Hi, everyone! Hope you have a great Tuesday.
Top News in the A.M.
Google has finally launched Android One, a standard created for Android devices in developing countries, in Africa. VentureBeat has more here.
In other Google news, the next version of Android, called “Marshmallow,” is reportedly coming soon, though there’s no official timetable. TechCrunch has more here.
EShares, Now Valued at $77 Million, Looks Far Beyond Silicon Valley
Three-year-old eShares digitizes paper stock certificates along with stock options, warrants, and derivatives to create a real-time picture of who owns what at a startup. It also makes it far simpler to transfer ownership of all of the above — which goes a long way in explaining the company’s traction. The Mountain View, Ca.-based outfit right now maintains the cap tables of 1,500 companies, including Slack and Blue Bottle Coffee, and says it’s adding 200 more companies each month. Perhaps more important, eShares has won the trust of roughly 35 law firms, the gatekeepers for most startups and their paper certificates.
But eShares — which has just raised $17 million in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of $77 million from insiders like Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures — isn’t just racing to win over tech startups. Now, the 42-person company wants the rest of the world’s still-private small and mid-size businesses on its platform, too.
We talked with cofounder and CEO Henry Ward about his big plans yesterday.
As of last year, eShares charged companies $159 a month or roughly $1,900 a year to maintain an ongoing valuation. It also charged a $20 fee every time a company issued a new grant and another $20 every time someone exercised the sale of one of their holdings.
That hasn’t changed, and the model works well at the early stage, though a lot of our larger customers go to an all-you-can-eat annual subscription model. We don’t publish the pricing (publicly) but that typically happens when companies hit 50 employees.
Worth noting: Employees on eShares can hook up their bank account to their eShares account and self-exercise their options and we wire the money straight to the company, as well as issue the employee new stock certificates. It’s much easier than the normal paper exercise, where employees have to get the company to process [the transaction every time they want to exercise their options].
You must have pretty good insight into what’s happening in terms of secondary sales, too. Are you noticing more shares selling to insiders versus third parties or vice versa?
>I can’t talk specifics, but secondaries are getting a lot of attention. We joined forces with [the secondary investment firm] Industry Ventures [which participated in eShare’s new round] to work on streamlining the process and bringing more transparency to it.
As an investor, does Industry Ventures get “first dibs” on secondary sales where you’re helping companies facilitate their movement?
For more of our conversation with Ward, click here.
Apiary, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based company that aims to make API development simpler and more collaborative, has raised $6.8 million in Series A funding led by Flybridge Capital Partners, with participation from Baseline Ventures and Credo Ventures. The company has now raised $8.4 million to date. More here.
Away, a months-old, New York-based direct-to-consumer luggage company that sources its own components and promises to bring down prices by cutting out middle men, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding co-led by Forerunner Ventures and Accel Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
BuzzFeed, the seven-year-old, New York-based media company, has raised $200 million in funding from NBCUniversal. (Recode had reported this was coming a couple of weeks ago, though its number was off by $50 million.) The company has now raised roughly $300 million altogether, including from Andreessen Horowitz, New Enterprise Associates, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and RRE Ventures. More here.
CloudDesk, a two-year-old, Singapore-based desktop virtualization software company that originally targeted educational institutions and is now moving into other commercial and governmental sectors, has raised roughly $418,000 from the Singapore National Research Foundation and IncuVest, a Singapore-based investment firm and incubator. The outlet e27 has more here.
Datameer, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based big data analytics company built on Hadoop, has raised $40 million in Series E funding led by ST Telemedia, an investment firm based in Singapore. Top Tier Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Redpoint Ventures, Next World Capital, and Software AG also participated. The company has now raised more than $76 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Deezer, an eight-year-old, Paris, France-based music-streaming service that targets consumers in Europe and Africa, is seeking funds from investors in a transaction that could value it at about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), reports Bloomberg. Deezer has 16 million actively monthly users and 6 million paid subscribers, compared with Spotify’s more than 75 million active users and 20 million subscribers. More here.
