Hi, happy Tuesday, everyone!
Top News in the A.M.
Uber says it’s launching a pilot program that will use its drivers’ smartphone gyrometer data to determine if they are checking their phones too frequently, or driving too fast.
Zach Sims of Codecademy on (Still) Not Charging Users
Though the four-year-old online platform Codecademy now teaches employable tech skills to 25 million users around the globe, it still doesn’t charge for its services, some early testing notwithstanding. The company is choosing instead to remain focused on growth before introducing what CEO Zach Sims describes as a “prosumer” business.
In today’s market, that’s an unusual stance to maintain. It’s even more unusual because Codecademy has raised just $12.5 million over the years, a small sum by the standards of most online learning platforms. The six-year-old, San Francisco-based online learning and teaching marketplace Udemy, for example, has raised $113 million to date.
In a sit-down in Davos, we asked Sims about Codecademy’s strategy; whether he’s feeling nervous about waiting so long to charge (or else raise more capital); and if Codecademy might eventually branch into the seemingly lucrative business of coding boot camps.
5miles, a 1.5-year-old, Dallas and Beijing-based location-centric mobile marketplace app that competes with Craigslist, VarageSale and others, has raised $30 million in new funding led by Blue Lake Capital. IDG, Morningside, SIG-China and individuals who have worked with or invested in Alibaba, also joined the round. The Dallas Morning News has more here.
Authorea, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based science collaboration and publishing platform, has raised $1.5 million in funding led by Lux Capital, with participation from the Knight Foundation and earlier backers ff Venture Capital and New York Angels.
Cedexis, a six-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based company that helps large enterprises monitor and optimize how their traffic flows from their servers, CDNs and cloud providers to their customers, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. Ginko Ventures led the round, with participation from Foxconn, Nokia Growth Partners, Citrix Systems Ventures and earlier backers Madrona Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures. The company has now raised $40.2 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Codiak Biosciences, a year-old, San Francisco-based developing exosomes as both a therapeutic modality and an advanced diagnostic system, has raised $61 million in Series B funding led by ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures, with participation from the Alaska Permanent Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and Fidelity. The company has now raised $92 million altogether. MedCity News has more here.
CosmosID, a nine-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based metagenomics startup that has a curated library of roughly 65,000 viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that it says can identify in a prepared sample in minutes, has raised $6 million in Series B funding from undisclosed investors. MedCity News has more here.
Eyeota, a three-year-old, Singapore-based ad-targeting and consumer data startup, has raised $7 million in Series A funding, including from Global Brain Corporation, Infinity Venture Partners, and Project A Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
FaceIt, a three-year-old, London-based platform for competitive e-sports (it enables videogame fans to watch game play online), has raised $15 million in funding co-led by Index Ventures and Anthos Capital, with participation from United Ventures. Variety has more here.
Fireglass, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based enterprise network security company, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Singtel Innov8, co-founder of Imperva and Trusteer Mickey Boodaei, and co-founder of Trusteer, Rakesh Loonkar. TechCrunch has more here.
Grovo, a 5.5-year-old, New York-based online platform focused on enabling users to learn new business skills, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by earlier backer Accel Partners, with participation from Costanoa Venture Capital, SoftTech VC, Vayner Capital, and investor-operator Greg Waldorf. The company has now raised $65 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
HopSkipDrive, a year-old, L.A.-based ride service for kids, has raised $10.2 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from new investors Greycroft Partners, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and earlier backers Upfront Ventures, BBG Ventures and 1776. TechCrunch hasmore here.
Jan Medical, a 13-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based medical device company that makes a non-invasive, portable brain sensing system designed as a rapid aid to help diagnose abnormal neurological conditions like concussion and stroke, has raised $7.5 million in Series C funding from Brainlab, itself a privately held, Munich-based medical technology company. MedCity News hasmore here.
Jitterbit, a 10-year-old, Alameda, Ca.-based enterprise software company whose cloud-based app integration platform is used by some 35,000 customers, has raised $20 million in funding led by KKR. TechCrunch has more here.
ParkWhiz, a nine-year-old, Chicago-based parking startup, has raised $24 million in Series C funding led by Baird Capital, with participation from Beringea and Jump Capital. The company, which has now raised $36 million altogether, has also just acquired a New-York based competitor, BestParking, for undisclosed terms. TechCrunch has more here.
Powerhive, a four-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based company that enables the development, financing, and management of renewable solar micrograms in emerging markets, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Prelude Ventures, with participation from First Solar, Total Energy Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Caterpillar Venture Capital, the corporate venture arm of the publicly traded construction giant Caterpillar.
Seebo, a 3.5-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that offers an Internet of Things (IoT) end-to-end platform to help companies launch smart products faster, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Carmel Ventures, with participation from earlier backers, including TPY Capital. The company has now raised $14 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
SnapMD, a 2.5-year-old, Glendale, Ca.-based telemedicine startup telemedicine platform that helps physicians conduct scheduled virtual consultations with patients who are receiving ongoing treatment, has raised $5.3 million in fresh funding from Shea Ventures, TYLT Labs, and Whittier Ventures. MedCity News has more here.
Vidyard, a 4.5-year-old, Kitchener, Ontario-based startup whose software helps companies use online video to boost sales, has raised $35 million in Series C funding led by Battery Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, OMERS Ventures, iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC. (In fact, the company has released a “Star Wars”-themed video to announce the funding.)
Qiming Venture Partners, a 10-year-old, Shanghai, China-based venture firm that was an early investor in smartphone maker Xiaomi, has raised $650 million for its fifth fund, including from Princeton University, reports DealStreetAsia. Qiming closed its fourth fund with $500 million in 2014 and closed its third fund with $450 million in 2011. Last year, the early-stage firm, which backs everything from healthcare to IT to cleantech, also raised a separate, $75 million fund to pack more funding into its breakaway portfolio companies.
Sony is acquiring 10-year-old, Israel-based Altair Semiconductor for $212 million. Altair makes chips that connect devices to LTE, and its technology will help develop Sony’s Internet of Things business. According to CrunchBase, Altair had raised $124 million from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners and Jerusulem Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today announced a new CMO for the company —Leslie Berland, who joins from American Express, where she spent the last decade, most recently as EVP, Global Advertising, Marketing and Digital Partnerships . More here.
Huawei Technologies is looking to hire a corporate development investment director. The job is in Santa Clara, Ca.
Spotify is looking for a corporate development lead. The job is in New York.
A Credit Suisse analyst and his team expect Instagram to contribute $3.2 billion in revenue to Facebook this year.
Haha. A New Yorker built an igloo in his garden during The Great Storm and has it listed on Airbnb for $200 a night.
Tour the Guggenheim Museum in New York, courtesy of Google Street View.
The best restaurant in every state.
The eight new Apple products to watch out for this year.