One more weekday to go, people; we can do this!
Speaking of which, you’ll notice there’s no column today — meetings — but we’ll see you here again tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the intel below!
Eventbrite has joined the $1 billion club. Dan Primack of Fortune is reporting this morning that the event ticketing platform has raised “around $60 million” in new venture capital funding at billion-dollar valuation just 11 months after raising $60 million from Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price. The company was widely expected to go public this year. Primack suggests that Tiger and T. Rowe wanted more ownership before that happens.
FireEye, the computer security firm, warned Target that something suspicious was going on within its payments and security system before 40 million credit card numbers were stolen. “And then…” reports BusinessWeek, “Nothing happened.”
Acorns, a two-year-old, Newport Beach, Ca.-based micro-investing platform that allows people to invest in sub-dollar amounts, then rounds up those fractional shares to invest in a portfolio of index funds, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding led by Jacobs Asset Management in New York. Clients of Digital Offering, which calls itself a “next-generation, technology-driven investment bank,” also participated in the funding. Acorns has raised $8.3 million to date.
Azimo, a two-year-old, London-based international money transfer startup, has raised $10 million in first-round funding led by Greycroft Partners. Frontier Investments Group, eVenture, TA Ventures, RI Digital Ventures, and KRW Schindler Investments also participated in the round.
Banjo, a three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based social media startup that gives users a way to read multiple social media conversations about particular topics of news in one screen, has raised $16 million led by Balderton Capital. Other participants in the round, which bring the company’s total funding to $21 million, included BlueRun Ventures and Vegas Tech Fund.
BrightBytes, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based analytics company that measures the effectiveness of spending, technology and more to help schools make better decisions, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round; earlier investors Rethink Education and Learn Capital also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $18.5 million.
Codoon, a four-year-old, Chengdu, China-based company that makes smart fitness-tracking wearables, has raised $9.8 million in Series A funding led by Shenzhen Capital Group, with participation from CITIC Capital. The company had raised $3.6 million from the Chinese online gaming company Shanda in 2011.
Credit Karma, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based online credit score provider, has raised $85 million in growth-stage funding led byGoogle Capital. Tiger Global Management and earlier investors Ribbit Capital and Susquehanna Growth Equity also participated in the round, which brings Credit Karma’s total funding to $118.5 million.
MuleSoft, a 7.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose software enables applications from different vendors to communicate and exchange data, has raised $50 million at a valuation of nearly $800 million, reports the WSJ. The round was co-led by three venture firms—earlier backers New Enterprise Associates and Lightspeed Venture Partners and new investor Meritech Capital Partners, which had to wait nearly a year to invest in MuleSoft because it was shut out of the last round, Meritech Managing Director Paul Madera tells reporter Deborah Gage. MuleSoft has raised roughly $130 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.
Omniata, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based data platform that gives developers an overview on how their apps are being used and monetized, has raised $5.2 million in Series A financing led by Creandum. Sigma West, which had led a $1.6 million seed round in Omniata, also participated in the round.
Quantenna Communications, a 7.5-year-old, Freemont, Ca.-based fabless semiconductor company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Tokyo-based NTT Finance Corp, which is part of the NTT Group. Quantenna has raised more than $200 million from earlier backers, including DAG Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross Venture Partners, Telefonica Ventures and Venrock.
Quikr, a 6.5-year-old, Mumbai, India-based online classifieds site, has raised $90 million in funding led by Kinnevik of Sweden. Omidyar Network and Nokia Venture Partners also participated in the round, along with earlier backers Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners,Warburg Pincus and eBay. Quikr has raised $136 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
TaxJar, a year-old, San Diego-based maker of tax management software for online retailers, has raised $600,000 in seed funding, including from Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships at Facebook;Harris Barton, principal at H Barton Asset Management; and Roy Rubin, co-founder and COO at Magento. Xconomy looks at TaxJar’s opportunity in this piece.
Tipbit, a three-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company that makes a productivity-focused email app, has raised $4 million in new funding led by Ignition Partners. Tipbit has also raised money from Andreessen Horowitz in the past, shows Crunchbase.
VeryLastRoom, a 2.5-year-old, Marseille, France-based, last-minute mobile-based hotel booking service, has raised $2.1 million funding led by the French venture firm A Plus Finance, with Extend Capital and Sigma Gestion participating. The company has raised $2.65 million to date.
Violet Grey, a new, L.A.-based retail store (on Melrose Avenue) and high-end beauty products site, has raised $7.1 million from investors, shows an SEC filing. The company was founded by Cassandra Greyand her husband, Paramount film studio executive Brad Grey. And is launching with 400 “prestige” products, Grey told the WSJ last month.
Hamilton Lane, the private markets asset management firm, yesterday announced a final close on its first dedicated fund in Brazil, called HL Brazil FIQFIP. The fund, based in Rio de Janiero, will be investing R$150 million, or $63.5 million, in primary, secondary- and co-investment deals in the country. “Brazil’s economic and investment landscape has continued to mature since our venture into the region, and the country has established itself as a key area of opportunity in private markets investing. We remain committed to the region for the long term and look forward to continuing to build on our success in Brazil and across Latin America,” said firm CEO Mario Giannini in a statement. The fund, whose LPs include Brazilian institutions, including pension funds and financial companies, has already put capital to work in six deals, all of them diversified across vintage year and strategy, says the firm.
