Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a stellar weekend. We’re excited to see a bunch of you four days from now.:)
Top News in the A.M.
Early this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email out to employees about the FBI’s request to unlock an iPhone with the subject line “Thank you for your support.” More here.
In related news, the director of the FBI has claimed that the organization is not trying to break Apple’s encryption or set up backdoor access to Apple’s devices and services.
In unrelated news, Cook has again refused to confirm that Apple is working on a car.
Social Capital’s Newest Partners on How the Firm Works
Ashley Carroll and Arjun Sethi never thought they’d be working as venture capitalists. Yet in the last year, both have landed at Social Capital, a 4.5-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based firm that incubates and invests in companies in healthcare, education, financial services, mobile and enterprise software.
Social Capital was also, somewhat famously, created by Chamath Palihapitiya, a straight-shooting former Facebook and AOL executive who brought in as cofounders Mamoon Hamid and Ted Maidenberg, former colleagues at USVP. Hamid started his investing career at USVP; Maidenberg’s first gig as a VC was at Time Warner Ventures in 1999.
Carroll joined the firm last spring after previously working as a product lead at Docusign, Optimizely, and SurveyMonkey. Sethi was the cofounder and CEO of the mobile messaging app MessageMe, which was acquired by Yahoo for reportedly “double digit millions” in 2014; he remained at Yahoo as a senior director or product management until last month.
Neither was new to Social Capital when they joined, having served separate stints as EIRs. In fact, during a recent sit-down, the two – who bring Social Capital’s investment team to five people — told of a very fluid firm where entrepreneurs and investors drop in, hang out, then move on to other projects, often to return again. “It’s really a community of entrepreneurs-in-residence, executives-in-residence, engineers-in-residence, all loosely coupled but tightly aligned,” said Carroll.
Here are some other ways the firm is a little different from traditional venture firms:
Chainalysis, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based regulatory platform designed to help companies transact on a blockchain, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Point Nine Capital, with participation from Techstars, Digital Currency Group, Funders Club and Converge VP. FinSMEs has more here.
Impact Therapeutics, a seven-year-old, Nanjing, China-based developer of cancer drugs and treatments for other life-threatening diseases, has raised $10 million in Series B funding China Summit Capital, Guangzhou YUEXIU Industrial Investment Fund, Sungent Bioventure, HAIBANG Ventures and earlier backer Lilly Asia Ventures. More here.
NuoDB, a five-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based cloud database software technology company, has raised $17 million in new funding from earlier backersHummer Winblad Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners andMorgenthaler Ventures. More here.
Qubit, a five-year-old, London-based big-data analytics platform formed by four former Googlers, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led byGoldman Sachs, with participation from Sapphire Ventures and earlier investors Salesforce Ventures and Accel Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Trusona, a year-old, Scottsdale, Az.-based iOS mobile identity authentication technology company, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. Fortune has more here.
Lifeline Ventures, a seven-year-old, Helsinki-based early-stage venture firm, has closed on a new, €57 million ($63 million) fund to invest in startups. TechCrunch has more here.
At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona yesterday, Nokia Growth Partners announced a new, $350 million fund focused specifically on the Internet of Things. TechCrunch has more here.
There’s a new, global, evergreen bioscience fund now up and running. London-based Perceptive Bioscience Investments — funded by Woodford Investment Management and other institutional investors — says it will back seed-stage companies, all the way to “mispriced” public companies. (H/T MedCity News.) More here.
Syndax Pharmaceuticals, a 10-year-old, Waltham, Ma.-based company that’s developing a therapy that enhances immuno-oncology drugs, has announced terms for its IPO this morning. It’s the company’s second attempt to go public. Renaissance Capital has more here.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole Samsung’s Galaxy S7 show this past weekend. Here’s how.
Fenwick & West just released its fourth quarter venture survey, covering 152 financings.
Uh oh. Sovereign wealth funds may withdraw $404.3 billion from global stock markets this year if crude prices stay between $30 to $40 per barrel, says the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
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