Top News in the A.M.
China’s securities regulator plans to lift its moratorium on new stock market listings before the end of the year, the official news agency Xinhua said today. More here.
In India, a Founder Detained for Days By Axed Employees, and Police
Well that was . . . different.
Last night, one of six cofounders of TinyOwl, a two-year-old, Mumbai, India-based food ordering software startup, was released after reportedly being held captive for two days by disgruntled former employees at the company’s office in Pune.
TinyOwl had earlier this week announced $7.67 million in fresh funding from earlier backers Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital. But the funding came with the understanding that TinyOwl would follow through on a major restructuring to control its burn rate.
Part of those changes, reported the Economic Times, involved moving TinyOwl’s order processing to a third party app. According to Media Nama, they also included plans to lay off 112 sales employees across India in a second massive round of layoffs. (In September, reportedly, the company had separately laid off 100 employees.)
As part of that restructuring plan, the company is shutting down its operations in four cities, including Pune. Which leads us to what happened to company cofounder Gaurav Choudhary.
Choudhary had traveled to Pune earlier this week to oversee the office’s closure, while his fellow cofounders – all of whom are graduates of IIT Bombay — traveled to sites in Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad to do the same.
Biological Dynamics, seven-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company whose technology is used to monitor patients treated for cancer, has raised $26.8 million in Series C funding led by an unnamed investor associated with a university. Other participants included Alexandria Venture Investments, Heritage Group and Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. More here.
BrightFarms, a four-year-old, New York-based locally grown produce purveyor, has raised $13.65 million in Series B-1 financing from WP Global Partners, NGEN Partners, Emil Capital Partners and other investors. More here.
BuildingConnected, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of bid management software, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by CrossLink Capital, with participation from Homebrew, Freestyle Capital, Bee Partners and Brick & Mortar Ventures. More here.
Hasselblad, the 174-year-old, Gothenburg, Sweden-based high-end camera maker, has accepted an undisclosed amount of money from the China-based, venture-backed drone maker DJI in exchange for a minority stake in its business. The deal is significant enough that DJI gets a board seat in the transaction. TechCrunch has more here.
HotChalk, an 11-year-old, Campbell, Ca.-based platform that helps non-profit universities and colleges create online graduate degrees and currently supports 33 online degree programs, is raising $230 million from the European media group Bertelsmann, which will become the largest shareholder in the company. Reuters has more here.
Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s year-old, L.A.-based super high-speed transportation project, has raised $26 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from Formation 8 and Sherpa Capital. The company has now raised roughly $37 million altogether. Fortune has more here.
Relayr, a two-year-old, Berlin-based Internet-of-Things startup, has raised more than $11 million in Series A funding from Munich Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Tech.eu has more here.
TicketManager, an eight-year-old, Calabasas, Ca.-based startup whose software and services help businesses measure and manage the cost, use and effect of client and employee rewards, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by previous backer Point Judith Capital, with participation from Kayne Partners. More here.
Payments company Square, which filed to go public last month, has filed new paperwork suggesting it plans to sell 27 million shares at between $11 and $13 per share. As Fortune notes, at the high end of the range, Square would be valued at $4.19 billion. Meanwhile, its last private round of funding, in October 2014, pegged its valuation at $6 billion. More about the offering — which would represent roughly 8 percent of the company’s outstanding shares — here.
Livescribe, an eight-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based smart pen maker, has been acquired for $15 million by Anoto, a digital writing company in Sweden. The sale represents a sizable loss for investors, who’d plugged at least $68 million into the company. According to CrunchBase, its backers include VantagePoint Capital Partners, Crosslink Capital, Scale Venture Partners, andQualcomm Ventures.
Sosh, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based online marketplace that allowed users to find things to do in their city, is shutting down, with 18 of its 40 employees headed to Postmates as part of an acquihire. Sosh CEO Rishi Mandal is also joining the company. None of Sosh’s technology is part of the deal, reports TechCrunch. Sosh had raised a little more than $16 million from investors, shows CrunchBase. Backers include Redpoint Ventures, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Battery Ventures, and Polaris Partners.
Robert De Niro is apparently out of patience when it comes to these tech moguls and their condescending attitudes.
Steve Newcomb’s newest company, Famo.us, is pivoting again and firing 20 people in the process.
Agriculture startups raised $113.6 million in the third quarter, reports Venture Capital Dispatch. That’s the highest amount raised in a quarter since industry tracker Dow Jones VentureSource began collecting data in 1992. The amount raised in the agriculture and forestry sector has hit $161.1 million 2015 so far.
Goldman Sachs says it will start promoting junior bankers faster to prevent them from defecting — including to tech startups.
Faraday Future, an under-the-radar, 18-month-old, Gardena, Ca.-based company, already has 400 employees and big ambitions to take on Tesla.
Toyota is coming to Silicon Valley with plans to spend $1 billion on artificial intelligence R&D.
Behind rising inequality: more unequal companies.
Two guys, wearing jetpacks, flying alongside an Airbus A380. NBD.
When James Bond chases bad guys in the Alps, he wears Danner Boots to keep his feet dry and comfortable.
Aziz Ansari in “Master of None.” Available on Netflix today.