RiverVest Venture Partners, a 14-year-old, St. Louis, Mo.-based, early-stage venture capital firm focuses on life sciences companies, is looking to raise $150 million for its third fund, according to an SEC filing that states the fund’s first sale has yet to occur. RiverVest’s first two funds totaled $164 million in committed capital. Among the firm’s bets: Lumena Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that Tuesday announced it had raised $45 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates; and ZS Pharma, a Coppell, Tx.-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on treating kidney, cardiovascular and liver disorders. Last Friday, ZS Pharma announced it had raised a $55 million round of Series D financing led by Novo A/S.
Venrock, the 45-year-old technology and health care investor — with offices in Cambridge, Ma.; Palo Alto, Ca.; and New York City — is hoping to raise $200 million for its newest fund, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners II LP, shows an SEC filing that says the first sale has yet to occur. Among Venrock’s more recent healthcare investments is Tesaro, two-year-old biopharmaceutical company that’s “dedicated to improving the lives of people with cancer.”
ChinaVision Media Group has sold a 60 percent stake in its business to Alibaba Group Holdings, for roughly $800 million, TechNode reports. ChinaVision Media oversees newspapers, produces mobile content, and manages artists directly; it also invests in movies and licenses third-party content, says TechNode, which suggests that Alibaba may hope to entice users to its Ailyun OS Android-based operating system for smart phones (and TVs) using ChinaVision content.
Giant Media, a 4.5-year-old, Venica, Ca.-based video ad platform that gained some renown for distributing a Dollar Shave Club video that was viewed more than 13 million times, was acquired this week by Adknowledge, the privately owned digital advertising marketplace. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Giant had bootstrapped its way to success; according to a PandoDaily report from last April, the company was on track to see $20 million in revenue in 2013. The deal marks Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition since its 2004 founding.
That was fast: Google Capital two weeks ago invested $40 million in the education company Renaissance Learning, in a deal that valued it at $1 billion. This morning Hellman & Friedman announced that it’s purchasing the company from its majority owner, European private equity firm Permira, for $1.1 billion. Fortune has more here.
Snell, a 4.5-year-old, U.K.-based broadcast production, management, and Web distribution company, has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by the 41-year-old, U.K.-based post-production and broadcast technology company Quantel. The two companies have combined revenues of $170 million.
WorkWell, a 16-year-old, Duluth, Mn.-based company that specializes in soft tissue injury prevention and treatment, has been acquired by NextImage Medical for undisclosed financial terms. NextImage, a six-year-old, San Diego-based radiology services management company, is backed by the venture firm Chrysalis Ventures.
In its newest issue, Vanity Fair takes a long look at Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s “liaison” with Google Glass marketing manager Amanda Rosenberg, and Silicon Valley’s “relationship issues” more broadly (though it sticks mostly to those of Brin). On the culture of office romances at Google specifically, one “Atherton socialite” with “close connections to the company,” tells VF: “When you have executives dating employees, it’s like a doctor-nurse relationship—it’s not illegal, but it seems like it shouldn’t be happening. Tech is a man’s world. Most of these guys are married, and then there are these young fresh [female] sharks, and they’re smart too…It’s almost like you get a Stanford degree so you can work at Google, so you can find a husband.”
Vanity Fair also has lunch with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, at one of StrictlyVC’s favorite burger spots in San Francisco, Liverpool Lil’s. (Stone, a vegan, orders pear salad without the cheese, and fries.) Stone comes across as highly likable, telling the reporter, who brings up his newfound wealth: “We have everything we could need. I’m very comfortable with my dented old Volkswagen Golf. I would feel embarrassed if I bought a fancy-looking car or a new home. It would just reflect poorly on me somehow…The most important thing for me about having money is that it takes away most of the anxiety I’ve lived with my whole life.”
And Eileen Burbidge, one of three partners of London-based Passion Capital, gets the profile treatment from VentureBeat’s Christina Farr. The Telegraph, which first published the piece, calls Burbidge “one of the most powerful forces in Silicon Roundabout, (the UK’s answer to Silicon Valley).”
Co=Creation=Capital is seeking technical co-founders for a stealth, seed-funded, Menlo Park, Ca.-based company that “addresses important or at least irritating problems for busy people that happen to be carrying a smartphone.” (If you’re wondering: Co=Creation=Capital is a new incubator/investing outfit cofounded by Sean Foote, a former GP at Labrador Ventures.)
Israeli companies aren’t seeing much funding in the local currency, the Shekel, reports the WSJ, basing its conclusion on a new report by the Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center. According to IVC’s findings, foreign venture capital in first-time investments in Israeli startups outstrips local VC funding by almost two-thirds right now, and last year was the first time Israeli VC first investments dropped below 50 percent of the total.
I’d asked Adam Fisher, an Israel-based partner of Bessemer Venture Partners, why things are trending the way they are for yesterday’s StrictlyVC. If you missed it, he explained that Israel firms hadn’t built strong brands like we see in the U.S, and that when “when U.S. funds with a track record came in and, especially when they put someone on the ground, it became a very alluring thing” for local entrepreneurs.
Here’s what Goldman Sachs thinks of bitcoin.
Any time now, San Francisco is due for another massive earthquake. Writer Ethan Watters does a superb job of painting a worst-case scenario when it arrives. (Skip this if you want to sleep soundly tonight in the Bay Area.)
According to a new study, the mood of your Facebook updates are directly influenced by the moods of those in your newsfeed.
I Hope You Enjoy This Artisanal Knuckle Sandwich.
Not bad. (You just know everyone on this thread will be wearing one.)
St. Patrick’s Day is coming. Get ready.
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