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.