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, (TechCrunch)
  • 7/2 – TechCrunch has a history of how the juggernaut that is Amazon Web Services came to be (TechCrunch)\

None of note.

  • 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 –, 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 –, 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.