Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome back.
Top News in the A.M.
Climate talks got underway in Paris this morning, with French President Francois Hollande saying the world was at a “breaking point” in the fight against global warming.
TrialPay Cofounder Back with Fractional Home Ownership Startup
Point — an 11-month-old, Palo Alto-based home equity marketplace that plans to take people’s homes and make them completely liquid, divisible and tradable by letting owners sell fractional equity in them — is raising funding, shows a new SEC filing.
It’s a fascinating concept that we think has only been tried in the past with vacation rentals by high-end developers, including Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton.
Point was co-founded by Eddie Lim, who co-founded the e-commerce payment platform TrialPay, which Visa acquired in 2013 for undisclosed terms.
Don’t be surprised to see Andreessen Horowitz lead or participate in this round. In August, the Sand Hill Road firm brought aboard another TrialPay co-founder (and Lim’s fellow Harvard classmate), Alex Rampell, as a general partner to focus on financial tech startups.
Atzuche, a two-year-old, Shanghai-based peer-to-peer car rental start-up, has raised $47 million in Series B funding from China Pacific Insurance, Ivy Capital, Hearst Capital, Matrix Partners and Ceyuan Ventures. The company had reportedly raised $10 million in Series A funding roughly a year ago, led by Matrix. China Money Network has more here.
Bee, a new, New York-based company that provides bank accounts, debit cards and financial services to people who live in low- and middle-income neighborhoods, has raised $4.6 million in funding in two rounds of seed funding, including from AXA Strategic Ventures, Blue Seed Capital, Fenway Summer Ventures, Funders Guild and T5 Capital. Venture Capital Dispatch has the story here. (Meanwhile, you can find the app here.)
GOQii, a 1.5-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based wearable and fitness technology startup, has raised $13.4 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Cheetah Mobile; Great Wall Club; DSG Consumer Partners; and numerous individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Iguaz.io, a year-old, Herzliya Israel-based stealth-mode company that says it’s rebuilding the framework for dealing with big data in a way that integrates information from numerous storage and processing platforms, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Magma Venture Partners. Jerusalem Venture Partners also participated in the round, along with other, unnamed, strategic investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Pinrose, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer fragrance brand that sells perfume through a try-at-home model, has raised $2.1 million in seed funding, including from Harrison Metal Capital, Grace Beauty, investor Andy Rachleff, and ZIG Capital, among others. Venture Capital Dispatch has the story here.
Pluss, a months-old, Gurgaon, India-based on-demand medicine and healthcare products delivery service startup, has raised $1 million in pre-Series A funding from IDG Ventures India, m & s partners in Singapore, and Powerhouse Ventures in the U.S. Times of India has more here.
Stayglad, an eight-month-old, Bangalore, India-based on-demand beauty services startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and Anil Chopra, former CEO of Lakme Lever. The outlet e27 has more here.
Vector Watch, a two-year-old Bucharest-based maker of a low-power operating system for wearables, has raised $5 million in funding led by GECAD Group, with participation from Catalyst Romania. Tech.eu has more here.
Yixia Tech, the two-year-old Beijing, China-based company behind a popular Chinese video blogging app called Miao Pai, has raised $200 million in Series D funding from Weibo, Sequoia Capital, YG Entertainment, and other investors at a valuation of $1 billion. TechCrunch has more here.
Anthemis Group, a five-year-old, London-based investment and advisory firm, is planning to raise $100 million debut fund to invest in early-stage financial tech startups. The firm’s founders include former Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein head of digital markets Sean Park; Udayan Goyal, Deutsche Bank’s former global head of financial technology advisory; and Nadeem Shaikh, former head of financial institutions at First Data Corporation. More here.
Cayuga Venture Fund, a 21-year-old, Ithaca, N.Y.-based venture fund that invests in New York state, has held a $20.5 million first closing on its fifth fund. It’s reportedly targeting between $30 million and $50 million.
Hostplus, a $20-plus-billion hospitality and sports super fund (it’s akin to a pension fund in the United States), plans to pour $400 million into venture capital firms in the next five years, according to Australia’s Financial Review. Among its newest investments: Blackbird Ventures’s new $200 million fund, which we’d written about here.
Atlassian‘s IPO road show begins this week. The 13-year-old, Sydney, Australia-headquartered company, which makes project management and collaboration software, now plans to raise between $330 million and $370 million, sources tell Fortune.
Perk.com, which makes mobile apps that reward users for watching TV, unlocking their phones, online shopping, surfing the web and more, is acquiring the mobile app development platform Corona Labs for a total of $2.3 million. TechCrunch has more here.
Some of the world’s most powerful individuals are forming a new organization called Breakthrough Energy Coalition to invest in tech that could help climate change. The coalition includes Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg; Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and many others. Geekwire has the full list and other details here.
Founders Fund partners Scott Nolan and Aaaron VanDevender talk with us about the firm’s processes, deal flow, and its newest big bets.
R.I.P Kathryn Gould, venture pioneer, straight shooter, lover of curse words.
VC Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital gives The Sunday Times a look at a day in his life (in what’s become an unusual and welcome string of interviews): “I am up at 5 am and I start each day with exercise,” he starts. “Two days a week I go for a swim and two days a week I do a bike spin class. I may have been born in Wales, but I’ve fallen for the California lifestyle, hook, line and sinker . . .”
Marie-Hortense Varin has joined the venture firm Partech Ventures as a senior associate in Paris. Varin worked previously as a consultant at Bain & Company and was involved in the development of Rocket Internet in Africa, working on the logistics of the e-retailer Jumia in Egypt.
Vivo Capital, a healthcare-focused investment firm that funds both private and public companies in the U.S. and China, is looking to hire an associate. The job is in Palo Alto, Ca.
Amazon may have a secret air cargo operation called Aerosmith. (Meanwhile, Amazon released a video yesterday showing off its new Prime Air drone design.)
Google Glass could return as a monocole.
A San Francisco couple’s elite supper club captures Airbnb’s attention.
Silicon Valley is growing up — and giving parents a break.
Is there a secret behind King Tut’s tomb?
Did you know: L.A. is now home to more manufacturing jobs than anywhere else in the U.S.
How men’s and women’s brains appear to age differently.
The Valkyrie, and 26 other extravagant gifts for when money is no object.