Filament, a three-year-old, Reno, Nev.-based developer of decentralized Internet-of-things infrastructure, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led byBullpen Capital, with participation from Verizon Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Samsung Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Haystack, Working Lab Capital, and Techstars. More here.
First Light Fusion, a four-year-old, Oxford, England-based company that was spun out from the University of Oxford to develop a process for achieving affordable fusion energy, has raised £22.7 million ($35.5 million) from investors, including the intellectual property business IP Group, a fund managed by Invesco Asset Management, clients advised or managed by Sandaire Investment Office, and the University of Oxford.
MarketInvoice, a four-year-old, London-based peer-to-peer business lender, has raised £6 million ($10 million) from Northzone and the family office of Paul Forster, the co-founder of job search engine Indeed.com. Business Insider has more here.
Marvel, a two-year-old, London-based startup that lets users turn sketches into mobile app “prototypes,” has raised $2 million in new seed funding from Index Ventures and Connect Ventures, with participation from earlier backers. TechCrunch has more here.
Peach, a year-old, Seattle-based company whose web-based technology provides order processing and food logistics services to restaurants under a revenue-sharing agreement, has raised $8 million in Series A financing led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from Vulcan Capital. Xconomy has much more here.
Piramal Realty, the four-year-old, Mumbai, India-based real estate development arm of the Piramal Group, has raised $150 million from Goldman Sachs in exchange for a minority stake in its business. The capital follows roughly $284 million invested in the company earlier this year by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The Hindu has the story here.
Platform9, a two-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based cloud service that aims to transform infrastructure into an agile, self-service private cloud in minutes, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from earlier backer Redpoint Ventures. The company has now raised $14.5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Roposo, a nearly two-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based fashion discovery startup, has raised $15 million from Tiger Global Management just a few months after having attracted a $5 million Series A check from the firm. Times of India has the story here.
Solu, a year-old, Helsinki, Finland-based startup that’s operating in stealth but is reportedly targeting the personal computer market with a new type of OS and its own hardware, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from KSV Finland, along with numerous individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Swipe, a three-year-old, London-based, web-based PowerPoint alternative that features audience analytics, real-time polls and live syncing, has raised an undisclosed amount of capital from earlier investors Passion Capital and Playfair Capital. The company say it has now raised roughly $1 million in total. TechCrunch has more here.
Talenta, a 1.5-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based, cloud-based human resources management startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of bridge funding led by Fenox Venture Capital, with participation from earlier backer East Ventures. Tech in Asia has more here.
Tracksmith, a 2.5-year-old, Wellsley, Ma.-based running apparel brand that features classic styling (think “run-swim-run” shorts, among other things), has raised $4.1 million in Series A funding led Pentland Brands, the management group behind Reebok, Speedo, and Lacoste footwear, among other sporting brands. The company has now raised $5.7 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
OMERS Ventures, the four-year-old venture unit of Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, has raised $199 million in new funding. The WSJ has more here.
Joanne Bradford, a longtime media executive who was most recently Pinterest’s head of partnerships, has joined the online lender SoFi as its chief operating officer. Recode has the story here.
Entrepreneur-investor Justin Kan was the victim of a hate crime over the weekend, when an unidentified man wrote a derogatory racial epithet on his garage door. Reports Buzzfeed: After a neighbor painted over the epithet in the wrong color (without seeking Kan’s approval), and a TV station misspelled his last name, Kan joked on Facebook hat he’d been the “victim of a hate crime, a help crime, and now a name crime.”
Product Hunt, the app discovery site, is taking aim at Reddit and Twitter by introducing live interviews.
Uber, the ride-sharing startup that has suffered from several data breaches, plans to quadruple the size of its 25-person security team by year end, its chief security officer Joe Sullivan told the Financial Times yesterday. More here.
This is what happens to your body when you stop exercising. (Do not read if you’ve stopped exercising.)
Manspreading, upstreaming, and other stock photos of New Yorkers.
Future grooms, a very high bar has just been set.
If you liked Lite-Brite as a kid, you’re going to love (like?) Everbright.