Hi, happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. (We’re still trying to recover from ours.)
Top News in the A.M.
Google announced this morning that it’s launching an experimental portal that allows interested patent holders to sell their patents to the company.
A Far-from-Comprehensive List of Women We’d Hire as VCs
In recent weeks, StrictlyVC has received several requests from readers asking what women we’d propose that venture firms hire. The timing isn’t surprising. Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins dominated the headlines throughout March and triggered anew discussions about the gender imbalance in the venture community. Then there was Fortune’s sit-down with Marc Andreessen, in which he said his venture firm – whose general partners are exclusively male — has repeatedly tried, and failed, to hire the same female executive as a GP.
VCs are asking recruiters for help, too, says Joe Riggione, a cofounder of the executive recruiting firm True Capital, who tells us that even before the Pao trial got underway, “we’d begun getting investor searches where they asked us to prioritize female candidates.”
Riggione sees a particularly “big opportunity on the operator side,” because so many women have the engineering, product and marketing experience that would make them attractive venture candidates, particularly for investor roles where they can be groomed into general partners.
We don’t think it’s all that hard to come up with potential general partners, either. Let’s face it: Any top female executive would have the same odds of developing a great track record as a male executive pulled into a venture firm (or founding their own). In fact, in little more than an hour this weekend, we came up with a short list of 16 women that firms would be smart to pursue if they’re truly interested in diversity (and they should be, for the obvious reason that more diverse teams are more effective teams). Here’s what we came up with, in alphabetical order. Note: we have not talked to these women about this list or gauged their interest in VC.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy. Cassidy is the founder and CEO of the e-commerce video platform company Joyus. We’ve no idea how it’s doing, though it has raised $41 million, including a $22 million round led by Marker last November. (It also just settled a lawsuit against it by a company claiming it infringed on its patents.) We’d probably hire Cassidy no matter its fate. Before Joyus, she served (briefly) as the CEO of Polyvore, spent a year as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel Partners, and before that, logged five-and-a-half years as president of Asia Pacific and Latin America operations at Google. Cassidy was also a senior VP of business development at the now publicly traded company Yodlee, which she helped form with numerous colleagues from Amazon, where, yes, she also once worked, as a business development manager. (And her resume goes on. In fact, this reporter wrote a piece for BusinessWeek about Cassidy’s impressive track record back in 2001.)
Caterina Fake. A Vassar grad, Fake cofounded Flickr and Hunch, both of which were acquired for nice sums (by Yahoo and eBay, respectively). Fake is also a seasoned investor who is a partner of Founder Collective and has made numerous seed-stage investments, including in the online marketplace Etsy, where she wound up serving as board chair for five years. Fake is currently running her newest company, four-year-old Findery, and likely wants to see it through to some natural exit. It could be worth starting to woo her from now, though.
Shana Fisher. Fisher may not be interested in working for anyone but herself, which is currently the case, but it’d be worth making the effort to see. Fisher currently runs her own New York-based, early-stage firm, High Line Venture Partners, but earlier in her career, she was an SVP of strategic planning at IAC; served as a VP and director of media and technology mergers and acquisitions at Allen & Company; and, oh, yeah, was a program manager at Microsoft before that. Did we mention that she was also one of the first investors in Pinterest?
Kimber Lockhart: Lockhart was recently appointed chief technology officer at One Medical Group, a very well-funded primary care practice, which she’d joined in April of last year as its VP of engineering. Given that plum assignment, she might be hard to wrest from the company, but if we were hiring, we’d give it a shot. Before joining One Medical, the Stanford grad was a senior director of web application engineering at the storage company Box, which she joined in 2009 after it acquired her two-year-old collaborative document editing startup Increo Solutions.
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C2P, a 12-year-old, Singapore-based e-payments processing company, has raised $7 million in Series C funding led by Amun Capital AG and GMO Venture Partners. The company has now raised just more tthan $10 million, it says. Tech In Asia has more here.
