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.