Good morning, everyone! No column — StrictlyVC had one too many meetings yesterday — but we have some good stuff coming your way next week. Hope you have a terrific weekend. (Web visitors, here’s an easier-to-read version of this morning’s email.)
Top News in the A.M.
Twitter is opening an office in Hong Kong to serve greater China and tap ad revenue from fast-growing China-based companies.
Yesterday, Home Depot announced that its breach last spring was worse than earlier thought. In addition to the 56 million credit card accounts that were compromised, the company says around 53 million customer e-mail addresses were also nabbed.
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BluWrap, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose technology extends the shelf life of meats and other proteins while they’re being shipped, has raised $12.6 million led by Wheatsheaf Investments, an food-and-energy-focused fund. Earlier investors Anterra Capital, Firelake Capital, and Rabo Ventures also participated in the round.
Chartcube, a year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based company whose app is used to help review, share and discuss data, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Shasta Ventures. The company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of money, shows Crunchbase.
Confluent, a new, Mountain View, Ca.-based company that’s commercializing an open-source system messaging project called Apache Kafka, has raised $6.9 million in seed funding led by Benchmark, with participation from LinkedIn and Data Collective. Confluent was cofounded by engineer Jay Kreps, who was the tech lead for LinkedIn’s online data infrastructure. GigaOm has more here.
Codoon, a three-year-old, Chengdu, China-based fitness wearable maker that’s trying to compete with the wearable offering of Xiaomi, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by SIG and SBCVC. Earlier this year, the company had raised $10 million in Series A funding from CITIC Capital.
Drybar Holdings, a four-year-old, Brentwood, Ca.-based owner of a fast-growing chain of blowout-only hair salons, has raised $18.5 million in new funding led by Pine River Capital Management, which invested $13.5 million. The new investment follows a $20 million round in June led by SPK Capital and Castanea Partners. The WSJ has more here.
Encoding.com, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based video encoding company, has raised $3.5 million in Series B round led by the publicly traded video delivery infrastructure company Harmonic. The company has now raised $8 million altogether, including from Metamorphic Ventures and Zelkova Ventures.
Fyndiq, a five-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based e-commerce platform that sells bargain-basement items for merchants, has raised $20 million in funding led by the Nordic investor Northzone and Industrifonden, a venture outfit backed by the Swedish government. Fyndiq has now raised $26 million altogether.
Highspot, a two-year-old, Seattle-based startup founded by four Microsoft veterans to help sales and marketing people more efficiently target their customers, has raised $9.6 million in Series A funding led by Madrona Venture Group. The company had also raised $2.7 million in convertible debt last year. GigaOm has more here.
Maple, a new, New York-based food-delivery service set to launch early next year, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Thrive Capital, with participation from 14W, Bessemer Venture Partners, High Peaks Venture Partners, Momofuku chef David Chang, and numerous other individual investors.
Meekan, a year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup whose scheduling software connects different online calendars, has raised $870,000 in seed funding, $750,000 of which came from Horizons Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
MyTomorrows, a two-year-old, Amsterdam-based healthcare platform that facilitates patient access to experimental treatments, has raised €4.5m ($7.1 million) in its first institutional financing. Balderton Capital and Sofinnova Partners co-led the round.
OrthAlign, a six-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based medical device company that recently secured U.S. clearance for its handheld navigation device for hip replacement surgery, has raised $15 million from earlier investors, including River Cities Capital Funds and Mutual Capital Partners. The company has raised at least $24.2 million altogether, shows Crunchbase
Parenthoods, a months-old, San Francisco-based startup whose iPhone app promises parents access to localized advice and support by making it easier to connect with other millennial parents, has raised $1.32 million in seed funding led by Slow Ventures, with participation from Lowercase Capital, Liberty City Ventures, 500 Startups, Y Combinator (whose program Parenthoods passed through in summer), and individual investors.
Powa Technolgies, a seven-year-old, London-based commerce companies whose technologies integrate the physical and digital world, has raised $80 million from Wellington Management. Powa has now raised at least $176 million over three rounds, including from Bay Pond Partners, shows Crunchbase.
PPzuche.com, a year-old, Beijing-based peer-to-peer car sharing platform, has raised $60 million in Series B funding led by Morningside Ventures and IDG Capital Partners, with participation from Source Code Capital, Sequoia Capital, Mingshi Capital and Qingliu Capital. The company, which had previously raised $10 million, has two brands: iCarsClub focuses on Singapore, while PPzuche is growing in Chinese cities. Tech in Asia has more here.