Chariot, a year-old, San Francisco, CA-based startup that operates 14-passenger vans across San Francisco on five set routes that passengers can book for $3 to $5 using their smartphones, has raised $3 million in funding, including from SoftTech VC, Maven Ventures, and Haystack. The company was incubated at Y Combinator. Bloomberg hasmore here.
CoverFox, a two-year-old, Mumbai, India-based online platform which lets users quickly compare and purchase insurance packages, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. Tech-Portal has more here.
Diandao, a nine-month-old, Beijing, China-based on-demand massage app that allows users (in Beijing and Shanghai alone, currently) to order at-home massages, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Banyan Capital, with participation from 58Daojia, a local startup that specializes in other on-demand services for things like housekeeping and beauty treatments. Tech In Asia has more here.
Fliplet, a six-year-old, TK-based enterprise app platform that claims to help customers create, manage and securely distribute apps without writing code or creating designs, has raised roughly £500,000 ($780,000) in seed funding from angel investors, including Ben Wynne-Simmons, a Techstars mentor and former associate director at 3i. TechCrunch hasmore here.
Helijia, a year-old, Beijing, China-based startup that provides on-demand manicure, facial, and hair-styling services, has raised $49.5 million in Series C funding led by Qiming Venture Partners, according to a Wechat post spied by China Money Network. Other investors include Maison Capital, GX Capital, and earlier backers IDG Capital Partners and Broadband Capital.
HomeSlice, a two-year-old, San Luis Obispo, Ca.-based startup company whose app helps roommates build their own private social networks to manage the splitting of bills, chores, grocery shopping and more, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from an undisclosed investor. More here.
Immunio, a 1.5-year-old, Montreal, Canada-based web security startup that vows to make web applications immune to exploitation by malicious actors in less than two minutes, has raised $2.7 million in seed funding from Hoxton Ventures, Real Ventures, and Bloomberg Beta.
Jimubox, a 1.5-year-old, Beijing, China-based peer-to-peer lending startup, has raised $84 million in Series C funding led by Investec Bank, with participation from Haitong Kaiyuan Investment, Mandra Capital, Zhong Capital Fund, and earlier backers Matrix China Partners, Xiaomi, Shunwei Capital, Ventech China, and Magic Stone Alternative. The round comes just months after Jimubox closed on $37 million from Xiaomi and ShunWei, a venture fund headed by the phone maker’s founder, Lei Jun. Tech In Asia has more here.
MediaPro, a 22-year-old, Bothell, Wa.-based company that makes corporate security, privacy, and compliance training software and develops custom courseware, has raised $5 million in funding from Clovis Point Capital. It appears to be the company’s first institutional round.
Neuronetics, a 12-year-old, Malvern, Pa.-based medical device company that develops non-invasive therapies for psychiatric and neurological disorders using magnetic field pulses, has raised $34.3 million in Series F funding from GE Ventures and unnamed earlier backers. (Some of those include Three Arch Partners, InterWest Partners, ONSET Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments, and Polaris Partners.) The company has now raised $94.3 million altogether, according to Crunchbase.
Predixion Software, a six-year-old, Aliso Viejo, Ca.-based developer of cloud-based predictive analytics software, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding led by Software AG, with participation from GE Ventures and other unnamed earlier backers. The company had previously raised at least $32.8 million, shows Crunchbase. Among its earlier backers are Toba Capital, Frost Data Capital, Accenture, DFJ Frontier, and Miramar Venture Partners.
Property Online, the three-year-old, Chennai, India-based company that owns real estate classifieds portal IndiaProperty.com, is raising more than $50 million, reports Live Mint. In December 2013, the company raised $12 million in Series B funding, led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Canaan Partners, and Mayfield India. Altogether, it has raised $19 million to date, says the outlet.
Scanadu, a Mountain View, Ca.-based company that’s building a family of mobile medical devices, including a puck-shaped, sensor-filled scanner that reads vital signs, has raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Fosun International and Tencent Holdings, with participation from China Broadband Capital, Iglobe Partners, and earlier backers Relay Ventures, Redmile Group, Ame Cloud Ventures, and Three Leaf Ventures. Scanadu, which StrictlyVC first profiled in late 2013, has now raised $49.7 million altogether.
