Happy Wednesday, dear readers! We were planning an April Fools’ prank, but we’ve run out of time and, speaking frankly, the story we were writing was not terribly hilarious. Put another way: no column today.:)
Top New in the A.M.
President Obama just signed an executive order establishing the first sanctions program to impose penalties on individuals overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace. More here.
17zuoye, an eight-year-old, Shanghai, China-based online learning platform for parents, teachers, and students K-12, has raised $100 million in Series D financing led by H Capital, according to China Money Network. Temasek Holdings, DST Global, and Shunwei Capital also participated in the round. According to Crunchbase, the company has now raised at least $135 million altogether.
Advanced Practice Strategies, a 20-year-old, Boston-based e-learning and talent management platform provider for clinicians, has raised $12 million in Series C funding led by River Cities Capital Funds, with participation from Ascension Ventures.
AppsDaily, a seven-year-old, Mumbai, India-based mobile app development and distribution company, has raised $16 million in Series C funding led by Zodius Technology Fund, with participation from earlier backers ru-Net, Kalaari Capital and Qualcomm Ventures. The company had previously raised $6 million, according to the outlet e27.
aTyr Pharma, a 10-year-old, San Diego-based biotherapeutics company that discovers and develops protein biologics for human therapeutics, has raised $76 million in Series E funding led by Sofinnova Ventures and an undisclosed large institutional investor in the biotechnology industry. Other new investors taking part in the round include funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Federated Investors, Deerfield, Rock Springs Capital Management, EcoR1 Capital, Sphera Global Healthcare, and two additional undisclosed institutional investors.
Beequick, a ten-month-old, Beijing, China-based startup that currently provides one-hour delivery of fresh produce and other products from community convenience stores, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Hillhouse Capital, according to China Money Network. Earlier backer Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, which reportedly values the young company at $200 million. The company has raised $40 million to date.
CafeX, a two-year-old, New York-based company whose technology helps enable contextual real-time communication experiences within enterprise applications, has raised $21 million in Series B funding from Intel Capital and a subsidiary of USAA, with return backing by Illuminate Ventures and other angel investors. The company has now raised at least $31.5 million, shows Crunchbase.
Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, the three-year-old, China-based taxi-hailing companies that merged in February (though they remain separately operated), are selling $600 million worth of common shares to an investor consortium led by Coatue Management in a transaction that values the combined companies at $8.75 billion. The WSJ has more here. Coatue is reportedly putting in about $250 million, while the investment firm Farallon Capital Management invests roughly another $75 million. Unnamed institutional and individual investors are acquiring the rest of the stakes. The deal is interesting for numerous reasons, not least because it represents Coatue’s third China-based deal in the last month. The hedge fund’s other recent bets include the online travel information and service platform Mafengwo and the online used car auction company Youxinpai. (Coatue hired Tony Zhang from DCM Ventures last year to gain a foothold in China, notes the WSJ.)
Genshuixue, a year-old, China-based online education startup, has raised $50 million in Series A funding at valuation of $250 million led by Hillhouse Capital. Tech in Asia has more here.
Instabrand, a two-year-old, L.A.-based start-up that helps strike deals between advertisers and individuals with large social media followings, has raised $2.5 million in funding led by TI Capital, which is funded by a Santa Monica-based family. The L.A. Times has the story here.
Noom, a 7.5-year-old, New York-based company whose smartphone apps promote healthy living, has raised $16.2 million in Series B funding led byInterVest, a Seoul, Korea-based venture capital firm. Other investors in the round include LB Investment; Hanmi IT, a subsidiary company of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co.; RRE Ventures; TransLink Capital; andQualcomm Ventures. The company has raised at least $24 million to date, shows Crunchbase.
PeerNova, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based blockchain technology specialist, has raised $5 million in funding from the retail company Overstock as part of its second tranche of Series A financing. Formed through a merger of the cloud mining contract company CloudHashing and ASIC hardware designer HighBitcoin, PeerNova raised $8.6 million in funding in December led by Mosiak Partners, with participation from angel investor Steve Case, FireEye founder Ashar Aziz, veteran investor Pierre Lamond, Crypto Currency Partners and others. Coindesk has the story here.