Royalty Exchange, a three-year-old, Raleigh, N.C.-based online marketplace that connects royalty owners with investors, has raised $500,000 from IDEA Fund Partners. The company had previously raised $2.9 million from investors, including Grotech Ventures.
Showpad, the three-year-old, Belgium and San Francisco-based startup that provides mobile-first software to help support sales teams with up-to-date information they might need to close more sales, has raised $8.5 million in funding led by Dawn Capital with participation from earlier investor Hummingbird Ventures. The company has raised $10.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.
Vicarious, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based artificial intelligence technology startup, has raised $12 million in funding led by ABB Technology Ventures, the venture arm of the power and automation giant ABB. Vicarious has now raised $72 million altogether, shows Crunchbase. VentureBeat has more here.
Aligned Partners, a three-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based venture firm “dedicated to helping founders start lean and stay lean,” is hoping to raise up to $40 million for a second fund, according to an SEC filing that shows the first sale has yet to occur. The firm’s first fund closed with roughly $26 million in commitments.
Cervin Ventures, a six-year-old, Newark, Ca.-based post-seed-fund investment firm, is in the market for a third fund, shows an SEC filing first flagged by VentureWire. The filing doesn’t provide an offering amount; it also states the first capital has yet to be raised.
Coherus BioSciences, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that’s developing similar versions of widely used biotechnology drugs, saw its shares close down yesterday, its first day of trading on the Nasdaq. The company, which sold 6.3 million shares at $13.50, raising $85 million, ended the day with its shares priced at $12.61.
Nevro, a four-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based medical device company that’s targeting back pain, raised $126 million in an IPO yesterday that saw its share rise nearly 40 percent. Silicon Valley Business Journal has more here.
Sky Solar Holdings, a five-year-old, Hong Kong-based independent power producer that develops, owns, and operates solar parks in the downstream solar market, postponed its IPO yesterday, citing poor market conditions.
People close to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo reportedly say the scrutiny that comes with running a public company has amplified his “reactive” management style, and “left him struggling to convey a consistent vision for a business whose cultural impact overshadows growing losses.” More here from the WSJ.
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine have revolutionized hip-hop. They’ve revolutionized headphones. Now can they revolutionize college? They’re trying.
Paul Lee is becoming an entrepreneur. A general partner at Lightbank in Chicago for the past four years — and a VC for the past decade, including at NBC’s Peacock Equity Fund and at GE Capital before that — Lee announced in a post yesterday that he has “decided to focus full time on my own stealth venture.” He added that details will “come shortly.” Lee will also remain a venture partner at Lightbank for now.
Dwolla cofounder Ben Milne: “It’s just time for me to go home for a bit and I know it.”
Zynga founder and former CEO Mark Pincus has “started a new endeavor that is a little bit incubator, a little bit startup factory and a lot the new ideas of Mark Pincus,” reports Recode, which says Pincus has already hired a handful of people to work on two of his (yet undisclosed) ideas.
Ali Rowghani is joining Y Combinator as a part-time partner, the outfit’s president, Sam Altman, announced yesterday. Rowghani was most recently the COO of Twitter; he also spent several years as the company’s CFO and, before joining Twitter, spent six years as the CFO of Pixar. Rowghani will “mostly focus on helping our alumni that are a few years out of YC scale their companies,” said Altman in a blog post. Y Combinator now has 13 full-time partners and nine part-time partners, notes TechCrunch.
Yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took part in his first public Q&A. Watch the full video here.
Blackrock, which has participated in some outsize venture rounds this year, including for the software analytics company New Relic and the big data company Hortonworks, is looking for a corporate development VP or director. The job is in New York.
CB Insights runs some numbers to see how much Tinder, the fast-growing dating app majority owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, might be worth as a standalone company.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has just released its newest report on financing trends, determining that up rounds remained at a historical high in the third quarter, while down rounds increased slightly, from 16 percent to 19 percent of all deals. The report also says that median pre-money valuation in Series A deals backed by venture and corporate strategic investors held steady at $10 million in the third quarter, while the median Series B pre-money valuation hit $33.8 million, higher than any quarter since 2007. More here.
Authorities have launched a scorched-earth purge of the Internet underground, and Wired delves into the details of that campaign.
New documents reveal that fire-safety concerns sank Google’s barges.
Not everyone prepares for their work the same way.
Twenty-six photos of vintage Ducati’s.
The rise of the lumbersexual.
App-enabled string lights.
Baskin-Robbins is now making camouflage ice cream. Baskin-Robbins does not know you cannot hide ice cream from StrictlyVC.
A Beverly Hills estate with its own revolving dance floor, 27-car garage and vineyard has hit the market with a record-breaking listing price of $195 million. It is called the Palazzo di Amore, of course.