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.