Signal, a year-old, London-based company that specializes in media monitoring and market intelligence, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by Frontline Ventures, with participation from Samos Investments,Reed Ventures and individual investors. The Irish Times has more here.
TripHobo, a three-year-old, Pune, India-based repository of user-generated travel itineraries, has raised $3 million in Series B funding led by Mayfield, with participation from earlier investor Kalaari Capital. The company has now raised roughly $5.5 million altogether, shows Crunchbase.
Yuantiku, a three-year-old, Beijing-based online education platform, has raised $60 million in Series D funding led by CMC Capital Partners and New Horizon Capital, with participation from Matrix Partners China and IDG Capital Partners. The company has raised $84.2 million to date, shows Crunchbase. China Money Network has more here.
Zhan.com, a four-year-old, Shanghai, China-based online education firm (yes, another China-based online education deal), has raised $29 million in Series B financing led by GGV Capital and Shunwei Capital.
Chrysalix, the 14-year-old, Vancouver, B.C.-based venture firm, is approaching a first close on Chrysalix Energy LP IV, reports peHUB. The firm hopes to raise between $150 million and $250 million for the fund.
Comcast, the 52-year-old, Philadelphia-headquartered broadcasting and cable giant, is launching a new, growth-stage investment group to be headed by Comcast‘s CFO, Michael Angelakis, who will leave his current post to lead it. Angelakis’s team will reportedly have up to $4.1 billion to invest. It isn’t yet clear how closely it will work with Comcast Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm. More here.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has struck a deal with lawmakers to include a $100 million venture capital fund in the state budget, according to Bloomberg. The fund will be used to support startups engaged in biotechnology and advanced materials.
Etsy, the 10-year-old, Brooklyn-based crafts marketplace, thinks it’s worth $1.78 billion. After filing its S1 in early March, the company announced yesterday that it would launch its IPO roadshow today, offering 16.67 million shares at an initial offering price of between $14 and $16 per share. Business Insider has the story here.
GoDaddy, the 18-year-old, Scottsdale, Az.-based online service that helps people and businesses set up web sites, just debuted on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, after raising $440 million in its initial public offering. GoDaddy wound up pricing its shares at $20, above an earlier targeted range of $17 to $19 a share. At its IPO price, the company has a market value of more than $3 billion (though as of this writing, the stock is trading at $26). Stay tuned!
Trada, a seven-year-old, Boulder, Co.based company that crowdsourced search-engine ad purchasing, has shut down its operations, saying it was unable to pay its creditors. The company reportedly employed nearly 100 people at one point. According to Crunchbase, Trada raised at least $19 million from investors, including Foundry Group and Google Ventures. Denver Business Journal has the story.
CEOs who made their fortune before age 30.
Fiksu, a 6.5-year-old, Boston-based mobile marketing technology company that last year said it had surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, has laid off about 10 percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization, and CFO Ken Goldman — brought aboard less than a year ago to help it prepare for a possible IPO — has left. BetaBoston has the story here.
Roger McNamee, cofounder of Elevation Partners, told CNBC yesterday that the lack of women at the top of venture capital firms is “tragic.” One of the problems, McNamee offered, is that many people in engineering “his age” likely never interacted much with women in a professional setting. “You almost need a generational change to get past that fear of treating women as real people,” he said.
Entrepreneur Sean Parker and investor Ron Conway are throwing their weight behind a new think tank in Washington that aims to craft centrist proposals to stimulate the economy and press Congress to enact them. It’s called the Economic Innovation Group and it launched yesterday after a reported 18 months of behind-the-scenes preparation. Politico has more here.
Behind that Forbes cover story on investor Chris Sacca (video).
The folks at Silk analyzed Angel.co, CrunchBase and LinkedIn to build a nifty picture of the drone startup landscape, breaking the companies down by field, location, and fundraising.
The anonymous messaging app Yik Yak is testing a photo feature. The company says it will moderate and approve all photos, which sounds like a nightmare but would prevent photos that feature faces — or worse — to make it into users’ feeds.
The man who makes Hollywood’s smallest sounds.
Now this manifesto, we can get behind.