platform. What they uncovered was stuff that hinted at encrypted chat and in-store purchases (The Information – paywall)
  • 3/28 – Mike Smerklo (ex-CEO of ServiceSource) and Tom Ball (former GP at Austin Ventures) are launching an early stage venture firm calledNext Coast Ventures. It will be a $50M fund, focused mostly on start-ups in the Austin ecosystem (Fortune)
  • 3/28 – Oracle is seeking $9.3B in damages from Google over its use of Java on Android. $475M from “actual damages” and $8.8B from “profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights” (PC World). Google “strongly disagrees” (Business Insider)
  • 3/28 – I don’t believe Chamath Palihapitiya’s statement at all that there were maggots in the early Facebook lunches. But like many of the things he says, it does make for a good headline.  He says that and other things here (Vanity Fair) – Tweet
  • 3/28 – So the FBI ended up being able to hack the Apple device used by the San Bernardino terrorist after all, which shelves this specific case, but obviously not the broader issue (Business Insider)
  • 3/29 – CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, indicates that he is “going to make sure (an IPO for Uber) happens as late as possible” (CNBC) – Tweet
  • 3/29 – Sundar Pinchai, CEO of Google, was paid $100.5M for his first year leading the Company.  He received a salary of $625K and $99.8M in restricted stock (Bloomberg)
  • 3/29 – SoundCloud has launched its premium service, which is called SoundCloud Go, and will cost $12.99 a month through the Apple store and $9.99 through their own application (The Verge)
  • 3/29 – SecureWorks, a security company acquired by Dell for $612M in 2011 and plans to IPO this year, updated its numbers for its fiscal year ended January 29.  Revenue rose 30% to $340M y/y while losses rose 88% to $72.4M (Re/Code)
  • 3/29 – Spotify has raised $1B in a convertible note from investors, including TPG, Dragoneer and clients of Goldman Sachs, with fairly onerous terms (from the WSJ): 
    • If Spotify goes public in the next year, TPG and Dragoneer will convert to a 20% discount to the IPO price. Each year following, the discount increases 2.5% every 6 months.
    • Spotify also agreed to pay annual interest on the debt that starts at 5% and increases by 1% every 6 months until it hits 10%
    • TPG and Dragonner are able to cash out their position as soon as 90 days after the IPO vs. the traditional 180 day lock-up
  • 3/29 – Nest is having a Zenefits week.  Dropcam founder, Greg Duffy, is just going in on the Company, now saying that it was a mistake to sell to the Company and that Fadell was “blatantly scapegoating” his team. This comes after Nest CEO Tony Fadell said “a lot of (Dropcam) employees were not as good as we hoped… unfortunately it wasn’t a very experienced team” (Business Insider).  It’s also way off of its revenue plans according to Re/Code with around $340M in revenue last year vs. plans of $500 (Re/Code) – Tweet
  • 3/30 – Pinterest has promoted Tim Kendall, who joined the Company in 2012 as head of product and took over monetization last year, to its newly created President position to help focus on international revenue as well (Fortune)
  • 3/30 – IBM is buying Salesforce consulting company Blue Wolf for a little over $200M (Re/Code)
  • 3/30 – Found this response to the early excerpts from Dan Lyons’ book on HubSpot that captures a lot of my sentiment. In the part I read, Lyons sounds out-of-touch and opportunistic in his pursuit of this book. Disappointing because he is clearly funny and a good writer, but the parts I’ve seen are very sensational and seem below what I’d expect (Fortune) – Tweet
  • 3/30 – AT&T is now looking to sell phones with the Cyanogen operating system, which utilizes some of open source Android, but is not affiliated with Google. A decently big deal (The Information – paywall)
  • 3/31 – Theranos stays in the news for all the wrong reasons. The federal government did a detailed report on the Company’s deficiencies and it is many and likely fatal (WSJ)
  • 3/31 – Uber is facing a price-fixing lawsuit (Fortune)
  • 3/31 – Developers are beginning to publicly complain about the lack of an app store / healthy ecosystem around Workday (The Information – paywall)
  • 3/31 – It’s been in the last few weeks that I’ve realized that we need to start viewing Snapchat as an important channel for business purposes. Snapchat is quickly making in-roads to be the WeChat of the US as well. Fortune has a rundown on the recent moves and the Company’s goals (Fortune)
  • 3/31 – John Doerr is moving into the role of Chairman of Kleiner Perkins, meaning he will not be a GP on any of the firms upcoming funds.  He indicates that he will take on a role of more of a player-coach with the young talent at Kleiner (Fortune)
  • 4/1 – Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital is raising a $600M-$1B growth fund. This will be the second Thiel fund to recently raise money in the last bit after Founder’s Fund raised $1.3B a few weeks back (TechCrunch)
  • 4/2 – The co-founders of EdgeSpring (who have been very important to Salesforce’s Wave Analytics development) are leaving Salesforce (The Information – paywall).  No information on what their next stop is.
  • 4/3 – IBM is hiring former AOL President and more recently CEO of Web Advertising firm Razorfish, Bob Lord, as its Chief Digital Officer (AdExchanger)

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Earnings

  • 4/1 – BlackBerry continues its decline to non-existence.  The Company is attempting to leverage Google Android operating system, but sold only 600K devices in the most recent quarter. The stock declined 8.8%  after the announcement (NYT)