UrbanClap, an eight-month-old, Delhi, India-based mobile services marketplace, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and the founders of Snapdeal: Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. More here.
Visual Supply Co., a four-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based company known for its VSCO Cam, a mobile app that lets users edit and share their images, has raised $30 million in Series B funding from Glynn Capital Management, with participation from earlier backers Accel Partners and Goldcrest Investments, reports Bloomberg. The company has now raised at least $70 million, including a $40 million Series A round announced in May of last year.
Westwing, a four-year-old, Munich, Germany-based e-commerce company selling furniture and homeware products, has raised €30m ($32.5 million) in Series E funding led by earlier backer Investment AB Kinnevik, with participation from other previous investors, including Access Industries, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Odey, Rocket Internet, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Ventures. The Berlusconi family also reportedly invested in the company for the first time. More here.
Xiaomi, the five-year-old, Beijing, China-based maker of smartphones and other consumer electronics, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from famed Indian businessman Ratan Tata. The round comes just five months after the company raised $1.1 billion at a $45 billion valuation led by All-Stars Investment, a tech investment fund run by former Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Ji. TechCrunch has more here.
Knightsbridge Advisers, a 32-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based fund-of-funds investment firm, has closed its eighth venture capital pool with$ 203 million, as well as created a $50 million separate account around an undisclosed investor.
TPG Growth, the San Francisco, Ca.-based middle market and growth equity investment firm, has officially closed its latest fund at $3 billion. Dealbook has the latest here.
Whitecap Venture Partners, a Toronto-based firm that began as the venture arm of a family office, has held a first close on its third fund, having received $70 million in commitments from its first outside LPs, including Kensington Venture Fund, Bank of Montreal, and several high net-worth families. Whitecap focuses on three verticals: information technology, med tech, and what it calls food tech.
JP Morgan Asset Management has acquired the India portfolio of Canaan Partners, according to Live Mint. JP Morgan, in an emailed statement to the outlet, declined to comment on the acquisition. (The Economic Times and other India-based outlets reported last month that JPMorgan was the “frontrunner” to buy the portfolio for more than $200 million, which would be the largest secondary portfolio sale in India’s private equity and venture capital market.)
Defense contractor Raytheon is buying Websense, the cybersecurity firm, for $1.9 billion. Reuters has more here.
Bigcommerce, a six-year-old, Austin, Tx.-based software maker that helps small businesses set up online stores, is close to announcing its first acquisition, according to Recode. It’s reportedly buying ZingCheckout, a 4.5-year-old startup that makes checkout software and inventory management tools for brick-and-mortar businesses. ZingCheckout raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in 2012 from Capital Factory, shows Crunchbase.
Dan Fredinburg, a 33-year-old who headed privacy for Google X and product management for the overall privacy team, died Saturday morning of a head injury after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest. According to aRecode report, Fredinburg along with fellow Googlers Michele Battelli and Flo Nagl, were scaling the world’s tallest mountain together. Battelli and Nagl suffered non-life-threatening injuries.Peter Hamby, a top CNN political reporter, is leaving the network to join Snapchat as Head of News, reports Politico. More here.
Lars Rasmussen — Facebook’s engineering director, who helped create and run the Facebook search engine Graph Search and later the burgeoning Facebook at Work initiative — is leaving the company in June to co-found a music startup with his fiancé. TechCrunch has much more here.
Madame Tussauds, which has been looking to add a new wax figure of a tech innovator to its San Francisco location, has narrowed down the field to 10 finalists, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. They include SpaceX and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, filmmaker George Lucas, Google CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Pixar Animation Studio president and co-founder Ed Catmull, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Exploratorium founder Frank Oppenheimer and Wired magazine co-founder Jane Metcalfe.
European venture investment in the first quarter: The WSJ breaks down the numbers here.
Xiaomi expects revenue from mobile services—such as games and a payment app—that it sells to more than triple this year to nearly $1 billion, says founder and CEO Lei Jun.
The popularity of mobile phones in India is driving Flipkart, the country’s biggest e-commerce company, to shut down its website within a year. More here.
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