Financings

  • 3/29 – Betterment, a 7.5-year-old, New York-based startup that automates financial planning, has raised $100 million in Series E funding led by Sweden’s Kinnevik
  • 3/29 – Havenly, a two-year-old, Denver-based online interior design platform, has raised $5.8 million in additional Series A funding, bring the total round to $13.3 million. The round was led by Binary Capital
  • 3/29 – Homie, a two-year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based online platform that helps users buy and sell their homes, has raised $3.76 million, shows a new SEC filing. Peak Ventures was involved
  • 3/29 – Hopper, a nine-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based company whose app tells travelers the best time to fly in order to find the best deals, has raised $16 million in growth funding led by BDC Capital IT Venture Fund.
  • 3/29 – Slice Labs, a six-month-old, New York-based startup that will offer insurance to on-demand workers and providers, has raised $3.9 million in seed funding from Horizon Ventures and XL Innovate
  • 3/30 – Asana, an eight-year-old, New York-based collaboration software startup cofounded by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Y Combinator President Sam Altman
  • 3/30 – Branch, a year-old, San Francisco, and Nairobi, Kenya-based mobile-first digital bank for developing markets, has raised $9.2 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, as well as seed investors Khosla Impact and 8VC
  • 3/30 – CockroachDB, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based open-database company that aims to keep the applications of its enterprise customers up and running, even when their data centers and cloud infrastructure suddenly go offline, has raised $20 million in Series A1 funding. The round was led by Index Ventures
  • 3/30 – Invoca, a nearly eight-year-old, Santa Barbara, Ca.-based call intelligence platform, has raised $30 million in Series D funding led byMorgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners
  • 3/30 – MapD, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based big data analytics platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Vanedge Capital
  • 3/30 – Planday, a 2.5-year-old, Copenhagen-based workforce management software company, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led by Idinvest
  • 3/31 – Airware, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company that used to sell drone operating systems but is now selling drone hardware, the software to control them, and cloud services for related data, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Next World Capital
  • 3/31 – ICEBRG, a 1.5-year-old, Seattle-based stealth-mode enterprise network security startup, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led byPelion Venture Partners
  • 3/31 – Mashable, an 11-year-old, New York-based digital media publisher, has raised $15 million in new funding led by Turner
  • 3/31 – Scentbird, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that lets users try luxury perfumes for a month before they buy them, has raised $2.8 million in funding from Eclipse Ventures, Vaizra Investments, Ludlow Ventures, and SGH Capital
  • 4/1 – Abl Schools, an eight-month-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing cloud-based scheduling and resource allocation software for schools, has raised $4.5 million in funding led by the education-focused fund Owl Ventures
  • 4/1 – Blispay, a two-year-old, Baltimore, Md.-based startup that’s giving small and mid-size merchants a way to offer their customers financing plans, has raised $12.75 million in seed funding led by FirstMark Capital
  • 4/1 – Swanest, a 1.5-year-old, London-based online platform that’s helping self-directed investors to invest in the stock market online, has raised $10 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz
  • 4/1 – TransLoc, a two-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based transportation app developer whose products include a live regional transit map and a bus tracking mobile app, has raised $8 million in funding co-led by SJF Ventures and Fontinalis Partners
  • 4/1 – Managed by Q, a service that handle all the extra responsibilities that come along with running an office, announced a $25 million Series B round from GV and Kapor Ventures
  • 4/1 – Slack, an enterprise collaboration platform, has raised $200B at $3.8B post in a round led by Thrive Capital, with participation from GGV, Comcast Ventures, and existing investors Accel, Index and Social Capital

Random, long reads
The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t (NYT) – An incredible look into what has changed (and what hasn’t) for the creative class since Napster was first created and Metallica sat before Congress.  People are paying less for direct music purchasing, but more for live music. Barnes and Noble died and the Kindle has taken off, but boutique bookstores are growing at a fast clip.  Superhero movies are dominating the box office and fewer movies are getting made by major studios, but independent studios are regularly producing Oscar quality content.  What does all of this mean for the creative class of people that make their money from music, television, movies and books?  A data driven view into how digital production and distribution has impacted the artists of this generation –Tweet
 
How Clinton’s Email Scandal Took Root (Washington Post) – A story that has been politicized in every which way – depending on what side of the aisle you sit it might be either fundamentally illegal and borderline treasonous or not a big deal, but either way understanding how we got here is interesting. The Washington Post unpacks a story that won’t be completely written for another few months.
 
Searching for Sundar Pichai (Buzzfeed) – Buzzfeed reporter Mat Honan spent several months across multiple countries with Google’s new CEO, Sundar Pichai, trying to understand what makes the man tick. The profile is certainly in-depth, but not super illuminating on who exactly Pichai is.  Or maybe, as the author concludes, that’s the answer itself – Pichai is an other-worldly intelligent mind that is not particularly interesting himself. Maybe that makes him interesting given where he’s risen to? Regardless, understanding him is important to understanding Google, which in turn is important to understanding the future of tech, so it’s certainly is worth a read.
 
What Happened When Venture Capitalists Took Over the Golden State Warriors (NYT) – I’m including this because it’s been a topic of discussion over the course of the last few days and it’s directly relevant to my world (and not because it’s a particularly interesting read).  There are a number of exaggerations from (former Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist and now Warriors owner) Joe Lacob throughout the piece – including Lacob saying that he “started 70 companies” (started and invested in are not the same) and taking credit for a lot of Warriors success.  Worth skimming through but certainly not doing any favors to perception of the venture ecosystem.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

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Tech Weekly Newsletter: Week of March 27, 2016

Good luck to everyone closing out the quarter this week. 
 
Last week, today

  • 3/18 – Microsoft apologizes for hiring “dancers dressed as skimpily-clad schoolgirls for its Game Developer Conference (GDC) afterparty,” which is just an amazing sentence to type (Reuters)
  • 3/19 – Did (the former Sequoia Partner) Michael Goguen’s legal case with an ex-romantic interest accidentally reveal tax fraud? (Fortune)
  • 3/20 – NYT has the breakdown of Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to persuade the Chinese government to lift its ban on Facebook and open social media to the country’s 700M internet users (NYT)
  • 3/20 – Aaron Levie of Box has a post for TechCrunch on how this is the beginning of the cloud wars with Amazon, Microsoft and Google only starting to square off against one another (TechCrunch)
  • 3/20 – If this weren’t so critically important to things like freedom, I’d be really snarky about how much coverage Apple vs. FBI is getting. Bloomberg has a rundown of how the Obama administration went from on the same page to at odds with Apple when San Bernardino happened (Bloomberg)
  • 3/21 – Nasdaq has acquired Boardvantage, a provider of a communication system that allows directors to have interactive discussions with management, for $200M. This follows the Company’s acquisition of Marketwired a little bit back as it looks to expand its platform (WSJ)
  • 3/21 – Identity verification company, Jumio, which has raised $37M fromAndreessen Horowitz among others, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is selling its assets to existing investor (and Facebook co-founder) Eduardo Saverin for $22.7M of debt forgiveness and $3.2M in cash (TechCrunch)
  • 3/21 – FanDuel and DraftKings have agreed to shut down operations in New York (their largest market) as part of a settlement with the state’s attorney general. There is an appeals hearing scheduled for September on the subject (WSJ)
  • 3/21 – The legendary Andy Grove has passed away at 79. Here’s a nice tribute from Norman Pearlstine (Fortune) and here’s his 1997 Time Man of the Year profile (Time). “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive”
  • 3/21 – The FBI has asked the court to push off its long awaited court date with Apple over access to phones after a mysterious third party has emerged with a new technique that may allow them a work around (Re/Code)
  • 3/21 – GoDaddy is launching new cloud services to compete with Amazon in the small business market (TechCrunch)
  • 3/21 – Salesforce is finally unifying marketing across all its various clouds, instead of having each business unit handle it individually. Each cloud is run with individual P&Ls, which led to a healthy competition, but also no unified marketing strategy (The Information – paywall)
  • 3/22 – JR Rivers, founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks, is taking over as CTO and Josh Leslie, who had been the VP of Sales (and formerly VP of Sales at Instart Logic) is taking over as CEO (CIO.com)
  • 3/22 – Former SV Angel co-founder David Lee, who resigned last year without much of an explanation, is seeking $50M for a new seed fund called Refactor Capital (Fortune)
  • 3/22 – Spunk’s SVP of Products is leaving, ten months after its CTO left (Seeking Alpha)
  • 3/22 – According to RIAA numbers (which puts a lot of different stuff into their “Streaming” bucket), 2015 was the first year that streaming passed digital downloads in revenue for music (Re/Code)
  • 3/22 – Google is really going for the opportunity to compete with Amazon Web Services, this week making a big push at their Google Global User Conference in San Francisco where they announced Disney as a customer (in addition to speaking gigs from already announced customers like Spotify, Netflix and Apple) (Bloomberg)
  • 3/22 – Oracle and HP Enterprise are suing one another, which is really boring and not sure qualifies as news (WSJ)
  • 3/22 – Cisco is reorganizing its entire engineering unit around the following units: Networking, Cloud Services, Security and Applications & IoT (Business Insider)
  • 3/23 – An amazing video with the stars of the show Silicon Valleyguessing what start-ups do (Wired)
  • 3/23 – Apple Pay is expanding beyond mobile apps later this year to include mobile web (Re/Code)
  • 3/23 – Google launched a new machine learning platform that developers can build on top of (TechCrunch)
  • 3/23 – The Information has a rundown of how Apple’s decision to sign with Google for cloud infrastructure capabilities is a result of its inability to build its own cloud (The Information – paywall)
  • 3/23 – Pebble, one of the first companies to make a smart watch, is laying off around 40 people (25% of its staff) with the CEO blaming a chilly fundraising environment (Tech Insider)
  • 3/24 – True Ventures is raising a $295M fund, which is slightly larger than their $250M raised in 2014 (PE Hub)
  • 3/24 – I’m not really sure what Kara Swisher is going to do when Yahoois no longer a relevant company. She now has the latest scoop onMicrosoft execs telling private equity firms that the Company would be willing to assist in the financing of an acquisition. She (along with some unnamed executives) also accuses the sale process of being a farce (Re/Code)
  • 3/24 – Snapchat is buying the maker of bitmojis (the cartoon version of yourself that people send out) for around $100M in cash and stock (Fortune)
  • 3/24 – By some definition Instacart is “profitable” and by profitable I mean what they’re selling costs less than what they’re charging for it (Fortune)
  • 3/24 – The Information has details on the product vision for Nest/Google(The Information) and some stuff on the internal struggles there, which includes Dropcam co-founder accusing Tony Fadell of acting like a “tyrant bureaucrat and holding back all its progress” (The Information). Re/Code has a summary outside of the paywall (Re/Code)
  • 3/25 – If two ships crash in the night, does anyone notice?  Rovi (market cap of $1.7B) and TiVo (market cap of $750M) are reportedly in talks to merge. TiVo has been facing pressure from activist investors over the last year (NYT).
  • 3/25 – Olapic (backed by Felix Capital) is acquiring Piqora (backed by DFJ, Freestyle Capital and Baseline Ventures).  Both companies focus on visual marketing management (TechCrunch)
  • 3/27 – Fortune has a sneak peak of Dan Lyons’ book on his year at HubSpot, which certainly seems more interesting in concept than anything revealed in these pages. Just one person’s opinion (Fortune)

Earnings

  • 3/22 – Red Hat shares fall slightly in trading after earnings announcement. The stock finished down 4% in after-hours. The numbers met estimates for Q4, but guided Q1 estimates roughly in-line (Investors)

Financings

  • 3/21 – Elliptic, a three-year-old, U.K.-based fintech startup whose blockchain forensics tool mines the public Bitcoin ledger to identify and flag suspicious transaction patterns, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Paladin Capital Group
  • 3/21 – GreatHorn, a year-old, Belmont, Ma.-based cloud security platform startup focused on stopping phishing attacks, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding led by ff Venture Capital and SoftTech VC
  • 3/21 – Mattermark, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that examines public Internet data to provide investors, sales teams and others with search tools and other business intelligence, has raised $7.3 million in Series B funding at a $42 million valuation from inside investors.Foundry Group led the round
  • 3/21 – Moat, a 5.5-year-old, New York-based online media analytics company, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners
  • 3/22 – Maxwell Health, a 3.5-year-old, Boston-based employee benefits tech platform, has raised $22 million in new funding from GIS Strategic Ventures
  • 3/22 – Zodiac, a year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based startup that makes predictive marketing analytics software, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital
  • 3/22 – Crate Technology, a three-year-old startup that’s been developing an open-source SQL database technology (from offices in San Francisco, Berlin, and Dornbirn, Austria), has raised $4 million in fund led by Dawn Capital
  • 3/23 – BetterWorks, a 2.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based cloud-based platform designed to help employees set and reach business goals, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Emergence Capital
  • 3/23 – Convoy, a year-old, Seattle-based on-demand service for local and regional trucking, has raised $16 million in Series A funding led byGreylock Partners
  • 3/23 – Domo, a 5.5-year-old, American Fork, Ut.-based data management platform company, has raised $131 million in additional Series D funding, pushing a $200 million round that it had initially closed last April to a whopping $331 million.
  • 3/23 – GoCardless, a five-year-old, London-based payments company that makes collecting payments by direct debit easy, has raised a $13 million in new funding led by Notion Capital
  • 3/23 – Science Exchange, a nearly five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based scientific research marketplace, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Maverick Capital
  • 3/24 – Mesosphere, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based container-centric company that aims to help enterprises better use their data centers with the help of its own operating system, has raised a $73.5 million Series C funding round. The round was led by Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • 3/24 – OneRent, a nearly two-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based startup behind a full-service rental management platform for landlords and tenants, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from the Chinese social-networking company Renren
  • 3/25 – Bromium, a 5.5-year-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based developer of endpoint protection using virtualization, has raised $40 million in funding from Silver Lake Waterman
  • 3/25 – FLYR, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based travel and data science company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding fromJetBlue Technology Ventures
  • 3/25 – Hive, a 10-month-old, New York-based team collaboration platform, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding led by Tribeca Venture Partners

Random long reads

  • You won’t believe how Nike lost Steph to Under Armour (ESPN) – While the headline is a bit more salacious than the story itself (you probably will believe how Nike lost a player that has been underestimated his entire career), ESPN writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss unpacks how the most captivating player of his generation went from Nike to Under Armour. The full impact of this tectonic shift probably won’t be fully felt for another decade (plus), but a Morgan Stanley analyst has pegged the potential worth of Steph Curry to Under Armour at $14B. This is the story about how Nike executives let Steph Curry walk out the door.
  • Confessions of a Phony Telephone Psychic (Narrative.ly) – I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of psychics – mainly how there are people that use them (and also how some psychics are able to afford storefront real estate in Manhattan). This is a first person account of a phony telephone psychic explaining how she got into it and what was going through her mind when some dark phone calls came through.
  • Bezos Prime (Fortune) – An in-depth profile of Jeff Bezos and his evolution from simply the leader of Amazon to the leader of what has become the Amazon Ecosystem and his pet projects that include the Washington Post (which he said he did no due diligence on and didn’t negotiate price) and Blue Origin (his space exploration adventure). Some funny anecdotes like Bezos doesn’t care about editorial control at the Post, but does care about page load times and subscription on-boarding experience. Overall an interesting profile on (probably) the most powerful person in tech.

Week of March 20, 2016

Last week, today

  • 3/11 – Intel is considering a sale of $1B of its venture capital portfolio and has hired UBS to explore its options (Bloomberg)
  • 3/11 – CB Insights and the NYT have teamed up to rank all venture capitalists on a bunch of different factors. Here is the CB Insights list. Here is the NYT article.
  • 3/11 – Former SVP of Strategy at Dell and Sr. Managing Director atBlackstone, Dave Johnson is stepping down from Blackstone (Fortune)
  • 3/12 – Micromax, once a rising star in India’s smartphone world and a company that walked away from a 20% Alibaba investment at a $1.2B valuation, has struggled over the course of the last year as it faces stiff competition from Samsung and inexpensive Chinese phones (Reuters)
  • 3/13 – John Oliver gives a good breakdown of the encryption debate (YouTube)
  • 3/13 – Overshadowed by the public fight with Apple over encryption is the quieter standoff with WhatsApp (NYT)
  • 3/13 – HP Enterprise is increasingly focused on selling into developers, particularly with new machine learning projects (WSJ)
  • 3/14 – Former Sequoia partner, Michael Goguen responds with a full counter-complaint to the allegations made by someone with whom he had a prior relationship.  Here is the TechCrunch commentary on it and here is the full counter-claim.
  • 3/14 – Data Collective is set to raise two new $280M funds (Data Collective IV and an opportunity fund to follow on) (PE HUB)
  • 3/14 – Former IBM Watson executive, Stephen Pratt, who lasted only 8 months running Watson, has announced that he is incubating a company called Noodle.ai with TPG Growth to focus on combining AI with and data analysis (NYT)
  • 3/14 – Alibaba-backed logistics company, Cainiao, lands funding at $7.7B valuation (TechCrunch)
  • 3/14 – The Wired has a super detailed account about how and whyDropbox shifted from AWS to its own in-house solution (Wired)
  • 3/14 – Lyft will subsidize car rentals for drivers that don’t have a vehicle that meets their standards and are willing to give 65 rides a week (Re/Code)
  • 3/14 – In the world of bizarre and not really that newsworthy, embattled CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, is hosting an event for Hilary Clinton (Re/Code)
  • 3/14 – Nordstrom is laying off of 120 tech workers as their profits, which I don’t know what to think about Fortune)
  • 3/15 – Microsoft has booted Okta, a customer and a partner, from its upcoming tech conference according to Okta CEO Todd McKinnon (Business Insider)
  • 3/15 – Amazon has launched a cloud migration service as it continues to expand the AWS product suite (WSJ)
  • 3/15 – Accel has raised $2B across an early ($500M) and a growth fund ($1.5B). TechCrunch has an interview with Sameer Gandhi, Ping Li and Rich Wong (TechCrunch)
  • 3/15 – Business Insider has gotten its hand on Zenefits severance package for its laid off employees, which is kind of standard and kind of not. Coverage of Zenefits is approaching Yahoo level (the point that I don’t care and will kind of believe anything) (Business Insider)
  • 3/15 – SpoonRocket becomes the latest on-demand start-up to shut-down. The Company had raised $13.5M (TechCrunch)
  • 3/15 – Snapchat hires longtime Pandora executive Tom Conrad as its new VP of Product (Re/Code)
  • 3/15 –  Former Siebel Chief Product Officer, Bruce Cleveland is joining Wildcat Ventures after InterWest announced it was only focusing on healthcare investments. Wildcat was founded by a team from Mohr Davidow (Dow Jones). Cleveland’s counterpart at InterWest, Doug Pepper, recently announced he was joining Shasta Ventures. 
  • 3/15 – Re/Code has the story about how the tech industry grouped together to align behind Apple in the piracy debate (Re/Code)
  • 3/15 – Elliott Management does what Elliott Management does.. it appears the pressure applied to Mitel and Polycom is working as the two companies are in talks to merge (Reuters)
  • 3/15 – Google has launched a new product, Analytics 360, that combines Google Analytics Premium, Adometry (attribution) and Google Tag Manager. Targeted at marketers trying to understand user behavior in a multi-screen world (TechCrunch)
  • 3/15 – The weird and not really that connected hacker group Anonymous has declared “total war” on Donald Trump, which will hopefully be hysterical (Fortune)
  • 3/16 – Vista Equity has set a $10B upper limit for its sixth flagship buyout fund. Their target has been $8B. Vista did a first close of over $5.8B last week according to the WSJ (WSJ)
  • 3/16 – Streaming music is taking over, but is increasingly becoming a fragmented landscape of where you can get what. The NYT does a profile on what artists are putting where (NYT)
  • 3/16 – Google gets Apple to adopt its cloud for part of its infrastructure, storing portions of iCloud on its severs. Apple is now playing nice with everyone, using AWS, Azure and Google Cloud (Re/Code)
  • 3/16 – Amazon is reportedly interested in making a bid for Office Depotto help catapult its office supply business. There has also been rumors that Amazon will launch a bid for W.B. Mason (the #3 player in the space) (NY Post)
  • 3/16 – LivingSocial is continuing its slow demise, laying off more than 50% of its staff (280 people). 120 of the jobs are related to customer service, which will now be outsourced. The Company has now laid off 900 people, which coincidentally is the millions of dollars the business has raised (Re/Code)
  • 3/16 – Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund is said to have raised $1B for recent fund (NYT)
  • 3/16 – AT&T is looking to migrate 80% of its applications to the cloud by the end of 2016 (WSJ)
  • 3/16 – EMC has scored a partial win in its patent battle against Pure Storage as a court ordered Pure to pay $14M for infringing on an EMC patent.  EMC had originally sought $80M (Fortune)
  • 3/16 – Instagram is looking to personalize its algorithm with a more programmatic approach vs. traditional time-based streams (NYT)
  • 3/16 – Stewart Butterfield of Slack indicated at a SXSW that he has no interest in hiring sales people (Business Insider)
  • 3/17 – Everyone’s favorite anonymous Twitter account focused on venture, Startup L. Jackson, has been unmasked as Parker Thompson, a Partner at AngelList and 500 Startups before that. Bloomberg business has the story (Bloomberg)
  • 3/17 – Felicis Ventures is seeking to raise a $150M fund (PE Hub)
  • 3/17 – Marc Benioff is threatening to decrease Salesforce’s investments in Georgia if an anti-gay bill is passed (Fortune)
  • 3/17 – The WSJ does a profile on immigration and founding companies in the US, which includes a new study that has found 51% of $1B+ companies (WSJ)
  • 3/17 – Union Square Ventures has raised $167M (with plans to round it out to $175M) for its fourth early stage fund. Its last fund was $175M in 2012 (Fortune). Firm co-founders Brad Burnham and Fred Wilson have stepped down as Managing Partners, replaed by Albert Wegner and Andy Weissman.
  • 3/17 – Google puts Boston Dynamics, a robotics company it acquired in late 2013 as part of a spree of acquisitions led by Andy Rubin, up for sale. Possible acquirers include Toyota and Amazon (Bloomberg)
  • 3/17 – Time Warner is putting more money into Mashable (The Information)
  • 3/17 – Dropbox is reportedly authorizing a secondary sale at a 34% discount to its last round of funding, which was valued at $10B (Buzzfeed)
  • 3/17 – Blackstone is nearing deal to buy HP Enterprise’s stake inMphasiS (Reuters)
  • 3/18 – In the I don’t really believe this camp, Re/Code has an article aboutGoogle shopping for potential cloud acquisitions that includes Namely,Shopify, Callidus and Xactly (Re/Code)
  • 3/18 – Evernote announced more re-structuring at the management team level, including CTO Dave Engberg leaving in May (TechCrunch)
  • 3/18 – Jack Dorsey is saying that Twitter’s 140 character limit will “absolutely not” be going away (Seeking Alpha)
  • 3/18 – SV Angel is targeting a smaller fund ($46M vs. $75M in 2014) after both Ron Conway and David Lee have stepped away from the firm in the last two years (TechCrunch)
  • 3/18 – Yahoo is in discussions with Facebook to sell advertising on the Tumblr platform (The Information)
  • 3/18 – Jeff Williams, who built his name as SVP of Sales that turnedFireEye into the sales machine it was, is joining Bain Capital Venturesas an operating partner (PE Hub)
  • 3/18 – SoundCloud announces that it has officially reached an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment, continuing to pave the way for its new streaming service that will be launched at some point this year (TechCrunch)
  • 3/18 – Spotify has reached a settlement with music publishers in which it will pay over $20M in back payment for issues around mechanical licensing rights (NYT)
  • 3/18 – Atomico is raising $750M for its fourth fund, a nice step-up from its $477M fund raised in 2013 (TechCrunch)

Earnings

  • 3/15 – Oracle shares rose 4% in after-hours as its third quarter results were slightly better than expected. “Cloud” revenue was up 57% year-over-year. Unclear how exactly they are defining cloud since gross margins of that business were 51%. On-premise software is still 70% of the Company’s revenue. Oracle also announced that it has added $10B to its share buyback plan (Re/Code). Fortune has a nice write-up about Oracle’s database business as it relates to financials (Fortune)
  • 3/17 – Adobe traded up 8% in after hours after beating consensus estimates. Its Marketing Cloud grew 21% y/y with quarterly revenue of $377M. The Digital Media business grew 33% y/y on the back of 44% growth in the Creative Cloud (while Document Cloud was mostly flat). Adobe expects the Digital Media business to be at a $4B run-rate by the end of FY ’16 (November ’16) (Seeking Alpha)

Financings

  • 3/14 – Alooma, a 2.5-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that helps companies process and work with big data in real time delivered as a cloud service, has raised $11.2 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital
  • 3/14 – Noodle.ai, a new, San Francisco-based data science company incubated by TPG Growth and led by previous executives from MicrosStrategy, Infosys, GE Digital and IBM Watson, has raised a Series A round
  • 3/15 – Couchbase, a seven-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based developer of Couchbase Server, an open-source, NoSQL, document-oriented database, has raised $30 million in Series F funding led bySorenson Capital
  • 3/15 – Crate Technology, a three-year-old startup that’s been developing an open-source SQL database technology (from offices in San Francisco, Berlin, and Dornbirn, Austria), has raised $4 million in fund led by Dawn Capital
  • 3/15 – Skyport Systems, a three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca..-based enterprise security architecture company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Google Ventures
  • 3/16 — Usermind, a Seattle-based “orchestration hub” for business operations teams, has raised $14.5 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the round
  • 3/16 — Striim, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based real-time data integration and intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in new Series B funding fromAtlantic Bridge Capital
  • 3/16 — Shoppimon, an Israel-based app performance management startup focused on the e-commerce sector, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Backers include AOL.
  • 3/17 — FloQast, a nearly three-year-old, L.A.-based startup that makes month-end closing software for accountants, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Polaris Partners and Toba Capital
  • 3/17 — Handshake, a 5.5-year-old, New York-based maker of wholesale order apps for mobile, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led bySozo Ventures
  • 3/17 — Pieces Technologies, a months-old, Dallas, Tex.-based startup that plans to sell integrated monitoring, prediction, workflow optimization and organizational learning services and software to hospitals and health systems, has raised $21.6 million in Series A funding co-led by Pacific Advantage Capital and Jump Capital
  • 3/17 — Zaloni, a nine-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based data lake startup, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Sierra Ventures
  • 3/18 — Kenandy, a six-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company whose enterprise resource planning software is built on the Salesforce platform, has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • 3/18 — HighGround, a four-year-old, Chicago-based cloud HR platform focused on employee engagement, has raised $7.6 million in new funding led by Chicago-based KDWC

Random long-reads
These won’t always be from the previous week (or month or year) and they mostly won’t be related to tech, but more just stuff I’ve found interesting that you might want to take a look through. Descriptions are mine

  • An Oral History of the Comedy Cellar (Vanity Fair) If you’ve spent any time in the Village in New York (or are an astute observer of the beginning of Louis CK’s show Louis), you’re likely familiar with the Comedy Cellar. A legendary staple of New York’s comedy history where you can walk in and pay $15 on a random night to potentially see everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Jon Stewart to Dave Chappelle to Chris Rock working on new material or just having fun. Vanity Fair does an Oral History on the history of the Comedy Cellar.
  • The rise of American authoritarianism (Vox) – Like many others, I’ve struggled to understand the rise of Donald Trump and his staying power in the face of everything that could be described as “logic.” Vox analyzes his rise with the thesis that it can be correlated to authoritarianism and looks to a niche group of political scientists that have studied this sentiment in America over the past few decades.

Week of March 13, 2016

Last week, today

  • 3/3 – Analytic venture firm, Correlation Ventures, raises $177M fund after raising $165M in 2012 (PEHub)
  • 3/3 – Joe Lonsdale’s new firm, Eight Partners, which will focus on investments “with an ethical bend,” has closed a $300M fund (WSJ)
  • 3/4 – Thomson Reuters is reportedly looking to sell its Intellectual Property and Sciences business unit, which could fetch $3B and is attracting bids from KKR and Advent (Bloomberg)
  • 3/6 – BuzzFeed investigates the issues with Uber’s customer service as it has moved from domestic customer support to an international one (BuzzFeed)
  • 3/6 – Daimler CEO tells Reuters that the consortium that purchasedHERE maps from Nokia is in discussions to expand (Reuters)
  • 3/6 – NYT profiles companies struggling to hire talent as they move to the cloud (NYT)
  • 3/7 –  DoorDash disputes having a down-round, despite most definitions indicating that (Fortune)
  • 3/7 – Activist investors are starting to dive deeper into the SaaS world with decreased valuation – notably a few activists have taken stakes inCornerstone OnDemand (The Information)
  • 3/7 – Apple is being ordered to pay $450M to end an antitrust suit, which stated that the company worked with publishers to inflate book prices (Bloomberg)
  • 3/7 – Certain parts of e-commerce have proven difficult of late, but clothing company, Everlane, is reportedly seeking to raise at a $250M valuation (Re/Code)
  • 3/7 – Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial (the unit behind Alipay) is planning to raise up to $3.1B at a valuation of more than $50B (WSJ)
  • 3/7 – Facebook is pulling the plug on its own DSP due to bot-fraud and will continue to focus on native and video (The Information)
  • 3/7 – Microsoft has opened itself up even more. Its SQL Server will now run on Linux (NYT)
  • 3/7 – 4chan founder Chris Poole, who started the company as a 15 year old twelve years ago, has joined Google in some social capacity (Fortune)
  • 3/7 – Snapchat is rumored to be projecting revenue of $300-350M this year (Re/Code)
  • 3/8 – Google finally announced what it has been up to with SkyboxImaging after acquiring the company for $500M in 2014. It has been rebranded as Terra Bella and are working with a number of geospatial data sources (VentureBeat)
  • 3/8 – Lightspeed Venture Partners raised $1.2B across two funds (one venture of $715M and one growth of $500M) (TechCrunch)
  • 3/8 – Cisco is buying Synata to boost collaboration search and says it will send $150M to challenge Slack (BizJournal)
  • 3/8 – Spark Capital is seeking $370M for new fund (WSJ) and Mo Koyfman is leaving the firm (WSJ)
  • 3/9 – Fortune has an extensive profile on Palantir and its vision to continue to change the Big Data world (Fortune)
  • 3/9 – Online lender SoFi is launching its own hedge fund to invest in its own loans (Bloomberg)
  • 3/9 – Bounce Exchange (backed by Contour Ventures and Primary Venture Partners) is accusing competitor Yieldify (backed by Google Ventures and Softbank) of posing as potential customers and replicating their code (Business Insider)
  • 3/9 – According to IDC, the WiFi market is growing and HP is gaining share (after acquiring Aruba Networks with 16.9% of the market) andCisco is losing share (with 45% of the market) (Seeking Alpha)
  • 3/9 – Mucker Capital has closed its third $45M early-stage fund for investments in the LA ecosystem (TechCrunch)
  • 3/9 – Toshiba is in exclusive talks with Canon to purchase its medical equipment unit for $6.2B (WSJ)
  • 3/9 – The Information has uncovered two examples of companies (Credit Karma and Affirm) pulling back on plans for real estate expansion in SF (The Information)
  • 3/9 – Fortune does a quick check in on Google’s plan for the cloud (Fortune)
  • 3/10 – Optimizely* is the latest company to announce lay-offs, this one on the order of 10% of its 400 person employee base (Fortune)
  • 3/10 – Sonos is laying off people (GeekWire)
  • 3/10 – Yahoo has promoted former MS banker Catherine Friedman and former Broadcom CFO Eric Brandt to their board after Max Levchin and Charles Schwab resigned late last year (Reuters). While its bankers are in the process of reaching out to 40 potential suitors (WSJ)
  • 3/10 – Rhetoric is escalating quickly between Apple and the US Gov’twith Apple accusing the Gov’t of attempting to “smear” and “vilify” them, while the US Gov’t is saying Apple is using “false” and “corrosive” language (Re/Code)
  • 3/10 – The Honest Company is facing some real problems after independent labs are saying that their detergent contains exactly what they say it doesn’t contain, which is problematic ahead of a potential IPO (WSJ)
  • 3/10 – Apple is having a major event on March 21 with speculation on a new band off-shoot of the iWatch (Fortune)
  • 3/10 – Alibaba secures $3B loan to finance more investments and acquisitions (TechCrunch)
  • 3/10 – Opera Software joins Firefox as browsers that contain ad-blockers that are natively built in (Fortune)
  • 3/10 – WeWork didn’t get the memo about raising down rounds, and closes $430M led by Chinese investors at $16B (up from $10B last summer) (WSJ)
  • 3/10 – Salesforce and Microsoft continue to deepen ways of working together, most recently with SalesforceIQ-Outlook integration (TechCrunch)
  • 3/10 – Yext announces revenue of $88.8M for 2015, up 48% from 2015. Its last round was a Series F from Insight in June 2014 at $525 post (TechCrunch)
  • 3/10 – Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, has hired former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein as co-CEO (NYT) after the WSJ ran a report a few months ago about a schism at the top of the Bridgewater (WSJ)
  • 3/10 – SVB has released an economic outlook centered around the venture industry – spoiler alert.. it’s negative (SVB)
  • 3/11 – Instacart is slashing the pay to its couriers as the Company looks to continue costs (WSJ)
  • 3/11 – Google’s AlphaGo (written by researchers from DeepMind) beat Lee Sedol, assumed by many to be the world’s best player. The Economist does a deep dive on the implications for AI (The Economist)
  • 3/11 – Vista Equity is reportedly scheduled to close its flagship fund today (Dan Primack)
  • 3/11 – Marissa Mayer reveals in an interview with Charlie Rose that only wants three more years to turn around Yahoo (WSJ)
  • 3/11 – According to the Business Insider, Slack is raising $200M at $3.7-3.8B pre led by Thrive Capital (Business Insider)
  • 3/11 – GM buys self-driving car kit start up Cruise (which has raised $18M from Spark and Founder Collective, most recently at $90 post) for over $1B (Fortune)
  • 3/12 – Michael Gougen, a now former Managing Partner at Sequoia, has been named in an explosive suit that alleges he sexually mistreated a woman for years, signed a contract to pay her $40M for the “horrors she suffered at his hands” and then after paying $10M refused to pay the rest. Sequoia dismissed him when the news broke. Ugly stuff all the way around. Here is the TechCrunch article with Gougen’s lawyer’s response and here is the full document.
  • 3/12 – Microsoft is targeting Evernote users with software that makes it easy for them to switch to their platform, OneNote (TechCrunch)

 Earnings

  • 3/9 – Square beat its fourth quarter revenue expectations and received a 5% pop in trading (TechCrunch)
  • 3/9 – Box shares jumped 14% on blockbuster deals (driven by partnerships with IBM and Microsoft) including Campbell’s Soup, Genetech and Bain Capital (Fortune)

 Financings

  • 3/7 – Culture Amp, a four-year-old, San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia-based startup that specializes in staff surveying and analytics, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Index Ventures
  • 3/7 – Property Partner, a two-year-old, London-based company that combines residential real estate crowdfunding with a secondary exchange through which investors can trade their holdings, has raised £15.9 million ($22.6 million) in Series B funding led by earlier investor Octopus Ventures
  • 3/7 — Staff Finder, a four-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based on-demand marketplace for temporary staffing, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by One Peak Partners and Goldman Sachs Private Capital
  • 3/7 —  Zaloni, a nine-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based data lake startup, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Sierra Ventures
  • 3/8 — AlphaSense, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based search engine for financial professionals, has raised $33 million in funding fromTribeca Venture Partners, Triangle Peak Partners, and Quantum Strategic Partners
  • 3/9 — Intersec, and 11-year-old, Paris-based data analytics company focused on telecom customers, has raised $10 million in funding co-led byCisco Systems and the French private equity firm Omnes Capital
  • 3/9 — OneSpace, a St. Louis-based virtual workforce platform, has raised $9 million in Series B funding led by Lewis & Clark Ventures.
  • 3/9 — CoverWallet, a New York-based online insurance manager, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Two Sigma Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Founder Collective.
  • 3/10 — Avametric, a five-month-old, San Francisco-based fashion software company at work on a technology to help online shoppers see how garment will fit on 3-D digital images of themselves, has raised $10.5 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures
  • 3/10 — Icertis, a seven-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company that makes enteprise contract management software, has raised $15 million Series B led by Ignition Partners
  • 3/10 — Julie Desk, a two-year-old, Paris-based startup whose virtual assistant software automates the email back-and-forth typically associated with scheduling meetings and appointments, has raised €600,000 in new funding from SIDE Capital
  • 3/10 — JustWorks, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based benefits and payroll company that competes with Zenefits, has raised $33 million in Series C funding, bringing the total amount the company has raised to $53 million. Redpoint Ventures led the round.
  • 3/10 — Nom.com, a months-old, San Francisco-based interactive video community and app for foodies that presents a mix of professional cooks alongside an open-ended platform that will let anyone direct, produce and host their own food show, has raised $4.7 million in funding from GV andKhosla (among others)
  • 3/10 — Penrose Studios, a year-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing its own in-VR creation tools in a bid to become the Pixar of VR and tell stories in immersive worlds, has raised $8.5 million in seed funding. Accelerate-IT Ventures led the round
  • 3/10 —  Resolver, a 16-year-old, Toronto-based maker of risk and incident management software, has raised C$4 million (about $3 million) in new funding from earlier backer Klass Capital
  • 3/11 —  Propel, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based maker of product lifecycle management software, has raised $4.2 million in Series A funding led by Cloud Apps Capital Partners

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.

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